SermonIndex Audio Sermons
Promoting Genuine Biblical Revival.
Looking for free sermon messages?
Sermon Podcast | Audio | Video

Discussion Forum : Welcome & Intro : Charles Finney and his doctrine

Print Thread (PDF)

Goto page ( Previous Page 1 | 2 | 3 Next Page )
PosterThread
Solomon101
Member



Joined: 2008/4/1
Posts: 516
America's Heartand

 Re:

Oh Yeah! ANOTHER thread to bash Finney! Yippee skippee!
Ginnyrose stated

Quote:
this is a tad bit harsh, don't you think? Methinks one needs to listen to this poster to see what his questions are


Problem with that GinnyRose is that if you will actually reread his post there were NOT ANY questions asked. Merely blanket statements and judgements of condemnation. In fact there is more than one factual error in the post.

There are an enormous amount of threads devoted to Finney bashing already. The one piece of good advice given, if you want to research it, is to diligently NOT listen to anything posted here that is someones "view or opinion" of Finney and his work. ONLY take Finneys words...IN CONTEXT.. from the actual source. Otherwise you will never get the truth. A second option is to avoid the witch hunt altogether.... a wise choice it would seem. If you wish though... here is Finney in his own words.

"I laid great stress upon prayer as an indespensable condition of promoting the revival. The atonement of Jesus Christ, His divinity, His divine mission, His perfect life, His vicarious death, His resurrection, repentance, faith, JUSTIFICATION BY FAITH, and all the kindred doctrines, were discussed as thoroughly as I was able, and pressed home, and were manifestly made efficacious by the power of the Holy Ghost".
Memoirs of Chales G Finney, Written by Chalres G. Finney, Published 1876, Page 77. (caps mine)

You will in fact find that those who accused Finney in his day often had little they actually disagreed with when they met and discussed things with Finney. However, they were a great deal jealous of the results that followed where he ministered. But don't take my, or anyones, word for it. Read Finney IN CONTEXT if you wish to pursue it further.

 2011/6/27 10:56Profile
flameoffire
Member



Joined: 2008/1/3
Posts: 189
Michigan

 Re: Charles Finney and his doctrine

There are plenty of threads on this, so I would encourage sinnerdave and others to read those. There was an excellent interview/debate about Charles Finney's doctrine between Dr. Michael Brown and Jerry Johnson of the Nicene Council (a calvinist apologetics ministry). It is a very scholarly debate and both have done commendable research. For sinnerdave, this might answer your question as to why some scholarly well-founded Christians including Christian leaders still admire Charles Finney, though I doubt anyone would fully subscribe to his doctrine.

http://www.lineoffireradio.com/2011/05/17/was-charles-finney-a-false-prophet-dr-brown-interviews-jerry-johnson-and-the-power-of-conviction/


_________________
Jonathan

 2011/6/27 12:03Profile
PaulWest
Member



Joined: 2006/6/28
Posts: 3405
Dallas, Texas

 Re:

I think Finney has got to be one of the most maliciously misquoted, and therefore, misunderstood ministers in all of Christianity. I too almost fell prey and jumped on the Finney destruction bandwagon years ago, but thankfully, I gave a few of his sermons an honest whirl and came away with a genuine admiration and respect for the man - despite certain disagreements - as did Spurgeon, when asked of his opinion of Finney. After reading serveral of his sermons, there was no doubt that the man loved Christ with all his heart...and sought to obey his Master implicitly in the only way he understood. His doctrinal stances were essentially crafted in harsh response to the prevailing and often militant hyper-reformed mainline persuasions of his day.

We need to understand that God will often test us by using a man such as Finney. He will test to see which is more important to our spirits: a love of Jesus Christ, and of men and of lost souls, and of obeying the Holy Spirit, (despite doctrinal camps), or the cold, calculated love of theology. God used men like Wesley and Finney not only to save myriads of sinners, but also to flush out and expose the truth in the hearts of dissenting reformed believers. Paul in the Philippian prison was happy that regardless of motive, Christ was being preached. I am also happy that Finney preached Christ and that multitudes of souls were genuinely saved under his preaching, and that God confounded the theologically wise with his amazing revivals. It humbles me. It shows me how big God is, how vast His wisdom, and how all things indeed work together for good according to His purpose.

