Saturday, May 30, 2009

“Giant Sale! All merchandise half price”

Dave Hunt illustrates:

“A merchant advertises, ‘Giant Sale! All merchandise half price.’ Eager customers, however, discover that certain items are excluded from the sale. When they complain that the ad read all merchandise, the merchant says, ‘I didn’t mean all “without exception,” but all “without distinction.” All kinds of products are indeed on sale, but not every item of every kind.’ This would be misleading advertising, and customers would have a legitimate complaint. Yet the Calvinist insists that God uses this same kind of deception in offering salvation to ‘whosoever will.’” (What Love is This?, pp.319-320)

Monday, May 25, 2009

Hunt critiques Piper

While reading Dave Hunt’s book, What Love is This?, I came across an interesting comment regarding a quote from Calvinist, John Piper, concerning the universal benefit of Calvary.

John Piper: “We do not deny that all men are the intended beneficiaries of the cross in some sense. 1 Timothy 4:10 says that Christ is ‘the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe.’ What we deny is that all men are intended as the beneficiaries of the death of Christ in the same way. All of God’s mercy toward unbelievers—from the rising sun (Matthew 5:45) to the worldwide preaching of the gospel (John 3:16)—is made possible because of the cross.” (What We Believe About the Five Points of Calvinism)

Before I get to Dave Hunt’s quote, I find it absolutely astonishing how “all men” means one thing at 1st Timothy 2:4, and then something altogether different at 1st Timothy 4:10. That just blows me away, but anyway, on to Dave Hunt’s comment.

Dave Hunt: “Trying to reason with those who espouse such obviously contradictory statements leaves one with a sense of complete frustration. Proclaiming the gospel to those He has predestined to damnation is an act of God’s mercy, by which He is giving ‘opportunity for salvation’ to those who can’t be saved?! And the gospel being preached to the doomed non-elect stems from God’s ‘mercy toward unbelievers’ flowing from the Cross?” (What Love is This?, p.192)

Hunt does a fairly solid job. It’s user-friendly and engaging. The history is on par with the quality of Lawrence Vance’s book The Other Side of Calvinism, but it’s the exegesis that puts this volume ahead of Vance. Very enjoyable and highly recommended.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Ron Rhodes: Commonly Misunderstood Bible Verses

4-Point Calvinist, Ron Rhodes, has a few new books out.

Commonly Misunderstood Bible Verses, though in parts does have a Calvinist perspective, is not focused primarily on advancing Calvinism, but simply offers a perspective on difficult passages which range across the entire theological spectrum. It’s a must have.

In terms of Calvinism, I was able to extract some good quotes:

1st Timonthy 5:21: “Who are the elect angels?”

2nd John 1:1: “Who is the ‘chosen lady’?”

Matthew 22:14: “What did Jesus mean when He said, ‘Many are invited, but few are chosen’?”

Sunday, May 3, 2009

John Piper on Irresistible Grace

John Piper explains “Irresistible Grace”:

“This is what we mean when we use terms like sovereign grace or irresistible grace. We mean that the Holy Spirit is God’s Spirit, and therefore he is omnipotent and sovereign. And therefore, he is irresistible and infallibly effective in his regenerating work. Which doesn’t mean that we don’t resist him. We do. The Bible is plain about that (Acts 7:51). What the sovereignty of grace and the sovereignty of the Spirit mean is that when God chooses, he can overcome the rebellion and resistance of our wills. He can make Christ look so compelling that our resistance is broken and we freely come to him and receive him and believe him.” (The Free Will of the Wind)

No, that’s not at all, the Calvinist teaching on Irresistible Grace. Irresistible Grace is not about popping faith on a person, as John MacArthur teaches, nor is it about making Christ look compelling, as John Piper teaches.

The fundamental concept behind the Calvinist doctrine of Irresistible Grace is a heart-swap. According to Calvinism, when God effecatiously draws a person, it is not by popping faith, nor is it by making Christ look compelling, but by God allegedly, preemptively, removing the heart of stone, and implanting a heart of flesh, i.e. removing the unregenerate heart, and exchanging it for a regenerate heart, through which, a person may then irresistibly receive Christ. The primary mechanism for the Calvinist conversion is a heart-transplant, and Piper seems to overlook it, and by doing so, misses the deeper issue, which is that you do not receive the Holy Spirit except “in Christ” (Ephesians 1:13), which is also why Calvinist, James White, actually taught that “the elect” are preemptively placed/birthed in Christ, prior to receiving Christ:

Calvinist, James White, writes: “When the time comes in God’s sovereign providence to bring to spiritual life each of those for whom Christ died, the Spirit of God will not only effectively accomplish that work of regeneration but that new creature in Christ will, unfailingly, believe in Jesus Christ (‘all that the Father gives Me will come to Me’). Hence, we are not saved ‘without’ faith, but at the same time, Christ’s atonement is not rendered useless and vain without the addition of libertarian free will.” (Debating Calvinism, p.191, emphasis mine)

This error by James White, by placing unbelievers in Christ, ultimately unravels Calvinism altogether. Here is an article on that point:

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Calvinists are Sneaky

A new article was added to the "Common Charges" section, which basically asserts that Calvinists tend to be sneaky, when trying to discuss the atonement with other Christians. They'll say things like, "Christ came and died for sin," or that "Christ died for sinners," while not fully disclosing exactly what they believe about it. Here's the article:

Friday, May 1, 2009

John Piper and the Glory of God

Calvinist, John Piper, explains: “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him. And I don’t want to turn that against the fact that God does indeed glorify his wrath by punishing justly those who refuse to be satisfied in him.” (Desiring God)

Question: Is God “most glorified” when people love and worship Him, or is God most glorified when people reject and forsake Him?

Answer: It appears that according to Calvinism, the answer depends upon whether they are elect or non-elect.

Here is the most recent article added to the “Common Charges” section: