Calvinists, Piper and Sproul: Two Paragons of Calvinism Tip Their Hand

I recently visited Lou Martuneac’s Web site on which was an excellent post by his friend Kevin Lane (Kevl). The post is outstanding, so much so that I will put the link to both web sites at the bottom of this post.

I, like Lou, hesitate to start a conflagration of Calvinist die-hard rhetoric because I likewise have endured the slings and arrows of those folks when I write periodically about my own experiences with the intense harm of Calvinism (regardless of the brand, Traditional Augustinian, Neo, or Hyper Calvinism, et al). It is encouraging to see others take a stand. Thanks Kevl and Lou.

Kevl quotes two modern paragons of the Calvinism empire, R.C. Sproul and John Piper. These are classic quotes that defy Biblical definition.

I will appreciate our readers comments about these.

“There is no doubt that Jesus saw a measure of real, lived-out obedience to the will of God as necessary for final salvation…. What God will require at the judgment is not our perfection, but sufficient fruit to show that the tree had life-in our case, divine life.” (John Piper, What Jesus Demands From the World, pp. 160, 221.)

“Endurance in faith is a condition for future salvation. Only those who endure in faith will be saved for eternity.R. C. Sproul, Grace Unknown, p. 198.)

These statements once again indicate the confluence of Calvinism and Lordship “salvation.” Instead of Amazing Grace we witness Amazing DisGrace!! I am curious to know; can anyone, in simple words, Biblically justify these statements in light of God’s Amazing Free Grace?

** I just noticed that our friend JanH has made several great comments on the Kevl article.

In Defense Of The Gospel (Kevin’s article at Martuneac)

On My Walk (Kevin Lane’s Blog site)

True Facts about Eternal Life

24 responses to “Calvinists, Piper and Sproul: Two Paragons of Calvinism Tip Their Hand

  1. Since I didn’t really listen to these guys (thanks to the Lord), I don’t know what they taught in the beginning. I see the appeal though, they seem ‘radical’ and people want to be ‘on fire’ for Him. I hear people use those terms all the time, but really, I think we need to struggle in life (or maybe it’s me) to be sure we get the right time with Him, and get revived and replenished in His Word. To daily remember to acknowledge Him in all our ways. Abiding in the Lord and His Word is the needed thing, the good part…

    I think anyways if we were those things, I don’t see the point in pointing to men being radical or on fire, I think what we do, we do for Him and if someone points to us, we need to point them to Christ (as I know you know). But I think they say that they’re not tickling ears because they teach a ‘hard’ message. I think it absolutely appeals to men’s pride to be puffed up in what they are doing.

    Have a great day in Him.

  2. That’s great, Holly. I did check that out and it was interesting to see how much I’d forgotten about that thread since first reading is about 2.5 years ago!

  3. Wow, that’s really telling that he’d have anything to do w/ Bob Bickle . . . I also hope he’s bewitched (once heard and believed the gospel) as opposed to flat out having never believed.

    My introduction to Chan was from researching why so many churches* tip toe around the issue of hell and eternal damnation and I found one of his book titles, ERASING HELL. But it wasn’t long before I heard him saying things that send up some serious red flags (I’ve mentioned them on other threads) and I eventually realized I had a bigger problem to deal with than analyzing which folks were serious about hell and that was the fact that clear preaching of the gospel seemed to be an endangered species so to speak.

    *The church I was attending at the time was, in my opinion, INCREDIBLY guilty of this. Not surprising as it was a Calvary Chapel, and Bob Coy, before he resigned had a video message on his church’s website that would make the average onlooker think the only reasons one needed Jesus was in order to live a better life. Yes, it was that bad. (I’ve also mentioned that on another thread.)

  4. Thank you, Holly!

  5. Hi Fryingpan9,

    That was more of my take on what happened to him based on some things he said when he quit his church 5 years ago and things that happened in the years following. He quit he said because he found this restlessness and stirring to ‘let go of the church’ to do something different. Now, I certainly understanding making moves in our lives, but he said it was about being willing to forsake everything for Christ. I was just thinking, ‘wait a minute’, since when do we forsake the body of Christ? We might be called to move on, but forsaking the church?

    He was talking about ‘having fear’ in one place that I was reading, and then the very next sentence about him having faith and how he didn’t fear. I was scratching my head thinking, “Huh”? (one of the so-called ‘Christian magazines, either Christianity today or Charisma, not sure).

    Then he was talking about picking up his cross and being radical enough. (“This was between 2010-13) Then the mainly Calvinist blog, standup for the truth (not Jim Floyd’s standupforthefaith.com) questioned that he was having a crisis of faith in not knowing what he believed. They even went so far as to say that it was a works for salvation message, and he/she (the author whoever it was) thought that Chan wasn’t even sure what he believed.

