May 25, 2008

Adrian Rogers - Pseudo Trinitarian

While it may appear that I am making personal attacks at Adrian Rogers, I am not, I am attacking his theology. He was a prince among preachers and lived a life worthy of that title.

He professed a belief in trinitarianism but followed a continuing legacy of Arminianism that was rooted in the Pelagianism (semi-Pelagianism) of Charles Finney.

Pelagianism breeds Unitarianism simply because it doesn't need the persons of the trinity. The Jehovah Witnesses are Unitarian with a belief in Arianism. They focus on Jehovah as the uncreated entity of deity. Christ is a created spirit being subordinate to the Father.

United Pentecostalism is Unitarian focusing on Christ as the fullness of deity. The Father and Spirit are modes of God's manifestations. They are commonly referred to as "Jesus Only". The theological term for their belief system is called Modalistic Monarchianism.

Finney's Pelagianism continued in D.L. Moody and Billy Sunday's Semi-Pelagianism.
Billy Graham, Jimmy Swaggart, Keith Green and many para Church groups such as Youth With A Mission are products of Finney's legacy.

Semi-Pelagianism professes Trinitarianism but takes on a "functional Unitarianism". While they are not Unitarian they have characteristics of Modalistic Monarchianism. That is they exalt the second person of the Godhead at the expense of the other two. They are traditional Trinitarians
but not functional Trinitarians.

A scholarly Calvinist professes a strong belief in a trinitarian salvific formula. He believes that All three persons are equally involved in the plan of salvation from beginning to end. However experiential Calvinism is one who is possessed by a triune God and has familiarity with each person in personal faith, not Son only, not Father only nor Holy Spirit only but all three in one.

When Adrian Rogers stood before 5000 people he mastered the art of altar invitations and utilized practical time-tested methods of bringing folks forward. The hints of Modalistic Monarchianism were there in his well used phrase "come to Jesus". At his memorial service at Bellevue the uppermost phrase for his tribute was "come to Jesus".

At the conclusion of every sermon he would step from the pulpit and stage and stand at the front of the pulpit. "Come to Jesus" as though there was not a need of the Father to choose or elect and a Holy Spirit to move according to the will of the Father. It was just "come to Jesus". It seemed, if not so, that the draw of his charisma was sufficient to bring sinners forward. He was Father and Spirit saying "come to Jesus".

added May 27: Calvinistic teaching of limited/particular atonement has its roots in the desire to recognise salvation as a work of the whole Trinity acting in unity. Perhaps a reason that many anti-Calvinist, those who deny limited atonement and irresistible grace, gravitate toward a dysfunctional trinitarianism. Or else they gravitate in the broader historical sense from trinitarian orthodoxy to a dysfunctional salvific orthodoxy and if they remain so will eventually end at Unitarianism. They cannot hold a steady course between the two for long. American evangelicalism swings like a pendulum between Christian orthodoxy and Unitarianism.


WatchingHISstory said...

What do TD Jakes and Adrian Rogers have in common?

They are traveling down the same path. TD is way down the "Jesus Only" path and Adrian had just taken the "Jesus Only" fork while claiming to be a Trinitarian.

Both are similar in that they are fooling some trinitarians!


Paul W. Foltz DD said...

Amen, Bro. Chares

Rev. said...

I would agree with you that many evangelicals downplay the nature of salvation in its Trinitarian fullness because they do not emphasize or meditate upon the roles of the Father and the Holy Spirit. The phrase your employ, "functional Unitarianism," is quite appropriate. However, Adrian Rogers (along with DL Moody, Keith Green and others) are worlds removed from the likes of TD Jakes. It should not be forgotten, either, that the phrase, "come to Jesus," is very important. It is *only* through the work of Christ, by *coming to Jesus*, that we are restored to the Father in the power of the Spirit. It is a biblical phrase, considering our Lord's words, "Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy-laden..." Nonetheless, your point about "functional Unitarianism" is a very important one.

I think this is the best post I've read on your blog, Charles.

WatchingHISstory said...

Paul, thanks for dropping by and the kind compliment.

James, True, TD Jakes is worlds apart however they are fooling trinitarians. Perhaps this may be a clue why so many trinitarians don't see anything wrong with Jakes. (or at least enough to make a fuss over)

The phrase "come to Jesaus" is a good biblical one to use but in the context I am using it is not pleasing to the triune God. IMO

We sure don't want to be the source of strife in the Godhead! That could come back to haunt us in horrific qways!

Glad to have you lurking at my blog for a change. wink! wink!


Your Kind Host said...
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