Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Finney, Nettleton and the shift from Calvinism to Arminianism

Rick Nelson writes, "Finney's legacy must be regarded as perilous because of the anthropocentric nature of his theology and the methods resulting from that theology. In his effort to counter what he saw as an extreme form of Calvinism, Finney shifted the balance inordinately away from God and toward human agency in salvation. His evangelism missed the primary point of the gospel, a supernatural divine transformation of human beings from sinners to saints. His revivalism left behind churches which were arguably in worse condition because they split over the new measures or fired a godly minister who did not have the pulpit flair of the evangelist. Each of Finney's methods should be reevaluated with a critical view to its underlying theological foundation. For the future health of evangelism, the helpful must be separated from the harmful with regard to the ministry of Charles Finney."

read the rest of the article at...
http://www.founders.org/FJ33/article1.html

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

I do agree with you about Finny, however if you look closely at what true historical Arminianism really is its not even close to what Finny preached. You need to go all the way back just before Synod of Dorcht to get a real grasp of it. I was a reformed person till I looked really close at church history and where each camp pulled their ideas from. Just something to look at and consiter.

Philip said...

Thanks for your post. I have much studying to do on the church's doctrine throughout the years. Do you have any good links to pre-Synod of Dorcht information?

Philip said...

Thinking back over this, my concern is not to push Calvinism vs Arminianism but rather to push for a more biblical soteriology. You may notice I have quotes from Arminians and Calvinists alike. The common ground in the message that I would promote is for the necessity of the new birth and to do away with the easy-believism and decisional regeneration nonsense. I hope you hang around and post comments in the future.

Joel Tay said...

Finney is not really an Arminian (historical Arminianism). He is more like a consistent semi-pelagian. (Arminians are inconsistent semi-pelagians)

Lane Chaplin said...

Finney wasn't semi-palagian, he was full blown palagian. Sproul even says that in some respects, he "out Palagians Palagius!"

Mason said...

"The common ground in the message that I would promote is for the necessity of the new birth and to do away with the easy-believism and decisional regeneration nonsense."

I really appreciate your emphasis on this.

Anonymous said...

Amen to the "easy believism" that is pushed by so many church leaders and pastors. Christ did all he could to leave the ones who were not totally committed to Him out of the inner circle. "eat my flesh" said to a group of devout jews? Not exactly easy believism.