Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Liar, Liar...

Bob L. Ross' downward spiral continues. I know I said I would not respond, but it would be unloving not to respond when a man of Bob L. Ross rapidly deteriorating good reputation is openly lying about those with whom he disagrees and there is irrefutable evidence to show it, if only for it to serve as a witness against him and call him to repent. Here, as you will see, he has most certainly lied. There is no other word for this behavior.

Bradley's primary doctrine is the same as the current crop of Hybrid Calvinists -- namely, "born again before faith," or "regeneration precedes faith." This is the same "direct operation" palabber taught by the pedo-regenerationist theologians Shedd, Berkhof, and R. C. Sproul, and other preachers such as James White, Scott Morgan of the Founders, Gene Bridges, Tom Schreiner of the Southern Seminary, and others who advocate "Reformed" theology according to the Berkhof theology book.

None of them has given evidence that they believe that the Word of God is an instrumentality in the "quickening" work of the Spirit in regeneration or the New Birth, contrary to the Creedal Calvinism of all the Calvinistic Confessions of Faith.


Now, here are some representative quotes from just about all the folks he names in the portion emphasized:

1. R.C. Sproul: Sproul does speak of regeneration being the direct act of the Holy Spirit. However he says,

"God's call is made effectual by the Word and the Spirit. It is important to see that the Word and the Spirit are here conjoined as two vital factors of regeneration. The Holy Spirit is not working apart from the Word or against the Word, but with the Word. Nor is the Word working alone without the presence and power of the Spirit.

The call referred to in effectual calling is not the outward call of the gospel
that can be heard by anyone within range of the preaching. The call referred to here is the inward call, the call that penetrates to and pierces the heart, quickening it to spiritual life. Hearing the gospel enlightens the mind, yet it does not awaken the soul until the Holy Spirit illuminates it and regenerates it. This move from ear to soul is made by the Holy Spirit. This move is what accompanies God's purpose of applying the benefits of Christ' work to the elect. (Grace Unknown: The Heart of Reformed Theology, p.190 -91, 2000 edition).

How is this evidence that “none of them has given evidence that they believe the Word of God is an instrumentality in the Spirit’s work of regeneration?"

2. Here is Shedd on regeneration in general:

In this manner, prayer for the instantaneous gift of re­generating grace harmonizes with the gospel-call to immediate faith and repentance. Faith and repentance naturally arid necessarily result from regeneration. Whoever is re­generated will believe and repent.1 To pray therefore for instantaneous regeneration is, virtually, to pray for instan­taneous faith and repentance, and vice versa. He who prays: "Help thou mine unbelief; take away the stony heart, and give the heart of flesh," prays that God would " renew and powerfully determine the will," which is the definition of regeneration. At the same time, prayer for regenerating grace must not be substituted for the net of faith and repentance. The direction is: " Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ." This is the Biblical answer to the question : " What must I do to be paved ?" But when the convicted person discovers that the act of faith is hindered and prevented by the blindness of his understanding, and the bondage of his will to sin, and asks if he may implore the "enlightening and quickening energy of the Holy Spirit, to persuade and enable him to embrace Jesus Christ, freely offered in the gospel" (S. C., 31), he is to be answered in the affirmative. In imploring the regenerating grace of the Holy Spirit, he is " striving to enter in at the strait gate ; " he is endeavoring to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. The act of faith in the blood of Christ, in its own nature^ is simple and easy. "My yoke is easy, and my burden is light," Matt. 11:30. But considered in reference to the pride and self-righteousness of the natural heart, faith is impossible without regeneration. Hence the frequent state­ment in Calvinistic creeds, that man needs to be persuaded and enabled to this act.*1 The regenerate child, youth, and man, believe· and repent* immediately. The regenerate infant believe· and repent· when his· faculties will admit of the exercise and manifestation of faith and repentance. In the latter instance, re­generation ib potential or latent faith and repentance.

