How Your Favorite Theologians Dealt With Disagreements

Many people think they are emulating their favorite theologians by attacking people who disagree with them when it comes to things like Arminianism or Calvinism. 

But actually, many of their favorites could get along with others who thought differently than them. 


Martin Lloyd Jones is one of the most famous Reformed Calvinists of the 20th century. But what many people do not know is that you know his name because of an Arminian Dispensationalist named G. Campbell Morgan. 

Morgan came at the end of the era of great evangelist speakers like Spurgeon, Moody, and Talmage. Morgan had known some of these earlier men but lived into the 1940s. Originally he had been rejected from ministry because his practice sermon went so poorly. But eventually many would go on to call him the greatest biblical expositor in the world. 

He was a world famous speaker and had actually retired. But he was called back into the pulpit, and while he was there he took interest in mentoring a young, Martin Lloyd Jones. 

Although they differed in theology, Morgan recognized that Jones was a passionate and Christ-centered preacher. It was Morgan who decided Jones should replace him in the pulpit. 

Likewise Jones never had anything negative to say about Morgan, and gave the eulogy at his funeral. When asked about how the two could be united despite their differences, Jones answered, "I am a conservative evangelical, as Dr. Campbell Morgan himself was." 

At his funeral he said of him, "And ‘a man came from God’ whose name was George Campbell Morgan; and he came at the critical moment, at the very right time when all those spiritual emotions and experiences needed to be harnessed and deepened and fostered. The evangelists had done their work; it was time for the teacher; and God sent him."

If you think Martin Lloyd Jones was alone in getting along with differing views, go back a little further. Charles Spurgeon is known as the "Prince of Preachers." He is often recognized as someone who was against dispensationalism, or at least against the Plymouth Brethren in his era, right?


Yet he spoke so highly and directly helped support George Mueller, a member of the Plymouth Brethren, run his orphanages. Further, he helped launch DL Moody's career by giving him space to speak. Moody and Spurgeon did not see eye to eye on everything, yet Spurgeon recognized like Jones did with Morgan, that Moody had great potential for reaching souls for Christ.

Spurgeon was well known friends with many of history's greats in that era: Theodore Cuyler, Hudson Taylor, William Booth (founder of the Salvation Army), Thomas Jones (a former slave from Virginia), and many more. Theodore Cuyler ran the largest presbyterian church in New York, he certainly would not have gotten along theologically with William Booth. But Spurgeon recognized the good that both men were doing.

Let's go even further back. George Whitefield was one of the most famous Calvinists of the 18th century. He and his former mentor, John Wesley, got into deep arguments over this. Wesley is the foremost Arminian in church history. 


Despite a bitter back and forth and some genuinely awful moments, they buried the hatchet, forgave each other, and recognized that both were gifted in different areas. And John Wesley had the honor of speaking Whitefield's funeral sermon. 

If these great men who are much wiser than many of us were able to get along with brothers in Christ who have different perspectives, then let us do the same. 

Unless you think yourself wiser in this area than Martin Lloyd Jones, G. Campbell Morgan, Charles Spurgeon, John Wesley, and George Whitefield?