Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Five Points: Preach Them, or Not.

Should a pastor preach on the five points of Calvinsm in the normal course of his preaching schedule? Maybe, maybe not.

Geoff Thomas, pastor for many years at Alfred Place Baptist Church in Aberystwyth, England, began a series in 2008 on the five points of Calvinism. In his 43rd year of pastoring!

In his introduction on the first sermon he wrote,

Dr. Lloyd-Jones was hesitant about preaching on Sundays such doctrines as the five points of Calvinism. He was a Calvinistic Methodist and unashamed of that, but his approach was to permeate all his sermons with these truths and so to Calvinize people by showing them the greatness of our Sovereign Lord and his free redemption.  


However, when Dr. Lloyd-Jones took part in conferences and discussions he used theological and Calvinistic terms, but rarely did he do so when he preached on Sundays. People learning about Christianity must start in the infants’ school of trust in Jesus Christ before getting to the grammar school of election and the design of the atonement. 

I appreciate that wise response and have tended to take the same approach myself, but I also think times come when these truths, which are so preachable, need to be declared clearly. I do believe all five points and I want every Christian to believe them because they are the teaching of the Bible. They are historic Christianity. 

Charles Haddon Spurgeon was different from Dr. Lloyd-Jones as he asked his invited preachers to speak on the ‘Five Points’ at the grand opening of the Metropolitan Tabernacle, one point each evening for a week. London needed to hear the ‘Five Points” as it does today. 

No one would encourage a young preacher to begin his ministry with sermons on the ‘Five Points” but in one’s forty-third year one may be excused in preaching such a brief series as this for they are the neglected truths of Christianity, misunderstood, opposed and distorted by many preachers, and yet indispensable for the full health of the faith, a powerful means of evangelism and frequently used to bring revival to dying churches.

Wise words from a very seasoned pastor. He's been at his present church for 47 years. You may access his series and much more here.


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