Monthly Archives For January 2009

I John 15:18; A Devotional

, posted by Martin Glynn

We’ve come to the conclusion of the letter. John doesn’t end with an exhorting paragraph, or a final doctrinal conclusion. Instead, he concludes with a list of loosely connected aphorisms, and by pointing to the assurance we are to have that we are saved, and can resist temptation. I shall deal with each of these in turn.

I John 15:18: We fully know that everyone being born of God sins not, but the one born of God keeps watch over Him, and the oppressor cannot touch Him. -MGV

There is so much meat in this passage if one goes to the Greek. It is truly a powerful statement, and I’ve attempted to tease out some of the subtleties that are lost in most translations in the translation above. Let me point of few of them out quickly before I get to the meaning of the text.

Read Post →

Friday Files: Wesley’s Predestination Calmly Considered

, posted by Godismyjudge

John Wesley had the rare gift of bringing the Calvinist/Arminian debate from the head to the heart. In Predestination Calmly Considered, Wesley first examines the idea of upholding unconditional election while rejecting reprobation and then explains why the two doctrines are inseparable. He then rejects reprobation as inconsistent with the whole scope and tenor both of the Old and New Testament and provides about four pages of scriptural quotations to demonstrate his point. He then shows that reprobation is inconsistent with God’s justice and explains Romans 9. Wesley then moves to the atonement and shows Christ died for all based on a few passages and based on the general offer of the gospel. He then explains that man is dependent on prevenient grace and that even though man has freewill, God gets all the glory.

Read Post →

C.S. Lewis: Calvinist or Classical Arminian?

, posted by Kevin Jackson

An essay by Rev. Zach Dawes. He argues that the theology of C.S. Lewis was essentially Arminian. Dawes also maintains a blog, which can be found here. c.s. lewis – calvinist or classical arminian

Read Post →

Calminians?

, posted by Martin Glynn

I have heard many attempt to say that they are searching for a middle ground between Arminianism and Calvinism. The impetus of this is peace. They see the issue as too divisive, and they believe that by finding a middle ground, they can end the need for conflict.

Though I highly respect the sentiment, ultimately such a project will fail. There can be no middle ground between Calvinism and Arminianism. Why?

Read Post →

The Farmer, the Boys, and the Pond

, posted by Kevin Jackson

In his book “Chosen but Free“, Dr. Norman Geisler* gives an illustration that vividly explains the problem with the Calvinistic teaching of Limited Atonement. Here is a paraphrase of the story:

There was a farmer who owned a pond. He did not want anyone to go swimming in it. He built a fence around the pond and posted a sign that said: NO SWIMMING ALLOWED.

One day three boys came upon the pond. They saw the sign, but decided to go swimming anyway. They climbed the fence and jumped into the pond. After jumping in they realized that there was no way to get out. They began to drown.

Read Post →

The Early Church and Calvinism

, posted by Ben Henshaw

This is a detailed study of Calvinism in light of the earliest Christian writers (Ante-Nicene Church Fathers). It demonstrates that the primary features of Calvinism were not taught by the Ante-Nicene Fathers but were actually considered heretical by these early Christian writers (often connected to various forms of gnosticism). Numerous quotes from these Ante-Nicene writers are provided for the reader to carefully consider. Click the link below to view the article.

http://eternal-truth.org/early_church_writings.htm

Read Post →

I John 5:16-17; A Devotional

, posted by Martin Glynn

If anyone sees his brother committing a sin not leading to death, he shall ask, and God will give him life–to those who commit sins that do not lead to death. There is sin that leads to death; I do not say that one should pray for that. All wrongdoing is sin, but there is sin that does not lead to death. -ESV

I like the ESV translation of this a lot. The big thing is in the beginning of verse 16, with ask and give, it keeps it in the future tense, and, most importantly, keeps the word ask instead of changing it to pray. The verb there is aiteo which is the same verb that has been used in the previous verses promising that we will be given anything which we ask of God. This is clearly intended to be an example of this promise.

Read Post →

Friday Files: McKnight on the Hebrew warning passages

, posted by Godismyjudge

Scot McKnight’s article “The warning passages of Hebrews: A formal analysis and Theological Conclusions” reviews the warnings of apostasy in Hebrews 2:1-4, 3:7-4:13, 5:11-6:12, 10:19-39 and 12:1-29. McKnight identifies four alternative interpretations of the warning passages: hypothetical warnings, false believers, the covenant community and his view, true believers. McKnight identifies four aspects of the passages: “in each warning passage we find: 1) the subjects or audience who are either committing or in danger of committing 2) the sin that leads to 3) the exhortation which, if not followed, leads to 4) the consequences of that sin.” McKnight argues that studying the four warnings in unison helps define each of these four aspects.

Read Post →

God

, posted by A.M. Mallett

For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? So then faith [cometh] by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Ro 10:12-17 AV)

Read Post →

What Does God “Fore-love” According to Calvinism?

, posted by Ben Henshaw

Many Arminians see God’s election of individuals as based on God’s foreknowledge of faith. They see that primary election passages make reference to foreknowledge and even suggest that election is based on foreknowledge. They also…

Read Post →

The Savior of All Men (1 Tim. 4:10)

, posted by Ben Henshaw

This article seems to be written from a moderate Calvinist (4-point) position but still does a nice job showing that a proper exegesis of 1 Tim. 4:10 teaches unlimited atonement. Click on link below to view article.

http://www.middletownbiblechurch.org/reformed/saviour.pdf

Read Post →

A Calvinist Perspective on “Jesus Loves the Little Children”

, posted by Ben Henshaw

[Note: the following is satire and not meant to be taken too seriously]

“Jesus loves the little children…

All the children of the world…

Red and yellow, black and white…

They are precious in His sight…

Jesus loves the little children of the world”

Herman: Well, that song was quite obviously written by an Arminian

Calvin: Why do you say that?

Herman: Well, the song says that Jesus loves “all” the little children of the “world”. That is what Arminians believe, that Christ died for all and loves the world in such a way that He truly desires all to believe in Christ and be saved.

Calvin: Oh, well you have just misunderstood the context of the song.

Herman: What do you mean?

Calvin: Well, the context plainly demonstrates that “all” doesn’t mean “every child without exception.”

Herman: It doesn’t?

Read Post →