«Westminster Confession, VII. iii.; VIIL riiL ; IX. iv.; X. i.; XIV. L Larger Catechism, Q. 33; Q. 59; Q. 67; Q. 73.

3. Here is Shedd on means:

In this manner, prayer for the instantaneous gift of re­generating grace harmonizes with the gospel-call to immediate faith and repentance. Faith and repentance naturally and necessarily result from regeneration. Whoever is re­generated will believe and repent.1 To pray therefore for instantaneous regeneration is, virtually, to pray for instan­taneous faith and repentance, and vice versa.

Moreover, he writes that in the midst of discussing prayer and preaching and its vital role in the effectual call! So it seems that he doesn't say any of this without first discussing what? Answer: instrumentality!

He writes:

While regeneration is a sovereign act of God according to election, it is an encouraging fact both for the sinner and the preacher of the word that God's regenerating grace is commonly bestowed where the preparatory work is per­formed. This is the rule, under the gospel dispensation. He who reads and meditates upon the word of God is ordinarily enlightened by the Holy Ghost, perhaps in the very act of reading, or hearing, or meditating. "While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word," Acts 10 : 44. He who asks for regenerating grace may be regenerated perhaps in the act of praying. God has appointed certain human acts whereby to make ready the heart of man for the divine act. Without attentive reading and hearing of the word, and prayer, the soul is not a fit subject for regenerating grace.


How is this then “no evidence" that he believed the Word of God is an instrumentality in the Spirit’s work of regeneration? Mr. Ross has read Shedd on infant regeneration and then read that back into what he states about those not regenerated in infancy.

Incidentally, notice that Shedd does not have the infants growing into adult.

The regenerate child, youth, and man, believe· and repent* immediately. The regenerate infant believe· and repent· when his· faculties will admit of the exercise and manifestation of faith and repentance.

Rather, as soon as they are able, the repent and believe! What's more, they are, presumably "covenant children" and so are exposed to what? The instrumentality of the Word of God, prayer, instruction, and most importantly the gospel!

Now, what is the other truth of this? That those who do not repent and believe as soon as they are able are were not regenerated in infancy! Ergo, there is nothing here that leads to the Hardshell doctrine, for in Hardshellism an infant (or an adult) can live until adult / senior adult, even near his death and still not convert!

I'd further add that the
Princeton tradition of Presybterianism itself has stated by Archibald Alexander in Thoughts on Religious Experience (London: Banner of Truth Trust, 1967), pp. 13-14.:

"The education of children should proceed on the principle that they are in an unregenerate state, until evidences of piety clearly appear, in which case they should be sedulously cherished and nurtured. . . . Although the grace of God may be communicated to a human soul, at any period of its existence, in this world, yet the fact manifestly is, that very few are renewed before the exercise of reason commences; and not many in early childhood.

Clearly, Mr. Ross is taking the exception (infant regeneration) in Presbyterianism and reading it as the rule (applicable to non-infants). This is considered to be highly unusual and is in the realm of speculation according to their theologians. Does Mr. Ross ever note this? NO. Furthermore, how is Presbyterian or Dutch Reformed theology on infant salvation at all germane to Reformed Baptist issues? The LBCF2 already includes a line about elect infants.

Elect infants dying in infancy are regenerated and saved by Christ through the Spirit; who worketh when, and where, and how he pleases; so also are all elect persons, who are incapable of being outwardly called by the ministry of the Word.

4. Tom Schriener.

Here, he talks about evangelism itself:


From beginning to end it is about instrumentality.


Regeneration means that one has been born again or born from above (John 3:3, 5, 7, 8). The new birth is the work of God, so that all those who are born again are “born of the Spirit” (John 3:8 ESV here and henceforth). Or, as 1 Pet 1:3 says, it is God who “caused us to be born again to a living hope” (1 Pet 1:3). The means God uses to grant such new life is the gospel, for believers “have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God” (1 Pet 1:23; cf. Jas 1:18). Regeneration or being born again is a supernatural birth. Just as we cannot do anything to be born physically—it just happens to us!—so too we cannot do anything to cause our spiritual rebirth.

