Monday, April 06, 2009

Knowing The Difference Between Calvinism & Christianity

UPDATE 4:  10 Dec 2012 I've been writing a series of articles deeply engaging Calvinism and comparing it to the Scriptures of the last 6 months. You can read this exhaustive review and response to famous Calvinist Dr. James R. White's book The Potter's Freedom in my series called The Debater's Potter.

UPDATE 3: This article is more about Determinism than basic Calvinism. A discussion about the sovereignty of God can be found here: God's Rube Goldberg Machine.

UPDATE 2: This article is one of the most popular ever at OMW, it continues to be visited by new readers several times a day. Recently there has been a very detailed discussion of the Calvinist theory of Total Depravity/Total Inability which I have found to be most profitable. Please read TESTING TULIP: Total Depravity/Inability here.

UPDATE: This article has sparked some interest in Calvinism here at OMW so I thought I would do a 7 part series on TULIP.

My wife and I took a day off from the world on Saturday. Have you ever just taken a vacation from all your responsibilities for a day? It’s obviously not the responsible thing to do, but there is merit to doing so every now and then. *smile*

I like mysterious movies. OK, actually I just plain love movies. Well made or poorly so it doesn’t matter, I just really love them. I’m fascinated by the process of telling a story using the incredible palate of a theater movie. I’m a DVD “special features” addict… admitting it is the first step toward recovery right?

So during our little vacation from the world and all its cares my wife and I headed off to see the movie Knowing. I guess I wasn’t entirely on vacation. Movies have a great ability to give voice to the undercurrent of opinions of the culture. The voice they have then tends to solidify those opinions. The movie is designed to have people identify with it, and those who do identify with it say “Ya! That’s what I think too!” They think that someone else thinks the same thing they do, and their opinion becomes validated in their mind. This is the same way a commercial works, you think a product is good and then you see someone on TV saying it is and you’re like “ya! They’re right, and so am I.” Your opinion of the product is confirmed, and now established in your mind. So, knowing that “Knowing” was about the end of the world I was interested in what people are thinking about, and what they’re being fed. Admittedly, this was not my primary purpose but it was what I used to justify going to the theater to be entertained by a bunch of lies.

Spoilers warning: Knowing is a very well made flick and entertaining. I wouldn’t normally ruin someone’s movie going experience. For the sake of the Gospel however, I am going to talk about the entire story of the movie. The movie was incredibly well researched and crafted. If you really want to see it, there’s probably value for you to watch it first and then come back to this article. This article isn’t really about the movie, but about the concepts used in the movie to attack the hope of the Gospel.
I’m really glad I watched the movie, not only was it very well made but shortly into the film I realized I wasn’t on vacation after all. I was exactly where God wanted me to be. The movie starts with the main character discussing the difference between the ideas of how the Universe came to be as it is. He asks, what caused the Earth to be the exact right distance from the Sun to support intelligent life. It is around this question that he discusses two opposing views; random chance and determinism. This is a truly brilliant moment in the film. The character could have chosen to discuss Evolution and Creationism along with the associated baggage. But the really issue of the movie is “are things ‘determined’ or random.” I love well crafted movies, and this speech by Nicolas Cage’s character sold me on the flick. The writers knew what they were doing and I was in for a treat. I had been unaware that this was the subject of the film, and had really just expected an end of the world type mystery. Maybe I was were God had “determined” I would be?

We were sitting beside two boys who were early to mid teenaged. A scene showed that the main character didn’t like being the son of a Pastor because he favors the random chance view of the universe. These two boys picked up on the unfamiliar word “Pastor” because they didn’t know what it meant. In one quick sentence I told them what a Pastor is and we all went back to the movie.
Then a scene came where a plane crash happens exactly where it was predicted to happen, and kills the exact number of people that was predicted too. The scene was graphic and disturbing. I have been to aircraft crash sites trying to find people, so it may have been more disturbing to me than it would be to other people. What shocked me most however was the sound of the boys laughing with delight as the people were shown burning and trying to get away from the flames. It was a horrible sight on the screen, and these two thought it was funny. Of course at this point I started to wonder why two so young people were allowed into the theater unescorted, and that led me to the thought of what it costs our children to be denied Truth. These kids didn’t even know what a Pastor is, let alone the benefit of having one teach them Truth. It showed in their delight over suffering. Now these completely unprotected kids were going to watch a well crafted film that was obviously going to be taking on the subject of the nature of God.

