Friday, December 20, 2013

This Week in Calvinism - December 20, 2013

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Repost: In Defense of Christmas...Sort Of

The following was originally posted on December 23, 2005.

'Tis the season to be melancholy. Haven't you heard? Christmas is under attack! Christians all across America are being persecuted! You thought Nero was bad? Our most sacred of days is being secularized and no one seems to be doing anything to stop it!

Is this a foreshadowing of the coming Great Tribulation? Are we about to see the fulfillment of Revelation 13:17? Will we wake up one morning and discover that we cannot buy Christmas presents for our loved ones unless our hands or foreheads bear the mark of the Beast? Surely we must be living in the End Times!

Okay, back to reality...

Yes, I believe there are assaults on the tradition of Christmas, just as surely as the world rails against anything associated with Christ and his church. But given the state of our secular, hedonistic culture, it really isn't all that surprising when some people are offended when you wish them a "Merry Christmas."

It goes both ways, however. Many Christians are just as offended when they are greeted with the words "Happy Holidays" or "Season's Greetings." "How dare you take Christ out of Christmas!" they shout, as they claw, punch and bite their way through a gaggle of shoppers for the last Xbox on the shelf so that they and their spoiled children can properly celebrate the Savior's birth.

Don't get me wrong. Despite the fact that, after all this time, I still have not received a Red Ryder carbine-action, 200-shot, range model air rifle, I love Christmas. It is a time set aside for fellowship with friends and family. It is also the time of year during which we focus on the birth of Jesus Christ. While that does make Christmas a significant holiday, there isn't anything especially holy about it.

Debate continues even within Christian circles about the origins of Christmas. "Its roots go back to the pagan rituals of ancient Rome," some will argue. "No," others reply. "Christmas is a distinctly Christian celebration and should be embraced." Whatever your particular view may be, the fact remains that Christmas is a man-made holiday.

Romans 14:5 says, "One person esteems one day as better than another, while another esteems all days alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind." That is not to say that traditions aren't important or that churches shouldn't have special days on their calendars. But considering that the only celebration in remembrance of Christ that is called for in scripture is the Lord's Supper, can we really justify getting worked up simply because we don't see the word "Christmas" in a store display?

My point is that many of us have a tendency to overreact when we see things we don't like. That is especially true at Christmastime. We're geared up for a fight, and when we hear the jingle bells ring we come out swinging.

Alistair Begg, pastor of Parkside Church in Cleveland, Ohio, once noted in a sermon that the weapons of the believer are "prayer and the proclamation of the Word." Those are the weapons we should be using. "As soon as we lay down the two weapons given by our Commander," Begg continued, "we will be forced to take up the weapons that are present in our culture. And so we become just another marching special interest group…"

The result is a boycott here and a lawsuit there in the hope that an unbelieving world will relent and allow us to express our Christian beliefs. Of course, what usually happens is that we end up looking every bit as shallow and selfish as the very ones we believe are out to get us. We forget to exhibit Christ's love in a fallen world.

Is that how we want to be seen? Is that what we are called to do? Is our dedication to the defense of the gospel of Christ defined by how ferociously we defend a particular holiday? Will our petty complaints about society's disregard for the "true meaning" of Christmas help us reach lost souls?

This Christmas, may we be less offended by the "secularization" of a man-made holiday and be more focused on living as examples of the One whose birth we're celebrating. The world doesn't need Christmas; what it does need is Christ.

Friday, December 13, 2013

This Week in Calvinism - December 13, 2013

  • Frank Schaeffer sees Nelson Mandela as the destroyer of Calvinism.

  • And Brian Walsh thanks Mandela for helping to remove "a deeply devastating moment of shame in the history of Calvinist Christianity."

  • William Birch warns against "self-obsessed" Calvinists. Hmmm. Why is it Arminians seem more obsessed with Calvinism than most Calvinists?

  • Mr. Birch had previously warned against "cage-stage Calvinists," those recent converts to Calvinism who "become nasty individuals hell-bent on converting every believer of his or her newly-adopted heterodoxy." In the comments section Mr. Birch asked, "Where are the cage-stage Arminians, cage-stage progressives, cage-stage Baptists, Lutherans, atheists, etc.? No one ever discusses such a thing because generally no such thing exists." He may be right. There are no cage-stage Arminians because they are too busy running blogs that devote a great deal of space to ranting against Calvinism.

  • Finally! A pastor brave enough to expose the errors of Calvinism! I wonder: Where are all the "cage-stage Calvinist" pastors devoting entire sermon series to exposing the errors of Arminianism?

  • Former Calvinist Ronnie Rogers, pastor of Trinity Baptist Church in Norman, OK, reminds us that "the gospel according to Scripture is a better gospel than the gospel according to Calvinism."

  • Kevin DeYoung sums up what he thinks about the New Calvinism in one word: gratitude.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

'The Calvinist': A Poem by John Piper


Marshall Segal of Desiring God writes:
If Calvinism isn't relevant for our life today — even the mundane details of our life — we should reject and ignore it. Sadly, I think most people make that judgment without ever really asking the question. What the Bible and the video above show so beautifully is that the sovereignty of God and his love for sinners relates to absolutely everything we do. Calvinism causes a hopeful, hard-working complete dependence on God and an undivided devotion to his glory in every area of life — marriage, parenting, school, vocation, failure, recreation, even death.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

This Rodeo (Used to Be a Cute Cathedral)

Pastor Lawrence Bishop II of Solid Rock Church has been preaching a series of sermons entitled "Conquering the Beast" -- because, you know, we all need to stand up to the giants in our lives. This past Sunday, Pastor Bishop drove home his point with quite a unique sermon illustration (jump ahead to about the 17-minute mark):


Naturally, I was reminded of this Steve Taylor classic...


(via Breitbart)

Friday, December 06, 2013

This Week in Calvinism - December 6, 2013

  • Kristen O'Neal had this thought when the subject of Calvinism came up in class: "This is when I realized that my greatest fear is not a nonexistent God; my greatest fear is that the universe is ruled by a cruel and arbitrary tyrant."

  • Roger "I'm not sure how to distinguish [the God of Calvinism] from the devil" Olson offers to explain Calvinism to those who profess it: "Many Calvinists simply do not understand Calvinism. I, as an Arminian, understand it better than they do." Thank you, Dr. Olson!

  • Robert W. Patterson sees D. G. Hart's book, Calvinism: A History, as a call to transform individuals, not society.

  • What kind of Calvinist are you?

  • According to Dr. James Ach, "Calvinism can not (sic) escape that theological implications (sic) that reprobation makes God the author of sin." I assume by "author" he means that God decreed the existence of sin. How, then, does he explain the fact that God created man knowing that sin would enter into the world? Seems to me the anti-Calvinist position is caught up in the same theological quandary.

