Gordon H. Clark on 1 Corinthians 3:11-15

“For no one is able to lay any other foundation beside the One having been laid, who is Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 3:11).

Commentary from Gordon Clark:

“The foundation of the building is Christ, for the building is the Church; and the Church cannot possibly have any other foundation. This is why–3:11 is a reason for the preceding–one must take care. One must take care not to use wood, hay, and stubble. As the foundation Paul laid was obviously the doctrine he preached, the Atonement, so too, later building materials are doctrines, good or bad. If someone adds bad doctrines, they will be burned up like straw.”

Chris: The foundational doctrine is the efficacious Atonement of Jesus Christ. Correct.

“A modern reader, however, may be puzzled how the foundations of the Church can be both the person of Christ and a theological doctrine. Yet, remember, Christ said that upon this rock, not Peter, but the doctrine of the Deity of Christ, I will build my Church. One must not separate the person of Christ from the theology.”

Chris: The Calvinists who call Arminians their spiritual brethren separate the Person and Work of Christ from the Bible, and thus end up with a false “christ.” The tolerant Calvinists argue that since they had an “experience” that this proves that they were regenerated. And the “christ” who is revealed to them upon regeneration is different from the “christ” they now believe in as a mature “christian.” And even the “christ” these tolerant Calvinists now believe in is only slightly different from the “christ” they believed in while they were Arminians. For when they were Arminians they believed that salvation was conditioned on the sinner, and NOT on Christ alone. And now, as Calvinists, they STILL believe that salvation is conditioned on the sinner, and NOT on Christ alone. They are mystics who will exalt their own experiences at the expense of the Biblical teaching regarding which Christ the Father draws the elect sinner to (John 6:44-45). Who are they to judge the “legitimate” experience of the Arminian’s conversion, for they themselves had a similar one as well. So their wicked and perverted reasoning goes.

Clark continues:

“It is common to think of a person as something different from his mind. People say, “I have a mind.” Is it not better to say, “I am this mind.” Are you not your mind? If not, what are you? Now, a mind is what it thinks. If there were no thought, there would be no mind. The “person” would be “mindless”; that is, there would be neither person nor mind. Christ then is what He thinks. He is the Wisdom and Logos of God. This Logos, including the Atonement, the Deity of Christ, and all the other divine truths (God is truth), is the foundation on which we are to build. Therefore, take heed.”

Chris: The universal atonement advocates have a mind that thinks that Christ died for everyone without exception. Their mind is not of Christ, but of antichrist since they deny that He came in the flesh to establish a righteousness that ensures and demands the salvation of everyone whom He represented (Romans 5:12-21).

“And if anyone builds on this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, grass, straw, the work of each will be revealed; for the Day will make it known, because it is revealed in fire; and the fire will prove the work of each, what sort it is” (1 Corinthians 3:12-13).

Gordon Clark:

“In the present verse, the wood, hay, and stubble can hardly mean heresies as serious as the denial of the Atonement, for the stubble is pictured as erected on the foundation of Christ. Hence Paul seems to refer to lesser aberrations. They are certainly weak spots that harm the solidity of the building. Paul gives no examples here. One might suggest instant sanctification, prayers for the dead, free will, salvation by works during the millennium, and other nonscriptural doctrines that hinder the progress of the Gospel.”

Chris: And hear the sound of the brakes, as we come to a screeching halt. Notice what doctrines are put forth by Gordon Clark as “lesser aberrations.” Normally it seems that if a Christian were to err in eschatology, it would only be a “slight aberration” (still a sin of course). BUT when said eschatological view includes salvation by works, is that supposed to be just a slight aberration that merely “hinders the progress of the Gospel”? Does Clark think that as long as salvation by works is preached “during the millennium” and NOT during the supposed “church age” that it somehow makes it a less serious error? Is is okay to preach that there are other ways of salvation other than by the work of Christ, so long as it is not preached before the millennium? Thus, according to Clark, if any Galatians 1:8-9 heretics were to patiently hold off till the millennium before preaching their pestilence, they wouldn’t fall under the anathema of God but would ulitmately be saved. The evil Gordon Clark believes that depending on the chronology, salvation by works does not necessarily imply a denial of the Atonement.

“The value, or, better, the disvalue of these doctrines will be revealed by fire at the day of judgment when the Lord with His angels shall be revealed in flaming fire, and the world will be destroyed with intense heat (II Thess. 1:8 and II Pet. 3:10).

If the work of anyone which he built remains, he will receive a reward. If the work of anyone shall be consumed, he shall suffer loss; but he will be saved, but so as through fire” (1 Corinthians 3:14-15).

Again, Clark comments:

“These verses confirm the interpretation of the preceding. Paul is not speaking of seriously antichristian doctrines, such as those that cause him to pronounce anathemas on the Judaizers. The unbiblical teachers here in mind will themselves be saved, even though they have damaged the temple of God. Ignorantly and carelessly though they have built, yet they built on the foundation of the Atonement. Therefore, though they shall be punished, they are at the end received into heaven” (Gordon H. Clark, First Corinthians (The Trinity Foundation, 1975, 1991), pp. 63-65).

Chris: There you have it. Here is more confirmation regarding what Clark thinks are “seriously antichristian doctrines” and those which he thinks are just “slight aberrations.” Do the math, the simple logic. Clark is clueless about Christianity.

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