I would ask how it is that Dr. Schriener has given no evidence that he affirms that the Word of God is an instrumentality in the "quickening" work of the Spirit in regeneration?



5. James White:

As if that wasn’t enough, Dr. White dropped a not so subtle hint toward Charles and Mr. Ross on 3/6/06:

What's Unclear About These Words?

It's been a few weeks since the last Scripture memorization text, so I thought it would be good to allow Jesus' words, spoken in direct response to those who objected to His teachings regarding faith and disbelief, speak again:

"No one can come to Me, unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day. "It is written in the prophets, 'And they shall all be taught of God.' Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father, comes to Me." (John 6:44-45)

Some texts are unpopular because they go against what is "comfortable." Men's traditions serve as a lens through which people read the words of Jesus, and these often get filtered out in the process. You've heard much about John 6:44; you know it completely undercuts the common views of most man-centered evangelicals and continues the thread begun earlier in the discourse regarding God giving the elect to Christ who then undertakes to be their perfect Savior. You know you have to eisegetically insert a break into the text to make those who are raised up on the last day a different group than those who are drawn. The advantage of memorizing verse 45 with verse 44, however, lies in this: v. 45 not only continues the theme of the preceding passages, in so doing it ties 44 in for us and once again closes the door to the many attempts men concoct to escape the meaning. Jesus has just said He will raise up those drawn to Him by the Father, and he then provides a scriptural basis. "They shall all be taught of God" is a rephrasing of being "drawn by the Father." Drawing involves knowledge, revelation. God is the the only source of this "teaching." Just as only the Father can draw, so only the Father can teach. But just as giving (v. 37) and drawing lead, infallibly, to coming, so to this teaching (since it is just another way of referring to drawing) leads to the same perfect result: the coming of all those who experience it to Christ. True regeneration never takes place in a vacuum; true faith cannot exist without an object. Just as one is drawn to the Son, so one learns from the Father. This learning involves true, saving faith in the only one who can save, Jesus Christ. Word and Spirit, together, inseparable, triune work of salvation! All glory, laud and honor!

See: http://www.aomin.org/index.php?itemid=1276

Because it still wasn’t enough, apparently, he posted this:

What I Believe About Regeneration

1. Those whom God hath predestinated unto life, he is pleased in his appointed, and accepted time, effectually to call, by his Word and Spirit, out of that state of sin and death in which they are by nature, to grace and salvation by Jesus Christ; enlightening their minds spiritually and savingly to understand the things of God; taking away their heart of stone, and giving unto them a heart of flesh; renewing their wills, and by his almighty power determining them to that which is good, and effectually drawing them to Jesus Christ; yet so as they come most freely, being made willing by his grace.

2. This effectual call is of God's free and special grace alone, not from anything at all foreseen in man, nor from any power or agency in the creature, being wholly passive therein, being dead in sins and trespasses, until being quickened and renewed by the Holy Spirit; he is thereby enabled to answer this call, and to embrace the grace offered and conveyed in it, and that by no less power than that which raised up Christ from the dead. (LBCF 10:1-2)

“Of his own will begat he, us.” Regeneration and all consequent blessings come to us entirely through the absolute but gracious will of God. He is not bound to give; he may, if he wills, withhold. We have no claim upon God, except the claim of justice; and what would that involve but that he should punish us for our sin? We are felons against the Majesty of heaven. We have forfeited all the rights we ever had under the divine government. The right to punishment is the only right we can now claim upon the footing of justice. Henceforth we are simply in the hands of God awaiting his sentence. He may, if he wills, save the entire human race; if it pleaseth him, he may save none. If so he wills, he may make this mien a monument of mercy, and leave his neighbor to reap the due reward of his works. This is what God has a right to do, and he claims his sovereign prerogative. Are not his own words heard through Scripture like peals of thunder, “I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion; so then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy”? There are some who, in their blindness, grow wrathful at this doctrine, as if it were ungracious to mention a fact which it is impossible to disguise; they will almost froth at the mouth when the subject is broached. Well, let them do so, it still standeth firm as a rock and fast as the eternal hills. Jehovah giveth no account of his matters. He doeth as he wills among the armies of heaven, and among the inhabitants of this lower earth. So,-

