HERESIES IN SOTERIOLOGY
In this general division of SOTERIOLOGY, there is usually taken up the subjects of the doctrines about salvation, and similar topics [cf. Chafer, Systematic Theology, Vol. III]. In this area, I noted the following items, in various degrees of HERESY and/or ERROR.
Table Of Contents
A Westcott Holds To The Heresy That The "Redemptive Efficacy Of Christ's Work" Was To Be Found "In His Whole Life," Rather Than In His Death!
B Westcott Makes A Series Of Statements That Teach The Heresy Of "Universalism" In Salvation, Either Clearly, Or By Implication
C Westcott Has An Erroneous View Of "Eternal Life"
1. He Thought A Christian Never "IS" But Was "ALWAYS...
BECOMING" 2. He Had A False And Phony Conception Of "ETERNAL
A. WESTCOTT HOLDS TO THE HERESY THAT THE "REDEMPTIVE EFFICACY OF CHRIST'S WORK" WAS TO BE FOUND "IN HIS WHOLE LIFE," RATHER THAN IN HIS DEATH! He wrote:
(John 1:29) (which taketh away the sin of the world) The parallel passage in the Epistle (l.c.) shews that the REDEMPTIVE EFFICACY OF CHRIST'S WORK is to be found IN HIS WHOLE LIFE (He was manifested) crowned by His Death. (W-John, op. cit., p. 20)
The Bible is silent as to "HIS WHOLE LIFE" as forming
any basis whatever for "THE REDEMPTIVE EFFICACY OF CHRIST'S
WORK." It was as the "LAMB OF GOD" that He could
"take away the sin of the world" (John 1:29), and this
"LAMB" was crucified and shed His precious blood (1
Peter 1:18-19) as the atonement and sacrifice for the sins of
the whole world! "Without the shedding of blood is no remission"
(Hebrews 9:22). To say that Christ's "WHOLE LIFE" had
anything to do with the "REDEMPTIVE EFFICACY OF CHRIST'S
WORK" is to partake of the HERESY of modernistic religious
Back To Top
B. WESTCOTT MAKES A SERIES OF STATEMENTS THAT TEACH THE HERESY OF "UNIVERSALISM" IN SALVATION, EITHER CLEARLY, OR BY IMPLICATION. He wrote:
(John 3:12) Such was the full revelation of the Son, involving the redemption of the WORLD and the REUNION OF MAN WITH GOD, which is indicated in the three following verses. (W-John, op. cit., p. 52).
This seems to teach that "MAN" as such, including ALL MEN is "REUNITED WITH GOD" automatically! This is UNIVERSALISM!
(John 10:16) (bring) This could only be by His death, WHICH RE-UNITES MAN WITH GOD...(W-John, op. cit., p. 155).
Again, this is the HERESY of UNIVERSALISM!
(Hebrews 2:8-9) The fruit of His work is UNIVERSAL. (W-Hebrews, op. cit., p. 44)
Again, here is a possible reference to the false HERESY of UNIVERSALISM! This could imply that ALL MEN ARE SAVED because of the "fruit of His work," and this is FALSE!
(Hebrews 2:9) The glory which followed the death marked its UNIVERSAL EFFICACY. Thus Christ was made lower than angels that He might accomplish this COMPLETE REDEMPTION. (W-Hebrews, op. cit., p. 46)
This could imply that EVERYONE IS REDEEMED AUTOMATICALLY, which is UNIVERSALISM!
(1 John 1:1) That which we understand by the eternal purpose of God (Eph. i.4), the relation of the Father to the Son (John xvii.5), THE ACCEPTANCE OF MAN IN THE BELOVED (Eph. i.6), was already .... (W-1-3 John, op. tit., p. 4).
This is pure HERESY and is UNIVERSALISM! "MAN" as such, is NOT "ACCEPTED IN THE BELOVED," but only those who are born-again by faith in Christ!
(1 John 1:2) "Additional Note On i. 2. THE FATHERHOOD OF GOD." The idea of the DIVINE FATHERHOOD, answering to that of human sonship and childship (see Additional Note on iii. I), occupies an important place in the writings of St. John. (W-1-3 John, op. cit., p. 27).
This certainly sounds like the HERESY of the UNIVERSAL FATHERHOOD OF GOD, and the UNIVERSAL BROTHERHOOD OF MAN!
(1 John l:7)...in Him ALL MEN FIND THEIR TRUE LIFE. (W-l-3 John, op. cit.,p. 35).
