Tag Archive | John Gill

Dr. Michael Haykin – Missionary Pioneer Andrew Fuller and Hyper-Calvinism

The eighth session of the True Church Conference 2010 was given by Dr. Michael Haykin, discussing Andrew Fuller. Andrew Fuller was a missionary pioneer and a critic of hyper-Calvinism. Andrew Fuller was a Baptist in England. Haykin’s text was Psalm 2:1-12. How did Andrew Fuller counter the hyper-Calvinism that was present in the Baptist churches of his day?

William Carey in India received help from those who were in England, in America, and in India. Fuller “held the ropes” for Carey. Fuller tied the Baptist theological heritage of the 18th century with the Baptist evangelical movement of the 19th century. Fuller was early on exposed to hyper-Calvinism by his first pastor. He had not seen a baptism by the age of 16 even though he was a Baptist. But then he was exposed to the writings of John Bunyan and realized that he was lost and undone. He had spiritual experiences (such as an experience with Romans 6:14), but was not converted. This went on for almost three years. Fuller cast his soul on Jesus Christ in 1769 just like Esther – “If I perish, I perish.”

Fuller was called into the pastorate six years later. He read Gill and he read the Puritans. He saw the Puritans preach on evangelism, but he did not see this in Gill. He decided Gill was right and the Puritans were wrong. But then he was convicted by the scriptures and the calls to believe found therein. He came to believe that the gospel was to be preached to all men within hearing.

Fuller moved on to Kettering, which was the home church of John Gill. Here he published a book which emphasized the command for unconverted sinners to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ – The Gospel of Christ is Worthy of All Acceptation. In this he took on the beliefs of John Gill. Jesus indiscriminately called the lost to believe in Him.

The preaching of the gospel must passionately exhort unbelievers to believe in Jesus Christ. Baptist churches were lethargic at best in proclaiming the gospel message. He was instrumental in the formation of the Baptist Missionary Society. He added a mark of the Baptist church – a Baptist church is a church which is mission-minded.

Fuller was a man of theological balance. He was a missionary theologian. He was an upholder of the doctrines of grace. He had the ability to sustain long-lasting friendships. Even though he was forthright in telling people his thoughts, he took censure without offense and he gave censure without offense. Fuller built his life upon the word of God.


Dr. Michael Haykin – Defining Hyper-Calvinism

The second sesson of the True Church Conference 2010 “The Quagmire of Hyper-Calvinism”  was led by Dr. Michael Haykin.

The text Dr. Haykin used was Titus 3:1-8. Dr. Haykin began with the story of William Carey. The question in Carey’s mind was if the great commission was binding to all ministers to the end of time? Was baptism for believers only? Was it our job to make disciples today? He was called an “enthusiast” for asking these questions. Translate that as the word “fanatic” today. Carey’s colleagues and superiors ridiculed him for thinking he could preach to those in foreign nations. And yet Carey did just this. Carey had his friends, Carey had his supports (John Rylands, Jr.), and Carey had his detractors.

Dr. Haykin moved into a discussion of John Gill and his views of the matter of spreading the gospel. Some time was spent going over the biography of John Gill and also discussing the state of the church (Anglican and Baptist) during Gill’s time. Then Haykin began his discussion of Gill’s positions that have lead to claims of him being a hyper-Calvinist.  Gill was a defender of the five points of Calvinism.

There were three points to this presentation.

1. The everlasting counsel (or Covenant of Peace) among the Trinity to save sinners

Gill had a problem with previous theologians because they had the eternal counsel only between the Father and Son. Gill argued that the Holy Spirit was just as involved. Because it is the Spirit who performs the work of regeneration. Without including the Spirit, it is possible to claim that man has something to do with his own salvation. Gill also saw this as important because there were people who wanted to deny the existence of the Trinity.

2. God’s justification before the foundation of the earth

Justification comes from eternity past. Faith of the person does not have any impact on a person’s justification. This would say that a person who is not saved but will be saved is already justified and not under the wrath of God. Gill did not separate election from justification. This would lead to claims that Gill was an antinomian. Therefore, the question for Gill was “Am I among the elect?” This leads to introspection and not focus on evangelism. The Second London Confession rejects eternal justification.

3. The free offer of the gospel

Gill rejected the idea of the free universal offer of the gospel to all men. How did the ideas of John Gill affect the church in his day? Gill is responding to the ideas of the Enlightenment and the moralism of the Anglican church. The ejection of the Puritans from the Church of England 1662 resulted in the loss of the gospel in the Anglican Church. England needed revival, but revival did not come from the Baptists. Revival eventually came from the Church of England, through the evangelistic efforts of the Methodists (Whitefield, Howell Harris). The Baptists were in their warm meeting houses while Whitefield was in the fields preaching to the multitudes. Baptist churches were stagnant while the revival in England flourished.


Dr. George Ella speaking on John Gill

Dr. Ella will be speaking on John Gill Sunday night July 19th, 2009 at Fellowship Baptist Church in Cleveland, Alabama. The time will be 6:00 PM. The church’s website includes a map.

I have enjoyed hearing Dr. Ella speak several times since he arrived in Gadsden last week. He has a very through knowledge of the historical persons he speaks about. He also has striven when writing his books to clear up any misunderstandings of the subject or even misrepresentations.

Dr. Ella last night actually stated that Hollywood is NOT his source of information on history. This was specifically in relation to the movie A Man For All Seasons, about Sir Thomas More.