[We are] not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. (Romans 1:16)

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Calvinists have 'TULIP' / Biblicists have 'PULPIT'

by Guest Blogger Jon Lee (with help from a friend)

Jon has a blog called Evangelical Musings which can be accessed on our links now!

John Calvin - Calvinism - TULIP

The following is my response to TULIP. TULIP has many shortcomings therefore this is what I would love to see preached from the PULPIT!

P Preservation of the Saints
The believer in Jesus Christ does not necessarily persevere in fellowship with God but is preserved unto salvation from the lake of fire.

U Unconditional Election of Believers (the Church)
God chose to save “Whoever believes in (Jesus Christ)” from the lake of fire. This was not based on Him foreknowing who would respond to the gospel but was based on His foreknowing the cross of Christ and His gift, eternal life, to all who would receive it.

L Limitless Atonement
The atonement - won by the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ, His subsequent resurrection and His victory over death - is applied to whoever believes in Him without limits.

P Personal Election of the Believer
The individual who believes in Jesus Christ for eternal life, is placed “in Christ”. Those in Christ are chosen of God and thereby have a personal, individual aspect to their election derived from the corporate election of all believers.

I Immutable Grace
The grace of God does not change - it is a rock - it is immutable. It is free for man to accept or reject. It is not forced on anyone and is not withheld from anyone. Once you believe in Jesus Christ for eternal life, you once and for all accept God's gracious gift - that can never change - the believer is eternally secure.

T Total Depravity of the Able
Man is born in a state of total depravation into an environment that, while fallen, is not totally depraved. God is at work in this world through His Word, the testimony of Jesus Christ and the convicting ministry of the Holy Spirit – without the intervention by God - no one would come to Him. God has given man the ability to have faith but does not gift faith to the individual.

39 Comments:

  • i love it :-)

    By Blogger the jerk, at Wednesday, August 15, 2007 11:16:00 AM  

  • Hey, I just gave Jon suggestions for the wording of the Immutable Grace category. The PULPIT is Jon's baby. And I agree with Jeff (that jerk) :) Love it!

    By Anonymous danny, at Wednesday, August 15, 2007 4:22:00 PM  

  • I had always fancied coming up with an alternative to TULIP< but this is a good one.

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Thursday, August 16, 2007 1:33:00 AM  

  • Antonio:

    "It is not forced on anyone"

    In relation to the preservation of the saint, you write that he is preserved unto salvation from the lake of fire" I assume that this means that he can walk away from such preservation if he wants to? Or: Is he forced to remain within the family of God?

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at Thursday, August 16, 2007 8:53:00 AM  

  • Oops! Just noticed that this piece wasn't authored by Antonio at all, although being posted by him would suggest concurrence and we do know that it is basically his position, so not a total misappropriate question.

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at Thursday, August 16, 2007 9:15:00 AM  

  • I love it!

    Hey, Colin,
    I have to admit, that is a clever question. hahaha

    By Blogger Rose~, at Thursday, August 16, 2007 10:25:00 AM  

  • Colin,

    has anything ever happened to you that was permanent?

    There are things in life, that once done, they can never be undone.

    When someone receives eternal life, they can never perish. They KNOW this when they are saved, otherwise they aren't saved, because they haven't believed the promise of Christ.

    After one has everlasting life, the preservation of such life depend fully upon God and His faithfulness.

    You see, the person who received everlasting life knew the eternality of the gift when he received it. If he did not understand its eternality and permanence, he did not believe Christ in His promise and remains unsaved.

    There are things that, once applied, are permanent, and we are all aware of these kinds of things in normal life. Accidents which disfigure the body, surgeries, diseases, etc.

    Eternal life is permanent, and the one who receives it NECESSARILY knows of its permanence when receiving it. It is not something that takes him by surprise. As with circumstances that are permanent when once applied, it cannot be undone.

    There are sometimes things people desire, and once that desire is fulfilled and applied, there may be consequences that are permanent. This is the thing about life. No one forced anyone to receive eternal life. This someone receives freely (Rev 22:17). And it is understood that once that life is taken, that it is permanent. This is known up front. There are no surprises.