If this thread continues to speak ill of Finney, or of any other man, reformed or freewill, it will be unfortunately closed. Let's edify each other on SermonIndex without dropping another man's ministry in the mud. It's just not necessary, and our Heavenly Father is well-pleased when men unite despite disagreements.

Brother Paul


_________________
Paul Frederick West

 2011/6/27 12:30Profile









 Finneys own words in context.

Charles Finney was a New York Lawyer who experienced one of the most powerful baptisms of the Holy Spirit recorded in modern times, and walked in dynamic power for a season, with Revival, and signs and wonders following.BT

"His conversion in 1821 was remarkable for its suddenness, thoroughness, and the definitely marked stages of his experience. After great mental agony, in which he prayed long and fervently, suddenly, he says, "the Holy Spirit descended upon me in a manner that seemed to go through me, body and soul. I could feel the impression like a wave of electricity going through and through me "(Autobiography, p. 20),

Feeling an immediate call to preach, he forsook the law, was received under care of presbytery (1822), and licensed to preach (1824), He at once turned his attention to revival labors, which were continued, with few interruptions until 1860...[death; 1875. ]....tlogical,,,website]

...[He soon entered into Revival, and is called "The father of modern revival" by many. He was highly successful. At some point, however, he chose to define his ideas, in a "SYSTEMATIC THEOLGY", that included definitions of sin, and sinfulness, and repentance as defined as a life of obedience under the Law of God.

He believed that if a child was born that he or she could remain holy through living under the canopy of obedience, because this child never possessed a stained nature to begin with.
Finney saw himself as a warrior against the evils of "Hyper Calvinism." He reacted into the idea of inherited sin]..............BT


"I have everywhere found that the peculiarities of hyper-Calvinism have been the stumbling block both of the church and of the world. A nature sinful in itself, a total inability to accept Christ and to obey God, condemnation to eternal death for the sin of Adam and for a sinful nature,—and all the kindred and resultant dogmas of that peculiar school, have been the stumbling block of believers and the ruin of sinners." [Memoirs, 444 ]

[ hyper-Calvinism= a corruption of Calvinism that minimizes or nullifies human responsibility..]


So, Finney added into his war against Calvinism, the idea that man does not possess a sinful nature at all.
He refuted here, in his reactionary backflip.
1.] That man had a sinful nature. [ You do not have sin in you!?]
2.]condemnation for acting on that sinful nature.
3.]The bizarre idea that man could not accept Christ because of it.
4.]The kindred and resultant DOGMAS ..of that peculiar school...[ within hyper-Calvinism doctrine.]


.....Finney Speaks;..."These and similar passages are relied upon, as teaching the doctrine of an imputed righteousness; and such as these: "The Lord our righteousness" (Phil. 3:9). . . . "Christ our righteousness" That Christ is the author or procurer of our justification."

"But this does not imply that He procures our justification by imputing His obedience to us." [Charles Finney, Systematic Theology (Minneapolis: Bethany), 372-73].In other words....WE MUST OBEY!!
So, he then adapted a theology of OBEDIENCE to the LAW as our righteousness.

Phillip R. Johnson wrote:

Obfuscating the issue further, Finney listed several "necessary conditions" (insisting these are not, technically, grounds) of justification. These "necessary conditions" included Christ's atoning death, the Christian's own faith, repentance, sanctification, and—most ominously—the believer's ongoing obedience to the law.

Finney wrote,

"There can be no justification in a legal or forensic sense, but upon the ground[2] of universal, perfect, and uninterrupted obedience to law!"...[ The Law, and only the Law justifies!!!]...WOW. BT.

"This is of course denied by those who hold that gospel justification, or the justification of penitent sinners, is of the nature of a forensic or judicial justification. "..[ judicial meaning real forgiveness..]BT

"They hold to the legal maxim, that what a man does by another he does by himself, and therefore the law regards Christ's obedience as ours, on the ground that He obeyed for us." [Systematic Theology, 362 ].....[A man must maintain his or her salvation through these works of obedience..]BT

Naturally, Finney's denial of original sin also led him to reject the doctrine of human depravity. He flatly denied that fallen humanity suffers from any "constitutional sinfulness" or sinful corruption of human nature:

FINNEY BARES HIS SOUL ABOUT OUR NATURES...[ We are not fallen creatures..]

