D.L.Moody

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Rippon, Mar 31, 2006.

  1. Rippon

    Rippon
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    Any thoughts on the famous evangelist ? Dwight L. Moody ( 1837-1899 ) was a friend of Spurgeon's . CHS let him occupy his pulpit several times . Yet they were poles apart theologically . I have often wondered why Spurgeon did not exercise more discernment about having Moody preach in his pulpit . Also , why did he show open admiration for Moody's form of evangelicism which was so different from his model preacher, George Whitefield ?

    In a book I have by Alan Sell called " Theology In Turmoil " he cites a J.Opie .

    ...Moody offered an enthusiastic but comfortable moralism . The sovereign God of American religious awakenenings before the Civil War had become by the gilded Age a friendly personal counselor . Sin , once a truly awful condition , Victorian gentility gentility translated into the social improprieties of laziness , drunkedness and poverty . Grace ... [now] provided for the pleasantries of self-confidence , comfort , and prosperity . Conversion , once the most shattering experience of man's short and harsh life , became the voter's judicious right to change party affiliation . Moody's revivalism reached its climax ... in sentiment .
     
  2. BroShane

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    Could it be that, perhaps, he saw that the endless deabte between the two poles is meaningless? Regardless of which side you believe, and both will say "I only believe scripture," inferring the other side is made up of Godless heathens and apostates, God's will is going to be done and those who are His children, will inherit the kingdom through the shed blood of Chirst.

    Those who are His have been saved (justified), are being saved (sanctified), and will be saved (glorified) regardless of whether we believe Clavin, Moody, or anyone else's theory of how He does it. It is His grace and, even though we may understand some things about it, we can not know the fullness of mind of the great and infinite God. We can't even agree on everything in scripture (what it says, or what it means when it says something), yet we (and I include myself here) often think we can know every little detail of why God does what He does.

    It's a shame we can't get along better, and use them as our example.
     
  3. mima

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    You correctly state that their methods of evangelism were very different yet we are certain that God honored both forms of evangelism. Does this not speak to the wonderment and power of the grace and mercies of our Lord Jesus Christ? The method of evangelism loses all significance when the results of that evangelistic method leads one to acceptance of the Lord Jesus Christ.
     
  4. Calvibaptist

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    God can even use an ass to speak His word. But we shouldn't all try to be that ass.
     
  5. rjprince

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    CB

    How many of us should? and which ones?
     
  6. J.D.

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    Similarly, I've often wondered why D James Kennedy is so comfortable around arminians. He certainly is not weak in his calvinism.
     
  7. J.D.

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    His acceptance of Moody was one of the reasons that other calvinists disputed with Spurgeon. Unfortunately, arminins today interpret Spurgeon's problems with other calvinists to mean that he was some sort of closet arminian, which of course is silly. In fact, one of the keys to the "downgrade", according to spurgeon, was that the baptist churches, as well as the anglican, were becoming weak in their calvinism.

    Disputes among calvinists proves nothing more than the fact that everyone has their own leanings on the fine points. We know how little unity there is among the arminians.
     
  8. npetreley

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    When you get to heaven you can ask him, I guess.

    I don't know how Moody preached. As passionate as I am about election, I only have a problem with preachers who go out of their way to present the Gospel as a free will choice, especially if they deliberately change or leave out verses in their sermon in order to support their view.

    By the way, I see that all too frequently. I see preachers literally skip over a verse, or even the middle of a verse as if it doesn't exist, because it presents problems for their free will sermon.

    Those are the churches I never visit again. Why? Don't we all know someone else who did that?

    Here is the complete quote from Psalm 91:

    Funny how satan left out that part about "in all YOUR ways". I'm not saying preachers (of any persuation, CvA) who do this are satanic. But they certainly know how to copy his style of preaching.


    Preachers could just as easily call people like Spurgeon did in his "Sum and Substance of All Theology" sermon:

    There's no Calvinism in there. There's no free will in there. There's no mangling of the scriptures. It's wonderful just the way it is.
     
