Recent Articles

Ephesians 2:1-2; A Devotional

, posted by Martin Glynn

And you were dead because of the transgressions and sins in which you once walked, as the world has through the ages according to the ruler of domain of the air ; the spirit now working in the unyielding6 sons.

A major aspect of Christian life is remembering where you came from. Christianity is fundamentally a faith of redemption. Part of redemption is being redeemed from something.

There are two common problems we encounter when dealing with our sinful past.

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Book Review: The Shack

, posted by Kevin Jackson

(Warning: this review contains spoilers)

What would you do if you were invited to spend a weekend with God? What questions would you ask him? Maybe, why does evil exist? Why is there pain? That is the background for the book “The Shack” (Author: William P. Young).

“The Shack” has become a phenomenon. As of today (9-24-09) it is ranked #11 in sales on Amazon.com, and has over 3700 reviews.

There is a dual reaction to the book in Christian circles: people either love it or despise it. I fall into the former category, with a reservation. I enjoyed the story. It brought me to tears a number of times. As a father of two girls, I empathized with the main character, “Mack”.

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Prereformation Church History & the Calvinist/Arminian Debate

, posted by Godismyjudge

Calivinists have a rich heritage – one that they can be proud of. It’s unquestionable that Augustine, many of the Reformers and Puritans, held Calvinist ideas. But after reading Boettner’s introduction of the Reformed Doctrine of Predestination, one might get the impression that Calvinism dominates Church history, and substantially every major theologian accepted Calvinisic predestination. Boettner claims:

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Does God fail if we Resist?

, posted by Godismyjudge

Hodge’s first argument1 against resistible grace is:

P1: God, being infinite, cannot fail in any of His “serious intentions”
P2: God ordains all things according to His purpose
P3: If God wants His grace to convert us, and we resist and stay unconverted, God fails
C1: so grace is irresistible

Response
P1 & P2 are true but equivocal. P3 is false, so the conclusion does not follow.

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Interesting Links 9-20-09

, posted by Kevin Jackson

This month’s Christianity Today has some articles by Arminians in praise of John Calvin (yes, you read that right). Man of the Bible: What Calvin gets Right, by Ben Witherington. Theologian of the Spirit, by Roger Olson.

This pastor hates Obama, and preached a sermon on why he wishes the president dead. Although the article doesn’t state it, I’m going to go way out on a limb and guess that the good reverend is not an Arminian.

Tim Challies has an article about his visit to Saddleback Church. He attended a service and met with Rick Warren for about 30 minutes.

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Ephesians 1:22-23; A Devotional

, posted by Martin Glynn

And He set everything under His feet, and made Him head over the assembly which is His body: the very thing which fills every bit of everything.

Ok, let us recall Paul’s context:

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Friday Files: Vance A CRITIQUE OF THE POTTER

, posted by Godismyjudge

Laurence Vance’s article A CRITIQUE OF THE POTTER’S FREEDOM by James White identifies, catalogues and handles White’s rhetoric in favor of Calvinism. While the focus of the article is on rhetoric, Vance does make some incisive points. First, in some circles Baptist Calvinists are seen as only second-class Calvinists. Second, the fact that God is sovereign is obvious. If God was not sovereign he would not be God. The rulers of many countries have absolute sovereignty, but that does not mean they are holy or even good. The important
thing about God is that he is sovereign yet holy.

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The Difference Maker

, posted by Godismyjudge

Hodges’ Argument
Hodge argues that unless grace is resistible, the ultimate reason some believe and not others is found in us and not in God. Hodge says this would make believers better, more impressible or less obstinate than others.1

Problem Non-Unique

Personally, I find this one of the most powerful Calvinistic arguments. The idea that I can take credit for my salvation is intolerable, as is the idea that I am better than someone else. But the Calvinistic solution is no solution, and it creates more problems than it resolves.

Let’s take the argument that believers can take credit for their faith. But Calvinists also say that people believe. Therefore Calvinism entails that people can take credit for their faith.

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The Equivocation of Regeneration

, posted by Godismyjudge

In the order of salvation, which comes first, faith or regeneration? Before we can answer that, don’t we first need to understand what regeneration is? In this post I plan on contrasting Hodge’s view with that of Arminius. Hopefully, in the process we can clarify the issue of monergism vs. synergism.

Hodge’s Order of Salvation

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Brennon Hartshorn, “Eternal Security and the Bible”

, posted by bossmanham

Can you lose your faith in Christ? No, not if by lose you literally mean lose. We cannot simply forget our faith. We also cannot have our faith stolen from us by any outside force (John 10:28). Believers need not fear that they will lose their salvation even if they commit a sin. Christ died on the cross to save us from all our sins; past, present, and future. However, if we profess to be a follower of Christ and live the life of a sinner, we are lying to ourselves and others (1 John 2:3-5).

