Dismantling the Calvinist Tulip: “TULIP” De-Petaled

petals

I appreciate this quote excerpt from a wonderful Blog friend. It is priceless… I have taken the liberty to emphasize some words and phrases.

Excerpt from Major Ian Thomas’ book “Mystery of Godliness”:

FREEDOM OF CHOICE

By: Major W. Ian Thomas

Never allow anyone to deceive you into believing that God has placed an arbitrary limitation upon the efficacy of the blood of Christ, or that there are those who cannot repent [change their mind], even if they would, simply because God has deliberately placed them outside the scope of His redemptive purpose! This blasphemes the grace, the love and the integrity of God, and makes Him morally responsible for the unbelief of the unbeliever, for the impenitence of the impenitent, and saddles Him squarely with the guilt of the guilty as an aider and abettor of their sin.

Such is not the teaching of the Bible, for the Lord Jesus Christ made it abundantly clear that the reluctance is on man’s part, not on God’s!

Without freedom of choice it is equally impossible to obey or to disobey to be commended for the one or to be condemned for the other!

Some would have you believe that only those can obey the Gospel and accept Christ as their Saviour, to whom God has given the ability to obey as a purely arbitrary, mechanical act on His part, leaving no option in the matter to any individual either way! On the basis of this strange hypothesis, the fearful judgment of God is to fall upon those who have remained in their rebellious state of unbelief, only because they have been unable to exercise an ability to obey the Gospel, which only God can give, and which He has refused to give them! Needless to say, such an idea can only serve to bring the righteousness and judgment of God into contempt and disrepute.

The revelation that God has given to us by His Holy Spirit through the apostles is delightfully clear: “if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And He is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world (I John 2:2); “Who gave himself a ransom for all (I Timothy 2:6); “... that He by the grace of God should taste death for every man” (Hebrews 2:9).

It is your inherent right to choose which is at the very heart of the mystery, both of the mystery of godliness and of the mystery of iniquity.

From: The Mystery of Godliness. Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House. ©1964.

56 responses to “Dismantling the Calvinist Tulip: “TULIP” De-Petaled

  1. Phil, Charles Stanley could not have been the president of the SBC without showing at least some tolerance/proclivity for LS.

    Ryrie’s teaching on James 2 is sufficient to gain him acceptance into much of the LS community as well.

  2. My impression of C Stanley from even back in the ’90’s was that he would put a bar up for the quality of ones saving faith. From reading him, trust or faith must be that of trusting someone to catch you if you fall (no telling how far)..It’s a favorite tactic of some preachers to preach to people who know they have believed the gospel and try to put doubts into their minds whether they “really” trusted Christ. I once heard Stanley do this to his own church congregation.
    These people confuse and worry people by focusing on a persons faith rather the Object of our faith which saves us: Jesus Christ.
    I don’t know a whole lot about Ryrie. But I have noticed that his study Bible seemed to be a favorite of some faith+works people.

  3. William, I agree that Zuck sounds just like John MacArthur.

  4. John, If one believes what Zuck said regarding eternal life, one will no doubt add WORKS in the form of commitment, obedience, and perseverance to the salvation equation. Zuck’s quote sounds just like MacArthur.

  5. Holly, I just saw your posted update 10/4 on Adam. Glad to hear that Adam’s doing the “thumbs up” with his hand! Just wanted to let you know that I’m still praying for him on a daily basis.

  6. Holly, the exact quote from Zuck, was as follows:

    1. Faith is not merely intellectual assent.

    Salvation involves more than understanding certain facts and mentally acquiescing to those facts. In coming to Christ for salvation, a sinner acknowledges that as a sinner, he cannot save himself, that Christ died for him as his Substitute, and that he can have eternal life through faith in Christ. But in coming to Christ a sinner also is emotionally sensing and acknowledging his desperate need, and is volitionally turning to Christ. To “believe” means more than accepting the facts in one’s mind. It is an act of volition, an exercise of the will.

    This was by no means the most LS of his comments, which are included in the link below, together with my comments:

    https://expreacherman.com/2011/05/25/t-u-l-i-p-de-petaled/#comment-57900

  7. Charles Stanley is definitely gone down the wrong path of loadship.

    As for Zuck and this:

    #1 “Mental acquiescence” (intellectual assent) was not sufficient to be saved. One must respond with “emotional volition.”