"Moral depravity cannot consist in any attribute of nature or constitution, nor in any lapsed or fallen state of nature. . . . Moral depravity, as I use the term, does not consist in, nor imply a sinful nature, in the sense that the human soul is sinful in itself. It is not a constitutional sinfulness" [Systematic Theology, 245]...Charles Finney...............................................

Don't be duped by sanitized 20th-century editions of Finney's works. Read the "Complete and Newly Expanded" 1878 edition of Finney's Systematic Theology, recently published by Bethany house Publishers (the unabridged 1878 version with a couple of Finney's later lectures added). This volume shows the real character of Finney's doctrine.

(The unabridged 1851 version is now online, and it also exposes Finney's errors in language not toned down by later redactors.) By no stretch of the imagination does Finney deserve to be regarded as an evangelical.

By corrupting the doctrine of justification by faith; by denying the doctrines of original sin and total depravity; by minimizing the sovereignty of God while enthroning the power of the human will; and above all, by undermining the doctrine of substitutionary atonement, Finney filled the bloodstream of American evangelicalism with poisons that have kept the movement maimed even to this day....

Study done and written by Phillip R. Johnson...[ www.spurgeon.com ]

I think he started out great, but applied his intellect to understand obedience and the sin problem, and came away denying Christ.Galatians 5:3-5
New King James Version (NKJV)

GALATIONS 5:3
3 And I testify again to every man who becomes circumcised that he is a debtor to keep the whole law. 4 You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace. 5 For we through the Spirit eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.



 2011/6/27 13:00
Solomon101
Member



Joined: 2008/4/1
Posts: 516
America's Heartand

 Re: Finneys own words in context.

Wow BrotherTom-

If you could only find a round about way to tie him to the myriad of "Catholic descended mystics", IHOP, the prophetic movement in general, YWAM,..or whoever is being slandered today in the name of Christ.. you would then be in rare form with the scathing you could unleash on Finney!

Again..."I laid great stress upon prayer as an indespensable condition of promoting the revival. The atonement of Jesus Christ, His divinity, His divine mission, His perfect life, His vicarious death, His resurrection, repentance, faith, JUSTIFICATION BY FAITH, and all the kindred doctrines, were discussed as thoroughly as I was able, and pressed home, and were manifestly made efficacious by the power of the Holy Ghost".
Memoirs of Chales G Finney, Written by Chalres G. Finney, Published 1876, Page 77. (caps mine)

Kindly please point to the heresy in the above.

If Finney and his resulting fruit of ministry were heretical then by all means merciful God deliver us from the self righteous Pharisees that see fit to judge every mans heart but their own and instead give us an over abundance of Finney like heretics that preach, AND I QUOTE.."The atonement of Jesus Christ, His divinity, His divine mission, His perfect life, His vicarious death, His resurrection, repentance, faith, JUSTIFICATION BY FAITH, and all the kindred doctrines". Memoirs of Chales G Finney. page 77

Criticize Finney further at your own risk.

Why is that those who bear so little fruit in their own lives see it as their call to slander the fruit of another mans ministry?

 2011/6/27 14:36Profile
PaulWest
Member



Joined: 2006/6/28
Posts: 3405
Dallas, Texas

 Re:

Quote:
Why is that those who bear so little fruit in their own lives see it as their call to slander the fruit of another mans ministry?


The flip side of this is to notice that those bearing much fruit in their ministries are rarely seen criticising other men. If they begin to do it, their ministry suffers. The Lord has not ordained Christians to war and backbite against other believers, regardless of their theological persuasions. We can "agree to disagree" and just return to the trench to aim our weapons at the real enemy of the souls of men: Satan. I would consider it an honor to fight the serpent alongside Finney, and would value his prayers over my own family and children. Wouldn't you? O brothers, let us love and extoll the virtues of other believers rather than tear them down and disparage their names.


_________________
Paul Frederick West

 2011/6/27 15:29Profile
Solomon101
Member



Joined: 2008/4/1
Posts: 516
America's Heartand

 Re:

PaulWest-

That is well said brother. Thank you for keeping the main thing the main thing. Your balance and loving perspective is much appreciated!

Blessings!