The Funniest Anti-Arminian Post I Have Ever Seen

, posted by Martin Glynn

OK, this post by Triablogue is so absolutely ridiculous that I find it comical and wanted to share it. Here Steve Hays actually tries to claim that Arminianism is a form of Manichaeism . Wow. Just wow. For those not familiar with what Manichaeism is, let me say that this would be akin to Michael Moore calling Republicans Communist. Seriously.

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Friday Files: S. M. BAUGH AND THE MEANING OF FOREKNOWLEDGE: ANOTHER LOOK

, posted by Godismyjudge

Tom McCall and Keith Stanglin’s article S. M. BAUGH AND THE MEANING OF FOREKNOWLEDGE: ANOTHER LOOK reviews Baugh’s arguments that the meaning of foreknowledge in the NT renders “impossible” the “Arminian notion of ‘foreseen faith’. Tom and Keith do a good job pointing out that Baugh assumes the irreconcilability of foreknowledge and free will from the outset (without arguing the point) and also that Baugh’s view is contrary to the teachings of the early church. Unfortunately, the online article is incomplete and I couldn’t find the rest of it via google, but what I read was interesting.

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Misrepresenting Arminian Theology: John MacArthur’s Straw Man

, posted by Matt O'Reilly

At the 2008 Together for the Gospel Conference, John MacArthur delivered a message entitled “The Sinner Neither Able Nor Willing: The Doctrine of Absolute Inability” in which he grossly misrepresented Arminian theology by saying: “So that the sinner unaided by the Holy Spirit must make the first move. That is essentially Arminian theology. The sinner unaided must make the first move, and God will then respond when the sinner makes the first move. What the Bible teaches is that the sinner can’t and won’t. He is unable and unwilling.”

This incredible statement is both misleading and misrepresentative of Arminius’s own thinking and of those who faithfully carry on the biblical understanding of salvation he taught. This can be easily demonstrated by looking to the sources. Arminius said this:

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Dort, Synod of

, posted by Eric Landstrom

Dort, Synod of

(SYNODUS DORDRACENA), a national synod of the United Provinces, held at Dort (Dordrecht; Lat. Dordracum) in 1618-19.

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Interesting Links – 9/6/09

, posted by Kevin Jackson

The NIV and TNIV are going away. A new NIV will be out in 2011. Christianity Today has an explanation here. Scot McKnight has a different explanation here. (HT: William Birch).

The blog “Truth is a Man” has an excellent post entitled: Molinism is not Open Theism: A Critique of Dr. McMahon’s Assessment. He refers to a piece written by high Calvinist C.M. McMahon. McMahon also claims that Arminianism is “a deceiving doctrine of demons wrought up from the pit of hell”.

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Ephesians 1:19b-21; A Devotional

, posted by Martin Glynn

…according to the work of His mighty strength which was worked in Christ, arousing Him from the dead and sitting Him at God’s right side in the celestial realms, far above any ruler, authority, power, or lordship, or any name named, not only in this era, but also in one to come.

THe first thing we must do is to remember the context of this passage. Paul is describing to the Ephesians what he is praying on their behalf. Specifically, he has been praying that they may have a deeper understanding of the things of God. Thus, we can understand this passage to be one of those things that Paul was praying for the Ephesians to understand. Since this is something that he prays for the Ephesians to understand, we can be sure that he will explain some of it in the upcoming chapters.

For now, let us consider what this is saying. It is talking about God’s mighty power, and what this power has accomplished.

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The Apostle John

, posted by A.M. Mallett

Recently, I have found myself focusing on the effects of a word or two, sovereignty and dominion being the last foray. Today the word world comes into play. It is a long disputed term, used in several contexts and has been at the heart of a dispute between most Christians and our Neo-Calvinist brethren for a long time. Where this conflict seems to generate the greatest angst is with the Apostle John’s usage of world or the phrase “whole world”. The great evangelical cry is found in John’s Gospel.

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The Calvinistic Hermeneutic, Opposed

, posted by WilliamBirch

Calvinism’s view of the sovereignty of God is its hermeneutical grid by which the rest of the Bible is interpreted. As Silva writes, “The God who controls the events of history is the God who interprets those events in Scripture . . .”1 He cites 1 Kings 12:15 as a proof text to support his thesis: “So the king did not listen to the people, for this turn of events was from the LORD, to fulfill the word the LORD had spoken to Jeroboam.” Thus, for the Calvinist, everything that happens in the earth was meticulously predetermined by God’s causative, unchangeable will. And somehow, God is not responsible for all that he brings about.

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The Calvinistic Hermeneutic, Stated

, posted by WilliamBirch

Hermeneutics is “the discipline that studies the theory, principles, and methods used to interpret texts, especially ancient ones such as the sacred Scriptures. Traditional hermeneutics focuses primarily on the discovery of the historical meaning as intended by the author and understood by the original audience.”1 Thus a Calvinistic hermeneutic is the discipline that studies the theory, principles, and methods which Calvinists use to interpret the Bible.

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