At this point the stakes were starting to get pretty high. The movie had my interest and God allowed me get a clear view of the people who could be affected by it.

Through the movie the character played by Nicolas Cage is swayed from the idea of random chance to start believing in determinism. He’s been given a soft of key to all the disasters over a period of 50 years. H e knows the date, the number of people killed and the location. He tries to stop a few of them, but he always fails and the exact number of people predicted end up dying anyway. It doesn’t take long for the predictions to run out. The last prediction states the number of people killed will be “EE” and at first he thinks this is 33, but through investigation he comes to realize it means “Everyone Else.” He now has a date for the end of the world and he’s convinced that it’s going to happen. Of course no one believes him… people argue random chance and think he’s lost his sensibilities.

Over the course of the film the predictions are tied to the Bible, particularly the book of Ezekiel. Some creepy individuals show up, and they are recognizable as matching the descriptions of Angels in the bible. The imagery is carefully matched to the descriptions of things in Ezekiel, which I found fascinating.

In the middle act of the film we witness a conversation between the main character and his father, the Pastor. Nicolas Cage warns him that the end of the world is coming, and the Pastor responds that if it is time for the Lord to take him then he’s ready and asks Nick if he is too. The phone lines go down at that point stopping the conversation. Was this a determined event?

In the last act Nick teams up with a woman to try to save themselves and their kids he continues to fight against what has been determined. The woman dies, just as predicted, and the kids get taken by these angel people. Nick has figured out where they are supposed to go on the day the world ends and he heads there, expecting to find the kids there. Turns out the kids are there, with the angels. His son is getting ready to get into, you guessed it, a space ship. The little child is told that his dad can’t come with him. He’s broken hearted of course, but he explains to his dad that only those who have been chosen and have heard the call can go. Nicolas Cage pleads with the angels momentarily but then surrenders to the fact that he can’t go and sends his son off with his love.

Then we see spaceships lifting off the face of the Earth from locations all around the world. The kids are taken to a beautiful planet with golden grace and one single large tree – the Tree of Life maybe? But the movie jumps back to Earth and we witness the world burning from a solar flare from the Sun. Nick is with his mom, dad and sister and they are all burnt in the destruction of the world. The streets are filled with panicking people and there is a van with words painted on it. It says “Jesus is the way, the truth and the life.” These people are engulfed in flames.

What we see here is a graphic portrayal of determinism. Those who would be saved are determined and there is no possible hope for anyone else, even those who think they have hope. Nicolas pleaded to be saved, but he was not one of the chosen so he was not saved. The Pastor’s family though trusting God were not saved from the flames because they were not chosen.

This movie uses the teachings of Calvinism to inoculate the culture against the true Gospel of Grace. There is no reason to seek God, or to trust Him because only those who are chosen will be saved anyway. These determined few will be saved no matter if they know what’s going on or not and no one else has a chance.

It is JUST a movie.

But here’s a thought about Calvinism. God, Who cannot lie, says that all who trust Him will be saved. He says all who call on Him will be saved. If someone thinks and trusts they are saved based on the fact that Jesus died for their sins and rose again but they are in fact not saved – because they are not one of the “elect” then is not God a liar? If Salvation is not by Grace through Faith then is not God a liar?
This movie uses Calvinism’s determinism to show people that it’s useless to trust God, that salvation is through some other means. It even goes so far as to make it seem ok that “Everyone Else” is going to perish. I’m convinced knowing the difference between Calvinism and Christianity will help the Evangelist reach the lost and glorify the Name of God as we watch Him be faithful to His Word.