    Intellectual assent is belief. Acquiescence can be a reluctant acceptance of the truth, see the slight word play they always have going on? And how does one really put emotional and volition together? Look up the definition for volition and you see it’s a matter of making your self worked up emotionally. How silly that is to even phrase it that way. Emotions come and go, and we see in the Word people responded different ways; stoically, in wonder and awe, in sadness, in joy, in gratefulness, but belief is always still the only condition.

  8. William, very funny!

  9. John, Yes, and the the 5 petals of the “tulip” are made out of toilet paper. LOL!

  10. William, I agree. And, Calvinism is simply Roman Catholicism lite.

  11. The 5 points of the “TULIP” rely upon each other to hold up. When one or more points get disproved by the truth of God’s Word, the whole “tulip” falls apart. Most caster bases with 5 wheels holding up a heavy loadship of garbage in a barrel will tip over when one or two wheels get knocked off. I have found that to be very true as I use a barrel with a caster base with 5 wheels to empty trash. If one or two wheels is missing on the caster base, the heavy load of trash in the barrel will tip over.

  12. William, I think so.

    Below is a comment on Charles Stanley:

    https://expreacherman.com/2014/10/26/i-marvel-lordship-salvations-spookiest-passage/#comment-46540

    And, a post on Charles Ryrie:

    https://expreacherman.com/2014/04/28/sorry-lordship-salvationists-and-charles-ryrie-the-terms-of-eternal-life-are-neither-debatable-nor-negotiable/

    I don’t know if these guys compromised to sell books, become leaders in denominations, or if they always held some latent belief in grace plus works for eternal life.

  13. John, Is it also true that Charles Ryrie and Charles Stanley are still leaning in that direction as well?

  14. William, it is sad and unfortunate.

  15. John, I’m shocked to hear that Roy Zuck advocates LS. He was department chairman and professor of Bible exposition at Dallas Theological Seminary back in the 70’s and 80’s. I have the 2 volume set of the Bible Knowledge Commentary written by the faculty of DTS that I purchased over 2 decades ago and when I go through the set now, I can see that some of the bible professors have started out free grace, but somewhere down the line they got deceived and led astray by Calvinism/LS. Calvinism/LS is so pervasive that one can find traces of it in just about every seminary.

  16. These guys refuse to see what’s staring them right in the face. By the time I got to ‘My Comment: Lordship “salvation” 101’, I was ready to shout, “Are they insane?? It’s so LS it’s unbelievable!!!”

    These guys remind me of the joke about the guy caught in the act of adultery by his wife and he just chooses flat out denial as his “defense” and asks her, “Honey, what are you going to believe? Me or your own eyes???”

  17. Holly, we received a defense of Zuck from a guy that is part of the “institute” that published the false doctrine from Zuck that I discussed above.

    The gentlemen stated that both he, and Zuck, were against LS in the “strongest possible terms.” He also said that anyone who sees LS in Zuck’s writing, that I discussed above, was just “looking for it.” That is, it’s not there.

    The gentleman did not provide any biblical refutation of my response to Zuck’s LS writing. He merely said I was wrong.

    So, I will repeat – based on the quotes above, Zuck taught classic Lordship “salvation”, in the following ways:

    1. He taught that “mental acquiescence” (intellectual assent) was not sufficient to be saved. One must respond with “emotional volition.”

    2. He taught that turning from sin was part of repentance.

    3. He taught that “a true Christian will…” – “practice righteousness,” “want to obey God,” “some evidence of a changed life will be seen at some time in his life,” and “no change whatsoever over a long period of time may well reveal a person is not saved at all.

    My comment: Lordship “salvation” 101. If we must look to ourselves for evidence of salvation, we are not looking to Jesus. It is that simple!

    Want to spot false doctrine that claims the name “grace”? Ask yourself this question: Is the teaching consistent with assurance of eternal life, based on God’s promises alone (i.e., it is not internally-focused on changes in attitudes, behavior, etc.)?

