Friday, August 05, 2011

This Week in Calvinism - August 5, 2011

  • Jared Wilson says, "Don't waste your Calvinism."

  • Innovo Publishing has just released a new book entitled A Cultish Side of Calvinism, by Micah Coate. It sounds like a winner:
    If the rise of a cultish theology grows within Christendom, so must a true discernment of its claims and consequences. The same standard that has placed Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses, and Scientologists outside the Christian camp of orthodoxy has now, for the first time, placed the theology of Calvinism as being too cultish for comfort. Unlike any other book on the market, A Cultish Side of Calvinism not only shows that the theology of Calvinism is more systematic than biblical, but that it is comparable to almost any classic Christian cult.
    It's endorsed by Tim LaHaye, so you know it must be theologically sound.

  • Perhaps Micah Coate should pick up a copy of Against Calvinism, by Eddie Eddings, Jeff Peterson, and Jon Cardwell.

  • Can you be reformed without being a Calvinist?

  • Randal Rauser sees the God of Calvinism as one whose election is solely arbitrary. I guess since we mere mortals cannot know the mind of God when it comes to electing one person to salvation and not another, the decision must be arbitrary. What, then, is the alternative? Are we to conclude, contrary to Romans 9, that the deciding factor resides within each individual? If Person A and Person B both hear the gospel message and only Person A believes, does that mean Person A possessed a certain trait that Person B did not, and that he, contrary to Ephesians 2:9, has reason to boast? Of course, Mr. Rauser admits to being an inclusivist, so it doesn't really matter whether someone hears the gospel or not.

  • William Birch states, "The one who argues or infers that God only loves savingly those whom He has unconditionally elected unto salvation bears the burden of proof to exegete such from Scripture." So God loves each individual in exactly the same way he loves the elect, just like I love every other person in exactly the same way I love my wife. Right?

10 comments:

Jeff Peterson said...

Well, actually, Mr, Coate COULD pick up two copies of our book...or ten, or a 1,000. We really wouldn't mind.

William Birch said...

Tim LaHaye ... hahahaha ... He commented that Dave Hunt's book, What Love is This?, was "the most important book of the 21st century"! Wow. He must have looked down the corridors of the 21st century and foreknew that other books would not compare to this one!

So God loves each individual in exactly the same way he loves the elect, just like I love every other person in exactly the same way I love my wife. Right?

Weak. You're supposed to love your wife to a greater degree than any other woman/human being.

That in no way, however, suggests that God, who loves the creatures He created in His image, also, in a saving sense (Ezek. 18:23; 33:11; 1 Tim. 2:4), loves people to a greater/lesser degree. To conflate the two, as Calvinists typically do, is a sophomoric error. Nor have they yet, as I suggested, exegeted such a notion from Scripture.

God bless.

Lee Shelton IV said...

Ephesians 5:22-32 makes it clear that earthly marriage is intended to reflect that special love Christ has for his own bride (i.e. the church/elect), so I don't think I'm making much of an exegetical leap here.

Let me ask: Is this kind of love you're talking about eternal? What about unbelievers who have already died? Does God continue to love those lost souls currently under his wrath in the same way he loves his elect? The reason I ask is because I have heard Arminians say that God continues to love those suffering under his eternal punishment.

William Birch said...

Is this kind of love you're talking about eternal? What about unbelievers who have already died? Does God continue to love those lost souls currently under his wrath in the same way he loves his elect? The reason I ask is because I have heard Arminians say that God continues to love those suffering under his eternal punishment.

All of this philosophizing tells me much about Calvinists and the manner in which they approach Scripture.

Lee Shelton IV said...

Not many Arminians have thought through the implications of a one-size-fits-all love. Rob Bell has at least done that.

William Birch said...

If it were not for your theory (error) of unconditional election, we wouldn't be having this discussion. Hence this one error leads to all the others (God's secret decrees, God's alleged love only for the unconditional elect, limited atonement, yada, yada, yada). Talk about "thinking through implications."

Lee Shelton IV said...

You referenced Romans 9:22-23 in your post, but go back and read verse 13 in the same chapter: "As it is written, "Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.'" Whether you interpret that as referring to individuals or nations, it's quite clear that God is differentiating in his love.

William Birch said...

But even this is debatable, considering that Paul is not referencing God's personal love or personal hatred for either men, on the one hand, or those two nations, on the other hand. The reference is to God's preference of Jacob (Israel) to be the Christ-bearer, not Esau (Edom). Your argument is not viable from this passage.

Lee Shelton IV said...

So God has a preferential love, just not a differential one? God clearly chose one over the other. I don't know how anyone can read that and think God loved both in exactly the same salvific, redemptive way.

THEOparadox said...

That book by Micah Coate is surely a "must read" LOL.

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