The Evil of Gordon Clark (2)

[Because Gordon H. Clark appears solid doctrinally in many areas (depending on how much one has read of him) I thought it would be important to strip off his veneer of orthodoxy by showing how evil Clark really was. I have written quite a bit already about Clark, but this time I’ve decided to post something one astute fellow had written several years ago concerning Clark.]

And check out what Clark says about Arminianism in God’s Hammer: The Bible and Its Critics.

He first says that it is belief in the Bible as God’s Word that separates true Christianity from all other false religions:

“Metaphorically the first chapter of the Westminster Confession is a continental divide. Although the written Word of God has been the touchstone of pure doctrine in all ages, the twentieth century shows still more clearly that this chapter forms the great divide between two types of religion, or to make it of broader application, two types of philosophy. Perhaps it would be plainer to say that the acceptance of the Bible as God’s written revelation separates true Christianity from all other types of thought” (p. 189).

So what is the non-Christian side of this “continental divide,” according to Clark? He goes on to “select two contemporary schools of philosophy” that are on the non-Christian side: Atheism (naturalism, secularism, humanism), and neo-orthodoxy (pp. 189-197). So what is on the truly Christian side of this “continental divide,” according to Clark? Well, I’m sure you guys know what’s coming. This is under the heading “Arminianism and Calvinism”:

“On the other side of the continental divide, the water flows in the opposite direction. Instead of the stifling deserts of Arizona, the Mississippi Valley with its wheat and corn come into view. Here we have life and the fruits of the soil. However, not all the soil, not all the rivers on the east of the divide are equally fruitful. … There is one stream which, accepting the Scripture as the only infallible rule of faith and practice, does not accept all the other thirty-two chapters of the Confession. Though it may accept several, and be called broadly evangelical, it rejects chapter three and other chapters which are definitely Calvinistic. The waters of this stream flow in the same general direction, and we rejoice that they eventually reach the same heavenly ocean; but they flow through stony ground with sparse vegetation, or sometimes they ooze through swamps where the vegetation is dense enough but unhealthful and useless. This stream in its rocky course babbles about faith and repentance being the cause instead of the result of regeneration; and it claims that its swampy ‘free-will’ can either block or render effective the almighty power of God. All there is time to say of this stream of thought is that its inconsistencies make it an easy prey to the attacks of humanism. It cannot defend the principle of revelation because it has misunderstood the contents of revelation. On the other hand, that blest river of salvation, flowing through the land of tall corn and sturdy cattle is to be identified with the great Reformers. … [blah blah blah]” (p. 198).

Clark believed that the waters of the Arminian stream, although tangled with heresy, eventually reach the heavenly ocean. Clark obviously did not believe that Arminians, even though they believe that faith and repentance are the cause of regeneration, believe a false gospel. In fact, he believed that ALL true Arminians MUST be regenerate persons, as I showed in !

Here’s more:

“Now it was a bit strange that this gentleman should have requested this hymn and should have sung it with such praise and devotion. For he did not like Calvinism; all his life he had been an Arminian; he did not believe in ‘eternal security,’ as he called it; and he had been telling his friends so for years. Even now he would have disowned the name of Calvinism. But could it be that without realizing it he had now come to believe, and that his earlier Arminian views had changed with the color of his hair?

“If it is strange that this lovely Arminian saint could become at least somewhat of a Calvinist without knowing it …

“What should be particularly noted in this section is how the doctrine of perseverance fits in with all the other doctrines. God is not irrational or insane. What he says hangs together; it forms a logical system. Election, total depravity, effectual calling, sovereign grace, and perseverance are mutually consistent. God does not contradict himself. But Arminian saints do” (What Do Presbyterians Believe?, pp. 61-62, 169-171).

“Note, however, that Nicodemus, a ruler in Israel, did not easily understand. The early Gentile Christians could hardly understand. Even the Church Fathers were seriously deficient. For three hundred years or more they could not understand the Person of Christ; they learned the Trinity a little faster; but their soteriology, the significance of Christ’s death, escaped them for centuries. Justin Martyr, for example, was of course a martyr; he probably was a Christian; but with his view of the Atonement I would not have voted to receive him as a communicant member of our congregation” (Today’s Evangelism: Counterfeit or Genuine?, The Trinity Foundation, 1990, p. 100).

In What Do Presbyterians Believe?, Gordon Clark wrote the following:

“An Arminian may be a truly regenerate Christian; in fact, if he is truly an Arminian and not a Pelagian who happens to belong to an Arminian church, he must be a saved man. But he is not usually, and cannot consistently be assured of his salvation. The places in which his creed differs from our Confession confuse the mind, dilute the Gospel, and impair its proclamation. The Arminian system holds (1) that God elects persons to eternal life on the condition of their reception of grace and their perseverance as foreseen; (2) that Christ died, not as the substitute for certain men, definitely to assume their penalty, but to render a chance of salvation indifferently possible to all men; (3) that all men have the same influence of the Holy Ghost operating on them, so that some are saved because they cooperate, and others are lost because they resist, thus in effect making salvation depend on the will of man; and (4) that since salvation is not made certain by God’s decree nor by Christ’s sacrifice, and since man’s will is free or independent of God’s control, a regenerate man can unregenerate himself and ultimately be lost” (pp. 174-175).

In The Atonement, Clark wrote this:

“At any rate, according to Arminians [all of whom must be saved, according to Clark], Christ never actually procured the reconciliation of anyone: He merely removed the obstacle of divine justice so as to make all mankind salvable. The Atonement has no efficacy in itself so far as application goes. For that matter, on their [the Arminians, all of whom must be saved, according to Clark] theory, the ransom might not have released anyone. In other words, Christ did not intend to save anybody, nor did his death insure [sic] the salvation of anybody. Salvation is an additional work of man’s free will” (p. 139).

From these quotes, we can conclude that Gordon Clark believed that all true Arminians, all of whom believe that (a) Christ did not die as the substitute for certain men, definitely to assume their penalty, (b) salvation is not made certain by Christ’s sacrifice, (c) Christ never actually procured the reconciliation of anyone, (d) the Atonement has no efficacy in itself, and (e) Christ’s death did not ensure the salvation of anyone, MUST be regenerate people.

Or, put another way, Gordon Clark believed that there are people who believe that (a) Christ did not die as the substitute for certain men, definitely to assume their penalty, (b) salvation is not made certain by Christ’s sacrifice, (c) Christ never actually procured the reconciliation of anyone, (d) the Atonement has no efficacy in itself, and (e) Christ’s death did not ensure the salvation of anyone, who are saved.

Thus, Gordon Clark did not believe that the gospel includes the doctrines that (a) Christ died as a substitute for certain men, definitely to assume their penalty, (b) that salvation is made certain by Christ’s sacrifice, (c) that Christ actually procured the reconciliation of all whom He represented, (d) that the atonement has efficacy in itself, (e) that Christ’s death ensured the salvation of all whom He represented. If Gordon Clark was not unregenerate, then there has never been an unregenerate man on the face of this earth.

The tolerant Calvinists are as disgusting and vile as the worst homosexual perverts. They cast shame and reproach on our Lord Jesus Christ. My brothers, let us stand firm against such vile wickedness and expose it as damnable heresy wherever we encounter it.