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at Thursday, August 16, 2007 1:41:00 PM  

  • Antonio,

    Yes...but there are sometimes things I have walked away from. Obviously eternal life doesn't give me that option.

    To an extent I'm playing devil's advocate here, but it really is a matter of sauce for the goose and the gander. I wasn't forced into salvation...I am not forced to stay in either.

    Here's another thought: If I want to walk away from it, is it a sign that I never had it in the the first place despite my vocal acceptance of John 6:47?

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at Thursday, August 16, 2007 1:57:00 PM  

  • colin,

    I completely miss your point.

    You write:
    ----------
    Here's another thought: If I want to walk away from it, is it a sign that I never had it in the the first place despite my vocal acceptance of John 6:47?
    ----------
    No. Apostasy is a real danger for true Christians. These people losing their salvation is not.

    Let us say that I received a gift into my hand and put it in my pocket. If I were to lose my hand, I would still have the gift.

    Faith receives eternal life, like a hand receives a gift. If i were to lose my faith, I still have the gift.

    See 2 Tim 2:13

    What do you mean by "I am not forced to stay in either."?

    I told you. There are things in the world that once applied cannot be walked away from, that are totally permanent. For instance. No matter what my son does -- he can leave me, tell me off, go to court and disown me -- his being my son is permanent, no matter what he may do to try to walk away from it. He may not want it anymore, he may move to the other side of the world. But what was done is done. He is my son, and there is no taking that back, even if he wills it until eternity.

    Antonio
    PS: if you are trying to make a parallel between this and God's sovereign imposition on men who do not want anything to do with Him, I do believe that there are several insurmountable hurtles to comparison. They are categorically different.

    By Blogger Antonio, at Thursday, August 16, 2007 4:43:00 PM  

  • Antonio: I have never met a Christian yet, Calvinist or otherwise, who believed that they were brought to Christ against their will, or who regretted their great decision. Plenty of regrets as to how we have often failed to live up to our blessed privileges and responsibilities, but none as to the fact that we were drawn savingly to Jesus Christ.

    If you are pushing the idea that Calvinists teach that we were saved against our will and are unwilling captives, then you need (as ever) to supply substantial proof. Yes, you should be able to supply quotes where we state that our wills were corrupted by sin etc.,and that left to ourselves we would not come etc., but this is to go no further than what the Bible teaches sin John 6:44 etc.,

    Furthermore, it is interesting to see how even professing Arminians freely used the word "force" I suggest to you that these words are being made to bear a meaning that is consistent with grace. If so, for the Arminians, why not for the Calvinists? Charles Wesley wrote:

    “O my God, what must I do?
    Thou alone the way canst show;
    Thou canst save me in this hour;
    I have neither will nor power:

    God, if over all thou art,
    Greater than my sinful heart,
    All thy power on me be shown,
    Take away the heart of stone.

    Take away my darling sin,
    Make me willing to be clean;
    Have me willing to receive
    All thy goodness waits to give.

    Force me, Lord, with all to part;
    Tear these idols from my heart;
    Now thy love almighty show,
    Make even me a creature new.

    Jesus, mighty to renew,
    Work in me to will and do;
    Turn my nature’s rapid tide,
    Stem the torrent of my pride;

    Stop the whirlwind of my will;
    Speak, and bid the sun stand still;
    Now thy love almighty show,
    Make even me a creature new.

    Arm of God, thy strength put on;
    Bow the heavens, and come down;
    All my unbelief o’erthrow;
    Lay the aspiring mountain low:

    Conquer thy worst foe in me,
    Get thyself the victory;
    Save the vilest of the race;
    Force me to be saved by grace.”

    http://www.ccel.org/w/wesley/hymn/jwg01/jwg0158.html

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at Friday, August 17, 2007 1:13:00 AM  

  • "If so, for the Arminians, why not for the Calvinists?"

    Because both are wrong :)

    If we don't have a free will to accept God's gift - then it is forced upon us.

