Friday, December 18, 2015

This Week in Calvinism - December 12, 2015

  • In an item I had missed last week, The National's Chris Bambery wrote an article comparing Scotland's 17th century Calvinists to modern Islamic terrorists (Daesh/ISIS): "But for all their heroism and sacrifice they were fighting for a land ruled by the Presbyterian elect – with no room for unbelievers. Their dream for Scotland was not so far from Daesh's for its Caliphate."

  • Some of Bambery's readers voiced their frustration with the article.

  • To get in the last word, Bambery responded to their responses:
    Lastly, I am not going to debate theology with my critics but in response I cannot resist quoting a man from Fettercairn, Kincardine, who was threatened with excommunication in 1748.

    He responded: “What care I? The Pope of Rome excommunicates you every year ... and what the waur are ye o' that?”

  • Speaking of comparing Calvinists to terrorists, Andreas Whittam Smith believes the turmoil in the Middle East is no worse than what happened in Europe during the "era of Calvinism."

  • Leighton Flowers thinks he has found a quandary in compatibilism: if God has ordained all things according to his unchangeable decree, then is he not restraining his own unchangeable decree every time he restrains evil?

  • William Birch writes, "If God has decreed sin and evil, from before the world was created, then God is the worse (sic) sinner in the known universe." The only alternative I see is that God was powerless to prevent sin and evil from entering into the world. Which means what? That we have to choose between an evil God or a weak God?

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Why atheists are so frustrated

If I had to sum up, in a nutshell, why atheists always seem so frustrated, it would be this: Atheists live in a constant state of cognitive dissonance. How else can you describe a person who believes he has no beliefs, and that his denial of truth is true?

Case in point:

Friday, December 11, 2015

This Week in Calvinism - December 11, 2015

  • Regarding 2 Peter 3:9, Jordan Cooper writes, "God's saving will embraces all of his creation. We thus affirm the Calvinistic belief monergism, while simultaneously affirming the Arminian commitment to universal grace."

  • Calvinism obliterated? No, not really. It's the same arguments we've all heard before, but at least he puts a little effort into it.

  • Unlike this KJV-only Baptist preacher. He attempts to refute Calvinism by showing that our doctrine "is a bunch of garbage. It's a bunch of hogwash for a bunch of lazy people that don't want to do anything for God."

  • Tim Challies shares his top books of 2015.

  • James White responds to Steve Hays's accusations regarding Islam. Looking back several years at how Mr. Hays was so gung ho about waging war in the Middle East and torturing Muslims in the name of "national security," I find myself less than sympathetic to his position.

Friday, December 04, 2015

This Week in Calvinism - December 4, 2015

  • A member of a Pentacostal theology group on Facebook asks:
    One problem with both arminianism and Calvinism is that one believes a loving God created man knowing most would burn in the lake of fire and the other believes he chooses people to burn eternally on the lake of fire. BUT what if the torment wasn't eternal? What if the JWs are right on that? What if it is the destruction of the being?
    Or what if the Calvinists are right about compatibilism?

  • Devin Logan of Newsmax lists three ways in which Calvinism has influenced American capitalism: 1) success as an indicator of character, 2) capitalist work ethic, and 3) mass incarceration. I'm surprised he didn't mention burning heretics at the stake.

  • Plunge your mind into the ocean of God's sovereignty.

  • Four steps toward joy in repentance.

  • Quiet time doesn't earn God's grace.

  • In a follow-up comment to his article about confronting the lunatic fringe of evangelicalism, Roger Olson clarifies that he does not "consider Calvinists our evangelical lunatic fringe." Whew! What a relief!
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