“The thief, that was crucified with our Lord, believed in the Lord Jesus, and was saved, although the force of faith was strong in him but a very small season, and brought not forth any great store of fruit of good works: finally, that faith of the thief was not any whit diverse or contrary from the faith of St Peter and St Paul, but was altogether the very same with theirs, although their faith brought forth somewhat more abundantly the fruit of good works” (Heinrich Bullinger, Decades, 1st Decade, Sermon 5, vol 1, p. 101).
Chris: Now that’s certainly a different take on the thief on the cross from a Calvinist. I wonder how far back in history the tolerant Calvinist conspiracy to deprecate the glory of God in shining the knowledge of His salvation into the hearts of His people as an immediate & inevitable fruit of regeneration goes (cf. 2 Cor 4:6)?
Marc wrote some time ago:
“Recently I was skimming a couple books by Gordon Clark. The more I read of Clark, the more I see how evil he really was. Check out what Clark thinks of the atonement:
“The thief on the cross said, ‘Lord, remember me;’ and Jesus replied, ‘Today thou shalt be with me in paradise.’ After a life of crime one of the three worst criminals in the nation — Barabbas had been released — this thief received assurance of heaven. He could hardly have known much about Jesus. He certainly had no notion of saving faith, let alone of the Trinity, the Atonement, or the second advent. Yet, on the authority of Jesus, we know that he was saved” ([Gordon H. Clark –CD]Faith and Saving Faith, p. 1).
[Marc:]Clark goes on to say that “the thief knew more than most people think he did,” but, according to Clark, the thief did not know about the Atonement. Thus, if we assume that Clark believed that every saved person believes the gospel, we must conclude that Clark believed that the gospel does not include the Atonement (http://www.outsidethecamp.org/evilclark.htm).
Chris: It’s interesting how much multitudes like-minded with Clark ASSUME about the thief. How do they know what the thief knew? Now obviously we know he believed the gospel by necessary inference from Scripture (cf. http://www.outsidethecamp.org/romans88.htm). But those that believe similarly to Clark were NOT there.
Do they know anything about this thief’s childhood and upbringing? Do they know anything at all about his background other than that he was a convicted thief? Do they assume that a thief would have had no prior interest in theology before his conviction?
Clark had written:
“He could hardly have known much about Jesus.”
Chris: Really? How does Clark know this? Did Clark follow the thief around town? Does Clark know how long this thief was incarcerated or whether he heard anything about Jesus during this incarceration? How does Clark even know that this thief had not seen and heard Jesus’ teaching at any time prior to being crucified next to Jesus? How does Clark know that this thief had not read the Old Testament Scriptures as a young child and rejected the teaching he had been taught only to be regenerated by God not too long before taking his last breath?
Clark and all those like-minded with him are very wicked and serve an insidious agenda to deprecate the glory of God in the salvation of His people. The reason they spew this blasphemous dung is because they themselves are blinded by the god of this age.
Obviously the GLORY OF CHRIST has not dawned on them (cf. 2 Cor 4:4). For if God had in fact shown this glorious gospel light into their hearts, then they would know that the “brightness of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Cor 4:6) is shown into every believer’s heart upon regeneration.
[By the way, I’m NOT saying Bullinger was a true believer; just saying that Bullinger is correct that the thief’s faith was like the faith of Peter, Paul and every believer.]
A link specifically related to this subject of the thief’s knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ (cf. 2 Cor 4:6):