Henshaw. Ben

Robert Shank on Rev. 2:20-22 and Monergism

, posted by Ben Henshaw

“Consider the words of Christ to the church at Thyatria [sic.] concerning the prominent woman referred to as ‘Jezebel’ and His servants, who were practicing immorality and pagan customs, doubtless in a religious context after the manner of the cults:

“I have a few things against you, because you allow that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication and to eat things sacrificed to idols. And I gave her space to repent of her fornication, and she repented not. Behold I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds. (Rev. 2:20-22)”

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Does Jesus Really Understand What I Am Going Through? (A Devotional)

, posted by Ben Henshaw

Have you ever….

Been tempted? (Matt. 4:1-11)
Been misunderstood? (Matt. 13:53-57; Jn. 6:52-66; 7:35, 36; Mark 8:31-33; 9:30-32)
Been ridiculed and mocked? (Matt. 27:27-31, 38-44)
Faced a difficult decision? (Matt. 26:36-46)
Been laughed at? (Matt. 9:23, 24)
Been angry? (Jn. 2:13-17)
Been envied? (Jn. 11:45-48; Matt. 27:18, 19)
Been falsely accused? (Matt. 26:59-63)
Been treated unfairly? (Jn. 19:4-16)
Felt alone? (Matt. 27:46; Mark 14:32-42)
Felt afraid? (Luke 22:39-46)
Been abandoned? (Jn. 16:32; Matt. 26:31; Mark 14:50)
Suffered unjustly? (Luke 23:13-25)
Been abused? (Matt. 26:67-68; 27:26-31)
Loved someone without being loved in return? (Luke 13:34; Mark 10:17-22)
Been frustrated? (Matt. 9:1-8; 12:22-29; 15:16; 16:21-23)
Gone hungry? (Matt. 4:2)
Been ignored? (Mark 1:40-45)
Been homeless? (Matt. 8:18-20)
Been unappreciated? (Luke 17:12-19)
Been wounded by a close friend? (Luke 22:54-62; Matt. 26:47-50)

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Thomas Ralston on Freedom of the Will Part 8: Can Free Agency be Harmonized With Divine Foreknowledge?

, posted by Ben Henshaw

Thomas Ralston now tackles the necessitarian objection that God’s foreknowledge of our actions renders the power of self-determination impossible. My comments are in bold print.

II. The next grand objection to the doctrine of free agency is, that it is supposed to be irreconcilable with the Scripture account of the divine prescience.

Necessitarians argue that free agency, in the proper sense, implies contingency; and that contingency cannot be reconciled with the divine foreknowledge. It is admitted by Arminians, and the advocates of free agency generally, that the foreknowledge of God extends to all things great and small, whether necessary or contingent – that it is perfect and certain.

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Thomas Ralston on Freedom of the Will Part 7: Is the Doctrine of Free Agency Absurd?

, posted by Ben Henshaw

Thomas Ralston now begins to examine and respond to various objections posed by “necessitarians” against the Arminian view of self-determinism. My comments are in bold print.

WE propose in this chapter, to examine some of the principal objections which have been urged against the view taken in the preceding chapter of the freedom of the will. Those most worthy of notice are the following, viz.:

I. It is said to be absurd in itself.

II. It is said to be irreconcilable with the Scripture account of the divine prescience.

III. It is said to conflict with the doctrine of motives.

We propose a respectful attention to each of these grand objections.

I. It is alleged that the view we have taken of the proper freedom of the will is absurd in itself.

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Thomas Ralston on Freedom of the Will Part 5: The Scriptural Evidence

, posted by Ben Henshaw

Ralston continues with his defense of free moral agency from Scripture. My comments are in bold print.

(2) In the next place, the Scriptures everywhere address man as a being capable of choosing; as possessing a control over his own volitions, and as being held responsible for the proper exercise of that control.

In Deuteronomy 30:19, we read: “I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live.” And in Joshua 24:15: “Choose you this day whom ye will serve.” Now, to choose is to determine or fix the will; but men are here called upon to choose for themselves, which, upon the supposition that their will is, in all cases, fixed necessarily by antecedent causes beyond their control, is nothing better than solemn mockery.

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Thomas Ralston on Freedom of the Will Part 4: God’s Divine Administration

, posted by Ben Henshaw

Thomas Ralston begins his appeal to Scripture with his third evidence for self-determinism in his Elements of Divinity. My comments are in bold print.

3. Our third evidence of man’s proper free agency is founded upon the divine administration toward him, as exhibited in the Holy Scriptures.

Here we shall perceive that revelation beautifully harmonizes with nature; and those clear and decisive evidences of our free agency, which, as we have seen, are derived from experience and observation, are abundantly confirmed by the book of God.

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Thomas Ralston on Freedom of the Will Part 2: Its Self-evident Nature

, posted by Ben Henshaw

We now continue with Ralston’s defense of free will from his Elements of Divinity. My comments are in bold print.

II. We proceed now to consider some of the leading arguments by which the free moral agency of man, as briefly defined above, is established.

1.We rely upon our own consciousness.

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Thomas Ralston on Freedom of the Will Part 1: Introducing the Controversy

, posted by Ben Henshaw

Thomas Ralston was an early Methodist theologian. The following is taken from his Elements of Divinity (Wesleyan Heritage Collection CD). My comments will be in bold print.

The great question in this controversy is not whether a man can will “as he pleases,” for that is the same as to ask whether he can will as he does will. But the question is, Can a man will, without being constrained to will as he does, by something extrinsic to himself acting efficiently upon him? This is the real question on which depends the freedom of the mind in willing.

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Calvinism and Deuteronomy 29:29

, posted by Ben Henshaw

“The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.” (Deuteronomy 29:29)…

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Once A Son Always A Son?

, posted by Ben Henshaw

It is a popular teaching today that once someone becomes a child of God through faith in Jesus Christ, he or she will never cease to be God’s child regardless of behavior and continuance in saving faith.

In order to express this teaching, it is reasoned from human experience to that which is spiritual and a strong distinction is made between “fellowship” and “relationship”. It is said that a believer can harm and even sever one’s fellowship with God while somehow maintaining a saving relationship. The only way to express this concept is through human analogy.

Neil T. Anderson gives us the basis of this argumentation in Stomping Out the Darkness, co-authored by Dave Park. Under the heading: There’s A Difference Between Relationship and Fellowship, Anderson writes…

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Does John 6:44 Teach Irresistible Grace?

, posted by Patron

The content of this post was authored by Ben Henshaw and is posted on his behalf. As I stated in my last post (Does Regeneration Precede Faith?), there is no more important question with regards…

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What Can The Dead in Sin Do?

, posted by Ben Henshaw

Calvinists love to point out that we are dead in sin. That we are dead in sin prior to conversion cannot be denied (Eph. 2:1, 5; Col. 2:13); the question has to do with what it means to be dead in sin.

Calvinist are fond of comparing spiritual death to physical death. This gives them the framework with which to press their theological conviction that regeneration precedes faith. If being dead in sin means that we are as helpless as physical corpses then we are told that we certainly can no more “hear” the gospel or “see” our need for Christ than a physical corpse can hear or see. But is there any justification for such a strict parallel between the spiritual and the physical?

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Enjoying Consistent Calvinism

, posted by Patron

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

I have recently been accused of being an inconsistent Arminian because I reject Open Theism. I find it interesting that Calvinists are so concerned with consistency seeing as how they both affirm that God causes all things and is yet somehow not the author of sin.

I admit that I love consistency. I reject Calvinism primarily because I find no support for it in the pages of Scripture, and secondarily because it is so internally inconsistent. I admire Calvinists who are not afraid to “take it in the face”, so to speak, and call God the author of sin. “Traditional” Calvinists call these types “hyper” Calvinists, but in the spirit of my recent conversation, I think it is more accurate to just call them “consistent” Calvinists.

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Ben Henshaw, “Augustine the Libertarian”

, posted by Ben Henshaw

Some refer to Calvinism as Augustinianism. John Calvin took the teachings of the later Augustine and systematized them. The only major difference between the later Augustine and Calvin’s theology is the doctrine of perseverance. Augustine…

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Ben Henshaw, “God’s Sovereignty and Man’s Free Will”

, posted by Patron

Sometimes Calvinists will say that Arminians have a small God. I have been told by Calvinists that the Calvinist God is “bigger” and therefore superior to my “little” Arminian God. Usually this claim is framed within the context of whether or not God can truly “save” anyone in an Arminian framework. Since the Arminian believes that God requires the genuine response of faith on the part of His creatures, then He is apparently quite small compared to the Calvinist God who just overpowers His creatures with His grace and makes sure that they are saved, etc. etc…you get the point.

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