Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Misunderstanding or Misrepresentation

I occasionally engage on social media in discussion related to biblical topics. In some cases my remarks never see the light of day, or are removed shortly after I post them. As a result I have adopted the habit of typing and saving my remarks on my computer before posting them. I have already posted some of those conversations and in the coming weeks will be posting more of them.

This post contains 2 of those conversations. The first is from a post in August, 2009, by Dave Noffsinger titled Calvinism Illustrated at his Kansas Preacher blog.

Here is the text of my comments, which not surprisingly do not appear on Noffsinger's blog.

Your illustration fails at this point:

3. As a matter of fact, I even decided to see the eldest (who has done nothing to me) suffer eternal punishment...

The truth is that all men have NOT "done nothing." We have freely and willfully turned our backs on God, rejected Him, and hated Him.

We should be amazed that He has offered mercy and grace to any of His enemies, when He was in no way obligated to do so.

It appears from this post that you have not read Calvinistic writers. Most of your arguments are not arguments against what Calvinism actually affirms, but against misrepresentations of that which Calvinism affirms.

Read some Piper, Sproul, White, MacArthur, Edwards, Boettner, and the Canons of Dordt. Then critique that which Calvinism actually affirms, rather than a mischaracterization of it.

(posted August 13, 2009 10:52 AM)

The second is from a post in April 2014, by Chris Noland at his Pastor Chris Noland blog.

Don't bother looking for this post as you'll get an "Oops! That page can’t be found" message. It appears to have been removed sometime after I commented and replaced by this post.

Here is the text of my comments:
"I may agree with some minor tenants of Calvinism, but I am not a Calvinist. I may agree with some minor tenants of Armeninianism, but I am not Armeninian."

I once talked with a gentleman who was well informed about a number of disciplines and I was able to learn things I did not know about those disciplines. However, when he began to talk about the Bible, he had Moses building the Ark to save his wife, his sons, and their wives. It was at that point that I began to wonder if he wasn't as well informed about the other disciplines he seemed so knowledgeable about!

I had a sense of deja vu reading your post and wonder if you are also not as knowledgeable about this topic as you might think. ArmEnians are from the country that touches the northern border of Iran. ArmInians are those who are named for Jacob Arminius, a Dutch theologian (nor are there as many N's and I's in the names).

Here are some of the other errors in your post:

You note that "we are to believe the scriptures for what they say", yet you will not find any affirmation in the scriptures of your notion that God gives to all the unregenerate "the ability to choose to believe on Him." You will actually find the opposite of that in Romans 8:5-8

"For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God."

Notice that the carnal mind CANNOT be subject to the law of God and those in the flesh CANNOT please God. That is a word that indicates lack of ability.

Another error is that you believe that Calvinists affirm that God will turn away some who desperately want to be saved and will save some who have no desire to be saved. Clearly you have not read any anything written by Calvinists!

In John 6, Jesus states that "all that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out (v.37), and continues by saying that "no one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him" (v.44).

The Father here gives individuals to the Son, those individuals come to the Son, and the Son will not cast them out. This chapter is one of the strongest in affirming the Father's electing choice.