Sunday, November 27, 2005

Doctrines of Grace Misrepresented (Pt 3)

The part of Mr. Cloud’s statement to be dealt with this time is item c:

c. God has ordained that every person who believes on Christ will be saved (Jn. 6:40).

Amen, to say that a believer in the Doctrines of Grace ( I personally do not use the word Calvinism as it carries much baggage as shown by Mr. Cloud) does not believe this is to misunderstand what is believed. If there is one aspect that we do stress it is the compatibility of the sovereignty of God and the responsibility of man. The fact we have to believe is not in question but where the ability to believe is. Since the question Mr. Cloud has to answer is: How does one dead in sin seek after that which they hate:.

Next Time
d. God has commanded that the gospel be preached to every person (Mark 16:15).

Friday, November 18, 2005

Doctrines of Grace Misrepresented (Pt 2)

This installment really does build on the last as it still deals with the atonement. The statement that Mr. Cloud makes here is:

12b. Jesus died for the sins of all men, not just some who are pre-chosen (1 John 2:1-2).

As I dealt with the word “all” in the last installment I will not deal with that here. Again the issue is what one sees Christ’s propitiation as. Did Christ actually shed blood as a payment for sin for particular people on the cross, as the Bible makes clear , or did He in some way simply sort of pay for sin for some, at the time, undefined people. If you believe, as the Bible clearly states, that Christ’s blood was shed on Calvary as a propitiation for sin (Rom 3:25 and Heb 2:17) then you are left with a choice that either all men are saved (not viable biblically), there are people in Hell that have had their sins paid for (not what a just God would do) or that a particular peoples whose sins were paid for, at the cross, will be saved. If you feel that Christ merely died for the possibility of salvation I am not sure how one would deal with those verses that speak of something actually being accomplished, finished, on the cross. So the statement that Jesus died for the sins of “all” men can not mean the entirety of humanity but must mean He secured the salvation for His sheep and those who are not of His sheep did not have their sins paid for and thus Christ’s sacrifice was actually effectual to save.

It is from looking at the atonement that we see that Christ did not die for the entire world, meaning every person equally, as a means of salvation but died in stead for His sheep from every tribe tongue and nation.

One other thing is that there is a sense in which Christ did die for the entire world but not in the same way, not in a salavific way. The unbeliever does benefit not only from the God’s general grace to all but also they benefit from those that are believers by the way they live and interact. However this is not what most would be trying to say when it is said that “Jesus died for the sins of all men.”

Next time:

c. God has ordained that every person who believes on Christ will be saved (Jn. 6:40).

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Adrian Rogers is with the Lord Today

Adrian Rogers passed away yesterday read the Baptist Press story for what ohters had to say about him. While I may have had some theological differences with Mr. Rogers he was definitely instrumental in the battle for bringing the SBC out of the morass of liberalism.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Book Giveaway

If you would like a chance to win "The Outdoor Bible" (NASB) and another book click below:

November Giveaway

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Doctrines of Grace Misrepresented (Pt 1)

First I would like to say that I do not know Mr. Cloud and actually had not heard of him until led to his site some time ago. The reason for using his comments is that first they are public and thus can be answered in public. Secondly, they represent what I have heard over and over from those that dislike the Doctrines of Grace so I decided to use his comments as a place to start in answering some of his objections. Now I am not sure who even reads this but it is helpful for myself to place my answers in writing so that I can use them at a later date.

So for this entry I would like to deal with his first statement, as a reminder, and give his “biblical answer”:

12. The false teaching that God chooses who will be saved and that only those who are chosen can be saved (Calvinism)
Bible Answer:
a. The Bible says that God wants all men to be saved (1 Tim. 2:3-5; 2 Pet. 3:9).

First of all it is only one interpretation, that I would say is incorrect, that 1 Tim 2:3-5 (actually need to go to verse 8) speak to “all” men as meaning all people period. The greek for “all” has a number of meanings and was the word Paul had to use so we need to interpret “all” from this verse and other verses, in context. Keep in mind that when reading in English what may initially seem plain may not be so plain and the word “all” is one of those words. We use that word “all” of the time, well not really all the time, but even then do we mean all as meaning everything.

When we look elsewhere in God’s word, regarding the atonement, we find that at the cross Christ was a propitiation, took upon the wrath or penalty, for sin (Rom 3:25 and Heb 2:17). From this our choices are, since Christ actually accomplished something on the cross (a propitiation), either all are saved or only a certain, definite, group are saved by His sacrifice on the cross. Based on this the word ”all” can not mean all mankind, meaning every person, since “universalism” is unbiblical.

If you read past verse 5 of 1 Tim 2 it becomes clear that if Christ was an actual ransom (6) for all, meaning all mankind, then all mankind would be saved and we know this is unbiblical. Paul in V 8 makes it even more clear by saying “men everywhere” and not all mankind period. So 1 Tim 2:3-5 would be more clearly read as realating all kinds of men.

As far as 2 Peter 3:9 the audience are believers so the “anyone” and “all” mentioned are believers (”toward us”), and not anyone as meaning all inclusive of all mankind. So God is patient with all His sheep. This is one of those verses where the context of the passage itself defines the words used. What amazes me is that this basic hermeneutic is not utilized.
From both of these verses we see that these verses so often used to deny Calvinism actually simply speak to the salvation of the elect and that the elect spoken of is not limited to any class of people. What is even more disheartening is that using the verses in the way Cloud and other use them speaks more of universalism than anything else and I am sure they would not like this conclusion

The next installment will deal with:

b. Jesus died for the sins of all men, not just some who are pre-chosen (1 John 2:1-2).

