Here’s my transcription of a listener’s telephone comment on the Sunday, August 12 edition of The White Horse Inn, “Grace & Election in the Book of Ephesians.” On the one hand, the following conversation includes an anecdote which well portrays a “fightin’ fundamentalist” standing his ground against election in a way he may assume is as bold as Paul declaring that if resurrection didn’t really happen, then Christ died in vain and we’re dead in our sins. But on the other hand, it can really make you nervous about the danger to which professing believers expose themselves when they stubbornly deny the Word of God on the doctrines of grace. No, I don’t think dedicated Christians who love and serve Jesus and otherwise believe the Bible and sound conservative theology are apostate if they disagree with election–I mean those who go to the extreme and deny the faith because they refuse to accept the clear teaching of Scripture because of election. The kind to which I’m referring are the kind who understand exactly what the Bible says about election and reject the faith because of it.
Be afraid. Be very afraid.
Horton: Greg in Littleton, Colorado, good evening.
Greg: Hello. This is providential that you’re discussing this tonight, because my uncle who’s an Independent Baptist, to his disappointment, discovered that Spurgeon actually taught this.
Riddlebarger: (while other hosts laugh) Oh boy, did he ever!
Greg: . . . and he really is quite hostile to this teaching, and I really think, for one thing, I said to him, “If I could show you in Scripture where election is clearly taught, wouldn’t you have to give in and believe it?” And I was disappointed at his response–he said, “well, I would have to question the authenticity of the Scriptures.”
Rosenblatt: Holy smokes!
Riddlebarger: Oh, boy!
Horton: Wow. You know, this does bring up an important point. I’ve been in situations where I’ve been talking about this and people have said–even older folks, people who’ve been lifelong Christians, committed to the authority of Scripture, and Bible-believing Christians, and you go through this, and, uh, I remember throwing my Bible across the room when I read Romans 9.
Riddlebarger: Oh, I remember listening to a Donald Grey Barnhouse tape on election, up all night with my Bible going through all the passages he mentioned, just sick in the pit of my stomach. But, you know, that’s just like John chapter 6, when Jesus utters the hard words, “Unless the Father draws you, you can’t come,” and the crowd starts grumbling, so he says it again, and they all walk away.
Horton: Tough words. Even his own disciples: “This is a hard teaching and who can hear it?”
While we’re on the topic of The White Horse Inn, I just checked out The Riddleblog and noticed that Kim Riddlebarger has reviewed Hank Hanegraaff’s latest book on eschatology, The Apocalypse Code. Kim agrees with me that it resorts to sensationalism, and how sad I am to see it. I hoped better for Hank’s self-proclaimed magnum opus. Personally, I think his first book, Christianity in Crisis, was.