“Mortals, be dumb; what creature dares
Dispute his awful will?
Ask no account of his affairs,
But tremble, and be still.”

Brethren, you and I, to whom this sovereignty has looked forth through the lattice of grace, can gladly appreciate it. We bless that wonderful, discriminating love which fixed upon us, whilst others were let to go their downward course and perish. The only motive God had to stir up his mercy, was his own will. To us therefore it is precious. Before we ever prayed, before we ever sought his face, his own will, acting spontaneously, brought to us the bounty of his lovingkindness. Now mostly, men who are generous need to have their generosity excited. They will need to be waited upon; appeals must be laid before them; they must sometimes be pressed; an example must lead them on. But “of his own will” God did to us all that has been done, without any incentive or prompting, moved only by himself, because he delighteth in mercy; because his name and his nature are love because evermore, like the sun, it is natural to him to distribute the beams of his eternal grace. “Of his own will begat he us.” Come, my brethren, let us magnify the Lord who loved us when we were dead in trespasses and sins. Let us extol the freeness of that mercy, the goings-forth of which were of old, from everlasting, while we recollect that we deserved it not; that we set ourselves against it; that, when we did know it, we despised it; that, when it was presented to us, we defied it, resisted it, stood out against it many a long year. Oh! when we think of this, I say, let us bow humbly before the throne of the Infinite Majesty, and bless him whose mercy endureth for ever, and whose lovingkindness, like himself, owes nothing to any incentive beyond itself, but is causeless, uncommunicated, existing full and free in the mind of God himself. Because he willed, and according to the dictate of his own good pleasure, did he have compassion upon us.

The benefit we have thus received is described in the next words, “Of his own will begat he us: “ that is to say, we have by divine power been born again. Our first birth was to us our sensitive creation; our second birth, our regeneration, is our second creation. We were made once, and God made us. These bodies are the wonderful fabrics of his skill, and these souls are the emanations of his power. Father of spirits thou art, O God, and we are his offspring, and his alone! But our being made again is as great a work of God, and quite as solely a work of God, quite as entirely the handiwork of God, as our first creation. Of his own will he gave us a new life, and made: us new creatures. Beloved, are we conscious to-night that we are new creatures? Some, perhaps, have doubts about it sometimes, but a man cannot be a new creature and not be conscious of some sort of change; and there must be times, with the most doubtful of the saints, when they are certain and assumed that they are no longer what they were, but have passed from death unto life. Search your own hearts, dear friends; let the prayer that was offered just now to the great Searcher of hearts, and Trier of the reins of the children of man, come from your lips and your hearts, “Search us, O God, and try us! “ Verily, verily, I say unto you, if you have not something more than nature gave you, you will perish. If you are not something higher than the but morality, the most exact discipline, and the most consistent moral behavior can make you, you will never enter into the kingdom of heaven.

