Posted on February 25, 2014 by kangaroodort
I found this comment after a post by a Calvinist at this blog:
There are three books every born again child of God should read (1) the Bible (2) The Reign of Grace by Abraham Boothe (3) An Antidote to Armianism by Christopher Ness. There is no such thing as a “Reformed Christian” because you are a christian or a non christian and if you have not been led by the Holy Spirit to a belief in the doctrines of grace (which is a being raised from the dead, not a reformation) then you believe another gospel and you are anathama.
It is comforting but not true to believe that someone can believe in free ill [sic.] and be saved
Good stuff. First, read the Bible (refreshing). Second, read two Calvinist works so that you can be sufficiently brainwashed into ignoring what you just read in the Bible about God’s love for the world, desire for all to be saved, the possibility of apostasy from genuine faith, etc. Basically, all those pesky parts that blatantly contradict Calvinism.
Anyway, as long as you read those books “after” you read the Bible, you can avoid the heresy of believing in free will which would make it impossible to be saved (never mind that you have no choice about what you believe in the first place). Oh, and if God hasn’t caused you to embrace Calvinism, you are clearly not saved.
Of course, this is just one voice among many Calvinists and might be considered rather extreme. However, it should be noted that this is the first comment in the thread. One would expect that at least one Calvinist would set this fellow straight on his hyper Calvinism, but not a single one takes this hyper-Calvinist to task. It seems that Mr. Owen is really onto something (though I disagree with his claim in his initial article that the old time Calvinists were not as anti-Arminian as the YRR movement. That is hardly the case). It does seem that things are trending in this direction of “non-Calvinists aren’t Christians” among Calvinists. Hopefully, more Calvinists like Paul Owen will sound the alarm before this sort of extremism really does become the norm.
Filed under: Calvinism, Neo-Reformed, Young Restless Reformed | 6 Comments »
Posted on February 13, 2014 by kangaroodort
You can read the excerpt here
Here are a few interesting comments left in response to the new book,
Austin, as one out of church for the last 2 years due to not being able to deal with, nor yet truly dismiss ,the calvinist god, I am reading your book with bated breath. It’s not a journey I have made willingly. So far you are the only person who has ever described what it is like to have the whole Bible become linguistically unreachable & impossible when the tenets of calvinism undermine normal meanings of words like love…for this alone I am grateful, & feel less strange. I can’t figure out why this doesn’t happen for everyone. I get left with an unreachable, unknowable God who frankly scares me to death. We’ll see how I get on. I’m not hopeful but I’m still trying. [Link]
Luke Breuer wrote:
It’s fascinating that AW Tozer both said that our conception of God is the most important thing about us, and simultaneously failed to mention God’s servant-nature (in his Knowledge of the Holy), as expressed by Jesus’ coming to earth to serve and not be served, with Jesus being the “exact representation” of God, per Hebrews 1. It strikes me that truly becoming more like the Calvinist God would make you into someone not many people would want to be around. Someone who meticulously controls everything instead of delegating authority to others? Someone who thinks it is perfectly fine to use some people as a means to an end? I know that a standard response is that when we “become perfect as our father in heaven is perfect”, that this is only done in some respects; such an ‘explanation’ just seems like special pleading. [Link]
Bev Mitchell wrote:
This is a great book. I read it through in a couple of sittings. It’s honest, clear and non-argumentative. Yet you come away understanding that the author has really thoroughly considered, and walked, the Calvinist road until he decided that too many mysteries were piling up in the wrong places. He recognizes, and clearly explains, that his new position (not specifically defined) has mystery as well, but these are mysteries that he believes are more true to the whole of Scripture and, to his thinking, also more reasonable. [Link]
I haven’t read the book yet, but hope to be able to buy it soon. It sounds great.
Filed under: Austin Fischer, Calvinism, Neo-Reformed, Young Restless Reformed | Leave a comment »
Posted on February 4, 2014 by kangaroodort
Article by Günther H. Juncker, re-posted from SEA
According to Calvinism, Rom 11:5-7 teaches double predestination. On the one hand there is a “remnant” that is elect and has been “chosen” for salvation from before the foundation of the world. And on the other hand there is “the rest” who are the non-elect, or reprobate, who have been created and irreversibly predestined to hell. The reprobate by definition cannot be saved because God does not want them saved. He does not love them (rather he “hates” them) and Jesus did not die for them. These God justly “hardens,” like Pharaoh, to keep from salvation since God does not want them saved but in hell.
