Monthly Archives For October 2010

What is Orthodox in One Mind is Heterodox to Most

, posted by A.M. Mallett

My recent discussions of heterodoxy vs. orthodoxy and the schisms inherent in any such discussion surfaced a common pattern I have observed among our Calvinist brethren. They seem to exhibit a narrow, almost myopic opinion regarding orthodoxy, defining it most often as entirely within the realm of Calvinist thought and creed.

Arminians, Baptists, Anglicans and others who refuse the dogma of John Calvin and Theodore Beza’s religious philosophy are deemed heterodox among the moderate sectarians — outright heretics in the minds of its polemical advocates. This is not a new phenomenon in the church. Franciscus Gomarus metaphorically burned down the church in his day and several of Calvinism’s leading lights have followed suit. Modern medievials have chased us with absurd slogans of “barely saved,” not realizing that such is the proclamation of the Apostle with regard to each and every one of us.

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The Biblical Doctrine of Grace for Everybody Else

, posted by A.M. Mallett

I have for years found the Calvinist use of the phrase “Doctrines of Grace” to be offensive to the Christian body. Perhaps it is because of the lack of any real set of doctrines derived out of scripture regarding grace that align with the caustic acronym TULIP. It could be that I just find Calvinist sectarians offensive when they start a sentence with the phrase and immediately launch into a diatribe against the greater body of Christ, especially when most Calvinist polemics reveal an astonishing lack of theological knowledge of nearly everything they oppose.

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Dr. Brian Abasciano Responds To Dr. Dan Wallace On The Issue Of Corporate Election

, posted by Martin Glynn

Dr. Dan Wallace’s comments against the corporate election model have been referenced many times on the internet by various Calvinists as an authoritative critique of the view. Because of this we have asked our very own Dr. Brian Abasciano to take some time in his very busy schedule to write a reply. Dr. Abasciano, being one of the leading proponents of the model and thus an expert on the issue, agreed. Due to the informality of the original comments, Dr. Abasciano has attempted to reply in a similar fashion, but, in this writer’s opinion, he remained absolutely thorough in his critique and correction of many of Dr. Wallace’s comments. Here is his reply:
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For God So Loved the World?

, posted by WilliamBirch

I was asked the following question by a Calvinistic Christian and want to answer his question in the following post. My initial argument was that for Calvinism, at least with regard to the doctrine of Unconditional Election, an explanation must be given how God is displaying His love towards those whom He has not unconditionally elected unto salvation. I insist that Calvinism dishonors God’s character in this regard, and was asked “why” or “how so” by this individual. I was also asked to demonstrate my answer from Scripture.

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Calvin Refutes Calvinist Regeneration

, posted by A.M. Mallett

Over the past several years, I cannot begin to number the times I have responded or interacted with the Calvinist argument that the new creation in Christ was made through a secret regeneration that preceded faith, repentance and the baptism into Christ accompanied by that rising as a new creation to walk in newness of life. The scriptures cry out for a rebuttal of the Calvinist error. The Gospel intended for a lost and hurting world demands it. Yet, the insistence on the part of Calvinists continues with its purely aberrant doctrine.

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God’s “Wasteful Scatteration of Grace”

, posted by WilliamBirch

by Roger E. Olson

I rarely post other people’s writings, but this sermon by Bill Smelvoe (preached in chapel at Regent College, Vancouver) especially expresses my belief about God’s grace. I couldn’t have said it better or as well!
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Another Fatal Flaw in Calvinism

, posted by WilliamBirch

by Roger E. Olson

The second fatal flaw that I will describe here in (at least some) Calvinism is worse than the first because it touches not only logic but God’s reputation.

Many Calvinists claim that God loves all people. The only way to make this work within the TULIP system is to redefine love so that it loses all meaning. The crucial question facing Calvinism is why God does not save everyone rather than “pass over” many, damning them to eternal suffering forever (when he could save them because election to salvation is unconditional). As Wesley said, “love” such as this makes the blood run cold. There is no sense whatsoever of “love” compatible with being able to save the loved one from eternal loss and suffering and not doing it.

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The First Fatal Flaw in the Calvinist System Revisited

, posted by WilliamBirch

by Roger E. Olson

Recently I wrote about flaws and fatal flaws in theological systems. All have flaws. Some also have fatal flaws. One I mentioned that I see in the Calvinist system (as articulated by some leading Calvinists) is the dual claim that everything without exception is foreordained and rendered certain by God for his glory and that certain heresies (probably all heresies) detract from, diminish, demean God’s glory and rob God of his glory.

Some respondents here have attempted to defend these two claims by arguing that God’s glory is eschatological or that (and this seems to amount to the same) certain things that detract from God’s glory are foreordained by God because they are necessary or helpful for his full glorification. I’m not convinced that these defenses relieve the contradiction. Here’s why.

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Theological Flaws and Fatal Flaws

, posted by WilliamBirch

by Roger E. Olson

Recently I argued that every theological system has flaws that should be acknowledged so that the entire system is held somewhat lightly and open to revision. One problem is when a system, such as Charles Hodge’s “stout and persistent theology” (David Wells’s description) is treated as if it were simply stating divine revelation in other words and therefore not really (as opposed to theoretically) open to correction and revision.

But I see another problem in theological systems. Some have not only flaws but also what I will call fatal flaws. A fatal flaw is a sheer contradiction – something it is simply impossible to believe because attempting to believe it results in thinking and speaking utter nonsense.

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Friday Files: How Calvinists Blindside A Text

, posted by Martin Glynn

Scripture is a major part of the whole question of Arminianism and Calvinism. Which sides better represents Scripture? I think many of us can agree that that is the major question. That is the actual key for determining who is right and wrong. It’s not logic, it’s not passion: it is compliance to God’s self-disclosure.

Here is an excellent article about how many Calvinists will often misconstrue a text for the sake of their system. It is important to note that we do not say this in condemnation, but a recognition of the authority that Scripture has in this whole debate. So please enjoy:

Matt 1:21: How Calvinists Can Blind Side A Text

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