Friday, September 25, 2009

This Week in Calvinism - September 25, 2009

  • Novelist Marilynne Robinson discusses her books, Gilead and Home, as well as religion, Calvinism in particular.

  • Once again we read of Calvinism's implication that God is the author of sin. What I don't understand is why the Arminian is off the hook. After all, did God not create Adam knowing full well that he would sin, condemning the rest of humanity to be born into that sin? Could not God, having bestowed upon man free will, have done a better job of making not sinning more appealing? The point being, no matter how you look at it, there must have been a greater purpose for allowing Adam to sin.

  • Royce isn't a five-pointer, but he does recognize the fact that salvation is not of our own doing, "so that no one may boast" (Ephesians 2:9).

  • Dan Phillips responds (as only Dan Phillips can do) to a challenge against particular redemption.

4 comments:

William Watson Birch said...

After all, did God not create Adam knowing full well that he would sin, condemning the rest of humanity to be born into that sin?

In his sovereignty, he most certainly did. But he did not "influence the desire and decision" of Adam to sin, nor that of anyone else, as Calvinism unabashedly confesses (Wayne Grudem, Bible Doctrine: Essential Teachings of the Christian Faith, 146).

God bless.

The Seeking Disciple said...

If God decreed "whatsoever comes to pass" (according to the Westminister Confession of Faith) then how can you avoid carrying this to Adam's sin?

Thanks for the plug though Lee!

Phil said...

Lee, I will leave you with something Dave posted on another forum for your particular redemption post.

1) In traditional Calvinist theology, the Holiness of God is a necessary moral attribute. God must always be holy. And so God must always be offended by sin. The law of God, shares in this aspect of moral necessity. The law must always condemn sin.

2) High Calvinists have faced a dilemma from this. Is the cross the basis for common grace, or does God just express common grace apart from it, by simple act of will. Berkhof discusses the two main camps here, Systematic p., 437.

Either option (as noted by Berkhof) has a problem. Either way, God, says the High Calvinist, expresses a propitious disposition to those who are subject to the necessary condemnation of the law. This condemnation is exacting and inexorable by definition. On what basis can God apparently waive aside his law here, even momentarily?

The proffered solution from the moderate perspective, is that the necessity of that exacting and inexorable condemnation has been removed by the universal satisfaction of Christ. God is now legally free to express compassion: as all men are now forgivable (whereas in the High model, all men are not forgivable; only the elect are).

If the legal impediments between God and a given man have not been removed, then that man is not forgivable. The necessary condemnation of the the law still interposes between that man and God.

I think they [High Calvinists] honestly do not see the problem here. If God cannot simply waive the law aside in terms of forgiveness of sin, why can he waive it in relation to temporal grace? How can God be propitious toward someone when his own moral nature can only demand a necessary moral condemnation? If God can be propitious to someone for whom the necessary legal impediments have not been removed, then his moral condemnation of sin is not a "necessary attribute." That has to follow.

Consider that argument, for Dan has avoided answering it like the plague, but it surely points to only one conclusion: the sacrifice was both particular and universal.

Journal T. Living said...

In the midst of the prophetic utterance of Yob, "I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye hast seen thee" we see that creation was created by God in His not knowing. In a not knowing of his love manifested in Christ. Before Christ the love He spoke of was not the love He spoke of after Christ. Before Christ He spoke He loved mankind, after Christ He loved in word in dead. The death, burial and resurrection of the Christ, who is Yeshua of Nazareth completed God revealed to the creature. And so all creation was created in this incompletion and here is where there was room for sin. Not a sin of a evil heard, but a sin of not being complete. Not a sin of intent, but sin of not complete. But the new creation will not be as so. For when the last enemy is defeated, death itself, than God will be all in all.

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