According to Paul, however, “the rest” who are not elect and not “chosen” can be saved. In fact, many of them will be saved. Saving them is, from one angle, the very point of the Gentile mission! If Paul is correct then Calvinism is, in a word, refuted. Clearly if “the rest” can be saved, then they are not the reprobate of Calvinistic double predestination theology. The fact that some are “chosen” does not entail that others are irreversibly reprobated or “rejected.” Since the chosen “remnant” actually comes from the ranks of “the rest” it is thus not enough to say, as any Calvinist could say, that the existence of a remnant proves that God has not rejected Israel. It is specifically “the rest,” described in detail in the immediately preceding paragraph (Rom 10:16-21), that God has not rejected. But how to be sure? Simple. Follow the pronouns in Romans 11 to see what Paul himself actually says about “the rest.” God loves them. He shows mercy to them. He desires that they be saved. Some of them can and will be saved.
|1I say then, God has not rejected His people, has He? May it never be! For I too am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. 2God has not rejected His people whom He foreknew. Or do you not know what the Scripture says in the passage about Elijah, how he pleads with God against Israel? 3“Lord, they have killed Your prophets, they have torn down Your altars, and I alone am left, and they are seeking my life.” 4But what is the divine response to him? “I have kept for Myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal.” 5In the same way then, there has also come to be at the present time a remnant according to God’s gracious choice. 6But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace. 7What then? What Israel is seeking, it has not obtained, but those who were chosen obtained it, and the rest were hardened; 8just as it is written, “God gave them a spirit of stupor, Eyes to see not and ears to hear not, Down to this very day.” 9And David says, “Let their table become a snare and a trap, And a stumbling block and a retribution to them.10Let their eyes be darkened to see not, And bend their backs forever.” 11I say then, they did not stumble so as to fall, did they? May it never be! But by their transgression salvation has come to the Gentiles, to make them jealous. 12Now if their transgression is riches for the world and their failure is riches for the Gentiles, how much more will their fulfillment be! 13But I am speaking to you who are Gentiles. Inasmuch then as I am an apostle of Gentiles, I magnify my ministry, 14if somehow I might move to jealousy my fellow countrymen and save some of them. 15For if their rejection is the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead? 16If the first piece of dough is holy, the lump is also; and if the root is holy, the branches are too. 17But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive, were grafted in among them and became partaker with them of the rich root of the olive tree, 18do not be arrogant toward the branches; but if you are arrogant, remember that it is not you who supports the root, but the root supports you. 19You will say then, “Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in.” 20Quite right, they were broken off for their unbelief, but you stand by your faith. Do not be conceited, but fear; 21for if God did not spare the natural branches, He will not spare you, either. 22Behold then the kindness and severity of God; to those who fell, severity, but to you, God’s kindness, if you continue in His kindness; otherwise you also will be cut off. 23And they also, if they do not continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. 24For if you were cut off from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and were grafted contrary to nature into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these who are the natural branches be grafted into their own olive tree? … 28From the standpoint of the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but from the standpoint of God’s choice they are beloved for the sake of the fathers; 29for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. 30For just as you once were disobedient to God, but now have been shown mercy because of their disobedience, 31so these also now have been disobedient, that because of the mercy shown to you they also may now be shown mercy. 32For God has shut up all in disobedience so that He may show mercy to all.
Truly, this passage should be an eye opener for those who have not taken God’s salvific, propitiatory agape love for the entire world (John 3:16; cf. 1 John 2:2) seriously enough. In short, if Rom 11:5-7 is not describing the reprobate of Calvinistic double predestination then it is safe to say that there are no such people. What Calvin meant by terms like “elect” and “chosen” and “hardened” has nothing to do with what Paul meant by these terms. The Calvinist system is foreign to Paul and twists Paul’s terms to mean things that they never meant. Same goes for expressions like “vessels of wrath” that for Calvin meant reprobate and irreversibly predestined to hell; whereas for Paul it simply meant presently under God’s wrath but able to come out from under that wrath through faith in the Gospel (cf. Rom 2:4-5). In fact, for Paul all believers were once “vessels of wrath” (Rom 1:18-3:20; cf. Eph 2:3)! In other words, if the so-called “reprobate” can be and are being saved and grafted into the Olive Tree, then there is no such thing as the “reprobate” as Calvinism understands the term. May God spare us from dogmatic interpretations that distort the Gospel and diminish God’s goodness, love, and mercy toward the whole cosmos and every single person in it!
|“I can prove that Calvinistic double predestination is biblical. Let me begin by redefining some of Paul’s terms in Romans . . . .”
Dr. Günther H. Juncker
Professor of New Testament & Greek
Toccoa Falls College
Toccoa Falls, GA 30598
Filed under: Calvinism, corporate election, determinism, Divine Hardening, election, faith, free will, predestination, Romans 11, Romans 11:1-32, Romans 11:5-7, Romans 9 | Leave a comment »
Posted on January 16, 2014 by kangaroodort
Excerpt from conclusion:
While the book [From Heaven He Came And Sought Her] will likely be too much for some laypeople to digest, I would encourage all theological students, pastors, and scholars to take the time to read it and digest it. It is probably the most comprehensive defense of definite atonement available. On the surface, it looks formidable, but it has a soft underbelly and is vulnerable to a number of criticisms.