    If yes, it could be true. If no, it cannot be true – that is, it is an attack on the gospel.

    As you know, we will not give false teachers a platform at ExPreacherMan for teaching their false doctrine.

  18. Holly, I think the “intellectual assent” argument comes down to people thinking that you must want a “relationship” with Jesus in order to receive eternal life.

    It is code for “commitment.”

  19. I’m watching all these people, all the time, going round and round on mental assent. It’s most definitely a straw man, however, they appeal to people’s emotions, as if somehow someone has believed with some calloused faith, and/or a ‘greasy grace’ faith (as one put it) and they say they are ‘fighting against ‘easy-believism’ and it seems apparent to me, that all they are fighting against is the condition that we were given in order to be saved.

  20. Holly, of course it is all right with me!

  21. Perfect timing John, planning on using your comments on Roy Zuck on something I am writing on ‘mental assent’ if it is alright with you.

  22. Oh I definitely want to come back to this. Funny, I rarely use commentary, and I have many different ones, some old, some given to me, some I bought (like I wanted the old Ironside set). I’d pull out multiples, but only after I’d exhausted all possibilities of cross references and so forth. But I had not pulled out those for awhile. I was interested, curious, about something, I wish now I could remember what it was. Sure enough they had a lordship style view on it, and yet they have multiple different writers in there, so I can’t remember the subject even. I want to come back and see all your comments, but I remembered the warnings from a couple years ago even though by then I hadn’t really opened them for quite some time, thank the Lord. But for some years the Word was making sense all on it’s own, thankful for that. But I want to save your info, thank you John.

  23. Holly, I am afraid that Dr. Roy Zuck is as LS as any of the rest of them.

    Following is from a guest blog by Dr. Zuck, published at a website called “The Alliance for Biblical Integrity.” Zuck’s comments are in italics. I have bolded those parts to which I take exception, and have commented in bold brackets.

    Common Emphases

    Let’s look at several truths with which those who teach lordship salvation and those who do not can agree.

    1. Faith is not merely intellectual assent.

    Salvation involves more than understanding certain facts and mentally acquiescing to those facts. In coming to Christ for salvation, a sinner acknowledges that as a sinner, he cannot save himself, that Christ died for him as his Substitute, and that he can have eternal life through faith in Christ. But in coming to Christ a sinner also is emotionally sensing and acknowledging his desperate need, and is volitionally turning to Christ. To “believe” means more than accepting the facts in one’s mind. It is an act of volition, an exercise of the will.

    {My comment: Uh oh! This is nonsense. Belief is belief.}

    2. A person may say he is a Christian but not actually be saved.

    Judas is an example of a professing but not genuine follower of Christ. He was even a “disciple” (Matt 10:1). In other words it is not merely enough to claim to be a Christian. However, others cannot always tell if a person is saved. Even Judas for a time deceived others into thinking he was regenerate.

    {My comment: Judas was a real “follower of Christ.” He was not a believer in Christ. If he were, he would be in heaven, whether he followed Jesus or not.}

    3. Repentance is a genuine part of salvation.

    Repentance is included in believing. Faith and repentance are like two sides of the same coin. Genuine faith includes repentance, and genuine repentance includes faith. The Greek word for repentance (metanoia) means to change one’s mind. But to change one’s mind about what? About sin, about one’s adequacy to save himself, about Christ as the only way of salvation, the only One who can make a person righteous.
    Repentance is not a feeling of remorse or anguish over sin, nor an exercise in recounting past transgressions. Repentance is a turning from sin, while faith is turning to Christ. A change of outlook toward both sin and Christ, as Lewis Sperry Chafer has noted, “promotes a change in the course being pursued.”
    Peter said to the Jews, “Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped” (Acts 3:19). Barnabas and Paul told the people of Lystra to “turn from these worthless things to the living God” (Acts 14:15). Paul reported to the Ephesians elders that he had preached to Jews and Gentiles that they “must turn to God in repentance and have faith in our Lord Jesus” (Acts 20:21). To the Thessalonian believers Paul wrote that they had “turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God” (1 Thess 1:9). When a person accepts Christ as his Savior, he is simultaneously turning to God (faith) and from sin (repentance).

