Monthly Archives For December 2008

Why I Became an Arminian

, posted by Kevin Jackson

This is a personal post that deals with my journey as an Arminian.

I became a Christian at a young age. I remember going to a church service, being convicted of sin, and going down to the altar to pray with my dad. I asked Jesus to forgive me and to come into my heart. He did. I remember the experience. I felt forgiveness, peace, and the personal love of Jesus. This brought me great joy. I was around the age of 4 or 5 when this took place.

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Sufficient for All, Efficient for the Elect

, posted by WilliamBirch

A missionary from our church who ministers in India told the story of a conversation he had with his three year old son concerning the word “famine.” His son did not know what the word meant, so he asked his father. After telling his boy what the word meant, he asked his dad if there were people in India who were starving to death. His father responded, Yes. The boy asked if those people who were dying knew Jesus. His father responded, No. The boy then said, “Dad, we have to get there before someone else dies.”

That story certainly pulled on our heart’s strings. It was meant to. It demonstrates something simplistic about the profound: even a three year old child can understand the significance of spreading the gospel, and that each and every human life is very precious ~ even to God.

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What is the purpose of giving people grace that God knows will never believe anyway?

, posted by Eric Landstrom

What is the purpose of giving people grace that God knows will never believe anyway?

The Scholasticism
By his antecedent will God wills that all people will be saved if they repent and believe, and he funds all peoples and persons with the grace to begin the journey of salvation. Consequent to the actions of persons, God renders judgment. For example, a judge may antecedently will all the citizens to live, yet consequent to the fact that some decide to be murderers, he wills the criminals to be punished. Likewise God antecedently wills all persons should be brought to eternal blessedness, yet consequent to the operation of other wills who reject grace and follow another way, God wills that those people face the consequences of their actions (cf. Rom. 2:6; 2 Cor. 5:10 and the like).

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John 1:1-17; a Christmas Devotional

, posted by Martin Glynn

Many believe that there are only two tellings of the Christmas story in Scripture: Luke 3, and Matthew 1-2. But there is a third telling: John chapter one.


In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him as life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

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Friday Files: Cameron’s Arminius- Hero or Heretic?

, posted by Godismyjudge

Charles Cameron’s article, “Arminius―Hero or Heretic?” explains that James Arminius comes as a bit of a surprise to both Calvinists and Arminians today, as he is closer to Calvinism than people expect. Cameron starts with some preliminaries about Arminius (his affinity for Calvin’s commentaries, his approach to reconciling differences and his commitment to scripture) and then dives into the 5 points of Calvinism. On Total Depravity, Cameron notes Arminius’ focus on grace, not freewill. On Election, Arminius teaches a Christocentric, evangelical, eternal, decree whereby God chooses to save believers. Cameron questions the “from eternity” and “based on foreknowledge” aspect of Arminius’ explanation of election. On the Atonement, Arminius avoids universalism, but advocates God’s universal love and the availability of forgiveness for all.

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Enjoying The Good News Of Christ

, posted by Patron

The content of this post was authored by Ben Henshaw and is posted on his behalf.

Calvinists often argue that God’s love has failed if Christ’s atonement was made for all and yet not all are saved. I find it strange that Calvinists, who are so quick to criticize Arminians for holding to a man centered religion, argue that unless man responds to God’s love in saving faith, then His love for them has somehow failed. How is it that they feel comfortable equating the success or failure of God’s love with man’s response to that love? Is the nature or validity of God’s love dependant on man’s response? Doesn’t that seem a little man centered?

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Matt 1:21: How Calvinists Blind Side a Text

, posted by arminianbaptist

He Will Save His People from Their Sins:
How Calvinists Don’t Bother Looking from the Other Side

One of the more inane proof-texts for Calvinism is Matthew 1:21: “…for he will save his people from their sins.” Calvinists argue that this is a statement of definiteness — that it does not say that Jesus will merely provide the opportunity of salvation for “his people,” but instead, Jesus will definitely save his people. They claim that this flies in the face of Arminian assertions, that through Jesus, God provides a way for everyone to be saved.

The quick Arminian retort is simple: “What!? Do you Calvinists think that Arminians deny that Jesus will definitely save his people? Of course we Arminians affirm that Jesus will definitely save his people, just as the text says.”

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I John 5:12-13; A Devotional

, posted by Martin Glynn

The one who has the Son has life; the one who does not have the Son of God has no life. These things I have written to you so that you will know that you have everlasting life; you who believe in the name of the Son of God -MGV

‘These things’, I am convinced, refers to the entire letter of 1 John. Thus, this statement gives us John’s intent in writing this letter, and is central to understanding this book as a whole.

So let us consider the pastoral impetus of John’s letter: that we may be assured that we are indeed saved. For the most part, I have attempted to focus on application in these devotionals rather than on theology, but this week, I must say a few words about the concept of assurance.

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Friday Files: Picirilli

, posted by Godismyjudge

In Robert E. Picirilli’s article Foreknowledge, Freedom, and the Future, he explains that Reformation Arminians hold that God knows what we will freely choose in the future, whereas Neo-Arminians (a.k.a. Open Theists) disagree. With a little help from Arminius and Richard Watson, Pircirilli carefully defends his thesis that “there is nothing about the certainty of the future that is in conflict with the ability of human beings to make free, moral decisions” by defining certainty, necessity and contingency and demonstrating how contingency and certainty don’t conflict. Picirilli explains that the difference between Calvinists and Arminians is foreordination, not foreknowledge.

