John Piper Tweets Out An Already Refuted Calvinist Argument on 1 John 5:1

John Piper recently made the following Tweet:

Unfortunately for Piper, this erroneous argument has been soundly refuted.  John Piper and all Calvinists still making this false claim regarding 1 John 5:1 should save themselves some unnecessary embarrassment by reading Brian Abasciano’s article: “Does Regeneration Precede Faith? The Use of 1 John 5:1 as a Proof Text”

Here is the author’s abstract of the article:

A number of scholars have appealed to the Greek tenses of 1 John 5:1 as definitive proof that the verse teaches that regeneration precedes faith. But this argument is untenable. The purposes of the present article are (1) to draw attention to the falsity of the argument and to explain why it is invalid, and (2) to counter the contention that the underlying concern of the grammatical argument (i.e., that 1 John 5:1 implies that regeneration precedes faith) can be rescued by appeal to a pattern in 1 John of indicating the results of regeneration. It is questionable whether the tenses in 1 John 5:1 suggest any chronological or causal relationship between faith and regeneration since some grammarians deny that Greek tenses grammaticalize time, and more importantly, one of the tenses in the passage occurs in a substantival participle, which can be devoid of time significance. If the tenses are temporally related, as seems most probable, then Greek grammar suggests either that believing and being begotten of God are portrayed as contemporaneous, or perhaps more likely, that believing logically precedes being begotten of God. Invocation of statements elsewhere in 1 John indicating the results of regeneration does not rescue 1 John 5:1 as a proof text for regeneration preceding faith because of, inter alia, the distinctive and crucial role of faith in the epistle and Johannine theology.


33 thoughts on “John Piper Tweets Out An Already Refuted Calvinist Argument on 1 John 5:1

  1. I noticed a problem with it too last night, but my computer was in the process of expanding memory so I thought it might just be my computer at the time. I will look into getting it taken care of ASAP. Thanks for the heads up!

  2. Lol, well, its like the issue I asked you Ben on the ??Questions?? page. Its like they are not even reading/hearing anything and just keeps repeating their “argument”.

  3. If anyone wants a copy of the PDF article, I can send it to them via email. Just let me know. You don’t need to leave your email address in the comment, since it should already be in the system for me to view when you eave a comment. That way nobody else will see your email address.

  4. I’ll take a copy of it. I think I read it before, but it would be helpful to have. I don’t like this prooftext because it doesn’t even fit the context of 1 John 5 (or the whole book). Honestly, it’s not a good proof for such a position. I think Christians need to be careful not to see their favorite doctrines everywhere they look, and this verse seems to be one of those for Calvinists.

  5. It is quite amazing that Calvinists would take 1 John 5:1 as a precise theological statement indicating the order of salvation and regeneration preceding faith. In the Johannine literature the exercise or placing of faith in Christ is always required of persons to become children of God. Faith is not something unconditionally bestowed on certain individuals and mysteriously withheld from others (as in Calvinian double predestination and divine preterition).

    Toward the end of his work, Grace, Faith, Free Will: Contrasting Views of Salvation: Calvinism & Arminianism, R.E. Picirilli surely was correct in his observation that Calvinists do not truly believe that faith is the condition for salvation. Rather, Calvinists believe salvation stems from a preexisting divine decree and that faith itself is merely a fruit of divine election which is unconditionally bestowed in time on God’s prechosen. Faith, then, is an extension of divine election rather than its condition.

    Arminius was correct in noting that Christ serves a subordinate role in carrying out the eternal divine decree in Calvinism. Arminians, on the other hand, may maintain that Christ himself is the fountainhead of election. Those believing and persevering in Christ are the elect of God. Election to salvation is based on faith. Specific persons are not elected to belief. Election to salvation is conditional for salvation is always conditioned on faith.

  6. If you would be so kind to send me a copy I would greatly appreciate it. I have always enjoyed reading Abasciano’s work.

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