Arminian Today

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Thoughts on Arminian Book Publishing

I was honored to be able to attend the 2014 Fundamental Wesleyan Conference held at the Southern Wesleyan College in Orangeburg, SC.  I was blessed as I listened to brother Mark Horton, pastor of Faith United Community Church in Nicholasville, KY teach us on John Wesley and the early Methodists use of accountability groups as a form of both conversion and discipleship of true saints.  He pointed out that George Whitefield lamented at his death that Wesley had done that right, by starting his “bands” for the purpose of accountability and overcoming sin.

The theme of the conference was on Christian perfection.  We heard lectures related to that theme.  It was pointed out that the Bible calls us to perfection (Matthew 5:48; 19:21; 1 Corinthians 2:6; Philippians 3:15; Colossians 1:28; 4:12; James 1:4; 3:2).  We are be a people of holiness (Hebrews 12:14) just as God Himself is holy (1 Peter 1:15-16).  Yet the modern rise in Calvinism has brought with it the antinomian approach to sin.  The Calvinist mindset is that we can never conquer sin even with the Spirit of God abiding within.  Our best hope, says Calvin, is Romans 7.  John Wesley differed greatly with this and he emphasized that Christians must first rightly define sin and then we can see that the call to holiness is not hypothetical but very real.  We can be holy.  We can live in a godly life in Christ Jesus.  We don’t have to live a life of sinning (1 John 3:4-10).  We can “stop sinning” (1 Corinthians 15:34).

While that was all very good teaching, I appreciated Dr. Vic Reasoner speaking on the subject of the need for Arminian publishing of books.  He pointed out that less than 50 years ago, there were essentially four major Christian publishers and all were located in Grand Rapids, MI.  Those family publishers have since been bought out and now are owned by very large and very liberal companies such as News Corp and Penguin Press. He pointed out that a Christian publisher in Waterbrook Multnomah was recently ousted from the NRB for their willingness to publish openly homosexual and “Christian” authors.  Why?  Reasoner points out that the bottom line is money.

Reasoner went on to discuss how he had a friend who was asked by his publisher to remove things from his work because it was too offensive or didn’t follow the policies of the publisher.

Reasoner also talked about how most of the major books today are Calvinistic especially in the area of discipleship and Biblical studies.  This, he said, must change but it will not so long as the publishers are only willing to publish what they deem follows their agenda or makes them money.

The need then is for Arminian publishing to arise.  The Nazarene Publishing House (NPH) is closing its doors in December.  The NPH had once been a vital Arminian voice publishing the works of Wesley and Arminius.  My own copies of Arminius’ works came from the NPH.  Other Arminian publishers such as Pathway Press (Church of God, Cleveland, TN) and Gospel Publishing House (Assemblies of God) are avoiding theological books these days and are not a major player in publishing Arminian books.

During the 18th century Wesleyan revival here in the West, the Wesleyan movement published thousands of books mainly in London.  These works went out into the world and impacted a generation.  It was not uncommon for even Calvinists to be reading Wesleyan books on theology or Bible commentaries.  The works of Adam Clarke and Thomas Coke both were used by God to send forth sound Arminianism.  Even Charles Spurgeon owned a well used copy of Clarke’s Bible commentary.  The sermons of Wesley and Asbury were published and sent forth.  The works of John Fletcher or Richard Watson were sold all over the world.  It was a book by Daniel Whitby that led John Gill to write his book countering the rise in Arminianism.

My point here is that we do need Arminian books and Arminian publishers.  I urge you to pray for this endeavor.  Dr. Reasoner and the Fundamental Wesleyan Press is teaming up with a few other smaller Arminian publishers to seek to get out Arminian books.  Pray that the Lord is glorified in this work.  Pray for the finances to come forth for this work.  Pray that solid biblical truth goes forth.

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Written by The Seeking Disciple

10/24/2014 at 12:54 PM

5 Responses

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  1. Very sad about NPH. Something funky happened there, where someone gave a “gift” but with strings attached. In reality, it wasn’t much of a gift at all, and it took them down. This article describes the situation: http://www.kansascity.com/living/religion/article1779293.html

    Kevin Jackson

    10/24/2014 at 3:01 PM

  2. This was a great article… thanks for writing it. However, it did make me think about how much of a big influence books have been in previous generations. And I know that the slew of young Calvinist books in the past decade also were influential. But today it sure feels like books don’t have the same influence that they used to, and I wonder if the concern over Arminian thought should be better expressed in the form of videos on YouTube. That is now such a huge influence with the mobile /iPhone method of receiving information. I see my teenage and adult children getting most of their information from their iPhones via video and social media etc., despite my best efforts to tell them to read a book. So I believe that is where the Arminian message needs to be stronger today…on the web. I see the Lutherans doing a good job with Jonathan Fisk and his worldview everlasting ministry on YouTube and the Internet. Of course you see John piper, John MacArthur, Mark Driscoll etc. doing a good job of getting the Calvinist message out there via videos, debates, etc. However I don’t see much in the Arminian realm, unless I am just missing it. Don’t get me wrong, I like reading books as much as the next guy, and still see them as a large form of influence on thinking, but I think the tide is shifting quickly now with the rise of mobile media, and the influence that has on this next generation.

    ovationeddie

    10/28/2014 at 8:16 AM

  3. Randall House Publications (http://www.randallhouse.com/)has just announced that it is launching an academic imprint. Randall House is the publishing arm of the National Association of Free Will Baptists, Inc. (www.nafwb.org).

    kpeagleton

    11/02/2014 at 3:18 PM


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