Which by the way is answered by some of what is said above about the atonement.

By the way Alan Kurschner is doing the same at Calvinist Gadfly.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Doctrines of Grace Misrepresented

I recently was led to a piece written by David Cloud which only added to my frustration with how the Doctrines of Grace are portrayed. He lists 14 false doctrines the church must confront and lists Calvinism, I use the term Doctrines of Grace as the word “Calvinism” tends to carry much baggage, as number 12. Over the last few months I have listened to sermons by Dr. Jack Graham and Dr. Adrian Rodgers, along with others, and what I take from all this is that people are either naive, unknowing or deceitful (maybe there are other choices I have missed). The reason for this is that all that is said about the Doctrines of Grace is in general blatantly false. Now there are probably people who believe what they proclaim but I would, as would others, place them in the category of Hyper-Calvinist or some other category other than what those holding to the Doctrines of Grace truly believe.

Over the next week or so I would like to deal with each of the six bullet points Mr. Cloud presented so that you can see what the Doctrines of Grace and thus the Bible says. The following are the 6 points Dr. Cloud listed (The six points are what he feels refulte the Doctirnes of Grace):

12. The false teaching that God chooses who will be saved and that only those who are chosen can be saved (Calvinism)
Bible Answer:
a. The Bible says that God wants all men to be saved (1 Tim. 2:3-5; 2 Pet. 3:9).
b. Jesus died for the sins of all men, not just some who are pre-chosen (1 John 2:1-2).
c. God has ordained that every person who believes on Christ will be saved (Jn. 6:40).
d. God has commanded that the gospel be preached to every person (Mark 16:15).
e. The Holy Spirit convicts every sinner and Jesus draws and gives light to every sinner (Jn. 1:9; 12:32; 16:7-8).
f. Believers are the elect of God, but that does not mean that God chooses some to be saved and the others not to be saved. Election is based on God’s foreknowledge (1 Pet. 1:2).

What is even more distressing is that Mr. Cloud places the Doctrines of Grace as detrimental to Christianity as Jehovah’s Witnesses and denying the Trinity.

More to come:

Thursday, November 10, 2005

What is the Church?

While reading around the various blogs I peruse it is becoming increasing clear that the role of the church is severely misunderstood. The views range from; the Church being a refuge from the world where the people lock themselves up and avoid the world at all costs, a monistic view. The view at the other end of the spectrum is that the only purpose of the Church is to make converts at all cost, even at the cost of the discipleship of those in the Church. In the middle are various levels of combinations of either end.

What I find disconcerting is that in all of this the scripture is used sparingly and when used the focus is on one aspect only and they either ignore or miss all of the other aspects of the Church. The seeker sensitive, driven or whatever you call it Church sought to make the Church palatable to the narcissism of the unbeliever. We now have the Emergent Church that desires to see the church change from all of the fluff of the previous generations Church growth methods, a honorable goal. The problem is that the end result is the same in that the church once again is deemed to do what ever is necessary to attract the unbeliever. So both the old and new methods seek to please those that are not His sheep and scripture says that it is only His sheep that here His voice. Actually John 10:4-5 says that those that are not His sheep will turn and run, at least their hearts will.

So the call should be back to the biblical view of the church and that is trans-cultural just as scripture is. We need to seek to spend more time delivering God’s word plainly rather than trying to see what innovation is required to attract those that truly desire to run the other direction. The goal should be to take the church back to a gathered community of communers rather than a crowd of consumers.

I am still working out how to say all of this as I need to make sure the view I see is Biblical and not purely pragmatic. We need to have a right theology that drives a right practice; Orthodoxy should lead to orthopraxy. Instead of looking for the next wave we need to be looking to God’s word. All too often we spend so much time looking at the worlds practices we miss God’s plain commands of scripture.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

News from around the Blogosphere

Wow, it has been a very busy week. You now how you go away for a week and when you come back you still have to do the previous weeks work. Well that has been what this week was like.

However, after catching up on things around the blogosphere, I did not have a consistent connection while at the Ligonier Pastors Conference, the following are some good topics of discussion.

At there is an article on worship entitled: Church-O-Rama or Corporate Worship? that should make us ask how and why we do worship.

Slice of Laodicea looks at The 'Chipper' Church and The Suffering Saints of Yesterday and looks into how the church, especially inthe west, views suffering.

Speaking of suffering, I would suggest listening to the MP3's of the Suffering and the Sovereignty of God Conference at Bethlehem Baptist last month as they are very good.

You can keep updated on Lakeshore Baptist Church in Lakeshore Mississippi at Don Elbourne's site: Locusts and Wild Honey.

Phil Johnson writes about whether the church really thinks that scripture is sufficient: Why not follow the simple strategy God gave us? I really do think how we do church often reveals that we do not think that scripture is sufficient and we actually know better than God based on the churches actions as a whole.

Steve Camp speaks onthe same subject in: The Worship of a "Stuttering God"?

Tom Ascol at the Founders Blog shares that Drs. Patterson Mohler are going to be discussing (or debating) Calvinism at the 2006 Southern Baptist Pastors Conference prior to the 2006 Southern Baptist Convention.