Vol.XI No.IV Pg.2
June 1974

The Fruit Of "Systems"

Robert F. Turner

We (my preaching brethren and I) are not theologians. Such formal training as most of us have was literalistic Bible study, with some (not enough) effort made to see the Scheme of Redemption as a whole; and more time spent in topical studies, and textual studies needed to counter the current errors of our day. We do not consider our task that of system making or developing a philosophy concerning the plan of salvation. We have been rightly involved in teaching people what to do to be saved, and combating the surface errors of those who preach the fruits of traditional theological systems. I believe this is as it should be— searching the scriptures and reasoning inductively to sound Bible conclusions.

But current discussions on Grace, the Holy Spirit, and Fellowship have revealed a need for better understanding of systems. Some swallow fundamental errors of the system back of the exegesis they read in popular Calvin-steeped commentaries; and are now letting this influence their further studies, without really realizing what they have gotten into.

Many of our brethren, think a first principle sermon is one on faith, repentance, confession and baptism. They are ill-prepared to think of the sovereign nature of God, the free-agency of man, and the essential relations of the two in the promotion of Gods glory, as fundamentals on which all else depends. Foreordination, election, etc., are subjects we relate to by-gone days— no longer relevant some say. We are going to find that their principles are much a part of the current Grace and Holy Spirit controversy. Sometimes when we try to defend a certain fruit, we find ourselves driven back to a parent tree we scarcely knew existed.

For a practical look at Calvinistic doctrines as they apply to Gods plan of salvation, I recommend earlier chapters of The Gospel Plan of Salvation, by T.W. Brents. For those who wish to take a positive Bible course of action, burn some midnight oil on passages that deal with Adams sin, free-agency, the natural man of 1 Cor. 2:14, and Christ as Gods elect. (Warning!! Many commentaries show definite bias, favoring some form of Calvin philosophy. Whiteside, on Romans, makes a studied push in the opposite direction.)

Many past issues of P. T. have had articles on these matters; but I plan to go further in studies of human systems which influence todays thinking. We will try to keep it simple and direct. Bear with us!! (See p. 6.)