Friday, October 24, 2008

This Week in Calvinism - October 24, 2008

Some items you may have missed this week...
  • The three main beliefs that separate Wesleyans from Calvinists (as surmised from Pastor Scott's comments): 1) Universal salvation is possible, despite the biblical teaching of election; 2) nothing was really accomplished on the cross -- it was just an expression of God's love, an invitation to a relationship with Him; 3) salvation is more about experiencing change now than it is about the removal of God's wrath.

  • Eusebio Tanicala, Ph.D., accuses Calvinists of being too universalist in their application of Romans 3:10-12 ("None is righteous, no, not one..."). But in light of the universality of Romans 3:23 ("for all have sinned..."), the good doctor's argument falls flat.

  • Open theist Preston N. thinks Calvinists like John Piper, Tim Keller, and D. A. Carson are promoting lawlessness because they believe that even our future sins were paid for on the cross. Now, is it really necessary for me to point out the glaringly obvious fact that since Christ's sacrifice on the cross occurred at a fixed point in time, he was dying for past and future sins? This isn't to say that we have no need for repentance after we are saved. Repentance of sin is an integral part of sanctification. Is it Preston's point, then, that we should never be assured of our salvation? That we should live every day in fear of falling away?

  • "Solomoney" doesn't like the Calvinistic interpretation of John 3:16. Personally, I don't fret over the word "world" being interpreted as referring to the "human race." God certainly has a general love for his creation, and in saving a remnant he saves mankind from total destruction. The key to understanding this particular verse is the phrase "whoever believes in him." Who believes in Christ? The elect (Titus 1:1), the sheep (John 10:26-27), those who were predestined for adoption (Ephesians 1:5, Ephesians 1:11) and given to Christ by the Father (John 10:29).

  • It's difficult to imagine that anyone has missed J. I. Packer's quote on One-Point Calvinism, but in case you did, here it is.

  • Oh, that all of us could learn to pray like this!


Patrick Durkee said...

I got a real kick out of the open theist, Preston N, quoting Charles Finney as a source of great theological wisdom.


Patrick Durkee said...

Now Preston N has really outdone himself, referring to both Pelagius and Charles Finney as "Godly men."

Stan said...

On John 3:16, I find it fascinating that while most people are arguing over "the world," there is a fundamental word used that is entirely missed. When it says "God so loved the world ...," it is not speaking of quantity. You might hear people paraphrase it, "God loved the world so much," but that's not the intent of the term. It is actually "in this way." You know, "I did the job just so."

Putting that back into the verse, then, it says, "God loved the world in this manner: Whoever believes shall have eternal life." In other words, the "way" in which God loves the world is directed ... at believers.

John Lofton, Recovering Republican said...

Calvinist site; hope you visit us and comment.

And do listen, please. to my analysis of Gary DeMar's endorsement of John McCain. It's here:

Thank you.

John Lofton, Editor
Recovering Republican

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