Pride in one’s humility

“And I am afraid that there are Calvinists, who, while they account it a proof of their humility that they are willing in words to debase the creature, and to give all the glory of salvation to the Lord, yet know not of what manner of spirit they are of.  Whatever it be that makes us trust in ourselves that we are comparatively wise or good, so as to treat those with contempt who do not subscribe to our doctrines, or follow our party, is a proof and fruit of a self-righteous spirit.  Self-righteousness can feed upon doctrines, as well as upon works; and a man may have the heart of a Pharisee, while his head is stored with orthodox notions of the unworthiness of the creature and the riches of free grace.” – John Newton

That’s insulting to Arminians

Recently a group of Southern Baptists developed a document titled, “A Statement of the Traditional Southern Baptist Understanding of God’s Plan of Salvation.” It is mostly a response to the (fast) rising Calvinistic movement in the denomination. The most controversial statement is where they said, “We deny that Adam’s sin resulted in the incapacitation of any person’s free will or rendered any person guilty before he has personally sinned.”

Of course Calvinistic Southern Baptists are upset over the statement. They have been mostly ignored for quite a while and now they are getting too big to ignore so a more direct approach is necessary. Most sovereign grace believing people would call this statement, as well as those who wrote and signed it, Arminians, after James Arminius. But how many people (more…)

It can’t be that simple

I came across this posting by Doug Wilson recently and found it interesting, especially since I’d just told a student the exact same thing not a few hours earlier.  He discussed how many Calvinists have to do exegetical gymnastics to make the universal passages of Scripture (I John 2:2, John 3:16) fit with their theology.  How can we be Calvinists and not have to play footsey with God’s Word?  Wilson does a good job of saying this. 

“Not surprisingly, postmillennialism is the answer. Not only does postmillennialism ride to the rescue of the world, it also rides to the rescue of a decrepit, rationalistic Calvinism. Calvinists don’t like to be told that when they are hobbling through the universal texts that they look just like the Arminians hobbling through the sovereignty texts. But they do.  So try this out. The world will be saved. The nations will come to Christ. The families of the earth will turn to the Lord. The earth will be as full of the knowledge of God as the Pacific is wet. Why will all this happen? Because Jesus died so that it would. Jesus died to secure the certainty of it.”

It seems so simple, it’s hard to understand why people would reject it.