In Adam Clarke’s commentary on Romans 9, he argues for that God choice of Jacob and Esau were primarily national1, rather than the unconditional individual election and reprobation. The idea is that God chose to bless the Jews and reveal Himself and His plan of salvation to them, but now God is choosing to bless the Gentiles and call them to salvation as well. But just as the Gentiles could be saved and Jews lost in Old Testament times, so also Jews and Gentiles can be saved now; so national election doesn’t guarantee individual salvation.
Foreknowledge means “to have knowledge of something before it happens.” In Scripture there are are references to God’s foreknowledge of those who will believe in Jesus (Rom. 8:29; 1 Pet. 1:2). Those whom God foreknows, he also elects to be saved (1 Pet. 1:2).
Proginosko is the word used in the New Testament which we translate as “to foreknow”. It literally means “to know before.” The word breaks down like this: pro (before) ginosko (to know/recognize).
We are familiar with this word in English. For example: a doctor will give a prognosis. And someone who makes predictions is called “a prognosticator.”
The word in its noun or verb form is used several times in the New Testament to explain the foreknowledge of God or of individuals. Here are some passages where the word is used: Acts 2:23; 26:4-5; Romans 8:29; 1 Peter 1:1-2, 20; 2 Peter 3:17.
Disclaimer: The following is a light-hearted satire on Calvinism and not an attack on Calvinists.
Q. How should I approach evangelism?
A. You should evangelise if you believe that you are included in the command of the Great Commission. It is important, however, to know what the right motivation for evangelism is. Your motivation should be to obey God’s command. People’s salvation is not a legitimate motivation for evangelism, for you cannot change their elected status.
When you evangelise, be careful not to tell people that “Jesus died for their sins”. Also note, that since grace is irresistible, there is no need to be persuasive, (for you cannot change people’s elected status). The corollary of this is that there is no harm in being non-persuasive. Once people have heard the ‘good news’, there is no need to continue preaching to them.
Jesus Christ died on the cross as a provision for all people, so that there is forgiveness of sins for all who believe, even though many are not forgiven because they refuse to believe. Jesus…
According to scripture, Jesus died for …
We’ve come to the conclusion of the letter. John doesn’t end with an exhorting paragraph, or a final doctrinal conclusion. Instead, he concludes with a list of loosely connected aphorisms, and by pointing to the assurance we are to have that we are saved, and can resist temptation. I shall deal with each of these in turn.
I John 15:18: We fully know that everyone being born of God sins not, but the one born of God keeps watch over Him, and the oppressor cannot touch Him. -MGV
There is so much meat in this passage if one goes to the Greek. It is truly a powerful statement, and I’ve attempted to tease out some of the subtleties that are lost in most translations in the translation above. Let me point of few of them out quickly before I get to the meaning of the text.
John Wesley had the rare gift of bringing the Calvinist/Arminian debate from the head to the heart. In Predestination Calmly Considered, Wesley first examines the idea of upholding unconditional election while rejecting reprobation and then explains why the two doctrines are inseparable. He then rejects reprobation as inconsistent with the whole scope and tenor both of the Old and New Testament and provides about four pages of scriptural quotations to demonstrate his point. He then shows that reprobation is inconsistent with God’s justice and explains Romans 9. Wesley then moves to the atonement and shows Christ died for all based on a few passages and based on the general offer of the gospel. He then explains that man is dependent on prevenient grace and that even though man has freewill, God gets all the glory.
An essay by Rev. Zach Dawes. He argues that the theology of C.S. Lewis was essentially Arminian. Dawes also maintains a blog, which can be found here. c.s. lewis – calvinist or classical arminian
I have heard many attempt to say that they are searching for a middle ground between Arminianism and Calvinism. The impetus of this is peace. They see the issue as too divisive, and they believe that by finding a middle ground, they can end the need for conflict.
Though I highly respect the sentiment, ultimately such a project will fail. There can be no middle ground between Calvinism and Arminianism. Why?
There was a farmer who owned a pond. He did not want anyone to go swimming in it. He built a fence around the pond and posted a sign that said: NO SWIMMING ALLOWED.
One day three boys came upon the pond. They saw the sign, but decided to go swimming anyway. They climbed the fence and jumped into the pond. After jumping in they realized that there was no way to get out. They began to drown.
James M. Leonard
This is a detailed study of Calvinism in light of the earliest Christian writers (Ante-Nicene Church Fathers). It demonstrates that the primary features of Calvinism were not taught by the Ante-Nicene Fathers but were actually considered heretical by these early Christian writers (often connected to various forms of gnosticism). Numerous quotes from these Ante-Nicene writers are provided for the reader to carefully consider. Click the link below to view the article.
Please click on the link below to view the article.
This article primarily looks at the history of the doctrine.
If anyone sees his brother committing a sin not leading to death, he shall ask, and God will give him life–to those who commit sins that do not lead to death. There is sin that leads to death; I do not say that one should pray for that. All wrongdoing is sin, but there is sin that does not lead to death. -ESV
I like the ESV translation of this a lot. The big thing is in the beginning of verse 16, with ask and give, it keeps it in the future tense, and, most importantly, keeps the word ask instead of changing it to pray. The verb there is aiteo which is the same verb that has been used in the previous verses promising that we will be given anything which we ask of God. This is clearly intended to be an example of this promise.
This article examines the use of passages like Eph. 4:30 as a defense for eternal security.
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Scot McKnight’s article “The warning passages of Hebrews: A formal analysis and Theological Conclusions” reviews the warnings of apostasy in Hebrews 2:1-4, 3:7-4:13, 5:11-6:12, 10:19-39 and 12:1-29. McKnight identifies four alternative interpretations of the warning passages: hypothetical warnings, false believers, the covenant community and his view, true believers. McKnight identifies four aspects of the passages: “in each warning passage we find: 1) the subjects or audience who are either committing or in danger of committing 2) the sin that leads to 3) the exhortation which, if not followed, leads to 4) the consequences of that sin.” McKnight argues that studying the four warnings in unison helps define each of these four aspects.
Click on the link below to view the article.
For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? So then faith [cometh] by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Ro 10:12-17 AV)