“And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; [And] having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.” (Col 2:13-15 AV)
During a recent discussion of the relevance of the resurrection with regard to Christ’s crucifixion at Calvary, this passage from Paul’s epistle to the Colossians came to mind. There is a thought I want to touch on dealing with the sufficiency of Christ’s finished work at Calvary.
The attached article (below) complements the post by Godismyjudge entitled Prereformation Church History & the Arminian/Calvinist Debate in showing that Arminianism not only has strong historical precedent in Christian history, but actually has far greater historical precedent than Calvinism. The author takes to task the erroneous claim of Talbot and Crampton (in the preface of the book, Calvinism Hyper-Calvinism and Arminianism) that, “Historically, the church has been predominantly Calvinistic”. The second part of the article focuses on the fact that Calvinism can be traced back to the invention of a single influential individual in church history (and no, that person isn’t the apostle Paul).
The topic of resistible vs. irresistible grace is of vital importance. In my experience, the Calvinist’s biggest objection to Arminianism is that it is a man-centered theology and gives man a reason to boast. In…
And you were dead because of the transgressions and sins in which you once walked, as the world has through the ages according to the ruler of domain of the air ; the spirit now working in the unyielding6 sons.
A major aspect of Christian life is remembering where you came from. Christianity is fundamentally a faith of redemption. Part of redemption is being redeemed from something.
There are two common problems we encounter when dealing with our sinful past.
What would you do if you were invited to spend a weekend with God? What questions would you ask him? Maybe, why does evil exist? Why is there pain? That is the background for the book “The Shack” (Author: William P. Young).
“The Shack” has become a phenomenon. As of today (9-24-09) it is ranked #11 in sales on Amazon.com, and has over 3700 reviews.
There is a dual reaction to the book in Christian circles: people either love it or despise it. I fall into the former category, with a reservation. I enjoyed the story. It brought me to tears a number of times. As a father of two girls, I empathized with the main character, “Mack”.
Calivinists have a rich heritage – one that they can be proud of. It’s unquestionable that Augustine, many of the Reformers and Puritans, held Calvinist ideas. But after reading Boettner’s introduction of the Reformed Doctrine of Predestination, one might get the impression that Calvinism dominates Church history, and substantially every major theologian accepted Calvinisic predestination. Boettner claims:
Hodge’s first argument1 against resistible grace is:
P1: God, being infinite, cannot fail in any of His “serious intentions” P2: God ordains all things according to His purpose P3: If God wants His grace to convert us, and we resist and stay unconverted, God fails C1: so grace is irresistible
Response P1 & P2 are true but equivocal. P3 is false, so the conclusion does not follow.
This pastor hates Obama, and preached a sermon on why he wishes the president dead. Although the article doesn’t state it, I’m going to go way out on a limb and guess that the good reverend is not an Arminian.
Tim Challies has an article about his visit to Saddleback Church. He attended a service and met with Rick Warren for about 30 minutes.
Laurence Vance’s article A CRITIQUE OF THE POTTER’S FREEDOM by James White identifies, catalogues and handles White’s rhetoric in favor of Calvinism. While the focus of the article is on rhetoric, Vance does make some incisive points. First, in some circles Baptist Calvinists are seen as only second-class Calvinists. Second, the fact that God is sovereign is obvious. If God was not sovereign he would not be God. The rulers of many countries have absolute sovereignty, but that does not mean they are holy or even good. The important thing about God is that he is sovereign yet holy.
Hodges’ Argument Hodge argues that unless grace is resistible, the ultimate reason some believe and not others is found in us and not in God. Hodge says this would make believers better, more impressible or less obstinate than others.1
Personally, I find this one of the most powerful Calvinistic arguments. The idea that I can take credit for my salvation is intolerable, as is the idea that I am better than someone else. But the Calvinistic solution is no solution, and it creates more problems than it resolves.
Let’s take the argument that believers can take credit for their faith. But Calvinists also say that people believe. Therefore Calvinism entails that people can take credit for their faith.
In the order of salvation, which comes first, faith or regeneration? Before we can answer that, don’t we first need to understand what regeneration is? In this post I plan on contrasting Hodge’s view with that of Arminius. Hopefully, in the process we can clarify the issue of monergism vs. synergism.
Can you lose your faith in Christ? No, not if by lose you literally mean lose. We cannot simply forget our faith. We also cannot have our faith stolen from us by any outside force (John 10:28). Believers need not fear that they will lose their salvation even if they commit a sin. Christ died on the cross to save us from all our sins; past, present, and future. However, if we profess to be a follower of Christ and live the life of a sinner, we are lying to ourselves and others (1 John 2:3-5).
OK, this post by Triablogue is so absolutely ridiculous that I find it comical and wanted to share it. Here Steve Hays actually tries to claim that Arminianism is a form of Manichaeism . Wow. Just wow. For those not familiar with what Manichaeism is, let me say that this would be akin to Michael Moore calling Republicans Communist. Seriously.
Tom McCall and Keith Stanglin’s article S. M. BAUGH AND THE MEANING OF FOREKNOWLEDGE: ANOTHER LOOK reviews Baugh’s arguments that the meaning of foreknowledge in the NT renders “impossible” the “Arminian notion of ‘foreseen faith’. Tom and Keith do a good job pointing out that Baugh assumes the irreconcilability of foreknowledge and free will from the outset (without arguing the point) and also that Baugh’s view is contrary to the teachings of the early church. Unfortunately, the online article is incomplete and I couldn’t find the rest of it via google, but what I read was interesting.
At the 2008 Together for the Gospel Conference, John MacArthur delivered a message entitled “The Sinner Neither Able Nor Willing: The Doctrine of Absolute Inability” in which he grossly misrepresented Arminian theology by saying: “So that the sinner unaided by the Holy Spirit must make the first move. That is essentially Arminian theology. The sinner unaided must make the first move, and God will then respond when the sinner makes the first move. What the Bible teaches is that the sinner can’t and won’t. He is unable and unwilling.”
This incredible statement is both misleading and misrepresentative of Arminius’s own thinking and of those who faithfully carry on the biblical understanding of salvation he taught. This can be easily demonstrated by looking to the sources. Arminius said this:
…according to the work of His mighty strength which was worked in Christ, arousing Him from the dead and sitting Him at God’s right side in the celestial realms, far above any ruler, authority, power, or lordship, or any name named, not only in this era, but also in one to come.