  9. Calvibaptist

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    This was originally a quote from a professor of mine. His point, and mine, was that we should strive to be as accurate as possible in our understanding and presentation of the Word of God. Even though God can use false teaching or bad interpretation to change people's hearts, we should not all try to be false teachers or bad interpreters. We should all try to teach the truth.
     
  10. JackRUS

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    Could it be because 1 John 3:14 applies to him too?
     
  11. John of Japan

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    Could it be because 1 John 3:14 applies to him too? </font>[/QUOTE][​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  12. John of Japan

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    Why did Spurgeon love Moody and Moody love Spurgeon? The answer is simple but profound. They agreed on a very important part of evangelism, that is, that the power and work of the Holy Spirit is vital.

    Spurgeon clearly believed in the work of the Holy Spirit in revival and evangelism. He wrote, “What cannot the Spirit of God do. He sent the tongues of fire at Pentecost, and Parthians, Medes, and Elamites, and men of every nation heard the gospel at once. He turned three thousand hearts by one sermon to know the crucified Saviour to be the Messiah. He sent the apostles like flames of fire through the whole earth, till every nation felt their power. He can do the like again. He can bring the church out of darkness into noonday” (Revival: Three Sermons on the Grand Theme of Revival, by Charles Haddon Spurgeon. Pensacola: Mt. Zion Pub., n. d., p. 16).

    Again, Spurgeon wrote, “Truly our fathers have told us the wondrous things which God did in the days of Wesley and of Whitefield. The churches were all asleep. Irreligion was the rule of the day. The very streets seemed to run with iniquity, and the gutters were filled full with the iniquity of sin. Up rose Whitefield and Wesley, men whose hearts the Lord had touched, and they dared to preach the gospel of the grace of God. Suddenly, as in a moment, there was heard the rush as of wings, and the church said, ‘Who are these that fly as a cloud, and as the doves to their windows?’ They come! they come! numberless as the birds of heaven, with a rushing, like mighty winds that are not to be withstood. Within a few years, from the preaching of these two men, England was permeated with evangelical truth. The Word of God was known in every town, and there was scarcely a hamlet into which the Methodists had not penetrated” (ibid, pp. 25-26).

    For his part, Moody has been falsely accused by those who do not know his life and work of depending on human methods. However, Moody sought for and knew the power of the Holy Spirit in his work. As his co-worker and successor, R. A. Torrey, testified, “Mr. Moody used to say that he would rather die than to lose the power of the Holy Spirit in his work” (The Holy Spirit, by R. A. Torrey, Old Tappan, NJ: Revell, 1927, p. 144) I highly recommend The Life of D. L. Moody by His Son to get a true picture of the life and ministry of this humble man of God.

    Every Calvinist should believe and know as Spurgeon did that God can use any believer of whatever theological stripe as long as that believer humbles himself and seeks God’s face for God’s power. Some Calvinists look down on men such as Moody, who had no theological education, or Arminians such as Wesley, who God used so greatly. However, even those Calvinists should remember the words of 1 Corinthians 1:26-29, “For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence.”
     
  13. Rippon

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    My question was why Spurgeon did not show better discernment in allowing Moody to occupy his pulpit . It did not deal with anything else . Would any of you non-Calvinists allow a Calvinist to preach at your church ? Some of you believe Calvinism is heretical . If one believes that , I doubt you would want your flocks to be exposed to dangerous doctrine .

    I believe in the sovereignty of God . I know that Arminians can be used as vessels of God despite their " detestable doctrines " ( CHS ). Dr.David M.L-J developed this theme a time or two especially in one of his lectures on " The Puritans " .
     
  14. Rippon

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    George Dollar wrote a book about Fundamentalism years ago . When I use quotation marks it will be where he cites Bernard Weisberger " They Gathered At The River " .

