The Cross of Christ (John R.W. Stott; 3)

More from Stott’s, The Cross of Christ:

“Next, Emil Brunner, the Swiss theologian whose book The Mediator was first published in German in 1927 subtitled A Study of the Central Doctrine of the Christian Faith, defended his conviction with these words:

‘In Christianity faith in the Mediator is not something optional, not something about which, in the last resort, it is possible to hold different opinions, if we are only united on the ‘main point.’ For faith in the Mediator — in the event which took place once for all, a revealed atonement — in the Christian religion itself; it is the ‘main point’; it is not something alongside of the centre; it is the substance and kernal, not the husk. This is so true that we may even say: in distinction from all other forms of religion, the Christian religion is faith in the one Mediator …. And there is no other possibility of being a Christian than through faith in that which took place once for all, revelation and atonement through the Mediator 42 (Stott, The Cross of Christ, pp. 48-49).

42 Emil Brunner, The Mediator, trans. Olive Wyon (1927; reprint, Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1947), p. 40.

Stott quotes Brunner, saying:

“In Christianity faith in the Mediator is not something optional, not something about which, in the last resort, it is possible to hold different opinions, if we are only united on the ‘main point.'”

Well, for those who adhere to 10.3 of the Westminster Confession, faith in the Mediator IS optional. Also, for those professing Calvinists who deem Arminians (i.e., universal atonement advocates) their spiritual brethren, faith in the true Mediator as an immediate and inevitable fruit of regeneration (cf. John 17:3; 1 John 5:20) is also optional.

The “main point” it seems, upon which the tolerant Calvinists and Arminians are united is that faith in a false mediator — whom the Apostles did NOT preach (cf. 2 Corinthians 11:4, 13-15) — is the starting point of the Christian life. BOTH of the aforementioned false religionists are united on the “main point” that true Christians begin with faith in a false shepherd (contra John 10:4-5).

So, while said Arminians and Calvinists are NOT united on their respective views of the timing of regeneration and faith, they nevertheless ARE essentially and substantially united on what is the kind or the contents of so-called Christian faith.

“But also if our gospel is being hidden, it has been hidden in those being lost, in whom the god of this age has blinded the thoughts of the unbelieving, so that the brightness of the gospel of the glory of Christ who is the image of God, should not dawn on them. For we do not proclaim ourselves, but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves your slaves for the sake of Jesus. Because it is God who said, “Out of darkness Light shall shine,” who shone in our hearts to give the brightness of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Corinthians 4:3-6).

The god of the Arminians and tolerant Calvinists says that the death of Christ is NOT what makes the ultimate difference between salvation and damnation. Instead this god is said to enable men — in various ways, to various degrees — to perform conditions by “grace” (contra Romans 11:6) whereby they make themselves to differ from those who are perishing.

The god of this age has blinded the minds of the tolerant Calvinists and Arminians so that they cannot see that it is the God-Man Mediator ALONE who is to receive the glory, and not some false mediator who enables men to save themselves.

The performance or effort that makes the difference between salvation and damnation is where the redemptive glory of God is found. For true Christians, that glory is found in the face of Jesus Christ. For false christians like the Arminians and tolerant Calvinists, that glory is found in their own Satanically spit-shined faces (2 Corinthians 11:13-15; 1 John 2:22, 4:1-6).

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