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 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.
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