“Ye must be born again.” This declaration stands like a sentry at the gate of heaven, thrusting the bayonet in the way to show that, however amiable, moral, upright, and excellent those may be who seek to enter there, they must be born again. Ye must be born again.” Ye dignitaries of the church, ye senators of the nation, ye who wear imperial crowns, and ye who don your coronets, ye must be born again. Ye who have been brought up and dandled upon the knees of piety, ye who have not only offended against the law, ye who have been in your houses a joy and in the world a delight, ye must be born again. It mattereth not who ye are; if ye are born of woman, how can that be clean which cometh of the unclean? Ye must be passed out of the flesh into the spirit, and this must be the work of God himself, or it is nothing worth. It must be a supernatural change, above and beyond all the strugglings and the strivings of the creature. It must be the display of the eternal power of the Holy Spirit, or else where God is you cannot come. Happy should you be, my brethren and sisters, who trust that you have a share in this unutterably precious privilege! “ Of his own will begat he you.” You are twice born. You are God’s children with an emphasis which belongs most to other men. You, though you were dead, are now alive. Though you were carnal you have been spiritualized. Though you were far off, you have been brought nigh; and this is due to the sovereign will of God alone. Bless him, bless him, and humble your hearts before him.

The instrumentality through which this singular change has been wrought in us is clearly stated, “Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth.” Men are not usually saved without the immediate agency of the gospel. Some have said that the Spirit of God always works through the truth, and that the truth is sure to work conviction. The truth, however, is preached, and faithfully preached, to tens of thousands, to whom it conveys not a blessing at all, but is the savor of death unto death. Others have said that the Spirit of God regenerates men apart from the Word of God but this is not told us in Scripture, and is not therefore to be received. But evermore the Word and the Spirit are put together. Scripture does not talk of the Word of God as a dead letter; it says, “The Word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword.” On the other hand, Scripture does not speak of the Holy Spirit as though the Word would work apart from him, but the two are put together, and “ what God hath joined together, let no man put asunder.” My dear brethren and sisters, you who have been begotten again unto a lively hope, was it not through the hearing of the Word, or the reading of it, or the remembrance of some hallowed text which you had almost forgotten? You know it was. Good McCheyne used to say, “Depend on it, it is God’s Word that saves souls, and not our comment upon God’s Word;” and so I believe it is. It is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth. (C.H. Spurgeon, Jan. 5th, 1868)

Let it be known I believe and profess the confessional statement quoted above; let it be known I object to not a word in Spurgeon's exposition. If you encounter someone confused by others about my views, correct them. If you encounter one who claims to know my heart better than I do and who refuses to accept this confession of faith, dismiss him as the addled ranter he is. There is no reasoning with those who will not listen and who profess personal infallibility on matters about which they are completely ignorant or, worse, dishonest.

http://www.aomin.org/index.php?itemid=1297 How is this “no evidence” of believing in the instrumentality of the Word of God in the work of regeneration? This is dated in March, over a month before Mr. Ross libeled Dr. White.

7. Berkhof:

Divine calling and regeneration stand in the closest possible relation to each other. With respect to regeneration several points deserve consideration:

a. Its nature. The word 'regeneration' is not always used in the same sense. Our Confession uses it in a broad sense, as including even conversion. At present it has a more restricted meaning. In the most restricted sense it denotes that act of God by which the principle of the new life is implanted in man, and the governing disposition of the soul is made holy. In a slightly more comprehensive sense it designates, in addition to the preceding, the new birth or the first manifestation of the new life. It is a fundamental change in the principle of life and the governing disposition of the soul, and therefore affects the whole man,

It is completed in a moment of time, and is not a gradual process like sanctification. Through it we pass from death into life,

It is a secret and inscrutable work of God that is never directly perceived by man, but can be known only by its effects.

b. Its author. God is the author of regeneration. Scripture represents it as the work of the Holy Spirit,

Over against the Arminians we maintain that it is exclusively the work of the Spirit of God, and not in part the work of man. There is no co-operation of God and man in the work of regeneration, as there is in the work of conversion. Moreover, it should be said that regeneration in the most restricted sense of the word, that is, as the implanting of the new life, is a direct and immediate work of the Holy Spirit. It is a creative work in which for that very reason the word of the gospel cannot very well be used as an instrument. It may be said that

Jas. 1:18 "Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures. (James 1:18)"


I Pet. 1:23 "having been begotten again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, through the word of God, which liveth and abideth. (1 Peter 1:23)"

prove that the word of preaching is used as an instrument in regeneration, but these passages refer to regeneration in a broader sense, as including the new birth. In that more inclusive sense regeneration is undoubtedly wrought through the instrumentality of the Word.