  • The six points of Calvinism, explained briefly using the acronym C.A.L.V.I.N.

  • Typical Arminian caricature of Calvinism.

  • It's nice to know this blog has been an inspiration to others. William Birch has started his own series of weekly updates entitled "Findings in Arminianism."

Thursday, December 05, 2013

God Supports the "Affordable" Care Act?

Of course he does. Ed Schultz says so:


Besides, when Jesus told us to take care of the poor, he obviously meant that it should be done through the governmental use of force.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Confession of a Calvinist Football Fan

(AP photo)

My theological football dilemma: As a Calvinist, I know the outcome of the game has already been foreordained, but I still find myself cheering on my team like an Arminian.

Friday, November 29, 2013

This Week in Calvinism - November 29, 2013

  • Stephen Bedard writes, "I must admit that I am shocked at Calvinist attacks on Arminians. I am sure that there are Arminians that attack Calvinists, but I rarely see it." Is he reading the same internet I'm reading? He concludes, "I am not saying the discussions should end, I am saying that they should be taken in the context of love that will show non-Christians that even in our disagreements we love each other." On this we can agree.

  • Roger Olson doesn't think a Calvinist praying for his child to be among the elect is consistent with Calvinist theology of God's sovereignty. I suppose it makes as much sense as an Arminian praying for God to sovereignly intervene and save another person from sin. Wouldn't that be inconsistent with Arminian theology of free will?

  • John Piper answers the question: Does John 15 Defy Calvinism?

  • Peter went to Yahoo! Answers to ask a very important question: "Are there any churches in America that reject Calvinism or Reformed theology? I was just wondering." Yahoo! Answers: the site where you can ask others to do your Googling for you.

  • A review Jeremy Walker's book The New Calvinism Considered.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Five Biblical Truths About Thanksgiving

As Christians, we should always be giving thanks. That means expanding our focus beyond food, family, and football. Joseph Scheumann, writing for Desiring God, discusses five biblical truths about thanksgiving:
  1. Thanksgiving Is Trinitarian
  2. Thanksgiving Replaces Sin
  3. Thanksgiving Sanctifies Creation
  4. Thanksgiving for the Gospel
  5. Thanksgiving in All Circumstances
Read the full article here.

Monday, November 25, 2013

The Theatrics of Infanticide

The seemingly intelligent, well-educated, financially successful people in this video are being presented as victims of draconian anti-abortion laws. Seriously, this is the best Planned Parenthood could come up with?


This video could very well be legitimate, but it appears to me that the entire thing was staged, and that the selfish woman and her emasculated fiancé are simply paid actors. Either way, it's a pathetic attempt to turn baby-killers into martyrs.

Mollie Hemingway of The Federalist has more details on this ridiculous publicity stunt here.

Friday, November 22, 2013

This Week in Calvinism - November 22, 2013

  • When it comes to discussing the issue of Calvinism, Albert Mohler thinks Southern Baptists need to "learn the table manners of denominational life."

  • William Birch writes, "Calvinists like Dr. Mohler seem to eat, sleep, and breathe Calvinism. They give the appearance that Calvinism is their very lifeline -- not Scripture, not even Jesus, but Calvinism."

  • Ben Simpson discusses three things on which Calvinists and non-Calvinists agree.

  • The difference between double and single predestination is negligible, especially when you use ridiculous analogies.

Friday, November 15, 2013

This Week in Calvinism - November 15, 2013

  • Gene Veith asks, "Why is Calvinism so influential and not Lutheranism?"

  • Anthony Sacramone wonders the same thing, concluding, "Lutheranism is never going to be as 'appealing' as Calvinism. It's going to have to settle for being a church that former/burned-out Reformed repair to."

  • Regarding D. G. Hart's book, Calvinism: A History, Joan Nienhuis writes, "If you want to see how Calvinism spread, the political situations encountered, and the people involved, this is the book for you. If you are interested in a history of the beliefs associated with Calvinism you will have to go elsewhere."

  • Arminians are worried about the growing influence of Calvinism, especially among the youth. What can Arminians do to fight this menace? Roger Olson writes:
    My answer is simple: Rediscover, retrieve, teach and preach a robust, winsome, attractive, biblically-rooted Arminian theology—the one that your church or school has held officially for decades or centuries but has been largely forgotten and certainly neglected.
    He must mean the "robust, winsome, attractive, biblically-rooted Arminian theology" taught by the early apostles, I suppose.

  • John Piper's newest book, Five Points: Towards a Deeper Experience of God's Grace, is now available.

Friday, November 08, 2013

This Week in Calvinism - November 8, 2013

  • Bobby Grow explains the distinction he makes between Evangelical Calvinism and Classical Calvinism.

  • An interview with Darryl Hart, author of Calvinism: A History.

  • Romans 9: An Arminian interpretation.

  • Roger Olson will be speaking at Assemblies of God Theological Seminary on the topic "Why Calvinism is Not a Transcript of the Gospel." You can tune in here for live streaming video of the lecture on Monday, November 11, at 11:00 a.m.

  • Kevin DeYoung asks, "Is John Piper really Reformed?"

Monday, November 04, 2013

Friday, November 01, 2013

This Week in Calvinism - November 1, 2013

  • Will Duquette is a Catholic, but he admits to admiring Reformed Protestants. He just "couldn't accept their theology. It was too small; it seemed to put Christ in a straitjacket."

  • Peter Berger writes, "The attraction of Calvinism to many young Southern Baptists is puzzling, because it so obviously deviates from what Baptists have traditionally believed and practiced." Really?

  • Pastor Ron Phillips criticizes John MacArthur for his cessationist position and the Strange Fire Conference. Phillips writes, "Cessationism (birthed by Calvinism) is killing both the spirit and the mission heart of Evangelicals." And that conclusion is based on...?

  • That Paul Dohse would relish the public humiliation of someone like Doug Phillips is no surprise. What's even less surprising is what he believes to be the cause: "Calvin's false gospel," of course.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Job 6:28

"But now, be pleased to look at me, for I will not lie to your face" (Job 6:28).

Friday, October 25, 2013

This Week in Calvinism - October 25, 2013

Friday, October 18, 2013

This Week in Calvinism - October 18, 2013

  • Finally! Thanks to a ministry fellowship called Connect 316, non-Calvinist Southern Baptists now have a way to network with other non-Calvinist Southern Baptists.

  • Uh-oh. Someone has finally discovered the one verse in scripture, the dreaded silver bullet, that refutes Calvinism. Maybe it's time to start thinking of a new name for this blog.