25 comments:

ricky earle said...

Can't wait to read this brother, will do it soon.

God bless,
Ricky

Kevl said...

Ricky Earle? Ricky Earle!!!!!!!

Hey Brother how are you!?!?! I sent you an email a while ago - in response to yours which was well before that. :)

Should chat again soonest!

Wow it's good to see a comment from you!

Kev

Tom said...

Kevl,

I had no plans to see this movie but now I might re-think that and go see it.

I need to suggest one point of clarification to your analysis of Calvinism. You said:

"Those who would be saved are determined and there is no possible hope for anyone else, even those who think they have hope. Nicolas pleaded to be saved, but he was not one of the chosen so he was not saved. The Pastor’s family though trusting God were not saved from the flames because they were not chosen."

Calvinism does not teach that some will plead to be saved but be rejected by God. Calvinism teaches that only those who are chosen will plead with God for salvation and it will be given to every one of them. Calvinism teaches that those who are not chosen will not and do not want to plead with God for salvation because of the sinful state in which they live.

This is one of the common misconceptions about Calvinism. It is one I held myself before I studied what Calvinism really teaches. God's sovereignty in Election is a difficult doctrine to accept.

I enjoyed your review of the movie and intend to add your blog to my RSS reader so I can follow it in the future.

Jan said...

"This movie uses the teachings of Calvinism to inoculate the culture against the true Gospel of Grace. There is no reason to seek God, or to trust Him because only those who are chosen will be saved anyway. These determined few will be saved no matter if they know what’s going on or not and no one else has a chance."

Kev-

I heard this movie is purely occultic. I doubt they were using Calvinism, per se, to inoculate people against God. I DO think they are trying to inoculate people against the true Gospel of grace, but I think it's more likely they were trying to do that by putting forth the New Age "Gospel According to Satan", if you will. The New Age has it's own idea of how the world will end and there has been an astonishing level of indoctrination to that view from pretty much everywhere in the last few years. I do think what they want people to believe as far as any kind of Christianity is that it doesn't matter if you are a Christian or not since Christianity is false and is going to pass away (violently, I might add) and this is how it really is. Like you said about the van with the Jesus message on it- they were destroyed too. This is not because God hadn't really chosen them for salvation in a Calvinistic sense. It is because there is no salvation in Jesus, period. At least not in the Jesus of the Bible as we understand Him.

I think the Calvinism seeming aspect in this movie falls under the "any similarity to persons living or dead is purely coincidental" clause.

What I am getting at is, I don't think this movie is about getting people to hate God by falsely showing how Calvinistic He is. I think they are putting forth a doctrine they do believe is true and is also deterministic. What they are insisting on is that the old ways- ANY form of Christianity where there is a crucified Savior- are going to be destroyed and an new way of doing life is going to come into play through the next generation. In fact, it is against Calvinism inasmuch as the "election to salvation" was not unconditional- they were all children who were taken in the ships (as I heard it). It will have nothing to do with any kind of Christian doctrine at all (as they imagine) except what they pervert out of the Bible.

The message is DEFINITELY against the Christian faith. But not specifically geared toward fostering that hatred by showing how evil Calvinism is. As far as the determinism aspect of Calvinism, they would actually praise that. In fact, I'll bet some of the most helpless, worthless and pathetic people in the movie were Christians. That's because we don't have a powerful God and our beliefs are beyond stupid and need to be destroyed.

That's my take on it from what I've heard and from what I know of the New Age doctrine.

You have almost tempted me to go see it for myself to see what it really is saying now!

JanH

Kevl said...

Hi Jan

You said I think the Calvinism seeming aspect in this movie falls under the "any similarity to persons living or dead is purely coincidental" clause.

What I am getting at is, I don't think this movie is about getting people to hate God by falsely showing how Calvinistic He is.