    {My comment: Whenever eternal life is the consequence of repentance, the object of repentance is never sin. Whenever sin is the object of repentance, eternal life is never the consequence.}

    4. The life of a true believer is changed.

    Everyone “in Christ” is a “new creation” (2 Cor 5:17). He has been regenerated, justified, reconciled, redeemed, and made a child of God. The Holy Spirit has baptized (placed) him into the body of Christ, indwelt him, and sealed him. Genuine believers practice righteousness (1 John 3:7, 9) and obey Christ’s commands, though, as will be discussed later, they may falter at times, some more than others. The Holy Spirit’s presence and work in a believer’s life will result in some fruit. Some evidence of a changed life will be seen at some time in his life, while no change whatever over a long period of time may well reveal a person is not saved at all (see 1 Tim 5:24-25; 1 John 2:19).

    {My comment: Lordship “salvation” 101.}

  24. Holly,

    Bible Knowledge Commentary (BKC) was primarily compiled by Walvoord and Zuck but I understand that others may have had some input. Those two men are products of L.S. Chafer who founded Dallas Theological Seminary (DTS).

    Some of the writings of of these men have a tinge of Calvinism. I had friends who graduated Florida Bible College (FBC) about the time as I, who later attended DTS and came out Calvinist — (of course others did not fall for Calvinism).

    My dear friend, Dr. Richard Seymour, a solid Grace teacher was Professor of Systematic Theology at FBC when I attended. Because of the Calvinist tinge in Chafer’s studies — Seymour attempted to write a Free Grace Systematic Theology series to replace the Chafer’s Systematic Theology but never completed it.

    So the commentaries, books and theology series from DTS MUST be approached from your dictum, “prove all things” by comparing Scripture with Scripture, God’s Word. None of the writings of modern men are inspired (breathed) by God’s Holy Spirit as it was in Biblical times…. contrary to the teachings of many so-called “Bible Scholars” today.

    “All scripture [not a commentary] is given by inspiration [Divine Breath] of God, and is profitable for doctrine [teaching, learning], for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:” 2 Timothy 3:16
    “For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved [upheld, driven] by the Holy Ghost.” 2 Peter 1:21

    When we “prove all things” we do so by by Biblical fact, comparing Scripture with Scripture – in context, not by our changeable feelings!! (I’m sure you know that).

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  25. Not sure where I read it, but someone brought up the Bible Knowledge commentaries, is that the ones edited by Walvoord and Zuck? Thanks, just would like to know because they are one of the ones I have in my library.

  26. Mary, you might try H.A. Ironside’s if you feel like you need a commentary, I have them in pdf format if you feel like you don’t want to spend money on them. I have commentaries, but I find usually in prayer, study and going to all the cross references, asking questions like, “who is addressed”, “what was being addressed”, “is this a certain issue being spoken to”, etc, that I either find the answer, or sometimes don’t right then and go along another path, but seems like eventually He shows me as I build the foundation through reading and studying.

  27. can anyone recommend a good bible commentary that is not calvanist

  28. Thanks Bruce,

    I had a post to publish on similar topic as Cucuzza’s book. Only his book will be much more comprehensive.

    My New post is:
    False Repentance, Perseverance and Lordship “salvation”
    http://www.expreacherman.wordpress.com/2011/06/26/false-repentance-perseverance-and-lordship-salvation/

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  29. For the most thorough explanation and documented connection between perseverance (the “P” of Calvinism’s TULIP) and Lordship Salvation teaching, read Dr. Tom Cucuzza’s book, “Secure Forever: God’s Promise or Our Perseverance?” Tom’s book also details the preferable proper biblical position of preservation. (See Jack’s link in the upper right column of this page to get the book.)

  30. John,

    Thanks so much, we appreciate your visit and welcome you to subscribe and come back to our place of Truth often..

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  31. John Gregory

    Great web-site! Praise God for what You are doing. I really enjoy finding another Biblicist. Keep up the good work. God bless.
    John Gregory

  32. Charles,

    I and others responded to your earlier extreme Calvinist rantings very clearly, calmly, biblically, accurately and with grace. Yet you came back onto this site and spewed forth a new caustic round of vitriol the likes of which I have rarely seen, even by the most torrid of vociferous Calvinists. I refuse to give your comments any credence whatsoever as you obviously have no interest in any reasonable meaningful dialog.