  • Tim Challies liveblogs the final day of the Strange Fire Conference.

  • Church stereotypes, according to Google.

  • Rapper Lecrae unwraps his joy in Jesus.

Friday, October 11, 2013

This Week in Calvinism - October 11, 2013

  • Abraham Kuyper on Calvinism and science.

  • I recently ran across a book from Princeton Theological Seminary entitled Historic Proof of the Doctrinal Calvinism of the Church of England, by Augustus Toplady. It was written in 1774 and is available online here.

  • Slideshow from Peter Hammond of Frontline Fellowship: "The Five Points of Calvinism in the Teachings of Christ."

  • Lucas Bradburn of Credo Magazine interviews Lee Gatiss, author of For Us and Our Salvation: ‘Limited Atonement’ in the Bible, Doctrine, History, and Ministry (part 1, part 2).

Friday, October 04, 2013

This Week in Calvinism - October 4, 2013

  • In this video, Brother Hicks explains that he doesn't have to misrepresent Calvinism to make it look bad because "it is horrible and blasphemous on its own." Oh, and Calvinists worship a different god, blah, blah, blah. Nothing you haven't heard before.

  • James R. Rogers of First Things writes:
    For better or for worse, it's the Calvinists who are taken to be "in your face" in asserting a Christian anthropology in direct opposition to the spirit of the age. While I don't count myself among their number, they should be credited more broadly by Christians for taking so much heat on their view of the will.

  • B. D. McClay considers the Calvinists and what they know.

  • According to Aric Clark, Calvinism and capitalism are a "poisonous mix." He thinks Calvinism might get along better with socialism. Actually, he seems to think everyone would get along better with socialism.

  • Ligonier is offering John Calvin: A Heart for Devotion, Doctrine, and Doxology as a free ebook until October 31. Download it here.

  • Jeff Straub interviews Darryl Hart, author of Calvinism: A History.

Friday, September 27, 2013

This Week in Calvinism - September 27, 2013

  • It came as news to me "that the controversy of Calvinism versus Arminianism is a brand-new theological discussion in the Hispanic culture."

  • Matt writes:
    Calvinism's perennial problem is that what God's moral nature predestines and decrees is by nature so closely aligned to what God condones that a Calvinist must step outside his theology to condemn it and redress it.
    Never mind the fact that God himself ordains sin and yet condemns it. The alternative is to believe that sin was not ordained as a part of God's plan, and therefore serves no purpose whatsoever, and that God is powerless to control it.

  • Jerry Walls wishes Arminians were more like Calvinists:
    Calvinists are indeed far more confident, and less tolerant, and make a bigger deal of their theology than Wesleyans do. And I believe these factors are very closely related. Calvinists are intolerant because they are confident that their theology is true, that it is nothing more or less than the gospel, and they are passionate about preaching it and contending for it. ... I wish more Arminians were confident, not in themselves, but in the truth of their theology, and had the courage and conviction to teach and preach it more passionately, even aggressively, in the best sense of that word.

  • You can attend the Desiring God 2013 National Conference for free Friday, Saturday, and Sunday via the live-stream.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Those Who Pride Themselves on Evidence Tend to Ignore It

Many scientists believe that the element molybdenum was crucial to the origin of life on Earth. However, current evolutionary thought suggests that particular element wasn't around billions of years ago when life first began. So...how exactly did we get here?

SkyNews reports that some scientists believe life on our planet originated on Mars. At least that's what Professor Steven Benner of The Westheimer Institute for Science and Technology theorizes:
"This form of molybdenum couldn't have been available on Earth at the time life first began, because three billion years ago the surface of the Earth had very little oxygen, but Mars did.

"It's yet another piece of evidence which makes it more likely life came to Earth on a Martian meteorite, rather than starting on this planet."

He added: "Analysis of a Martian meteorite recently showed that there was boron on Mars; we now believe that the oxidised form of molybdenum was there too."

Another reason why life would have struggled to start on early Earth was that it was likely to have been covered by water, said Prof. Benner.
Rather than toy with the idea that the origin of life might be a little more easily explained than they care to believe, these educated men and women instead dream up even more complex and preposterous explanations. Evidence is only evidence when it supports a presumed conclusion.

Scientists (atheist/agnostic scientists in particular) pride themselves on being open-minded and willing to alter their theories based on new evidence. We Christians (presuppositionalist Christians in particular) realize that is nonsense, because no evidence in the world (or even out of this world) is strong enough to convince someone who is in willful rebellion against God. Why do you think so many people plotted to kill Jesus after witnessing his miracles with their own eyes? So it is today.

Friday, September 20, 2013

This Week in Calvinism - September 20, 2013

  • Bruce Bauer thinks he has the perfect analogy to describe Calvinism:
    In many ways, Calvinism is very much like a rigged carnival game. For the Calvinist, some are prechosen to win and others are prechosen to lose. The individual has no say in his own destiny, no opportunity to trust in Christ alone by grace alone through faith alone for salvation...
    I'm surprised he didn't relegate us to the Freak Show tent.

  • Bruce Gerencser, an atheist who claims to have once been a Christian, recently had a Twitter discussion with a Calvinist. Yeah, it went pretty much how you'd expect.

  • Roger Olson is concerned about Calvinists popping up in unexpected and inappropriate places, namely, denominations that are historically antithetical to Calvinism. To those Reformed troublemakers he would like to say, "Come out from among them and be separate!"

  • I have not yet watched this conversation on Calvinism between Dr. Matthew McKellar and Dr. Malcolm Yarnell. If it helps, Peter Lumpkins found it "truly edifying".

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Friday, September 13, 2013

This Week in Calvinism - September 13, 2013

  • "I think the whole TULIP thing is blasphemous, ugly, and gross." Well, there you have it. It's hard to argue with that kind of logic.

  • My guess is the person who made the statement above isn't even familiar with the caricature of Calvinism, much less the actual teachings of Calvinism.

  • The very university founded by John Calvin is offering an online course next month on Calvin's historical and theological influence. Regarding his theology, the course aims to "show both his lasting contribution (especially his understanding of a God in whom one may trust) as well as the limitations of his thought (for instance his doctrine of predestination)."

  • Shane Kastler wraps up his sermon series entitled "Misconceptions About Calvinism."

  • Mathew Gilbert begins his own series of blog posts on TULIP.

Monday, September 09, 2013

Friday, September 06, 2013

This Week in Calvinism - September 6, 2013

  • The latest controversy within the SBC: Are infants who die before reaching the so-called "age of accountability" destined for hell?

  • Calvinism is to blame, of course, especially since so many Calvinists remain silent on the issue like Pelagius did. According to the keenly insightful Peter Lumpkins, Calvinists are "just as cowardly as others in stating what they really believe concerning infant salvation."

