October 3, 2008

The Wooing Note

In the Foreward that John J. Murray wrote [on November 30th, 2004] to David Silversides book dealing with the free offer of the gospel, he makes these interesting comments:
Although brought up in the Reformed heritage, I came to a personal appropriation and appreciation of the doctrines of grace in the mid 1950's. The godly preachers I was privileged to hear in my youth held firmly to the doctrines of grace but at the same time preached a full and free gospel and pleaded with sinners.

Over the intervening years we have witnessed a widespread recovery of the doctrines of the Reformed Faith throughout the UK and further afield. During that time, although the gospel offer has not been consciously denied, the wooing note of former times has been lacking. Critics accuse Reformed men of not being able to preach the gospel effectively to sinners.
David Silversides, The Free Offer: Biblical & Reformed (Glasgow, Scotland: Marpet Press, 2005), 4–5.

The "wooing note" diminishes or disappears [along with "pleading with sinners"] when gospel preachers are not persuaded that God really wants all of their unbelieving hearers to believe and be saved. My blog thoroughly documents the strong "wooing note" that is present in the Reformers and in the Puritans. So long as that note is lacking today, we will not see Reformation or Revival in the United States, in the UK, and elsewhere. It was certainly strong in the evangelism of George Whitefield, Jonathan Edwards, David Brainerd and Andrew Fuller. May Christ give his church a renewed understanding of his revealed will. This is my prayer, and to that end I labor on this blog.

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