Why I Am A Calvinist!

Today, during my perusal through several of the blogs I frequent, I came across one that reminded me of my own journey from Semi-Pelagian Arminianism to the Doctrines of Grace.  Matter of fact, this story is so close to my own that I just couldn’t pass sharing it.

Brandon Lucas writes:

Almost a decade ago I was involved in a titanic spiritual battle between two opposing theological views. I could feel the once rock solid doctrines of free will slipping through my fingers like fine sand. I begged and beseeched the Lord to deliver me from the relentless reasonings and scriptural bombshells ripping the house I had built on the shifting dunes of man-centered doctrines. My pride and self-respect were on the line.

See, for the first decade of my born-again life I embraced a form of Arminianism that many call Semi-Pelagianism. Simply put, I believed that man’s free will is the deciding factor in salvation. Calvinism, which is the belief that God is sovereign over all things, including man’s salvation, had recently started making sense to me and I was drawn to it. (While at the same time being repulsed by it).

Calvinism was a dirty word in my old church. I considered it to be on equal footing with cultic beliefs.

I used to say such things as:

“Calvinism is a doctrine of demons!”

Or worse yet:

“If God is like how the Calvinists describe him, I would never serve such a cruel, heartless dictator who arbitrarily chooses who will and will not be saved!”

Read the rest here.

New Calvinism And The New Community

John Piper recently gave a lecture at Westminster Theological Seminary for the Richard B. Gaffin Jr. Lecture on Theology.  Matthew Barrett stated the following regarding this lecture:

Piper demonstrates that the doctrines of grace are so very important, especially for how we understand race, ethnicity, and missions. Or to state the matter otherwise, the doctrines of grace destroy racism. The lecture is worth listening to for this point alone, and this point does occupy the bulk of his message. I am once again reminded that while some think the doctrines of grace are secondary and irrelevant, these doctrines are massively practical for everyday life and ministry, as well as our interaction with society as a whole.

Enjoy the Lecture.

Spurgeon Thursday

 A DEFENSE OF CALVINISM

Spurgeon Pen & Ink IT is a great thing to begin the Christian life by believing good solid doctrine. Some people have received twenty different “gospels” in as many years. How many more they will accept before they get to their journey’s end, it would be difficult to predict. I thank God that He early taught me the Gospel and I have been so perfectly satisfied with it that I do not want to know any other. Constant change of creed is sure loss. If a tree has to be taken up two or three times a year you will not need to build a very large loft in which to store the apples. When people are always shifting their doctrinal principles they are not likely to bring forth much fruit to the glory of God. It is good for young Believers to begin with a firm hold upon those great fundamental doctrines which the Lord has taught in His Word. Why if I believed what some preach about the temporary, trumpery salvation which only lasts for a time I would scarcely be at all grateful for it. But when I know that those whom God saves He saves with an everlasting salvation, when I know that He gives to them an everlasting righteousness, when I know that He settles them on an everlasting foundation of everlasting love and that He will bring them to His everlasting kingdom—oh, then I do wonder and I am astonished that such a blessing as this should ever have been given to me!—

“Pause, my Soul! Adore and wonder!
Ask, ‘Oh, why such love to me?’ Grace has put me in the number
Of the Savior’s family:
Hallelujah!
Thanks, eternal thanks, to You.”

I suppose there are some persons whose minds naturally incline towards the doctrine of free will. I can only say that mine inclines as naturally towards the doctrines of Sovereign Grace. Sometimes, when I see some of the worst characters in the street, I feel as if my heart must burst forth in tears of gratitude that God has never let me act as they have done! I have thought if God had left me alone and had not touched me by His grace what a great sinner I should have been! I should have run to the utmost lengths of sin and dived into the very depths of evil! Nor should I have stopped at any vice or folly, if God had not restrained me. I feel that I should have been a very king of sinners if God had let me alone. I cannot understand the reason why I am saved except upon the ground that God would have it so.

I cannot, if I look ever so earnestly, discover any kind of reason in myself why I should be a partaker of Divine Grace. If I am at this moment with Christ, it is only because Christ Jesus would have His will with me and that will was that I should be with Him where He is and should share His glory. I can put the crown nowhere but upon the head of Him whose mighty grace has saved me from going down into the pit.

Looking back on my past life, I can see that the dawning of it all was of God—of God effectively. I took no torch with which to light the sun but the sun enlightened me. I did not commence my spiritual life—no, I rather kicked and struggled against the things of the Spirit. When He drew me for a time I did not run after Continue reading

Friday Roundup

Perseverance of the Saints – The perseverance of the saints is one of the most vital and precious truths of Scripture.