It only takes one clear statement in Scripture that Christ died for the sins of all people to confirm unlimited atonement no matter how many statements indicate Christ died for a specific group of people. Likewise, it would only take one clear statement in Scripture that Christ died only for the sins of the elect to confirm definite atonement. There is not one single statement in Scripture that overtly states Christ died only for the sins of the elect. There are easily a dozen New Testament Scriptures overtly stating Christ died for all people.
The burden is on the authors of this book to prove that a simple positive statement can entail a universal negation. This is the book’s claim. The hill which the authors must climb is to prove, exegetically from Scripture, that Christ died only for some people’s sins (a limited imputation of sin). If exegetically, DA fails, then no amount of theological flying buttresses will support it.
We are also told that Dr. David Allen is himself presently working on a new book on atonement. We will be sure to promote it when it comes out.
Related posts and articles:
I. Howard Marshall: The Theology of Atonement
I. Howard Marshall: For All, For All My Savior Died
Robert Picirilli: The Extent of the Atonement
Robert Picirilli: Salvation by Faith, Applied
Albert Barnes on the Extent of the Atonement
The F.A.C.T.S. of Salvation “A”: Atonement For All
3 Part Series on Provisional Atonement
Filed under: atonement, church history, election, faith, foreknowledge, free will, irresistible grace, John Owen, penal satisfaction, predestination, Robert Picirilli, unlimited atonement | Leave a comment »
Posted on January 8, 2014 by kangaroodort
Concerning the hardening of Pharaoh, after a note of agreement, you just assert positions opposite to mine without substantiation. So I’ll take the opportunity to share something merely anecdotal. Before publishing the book, I submitted my chapter on the hardening of Pharaoh to a distinguished Reformed scholar who is writing a major commentary on Exodus, asking for feedback. I was expecting some serious pushback or criticism of my reading. But to my surprise, the scholar largely agreed with my reading and, if anything, seems to think the divine hardening even less deterministic than I do and plans to cite my work. It is not as if it should be obvious that the divine hardening of Pharaoh was deterministic or irreversible.
Brian Abasciano, “A Response to Thomas Schreiner’s Review of my Book on Romans 9:10-18″
Brian J. Abasciano, “Corporate Election in Romans 9: A Reply to Thomas Schreiner”
Brian Abasciano, “Clearing Up Misconceptions About Corporate Election”
Dr. Brian Abasciano Responds to Dr. Dan Wallace on the Issue of Corporate Election
Brian Abasciano on the Corporate Perspective of Paul and His Culture, The Translation of Romans 9:6b, and Corporate Election in Romans 9
Brian Abasciano on the Meaning of “Calling”
Klein, William W. “Paul’s Use of Kalein: A Proposal”
Brian Abasciano, Paul’s Use of the Old Testament in Romans 9:1-9: An Intertextual and Theological Exegesis (This is Dr. Abasciano’s doctoral dissertation and the basis for his first book on Romans 9. It is essentially the same as his first book on Romans 9, but longer)
Corporate Election Quotes
Filed under: calling, corporate election, Divine Hardening, election, faith, foreknowledge, free will, predestination, Romans 9, Romans 9:16, sovereignty | Leave a comment »
Posted on January 7, 2014 by kangaroodort
A while back I did a five part series responding to a post by C. Michael Patton entitled, “The Irrationality of Calvinism.” I recently noticed that some of the posts in the series did not have links at the bottom directing the reader to the next post in the series, leaving the impression that there were only two parts to the series, rather than five. I have gone back and added in those links to the bottom of those posts. I will also post links to all five parts below:
Part 1: The Set Up
Part 2: Theological Imprecision and Misrepresentations
Part 3: False Assumptions and Question Begging
Part 4: Returning the Favor (Reversing the Argument)
Part 5: Taking the Mystery Out of Mr. Patton’s Strange Arguments
Filed under: antinomy?, C. Michael Patton, Calvinism, calvinist polemics, determinism, election, faith, foreknowledge, free will, irresistible grace, monergism, paradox?, predestination, secret decrees, sovereignty, The Irrationality of Calvinism | Leave a comment »
Posted on January 6, 2014 by kangaroodort
A puppet representing Calvinist thought seems about right to me…
Better than TULIP?
Filed under: apostasy, atonement, calling, Calvinism, determinism, election, eternal security, free will, irresistible grace, monergism, perseverance, predestination, secret decrees, sovereignty | 90 Comments »