  33. Based on 1 Corinthians 3:1, the passage about the spiritual mind being unable to understand spiritual matters seems to be referring to advanced doctrines, not to all spiritual truth.

    Regarding Galatians, even though Paul got his message from revelation, it doesn’t necessarily mean that his learning was easy or automatic. I suspect he probably had to work hard at it, and study the Bible a great deal, and then God rewarded him by supplementing his learning with extra revelation. For example, the majority of his arguments do cite Bible passages.

    If 2 Peter 3:9 were only referring to believers, that would mean that only believers need to repent, which doesn’t make much sense and is also contrary to Calvinism. You seem, though, to be saying instead that it is referring to unbelievers PLUS elect nonbelievers. But that idea is basically pure speculation. If the passage is referring to believers PLUS someone else, it could just as easily be referring to believers and all unbelievers.

    I think that in 1 Corinthians 1, the foolish things of the world that God chose may just be referring to Jesus and the cross, not to the elect. Then since many of the elect were themselves foolish, they embraced the foolishness of the cross. God chose a foolish message to shame the wise.

    Your other verses don’t seem very relevant.

  34. Charles,

    I have never seen such a rambling, picking and choosing misuse of Scripture as I see in your comments. We are here to discuss true Bible doctrine — not to regurgitate God’s precious word in an irreverent and irrelevant manner as you have done. Your pejoratives do not belong here. Find another Blog to spread your false teaching.

    You have contextually dishonored Scripture to the point that it deserves no detailed answer.

    If you truly believe your rambling twisting of Scripture and consider yourself among the elite whom you say God would choose to be saved without you having to decide to believe, by your will, in the Jesus Christ of the Biblical Gospel and what He did for you on the cross, then you are in a dangerous place. I and others here will pray for you.

    Let me use the verse you quoted, “It pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that BELIEVE”

    You see Charles, YOU must make the decision to BELIEVE God’s Gospel promise. I plead with you to do so.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  35. Re: Matt23:37 – it’s amazing that people quote Jesus yet refuse to heed Him. “You who kill the prophets…you were not willing” but of those whom Jesus intended to gather it does NOT say “you” but “your children.” Jesus was bringing in their children, the bad women and tax collectors included, in spite of the disobedience of the temple leadership.

    BTW, if someone invites “your children” to a birthday party, you might not actually be invited. Just saying…

    2 Peter 3:9 “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering TO US-WARD…” You missed this part. This chapter is a promise to US as believers. There is an “us-them” distinction in this passage that you ignore by pulling this verse out of context. What is the promise to “them” in v7? Notice also that the “us-ward” longsuffering in v9 “IS” salvation in v15…God is patient and will delay the return of Jesus in order to save every single one of His people…not so that “maybe” some will be saved.

    2Pet3:7But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men…15And account that the longsuffering of our Lord IS salvation…

    Phil1:29For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake…

    1Cor1:23But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; 24But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. 25Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men…27But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; 28And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: 29That no flesh should glory in his presence.

    30But of him are ye in Christ Jesus…

    We need to believe, yes, but God gives belief. His choice is foundational. It is only because of Him, whose weakness is stronger than men, that believers are in Christ Jesus.

  36. Rom10:14How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?

    Gal1: 11But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man.
    12For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.

    Your carnal logic would suggest that Paul should have taken it easy. God knocked him down and got the message to him without human preaching – why should Paul have labored and suffered when God could have reached everyone as directly as he reached Paul. Yet Paul teaches in Rom10 that preaching and missions are normative…God could zap every single person as he did Paul, God has the power to do that, yet He typically chooses to work through human means.

    God commanded Ezekiel to preach to the dry bones. God asked “can these bones live?”

    Carnal logic would teach that the answer is “no” or “only if they choose to.” Ezekiel knew better – life was in God’s hands alone. God said “say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the word of the LORD” – yet only the carnal would conclude that such a command meant that dry bones must have the natural ability to hear and respond.