    I felt like what I saw was kind of verified when Chan started hanging out with people in the New Apostolic Reformation and false prophet Mike Bickle (also was founded by the licentious prophet Bob Jones – not to be mixed up with the college) who used to ‘prophesy over women’ but could only do it if they took their clothes off. This whole movement was based on this false prophet along with Bickle and Mike Joyner (who brought Todd Bentley back into ‘ministry’. He was the upside-down-cross tattooed, pierced, adultering, kick them in the stomach with your biker-spiked-boots healer). You really can’t hardly make this stuff up. Joyner and Bickle are heavy into the ‘manifest sons of God’ or dominionist, kingdom now theological group.

    Some of his Calvinist discernment ministry friends stood for him saying we shouldn’t throw people under the bus for who they preach with, and likened him to Paul preaching the gospel anywhere to anyone. Chan wasn’t ‘preaching the gospel’ to these NAR false prophets, he was partaking of their evil deeds and later he even endorsed Mike Bickle, saying he ‘loved his heart’ and that there was ‘a lot of great things going on at IHOP’ and even though he was sure there was ‘some theological differences going on, there was a lot they agreed on’ (not exact quotes but real close). I think Chan was searching for something more because his own ‘religion’ had let him down.

    So I see it as a breakdown, some call it a ‘crisis in faith’, but I believe it is what I see happen over and over again with those trapped in the false teaching of loadship. So many of my friends have described a similar thing — that restlessness, that fear, and wanting to prove they were saved by what they did.

    So this is my opinion only, but I believe that this is what happened to Chan. He always took 2 Cor 13:5 literally, saying it meant to examine or test yourself, to see if you were really saved. He and his wife felt they weren’t ‘doing enough’. Whether he ever once believed (I sure hope so for his sake) and is just bewitched and in bondage, or is just flat out never believed and under condemnation, only the Lord knows, but he’s a false teacher whose own teachings I believe were his downfall.

    Sorry if it sounded like something official 🙂

  6. Hi Holly.

    Where can I read more about Mr. Chan’s “breakdown” as you put it?

    Thank you!

    (My notifications are inconsistent so if you answer and I never reply or thank you it’s no reflection on my interest in the matter–just a testament to my poor management skills.)

  7. John – I feel the same. They’ve used excellent speech and wisdom of words for so long, but they speak in circles, they twist His Word to their destruction.

  8. Holly, I’m glad I’m not smart enough to intellectualize with them.

  9. Piper is another one that is a miserable individual. Sooner or later these guys have to face up to the fact, that they have no knowledge of the fact of whether or not they are really saved. Have they ‘done’ enough? Did they ‘stop’ enough sins. When they’re busy theorizing and intellectualizing amongst each other, eventually they have to be alone with themselves. They can’t hide from the truth, “Am I really saved”? This is why people like Francis Chan I believe had a breakdown.

    How can they know? They can’t. They can’t even know that they aren’t being fooled by evanescent grace. Saddest religion out there, so close, yet so far.

  10. John:

    It is an encouragement to know that my/our blogs have been a help and blessing to you.

    Yours in His Service,

    Lou Martuneac

  11. John Gregory

    CLEAN AIR of TRUTH! ON MY WALK, IN DEFENSE OF THE GOSPEL, &
    EXPREACHERMAN! I have been on the web since June of this year, & only
    because of the web & GOD’S GRACE I found your sites.. I have been a Biblicist for fifty years. God is good to bring your web-sites into my life.
    The information that I have found on your sites has been a huge boost in my own ministry. May GOD keep all of You doing what you’re doing!
    Thank all of You, GOD bless,
    John Gregory

  12. Lou,

    I do believe the Lord is using Blogs like yours, Kev’s, ours and a few others to make a difference. The Internet works both ways. Even with 100-200 views a day, though we are thankful, our Blog is still a small voice crying in the wilderness. However, we are blessed because some are watching, reading and being convinced by God’s Word. I pray for their continued encouragement.

    Keep up the great work..

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  13. Jack:

    Thanks for the encouragement. I am very grateful for the Internet. Without it we would find it nearly impossible to counter the messages of Calvinism and LA. The big name advocates of LS dominate the Internet, but those of us engaging the issues on line have been making a difference and giving hope, materials and the courage to resist the spread of Calvinism and LS. I get emails weekly from folks expressing appreciation for what they’ve read at my blog.

    Lou

  14. Jan,

    Thanks, I really enjoyed your 5 part comment over at IDOTG.. and I reiterate my comment there, that “It is kinda nice to see Reformed folks eating their own, so to speak.”
    But Calvinism or Reformed theology, whatever the degree or brand, is still, in my mind, dangerous to the Body of Christ.