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Freedom of the Will (Part Three)

, posted by WilliamBirch

In his book Primitive Theology, John Gerstner, in the chapter entitled “A Primer on Free Will,” writes, “Dear reader, you have in your hands a booklet entitled A Primer on Free Will. I don’t know you, but I know a good deal about you. One thing I know is that you did not pick up this book of your own free will.

“You have picked it up and have started to read it, and now continue to read it, because you must do so. There is absolutely no possibility, you being the kind of person you are, that you would not be reading this book at this time.”1

So, at the outset today, let me also say to you, dear reader, I do not know you, but I do know some things about you. One thing I know is that you did in fact choose to visit this site of your own free will.

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Freedom of the Will (Part Two)

, posted by WilliamBirch

In their book Why I am not an Arminian, Peterson and Williams writes, “That God sovereignly superintends and controls all things and that human beings are responsible for their choices and actions is repeatedly taught and demonstrated throughout the biblical record. God is sovereignly active in every moment.

“Yet that sovereign agency does not annul or limit human responsibility. Conversely, human agency is affirmed. We are not automatons. Human actions are not coerced or programmed at every moment by mysterious forces such that we wact contrary to our natures and desires. Yet this human freedom does not negate or limit God’s agency” (emphases mine).1

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Freedom of the Will (Part One)

, posted by WilliamBirch

In his blogpost on The Absolute Sovereignty of God, John Piper recalls a time in seminary when his notion of free will was challenged. According to Piper, this experience was one of “two experiences in my life that make Romans 9 one of the most important chapters in shaping the way I think about everything, and the way I have been led in ministry.”

It can rightly be said that one’s view of Romans 9 can indeed shape the way in which one thinks “about everything,” as Piper put it. That is certainly cause for great joy and great alarm. For if one misinterprets Romans 9, then he or she will misinterpret just “about everything” else in Scripture.

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I John 5:11-12; A devotional

, posted by Martin Glynn

And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.

First of all, we need to remember that this is God’s testimony. This is not a testimony about God, but a testimony from God. Now a testimony implies that God has witnessed something. What He has witnessed is the work of His Son. He witnessed the work of His Son because it was done by His own hands, and by this work, He has given us eternal life.

Eternal life is a dynamic concept in Scripture. It has both a future and a present reality. Often we only think about the future aspect of it: we won’t die. This is absolutely great, and it is one of the key aspects to the New Testament. However, it also has a present reality. Right now, I have something called eternal life.

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Friday Files: Brian Abasciano

, posted by Godismyjudge

In Brian Abasciano’s article Corporate Election in Romans 9: A Reply to Thomas Schreiner, Abasciano corrects Schreiner’s mistaken notion that corporate election denies any place to the individual. He argues that election is primarily corporate based on 1) the OT concept of election, 2) Paul’s statements about election to salvation and the fact that 3) first century culture was collectivist rather than individualistic. However, even though the primary focus of election is the community, the fact remains that the individual is elect secondarily as a member of the community. All this sets the stage for correctly understanding election in Romans 9 and answering Schreiner’s arguments. (link)

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The Sin-Bearer: Free at Last!

, posted by Godismyjudge

This post is an excerpt from the book review of Death of Death in the Death of Christ.

Without question, one of Owen’s favorite themes in the atonement is that of Christ as the Sin-Bearer. Owen quotes 1 Peter 2:24 and Isaiah 53 throughout much of his book. This concept undergirds his whole concept of the atonement, but I think Owen’s understanding of Christ’s bearing sins is mistaken.

Owen organizes his thoughts on Christ’s bearing sins as follows:

1. The elect’s sins transfer to Christ, making Him the Sin-Bearer

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For the Sins of the Whole World

, posted by Godismyjudge

This post is an excerpt from the book review of Death of Death in the Death of Christ.

I plan on 1) presenting the passages that teach Christ died for the world, 2) presenting my argument for unlimited atonement, 3) explaining 1 John 2:1-2, 4) going into some detail on the word “world”, and 5) addressing John Owen’s counter definition.

The Text

The New Testament has 10 passages which teach Christ died for the world. 1 John 2:1-2 is one of them.

1My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:2And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.

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All Means All

, posted by Godismyjudge

This post is an excerpt from the book review of Death of Death in the Death of Christ.

What else would all mean? Just kidding. While Arminians are aware that all can be used in a variety of ways which ends up not meaning each and every person, the basic meaning of all is the same in each of its various uses. All can be used in a hyperbolic sense. This is an exaggeration where a person says all but when pressed would clarify meaning something less than all. Another more common use for all which ends up meaning less than “each and every” is an implied qualifier. Someone says all, but they mean all within the context.

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John MacArthur Libels Arminianism as Semi-Pelagianism

, posted by WilliamBirch

John MacArthur, speaking to hundreds of pastors at the 2008 Together for the Gospel (T4G) conference, in his message entitled, “The Sinner Neither Able Nor Willing,” said, “The contemporary idea today is that there’s some residual good left in the sinner. As this progression came from Pelagianism to semi-Pelagianism, and then came down to some contemporary Arminianism, maybe got defined a little more carefully by Wesley, who was a sort of, um . . ., messed-up Calvinist . . . So that the sinner, unaided by the Holy Spirit, must make the first move. That’s essentially Arminian theology. The sinner, unaided, must make the first move.” (referenced link here).

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