    Similarly when Jesus put spit and dirt in a blind man’s eye, that was no proof that spit and dirt are naturally good for eyesight. When God commanded Israel to march around Jericho, that was no sign that such a strategy was naturally militarily effective.

    When a pagan tells you he doesn’t need Jesus because he’s not that bad of a person, do you warn him that he is being measured against the holiness of God? That he must “be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect” Matt5:48 and love God with ALL of his heart, soul, mind and strength at all times? What if he responds that those are impossible commands for any human being to keep? The pagan mind, Dave Hunt and califgracer are in perfect harmony: God cannot command the impossible so Jesus can’t possibly be essential.

    What worse foolishness could such carnal logic lead us to?

    Starting with human philosophy as you all do can only result in a man-centered reading of the bible. “Why would Jesus command something which could have NO effectual result?” You seem unable to contend with Paul’s teaching in 1Cor – “It pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe” – God gives the increase…God gives life to the dry bones. God gives sight to the blind and God gives the victory. The “effectual result” can only come from God – both in sustaining those who are sent, who go because those who love God will of course obey Him (John 14:23) and who love because they are being conformed by the Holy Spirit, and in bringing life to the spiritually dead.

  37. “I was not aware that a Calvinist tried to dissuade Carey…”

    The story is most likely as mythical as the supposed “eye of the needle” gate that a camel would have to kneel to squeeze through.

    Carey, of course, was a consistent calvinist, as were the members of the Particular Baptist missions society that supported him.

    But sure, a hyper-calvinist might have taught that missions is unnecessary because they agree with men such as you and Dave Hunt that God would be evil to command the impossible…to hold men responsible for what they cannot do. That is the foundational human principle which you all embrace – yet, because it is human and not biblical, calvinists reject it.

    1Cor2:14But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

    The bible says that a “natural” man without the Spirit cannot understand spiritual teaching. Are you careful to withhold biblical teaching from these people, or not?

    Rom8:4That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. 5For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. 6For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. 7Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.

    The carnal mind “cannot” be subject to the law of God – they lack the ability – so will God hold the carnally minded responsible for their disobedience or not?

    John8:42Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me. 43Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word. 47He that is of God heareth God’s words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God.

    These men had not been “born of God” and could therefore not “hear” Jesus. Yet it pleased Him to speak to them…in order to teach those with ears to hear.

  38. Hi Jan,

    I was not aware that a Calvinist tried to dissuade Carey.. Well, Not surprised.. today they might not be so bold, just subtle.

    About Bruce. He has agreed to help me keep things current when he is able. Check my new post at:
    http://www.expreacherman.wordpress.com/2011/06/12/we-have-a-great-new-editor-bruce-bauer/

    Hey it will be nice for him to continue the Blog when I go home to Heaven… no plans any time soon. 😎

    Thanks for asking.
    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  39. FYI, we are very pleased that Bruce has accepted my invitation to serve as a writer/editor at ExPreacherMan. (If I can only figure out all the details),

    He will be signing and writing as “CalifGracer.”
    http://www.califgracer.wordpress.com/

    What does this mean, Jack?

    JanH

  40. Funny! Jan’s and my response were identical!

    Staggaring indeed!

    🙂

  41. While we’re at bringing up historical personalities, what about the consistent Calvinist in William Carey’s day who told Carey to sit down because if God pleased to save the heathen He would do it without Carey’s help or his own?

    JanH

  42. Hi all,

    FYI, we are very pleased that Bruce has accepted my invitation to serve as a writer/editor at ExPreacherMan. (If I can only figure out all the details),

    He will be signing and writing as “CalifGracer.”
    http://www.califgracer.wordpress.com/

    Thanks Bruce for your help.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  43. Funny! Jan’s and my response were identical!

    Staggaring indeed!

  44. Bruce, great and precise response to Charles.

    Good looking site.. will drop a private note tomorrow.. late here.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  45. Charles:

    You missed the point of the question about missions entirely, which is to get Calvinists to really examine their belief system to see if it is defensible and noncontradictory. I believe that Calvinism falls into the category of being self-contradictory. You gave the usual response referring to the Great Commission. Fine, . . . We all agree about that. The issue is, WHY would Jesus command something which could have NO effectual result? Is that logical; does it even make sense? But this takes us in a loop right back to the original question.