So, Berkhof has merely stated that the actual action involved in itself belongs to God. This is the immediate working, the most narrow sense. However, preaching is most certainly involved when we include conversion itself as its result. How is this a denial of means on his part?

Here’s another statement from Berkhof:

While we distinguish two aspects of the calling of God, this calling is really one. The internal call is really the external call made effective by the operation of the Holy Spirit. It always comes to the sinner through the Word of God, savingly applied by the operation of the Holy Spirit, I Cor . 1:23, 24. (http://www.ccel.org/pipeline/1-html/5-berkhof-summery/Berkhof%2019.htm )

So, right there, Berkoff affirms the instrumentality of the Word of God. Yes, he does affirm infant regeneration, but so did James Boyce. He also presents infant regeneration as the exception not the rule.

How is this not evidence that Berkhof affirmed that the Word of God is an instrumentality in the "quickening" work of the Spirit in regeneration or the New Birth? Is it because he elsewhere affirms that infants are regenerated? If so, that is a separate issue. Mr. Ross needs to learn to separate the issues. When refuted on the views of paedobaptist theologians with respect to regeneration in non-infants, he has to run away and talk about infant regeneration as if that refutes what is said about adults. But, in that case, any argument infant regeneration is a highly caveated argument. How then does citing beliefs about infant regeneration constitute a refutation of regeneration preceding faith in non-infants?

8. Myself:

Regeneration is attended by the Word of God and gospel truth in all those not dying in infancy. It is monergistic. It precedes faith. It is attended by sorrow for sin, repentance, and faith, but these are its effects, not its efficient cause.

See: http://triablogue.blogspot.com/2006/04/charles-and-bob-l-ross-vs-scripture.html

I’ll make this easy for him: When I say “regeneration precedes faith,” I am simply stating that their relationship causal and logical, if it is temporal it implies nothing of the interval, and I would affirm it in the limiting case of John the Baptist, but, by the same token I’m not completely convinced of the classic text for that. The ordinary means (that for adults and children of competency in understanding) always is via the accompaniment of the Word of God and the calling to mind of other circumstances. I agree with Boyce on this, except in his third and possibly his second limiting case.

From here:


Here is the illustration I used:

Regeneration is to faith what birth is to crying and breathing. As a new baby cries and breathes on its own when it is born, so the man regenerated by the power of the Spirit working through the gospel believes and is justified.


How, pray tell, can anybody conclude that I have given “no evidence” that I believe the Word of God is an instrumentality in the Spirit’s work of regeneration, when I plainly stated to Mr. Ross exactly the contrary? I have both affirmed the necessity of instrumentality in regeneration, and I have stated that I confine infant regeneration only to those dying in infancy, not those surviving from infancy into childhood, though I find Boyce's inference from John the Baptist plausible, but speculative.

I would add that this is exactly why I posted those words they way I did in my last direct response to him. I knew he would misrepresent me. He has not disappointed. I have now successfully caught him in a lie. Now, do you see why I mentioned him under the statements of Titus 3:10 -11?

Reject a factious man after his first and second warning, knowing that such a man is perverted and is sinning, being self-condemned.


  1. I am surprised you referred to Titus 3:10-11 when have constantly refused to address the errors of padobaptism. You defend and promote Protestant teachers and theologians without any kind of warning to the numerous false doctrines inherent in their theology. You pick and choose which doctrines to defend. You refer to Protestants so long as they share your view of soteriology. Why?

  2. I have never been requested to discuss "the errors of paedobaptism" so I have never refused a request to do so. Additionally, there is a vast literature on the subject of credo vs. paedobaptism.

    Why should I be confined to Baptists to defend soteriology?