Thursday, September 03, 2015

"Cage Stage" Calvinist

See the full cartoon at

Friday, August 28, 2015

This Week in Calvinism - August 28, 2015

  • Due to financial difficulties, the International Mission Board of the SBC is poised to cut 600 to 800 missionaries and staff. Surely we can look forward to a Patheos article blaming it on "anti-mission" Calvinists.

  • Arthur Sido has an interesting perspective on the issue.

  • A list of new and notable books, courtesy of Tim Challies.

  • Pastor Craig Ireland preaches on total depravity. I don't know why, but the doctrines of grace just sound more believable when preached in an Australian accent.

  • Fasting for beginners.

  • Yes, Ashley Madison, life is short. But instead of having an affair, why not love your spouse?

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Romans 1:28

What else is there to say upon seeing a gay "marriage" proposal taking place in a "church" service?

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Friday, August 21, 2015

This Week in Calvinism - August 21, 2015

  • It seems you can thank Calvinism for America's love of landscape art.

  • At the same time, you can blame Calvinism for America's less-than-stellar public transit system—you know, because Calvinists hate poor people.

  • How close does Wesley come to Calvinism?

  • Tim Challies begins a series of posts as he reads through J. I. Packer's Knowing God.

  • What is "cage stage" Calvinism, and what causes it? R. C. Sproul Jr. answers.

Friday, August 14, 2015

This Week in Calvinism - August 14, 2015

  • In the first lecture in his series "Calvinism and the Christian Life," Ian Hamilton introduces us to John Calvin.

  • Calvinism and the problem of evil.

  • Leighton Flowers critiques Tim Keller's Calvinistic sermon on Romans 8.

  • John Piper address the question, "Do we have to enjoy God to believe?"

  • An excerpt from the New Calvinist Bible (NCB). It's an Arminian attempt at satire, rewriting passages of scripture in the way they think Calvinists read it. (You know, instead of just reading the plain language that's already there.)

Thursday, August 13, 2015

The over-intellectualizing of the Calvinist mind

Roger Olson discusses Christian anti-intellectualism in an article titled "Whatever Happened to the Christian Mind?" He writes:
The problem is not just one of ignorance as in "not knowing facts." That's bad enough. Too many Christians, including conservative-evangelical Christians, don't even know the Bible. How many can even find a book, chapter and verse in the Bible without being told the "page number in the pew Bible?" No, the larger problem is confusion of the Christian story with other stories. We live in a pluralistic culture and I celebrate that. But I also celebrate Christians in this pluralistic culture knowing and understanding their own story—the story of God and us told in the Bible.
He has a point. The problem with many churches is that they lack an intellectual and intelligent approach to scripture, where members of congregations are treated as if even the simplest of theological concepts are beyond their ability to grasp. I've been in churches where the sermons consist mostly of life lessons, illustrations, and humorous anecdotes, as if diving in and actively drawing out what God's word actually teaches would cause mass confusion. While Dr. Olson may not agree, I believe that anti-intellectualism is one of the trappings of Arminianism.

Then, of course, there is the opposite end of the spectrum.

The problem I have noticed in some Calvinist circles is over-intellectualizing. Let's be honest. Calvinism has a certain intellectual appeal that can sometimes cause us to focus on stimulating the brain at the expense of nurturing the soul. I confess that there have been times in my walk with Christ during which I was more drawn to theological discussions, books, web sites, and podcasts than God's word.

"Hey! Look at me! I'm learning new and wonderful things! Now let's see how many others I can convince of the doctrines of grace!"

If only more of us were just as passionate about the gospel.

This is not to disparage the desire to learn and expand our minds. After all, Christ himself commanded us to love God with all our heart, soul, and mind (Matthew 22:37).

Let's strive to find a healthy balance. If those books and podcasts we love so much don't cause us to develop a deeper thirst for the scriptures, then perhaps they have become little more than unhealthy distractions. Peter encouraged believers to "grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ" (2 Peter 3:18), and while that doesn't mean we can't partake in a little intellectual stimulation, we must realize there is no substitute for the word of God.

Friday, August 07, 2015

This Week in Calvinism - August 7, 2015

  • Did God betray you in your suffering?

  • James White reviews Bruxy Cavey's comments on monergism, synergism, prevenient grace, and the like.

  • Four ways to respond to Planned Parenthood.