    Once we accept the gift - its benefits are eternal and binding. We can walk away in this life - but God won't let us slip away in the next. We are under the much more care of God because we are His children born again of His imperishable seed - at that point He does what's in our best interest, like it or not! His grace is free not forced - but to those who are saved by His grace through faith - the salvation is immutable, permanent and in a sense forced - to the joy of all who believe in Jesus Christ for eternal life. Can we know the depth of a love that would "lock" you into perfect paradise for eternity? That's my Father - Praise the Lord.

    When grace is forced (Calvinism) - that Love turns into a sinister black cloud that hangs over the head of everyone that a Loving God chose not to choose......

    By Blogger Jon Lee, at Friday, August 17, 2007 5:01:00 PM  

  • Jon:

    I think you are missing the point of my quoting Wesley's hymn. The Arminians are effectively free willers, but they are happy to use the word "force" and associate thoughts repeatedly in the one hymn to denote their salvation experience. They evidently (as indeed with the Calvinists) equate the word with the thought of power, seeing the gospel is the power of God unto salvation.

    It is significant (and gloriously honest) of you to admit that God's force is at play ("in a sense") in your view of salvation. You rejoice (and rightly so) in a Father's love that "locks" you into perfect paradise for eternity. My Heavenly Father's love locked me into a place in His perfect paradise from eternity past and directly led to my receiving of His Son as my Saviour. Again, as in my original challenge (no aggression intended) have you ever met any Calvinist who regretted being brought to Christ or insisted that he had been spiritually kidnapped against his will? I certainly haven't.

    I regret that after you used the word "forced" to describe your own experience, that you should rail again against it as Calvinists use it (for the word has the same meaning) in your final paragraph. I fail to see why you should blame the love of God for the dark cloud that hangs over the reprobates. The dark cloud that hangs over their head is due solely to their chosen and much loved sins which they decidedly wallow in rather than anything that relates to a Loving God. The promises of God in the gospel at there to be offered to every man without exception. If men choose according to their own hearts to reject the gospel offer, then they cannot blame God but themselves.

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at Saturday, August 18, 2007 1:02:00 AM  

  • Colin -

    "have you ever met any Calvinist who regretted being brought to Christ or insisted that he had been spiritually kidnapped against his will? I certainly haven't."

    No and you have brought up some good points.

    However, if God desires all men to be saved but only willed some then I find this to violate the law of non-contradiction as well as the veracity of His message.

    I respect that you find your view rooted in the Bible and that it gives you comfort. I'm sure Pope Benedict sleeps well at night too...

    By Blogger Jon Lee, at Saturday, August 18, 2007 8:30:00 AM  

  • JL: - Thanks for your reply and comments.

    You write: However, if God desires all men to be saved but only willed some then I find this to violate the law of non-contradiction as well as the veracity of His message.

    Your point only holds good if God was obliged to follow through the all things which He desires with the force of a decree that it should be so. Evidently this is not the case and I can't think of any verse(s) in the Scripture that teaches His obligation to do so. Can you?

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at Saturday, August 18, 2007 8:58:00 AM  

  • "Your point only holds good if God was obliged to follow through the all things which He desires with the force of a decree that it should be so. Evidently this is not the case and I can't think of any verse(s) in the Scripture that teaches His obligation to do so. Can you?"

    God's sovereignty is bound by His revelation. Since He is light and in Him there is no darkness at all - He can not sin, He can not lie. To say He desires all men to be saved, His will is that His elective decree is what brings men to saving faith and not elect all to salvation is disingenuous, violates His integrity and the truth of His Word.

    Now, if His desire is that all should be saved and His will is that those who are convinced what He has promised He is also able to perform - then His integrity is not compromised as His will has allowed for the volitional responsibility of man to believe in Jesus Christ for His promise of eternal life.

    He desires all men to be saved but only some accept His offer through His plan.

    Calvinism would have us believe that His desire is all men to be saved but He only chose some. It contradicts - to state anything else is intellectually dishonest.