    Listen to this quotation by Dave Hunt in his book “What Love is This: Calvinism’s Misrepresentation of God,” page 105:
    “There is no question that if Calvinism were true, there would be no reason for God to urge men to repent—yet He does. God’s sovereign act of regeneration is alleged to require no faith or participation of any kind on man’s part. Thus the entire history of God’s dealings with man as recorded in the Bible loses credibility. Calvinism drives us into an irrational dead end. It is both useless and senseless for God to plead with the elect. He has already predestined them to salvation and will effect it sovereignly BEFORE any faith is exercised on their part. Nor does it make any better sense for God to present the gospel to and plead with the non-elect who CANNOT believe it until they have been sovereignly regenerated—but that won’t happen because they are damned by God’s eternal decree. Yet He continues to plead and blame them for not repenting even while He withholds from them the essential grace which He gives only to the elect! Such is the unbiblical and unreasonable misrepresentation of God by Calvinism.”

    The true omnibenevolent (all loving) God of the Bible beckons ALL men to receive his precious gift through his Son Jesus Christ and become saved (sadly, many, many refuse his gracious loving offer:
    Matthew 23:37 (Jesus speaking) “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth here chickens under her wings, and ye would not!” (Many refuse God’s gracious call to salvation.)
    2 Peter 3:9 “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, NOT WILLING THAT ANY SHOULD PERISH, BUT THAT ALL SHOULD COME TO REPENTANCE.”
    Galatians 3:26 “ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus” (Faith always precedes salvation/regeneration in Scripture).
    Acts 16:30-31 “And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, BELIEVE on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.”

  46. New name: califgracer

  47. Wow. I realize this comment has nothing to do with me because I have not contributed to this thread but the false accusations in it are staggering. Talk about assigning motives he can’t see! “Fluff up your pride?” “Demand credit?” What does that state about the state of your heart?”

    I wonder if the point Charles wants to make could be made effectively without this kind of manipulation.

    JanH

  48. “I often ask strong Calvinists, “If God’s got everything all slated out for everyone’s life and the individual has nothing to do with accepting God’s salvation, WHY HAVE MISSIONS?” To this date, I have never received a satisfactory answer to that question.”

    Jesus taught: “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” Matt28:19-20

    For some of us, that is enough. Your comment implies that this is not enough for you – so I should go on…

    Tell me: what motivates our obedience in ANY area, and not just missions? Gratitude? Love? Eagerness to please the Beloved?

    Are those not enough to motivate you to be involved in missions? To help out with the youth group or Sunday school? To give money toward foreign missions? To talk to your friends about your faith?

    What would motivate you then? If God came to you and got on His knees and begged “I can’t do it without you…My plans will fail if you don’t get involved…” would that fluff up your pride enough to motivate you to act on the Great Commission? Only if it all hinged on you?

    Have mercy…

    1Cor3:6I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. 7So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase. 8Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour.

    Paul knew he didn’t get credit for church growth (and he knew the credit didn’t go to the new believers either – 1Cor1:26-31). Neither the evangelist nor the preacher was anything, God was responsible for the increase and got all the credit.

    George Mueller was a 19th century man of faith who preached and later ran orphanages based on confidence that God would provide. He responded to you before you even asked the question in this way: “In the course of time I came to this country, and it pleased God then to show to me the doctrines of grace (i.e. “Calvinism”) in a way in which I had not seen them before. At first I hated them, ‘If this were true I could do nothing at all in the conversion of sinners, as all would depend upon God and the working of His Spirit.’ But when it pleased God to reveal these truths to me, and my heart was brought to such a state that I could say, ‘I am not only content simply to be a hammer, an axe, or a saw, in God’s hands; but I shall count it an honor to be taken up and used by Him in any way; and if sinners are converted through my instrumentality, from my inmost soul I will give Him all the glory; the Lord gave me to see fruit; the Lord gave me to see fruit in abundance; sinners were converted by scores; and ever since God has used me in one way or other in His service.’ ”

    Are you content to be merely a hammer in God’s hands? Or do you need to be central and demand your share of the credit before you involve yourself in missions? And what does that say about the state of your heart?

