Sent: Monday, March 29, 2004 5:34 PM
Subject: MORE ABOUT A. W. PINK [03/29/04]

From time to time, we have had inquiries and comments about Arthur W. Pink's views on regeneration or the new birth. I think a lack of understanding of his views perhaps derives from the fact that the totality of what he wrote on the subject has probably not been consulted. One simply can't always read isolated portions from a voluminous writer and come up with the complete picture.

I happen to have a collection of most of Pink's "Studies in the Scriptures" magazines from which nearly all of his writings (now in book form) derive. Without being tedious about the matter, let me just say that my own impression of Pink is that despite what he wrote on the pre-faith work of the Holy Spirit in a person, he did not teach that the new birth was a separate and completed experience prior to faith, nor did the new birth ever occur without the accompaniment of means, that is, the Word or Gospel. Any quotes from Pink which might be interpreted otherwise must, I think, disregard what he says in other places in his writings. He was not an "anti-means" Hardshell Baptist and would not have been able to join the Hardshell church, for they would not have him, considering his views.

Pink died in 1952, at which time Mrs. Vera Pink continued to publish the monthly magazine thru 1953, using materials which her late husband had provided for her. She explained this fact in the issue of September, 1952, which I have before me  (page 215): "Among other things he wanted me to publish in Studies in the Scriptures all the material he was leaving with me before closing down the magazine."

At the time, Mrs. Pink was in the process of publishing Arthur's writings on the Scriptures, and in the October 1952 issue we find the following:

"A word now upon the Spirit's application of the Word unto the heart, and our task is completed. This is described in such a verse as, 'For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Spirit, and in much assurance' (1 Thess. 1:5). That is very much more than having the mind informed or the emotions stirred, and something radically different from being deeply impressed by the preacher's oratory, earnestness, etc. It is for the preaching of the Gospel to be accompanied by the supernatural operation of the Spirit, and the efficacious grace of God, so that souls are Divinely quickened, convicted, converted, delivered from sin and Satan. When the Word is applied by the Spirit to a person, it acts like the entrance of a two-edged sword into his inner man, piercing, wounding, slaying his self-righteousness -- as in the case of Saul of Tarsus (Romans 7:9, 10). This is the demonstration of the Spirit (1 Cor. 2:4), whereby proof of the Truth by the effects produced in the individual to which it is savingly applied, so that he has 'much assurance' -- i.e. he knows it is God's Word because of the radical and permanent change wrought in him."

Also, in the November 1953 issue, just one month before the final issue in December 1953, Pink's following remarks appear on pages 247, 248:

"'We are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth" (2 Thess. 2:13). The mission of the Spirit in the earth is to apply to God's elect the redemption purposed by the Father and purchased by the Son for them. The Holy Spirit is here to make good in the souls of the heirs of glory the fruits of the travail of Christ's soul. This He does by means of the Gospel, by the written and oral ministry of the Scriptures, for the Word of God is the only instrument He employs or uses. The Word of God is 'the word of life' (Phil. 2:16), but it only becomes such in the experience of the individual soul by the immediate operation and application of the Spirit of God. As Paul wrote to the Thessalonian saints, 'For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Spirit' (1 Thess. 1:5). This is not to deny the efficacy of the Word itself, but is to insist that the direct agency of the Spirit on the heart is absolutely necessary in order to the reception of the Word. This is a lamp unto our path: but there must be an opening of the eyes of our understanding by the Spirit before we can see its light."

I think these excerpts from some of Pink's final writings, which were committed to Mrs. Pink to use in bringing the magazine to its conclusion, verify the fact that Pink did not divorce the Spirit's operations from the accompanying Word, or Gospel, in bringing men to faith in Christ. He believed, like our Baptist Confession says, that men are called by His "Word and Spirit. (1689 Baptist Confession, chapter 10). While he maintained that all the "efficiency" in the new birth is "of the Spirit," he also maintained the necessity of the accompanying Gospel. -- Bob L. Ross