We are being presented in our Sunday night conferences at p-net seven peaks/waves of apostasy/heresy that have come about since the great Synod of Dordrecht which was considered the climax of the Reformation. They are being presented in time order. These issues, at least the beginnings of them, are new to me so it has been very interesting to see where these heresies have started and how far they have gone. These seven waves are heresies that have developed Post-Reformation and are movements away from and compromises of the ‘reformed’ teaching that was settled at the Synod of Dordt. These are considered perversions of that teaching, perversions of the advances made in the reformation and not the stream of heresies involved in Arminianism, Weslyism, etc. These blog posts will be my own based upon my notes and so I pray to do justice to what is being presented by Bob and not misrepresent his teaching.
The reformation wasn’t a change in a religious institution nor was it a reformation of the non-conformist of that day. Instead it was a change in thinking of the masses (loosely used) where God moved upon a group/mass of people and unleashed His Spirit to an understanding of the gospel, a recovery of some apostolic truth. Luther recovered the biblical definition of grace against the Augustinian view although he maintained many weaknesses, such as grace coming through the Sacraments. Calvin challenged more than Luther but wasn't consistent on atonement as evidenced by his many writings. There were subtle differences between the two that were never settled.
Regeneration is a renewal of our minds and so in that sense the reformation was a gospel revolution to regenerated minds. In regeneration a seed of all truth is planted and that seed grows and is progressive in individual souls through the power of the Holy Spirit, hence our own reformation as we grow in our understanding of the truth.
There were many who continued to fight for the continuation of the advances in truth and understanding of the gospel brought about by the reformation. Men such as John Gill, James Hervey, William Huntington, William Gadsby, Tobias Crisp and Augustus Toplady to name just a few. These men all affirmed the Sovereign Grace doctrine of Dordt and did not pervert those doctrines with paradox teachings. However there was one who challenged the teaching and assumed that all those men were wrong and he was going to straighten out the reformation. He believed he was called to reform Calvinism and his name was Andrew Fuller. William Gadsby called him the greatest enemy the church of God ever had and believed he was a wolf in sheep’s clothing.
So we come to the greatest and first wave of all the heresies and the most damning whose influence has continued unhindered to this day. It is called ‘Fullerism’ and my next post will go into the details of what Andrew Fuller taught and how it discredits the Sovereign Grace teaching of the Synod of Dordt.