    Also, if Sproul cast himself on the cross, he must have taken himself back off because his latest writings (those of which I am aware – correct me if I am wrong) do not show a consistent anti-Calvinist, pro Free Grace theology. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if he published a treatise repudiating his Calvinist beliefs and proclaiming Calvinism a lie? And then we miraculously see him, Piper, JMac, Chan et al joining hands, repudiating their lies and preaching the Truth of salvation in Jesus Christ alone to the world? Wow!!! Will that ever happen??? Hmmmm. Not likely.
    ==========
    Lou,

    We will continue to preach the Gospel and then expose, not only the lie of Calvinism, but any and all versions of anti-Biblical teaching (Lordship “salvation,” Emergent, New Age, etc.) as long as the Lord gives us the strength and means to do so. We have our hands full don’t we? Because the lies are propagating faster than the Truth. Thankfully the Lord, through His Holy Spirit enables.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  15. I find it fascinating that both Piper and Sproul have expressed doubts of their own salvation at times.

    I remember reading Sproul’s account of his crisis. He found out the futility of looking for assurance within himself. He ended up casting himself on the cross, as we all must, and ultimately found his only assurance there, as we all must.

    World Vision has sadly been on the globalist bandwagon for a long time now.

    JanH

  16. Jack & Bruce:

    I want to join Kev to thank you men for recognizing what we are doing at IDOTG and furthermore, let you men know we appreciate your joint ministry of warning here. Jack, you posted some very helpful comments in that thread; thanks. I would encourage all of your guests to read the set of 5 consecutive that JanH posted last night. They put the Calvinists in a peculiar position: having to chose which is the real Calvinism.

    The twin errors of Calvinism and Lordship Salvation have made serious inroads into a wide cross section of Fundamental and evangelical circles. We must do what we can to expose those errors and offer the biblical answers to them so that the unsuspecting do not fall into the trap of either.

    Kind regards,

    Lou

  17. Hi Lou:

    Thanks much for your kind words. I, too, admire your strong clear (ongoing) presentation and defense of the pure gospel of grace.

    Sorry that I missed seeing you at the Grace Conference. I was blessed tremendously by the worship, the fellowship and, of course, the great teaching.

    Bruce

  18. Bruce,

    The words of Calvinists are so convoluted that it makes a person believe his salvation is always in question.. Isn’t it wonderful to have absolute assurance in our Savior and rest in that promise!!!

    Never heard of Stearns but I agree with your reaction to the title — and his World Vision is certainly not a place to hear a clear Gospel message of God’s saving Grace. It appears to be simply a social gospel ministry with the “behind-the-scenes” name of “Christian.”
    From their “Vision Statement” is this: World Vision is a Christian relief, development and advocacy organization dedicated to working with children, families and communities to overcome poverty and injustice.
    While that is a worthy goal — without the clear saving Gospel of Jesus Christ, World Vision is giving those poor souls a comfortable way to go to Hell.
    ==========
    Kev,

    Thanks for dropping in. You are right, we have the the message of the Greatest News ever heard, that salvation is only by our decision to put our faith alone in Jesus Christ alone. That is why I always put a link to the Gospel message at the end of each post.. praying people will read it and respond by deciding to put their faith in Jesus Christ. After all, it is a decision that THEY must make,

    Keep up the good work at your Blogs. (how do you manage three?)

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  19. Wow Jack, your words are too kind. Thank you for sharing the link, this is a discussion that needs to be had by more people. The people who already know about the dangers of Calvinism – in my opinion, we spend too much time talking about it among ourselves and not enough time bringing warning to the masses. That being said, a ministry of warning is useless if it doesn’t not clearly lead people to safety that is in Christ. Merely stating that Piper is wrong doesn’t ultimately help the people he has influence over. 🙂

    John Gregory, your words are humbling. I have never read anyone say that about my blog and I have to tell you that my eyes are filled with tears. Thank you for sharing. I hope that you are blessed by God for you have given me great comfort today.

    Kev

  20. Hi Jack,

    Great post as always.

    I find it fascinating that both Piper and Sproul have expressed doubts of their own salvation at times. Dr. Tom Cucuzza chronicles this fact in his book, “Secure Forever! God’s Promise or Our Perseverance.” See Jack’s link in the upper right column to purchase this fine book. I guess that this fact shouldn’t surprise me, however, for destruction of assurance of salvation is EXACTLY where Piper’s and Sproul’s false teaching of lordship salvation will lead a person who holds to such unbiblical nonsense. Their “Faith Formula” might go something like this: “Faith Plus Mandatory Evidenciary Good Works MAY Merit Eternal Life.” [But one can never quite be sure until she “gets there.”]

  21. By the way, I am currently reading the book entitled, “The Hole in Our Gospel,” by Richard Stearns, President of World Vision.

    So far, the title alone made me gag, and the book itself is very much a promotion of lordship salvation and a social welfare gospel. It is very similar to “Crazy Love,” by Francis Chan and “Radical,” by David Platt.
    I’ll bring more information after I finish the book.

  22. Thanks John,

    I am sure Lou and Kevin appreciate your readership as do we here.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  23. John Gregory

    Both Kevin Lane’s & Lou Martuneac’s Blog sites are worth a lot too me.
    I read & follow both of their sites. Tremendous amount of good information is
    produced by both of these sites. God bless ’em.
    John Gregory

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