  • According to Last of Days Ministry, Calvinism is an unscriptural doctrine that "states you are either born saved or you are born damned." Note to Last of Days Ministry and other Independent Fundamental Baptist KJV-Only types: The purpose of setting up a straw man argument is so that you can easily debunk it. When you can't even debunk your own straw man argument...well, that kind of says a lot about your position.

Friday, July 31, 2015

This Week in Calvinism - July 31, 2015

  • Calvin and (Herschel) Hobbs.

  • Ian Hamilton describes how he first learned of God's sovereignty in salvation.

  • Tim Challies invites you to join him in reading a modern classic: Knowing God, by J. I. Packer.

  • In the most recent edition of The Dividing Line, James White responds to Dr. Michael Cox's article (linked to last week) "Is Calvinism Spiritual Racism?"

  • Free ebook by J. C. Ryle from Monergism.

Friday, July 24, 2015

This Week in Calvinism - July 24, 2015

  • Are you a superstitious Calvinist?

  • Can you lose your salvation? Moody Radio hosts a discussion between Moody Bible Professor Bryan Litfin and Brian Shelton (no relation) of Toccoa Falls College.

  • According to Dr. Michael Cox, "Calvinism is the dogma of spiritual determinism characterized by spiritual superiority." As far as he is concerned, it "is nothing short of baptized racism."

  • If you have always read 1 Corinthians 2 through a Calvinistic lens, Leighton Flowers sets you straight.

  • Bethel University boasts a "genuine, intellectually robust community" of students. "And when they're not engaged in a theological debate about Calvinism and Arminianism, maybe they'll meet someone special."

  • John Piper begins a six-part video series on joy, based on the book of Philippians.

Friday, July 17, 2015

This Week in Calvinism - July 17, 2015

  • Find out why academic Calvinism is a misnomer in this excerpt from Ian Hamilton's new teaching series "Calvinism and the Christian Life."

  • Here's what's available from Ligonier Ministries on today's $5 Friday.

  • Is your joy real?

  • According to HuffPo's Bob Burnett, proponents of the culture war aren't Christians. "They are members of a sect, 'American Calvinism.'" These "'orthodox Christians' are intolerant and uncharitable. They embrace capitalism at all costs."

  • Tim Challies reviews Praying the Bible by Donald Whitney.

  • Dr. Jim Newheiser discusses seven gospel-centered principles for protecting your marriage.

Friday, July 10, 2015

This Week in Calvinism - July 10, 2015

Friday, June 26, 2015

This Week in Calvinism - June 26, 2015

  • Jonathan Merritt interviews Barnabas Piper about his new book Help My Unbelief: Why Doubt Is Not the Enemy of Faith.

  • John Piper on the Supreme Court's ruling on same-sex "marriage."

  • Doug Wilson's response.

  • I'm not sure what immigration has to do with Calvinism, but Keith Preston writes, "[T]he possible dilution of WASPish American culture with its Calvinist roots" isn't a reason to criticize immigration from Latin America.

  • Big giveaway from Banner of Truth: a set of Puritan paperbacks, a multi-volume commentary on Romans, and Spurgeon's Lectures to my Students.

Friday, June 19, 2015

This Week in Calvinism - June 12, 2015

  • Calvinism is not new to Baptists. In fact, "Calvinists once dominated Baptist church life in America."

  • Ben Witherington is beginning a series of blog posts on Jacob Arminius. His reason: "Especially in the wake of the recent resurgence of certain very conservative kinds of Reformed thinking in America ... it is a good time to take a careful look once more at Arminius and his heirs."

  • Roger Olson on prevenient grace:
    There are hints here and there in Arminius that he wanted to believe God is an equal opportunity savior, but I’m not convinced he really believed that. This is a point of difference among Arminians. Some (e.g., Wesley) believe God is an equal opportunity savior; others believe prevenient grace is attached to the gospel message and its communication (even if that happens sometimes supernaturally via angels or whatever). I do not think Arminius or any classical Arminian would say prevenient grace is given only to those God foreknows will respond positively to the gospel.

  • Mark Jones discusses New Calvinism, Trinitarian worship, and American Flags.

  • According to The Washington Post, American environmentalism has its roots in Calvinist churches.

Friday, June 12, 2015

This Week in Calvinism - June 12, 2015


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