Vol.XV No.VI Pg.6
August 1978

Look For The Hooks

Robert F. Turner

In PRESENT TRUTH Magazine, Special Issue on Justification, 1972, we find a concise statement of the theology espoused by its writers. Several of "our brethren" have endorsed or complimented various aspects of this denominational paper; and although we do not charge them with accepting all the paper teaches, we believe they have been "taken in" by the bait, and are being pulled closer and closer toward the Calvinistic "hooks." Even the terminology of PRESENT TRUTH appears in their writings.

We ask our readers to look closely at the following quote. Our comments are enclosed in parentheses, and (?) is placed where we wish you to question — asking yourself if scriptures really teach this, and trying to see the specific application made of each point, to their general theology.


"Adam was the first head (?) of the human race. Because the whole human race was incorporated in him (?) he stood before God as if he were every man (?). When he sinned the whole race of men became sinners in the sight of God (?). When he fell, all fell in him (?). We did not become sinners because of something we did or experienced (?) but by something that happened completely outside of us in the person of Adam (?), i.e., by a historical, objective event.

God did not redeem us by doing something within our experience. (The statement is "loaded" and subject to various interpretations.) While we were dead in trespasses and sins, He gave us another Father, Isa. 9:6 (an abuse of scripture), a new Head (only to those who come to Him), a second Adam. Christ now stood before the bar of eternal justice as the representative Man (?); for by His Incarnation, humanity was incorporated in Him (?) as it was in Adam (?). He stood before God as if He were every man (?). When He lived, humanity lived in Him (?); when He was punished, humanity was punished in Him (?); when He died, humanity died in Him (?); and when He rose again, humanity was restored to God's favor in Him (?)."


My question marks are NOT placed wholesale and indiscriminately. PRESENT TRUTH writers do not believe in "universal" salvation (i.e., that every individual will be saved eternally) but the "representative" concept of Christ is their foundation for the "imputation" of righteousness upon "elect" particulars (individuals). Denying synergism (any necessary cooperation on man's part) and making faith itself a "gift of God through the Spirit" which "creates in (the sinner's) heart both the desire and the willingness to accept the salvation which is in Jesus." And those with whom the Spirit fails?? "We can not explain it because it is "the mystery of iniquity." Hmmmmmm!

Show the error in ADAMIC IMPUTATION, and the whole system falls. The error is based largely upon misuse of metaphors (in Adam, and in Christ) or the dramatic contrasts of Rom. 5:12-f. It is a LEGAL viewpoint — to "vindicate God's sovereignty" or "satisfy the law"; ignoring free agency, God's Mercy, and Final Judgment.