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 Heretics? AW Tozer? Leonard Ravenhilll? A little guidance, please...

I am aware that Baptists were accused of being heretics. Baptist doctrine is not heretic. There are some that are saying the same about Leonard Ravenhill, AW Tozer and Oswald Chambers. I'M NOT SAYING THAT THEY ARE HERETICS but I just need a little guidance.

From your experience: Would you consider these articles true? How would you distinguish this from Creflo Dollar or Joel Osteens of our day? A little guidance, please!

A.W. Tozer the Arminian

“Redemption is an objective fact. It is a work potentially saving, wrought for man, but done independent of and exterior to the individual. Christ’s work on Calvary made atonement for every man, but it did not save any man.”
(Paths to power - A. W. Tozer - Chapter 2 - God’s Part and Man's)

“Universal atonement makes salvation universally available, but it does not make it universally effective toward the individual.”
(Paths to power - A. W. Tozer - Chapter 2 - God’s Part and Man's)

“If atonement was made for all men, why are not all saved? The answer is that before redemption becomes effective toward the individual man there is an act which that man must do. That act is not one of merit, but of condition.”

“This act of appropriating salvation is one which only man can do.”
(Paths to power - A. W. Tozer - Chapter 2 - God’s Part and Man's)

“God cannot do our repenting for us. In our efforts to magnify grace we have so preached the truth as to convey the impression that repentance is a work of God. This is a grave mistake, and one which is taking a frightful toll among Christians everywhere. God has commanded all men to repent. It is a work which only they can do.”
(Paths to power - A. W. Tozer - Chapter 2 - God’s Part and Man's)

“before we can be saved we must of our own free will repent toward God and believe in Jesus Christ. This the Bible plainly teaches; this experience abundantly supports. Repentance involves moral reformation. The wrong practices are on man’s part, and only man can correct them. Lying, for instance, is an act of man and one for which he must accept full responsibility. When he repents he will quit lying. God will not quit for him; he will quit for himself.”
(Paths to power - A. W. Tozer - Chapter 2 - God’s Part and Man's)

“The remedy is to see clearly that men are not lost because of what someone did thousands of years ago; they are lost because they sin individually and in person. We will never be judged for Adam’s sin, but for our own. For our own sins we are and must remain fully responsible.”
(Paths to power - A. W. Tozer - Chapter 2 - God’s Part and Man's)

“Faith is a gift of God, to be sure, but whether or not we shall act upon that faith lies altogether within our own power. We may or we may not, as we choose.”
(Paths to power - A. W. Tozer - Chapter 2 - God’s Part and Man's)

A.W. Tozer the Pelagian

“Another doctrinal hindrance is the teaching that men are so weak by nature that they are unable to keep the law of God. Our moral helplessness is hammered into us in sermon and song until we wilt under it and give up in despair. No matter what the intellect may say, the human heart can never accept the idea that we are to be held responsible for breaking a law that we cannot keep. Would a father lay upon the back of his three year-old son a sack of grain weighing five-hundred pounds and then beat the child because he could not carry it? Either men can or they cannot please God. If they cannot, they are not morally responsible, and have nothing to fear. If they can, and will not, then they are guilty, and as guilty sinners they will be sent to hell at last. The latter is undoubtedly the fact. If the Bible is allowed to speak for itself it will teach loudly the doctrine of man’s personal responsibility for sins committed. Men sin because they want to sin. God’s quarrel with men is that they will not do even that part of the will of God which they understand and could do if they would.”
(Paths to power - A. W. Tozer - Chapter 5 - Doctrinal Hindrances)

“To teach that the insufficiency of the law lay in man’s moral inability to meet its simple demands on human behaviour is to err most radically. If the law could not be kept, God is in the position of laying upon mankind an impossible moral burden and then punishing them for failure to do the impossible.”
(Paths to power - A. W. Tozer - Chapter 5 - Doctrinal Hindrances)

“The Bible everywhere takes for granted Israel’s ability to obey the law. Condemnation fell because Israel, having that ability, refused to obey.”
(Paths to power - A. W. Tozer - Chapter 5 - Doctrinal Hindrances)

“In the Bible the offer of pardon on the part of God is conditioned upon intention to reform on the part of man. There can be no spiritual regeneration till there has been a moral reformation.”
(The Best of A.W. Tozer, Book 2, page 115-117; Compiled by Warren W. Wiersbe)

A.W. Tozer endorses the heretic Charles Finney

“God used Finney to get people thinking straight about religion. He may not have been correct in all his conclusions, but he did remove the doctrinal stalemates and start the people moving toward God. He placed before his hearers a moral either/or, so they could always know just where they stood. The inner confusion caused by hidden contradictions was absent from his preaching. We could use another Finney today.”
(Paths to power - A. W. Tozer - Chapter 5 - Doctrinal Hindrances)

A.W. Tozer taught the universal love of God, equally for all mankind

“The love of God is one of the great realities of the universe, a pillar upon which the hope of the world rests. But it is a personal, intimate thing, too. God does not love populations, He loves people. He loves not masses, but men. He loves us all with a mighty love that has no beginning and can have no end.”
(A.W. Tozer - The Knowledge of the Holy)

 2013/12/18 7:27

Joined: 2011/9/16
Posts: 207

 Re: Heretics? AW Tozer? Leonard Ravenhilll? A little guidance, please...

maybe A.W. Tozer said that, but that's not all that he said,
I can say that even the Bible is not written that way.

let us be careful on choosing segments of the Bible and make them The canon of what we ought to say.