Solomon101

 2011/6/27 15:35Profile
ccchhhrrriiisss
Member



Joined: 2003/11/23
Posts: 4482


 Re:

Hi BrotherTom,

It appears that some people really stretch in their attempts to connect-the-dots in regard to what Charles Finney actually wrote (the only book that he actually penned was his memoirs/autobiography) and what he undoubtedly believed.

Unfortunately (or perhaps, fortunately), Mr. Finney isn't around for us to ascertain just EXACTLY what it was that he believed. In addition, it is difficult to tell if he believed something throughout the entire extent of his life.

As for the accusation that Finney waged a "war" on hyper-Calvinism: I know many people -- including many here at SermonIndex -- who are strongly opposed to Calvinism an/or Hyper-Calvinism. To call it a "war" is quite presumptuous. During various times of his life, Finney may have rejected ALL of Calvinism or just parts of it. Moreover, it would be a stretch to call it a "war" any more than those who espouse Calvinism could be accused of waging "war" on those who disagree with it.

I find it strange that there are individuals who are willing to publicly label Finney as a heretic or claim that he "denied Christ." Personally, I read and found much encouragement from his autobiography. I have skimmed through a few of the lectures (again...he did not write them) but only because of individuals who are cited them here at SermonIndex.

One thing that I did find was that those who made claims about Finney's views on certain matters often did so with citing a particular passage of his writings...and not his writings as a whole. It almost seems...sectarian...in terms of how certain sects can pick out a verse and present a conclusion based solely on the passage (rather than the Word of God as a whole) and that as a binding fact.

I have been very blessed by men like Dave Wilkerson, Keith Green, Leonard Ravenhill, Tozer, Washer, etc... However, I don't agree with EVERY single thing that have taught. Why? They are just men. They are just as fallible as men like Luther, Bunyan, Finney, Spurgeon, Moody, Whitefield or Edwards. I agree with the passion by which they proclaimed a need to take the things of God seriously. I agree with much of what each person may have said. However, each of their words must be judged on a truth-by-truth basis.

When it comes to Finney, I am blessed to read his conversion to Christ. It strongly mirrors my own. I remember weeping the first time that I read how he came to Christ while walking down a lonely road...when the knowledge of the depth of his sins and need for Christ had overwhelmed him. When I first read his words from his autobiography, I had only known the Lord for a short time. Yet, it sounded so similar to how I met the Lord while standing alone in a field one late night at a summer camp.

I am thankful that he stood up to the pathetic condition of the Church during his meetings. Many of those people who lived during that time had NEVER been confronted with a need for repentance -- let alone a life of repentance and holiness. The fact that his crusade largely took place INSIDE of existing congregations -- and that the bulk of the people repenting were already CHURCH members -- is demonstrative that something was very wrong with many New York congregations at the time. It was a different society at the time...where most people attended church "religiously"...and a society in which many people were likely "going through the motions" of the "Christian faith" where many may never have had a "born again" experience.

I suppose that I feel concern that many people are willing to throw out the rhetorical "baby with the bath water." To dismiss Finney as a "heretic" because of something in particular that he purportedly said (and for which we can't ask him about) or that someone wrote that he said (in the case of every book OTHER THAN his autobiography) reminds me of the last verse in your post.

Galatians 5:3
3 And I testify again to every man who becomes circumcised that he is a debtor to keep the whole law. 4 You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace. 5 For we through the Spirit eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.

Paul was a strong advocate against being bound by the letter of the Law. Not only did he dismiss the "need" for circumcision, but he actively discouraged it. Paul even rebuked Peter over the concept of circumcision...and trying to force Old Covenant customs upon Gentiles (Galatians 2:14). Yet this same apostle had Timothy circumcised as an adult because of the Jews in the area that they were visiting (Acts 16:1-3).

If someone only focused upon that one passage in Acts, Paul could be depicted as a man-pleasing preacher who had fallen under the same error as Peter in Galatians chapter 2. In fact, there are people who take particular things that Paul has said and turned it into things that they just weren't meant to mean.

I am not an expert in Charles Finney...and have NO DESIRE to be. He is just a preacher from the 19th Century who is long since dead. Now, I am aware that he was central to a time that secular historians call the "Second Great Awakening." I remember sitting through a classroom at my secular university listening to lectures discussing Finney and those "revivals" and the extent of their impact on 19th Century American society.

Yet we cannot contact the man. He is not here to answer his fans, critics or accusers. He is dead and gone...and men just make theories about what he said and what he meant.

