Monthly Archives For May 2010

Another Chilling Calvinist Quote

, posted by SEA

The sovereign God “decides who will believe and undeservingly be saved and who will rebel and deservingly perish.”

—John Piper, “How God Makes Known the Riches of His Glory to the Vessels of Mercy,” sermon on Rom 9:19–23 (February 16, 2003). [Quote taken from http://andynaselli.com/framing-the-doctrine-of-election ]

Did you catch that Piper claims that God decides who will rebel? And then, those who rebel because God decided they would, somehow deserve to perish for that God-caused rebellion? And this does not make God the author of sin?

We know that many Calvinists believe such unbiblical and seemingly heinous things. But thankfully, it remains shocking to hear them state it so plainly. Otherwise, perhaps we should Recover a Sense of Incredulity over Calvinism as Jim Leonard has suggested here.

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The Honest Reading Canard: John 6:37-40

, posted by wrachele

Theological discussion in various venues often pits one position of belief against its opposites. Supporters of one position or another like to issue proposition statements of the form ‘If they would give _____ an honest reading’, ‘once I gave ______ an honest reading’,’ you can’t read _________ honestly and still believe’ or various other permutations that are meant to imply that your position is unsupportable in the light of clear interpretation. In other words, the veiled inference is that the theological presuppositions that you brought to the reading have colored your interpretation of the text and if you would put them aside and engage an honest reading of the highlighted periscope you would have no choice but to realize the validity of the opposing position. Let’s see if that’s a valid argument…

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David Pawson – Audio Series on Romans 9-11

, posted by Kevin Jackson

Here is a good audio series on Romans 9, 10, and 11 by historian / preacher David Pawson. The series is not specifically about Calvinism or Arminianism, however, the subject of the nature of election is addressed, and Pawson comes to a solidly Arminian conclusion.

Romans 9
Romans 10
Romans 11

Pawson argues that Paul wrote the epistle to the Romans in order to address the problem of antisemitism among the Gentile Christians in Rome.

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Arminian Internet Resources on Romans 9

, posted by Godismyjudge

Reviewed Commentaries Ranked One to Eleven The commentaries listed in the table below were subjectively ranked from one to eleven; one being the best, two the next best and so on. Linguistics was scored based…

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On Man’s Free Will: What the Early Church Believed

, posted by decenso

“On Man’s Free Will: What The Early Church Fathers Believed”

[Quotes are from The Ante-Nicene Fathers, ed. Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson; 1885-1887;
repr. 10 vols. Peabody, Mass.: Hendrickson, 1994. They are cited in A Dictionary of Early Christian
Beliefs, ed. David W. Bercot, Hendrickson, 2000.]

(Compiled by Frank A. DeCenso, Jr., 5/18/2010)

(A downloadable pdf version of this material may be accessed in the attachment located at the bottom of this post.)

· In the beginning, He made the human race with the power of thought and of choosing the truth and doing right, so that all men are without excuse before God.
(Justin Martyr, 160 AD, 1.177)

· Unless the human race has the power of avoiding evil and choosing good by free choice, they are not responsible for their actions.
(Justin Martyr, 160 AD, 1.177)

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A Dialogue Between a Predestinarian and His Friend

, posted by Eric Landstrom

A Dialogue Between a Predestinarian and His Friend
Out of thine own mouth!

The Works of the Rev. John Wesley, A.M., Volume 10, 1872, pp. 259-266

TO ALL PREDESTINARIANS

1. I AM informed, some of you have said, that the following quotations are false; that these words were not spoken by these authors; others, that they were not spoken in this sense; and others, that neither you yourself, nor any true Predestinarian, ever did, or ever would, speak so.

2. My friends, the authors here quoted are well known, in whom you may read the words with your own eyes. And you who have read them know in your own conscience, they were spoken in this sense, and no other; nay, that this sense of them is professedly defended throughout the whole treatises whence they are taken.

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A Quiz for Your Calvinist Friends (Satire)

, posted by Kevin Jackson

A little quiz for your Calvinist Friends. Inspired by the ever resourceful JC Thibodaux and by a Calvinist dude named Jay Banks. Enjoy.

Genesis 25:23 The LORD said to [Rebekah], “Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples from within you will be separated; one people will be stronger than the other, and the older will serve the younger.”

Q: What was in Rebekah’s womb?
A. Two nations and two peoples.
B. One elect person and one reprobate person.
C. Don’t even try to refer to the Old Testament for your exegesis of Romans 9. Heretic.

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Reinterpreting Cain and Abel: A Disturbing Satire

, posted by WilliamBirch

If Calvinism is true and God “influences the desires and decisions of people,”1 as Wayne Grudem and most Calvinists insist, then let us interpret Scripture accordingly.

Adam and his wife, Eve, bore two sons: Cain was the elder and Abel was the younger. Scripture notes: “When they grew up, Abel became a shepherd, while Cain cultivated the ground” (Gen. 4:2 NLT and henceforth).

What the Bible means is that God influenced the desire and decision of Abel to become a shepherd, while he also influenced the desire and decision of Cain to cultivate the ground. For remember, God “influences the desires and decisions of people.” We must interpret Scripture with this hermeneutic. God did not (and could not) simply foreknow the desires and decisions of Abel and Cain. That would mean that God was dependent upon human beings for his knowledge. God is sovereign. He “influences the desires and decisions of people.”

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Making God a Liar?

, posted by Martin Glynn

This was a question that was sent into SEA, and I thought it would be a good idea to share my thoughts on the subject more publicly. The question is as follows:

  1. If human beings have libertarian free will, it is within their power to make God a liar.
  2. It is not within their power to make God a liar.
  3. Therefore, human beings do not have free will.

The troublesome premise is probably the first one, so I’ll explain what I mean. Imagine a scenario where God makes a promise to one person which requires for its fulfillment the cooperation of another person who is free in the libertarian sense (I take freedom in the libertarian sense to mean that in any circumstance, a person’s choice is free if he has two options to choose from [acting or refraining from acting, for example] and his choice isn’t coerced, and so on).

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The A Priori of Particular Grace

, posted by WilliamBirch

If it were not for a priori, the Calvinist would be an Arminian. If that statement brought a smile to your face, then you are most likely in the Arminian camp (or at least label yourself a “non-Calvinist,” not that “non-Calvinist” is a legitimate title, mind you). If, however, you felt your blood pressure rise, then you are most definitely a Calvinist.

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Adoption – The Inheritance of a Son

, posted by Kevin Jackson

Therefore you are no longer a slave, but a son; and if a son, then an heir through God. Galations 4:7

Adoption (huiothesia) is a term that the apostle Paul uses several times in his letters. The Greco-Roman concept of adoption is different than the English concept. In English adoption is an action. For example a father “adopts” a son. The Greco-Roman concept of adoption refers to something that sons receive. Sons are not adopted, rather, sons receive the adoption (Gal 4:1-7). This conceptual difference of what adoption is can contribute to a misunderstanding of certain Biblical passages. In the context of the Arminian / Calvinist debate, the meaning of adoption directly relates to our interpretation of Ephesians 1.

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