Sunday, September 16, 2007


by W.F. Bell.

Mark Dever of Washington, D. C., says that he believes there are ten key factors to have been instrumental in the resurgence of Calvinism. This very list is one I would agree with in the main, as I was personally influenced by Banner of Truth as no other publisher. I personally started purchasing Spurgeon's sermons when Pilgrim Publications started republishing them in 1969, but never really read them until 1972, when God was pleased to awaken me to His sovereignty and the glory of His grace. Here is the list from Dever, taken from and
1. Charles Spurgeon
2. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
3.The Banner of Truth Trust
4. Evangelism Explosion (D. James Kennedy)
5. The battle for inerrancy in key denominations
6. The growth of the PCA (Presbyterian Church in America)
7. J. I. Packer's classic book Knowing God
8. The writings of John MacArthur and R. C. Sproul
9. The ministry of John Piper
10. The rise of secularism and decline of Christian nominalism

Not all may agree with this. I would add A. W. Pink for sure, especially his The Sovereignty of God. Furthermore, some disagree as to what Calvinism really is. Others would say these truths were being preached all along by certain Baptists, Presbyterians, etc. Others say it is all academic, and not of the heart. Still, we must rejoice in this overall "resurgence" of truth in the glorious sovereignty of God, and the exaltation of His grace alone. Indeed, "Christ Is All" (Colossians 3:11).

A further word from Charles Woodruff
I thank W.F. Bell and Mark Dever for sharing this with us. My own awakening to these truths began slightly earlier than W.F.'s, so there was not originally the influence of Piper, Sproul, MacArthur, and other more modern preachers and writers. I rejoice that they have come along to "carry the torch". For us older guys, Spurgeon and Pink were the great influences along with J.I. Packer, and of course, Banner of Truth publications in general.

For me, another deep influence was Sovereign Grace Publishers. I worked for their bookstore in the early 70's and explored a whole new world of grace theology. In fact for the first time I grasped a deeper meaning of the word "grace"; They introduced me to the Puritans, which have been a great influence, especially the "devotional" ones like Thomas Brooks, Richard Sibbes, Thomas Watson, Thomas Manton, and the ones born a little later like Thomas Boston and Matthew Henry.
Thank God for these influences and the resurgence of gospel truth that continues today. May we strive to maintain a biblical balance between Hyper-Calvinism on the one hand, and Arminianism on the other; between legalism on the one hand and antinomianism on the other.

But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them" (Ephesians 2:4-10).

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