“For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake.”
This verse shows that people don’t believe in Jesus because they “choose to,” but because God allows them to have faith. Paul was telling the Christians in Philippi they only believed because God decided to save them. They weren’t elected by God because they believed, but because of God’s unconditional election they were allowed to believe. This verse teaches irresistible grace, and strongly implies unconditional election.
Continue reading “Calvinism’s Missing Contexts – Part 1”
Update: I am reposting this post because I beleive it is accurate as far as it goes, and does address the issue as to why some people are theologically intimidated into accepting Calvinism as the Faith that was once for all handed down to us. But I do wish that when I wrote it my tone would have been more gracious. I have tried to re-word it as best as possible to soften the tone. But ultimately I will have to rely on my Calvinist brethren to give me (as they read it) the grace I failed to give them when I originally wrote it almost a decade ago. And I hope that they will keep in mind I am talking about the theological system, not those that hold it.
A humble and hungry disciple is a wonderful thing in God’s kingdom. They are humble not because they have no pride, but because they hate the pride that they see in their own hearts. They long to deny themselves and take up their cross. They often confess more than is necessary, and they have no doubt that they deserve every rebuke you send their way. These spiritual children are hungry for whatever God has for them. If you encourage them to share the Gospel boldly, they might embarrass you by standing on the table and telling everyone in the restaurant that Jesus commands everyone to repent. If you encourage them to meet with you for morning-prayer, they might become your living alarm clock that is not equipped with the gracious feature of a snooze button. They are humble and hungry, willing to do anything to serve God, no matter what the cost.
These disciples are quick to obey any commands and also quick to doubt their own motives. They hunger for pure spiritual milk and humbly receive the word of God that is able to save their souls. This passion and vulnerability makes them fit for growth in God’s kingdom. But these same qualities can also make them a target for demonic deception. As natural children are easy to manipulate in their innocence and ignorance, so are spiritual children. Zeal can make them hasty, and humility can make them naïve.
Continue reading “Calvinism’s Bold Accusation – The Making of a Calvinist”