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07/08/2011 / Test All Things

Book Review: Free Grace, Free Will and the Free Offer


Free Grace, Free Will and the Free Offer, by J.H. Gosden;

Pamphlet; 35 pages;

Published by the Huntingtonian Press.

Free grace, free will and the free offer examined in the light of scripture.

The principle part of this book is taken from the 1941 Gospel Standard. In it Gosden refutes the charge old Hyper-Calvanism levelled at those who deny the false doctrine of the free offer of grace. Furthermore he demonstrates that those who advocate these things are in danger of denying total depravity and sinful impotence, as well as violating divine election and particular redemption.

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We have been saddened by some of the uncalled-for attacks made on those who, on scriptural grounds, do not believe in “the free offer of the gospel.”

Some of these have been particularly vicious, and, in fact, have made a parody of our position and assailed things which no one believes.

This little book is the perfect answer.

It consists of articles written by Mr. J.H. Gosden in the 1941 and 1947 Gospel Standards. Some of these arose from a controversy with a Scottish minister, John Colquhoun.

While clearly contending against indiscriminate offers of Christ to all. Mr. Gosden makes it clear that in no way does this inhibit us in preaching the gospel. He himself was a gospel preacher, and his description of the gospel preacher could well have been written of himself.

“With what gladness, burning zeal, fervent desire, intense longings, and anxious concern does a minister of Christ endeavour to set forth Christ in His Person and work. His quenchless love in dying, the Just for the unjust, that the blackest and vilest convicted sinner may receive and embrace Him by faith.”
(Page 9)

Mr. Gosden makes it clear that he deplores unscriptural “Hyper-Calvinism,” harsh statements on the divine decrees, and above all fatalism. The last section of the book (5 pages) deals with God-dishonouring fatalism, a dreadful evil.

As an epitome of our position, Mr. Gosden quotes Joseph Hart’s beautiful hymn on the brazen serpent lifted up, as set forth in John 3:14-15, concluding with the beautiful verse:

“See the Lord of glory dying!
See Him gasping! Hear Him crying!
See His burdened bosom heave!
Look, ye sinners, ye that hung Him;
Look how deep your sins have stung Him;
Dying sinners, look and live.”

We should like all our young people to read Free Grace, Free Will and the Free Offer.

Especially we wish that those who oppose our position would read it. Sadly, we are informed that a leading evangelical newspaper has refused to allow it to be advertised.

We believe this is a beautiful, gracious, valuable, much-needed work.

By B.A. Ramsbottom

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