Last week I read a “theology” book that drove me crazy. I did this on purpose. It’s fun to voluntarily be driven crazy. It’s why people own cats. I knew by deciding to read this book, I would go nuts at some point.
Boy howdy, did I.
This book was talking about grace and salvation. As many do when talking about grace, they go overboard. They take a fine idea and drive it into the ground until they begin teaching heresy.
Here is the quote I read word for word. Enjoy.
“For grace requires nothing of man but an acknowledgment of his undone condition and complete dependence on God. If an intellectual understanding were necessary to receive the gift of God, then there would be that in man which is meritorious in the sight of God.”
Oh my. Catch this sentence: “If an intellectual understanding were necessary to receive the gift of God, then there would be that in man which is meritorious in the sight of God.”
Did you get that? What he is saying is, “If you are intellectually able to understand the Gospel and respond to it, you have done a meritorious work and thus are not saved by grace.”
I mean, I’ve read some dumb things in my day, but wow.
Therefore, the only way a person can be saved is if they have absolutely no clue, no intellectual understanding, no mental assent to the Gospel. Otherwise, when they get saved they would glory in their superior intellect.
This is Calvinism gone way bad. This is hyper-grace gone way bad.
This means, the only people who can be saved are those who don’t understand the Gospel and thus never come to it knowingly.
I mean, come on. I can see how a person’s theological bias might drive them into this corner to say such a thing, but there’s no way a person can read the Bible and come away with such nonsense.
I am not saying we are saved by our intellect, I’m not saying a person has to understand it all before they can be saved, but I am definitely saying you kind of have to know what’s going on.
Paul told Timothy, “that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.” Is Timothy not saved because he knew? Was his knowing the Scriptures a meritorious work forcing God to have to save him? Give me a break.
I paced up and down the hall for about half an hour preaching to no one, since I was home alone, til I got that one out of my system. Wow. Not only did the book this quote came from go in the garbage, every book by this author followed.
Although the author of this quote wants you to be stupid, I don’t. I want you to use your brain.