Friday, September 05, 2008

This Week in Calvinism - September 5, 2008

  • You can now read Calvinism: None Dare Call It Heresy online in PDF format. Aside from the fact that the author knows next to nothing about what Calvinists actually believe, it isn't all that bad.

  • Contrary to what some seem to imply, Christianity isn't about building a "Christian civilization"; it's about making disciples of all nations by spreading the gospel.

  • Arminians agree with Calvinists that salvation is all of God. It is by grace alone through faith alone. But they seem a bit reluctant to discuss from where that faith actually comes.

  • Noooooo! Some clever Arminian has exposed what Calvinists don't want you to know! Now that everyone knows that "Calvinism destroys all of the biblical attributes of God," people may not like us anymore. Oh, well. It was fun while it lasted.

  • On a personal note, my cousin, Dwayne, who is attending Reformed Theological Seminary, will be interning at St. Paul Presbyterian Church in Jackson, Mississippi.
  • 14 comments:

    The Soul Theologian said...

    I'm curious why he chose that title? It's obvious that he's anti-calvinist.

    This is at least half (if not more than half) the reason that many people are put off by calvinism. Those who know little or nothing about calvinism are mis-representing it the body of Christ at large.

    And that's one Baptist potluck, I won't attend or eat at!

    Daniel Ritchie said...

    You are setting up a false antithesis between spreading the gospel and building a Christian civilization. The latter is the fruit of the former.

    Lee Shelton IV said...

    A false antithesis would be equating a rejection of theonomy with "withdrawal into the four walls of the institutional church." I don't know of a single believer who advocates that.

    By the way, which laws would we implement to make civilization more "Christian"? Since Jesus himself said that the tares will mingle with the wheat until the judgment (Matt. 13:24-30), I don't see where anyone gets this expectation of a "Christian civilization."

    Daniel Ritchie said...

    What has the parable of the wheat and the tares got to do with punishing CRIMINALS?

    Lee Shelton IV said...

    Again, which laws would we implement to make civilization more "Christian"? How are you going to define "criminal"? Someone who breaks God's law? Which parts of God's law?

    Daniel Ritchie said...

    The parts of God's Law which define crime. I agree that in the past it was a mistake to break down the distinction between sin and crime; this leads to a baptized totalitarian state - something I definitely do not want.

    Lee Shelton IV said...

    Are we going back to OT Israel here? For example, do we really want to execute Sabbath-breakers?

    Daniel Ritchie said...

    Not all Theonomists agree with that (for various reasons), but what would be worse: a society which executed high-handed Sabbath breakers or a society which kills babies in their mother's womb?

    Lee Shelton IV said...

    I would see both in violation of scripture. God no longer covenants with nations, so no nation could claim covenantal authority in executing those who may violate God's law (or whatever the theonomists in charge perceive as God's law). I would stand in opposition to the execution of Sabbath-breakers just as vehemently as I would the slaughter of the unborn.

    Daniel Ritchie said...

    The covenant only gave Israel a super-added obligation; it does not prove that the ETHICAL STIPULATIONS were unique to Israel. Besides, I believe all nations are to covenant with God. Not to mention the fact that the Sabbath breaker has committed a crime defined by God as worthy of death. This is not the same as killing an innocent child.

    Lee Shelton IV said...

    Where do you get the idea that all nations are to covenant with God? Where in the New Covenant is that stipulated?

    Under the New Covenant, Christ is our Sabbath. The death penalty for Sabbath-breakers in the OT was a foreshadowing of what is in store for those found outside of Christ. Their ultimate punishment will be meted out by the Supreme Judge. Neither the state nor the church has the authority to administer the death penalty for the crime of Sabbath-breaking.

    Daniel Ritchie said...

    If a nation is not in covenant with God, then it is in covenant with death and hell. Throughout the OT the nations are judged for their idolatry, and it is prophesied that in the NT they must submit to Christ's kingship (Ps. 2) and enter into covenant with God (Isa. 19).

    If what you said about Sabbath breakers was true, then all sins in Israel should have been capital crimes.

    Lee Shelton IV said...

    To what nation is the apostle writing in 1 Peter 2:9? I always thought that God was in covenant with his chosen people, i.e. the elect.

    Daniel Ritchie said...

    Yes, but that is not saying that nations in the sense that they are spoken off in the OT cannot own the Lord.

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