Showing posts with label calvinism. Show all posts
Showing posts with label calvinism. Show all posts

15 April 2015

What is Hyper-Calvinism?

I have contended for a long time that a Calvinist is the 5-point type, you know, TULIP. Anyone else claiming to be a Calvinist either does not understand the terms correctly or just feels like it is the acceptable thing to do. As in, "There is no way you're calling me an Arminian."

John Calvin

Dr. Roger Ols0n has just written an article on this very topic. It is an enlightening read.

Here, today, in this blog post, I wish to demonstrate why classical "T.U.L.I.P." Calvinism logically leads to hyper-Calvinism. In other words, my thesis is that, contrary to what most Calvinists claim, hyper-Calvinism is logically consistent Calvinism.

The key to this argument is unconditional particular election to salvation, not…

People are just fooling themselves to think they are Calvinists when they are really not.

"The Lord is not slow to fulfill His promise, as some count slowness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance." (2 Peter 3:9, EMTV). Please read and interpret this in its plain, normal sense.

27 March 2015

How is God Good?

What is "good," and what is "bad?"

We can only know what is good or bad by God's interaction with creation. God is totally consistent. We sees God's goodness in God sending the rain on the just and unjust. We see God's goodness in that He sent His only begotten son, Jesus Christ, to be the savior of whosoever will. Now, it must be said, we are not born "good." We are evil to the core. We have original sin which is we choose our own way and thoughts as being the best, the ultimate, and our own comfort is first. Nor, is there some spark in us that in our own strength we can see God. We do not seek God! "

What then? Are we any better? Not at all. For we previously charged both Jews and Greeks that they are all under sin. Just as it is written: "There is none righteous, no not one. There is none who understands; there is none who seeks God. All have turned aside; together they became unprofitable; there is not one doing kindness, there is not so much as one." (Romans 3:9-12, EMTV)

Salvation is initiated by God Himself. If God did not initiate salvation, no one would ever be saved, forgiven, or go to heaven.

I know what evil is, because God shows us His character, which is good. The opposite then is bad, evil. God has a way of life:

  1. "For I have known him, in order that he may command his children and his household after him, that they keep the way of the LORD, to do righteousness and justice, that the LORD may bring to Abraham what He has spoken to him." (Genesis 18:19, NKJV)
  2. Who is wise? Let him understand these things. Who is prudent? Let him know them. For the ways of the LORD are right; the righteous walk in them, But transgressors stumble in them. (Hosea 14:9, NKJV)
  3. He said, "O full of all guile and all craft, you son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, will you not cease perverting the straight ways of the Lord? (Acts 13:10, EMTV)

Sinners (all of us) have a different way of life.

  1. Who in the generations gone by permitted all the Gentiles to walk in their ways. (Acts 14:16, EMTV)
  2. For we have spent enough of our past lifetime to accomplish the will of the Gentiles—having walked in wantonness, lusts, drunkenness, revelries, drinking parties, and abominable idolatries. (1 Peter 4:3, EMTV)

Dr. Roger Olsen penned an article on his Patheos blog that is a very worthy read.

C. S. Lewis Said It: God's "Goodness" Cannot Be Wholly Other

For years now I have been insisting that the main reason I am not a Calvinist (or any kind of divine determinist) is that, taken to its "good and necessary consequences," Calvinism makes God morally monstrous. I fully realize and understand that many Calvinists do not see this and disagree. Of course they do. In my opinion, most simply close their eyes to the fact that if God creates some people, created in his image and likeness, for hell or even merely "passes over some" when he could save them (because election is unconditional and grace irresistible), then God is not good in any meaningful sense. If God does this, then "God is good" means nothing other than "God is God"—a tautology. "Good" tells us nothing about God in addition to "he is God."

When I push this "button" on Calvinism to a Calvinist he or she usually retreats…

The difference between a Calvinist (full TULIP) and Classical/Reformed Arminian is wide. This article definitely is worthy of 5 minutes of your time.

28 January 2015

Prevenient Grace

Prevenient grace is the grace that precedes.

A Calvinist believes in prevenient grace as the grace that precedes salvation. An article on the question #50 on states, "It is true, of course, that the regenerating grace of God must come before faith, and so in that sense it is prevenient." It is believed by Calvinists that "God grants his quickening grace to unbelievers, it does not merely given them the option to be alive--it makes them alive." In other words only the elect receive this grace but the nonelect only receive hell in its fullest without any chance for salvation (for God's glory, of course).

J. I. Packer in an article on "Regeneration" from his theology book "Concise Theology" writes,

"Regeneration is monergistic: that is, entirely the work of God the Holy Spirit. It raises the elect among the spiritually dead to new life in Christ (Eph. 2:1-10). Regeneration is a transition from spiritual death to spiritual life, and conscious, intentional, active faith in Christ is its immediate fruit, not its immediate cause. Regeneration is the work of what Augustine called 'prevenient' grace, the grace that precedes our outgoings of heart toward God."

A classical/reformed Arminian or Wesley Arminian would believe that since all humanity is dead because of sin, no one seeks God. NO ONE SEEKS GOD! So the Scripture teaches in Romans 3:9-18. God is the first. God initiates. God seeks mankind. No human seeks God. God is the one who begins and ends salvation. Every single human being would absolutely go to hell deservingly so unless God starts, initiates, begins, and seeks mankind.

A. W. Tozer wrote,

"Christian theology teaches the doctrine of prevenient grace, which briefly stated means this, that before a man can seek God, God must first have sought the man.

Before a sinful man can think a right thought of God, there must have been a work of enlightenment done within him; imperfect it may be, but a true work nonetheless, and the secret cause of all desiring and seeking and praying which may follow.

We pursue God because, and only because, He has first put an urge within us that spurs us to the pursuit. "No man can come to me," said our Lord, "except the Father which hath sent me draw him," and it is by this very prevenient drawing that God takes from us every vestige of credit for the act of coming. The impulse to pursue God originates with God, but the outworking of that impulse is our following hard after Him; and all the time we are pursuing Him we are already in His hand: "Thy right hand upholdeth me."

In this divine "upholding" and human "following" there is no contradiction. All is of God, for as von Hegel teaches, God is always previous. In practice, however, (that is, where God's previous working meets man's present response) man must pursue God. On our part there must be positive reciprocation if this secret drawing of God is to eventuate in identifiable experience of the Divine. In the warm language of personal feeling this is stated in the Forty-second Psalm: "As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?" This is deep calling unto deep, and the longing heart will understand it.

–Excerpted from A. W. Tozer, The Pursuit of God, chapter 1 (this was found on evangelicalarminians org.

Thus God gets all the glory for salvation. When Jesus commanded, "Repent" a person can resist or not resist. "You stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears! You always resist the Holy Spirit; as your fathers did, you also do. (Acts 7:51, EMTV)

Most Calvinists and Arminians preach the Gospel. Starting with the Law of God showing all that they are not good but evil and are deserving of hell fire, they proceed to the grace of God found only in the shed blood of Jesus Christ, who is the only savior.

But the Scripture has confined all under sin that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe. (Galatians 3:22, NKJV)