Pristine Grace

Sandemanianism
by Bob Higby
Sandemanianism

    An oft-repeated attack on the doctrines of Pristine Grace staff is that we teach Sandemanianism.  Some Lordship Salvation teachers also accuse any opponents of their false doctrine of Lordship Salvation as Sandemanians.

    It is true that we teach the essence of faith as belief or mental assent to the truth. It is most untrue, however, to propose that we teach belief in the gospel may stand independent of the testimony of one's life to such belief.

    Every human being lives what he/she believes. This confession stands apart from Sandemanianism, which proposes that one may believe or give assent to a concept without any commitment to it in life. Editor's Note: I do not believe Robert Sandeman taught such a doctrine as this, he was simply accused of it. - Brandan

    The anti-Sandemanian illustration often cited by preachers compares Sandemanianism to people who witness a man carrying people in a wheelbarrow across Niagra Falls while walking on a tightrope--yet refuse to get in the wheelbarrow to be carried across themselves. This illustration is a GROSS mistatement of the truth. It implies that one may live contrary to what one believes. A person may have notitia (knowledge) and assensus (assent) but no trust (fiducia) in what is known and believed. The justification that such compartmentalism in the arena of theology may truly exist labels those who have only knowledge and belief (but no trust) as Sandemanians. 

    If I don't trust a man to carry me across Niagra falls in a wheelbarrow while he walks on a tightrope, it is because I am unsure that he can do it without slipping the 100th time even though he has done it 99 times previously. Such uncertainty does not exist in the manner that I trust the office chair that I now sit in. It is built like a tank, has no loose bolts, is immensely comfortable, does not squeak, and has supported me more times than I can count. The fact that I trust it implicitly to sit in it again and again is an inevitable corollary to the belief I have in it. There is no such thing as living contrary to what I believe--I believe the chair is perfect for its purpose and therefore I will obviously sit in it.

    This chair illustration is what biblical faith is like, not the illustration of the man carrying people across Niagra Falls.

    For those who still want to call me Sandemanian, please do so. I'll not respond but rather pray for the Lord's discipline to come upon your life and give you repentance of your sin.