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Unlike John Wesley, Whitefield was not very careful in keeping records. The original split of the Church of England from Rome was more over.. John Wesley usually classed this difference with Whitefield and the Calvinist wing of the normative; and 3 controversial divinity, devoted to criticizing on rational,.

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Sunday, May 26, Mahler Four Christmases - - TS - xvid. Older posts. No wonder then, that I was not so clear in some points at my first setting out in the ministry. Our LORD was pleased to enlighten me by degrees; and I desire your prayers, that his grace may shine more and more in my heart, till it breaks forth into perfect day. As he expresses elsewhere see below , Whitefield felt an affinity with the Apostle Paul, who in Galatians 1 claimed to have his truth from Jesus Christ alone.

Secondly, is he apologizing for errors in his thinking, or errors of expression? In the rest of the letter, he only ever admits to error of expression, not error of belief.

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You blame me for saying, Vol. Whitefield had not meant to say that Adam was deified. Rather than defend the original statement, he offers to recast it, drawing on the classical distinction of the communicable and incommunicable attributes of God. Fourthly, the letter is filled with conciliatory rhetoric, but Whitefield also seems to be having mischievous fun with the whole situation.

He compares his mea culpa to none other than the famous retractions of Augustine. And now to convince you, that I am not ashamed to own my faults, I can inform you of other passages as justly exceptionable. In my sermon on justification , I seem to assert universal redemption, which I now absolutely deny. Such is his confession of error with regard to imputed righteousness, too. Fifthly, what were his original views on imputed righteousness?

If all he had before him initially was Article 11, it is quite possible that Whitefield did progress slowly on this particular doctrine, until he eventually read more widely on the topic. The offending comment was from the sermon referenced above.


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The problem for the Querists was that it seemed to say that the meritorious grounds of salvation was both imputed and inherent righteousness. Whitefield offers to recast it. First, it should be noted that he does not state that he had erred previously, but only gives a new expression to the same thought. Secondly, there is nothing unorthodox about the original statement.

Wesley And Whitefield: The Original Correspondence, The Enduring Controversy! Found

It was important enough for him to use it in his most popular sermon. In the same sermon, Whitefield draws a very clear distinction between justification and sanctification.

This reveals a developed theological consciousness. Whence did Whitefield gain his earliest Calvinistic beliefs? These fundamental elements of Puritan doctrine were thus cherished by him from the inception of his ministry. There is a subtle implication here.

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‘I never read Calvin’: George Whitefield, a Calvinist Untimely Born : Mendici Sumus

It conjures up images of Wesley and Whitefield debating the subject on the grounds of Oxford University. Wesley had been reared in an Arminian home.

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His later teaching—even his doctrine of Christian perfection—can be traced back to his father or mother. The 17 th Article of the Thirty-Nine he knew had to be taken circumspectly. There is every reason to suppose that Whitefield and Wesley discussed these things at Oxford in much the same way as they did in , including debate on the 17 th Article. It is the single most cited reference, after the Scriptures. It indicates not only the source of his theology, but implicitly the timing of his Reformed awakening, for it was immediately after his conversion that he immersed himself in the Scriptures [33] and the Articles.

Whitefield took his ordination very seriously, and was very seriously committed to the official doctrinal standard of the Church of England. Whitefield was happy to assert that he was a Calvinist. Had he read Calvin? Did he deny that he had read Calvin? I cannot bear the thoughts of opposing you: but how can I avoid it, if you go about as your brother Charles once said to drive John Calvin out of Bristol.

Several comments can be made. These are, then, necessary doctrines. Whitefield is employing hyperbole, as per his claim to never have preached on election cited above. He adopts the posture of the apostle Paul in Galatians 1, with the intention of saying that the Scriptures are his authority and dominating influence, not a mere human. The safer conclusion is that Whitefield had not extensively read Calvin in his formative, post-conversion years up to Thirdly, by , Whitefield certainly had come to accept 17 th century covenant theology.

Why had he not taken the trouble to read Calvin more fully? For him, it really was a matter of sola scriptura , not just in terms of epistemology as the Reformers meant it , but also as an academic method. There is in Whitefield that kind of disconnect with academia—that tendency to anti-intellectualism—that is found in the Fundamentalism of the 20 th century. Fourthly, in this statement of , Whitefield gives no indication that his theology has developed from his earlier years. Fifthly, the evidence is that even after , he only grappled occasionally with Calvin.

Whilst it cannot be shown that Whitefield had read Calvin prior to , neither can the letter to Wesley be used as evidence that he had not. Whitefield was happy to confess holding to the Calvinist system, but did not like to be identified as a follower of a mere human.


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He was not a Calvinist untimely born. John Wesley, M. George Whitefield, B. John Wesley demonstrably lacked clarity about the nature of justification in his earlier years. William R. George Whitefield, Letters , 6 vols, Vol. He asks Hervey what he thinks of the doctrine that works are the effect of justification, not the partial cause of it. Is it that Whitefield has changed, though, or does he want Hervey to change? I , Letter CXV, , and other similar statements from the same day.

I , Letter 14, Mark A. Noll, David W. Bebbington, and George A. Whitefield, Works, Vol. In , Whitefield issued another mea culpa , when countering the attack of Bishop Warburton. This is about the indiscrete disclosures in the journals that had hurt individuals, not the doctrine of his sermons contra Dallimore, Whitefield, Vol.

On Justification… London: C. Rivington…and J.


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Hutton, , 3, with George Whitefield, Sermons , 6 vols, Vol. IV , 72, written in Georgia on December 24,