Personally, I think that it is best to leave Finney alone...and rather focus on the concepts. We can discuss the concepts themselves WITHOUT meandering into the man or men who may (or may not) have believed and taught such things. I don't think that it is wise to pretend to know the eternal status of Finney (or any other popular preacher).


_________________
Christopher

 2011/6/27 15:40Profile









 Berean?

Hey CCCHHHRRRIIISSS! Thanks for your input. I too have been blessed by Finney; his conversion, dedication to ministry, and his power in the earlier [pre-1860] days of active revivalism. He, as you noted, probably did more to spearhead "The Second Great Awakening" than any other man, and he must be admired for this.

Secondly; the man was a genius, and shied away from nothing theological. His ideas and concepts are mind boggling, if for no other reason than the sheer expansion of concepts toward the why? of God and Man.

Saying that, it doesn't mean that he was right, or not in error..I think he partially was..for reasons I have stated below...using direct quotes from the man himself, in a clear way. To say that they are out of context is untrue. The comments and writings are too direct to the essence of what he communicated....and I might add, Finney was not ashamed of what he believed.

You wrote:.."It appears that some people really stretch in their attempts to connect-the-dots in regard to what Charles Finney actually wrote (the only book that he actually penned was his memoirs/autobiography) and what he undoubtedly believed."

"Unfortunately (or perhaps, fortunately), Mr. Finney isn't around for us to ascertain just EXACTLY what it was that he believed. In addition, it is difficult to tell if he believed something throughout the entire extent of his life."ccchhhrrriiisss

Finney, however, DID publish other works,including VOL. 2 and 3 of his Systematic Theology..and to say that we as 20th century successors of the church cannot derive his ideas and doctrines from them is misleading, I think. He certainly did speak them, make notes on them, and published them himself.


"These lectures were printed in the 1851 English edition of FINNEY'S SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. They are the combination of his VOL. 2 AND VOL. 3 Systematic Theology published in 1846-1847, partly re-written by himself for the 1851 London Edition. This 1851 version has been out of print since then. The 1878 version of FINNEY'S SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY was abridged from this version."

You can find the complete work @ http://www.gospeltruth.net/1851Sys_Theo/index1851st.htm

From these comes the "Palaganism" critique...and saying that, this idea is mixed in with unsullied brilliance, devotion to God, and deep understanding.

Doctrines contain our faith toward God, and that is why Pure Doctrine is held in such honor within the circle of the Apostles. Consider Mormonism..which parallels Christianity in many arenas, but is heretical.

We should be willing to explore all teachers of the Word,without guilt or shame and discover the truth, hold to it, love it, and reject the rest...according to the Word. This I attempt to do, as do a multitude of others. I believe this honest inquiry to be healthy, and safe.

Acts 17: "Then the brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea. When they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews.

11 These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so."

I don't agree with Finney on the issue that man is not depraved with a sinful nature...and the "moral obedience" that seems to me but a mere substitution for legalism. I think it can be destructive.....but I do not necessarily reject everything he ever did or say or write.

He was a great Christian who shook the world. To me, not so much in his teaching ministry. He was used by God in his generation.

 2011/6/27 18:26









 Re: Berean?

If anyone wants to know for sure what Finney preached go to the direct primary sources.

Take the time to read these in order and in context.

Then when you can say that you have actually read these primary sources through and through. Then you can better express your thoughts on Finney pro or con.

start with “ The Memoirs of Charles Finney” The complete restored text By Garth M Rosell and Richard A.G. Dupuis, editors.

This will give you a view of the real man as he recalls all that happened. There are plenty of subnotes from others during that time frame to support Finneys testimony. This will take a month or two to read

The next two books to read on whichever order you prefer are

“Lectures on Revival” Bethany House publishers

Also “Finney’s Systematic Theology” The complete and newly expanded 1878 edition

Now you will need to learn the definitions of some of the terms Finney uses in order to follow his train of thought. The definitions are in the back of the book. You will reference them many times as you work your way through this.

Also be prepared to underline!! it will help you to reference back for further study.

I know that many will not do this cuz it is alot of reading and study. But primary source in context!!!is always where to go for accurate info on anything.

 2011/6/27 19:09





©2002-2019 SermonIndex.net
Promoting Genuine Biblical Revival.
Privacy Policy