We are only save by Grace through faith, but it is not by merely preaching "that" to an unconverted man that such fruit will be produced. As reasonable beings, a natural man, whose eyes are blind, cannot comprehend the things of God.

His ways are not our ways.

I believe there must be first a conviction of sin. And ripening of the will upward to God. - which God alone can do to man.

Consider Jesus' reply when a rich young ruler ask him on how to have eternal life:

Matthew 19:16-19 And behold, one came and said to Him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life? And He said to him, Why do you call Me good? There is none good but one, that is, God. But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments. He said to Him, Which? Jesus said, You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not bear false witness, honor your father and mother, and, you shall love your neighbor as yourself.

A preacher may not "emphasize" "salvation is by grace through faith" in "words", but God himself will confirm it to the new-born man. Maybe, the man may took pride at first that "he did something" to be save, but sooner, God alone will receive all the glory of his salvation.

 2013/12/18 8:53Profile

Joined: 2011/11/11
Posts: 708
San Diego

 Re: Atonement

It seems to me that many baptists have been taught a somewhat Calvinistic view of atonement that is called retributive justice. This means that when Jesus was put to death, all the sins of those who would be saved were directly placed upon his mutilated body, that He literally carried those individual sins to the cross.

You may have heard an impassioned sermon using this theme, many have been delivered. But the problems this doctrine presents are monumental.

In my view, this is not what happened when Jesus went to the cross. The scripture clearly states that God is not willing that any should perish but that all are welcome to come to repentance and be saved. What Jesus did in atonement (called Public Justice) was to provide a death for sin for one man, any man or woman, all men, or no men.

In other words, if all men were to repent and believe, there are no limits on who could be saved. Conversely, if no one were to take advantage of the atoning death of Jesus, the provision remains valid but God has no responsibility or even judicial right to save anyone who refuses to repent and believe in Jesus.

It is critical to know that the death of Jesus, as much as that is the most phenomenal act of love in the human experience, does not obligate God to save anyone! He has made the provision, but unless I respond in faith, that glorious atoning death of Jesus will do me no good.

He has made provision to save the entire human race. That so many choose to spurn His love is mankind's worst tragedy- but He is not to be blamed or mocked.

Tom Cameron

 2013/12/19 0:30Profile

Joined: 2008/10/24
Posts: 146

 Re: Heretics? AW Tozer? Leonard Ravenhilll? A little guidance, please...


I think it's very easy to quote people and do so out of their original context, which leads to a false understanding of that person. Secondly AW Tozer was essentially a classical Arminian, so in some of the quotes he may have been emphasizing the call to repentance or the call to rely on God's Grace, etc. Lastly it's very unfortunate to call your AW Tozer's, Ravenhill's, Finney's heretics when God did incredible things through men like these. If you look at revival for example, did God not bring forth genuine revival through both the Arminian, Calvinist, and Semi-pelagian(Finney, although some folks damn him)? If so, then we would be saying God sent revival through a heretic. I think the more accurate term in this case is "error" the Calvinist and Arminian can for example can see the other persons view as error, but no way is it heresy no matter how much you may not like the other view. To much scripture, history, and moves of God prove this out. Finally there truly is heresy, but what you quoted above doesn't fall into that category.

Bless you,


 2013/12/19 10:26Profile

Joined: 2011/11/11
Posts: 708
San Diego

 Re: Hearing Jesus

One of Jesus' interesting challenges was that if you had a hard time believing His words, observing His works would help you to confirm the truth of the words. (John 14:11)

So it is with the men you have mentioned and quoted. Did you know that Leonard Ravenhill hiked all through England preaching on street corners... when he was only 15 years old? He has done some work. A W Tozer's ministry and extensive writing have brought thousands to a depth in Christ they might never have had- can you say AWesome?

Finney is absolutely legendary. 50 years of miracle ministry, this man as Paul centuries before, going from town to town and preaching with such power that everyone from the governmental leaders to the town drunks were falling on their faces in repentance, and rising up to continue in faith for the rest of their lives. Again, the works tell the story.

I would recommend highly that one read Finney's autobiography. There is a paperback edited by Helen Wessel that is easy to read but will keep your jaw in the dropped position- who knew these things were going on during the time of the American Civil War?

The bible says we should judge by the fruit, there is some very sweet fruit in the legacies of Ravenhill, Tozer, and Finney.

Tom Cameron

 2013/12/19 11:29Profile

Joined: 2005/1/9
Posts: 1123
Germany NRW

 Re: Heretics? AW Tozer? Leonard Ravenhilll? A little guidance, please...

The armchair theologian can quickly find fault with any Christian man and they may even have a point.

Once you have out-prayed them, out-loved them, out-served and out-humbled them, and shed more tears then them you have the right to criticise them from the higher ground - but I am sure you will forfeit your right gladly then.

 2013/12/19 17:16Profile

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