This could imply that "ALL MEN" find "ETERNAL LIFE" in Christ, which is false and is HERETICAL. Only those who have FAITH in Christ find "ETERNAL LIFE."
(1 John 2:2) Christ's ADVOCACY OF MAN is addressed to God in that relation of FATHERHOOD which has been fully revealed in the Son who has taken manhood to Himself...(W-1-3 John, op. cit., p. 43).
But Christ was NOT the "ADVOCATE" of "MAN" as such -- including ALL MANKIND!! He is only the "ADVOCATE" for the believer! Nor is EVERY MAN the partaker of God's "FATHERHOOD," but only the believer in Christ!
(1 John 2:12) FORGIVENESS IS GRANTED TO MEN because Christ is indeed what He is revealad to be and what His 'name' expresses. (W-1-3 John, op. cit., p. 59).
This again is the HERESY of UNIVERSALISM! "FORGIVENESS" is NOT "GRANTED TO MEN" of all sorts and of all kinds UNIVERSALLY, but only to those who believe in Christ as their Savior!
(1 John 2:18) The teaching of Antichrist leaves God and the world still ununited. The proclamation of the UNION is the MESSAGE OF THE GOSPEL. (W-1-3 John, op. cit., p. 70).
The "MESSAGE OF THE GOSPEL" is NOT that there is now a "UNION" of "THE WORLD" with "God." There is only a "UNION" between God and the believer in Christ!
(1 John 4:2-3) The Incarnate Savior is the PLEDGE OF THE COMPLETE REDEMPTION AND PERFECTION OF MAN .... (W-1-3 John, op. cit. p. 140).
The way this reads, the mere "INCARNATION" of Christ guarantees automatically the "COMPLETE REDEMPTION AND PERFECTION OF MAN," which is HERESY and UNIVERSALISM!
All of these above quotations tend to show very clearly that
Westcott was a believer in the HERESY of UNIVERSALISM in the area
of salvation and redemption, thus believing that ALL MEN, whether
they trust Christ as Savior or not, are SAVED and REDEEMED, and
therefore possessors of ETERNAL LIFE, and FORGIVENESS OF SINS,
and therefore are going to HEAVEN. Nothing could be farther from
Back To Top
C. WESTCOTT HAS AN ERRONEOUS VIEW OF "ETERNAL LIFE."
1. He Thought A Christian Never "IS" But Was "ALWAYS ... BECOMING." Westcott wrote:
(John 15:8) (and so shall ye be [become] my disciple) A CHRISTIAN NEVER "IS," BUT ALWAYS "IS BECOMING" A CHRISTIAN. (W- I John op. cit., p. 219).
This would mean that salvation was not a once-for-all transaction as in the new birth of John 3, but merely a PROCESS! This is HERESY! When a person is born again by simple faith in Jesus Christ as Savior, he is a "CHRISTIAN" and can never be any more a "CHRISTIAN" than when he was first BORN a CHRISTIAN! He can GROW in the ways of the Christian faith, but he is not any less a CHRISTIAN any more than your child is any less your child, whether at the moment of his birth, or at the moment of his death!!
2. He Had A False And Phony Conception Of "ETERNAL LIFE." Westcott wrote:
(1 John 3:14) 'To enter into life'...In this largest sense 'life' ... is the fulfillment of the HIGHEST IDEA OF BEING: PERFECT TRUTH IN PERFECT ACTION. (W-1-3-John, op. cit. p. 112).
This simply is FALSE and foreign to the clear teachings of the Bible!!
(1 John 5:20) ETERNAL LIFE is the NEVER-ENDING EFFORT AFTER THIS KNOWLEDGE OF GOD. (W-l-3 John, op. cit., p. 196).
This is pure HERESY! "ETERNAL LIFE" is under NO circumstances an "EFFORT" on the part of man! It is, on the contrary, the result of unmerited favor and grace of God through a man's personal faith in Christ!
(1 John 5:20) The 'LIFE ETERNAL' is ESSENTIALLY PRESENT, so far as it is the potential fulfillment of the idea of humanity...(W-l-3 John, op. cit., p. 217).
WRONG! So far as being "present," it is present, but the "ESSENTIAL" nature of it is unending and eternal, and hence FUTURE as well! BOTH "PRESENT" and "FUTURE" are present for the believer in Christ who possesses eternal life.
Return to the Protestant Apologetics and Theology page