    By Blogger Jon Lee, at Saturday, August 18, 2007 10:06:00 AM  

  • JL:- Your second point here now hangs on the thought that God cannot desire something without decreeing it to be so. Yet we know that He expresses his desire that none should commit adultery or kill, and yet He refrains from decreeing that no more murders etc., should henceforth take place.

    Furthermore, I agree 100% with your position as stated here i.e. Now, if His desire is that all should be saved and His will is that those who are convinced what He has promised He is also able to perform - then His integrity is not compromised as His will has allowed for the volitional responsibility of man to believe in Jesus Christ for His promise of eternal life. As it stands, there is hardly a Calvinist out there who would disagree. The volitional responsibility of man to believe etc., - Yep! It s all there in our belief. The difference, however, is this: It was not enough for God to merely hold out the promise of life to sinners. He Himself must raise the spiritual dead and experience shows (unless you are a Universalist) that He does not raise every last sinner, but leaves some to perish in their chosen sins.

    Every guilty sinner should be brought to see that God has no pleasure in his death, has revealed that He is willing to save all men and indeed offers salvation to whosoever will partake of it. He should be urged and pleaded with to seek the Lord and claim the gospel promises, assured that none who ever sought Him failed to find Him. The sinner needs to know no more than this and should he decline it, he has no moral right to cavil that God did not give him what he did not want. For God does not force Himself on sinners.

    This is neither moral or intellectual dishonesty, but as it is revealed both in Bible and from observation in the world around us.

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at Saturday, August 18, 2007 10:45:00 AM  

  • "Your second point here now hangs on the thought that God cannot desire something without decreeing it to be so."

    No - in fact, just the opposite. God cannot desire that all men be saved while choosing only some, unless His choice involves volitional responsibility of the individual by which the individual is free to accept or reject His free gift of eternal life. The rejection places the consequence of the second death on the individual who lacks eternal life rather than on a Loving God who neglected to elect them to salvation.

    "It was not enough for God to merely hold out the promise of life to sinners"

    Actually, it is enough!

    "but leaves some to perish in their chosen sins."

    So - it's God's choice to save individuals but the individuals choice to perish?

    What if God chose to save an individual who chose to perish in their sins?

    By Blogger Jon Lee, at Saturday, August 18, 2007 12:00:00 PM  

  • JL:-

    The freedom of the individual may be affirmed in the sense that he is free to do what his heart desires. It may, however, at the same time be denied in the sense in that the heart of man, being sinful, is in bondage to his sin (John 8:34) Therefore on the first point he is fully responsible and on the second fully incapable. In short, he stands in dire need of the grace of God to actually save him and not merely offer him salvation. This is why Jesus bore the name that He did because He would (actually) save His people from their sins. The sinner, being fully responsible, always bears the blame for his own damnation. You cannot blame God for what He did not do to save the sinner when He is under no obligation to save him in the first place. This seems to be the main plank of your thesis, but again it is untenable.

    You ask two questions: So - it's God's choice to save individuals but the individual's choice to perish? I affirm with the sole qualification, Left to himself, it is the individual's choice to perish.

    Secondly you ask: What if God chose to save an individual who chose to perish in their sins? The answer to this is simple. Every sinner chosen by God unto salvation sinfully chose to perish in his sins (or at least, chose to continue sinning and never really thought about/cared about the consequences) That is until he was drawn savingly to Jesus Christ when his carnal mind was changed by the power of God and he willingly fled to Christ for refuge. If you are asking me if one chosen by God has ever been left to perish in his chosen sins, then the answer, of course, is in the negative. All that the Father gave to Christ actually come to Him and he that so comes is not cast out.

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at Saturday, August 18, 2007 2:14:00 PM  

  • "The sinner, being fully responsible, always bears the blame for his own damnation. You cannot blame God for what He did not do to save the sinner when He is under no obligation to save him in the first place."

    If He saved some and not others - He is partial. The Bible says God is not a God of partiality. He is not a respecter of persons. He offers salvation to all but only some accept.