  • James White isn't your regular, run-of-the-mill Calvinist. He's an arch Calvinist.

  • Can Calvinists really be in favor of mercy ministry? Yes.

  • Does a premillennial view destroy the Calvinist interpretation of Romans 9? Not necessarily. Still, abandoning the premillennialial view couldn't hurt.

  • Pastor Billy Stevens talks about what he likes and dislikes about Calvinism. (SPOILER ALERT: The dislikes won out, which is why he left.) One thing he doesn't like about Calvinists is how they approach evangelism: "The Calvinist cannot tell any random person that God loves them." Because, as everyone knows, that's how all the apostles evangelized.

Friday, August 30, 2013

This Week in Calvinism - August 30, 2013

  • What about Calvinists and Southern Baptists? Daniel Akin offers six ideas for navigating this issue.

  • "Calvinism and the First Sin" is the title of James N. Anderson's contribution to the forthcoming book, Calvinism and the Problem of Evil, edited by David E. Alexander and Daniel M. Johnson. Anderson has made available a preprint version of the paper. Here's a brief glimpse of what to expect:
    Calvinists can affirm that the first sin considered in itself was a supremely evil act while at the same time affirming that God decreed Adam's sin for his good and wise purposes—ultimately, for his own glory manifested in his mercy and his justice—as part of the overall storyline of the history of creation.

  • While Paul Imbrone shares his final thoughts on the Calvinism/Arminianism debate, my guess is the debate is far from over.

  • Now this is a new one. Someone on a theology forum wants to know why people end up in Hell according to Calvinism. As this person sees it, Calvinism provides an excuse for those in Hell because Christ did not die for their sins. I'm sorry, but it isn't all that difficult. People who end up in Hell are there because they are receiving the due penalty for their sins, pretty much how scripture explains it.

  • What does David L. Bahnsen think of John Piper and John MacArthur?:
    They are both Calvinists only in their soteriology which is the least important piece of Calvinism to me. In other words, they are Reformed baptists. ... Piper and MacArthur sometimes can be very tribalistic (M more than P). I also am very covenantal in my Calvinism. I baptized my children within two weeks of birth. I believe God deals covenantally with families and societies. M and P loathe this. I appreciate much of their work, but am far less Romeaphobic than they both are, and happen to be less rah rah for the predestination piece (as Biblical as it is) than they are.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Christians Have a Choice to Make: God or Country?

We Christians have a choice to make: will we follow our God or our country? Douglas Wilson addresses this issue, especially as it pertains to so-called "gay marriage":

Those believers who have had an ordinary love of country, coupled with a naive (and very unbiblical) belief that America could never become an idolatrous adversary to the kingdom of God, are the kind of people who would be quick to acknowledge on paper that if we had to choose between God and country, we should always and everywhere choose God. But having ticked that box, they murmur to themselves that they are very glad that they could never be called upon to make that choice. Sorry, but here it is. Right on top of us.

Our nation is a nation just like all the others, and we can spiral into spiritual apostasy just like all the others. We are now more than halfway down the line of statues in the royal hall of Charn, where the look of our earlier nobility has vanished and we are just three elections away from the coldest forms of despair. Just think — all over the world, drone strikes making the world safe for sodomy.

As a nation like all others, we do have the option of repentance as well. But the first sin requiring the deepest repentance will have to be that damn-fool notion of American exceptionalism.

This is why pastors have a particular and pressing duty here. If this despotic modern state is the idol of our age — and it is — then pastors have a pressing duty to prepare their parishioners to resist it. We have a duty to prepare our people to refuse to bow down when they hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and dulcimer (Dan. 3:5). Those instruments seem odd to us today, and so does Nebuchadnezzar's statue, but you may depend upon it — at the time, bowing down to that statue to that music at that time was about as mainstream as you could possibly get, and the only people left standing were the extremists and weirdos.

John warns Christians as little children, telling them to keep themselves from idols (1 John 5:21). This will be a pressing danger when the idolatry is mainstream, when paying your mortgage depends on conforming, when all the networks are asking what the big deal is, when we can't buy or sell without offering that pinch of incense to the emperor, and the music has been playing for a good minute and a half now. People are starting to look. You see an official in the back writing down your name.
Be sure to read the entire post.

Friday, August 23, 2013

This Week in Calvinism - August 23, 2013

  • Few things are more Reformed than eating sausages.

  • Merge Calvinism and universalism and you are getting to a theology Lana Hope can live with.

  • What is the root of all evil in the American church? Why, Calvinism, of course.

  • Chris Gordon discusses two-kingdom theology and neo-Calvinism.

  • One blogger observes, "Calvinists have a corner on theologically-themed conferences. Arminians have apologetically-themed conferences. Leadership conferences don't do theology."

  • I'll admit that I've never heard an Arminian say, "I saved myself," if you'll admit that you've never heard a Calvinist say, "I'm a puppet."

  • Not to be outdone by Calvinists, Roger Olson lays out an Arminian ordo salutis. He concludes, "There is urgency to the call to conversion. It is something we do, enabled by God, in response to God's call, and not something that just happens to us. It is freely entering into a new relationship, not just having a new condition imposed." Wait...conversion "is something we do"?

Thursday, August 22, 2013

John Piper on Perseverance

Will you be a believer tomorrow morning? John Piper writes:
The biblical answer is: God will see to it.

Are you okay with that? Does this make you uneasy, admitting it depends decisively on God? I hope it is your joy and song. It really does have huge implications to believe this. Let God’s word shape your mind on it. ...

... Because God will see to it, we will — not just must — endure to the end. If we have been justified by faith, we will be glorified. It is as good as done.

  • "Those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified" (Romans 8:30).
  • Read the full post here.

    Friday, August 16, 2013

    This Week in Calvinism - August 16, 2013

    • Poll: Does Calvinism get a bad rap? Vote here.

    • Carl Trueman reviews D. G. Hart's book Calvinism: A History.

    • Jeff Peterson confesses, "We are saved by an act of free will."

    • And THEOparadox confesses to being a 10-point Calvinist.

    • Daniel Chew writes, "The danger of the New Evangelical Calvinism is that it sucks people in who think that is the real deal."

    • Really? An atheist who doesn't understand the concept of a sovereign God exercising control over his own creation? Go figure.

    Friday, August 09, 2013

    This Week in Calvinism - August 9, 2013

    Thursday, August 08, 2013

    Watch 'Evolution vs. God' Online

    The documentary Evolution vs. God is now available online. Enjoy!