They were not using the idea that God is Calvinistic, they were using the common understanding of God taught by Calvinism.

Yes it is a very new age movie. It promotes the new age ideas, and uses common understandings of Calvinism to confirm their points.

The movie is incredibly well made, in this regard.

Having sat through it myself I must insist that it makes extensive use of Calvinism, and not Christianity. You are right to say that the Christians were some of the weakest people, but what they really played up was the hopelessness of faith. The Christians felt secure, but in the end God did nothing to save them.

Kev

Kevl said...

Hi Tom,

You said Calvinism does not teach that some will plead to be saved but be rejected by God. Calvinism teaches that only those who are chosen will plead with God for salvation and it will be given to every one of them. Calvinism teaches that those who are not chosen will not and do not want to plead with God for salvation because of the sinful state in which they live.

I'm very aware of the Total Depravity teaching of Calvinism.

However, the practical living out of Calvinism is that Calvinists relentlessly inspect Christians to see if they are "really in the faith" because people can "think they are saved, but really be false converts."

I agree there can be false converts, there is no false convert who believes they are saved based on Christ's death and resurrection in their place.

While Calvinism uses Total Depravity to say that only the Elect can call on God (hence no unsaved person would plead for salvation) in the every day living out of this false doctrine they accuse people of false faith everywhere, all the time. So people all over the place call on God but because of some failing in their faith, performance, whatever... they are not saved.

the movie, USED calvinism.. it did not mirror it or explain it.

Kev

Tom said...

Kev,

You said

"While Calvinism uses Total Depravity to say that only the Elect can call on God (hence no unsaved person would plead for salvation) in the every day living out of this false doctrine they accuse people of false faith everywhere, all the time. So people all over the place call on God but because of some failing in their faith, performance, whatever... they are not saved."

No Calvinist that I know goes around accusing people of false faith. We Calvinists do not make it our business to go around purposefully checking all we come in contact with to see if they meet the test. I am too busy examining myself and trying to make sure that I am right with God to have time to be closely scrutinizing others. However, the Bible does give us a way to examine other Christians and a way for other Christians to examine us. It says that "by their fruits we shall know them". We are in fact "our brothers keeper" in a sense.

The Doctrine of Total Depravity is not a false doctrine. It is taught throughout the Bible and is believed by many Christians who are not Calvinists. It has its basis in Genesis 3 and extends throughout the Old and New Testaments. If humans were not totally depraved then there would be no need for a savior because there would be something within themselves that would allow them to initiate their salvation. This is not Biblical.

Any faith that is not from God is a failing faith. Only faith that is given by God is sufficient. Therefore, the only reason why a person who "calls on God" but isn't saved is because they are not genuinely trusting in Him. We have all made promises to God that were not genuine. You know, we say "God if you will get me out of this I will....." and we are not sincere, we are just desperate and willing to try anything so we call on God also. God is not obligated to answer such silly utterances. In the same sense, God in not obligated to answer those who "call on God" out of anything other that genuine repentance. Many do it and are rightly ignored by God. But that is between Him and them.

Lastly, the movie may have been using Calvinism as its model. The only way to know for sure would be to ask those who wrote the script. But, if they were trying to use Calvinism in the manner you have described then they were working with a false understanding of what Calvinism teaches.

I mean no offense and I am not trying to pick a fight with you on your blog but if you think that Calvinism teaches what you have said it does then you also have a misunderstanding. I do not have perfect knowledge of Calvinism but I have been studying it since June 2006. At that time I began in an attempt to refute it and ended up embracing it in Dec 2007. During that time I looked at every objection I could think of or find that others raised. It was an eye opening time for me.

Ryan said...

Charles Spurgion said something like this, "Equating Calvinism with determinism is like equating God with atheism"

My friend, you do not understand Calvinism. I grow weary of such misrepresentations and caricatures because they creat unwarranted suspicions which are divisive to the body of Christ.

