Saturday, March 24, 2007

The Pelagian pelt under the Evangelical fleece

I'd forgotten just how much I appreciated this article on Charles Finney by Phil Johnson until I perused it again today.

The title is A Wolf In Sheep's Clothing: How Charles Finney's Theology Ravaged the Evangelical Movement

He denied the doctrines of original sin, justification by faith alone, and penal substitutionary atonement.

Here's Phil Johnson's conclusion:

Charles Grandison Finney was a heretic. That language is not too strong. Though he excelled at cloaking his opinions in ambiguous language and biblical-sounding expressions, his views were almost pure Pelagianism. The arguments he employed to sustain those views were nearly always rationalistic and philosophical, not biblical. To canonize this man as an evangelical hero is to ignore the facts of what he stood for.

1 comment:

drew@jonah said...

I agree whole-heartedly and loved Phil's article when I read it. Michael Haykin also tackles Finney in light of Nettleton which is equally enthralling.

Finney was a hero to most of the people I deal with in the Modern Prophetic movement which is almost patently Arminian. That brings a whole other set of issues that you have to build a framework for, i.e. the doctrines of grace before you can ever get to why Finney was a heretic.

The concept doesn't drop unless good theology has been explained or established. Only then will heresy become painfully obvious.