    Wednesday, August 07, 2013

    If You Haven't Already Done So, Check Out ReformedAudio.org

    ReformedAudio.org has audio versions of books and other writings from numerous Reformed theologians including John Calvin, Arthur W. Pink, Jonathan Edwards, J. Gresham Machen, and many more. Check them out here.

    Friday, August 02, 2013

    This Week in Calvinism - August 2, 2013

    • Paul Dohse offers six nonsensical reasons why he thinks New Calvinism is appealing.

    • Anyone who thinks the Calvinism excuse for not doing missions is "If God's going to convert the heathen, he doesn't need us to do it" doesn't understand Calvinism.

    • Tim Challies interviews Paul Washer (part 1, part 2).

    • How do I know I'm saved? John Piper answers.

    Thursday, August 01, 2013

    When Does Life Begin? It Depends on the 'Feeling of the Parents'

    Those who wish to throw off the intellectual shackles of believing in a sovereign Creator have always appealed to science as their ultimate authority. But when it comes to the issue of abortion and determining when life begins, many choose to ignore science as well logic and simple common sense. (This was all too apparent when I once tried reasoning with a pro-abortion atheist.)

    MSNBC's Melissa Harris-Perry addressed this issue. "When does life begin?" she asked rhetorically. "I submit the answer depends an awful lot on the feeling of the parents. A powerful feeling — but not science." I can appreciate her candor, but even that honest statement is a little misleading because pro-aborts care only about the feeling of the one infected with the parasitic blob of tissue. The father of said blob has no say in the matter whatsoever.

    While watching this ludicrous conversation, keep in mind that Ms. Harris-Perry thinks of herself as a mother merely because she made the choice that what came forth from her womb was worthy enough to be deemed a child.


    At least the pro-abortion ideology seems to be getting more consistent. Of course, that's also what makes it so disturbing.

    Friday, July 26, 2013

    This Week in Calvinism - July 26, 2013

    • Brett Younger, associate professor of preaching at the McAfee School of Theology in Atlanta, tries to be funny while insulting Calvinists. Those whose knowledge of John Calvin is limited to predestination and Servetus might get a chuckle out of it.

    • What about the Calvinist antimission movement?

    • Please. Don't comment on Calvinism if you have no idea what it is.

    • A professing Christian husband married to a Jewish wife writes, "God chose corporate, national Israel, not each individual Israelites (sic). ... I can't seem to find a way to pry the Jewish people or even one single, individual Jewish person out of the covenant promises that started with Abraham, continued into Sinai, and that were renewed for the future in Jeremiah 31 and Ezekiel 36." Um...Romans 9?

    • J. I. Packer's conversion.

    Thursday, July 25, 2013

    'Tolerance' in Action

    Activists like these do not seek tolerance. They want nothing less than complete acceptance of their lifestyle as well as the elimination of any and all dissenting opinions.

    Friday, July 19, 2013

    This Week in Calvinism - July 19, 2013

    • Is Molinism as depressing as Calvinism? "No," says William Lane Craig.

    • Julie Anne thinks that "Patriarchy is complementarianism PLUS more, just as Neo Calvinism is Calvinism PLUS more."

    • Many people say it is unfair for God to save some and not others. While Jason Dulle believes "there are formidable theological, exegetical, and philosophical problems with Calvinism," he has "come to think that the 'fairness' objection is not a good argument against Calvinism."

    • A friend asks you to pass out evangelistic tracts with an anti-Calvinist message, saying, "Let's go save some Calvinists!" What would you do?

    • Bob Hadley says, "Calvinism teaches that the gospel has NO POWER to save the unregenerate. ... So just like Lazarus who was dead, the gospel has no power to save or give new life in the calvinist (sic) system." I always thought the concept that the God who ordains the end also ordains the means was pretty straightforward. I guess not.

    • Tim Keller and John Piper discuss C. S. Lewis.

    • What is the devotional impact of limited atonement? Richard Phillips writes, "We praise God that we are not required to earn what Christ has done for us, for we never could do so. We receive His death by simple faith alone. Jesus never demands that we earn what He did for us."

    Friday, July 12, 2013

    This Week in Calvinism - July 12, 2013

    • A video has been posted of the SBC 2013 Calvinism Advisory Panel.

    • In a recent interview regarding his position on eternal security, Scot McKnight says, "If some want to counter my views, fine, but the only thing that interests me is if they can show that the audience [of Hebrews] is not genuine believers. If they can, I'll listen but if they want to show how they can explain the text as Calvinists...well, been there and done that."

    • While many evangelicals and Catholics have found common ground, Calvinism continues to divide Protestants.

    • There is a new course on Calvinism from John Piper. You can download the entire seminar in six parts.

    Friday, July 05, 2013

    This Week in Calvinism - July 5, 2013

    • Roger Olson responds to the responses to his response to the SBC committee's report on Calvinism...

    • ...and then feels the need to make one more point.

    • Jason Hiles, one of the men at the center of Louisiana College's Calvinism debate, has been hired as the dean of the college of theology at Grand Canyon University in Phoenix.

    • Speaking of Louisiana College, "Two investigations into charges of misconduct by Louisiana College President Joe Aguillard found a trail of apparently conflicting documents, but neither group investigating Aguillard interviewed all of the key parties."

    • Andrew Fuller's defense of Calvinism.

    • Jason Helopoulos addresses the question: Does Calvinism kill missions? (SPOILER ALERT: No, it doesn't.)

    • If you think 1 Thessalonians 5:9 is the antidote for Calvinism, then you don't know how to read scripture in context. At the very least look at the preceding verse, for crying out loud.

    • Whenever you read a statement like "Calvinism is an abominable theological position," you can safely assume the writer is going to rely on emotion rather than scripture to support his position. Well, what do you know. That's exactly what Bob Hadley did.

    Tuesday, July 02, 2013

    How Christians Should Respond to Conspiracy Theories

    From the left and from the right, from man-made global warming to the New World Order, we're constantly bombarded by conspiracy theories. Franklin Sanders tells us how Christians should respond:
    Nothing comes to us before God determines, or without God determining, but only exactly when God determines. If he sent it, he will turn it. If he sent it, then he has already made us ready to handle it. If he sent it, no matter how painful, how wrong, how tyrannous on the part of evildoers, yet he will cause it to work for good. Therefore Paul can call himself not the prisoner of the Romans, but the prisoner of Christ, because if he was in prison, he was there because God put him there, and would work greater things through him there than in freedom. Besides, we know that evil things will, most certainly, happen to his adopted children because thus he sanctifies us and conforms us to the image of Christ by sharing his sufferings. Now if Christ himself had to learn obedience through suffering, how will we learn it without?

    There are no accidents.

    The wicked are not in charge.

