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Registered user
Username: Rocky

Post Number: 183
Registered: 3-2012
Posted on Saturday, November 15, 2014 - 12:56 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

so I went to a local church used book sale and came upon a memoir of Charles Finney and thought it would be interesting since I don't know much about the revivals of the 1800's... He seemed a little "off" to me so I went looking and find that he was a perfectionist and preached changing your own heart through perfect obedience (this also sent me off learning about the theological thought influences of his day)...

- so I look up what Ellen has to say about him...( describing Finney) she says

"Justification by faith came to be a glowing spiritual reality, not merely a theological term or principle". Faith of Our Proohetic Fathers Vol 4 pg 601

then I read in an article about Finney by Philip R Johnson @spurgeon. org

"Specifically, what were Finney's most serious errors?
At the top of the list stands his rejection of the doctrine of justification by faith."

AGAIN she gets it completely wrong!

I continue to research everything I read and not take it on first or face value ....but my interest in history is going through an awakening....Rocky
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Username: Leifl

Post Number: 71
Registered: 3-2014

Posted on Tuesday, November 18, 2014 - 4:23 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Read this disturbing information about Charles Finney, by Michael Horton:
Registered user
Username: Rocky

Post Number: 184
Registered: 3-2012
Posted on Tuesday, November 18, 2014 - 12:10 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

thank you leifi - the article enlarges and confirms my " hey wait a minute something is not right here" sense I was getting about this man's theology as I read his words - I guess others may already know some of this but it is all new to me and I appreciate you sharing the link!
Registered user
Username: Darrell

Post Number: 139
Registered: 10-1999
Posted on Wednesday, November 19, 2014 - 11:03 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

"The Prophetic Faith of our Fathers" was written by Leroy Froom, not Ellen White. I searched the White Estate for references to Finney by E. G. W. and only found a brief quote in "The Great Controversy", where Finney is quoted to express the general lack of moral reform in Protestant churches during the 1844 time frame.

That being said, I have to agree with the posts above that Finney's theology is appalling! It is hard to believe that some supposedly evangelical pastors are still quoting him. Does anyone know whether Finney was the source for the "moral influence" theology that is so strong among Adventists in Loma Linda?
Registered user
Username: Rocky

Post Number: 185
Registered: 3-2012
Posted on Wednesday, November 19, 2014 - 7:57 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

oops guess I still need to do my research better- I searched Ellen white and charles Finney and that quote came up so I thought it was her....
Registered user
Username: Colleentinker

Post Number: 14985
Registered: 12-2003

Posted on Thursday, November 20, 2014 - 2:09 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Good question, Darrell. My understanding of Finney is that he typifies the popular (among many Christians) idea of "decisional regeneration", where a preacher gives an impassioned call, music plays, and people are compelled to come forward and accept Jesus. Not quite so dramatic but equally "decisional" are the personal appeals to people to walk through the Four Spiritual Laws and say a particular prayer at the end...and then be "good to go".

I'm totally sure many people do really become born again at those times, but a great many are moved by emotion and "accept Jesus" or "Pray the prayer" without actually bowing the knee to the Lord Jesus in repentance and acceptance of His blood on their behalf.

Our pastor Gary Inrig has occasionally made calls at the end of his sermons, but they have usually been in conjunction with a particular passage of Scripture that calls for a personal commitment of some sort. Generally, though, he delivers a gospel message clearly asking the hearers to receive Jesus, but he doesn't ask for a visible "coming forward".

The reason for this distinction between "decisional regeneration" and personal response to the Lord Jesus and His Spirit is that so many people go through the motions and believe they're good to go, but their lives bear no fruit.

We are not saved by our decision or by figuring out the right words or response. We are saved by the sovereign act of God. Jesus said no one comes to Him unless the Father draws him, and Paul asks in Romans 10:14:


How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher? How will they preach unless they are sent? ůSo faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ."

And Peter says,


Since you have in obedience to the truth purified your souls for a sincere love of the brethren, fervently love one another from the heart, for you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and enduring word of God (1 Pet. 1:22-23).

Bottom line: God's word is a living revelation of the Lord Jesus. Through His Word, the Holy Spirit Himself convicts hearts and brings people to the awareness of their need for a Savior and of the reality and identity of the Lord Jesus. People are not saved by impassioned speaking that generates great emotion; the word of God is alive, and the gospel is the power of salvation for everyone who believes (Rom. 1:16-17).

Finney really did have bad theology and left a really damaging legacy. I've thought that EGW sort-of "fit" into the whole Finney-influenced milieu...
Registered user
Username: Resjudicata

Post Number: 370
Registered: 4-2014
Posted on Thursday, November 20, 2014 - 4:17 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I remember pretty much constant "altar calls" in the SDA church growing up. I remember when I was baptized (age 8 or so), I was under enormous pressure from many different directions. I had no idea of what I was doing.

So yeah, I am pretty skeptical of those sorts of emotional appeals.

OTH, one of the things I have been doing for about a year is "inventorying" those sorts of false dead ends that I took in Adventism; leaving "without a return address"; and taking no responsibility or being honest with myself about the damage that was done. I have been pretty hard on myself and ruthlessly honest about Adventism and my family situation. The REAL Jesus gives you the support and power to take such honest stock of yourself and your sins.

Bottom line: When you discover and experience the real full-God Jesus, everything else in the world seems such a pale counterfeit.

(Message edited by Resjudicata on November 20, 2014)

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