Calvinism Ex Cathedra: A Review Of John H. Gerstner’s Wrongly Dividing The Word Of Truth: A Critique Of Dispensationalism -- By: Zane C. Hodges
Journal: Journal of the Grace Evangelical Society
Volume: JOTGES 04:2 (Autumn 1991)
Article: Calvinism Ex Cathedra: A Review Of John H. Gerstner’s Wrongly Dividing The Word Of Truth: A Critique Of Dispensationalism
Author: Zane C. Hodges
JOTGES 4:2 (Autumn 91) p. 59
Calvinism Ex Cathedra:
A Review Of John H. Gerstner’s
Wrongly Dividing The Word Of Truth:
A Critique Of Dispensationalism1
Journal of the Grace Evangelical Society
John H. Gerstner is a well-known and prolific writer/theologian from the Reformed tradition. His recent book, Wrongly Dividing the Word of Truth, is a trenchant assault on Dispensationalism in general and Grace theology in particular. The latter he flatly labels as Antinomianism.
I welcome this book. The issues are sharply drawn and the author has largely avoided pejorative rhetoric and harsh verbal abuse. Some readers may not think this is so, but this reviewer would differ with them. Gerstner’s criticisms of Dispensationalism are certainly severe. But given his own position, they must be seen as his frank and candid assessments of an opposing theology.
Perhaps the last paragraph of his conclusion expresses his spirit as well as anything else that he says:
My plea to all dispensationalists is this—show me the fundamental error in what I teach or admit your own fundamental error. We cannot both be right. One of us is wrong—seriously wrong. If you are wrong (in your doctrine, as I charge), you are preaching nothing less than a false gospel. This calls for genuine repentance and fruits worthy of it before the Lord Jesus Christ whom we both profess to love and serve.
Soli Deo Gloria!2
Fair enough! Who could object to such an attitude? We have no quarrel with Gerstner himself, therefore. Our quarrel is with his
JOTGES 4:2 (Autumn 91) p. 60
theology. Within the obvious limitations of an article like this, we will examine that theology as best we can.
I. What Gerstner Presupposes
Gerstner rejects the apologetic presuppositionalism which is associated especially with the name of Cornelius Van Til and Westminster Seminary.3 Yet the theological approach of Gerstner’s book seems to this reviewer to be essentially presuppositional.
Accordingly, on just the fourth page of his section on “Theology” (Part III of his book) we read this:
We believe with the great Baptist preacher, Charles Haddon Spurgeon, that Calvinism is just another name for Christianity. The denial of Calvinism is a very grave mistake.4
“Calvinism is just another name...
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