I do not recall ever having mentioned Bob Ross in anything I have ever written, nor in any of my public talks or sermons. Despite this, for some reason, Mr. Ross has decided to engage in a crusade to warn “true Calvinists” that I am not really a Calvinist. I assume this is because of my recent book with Dave Hunt, I don’t know. In any case, I am having a number of things forwarded to me, and truly, the last thing on earth I want to do is respond to someone who calls me a Pelagian. I mean, what could be more absurd anyway? Today I received a number of quotes, produced by Ross, from Spurgeon, Gill, and Pink, which concluded with this:
It is obvious from these brief quotes from Spurgeon, Gill, and Pink that James White holds a view on Lazarus which is in direct contrast to that of these Calvinists. It seems that James’ sole purpose in referring to Lazarus is an effort to support his “logical” apparatus to sustain his Pelagian-like view that “command implies ability,” and that this necessitates his theory on the new birth that “life precedes faith.” He must have Lazarus alive before he hears the Word of Christ, for this is the “ordo salutis” view of the new birth which James is determined to prove. — Bob L. Ross
Mr. Ross, there wasn’t a word those men said that I did not completely agree with. You do not understand me and are misrepresenting me. Christ’s Word brought life to Lazarus, as Spurgeon said. Ross writes:
No one was ever a more staunch Calvinist than Dr. Gill, and he always associated the use of means with the power of the Spirit in calling men to Christ.
I agree, wholeheartedly. Never said anything other. I agree fully with the 1689 London Confession:
When God converts a sinner, and brings him out of sin into the state of grace, He frees him from his natural bondage to sin and, by His grace alone, He enables him freely to will and to do that which is spiritually good. (9:4)
At a time appointed by and acceptable to God, those whom God has predestined to life are effectually called by His Word and Spirit out of the state of death in which they are by nature, to grace and salvation by Jesus Christ. Their minds are given spiritual enlightenment and, as those who are being saved, they begin to understand the things of God. God takes away their heart of stone and gives them a heart of flesh. He renews their will, and by His almighty power He sets them to seek and follow that which is good, at the same time effectually drawing them to Jesus Christ. And to all these changes they come most freely, for they are made willing by divine grace. (10:1)
I would appreciate it if Mr. Ross would go back to doing what he does so well: publishing Spurgeon’s works. I publicly reject his misrepresentation of my writings, and exhort him to aim his literary cannons where they might do some good. As for me, this is the last I will have to say about it. There are more important issues to address.
Update: I do sometimes feel like I have fallen down the rabbit hole and things have become very, very strange indeed. Now I read that Bob Ross wants to debate me! On what? I have no idea, since I have agreed with every quote he’s produced. So I guess we are supposed to debate his misunderstanding of my position. Yeah, right. Is it a full moon or what?