    God works all things together for good to his beloved.

    Friday, June 28, 2013

    This Week in Calvinism - June 28, 2013

    • Jerry Faught writes, "For now at least, fundamentalism is the new center holding the SBC together, despite the repudiations of post-takeover SBC seminarians who continue to assert that they are either conservative evangelicals or Reformed evangelicals."

    • Is Al Mohler "the most important Calvinist on the planet"?

    • Some of the wording in the SBC committee's report on Calvinism has Roger Olson worried about disingenuous Calvinists:
      I tend to think that no self-respecting Calvinist can or should ever say that "God loves everyone and desires to save everyone" without following that immediately with "but sovereignly chooses to allow some he could save to go to hell for eternity without any real opportunity to be saved." That would be totally honest and forthcoming. Less is not.

    • American Vision's Joel McDurmon wants to know: "Is the PCA on a similar path as the PCUSA?"

    • Kevin O'Brien calls Calvinists "narcissistic nihilists" who might as well support abortion because they "see rights resulting from power only. If you [have] enough power to have a solid claim to life, you have a right to keep it; if you don't, or if you prove useless to someone who has more power than you, you have no rights." Yep. It's a good thing we Calvinists all know exactly which individuals are elect and which are not.

    • If you can't stomach reading Paul Dohse's anti-Calvinist rants, you probably won't want to watch these videos from his anti-Calvinist 2013 Conference on Gospel Discernment and Spiritual Tyranny.

    Wednesday, June 26, 2013

    Friday, June 21, 2013

    This Week in Calvinism - June 21, 2013

    • Tim Brister offers his take on the "Baptist Battle of Calvinism."

    • Joe Aguillard, president of Louisiana College, in a recent interview, claims he doesn't like labels. That may explain why he has a hard time distinguishing between Calvinism and hyper-Calvinism.

    • At long last, Roger Olson responds to the statement from the SBC's Calvinism Advisory Committee. "When I read this statement," he writes, "I want it to be adopted, with proper modifications, by American evangelicals as a whole."

    • Alan Kurschner sets the record straight regarding a disturbing rumor that has been circulating about Calvinists.

    • "Predestination." You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

    Friday, June 14, 2013

    This Week in Calvinism - June 14, 2013


    • Kevin Gutzman of The American Conservative reviews the book Roger Sherman and the Creation of the American Republic. Author Mark David Hall says, "I am not arguing that Calvinism was the only influence on Sherman and his colleagues, simply that it was a very important influence that needs to be taken more seriously if we are to appreciate the political theory and actions of many of America's founders."

    • According to Greg Horton of the Kansas City Star, "One aspect of Calvinism that makes traditional Baptists deeply uncomfortable is the doctrine of 'predestination,' the idea that Jesus died on the cross only for humans whom God had elected to save, not for everyone."

    • "That idea," writes the Associated Press, "does not sit well with many non-Calvinist Baptists, who believe Jesus died for the whole world."

    • By the way, the Southern Baptist Convention held its annual meeting in Houston on June 11 and 12.

    • Thomas Hill shares some of the highlights from the convention.

    • Wade Burleson, in a post entitled "How to Kiss Calvinism Goodbye: The Gracious Way to Depart from the Doctrine of God's Distinguishing Love," writes, "To rightly believe in God's sovereignty and God's unconditional love you must either be a Calvinist or a universalist."

    • Roger Olson takes issue with the implication "that universal salvation is the only alternative to Calvinism."

    • An inspiring free will poster from Eddie Eddings.

    Tuesday, June 11, 2013

    Dealing with Spiritual Sluggishness

    Jon Bloom of Desiring God discusses a problem I believe most of us suffer from more often than we like to admit:
    Spiritual sluggishness is not to be tolerated; it's to be fought. It's potentially a faith-race abortifacient (Hebrews 3:19). It's a weight that needs to be laid aside (Hebrews 12:2). So how do you do that?
    1. Identify the doubt. Sluggishness has a cause. What is sapping your faith?

    2. Repent. Unbelief is a sin. Seek to actively turn from it.

    3. Target that unbelief with biblical truth. Stop whatever else you may be doing for devotional reading and focus on and pray through texts that deal directly with this issue. Lay aside your other book reading and read things that address this doubt.

    4. Don't go it alone. Humble yourself and share your struggle with trusted counselors God has given you. Our great Coach often speaks through assistant coaches (Hebrews 3:13).
    Spiritual sluggishness is common to man (1 Corinthians 10:13). We all experience it. In the slog of our long faith-race and the adversity we encounter from the world, our flesh, and the devil (Ephesians 2:2–3), there are times the reward gets obscured by confusion and discouragements.

    Though we may not want them, these are when we most need our Coach's exhortations. They may sting, they may humble us, but they are laced with mercy because they help clear our muddled minds, shake off the lethargy, and run again with endurance.

    Read the full article here.

    Friday, June 07, 2013

    This Week in Calvinism - June 7, 2013

    Wednesday, June 05, 2013

    Gary North Discusses the Ron Paul Homeschool Curriculum


    The curriculum officially launches on September 2 of this year. Read more about this revolutionary educational endeavor at RonPaulCurriculum.com.

    Sunday, June 02, 2013

    Onward Christian Guerrilla Soldiers!

    Looking for a more sneaky way to reach people with the gospel? Here are a few ideas...






    (via 22 Words)

    Friday, May 31, 2013

    This Week in Calvinism - May 31, 2013

    • An old straw man presented as a "new argument" against Calvinism.

    • Battle lines are being drawn in the Sovereign Grace Ministries controversy.

    • Remember the Calvinism Advisory Committee set up by the SBC? It has finally released its statement on the issue, entitled "Truth, Trust, and Testimony in a Time of Tension." So I guess that means the issue is settled once and for all.

    • Denny Burk writes, "This is a good statement, one that I hope that Southern Baptists will unify around." Also endorsing the statement are notable Calvinists like Mark Dever, Tom Ascol, and Al Mohler.

    • Peter Lumpkins, in a rare display of disciplined restraint, says, "I do not want to comment on the report itself before carefully reading it first." I'm sure we're all waiting with bated breath for his well-reasoned response.

    Tuesday, May 28, 2013

    Unpublished Journals from Spurgeon's Early Years


    Desiring God's Tony Reinke recently interviewed Spurgeon scholar Tom Nettles, the Professor of Historical Theology at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. Nettles is the author of the forthcoming book Living by Revealed Truth: The Life and Pastoral Theology of Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

    Also interviewed was theologian and author Christian George, the Jewell and Joe L. Huitt Assistant Professor of Religious Education at Oklahoma Baptist University. It was while he was studying in London a few years ago that George discovered 11 journals kept by the Prince of Preachers during the early years of his ministry. The journals contain unpublished sermons and various drawings of birds, showing Spurgeon's artistic side:



    Professor George is currently transcribing Spurgeon's journals for publication.

