Election is not the problem…sin is (part ii)

4 11 2006

In Romans chapter 1 the apostle tells us that humanity is ‘without excuse’. There has been much discussion on this post relative to what and how this could be. I thought it might be better to take this text insert it in another post and make some comments relative to the verse. Hopefully this serves as helpful.

In Romans 1 God is clearly angry as “the wrath of God” is being revealed from heaven. Notice the object of this justified anger: “men”. Humanity is in the cross hairs of divine wrath.

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness /18

And why? It is because they “suppress the truth in unrighteousness”. Notice that the immediate reason given for unleashing heaven’s judgment upon man is that they are actively suppressing the truth. God is angry because of humanity’s rejection and suppression of his revelation (much more could and probably should be said here…).

Paul goes on to demonstrate how this revelation has been given and the persistent and dedicated truth suppression or rebellion that ensues:

because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them /19

Read the rest of this entry »

Election is not the problem…sin is

20 10 2006

I have been thinking a lot recently about free-will, the nature of sin, divine election and so forth. I have come accross this quote by Packer and was greatly encouraged. If you have not read this book, it is a must.

The Bible never says that sinners miss heaven because they are not elect, but because they ‘neglect the great salvation’, and because they will not repent and believe.

The last judgment will abundantly prove that it is not the want of God’s election, so much as laziness, the love of sin, unbelief, and unwillingness to come to Christ, which ruins the souls that are lost. God gives men what they choose, not the opposite of what they choose. Those who choose death, therefore have only themselves to thank that God does not give them life” J.I. Packer, Evangelism & the Sovereignty of God

Audio for Mohler / Patterson debate…err…discussion

26 09 2006

The audio is available here for the discussion between Al Mohler and Paige Patterson surrounding Calvinism. The discussion seemed to be directed at achieving common evangelistic ground rather than outlining and debating doctrinal distinctives, which apparently is pretty denominationally necessary at this point. Anyway, I was under whelmed but I know that some folks have been looking for this.

A couple of points to note:

-Patterson unabashedly states that he is a universalist in terms of the atonement’s potential.

Mohler chastises Calvinists who drive across the state to debate an Arminian but won’t walk across the street to evangelize their neighbor. <amen!>

-Patterson says that he and Mohler essentially agree “although we differ a little bit, when we get down to the nitty gritty…”

The whole thing seemed strangely ironic. The men fundamentally disagree about God’s design in the atonement and the way in which he applies it (in other words the gospel) however they came across as if they were on the same page in regards to the gospel. I wish they would have interacted a bit on the disagreements and let the text talk, however this apparently was not the intention.

(HT: Tim Challies)

Defending Calvinism by Spurgeon

11 09 2006

Spurgeon said “Calvinism is the gospel and nothing else” Read the context of this quote below:

If anyone should ask me what I mean by a Calvinist, I should reply, “He is one who says, Salvation is of the Lord.” I cannot find in Scripture any other doctrine than this. It is the essence of the Bible. “He only is my rock and my salvation.”

Tell me anything contrary to this truth, and it will be a heresy; tell me a heresy, and I shall find its essence here, that it has departed from this great, this fundamental, this rock-truth, “God is my rock and my salvation.” What is the heresy of Rome, but the addition of something to the perfect merits of Jesus Christ—the bringing in of the works of the flesh, to assist in our justification? And what is the heresy of Arminianism but the addition of something to the work of the Redeemer? Every heresy, if brought to the touchstone, will discover itself here.

I have my own private opinion that there is no such thing as preaching Christ and Him crucified, unless we preach what nowadays is called Calvinism. It is a nickname to call it Calvinism; Calvinism is the gospel, and nothing else.

I do not believe we can preach the gospel, if we do not preach justification by faith, without works; nor unless we preach the sovereignty of God in His dispensation of grace; nor unless we exalt the electing, unchangeable, eternal, immutable, conquering love of Jehovah; nor do I think we can preach the gospel, unless we base it upon the special and particular redemption of His elect and chosen people which Christ wrought out upon the cross; nor can I comprehend a gospel which lets saints fall away after they are called, and suffers the children of God to be burned in the fires of damnation after having once believed in Jesus. Such a gospel I abhor.

(Charles Spurgeon, A Defense of Calvinism)