Posted on March 15, 2017 by kangaroodort
This provides the initial definition of ‘believe’ by equating it with ‘receive.’ When we accept a gift, whether tangible or intangible, we thereby demonstrate our confidence in its reality and trustworthiness. We make it part of our own possessions. By being so received, Jesus gives to those who receive him a right to membership in the family of God.
‘Become’ indicates clearly that people are not the spiritual children of God by natural birth, for we cannot become what we already are. This verb implies a change of nature. The word children (tekna) is parallel to the Scottish bairns– “born ones.” It emphasizes the vital origin and is used as a term of endearment (cf. Luke 15:31). Believers are God’s ‘little ones,’ related to him by birth.” (The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, ed. Frank E. Gaebelein, pg. 32)
The implications are obvious. The new birth is received by faith and we become God’s children through faith. John 1:12 simply cannot be made to comport with the Calvinist claim that regeneration precedes faith. Indeed, it proves that contention false.
Dr. Brian Abasciano on the Conditionality Implied in Romans 9:16 and its Connection to John 1:12-13
The Arminian and Calvinist Ordo Salutis: A Brief Comparative Study
Does Jesus Teach that Regeneration Precedes Faith in John 3:3, 6?
Filed under: Calvinism, faith, great quotes, John 1:12-13, John 3, ordo salutis, regeneration | 1 Comment »
Posted on March 3, 2017 by kangaroodort
Back in 2010 J.C. Thibodaux started what would eventually become a four part series on Romans 9, with special focus on the problems inherent in the typical Calvinist interpretation of Romans 9. This short series was slow going as it did not conclude until 2012. For that reason it can be hard to follow the series by just looking through the site. Since it is a very good and concise critique of the typical Calvinist approach to Romans 9 as a proof-text for unconditional election, and because these posts continue to get a lot of traffic, I thought it would be good to highlight them together in one post:
Romans 9 in Context: God’s Just Prerogative in Confounding All Confidence in The Law of Works
Where Calvinism Gets Romans 9 Wrong: Prerogative Equals Unconditionality
Where Calvinism Gets Romans 9 Wrong: “Not of Works” means “No Conditions”
Where Calvinism Gets Romans 9 Wrong: Proof-Texting From a Translation of Choice
Filed under: Calvinism, election, faith, Posts written by JC Thibodaux, predestination, reprobation, Romans 9, sovereignty, Where Calvinism Gets Romans 9 Wrong | Leave a comment »
Posted on March 29, 2016 by kangaroodort
Since this passage often comes up in discussions of election and is often put forward as evidence for the Calvinist view, I thought I would share this brief Q & A from the ??Questions?? page,
Question: Can you tell me how you view 2Th 2:13? Thanks.
Answer: That passage comes up as supporting Calvinism some times, but I think a careful reading of the language supports Arminianism better than Calvinism (as is so often the case). First, Paul says that they were “chosen” through…belief in the truth. That would most naturally be understood as faith being the means through which they were chosen (just as we are saved by grace through faith). So basically, we have a passage that says they were chosen “through faith” which is exactly what Arminianism claims, and is counter to the Calvinist view that we are chosen unto faith.
Now Paul also says they were chosen through sanctification, but we know that sanctification and the reception of the Spirit that sanctifies us is also by faith in Scripture (Acts 26:18; Gal. 3:2, 5, 14). We are “set apart” to God and marked out as belonging to Him through the reception of the Spirit of promise, and all of this is through faith.
The other issue is “from the beginning” in this passage, which probably has reference to the beginning of Paul’s ministry among the Thessalonians (there is no reason to take it as a reference to eternity or the beginning of time as Calvinists often do). It would be like saying. “from the very start, you were receptive to God’s working among you, receiving God’s salvation and becoming His people through faith and the sanctification of the Spirit.” There is also a textual variant issue at play in this passage which has “chosen as first fruits” rather than “from the beginning” here, which might convey the same basic idea of them being the first to embrace the Gospel in Paul’s ministry in that area.
Filed under: 2 Thessalonians 2:13, Calvinism, election, faith | Leave a comment »
Posted on March 11, 2015 by kangaroodort
Regrets are problematic in determinism as they often presuppose belief in free will (though that is not necessarily true of all regrets). I touched on this same topic long ago in this post: Struggling With Regrets. Another related post I hope to expound on in more detail sometime soon is Sacrifice and the Nature of Human Freedom. A great article that touches on some of these issues and many others with regards to the presuppositions inherent in a coherent reading of Scripture is Glen Shellrude’s Calvinism and Problematic Readings of New Testament Texts, Or Why I Am Not A Calvinist.
Filed under: Calvinism, determinism, faith, free will, irresistible grace, predestination, secret decrees | Leave a comment »
Posted on October 10, 2014 by kangaroodort
Posted on August 22, 2014 by kangaroodort
Former Calvinist, Doug Sayers, gives a concise and irenic review of the recently released Calvinist book, PROOF.
It is a fair criticism to say that PROOF is a one-sided cherry picking of the biblical texts that would seem to support their teaching with very little time devoted to the texts that present Calvinism with its biggest problems. This may work among those who don’t read the Bible very much but thoughtful Bible students will come upon many texts which will not jibe with PROOF’s inferences. For example, a careful study of scripture will reveal that there are no texts which teach clearly (or by necessary inference) that Jesus did not die for some people. If there was such a text in the Bible you can be sure that all Calvinists would be rallying around it like desperate bees on a lone flower.
Filed under: atonement, Book Reviews, Calvinism, dead in sin, election, faith, free will, irresistible grace, monergism, predestination, prevenient grace, regeneration, Uncategorized | Leave a comment »