Monday, April 23, 2007

Contradictions in the Bible?

Calvinist, John McArthur, states: “That’s one of the reasons I know the Bible is written by God, because men would fix it. If I wrote a book that had those contradictions, Phil [Johnson] would edit them all out. One of the bench marks of divine inspiration is the fact that you’re dealing with transcendence.” (Election and Predestination: The Sovereignty of God in Salvation, emphasis mine)

That quote does not sit well with an Arminian, at all. From the Arminian perspective, John MacArthur is basically giving up the integrity of the Scriptures for the sake of a particular theology. At least, that's what the Arminian perspective is.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Luke 19:10

And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he, too, is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” (Luke 19:9-10)

Calvinist, James White, writes: “Does He accomplish His purpose? Does He actually save, or only make savable? If He actually saves, does this not limit the scope of the ‘lost’?” (Debating Calvinism, p.176)

For an answer, click on the link below:

Sunday, April 15, 2007

What is the Calling of God?

Romans 1:4-7 states: “Jesus Christ our Lord, through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith among all the Gentiles for His name’s sake, among whom you also are the called of Jesus Christ; to all who are beloved of God in Rome, called as saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”

Question: Who are “the called of Jesus Christ”?

Answer: There are two calls, though not the same two calls taught by Calvinism. There is the universal call to live in Christ. Matthew 22:14 states: “For many are called, but few are chosen.” There is also the call to live for Christ, which speaks of the Holy Calling, in terms of the function in which each Christian has been uniquely gifted by the Holy Spirit and predestined by God the Father to perform within the body of Christ. 2nd Timothy 1:9 states: “...who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity.” Lest the Calvinists think that this is what they had in the Father, notice that this is what is in Christ. Essential to Calvinism is a notion of two Elections, a primary election in the Father, by sovereign grace, and a secondary election in Christ, by faith. However, the Calvinist’s ‘primary election’ never happened, and couldn’t happen, because apart from the basis of being in Christ, we would have no standing with the Father. Jesus states: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” (John 14:6) The fact that we have our calling in Christ from all eternity, speaks to the fact that having been foreknown in Christ (Romans 8:29), God has an eternal plan for each Christian. Paul referred to Christians as “the called” in order to emphasize this fact, that is, that each Christian has a unique calling and a unique election, according to the unique gift of the Holy Spirit bestowed upon each believer in Christ for the evangelization of the lost world, and for the edification and growth of the body of Christ. (What is amazing to me is that every time the Calvinist reads the word "foreknowledge," they see "foreordination." As to the answer of why, refer to the discussion below on The Glasses of a Calvinist. The glasses of Determinism dictates that foreknowledge is not prescience of free choices, but of decreed choices. To suggest that foreknowledge determines choices is a gaffe in logic.)

For a more detailed discussion, here is a link to Romans 1:6:

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Complaint is a Gift

When a Calvinist or Arminian posts critical feedback on your Blog, it is a gift. Proverbs 27:17 states: "Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend."

So does that mean that when someone shows up on your Blog and goes flying off the handle, that that is somehow a gift? No. But if you can keep the discussion civil, by responding respectfully, passionate emotions may settle down, and their critical review will bring focus to the debate.

For instance, most Calvinists are aware that the 5-Points of the TULIP system did not originate from John Calvin, but from the Calvinist response to the Arminian Remonstrance. The point is that godly, wholesome debate can bring deeper understanding of the issues, and sculpt arguments like a bodybuilder sculpts muscle.

Some pointers that I've learned from debating Calvinism vs Arminianism are these:

1) Keep it simple. Stick to a few points at a time, and be economical with your word count. Realize that posting encyclopedias will never foster an effective dialogue.

2) Do not attempt to slowly build your arguments. Use probing questions to immediately get right to the heart of the issue.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

What's wrong with an "Alter Call" or "Gospel Invitation"?

Do some Calvinists oppose "Alter Calls" and "Gospel Invitations" on the basis of doctrinal opposition to what is termed, "Decisional Regeneration"?

If someone hears the Gospel message, and then is invited to meet with a prayer counselor in order to repent of their sin, and publicly commit their life to Christ, what could be wrong with that? Answer: There is nothing wrong with that. Only Satan would oppose someone giving their heart to Christ. Therefore, is the policy of opposing "Alter Calls" and "Gospel Invitations" born in the heart of Satan? Is such a policy, Satanic?

One Calvinist explains: "I do not like alter calls because I understand them to be an emotional appeal which pressures people to do something that the Bible does not necessitate." (, emphasis mine)

In terms of emotion and pressure, Calvinist, Charles Spurgeon, states: “I further believe, although certain persons deny it, that the influence of fear is to be exercised over the minds of men, and that it ought to operate upon the mind of the preacher himself.” (How to Win Souls for Christ, emphasis mine)

I'm not saying that Spurgeon supported Alter Calls. I'm simply using Spurgeon to dispute whether emotion and pressure should be applied to the lost in evangelism, and apparently Spurgeon agrees.

Question: Where is the desire for "Alter Calls" and "Gospel Invitations" born?

Answer: It's born out of the heart of concern for the lost in a desire to see the lost saved?

Question: So where is the apathy toward "Alter Calls" and "Gospel Invitations" born?

Answer: It's born ouf of the heart of casual indifference concerning the salvation of the lost.

What's the point of presenting the Gospel, if you are unwilling to pray with someone to receive salvation, as salvation is described at Romans 10:9-10? What should we say, that Calvinists are willing to pray with the lost to receive Christ, but are just unwilling to advertise it? My former Calvinist Pastor, Chip, who opposed the practice of "Alter Calls" and "Gospel Invitations" would instead announce: "If you have any questions, you can see the Pastor afterward." Is that sad or what?

Besides the fact that an "Alter Call" or a "Gospel Invitation" invites someone to receive Christ in their heart, it also serves as a public profession of faith. Consider what Jesus states about public affirmations: "But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven." (Matthew 10:33)

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Why did Jesus waste His time with a despised, immoral Samaritan woman?

Because Jesus doesn't consider anyone to be a waste of time. In fact, if there was a type of Election in which it was eternally decreed who would be created for the purpose of comprising an alleged, eternal flock of the Father, it would be the ones who did not make the cut, that Jesus would want to save the most, and who He would save first. That’s the Jesus of the Gospels who states: “What man among you, if he has a hundred sheep and has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open pasture and go after the one which is lost until he finds it? When he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!’ I tell you that in the same way, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.” (Luke 15:4-7)

Footnote: While salvation is indeed to the Jew first, and then the Gentile (Romans 1:16), that’s also from the perspective that both camps are lost sheep in need of salvation, despite Israel’s election. In contrast, with an alleged, eternal flock of the Father type Election, none in that flock could genuinely be considered lost sheep.