Henshaw. Ben

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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Calvinism and Job: Something to Think About

, posted by Ben Henshaw

Most Christians are familiar with the story of Job. Job endured severe trials but did not curse God (though he did question God). The emphases of the book are many. It is probably mainly concerned…

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Is The Drawing of John 12:32 Universal or Particular?

, posted by Patron

Before examining some of the other Calvinists “proof texts” for irresistible regeneration, we will take a moment to deal with a common Calvinist objection to the Arminian appeal to Jn. 12:32 as an example of universal “drawing”.

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Does Regeneration Precede Faith?

, posted by Ben Henshaw

Which comes first, faith or regeneration? That is indeed the question. I cannot think of a more important theological issue with respect to the controversy between Calvinism and Arminianism. It is the defining feature concerning…

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Examining A Rather Strange “Proof Text” For Irresistible Regeneration

, posted by Patron

I believe that I have sufficiently demonstrated that the Biblical ordo salutis (order of salvation) is not that regeneration precedes faith. I gave both a positive argument, and negative arguments (ed.s note referring to the author’s blog). Before moving on to examine the other petals of our favorite little flower, I wanted to give some brief attention to what I believe to be a rather odd proof text often urged by the proponents of irresistible grace.

This argument focuses on the grammar of two related passages in 1 John. James White makes use of these passages in The Potter’s Freedom. He sets up his argument by first quoting 1 John 5:1,

“Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and whoever loves the Father loves the child born of Him.”

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Fletcher on Being “Dead in Sin” Part 2

, posted by Patron

The content of this post was authored by Ben Henshaw and is posted on his behalf. Fletcher demonstrated that the Scriptures use the word “dead” in more than one way, and to understand the term…

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John Fletcher on Being “Dead in Sin”

, posted by Patron

The content of this post was authored by Ben Henshaw and is posted on his behalf. In my interactions with Calvinists the conversation always seems to go back to their conception of being dead in…

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