    God called Abraham personally to Himself without human assistance. God knocked down Saul in the middle of the road and blinded him to change his heart and thus change his direction. (This was same guy who wrote Rom10:14, ironically.) Was God being conceited to take credit for opening Lydia’s heart (Acts16:14)? You deny Isaiah 55:11 by teaching that humans are free to send the Word of God back to Him void and ineffectual…a risky position to take.

    God is free to bring His people to Himself with or without the assistance of men. It is an honor to be invited to participate. I hope one day you will agree.

  49. Mike,

    A young man, Pete, whom I led to Christ many years ago had a Mom who refused to trust Christ as her Savior after many days of hearing the wonderful Grace of Jesus. She died without Christ.

    Soon thereafter Pete was approached by a “strong” Calvinist, who attempted to convince him to change his belief to Calvinism.

    Pete admonished the Calvinist, “I could never believe in a god who refused to choose my Mom to be saved, leaving my sweet Mother without a choice for Heaven, thereby sending her to hell.”

    Pete knew full well it was his Mom’s choice, not God’s that sent her to Hell.

    That is the essence of one of many dark sides of Calvinism.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  50. Hi Guys, Thanks for the recommendations. Bruce great question. Bryson put it this way:

    The God introduced to us by Calvin seems to be far removed and very different from the God who said, “And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely” (Rev. 22:17, KJV). Why are we commanded to preach the gospel to every creature (Mark 16:15)? If Calvinism is true, and I affirm to a man that Jesus loves him and died on the cross to redeem him from his sins, I may be offering nothing more than a false hope. Can I, with a clear conscience, really do this in the name of the God of all truth, knowing full well that it may not be true?

    Is it not reasonable for the reprobate to say to Christ (assuming Calvinism is true): I am already condemned and must remain condemned for all eternity. What good could there be in Your incarnation and crucifixion, as far as my plight is concerned?

  51. Mike:

    You point out well the contradictory nature of strong Calvinism. As Jack said, Dave Hunt’s book on Calvinism is excellent—a real eye-opener on the indefensible history of early Calvinism. Another good book on the subject is Norman Geisler’s work, “Chosen But Free.”

    I often ask strong Calvinists, “If God’s got everything all slated out for everyone’s life and the individual has nothing to do with accepting God’s salvation, WHY HAVE MISSIONS?” To this date, I have never received a satisfactory answer to that question.

  52. Thank you for sharing this Jack. I am not a Calvinist, nor Arminianist…. like you I am a Biblicist. Isn’t it interesting if you claim not to be a Calvinist you are automatically assumed to be an Arminianist?

    Here’s two quotes from George Bryson’s book, The Dark Side of Calvinism that really stood out to me recently:

    In Calvinism there is an election of inclusion and an election of exclusion, both unconditional in nature. According to Calvinism, God determines the destiny of both the included and the excluded without consideration of, or factoring in, faith or unbelief.

    God, by His decree, pushed man into sin by which man fell and took the entire future human race with him, and yet, somehow, it is still man’s fault, not God’s. According to Calvin, God created the reprobate for the very purpose of condemning them to the torments of hellfire for all eternity. That is (according to Reformed Theology) God’s “special purpose” for them.

    Secure In Him, Mike

  53. Mike,

    Not familiar with Bryson but I agree with that quote. Another good book exposing Calvinism is Dave Hunt’s “What Love Is This.”
    Here is one among many links to Hunt’s web site, exposing Calvinism.
    [link removed by administration]

    The lordship salvation folks are usually Calvinist and thus I have been called Arminian/Syncretist, unsaved, apostate, etc by many of them.

    So we see the LS folks and Calvinists team up to condemn those who follow not their weird interpretation of the Bible.

    Glad you are eternally secure in our Savior and are not depending on your having been “chosen to be saved” nor are hanging on to your works to stay saved.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  54. Hello Bill,

    Thanks for stopping by.

    To answer your question; No I am not. I am a Biblicist.

    Are you a Reformed or Calvinist adherent?

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  55. Are you an arminian?

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