12 Myths About Calvinism – Michael Patton lists 12 myths some have about Calvinism.

Resources on the 10 Commandments – Monergism.com has updated resources on the 10 Commandments.

The 3 Transfers in Romans 5 – A sermon by John Samson that discusses the vital theme of Federal Headship.

Under the Minarets – A time lapse video

Quotes:

Our knowledge does not limit God because (1) it is grounded in him, (2) can only exist through him, and (3) especially has as its object and content God as the infinite One.

~Herman Bavinck

 

Why Are People So Offended by Calvinism? – Reblog

how-I-see-Calvinists“I have my own opinion that there is no such thing as preaching Christ and Him crucified, unless we preach what nowadays is called Calvinism. It is a nickname to call it Calvinism; Calvinism is the gospel, and nothing else. I do not believe we can preach the gospel if we do not preach justification by faith without works; nor unless we preach the sovereignty of God in His dispensation of grace; nor unless we exalt the electing unchangeable eternal, immutable, conquering love of Jehovah; nor do I think we can preach the gospel unless we base it upon the special and particular redemption of His elect and chosen people which Christ wrought out upon the cross. – Charles Haddon Spurgeon (Autobiography: 1, The Early Years, p. 168)

What is Calvinism?

Calvinism is the soteriology named after John Calvin, who was not the inventor of it, but rather one who clearly wrote about it. Calvin’s soteriology wasn’t unique to Calvin, Augustine seems to have subscribed to it, as did most others. That is because it is the understanding of salvation that the Bible teaches.

We Calvinists believe that God is sovereign in salvation, just as He is in all other areas.

Read the rest of part 1 here.

Why are people so offended by Calvinism Part 2.

 

Daily Roundup

Total Depravity and the Believers Sanctification – Christian perfectionist teaching on the one hand and carnal Christian teaching on the other hand is a debate that is still waged.  Ligon Duncan weighs in.

On Christianity and Politics – If we believe in the sure triumph of Christ, why do we allow ourselves to be drawn in to the very unsure world of political conflict?  There is a good reason to be drawn into the world of politics as a Christian.

Seeing the Bride, at Last – All I can say is take a look at this and remember.

7 Ways to Live Positive in a Negative World – If God is sovereign and all we have comes from Him, there is no reason for us to be negative.  Take these 7 nuggets to the bank and dwell on them.

God’s Part and Man’s Part in Salvation – Confused in regards to the doctrines of grace?  This article should help you understand.

Quote:

If we go to church just to be with one another, one another is all we will get.  And it isn’t enough.  Eventually, our deepest unmet needs will explode in anger at one another.  Putting community first destroys community.  We must put Christ himself first and keep him first and treat him as first and come to him first and again and again.  He can heal as no other can.  Can, and will.  If we come to him. – Ray Ortlund

Daily Roundup

Smilingly Leading You to Hell – Niceness is not one of the Fruit of the Spirit, but is a trait that we seem to be drawn too.  Just remember, the nicest people in the world can lead you straight to hell.

Why Did God Create Us – A 3 minute video by John Piper.

100 Abandoned Houses – A photo gallery of abandoned houses in the Detroit area.  Detroit’s population has dropped from around 2 million to 700,000 over the past few years.  This is a look at what’s left behind.  It also tells me that Detroit is a huge mission field.

Questions About Calvinism – Pastor Jim McClarty responds to several questions regarding Calvinism. 

Responsibility, Inability and Grace – John Hendryx of Monergism.com explains.

Quote:

Suppose God had chosen an angel to make satisfaction for our sins– imagine that an angel were capable of bearing that vast amount of suffering and agony which was necessary to our atonement; yet after the angel had done it all, justice would never have been satisfied, for this one simple reason, that the law declares,– “The soul that sinneth IT shall die.” Now, man sins, and therefore man must die. Justice required, that as by man came death, by man also should come the resurrection and the life. The law required, that as man was the sinner, man should be the victim– that as in Adam all died, even so in another Adam should all be made alive. Consequently, it was necessary that Jesus Christ should be chosen out of the people; for had yon blazing angel near the throne, that lofty Gabriel, laid aside his splendours, descended to our earth, endured pain, suffered agonies, entered the vault of death, and groaned out a miserable existence in an extremity of woe, after all that, he would not have satisfied inflexible justice, because it is said, a man must die, and otherwise the sentence is not executed. – Charles Spurgeon