    "Every sinner chosen by God"

    I thought God desired ALL men to be saved... Why didn't he choose all? Or, as the Calvinist likes to say - Why did God choose any? I thought God so loved the WORLD - not God so loved the elect.....

    "I affirm with the sole qualification, Left to himself, it is the individual's choice to perish."

    Luckily, no one is left to himself!

    By Blogger Jon Lee, at Saturday, August 18, 2007 5:50:00 PM  

  • Hi JL, I appreciate you taking time to discuss these matters with me.

    I am wondering what Scripture that you are thinking of when you make the rather general statement that God is not a God of partiality. He has spared those of Adam's race while sparing not the angels that sinned. He showed partiality to nothing-to-claim-partiality-for Israel (Deuteronomy 7:6-7) while He left the rest of the world to sink in heathen darkness. He knew them alone of all the families of the earth (Amos 3:2) and they were clearly advantaged in that they had the Scripture of truth (Romans 3:1-2)
    He chose twelve apostles - all men - while others remained mere foot soldiers etc., Your statement again is at odds with the Scripture. It is true to say that God is not a respecter of persons in that He doesn't choose some folk because they are better than others or men because of their colour of their skin or the extent of their wealth etc. We agree (I having affirmed in the above posts) that God offers salvation to all but only some accept.

    Why did God not choose all? This is one of those great questions up there with others like "Why did God allow sin to enter into the world? Why did God not stop 9/11? The short answer is that He hasn't told us why, except that it will be seen to be ultimately for His own glory. It is not for us to pry into what has not been revealed. I am not sure why you should think that I deny that God so loved the world as opposed to loving only the elect. I affirm God's universal benevolence to all men without exception (Psalm 145:9) while affirming His special saving love to the elect (Ephesians 5:25) and, of course, His personal love to me (Galatians 2:20)

    I assume (and hope) that your last statement Luckily, no one is left to himself! was made tongue in cheek. This saves me another paragraph.

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at Sunday, August 19, 2007 1:07:00 AM  

  • "I am wondering what Scripture that you are thinking of when you make the rather general statement that God is not a God of partiality"

    Ac 10:34 -
    Then Peter opened his mouth and said: "In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality.

    Ro 2:11 -
    For there is no partiality with God.

    Eph 6:9 -
    And you, masters, do the same things to them, giving up threatening, knowing that your own Master also is in heaven, and there is no partiality with Him.

    You are exactly right - God is not a respecter of persons. That is why salvation is offered to all - that He has chosen all for the gift but only some accept it.

    Now - if He decided who would accept, then He is a respecter of persons - not based on their goodness but on His marking them and not marking others.

    By Blogger Jon Lee, at Sunday, August 19, 2007 6:57:00 AM  

  • JL:-One simple question: Was God being partial to Israel in Deuteronomy 7:6-7 where he declared that He loved them simply because He loved them, where (bringing in Amos 3:2) He knew them alone of all the nations of the earth, and where (bringing in Romans 3:1-2) they were clearly advantaged in having the oracles of God committed unto them alone?

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at Sunday, August 19, 2007 7:52:00 AM  

  • "One simple question: Was God being partial to Israel in Deuteronomy 7:6-7 where he declared that He loved them simply because He loved them, where (bringing in Amos 3:2) He knew them alone of all the nations of the earth, and where (bringing in Romans 3:1-2) they were clearly advantaged in having the oracles of God committed unto them alone?"

    Does God show partiality to people who believe in Jesus Christ? Yes - because the partiality is, like Israel, corporate - not individual and His favor is offered to all but only accepted by some. We could do the whole Jacob I loved, Esau I hated thing but I'm weary and, just so you know, I uphold Gods right to choose. That's not to say He has elected individuals for salvation.

    I'm going to quit here - mainly because we're just going round and round.

    Colin - I do recognize how close we are theologically. Your love for the Lord Jesus is obvious as well as your passion for evangelism. I have enjoyed our back and forth. I know you don't "get" where I'm coming from any more than I "get" where you're coming from. However, we do end up in the same neighborhood, for which I'm thankful. I count it a joy to number you among my brothers in Christ.