    Friday, May 24, 2013

    This Week in Calvinism - May 24, 2013

    • Bob Burnett, in a typical liberal rant about how those who support people keeping more of their own money are not real Christians, writes:
      During the eighties American Calvinism morphed into a conservative political ideology with the formation of the Christian Right. James Dobson, Jerry Falwell, Ralph Reed, Pat Robertson, and others preached on political subjects and touted conservative "Christian" candidates.
      Of all the names one could associate with Calvinism, these are the ones he chooses? Maybe I need to brush up on my history.

    • Blogger Ritzhaus also confuses Calvinists with Republicans:
      I just liked The Christian Left on facebook recently and have enjoyed their perspective. Today, they reposted a blog from Frank Schaffer about how Calvinism and the right wing Republicans have combined and really no longer follow Christ. This trend in American Evangelicalism took over my old church and is a faith killer.
      I'm beginning to feel insulted that I'm automatically perceived as a Republican just because I'm a Calvinist.

    • I would agree that Romans 9 "isn't about Calvinism." In fact, I'd be willing to bet that Paul had never even heard of John Calvin.

    • If the theme of the Bible is "God's gracious plan to redeem needy sinners," then it makes sense why we see his mercy in so many messed-up families in scripture.

    • Rachel Held Evans is upset over John Piper's "abusive" theology. Following the Oklahoma tornadoes, Piper posted on Twitter:
      "Your sons and daughters were eating and a great wind struck the house, and it fell upon them, and they are dead." Job 1:19
      Apparently, people expect that when you quote a verse from scripture you are obligated to include an in-depth explanation in the same tweet. Sorry, but Twitter's 140-character limit kind of hinders one from doing that. That's why Piper followed that up with another:
      "Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshiped." Job 1:20
      God is worthy of worship even in the midst of tragedy. Yeah, that's abusive, all right.

    • Adam Ericksen takes it a step further, calling Piper's theology "satanic." He writes:
      John Piper calls himself a Christian, but I don't think he knows Jesus. Whenever Jesus talks about natural disasters they are just that, natural disasters. He never blames anyone for them; instead he points to them as an opportunity to show God's love. Jesus was once asked, "Who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?" He responded, "Neither this man nor his parents sinned." Then the power of God worked through Jesus to stop the accusations and heal the man.
      Come on, Adam. If you're going to quote John 9:3, can't you at least read the rest of the verse? It says, "...but that the works of God might be displayed in him." The man's blindness served a purpose. What was the purpose? That the works of God might be displayed.

    • John Piper explains the essence of those now-infamous tweets:
      When tragedy strikes my life, I find it stabilizing and hope-giving to see the stories of the sheer factuality of other's losses, especially when they endured them the way Job did. Job really grieved. He really agonized. He collapsed to the ground. He wept. He shaved his head. This was, in my mind, a pattern of what must surely happen in Oklahoma. I thought it would help. But when I saw how so many were not experiencing it that way, I took them down.

    Thursday, May 23, 2013

    A Libertarian Perspective on Romans 13

    Romans 13 is often used as an appeal for Christians not to resist government. "Reformed Libertarian" C. Jay Engel has written an interesting and thoughtful post on that particular passage. Here's an excerpt:
    There are four overall points that can be gathered in this passage.

    1. God is sovereign and he has a plan. He can use evil to achieve the ends that he has ordained before the foundations of time. In the original context: God exists over Nero.

    2. In our gospel-oriented ministry, we are not seeking to overthrow the government. When Paul wrote this he understood that it might have reached Nero's hands. It was wise of him to make sure Nero understood that there was no Christian movement to take over. All governments from the dawn of time until today, are jealous governments, always scared that someone will steal the throne. In the original context: Nero, we are not aiming for your throne.

    3. Government has a mandate to submit to the higher law of God by only punishing the wicked and not the good. Anything beyond that is abuse of power. Therefore, as the absolute libertarians would advocate, it is wrong for the government to forbid the spontaneous arising of other governments. There is no mandate in scripture telling the government that it must have a monopoly on governing services. In the original context: Nero, you have a purpose; submit to it.

    4. Turn the other cheek. We must practice daily Christian character. In the original context: Apply my lessons [in Romans 12] to even the government.

    To conclude, from a libertarian standpoint, it is important to note that a governing entity is the means by which God has decided to carry out justice. This in no way should be assumed to be a defense of the morality of the State itself. This passage can only be assumed to be a defense of the existence of an entity that practices the pursuance of justice. God has given law. Man has rights to his life and his property because God has entrusted him with those things. And what God has given, man cannot take away. This is the law Justice consists of protecting these rights, this law. This is the only role of a governing institution.
    Read the full article here.

    Friday, May 17, 2013

    This Week in Calvinism - May 17, 2013

    • Another Protestant crosses the Tiber. Lucas Westman begins a series of posts describing his journey from Pentecostalism to Reformed theology to Catholicism.

    • Paul Dohse makes less and less sense every time I check out his blog: "Calvinist's (sic) don't often know their right hand from their left hand because Reformed theology communicates from an entirely different metaphysical construct than the norm." Give me a good ol' anti-Calvinist rant from Roger "The God of Calvinism Is a Moral Monster" Olson any day.

    • Looking for a list of straw man arguments to refute Calvinism? Here's a list of 22 of them for a start.

    • Steve Hays of Triablogue begins a running commentary on a lecture given by Jerry Walls at Houston Baptist University entitled "What's Wrong with Calvinism?"

    • Calvinists and classical Arminians agree on imputed sin and total inability.

    • Dr. Kevin McFadden discusses how Southern Baptists should approach theological disagreements.

    • Here is a recap of recent John Piper messages from around the country.

    Friday, May 10, 2013

    This Week in Calvinism - May 10, 2013

    • Rev. Fred Luter, president of the SBC, is trying to unite Southern Baptists, wanting to see the denomination move beyond the Calvinism issue and join together.

    • Apparently following President Luter's advice, Ronnie Rogers of SBC Today explains what one can and cannot believe as a Calvinist in what I call his "You might not be a Calvinist if..." series (part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5).

    • One woman's journey from Calvinism to "progressive Christianity."

    • Bill Holdridge shares a few thoughts on Calvinism from Pastor Doug Hileman, who sums up his thoughts this way:
      Having shackled themselves with presuppositions that have no mandate in Scripture, Calvinists have embraced a system of theology that is neat, tidy, marvelously logical, and paradoxically, quite unreasonable. They have fallen prey to the same temptation as the early Church Fathers—leading with logic rather than scripture.
      I guess that explains why no Calvinist has ever been able to defend his position using scripture.

