Friday, February 29, 2008

The Gospel Plan of Salvation, T.W. Brents

The Gospel Plan of Salvation, T.W. Brents

This particular work was completed in approximately 1874, and it is in its seventeenth edition. This is due to two reasons. First is the greatness of its author. Second is the subject matter of the book and quality with which it deals with its subjects. The book’s table of contents reveals the nature of the subject matter: predestination; election and reprobation; foreknowledge of God; hereditary depravity; establishment and identity of the church; faith; repentance; confession; the candidates, design and meaning of baptism; new birth; and the Holy Spirit.

An example of the author’s thorough method of refuting error is demonstrated in Dr. Brent’s refutation of the Pedobaptist (people who practice infant baptism) belief that baptism replaced circumcision. Pedobaptists argue that circumcision was for male children at eight days; thus, baptism is for children as well. He gives several compelling arguments to show that baptism did not come in place of circumcision. Here are a few:

1.) Circumcision was confined to the Jews, and those purchased with money by them; baptism is for all nations.
2.) Circumcision was to be performed on native Jews at eight days old; baptism is for any age capable of believing the gospel.
3.) Circumcision was confined to males only; baptism is for men and women. If baptism came in the room of circumcision, why baptize females?

In a chapter of Guy N. Woods’ final book, Brother Woods had this to say about The Gospel Plan of Salvation:

... this excellent work is an encyclopedic presentation of biblical teaching on major topics and a thorough refutation of Calvinistic doctrines that, though not usually recognized as such, are really the foundation of most denominational structures today. It is preeminently biblical in content, tersely and simply written in the best tradition of Victorian English and its conclusions are therefore irresistible.

T.W. Brents was a medical doctor and considered worthy of three doctorate degrees. His writing style in Victorian English alone is worth reading the book. Read it and you will understand why this book is one of the most respected works in the brotherhood.

[1] T.W. Brents, The Gospel Plan of Salvation, Bowling Green, KY: Guardian of Truth Foundation, 1987, pp 341-342.
[2] Guy N. Woods, How to Study the New Testament Effectively, Nashville, TN: Gospel Advocate Company, 1992, p. 125.

Originally printed in West Virginia Christian, Vol. 7, No. 10, October 2000, p. 4. Reprinted by permission.

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