Kevl said...

Hi Tom,

Thanks for your comment.

Visit www.biblicalevangelism.net for a hockey-sock full of "Calvinists" who teach and do as I have said.

Also stick around, they do such here on a fairly regular basis. :)

Thanks for your comments, I'm an ex-calvinist. While mankind is depraved, the "Total Depravity" that you describe is not Biblical.

Genesis 3 saw mankind having the knowledge of "good and evil" added to his knowledge. God cursed mankind to die so that he would not be like God. We were not made hopelessly evil and unable to believe in God. We attained a sin nature, which leaves us imperfect which is why we need salvation.

We don't need salvation because we are hopelessly evil, we need salvation because we have fallen short of perfection.

Thanks,
Kev

Kevl said...

Hi Ryan,

You said
My friend, you do not understand Calvinism. I grow weary of such misrepresentations and caricatures because they creat unwarranted suspicions which are divisive to the body of Christ.


I grow weary of being told I don't understand Calvinism...

Kev

Tom said...

Kev,

You said:

"Visit www.biblicalevangelism.net for a hockey-sock full of "Calvinists" who teach and do as I have said."

I have listened to Way of the Master Radio for a couple years now and do not ever remember them teaching the things you have attributed to what Calvinists teach. I know there are Hyper-Calvinists who teach some of the things you have suggested but I think they border on heresy.

Kevl said...

Hi Tom,

I meant the user forums there. I am a graduate and spent several years interacting on the forums there. Ray, by his own statements, is not a Calvinist though he surely does have Reformed type theology.

Kev

Lou Martuneac said...

Greetings Kev:

Tom/Ryan/Jan/Kev, I want to offer a clarification in my words.

The Bible does teach the Total Depravity of man, (Jer. 17:9; Romans 3:10-18).

The Bible, however, does NOT teach Calvinism's Total Inability, (Rom. 10:9-10, 13).

In the Bible God invites (Isaiah 1:18), and Christ draws all men (John 12:32), but no man has the innate ability to respond without the working of the Holy Spirit (John 16:7-11) to convince him of “sin, righteousness, and judgment.”

The Calvinist believes man is so “dead in trespasses and sins” that he must first be regenerated: That is to say, born again, made alive by the Spirit of God, and given the new nature prior to and apart from personal repentance toward God and faith in Jesus Christ (Acts 20:21).

This regeneration before faith is an unwarranted extra-biblical deduction that flows from Calvinism’s Total Inability.


LM

*Some from above are excerpted from my book, In Defense of the Gospel: Biblical Answers to Lordship Salvation.

Jan said...

They were not using the idea that God is Calvinistic, they were using the common understanding of God taught by Calvinism.

It's very interesting that they would do that. One of the fundamental principles of New Age is that man has free will and that free will is sacrosanct. "They" (the Hierarchy, etc.) can do nothing unless a person willingly allows them to. (That that willingness is coerced through deception, threats, lies, strange miracles, false promises, etc. is apparently irrelevant.) This is convenient because then they can say it is all our fault when they can't do what they have promised to do when they have promised to do it. The latest incident being this ridiculous Maitreya star nonsense. This star is supposed to be shining as a sort of cosmic announcement of Maitreya's readiness to begin appearing in television interviews to share his ideas on how to fix the world's mess. He was supposed to begin interviews about a week after the star appeared, or something. Well, it has now been around for several MONTHS and still no interviews. Why not? Because WE haven't been paying enough attention to it. WE haven't been discussing it or debating it or whatever. So again it is all OUR fault that he isn't showing up. So rather than just admit that he is a liar who has no power to do anything unless God gives it to him, he just blames us. So typical. But I digress.

Of course once that entry is gained, the person's free will becomes something of a sick joke as the person is now for all intents and purposes enslaved and that to an ever increasing degree the deeper in they go.