    • Rabid anti-Calvinist Paul Dohse believes that Calvinists reject the Trinity in that we "make God the Father and the Holy Spirit lesser forms of Jesus Christ." Trust me. It makes even less sense when he explains it.

    • C. Michael Patton on doubting Calvinists.

    • Andre Fuller: Defender of the biblical gospel.

    Friday, May 03, 2013

    This Week in Calvinism - May 3, 2013

    • Peter Lumpkins seems thrilled to discover yet another straw man to attack in his crusade against Calvinism.

    • Does Hebrews 6:4-8 refute Calvinism? No, but some people still like to keep that passage in their arsenal.

    • Randal Rauser blasts his Calvinist critics while at the same time playing the "some of my closest friends are Calvinist theologians" card.

    • Steve Hays blasts back.

    • Jemar Tisby discusses what African-Americans bring to Reformed theology.

    Tuesday, April 30, 2013

    In America, the State Is God

    Sure, in an ideal world the police shouldn't be able to abduct a child from his loving parents, but who are we to question the state?


    Come on, church. Stop hiding behind Romans 13 and speak up.

    Sunday, April 28, 2013

    Franklin Graham: Changing Hearts at the Point of a Gun?

    No, Franklin Graham did not exactly say he wanted to change people's hearts at the point of a gun. However, he did suggest taxing violent entertainment in an effort to... Oh, I don't know. Make our nation appear more "Christian," I suppose. But what is a tax if not a threat to use state-sponsored violence against those who fail or refuse to comply?

    From the Christian Post:
    Evangelist Franklin Graham has stated that a solution to the problem of violence in American culture could be a tax on violent entertainment.

    The CEO of the international relief group Samaritan's Purse stated this in some remarks delivered Wednesday at Camp Bethelwoods in York, S.C.

    "How much violence as a nation are we willing to accept?" asked Graham, who was present in York to speak about this and other issues to those involved in a Samaritan's Purse disaster relief training event.

    "We tax cigarettes, we can tax violence … only God can change your heart. We need to bring God's laws back into society."
    Yes, "only God can change your heart," but in order for that to happen "we need to bring God's laws back into society." In other words, we can change hearts at the point of a gun.

    As Christians, let's quit looking for salvation through legislation and instead focus our efforts on spreading the gospel. After all, it is the power of the gospel that will actually change hearts, not laws that must be enforced through the threat of violence.

    Friday, April 26, 2013

    This Week in Calvinism - April 26, 2013

    • Does the Great Commission negate Calvinism? A more formalized online debate on that topic has begun here.

    • Offended by a "militant Calvinist" who said he would burn in Hell for denying the doctrines of grace, one man has come to the conclusion that Calvinism is "repugnant, unbiblical and possibly even heretical." Another example of why we need to be loving in our defense of biblical truth.

    • Did you know that Calvinism denies scripture, the new birth, and the Trinity? Neither did I.

    • Puritanism 101.

    • Check out Solid Joys, a daily devotional site featuring 365 excerpts from the writings of John Piper.

    Thursday, April 25, 2013

    A Great Satirical Blog Is Back

    It's nice to see that Tominthebox New Network is up and running again after a year-long hiatus. Great to have you back, Tom!

    Monday, April 22, 2013

    John Piper's Legacy

    My wife and I have been members of Bethlehem Baptist Church for several years and have greatly appreciated the biblical teaching of John Piper. This video was shown at a celebration service thanking Pastor John for his years of ministry and praising God for what He has done.

    Friday, April 19, 2013

    This Week in Calvinism - April 19, 2013

    • Roger Olson describes a relational view of the sovereignty of God. This view "regards God's will as settled in terms of the intentions of his character but open and flexible in terms of the ways in which he acts because he allows himself to be acted upon."

    • The death of New Calvinism?

    • Baptist colleges can't accept Baptist theologians.

    • The main reason Arminians reject Calvinism is this: "A forced relationship is not a loving relationship." Uh, yeah. That's exactly what Calvinists teach.

    • I'm convinced that one of the main reasons people reject Calvinism is their denial of total depravity.

    Saturday, April 13, 2013

    John Piper on Regrets and Retirement

    John Piper looks back on 33 years of pastoral ministry.

    Friday, April 12, 2013

    This Week in Calvinism - April 12, 2013

    • T. E. Hanna explains why he rejects Calvinism in favor of God's sovereignty. In the process he reveals the problem with synergism, that salvation ultimately hinges on our choice:
      God is sacrificial. He is love. He empties Himself upon the cross, and restrains Himself in preservation of our free choice. In the end, we enter that city only because He has made the way possible, and because we have chosen to walk through it.
      In other words, Christ's sacrifice didn't secure salvation for anyone; it only made salvation possible.

    • Kristen, thinking along the same lines, explains why she is not a Calvinist:
      If humans are incapable of resisting His saving grace, then He is responsible for not saving them all, since it's completely within His power to do so, and no one else has any say in the matter. It's not a matter of what we humans deserve so much as a matter of impartiality in justice, and completeness in mercy. I can't believe that God exercises partiality in justice and limited mercy. ... I think we can't come to God unless He draws us-- but when He draws us, we can choose to come towards Him, or resist and insist we don't want God. Simple as that.

    • The Resurgence blog has a weekly feature called Resurgence Roundup. Check out this week's post here.

    • Calvinists may look like normal people, but what are they hiding?

    • Miss Phil Johnson? Don't worry. Team Pyro features classic posts from Phil every Friday.

    Monday, April 08, 2013

    Joel Osteen Isn't Leaving the Christian Faith After All

    I'm sure many of you have already seen this video about Joel Osteen leaving the Christian faith:


    Turns out it's just a hoax. *Whew!* What a relief!

    Yeah, I fell for it. I mean, I was really starting to believe that Osteen had abandoned the true gospel message in favor of some whitewashed version of the prosperity gospel. It's nice to know that couldn't be further from the truth, and that Lakewood Church remains a bastion of Word-centered preaching.

    Saturday, April 06, 2013

    Could Gay 'Marriage' Lead to Father's Marrying Their Sons?

    On the issue of same-sex "marriage," actor Jeremy Irons admitted to HuffPost Live host Josh Zepps that he doesn't have an opinion one way or another. Irons did, however, raise an issue that is sure to invite criticism from gay "marriage" supporters:


    Why couldn't a father marry his son? What would be the moral basis for denying such an arrangement? The lack of answers to questions like this shows just how little reasoning has gone into the issue on the part of the tolerance crowd.
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