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 »
Posted on July 8, 2014 by kangaroodort
Janis Joplin, Calvinism and More Words w/ Multiple Meanings
I think Jonathan Edwards & Co are looking too much to the hard sciences to explain spiritual realities and therein lies their mistake. They also would deny God the sovereign prerogative to delegate the power of contrary choice to everyone born in sin. In this regard, it is the Calvinists who would “limit” divine sovereignty and resist God’s right to be God. If the LORD wants to delegate the power (or ability) to believe, or reject, the Gospel to lost sinners, then who are we to object? A truly sovereign God can delegate authority as He sees fit. We know that God gave Adam the ability to choose sin even though he did not have a sinful nature, so why can’t He give the rest of us the ability to repent, even though we have a sinful nature?
HT: Dale Wayman
Filed under: Calvinism, determinism, Edwards, election, faith, free will, irresistible grace, John 6:45, predestination, prevenient grace, regeneration | 7 Comments »
Posted on June 14, 2014 by kangaroodort
Calvinism and John 6:44
Related posts and articles:
Various Thoughts on the Use of John 6 and Related Passages From John’s Gospel to Support Calvinism
Daniel Whedon on John 6
The Order of Faith and Election in John’s Gospel: You Do Not Believe Because You Are Not My Sheep
John 6:37 (Richard Coords)
Does John 6:44 Teach Irresistible Grace?
Is The Drawing of John 12:32 Universal or Particular?
Filed under: election, faith, irresistible grace, John 6, John 6:37, John 6:44, John 6:45, John 6:65, ordo salutis, predestination, prevenient grace, regeneration, secret decrees, sovereignty, total depravity | 4 Comments »