Who but Satan can talk out of both sides of his mouth like that? "You're free but not really as everything is predetermined to happen and there is nothing you can do about it." Or, "The salvation of the planet is all up to humanity and I am certain humanity will choose 'wisely,' not that that matters as the whole world is going to end irrespective of what you do to save it."

I might just have to break down and see this film to see what you are talking about and just what message they are sending.

They never can seem to make up their mind.

JanH

Tom said...

Kev,

I have never visited the forums at Way of the Master but I will do so in the near future. I truly hope that the Calvinists there are not truly saying the things that you have attributed to them. But, I have no reason to doubt you. Sadly, there are people of every theology who got too far and become bad advocates of their theology.

Josh Gelatt said...

Hey man, I just found your blog. I hate to add my name to the long list of those who say you don't understand Calvinism, but I'm afraid I must.

You wrote: "God, Who cannot lie, says that all who trust Him will be saved. He says all who call on Him will be saved. If someone thinks and trusts they are saved based on the fact that Jesus died for their sins and rose again but they are in fact not saved – because they are not one of the “elect” then is not God a liar?"

But what Calvinist would ever say that? What Calvinist has ever said it? None, in fact, because no Calvinist would believe such nonsense. By definition, one who places his/her faith and trust in Christ is one of the elect. The proof of that is the fact they put their faith in Christ. There is no such thing (to Calvinists) as someone who has put his faith in Christ but somehow missed out because he was not part of the elect.

You also said: "However, the practical living out of Calvinism is that Calvinists relentlessly inspect Christians to see if they are "really in the faith" because people can "think they are saved, but really be false converts."

As do Pentecostals, Baptists, Prebyterians, Methodists, and all otherwised-non-defined Arminians. This is hardly a Calvnistic trait. In fact, Calvinism is more commonly (and correctly) criticized for promoting the lack of self-reflection/examiniation that is found in non-Calvinistic (i.e. Arminian) systems of theology.

Non-Calvinist systems place the burden upon the sincerity of the covert. Therefore, the convert must examine to see if he "really meant it". To some degree, such self-examination is healthy and biblical. But excesses to this do not arrive out of Calvinism (in fact, most non-Calvinist theologians argue that Reformed theology kills self-examination). You have taken a criticism of Arminianism and incorrectly applied it to Calvinism.

Kevl said...

Hi Josh,

Thanks for posting. I've found that Calvinism and Arminianism both end up in the same spot when taken to their logical conclusions.

You said But what Calvinist would ever say that? What Calvinist has ever said it? None, in fact, because no Calvinist would believe such nonsense

You can search this blog for posts by Calvinists... search for Bridget as my prime example. She is a believer who fellowships at John Piper's church whom I have known for several years.

I like to thank new posters for their posts, but I wish there were a stronger word for it in this case. While a lot of your post is tired Calvinism internet stuff (sorry.. just trying to save time) some of if is very thoughtful.

I only have a moment, or I would try to be more eloquent (I did say "try" lol) but there are two things I'd like to comment on from your post.

You said By definition, one who places his/her faith and trust in Christ is one of the elect.

This is just part of the circular theological thinking that defines and embodies TULIP (and other theological systems).

Election is not solely about Salvation, actually in most cases people are elected to carry out some purpose, not to Salvation.

Also, Salvation is not exclusive to the Elect. Scripture never once says or even hints that it is, and everywhere makes it clear that it is available to everyone.

That's one.. I really do only have a moment.. and I'm going as fast as I can.

This was most interesting to me
But excesses to this do not arrive out of Calvinism (in fact, most non-Calvinist theologians argue that Reformed theology kills self-examination).

I strongly suspect you've gained this insight from having spent most of your time discussing Calvinism vs Arminianism. I am not an Arminianist (no matter how much Calvinists think every non-Calvinist is such).

The closest label that would fit me would be a Classic Dispensationalist. FYI.

Reformed Theology forces people to examine themselves for proof of Salvation (where Arminianism would have the believer maintain Salvation). The commonality between the two is the proof/maintenance of Salvation is something additional to Faith.