    It's a blessing to have these discussions because it tethers my heart to those I might otherwise hate. Thank you for being patient and cordial.

    In Christ,

    JL

    By Blogger Jon Lee, at Sunday, August 19, 2007 11:32:00 AM  

  • Fair enough, JL

    I have always taken the position that both the Calvinists and the Non Calvinists (within the evangelical fold) both preach the gospel, although (naturally) one holds to a purer form than the other, but I'm sure we both think that we hold the purer form. Nevertheless where Christ is preached, we rejoice.

    Thanks for your patience and discussion.

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at Sunday, August 19, 2007 11:57:00 AM  

  • Hi guys. I no longer ascribe to evangelical theology, FG or otherwise. If possible, please remove my name from the article heading.

    By Blogger Danny, at Wednesday, November 23, 2011 11:39:00 PM  

  • Danny,

    Have you been swept away by another wind of doctrine?

    By Blogger Antonio, at Sunday, November 27, 2011 3:31:00 PM  

  • Yes, the powerful wind of logic. Take my name off please.

    By Blogger Danny, at Monday, November 28, 2011 12:15:00 AM  

  • Danny. I will be happy to do that. But before I do, please let me know what is your beliefs now, or a place I can read up on them.

    Looking forward to your response,

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at Tuesday, November 29, 2011 12:36:00 PM  

  • Hi Danny.

    I agree with Antonio that it's reasonable to ask about your new viewpoint, and what the logic basically is that inspired the change.

    Are there some books or websites you looked into that convinced you that we true believers are off?

    But are we drinking koolaid or are you now drinking koolaid?

    And are you now Orthodox, Catholic or have you gone secular? And are you too young to remember this song.

    Johanna

    By Blogger J Sawyer, at Tuesday, November 29, 2011 3:58:00 PM  

  • By Blogger J Sawyer, at Tuesday, November 29, 2011 4:03:00 PM  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger Danny, at Thursday, December 01, 2011 5:20:00 PM  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger Danny, at Thursday, December 01, 2011 5:22:00 PM  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger Danny, at Thursday, December 01, 2011 5:24:00 PM  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger Danny, at Thursday, December 01, 2011 5:34:00 PM  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger Danny, at Thursday, December 01, 2011 5:41:00 PM  

  • Hi Antonio and Jody! Antonio knows that I'm famous for writing long posts, so I'll keep this short. Also, let me apologize for the tone of my last comment. I'm definitely not Orthodox or Catholic as I still believe in the freeness of eternal life. I'm now convinced that Jesus has redeemed the entire world. It took me a long time to come to this position. I'll provide you guys with links to Mike Williams of Gospel Revolution, as well as an excerpt from a new book written by the Essary brothers (I heard about them last night on the Gospel Revolution webcast and went to the excerpt). The middle link is a 30-minute audio that covers the basics of what I believe.

    Mike Williams Ministries

    Doctrine of Fulfillment1b

    The Hour We Least Expected Excerpt

    By Blogger Danny, at Thursday, December 01, 2011 5:55:00 PM  

  • Let me add that I don't necessarily agree with every single thing Mike Williams believes. But I'm with him on the major points. Jody, here's 2 songs from Kate Benham. Though you won't agree with the message, I think you'll aree that she's pretty good!

    Kate Benham: Paper Dragon

    Kate Benham: I Am Not a Christian and Lion and the Lamb

    By Blogger Danny, at Thursday, December 01, 2011 6:06:00 PM  

  • Thanks, Danny, I appreciate your letting us know where you're coming from. I'll definitely look at your links, or listen to the one, and then maybe do a short post on the topic. I'll keep in mind that you don't agree on all points.

    Blessings to you :) Glad you're not loosing your religion in the sense I think that song is about! Thanks too for the links to the music :)

    By Blogger J Sawyer, at Thursday, December 01, 2011 6:56:00 PM  

  • And hopefully Antonio will either do a post or interact in the comments on the issue of eternal judgment...

    By Blogger J Sawyer, at Sunday, December 04, 2011 4:21:00 PM  

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