    Moody was the creater of many innovations in evangelism , such as the effective use of publicity , organization , and advertising , and in so doing he " completed the reduction of evangelism to a matter of technique and personality . " ... Moody's main emphasis was the love of God for the sinner and not the judgments of God . His most compelling appeals were to receive the love of Christ and resist the Devil , who wants us to spurn that love . Moody's theology , if he even had one , was simple gospel truth , simple enough to embrace any evangelical viewpoint , " deftly avoiding any entanglements in creeds and platforms . " Factually , D.L.Moody was a quick-thinking businessman in the business of saving souls . He attracted men to Christ because of Christ's love and sacrificial death for them . After his death , both Liberals and Fundamentalists claimed him as one of their own . his son , Paul , thought that his father would not have been in sympathy with the hard-line Fundamentalist of the 1920's .
     
  15. Orvie

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    Something to consider: Christianity today in England and America; Could it be said that the Calvinist teachings of CHS, albiet mishandled have led to their coldness and apathy, while the less Calvinist teachings of DLM have postponed America's coldness and apathy? Just wondering.
     
  16. Rippon

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    In a word -- No .
     
  17. John of Japan

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    Do you actually have any historical data about Moody, or are you content with just quoting the opinions of others? :rolleyes:
     
  18. John of Japan

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    Folks, as Rippon typically does he gives no context for this quote, nor does he give proper documentation. He would have you believe, no doubt, that Dollar was against Moody. Such is not the case. Dollar was very positive about Moody if you look in the context of his statements.

    First of all, here is the documentation that Rippon did not provide. The book by George Dollar (a recognized church historian, by the way, professor of church history at Dallas and then at BJU) is A History of Fundamentalism in America, and he is quoting from page 78 of the first edition, copyright 1973.

    In the middle of Rippon's quote, he leaves out a long section (which Rippon marks only with a simple ellipsis) with this positive statement by Dollar about Moody: "His utter sincerity and New Testament simplicity were more than enough to cause his hearers to overlook crudities and errors in speech."

    Then, at the end of his quote, Rippon leaves us believing that Moody would not have been a Fundamentalist. However, right after Rippon's quote ends, Dollar says, "R. A. Torrey took issue with this misrepresentation and defended Moody's position against the statements of his son."

    In the pages before and after the one Rippon takes his mangled quote from, there are other positive statements about Moody by Dollar. Hmm, I guess Rippon doesn't want you to actually know what Dollar said about Moody.

    But hey, if we just deal with what Rippon quoted, that's fine, too. If I'm not mistaken, Rippon is making out Moody's methods to be unspiritual. If that is true (I'm sure he will correct me if it is not), then we learn that apparantly Rippon doesn't believe that the gifts of ability in publicity, organization, and advertising cannot be used for God's glory. Sorry, Christian businessmen, God is evidently not pleased with your abilities. They must be from Satan! ;) [​IMG]
     
  19. John of Japan

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    Do you have any source for this statement, or is it just something you heard somewhere? No offense intended, I'm just curious.
     
  20. Rippon

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    JOJ , don't go Satantic on this one ! I am not making Moody out to be a tool for Satan .Where do you get your ideas or conspiracy theories ? I had acknowledged that Dollar quoted Weisberger who was a Moody critic .

    I do not believe that Moody should be held up as an evangelical or fundamentist role model . I do not think he actually preached much of the gospel . I mean , how can the judgment of God be left out or minimized in the course of proclaiming the Word ? It is just as wrong to focus only on the judgment to come as well . Moody wanted to preach a positive message . But the biblical message is not only positive . God indeed is love . That is biblical . But he is not only love . When things are put to unregenerate souls you need to be faithful to the Word -- and not worry how it will meet with the approval of the crowds .

    Don't get me wrong . Moody was a servant of the Lord .The Lord used him for His purposes .DLM was a man devoted to the Lord . But he started a down-grade which in-turn led to Gipsy Smith and Billy Sunday . Those men were far less biblical than Spurgeon , for instance .

    The down-grade that Spurgeon had to contend against was of a different nature . Moody was not denying the resurrection or the diety of Christ etc. But Moody did not contribute to a more full-orbed law/gospel message for the masses . He was closer to Finney than Spurgeon theologically .
     

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