You seem to be smarter than the average joe so I trust I can leave such a messy post to you.

Kev

Kevl said...

Hi Tom,

The believers who post in the ways I've described at SOBE are extreme Calvinists who have allowed the Gospel they preach to be added too. They preach "Lordship Salvation." They align themselves with Calvinism and use TULIP to defend their positions.

I never had reason to question TULIP until I came face to face with the Lordship Salvation issue. And even that at the first seemed reasonable to me - until I put it to the test of Scripture.

Kev

Tom said...

Kev,

You said

"Election is not solely about Salvation, actually in most cases people are elected to carry out some purpose, not to Salvation.

Also, Salvation is not exclusive to the Elect. Scripture never once says or even hints that it is, and everywhere makes it clear that it is available to everyone.
"

No Calvinist I know of would deny that God has specific purposes or plans for certain individuals. In fact, most would say that God has specific purposes for every individual. This is not the same as the Doctrine of Election though. The Doctrine of Election refers only to salvation or reprobation.

Also, can you give an example from the Bible where salvation was given to a non-elect person. Also, how do we identify who is a member of the Elect and who is not in respect to salvation?

Kevl said...

Hi Tom,

You said The Doctrine of Election refers only to salvation or reprobation.I understand the Calvinist doctrine of "Unconditional Election" is applied to Salvation and Reprobation. However, the proof-texts used to support this don't have anything to do with Eternal Salvation or Reprobation.

You asked can you give an example from the Bible where salvation was given to a non-elect personI suppose I could give you many many examples of people who are saved and never once described as "Elect." Moses would be one example.

Then you asked how do we identify who is a member of the Elect and who is not in respect to salvation? That question would more rightly be put to you since you are the one who voices agreement with the doctrine.

Scripture, to my best knowledge, doesn't give any light on that subject. It is assumption to say that everyone saved must be part of the Elect, as Scripture does not say this. The fact that Salvation is available for everyone (I know this violates other views of Calvinism... I do not hold to Calvinism I bow my intellect to the Word of God alone) shows that Salvation is available to more than just the Elect.

Kev

Kevl said...

I'm working on a follow-up article on the doctrines of TULIP. Maybe some of you who have come here to this post will participate. Should take a couple more days to complete.

Kev

Kevl said...

I've gotten the notes on TULIP back from review. The article is huge... I really don't want to break it up but it looks like I'm going to have to.

Kev

Kevl said...

http://onmywalk.blogspot.com/2009/04/tripping-tulip-part-1-introduction.html

There is part one of an article about TULIP.

Kev

Bloodbrotherdan said...

Hello,

I read quite a few of the comments and must agree with "Ryan" that Calvinsism is grossly misrepresented. I won't bare the burden of trying to convince anyone of the realities of this doctrine but will say that to attribute any injustice in regards to it is a misunderstanding of the scriptures. The Lord has created for himself and for His names sake a Holy people of both Jew and Gentile. Apart from the Holy Spirits work, no one would come to him. A person does not need to attribute the findings of Calvin "to Calvin", but look at them independently and through the character of our Lord represented within His Word - then you can see the beauty of election and the humility that it brings to the one so elected.

Kevl said...

Bloodbrotherdan,

To say that no one would come to God without the work of the Spirit doesn't equate to the pre-faith regeneration and determinism of Calvinism.

Over the Summer and Fall of last year I did an exhaustive series on James R. White's "The Potter's Freedom." Much of it is painful because I was shocked that Dr. White hasn't yet gotten out of the famous "Cage Stage" of Calvinism. So I spent a lot of time in the early articles dealing with the haughty tone of what I was reading.

By the time I was finished I examined each and every argument presented in his work for Calvinism Determinism and have found it to be completely without support in the Scriptures.

If you are interested please check it out here: The Debater's Potter

Thanks for your comment.

Kev