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19

John Piper recently addressed a portion of this question in the context of Minnesota's "Same-Sex Marriage Amendment". Having listened to his sermons on Romans 1 and other statements by him, the following principles are his consistent teaching on the question: Marriage is created and defined by God in the Scriptures as the sexual and covenantal union ...


16

While this is easy enough to answer from a Reformed point of view, I'd like to start by pointing out that the felt need for extra-Biblical statements on matters of faith is not limited to Reformed circles or even Protestantism. In fact they are common to all traditions and sects in Christendom.1 Even your most run-of-the-mill non-denominational ...


14

Note that this response has been divided into two parts: the first is the original response, and the second tries to elaborate based on a comment from the OP. Part 1 Great question. This response includes a very brief description of some of the basic points of predestination/election, and some references with in-depth, historic information. Here are a ...


13

Because he wants to, and certainly not because of anything they've done or will do. One of the central tenants of this concept for Calvinists is that it's not what you do (or have done, or even will do) that merits you salvation. It is wholly and completely the grace of God, not just that you were chosen, but that you were then called, and then compelled to ...


12

Yes, absolutely. This is a common point of confusion for people who haven't been exposed to much Reformed theology, so let me try to state this briefly and directly. The Calvinistic doctrine of Predestination fits into a larger framework of doctrines, all built on scripture and playing off of each-other. If you try to transplant the doctrines like pieces ...


12

Without any question any person who never believes in predestination can still be considered a saved and regenerate predestined Christian by a Calvinist. All that is required to be considered 'predestined' in the eyes of men, is that a person believes in Christ for the forgiveness of their sins. Anyone who truly 'confesses Christ' in this sense will be ...


12

No. The Left Behind series is A) entirely fictional and B) based on Dispensationalism.* Dispensationalism is almost universally at odds with Reformed theology. The basic problem lies in the understanding of the way God relates to his people. Understanding this relationship in the context of covenants that get renewed with unfolding detail but don't ...


12

There are Reformed Christians who are not Presbyterian (or at least wouldn't call themselves that), especially in the Dutch or Continental tradition such as the RCUS and URCNA. There are also Presbyterians that are not Reformed, such as many in the PCUSA, who would be better called "liberal". Further complicating the matter is that, as Brian Johnson pointed ...


10

Summary: Calvinists interpret these passages as referring to God's righteousness and justice — that he is a fair judge, consistently judging sin as wrong, whether committed by rich or poor, strong or weak, native or foreigner. They do not indicate that God's gracious gifts – wealth, strength, and even salvation – are distributed equally to all. Calvinists ...


9

Perhaps the two "common" responses are not "intellectually satisfying", but at the very least, they are both highly biblical: And He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation." {Mark 16:15} and for "Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved." How then will they call on Him in whom they have not ...


8

Limited atonement brings with it the implication that not anyone can be saved by Christ - only those for whom he atoned. The language used in the Bible to describe salvation is inclusive. It is described as being presented to whosoever wills. In 1 Timothy, Paul claims that God desires all people to be saved. 1 Timothy 2:3-6 (ESV) 3  This is ...


8

It largely depends on which Calvinist you ask :) The author of one of the more famous Systematic Theology works (can't remember if it was Shedd, Berkhof, or Hodge... I remember reading it in a defense of Classical Arminianism by Picirilli) said that predestination is not unto faith. This indicates that predestination is unto regeneration. So what is ...


8

The problem you raise is only a problem because a doctrine has been cherry-picked and used out of context. Taken in step with and understanding of God's Covenant relationship with men and the whole counsel of Scripture, this becomes a non issue. And no, your suggestions are not particularly in line with Reformed theology, at least not as a motivation for ...


8

James is writing his epistle to "my brethren" (1:2), who are already of the church, so he is not writing to unbelievers to tell them how to be saved from their sins an get right with God. His readers have already come to Jesus and had their sins washed away in the blood of the Lamb, been justified by faith, and entered into a saving relationship with God. ...


7

I'm not sure if this is precisely what you are looking for, but your question immediately reminded me of Augustine's City of God: Chapter 35.—Of the Sons of the Church Who are Hidden Among the Wicked, and of False Christians Within the Church. Let these and similar answers (if any fuller and fitter answers can be found) be given to their enemies by ...


7

You're not going to like this answer, but that's because I think the premise is flawed. Why is homosexuality given a standing all its own? What's wrong with the other hundreds of works and confessions by Reformed thinkers regarding sin? The question is not one of legality, but one of morality. Speaking from a Reformed Baptist perspective (I know, not truly ...


7

Yes, if you read "because" as indicating a causal relationship, no if it's just giving the reason or purpose. "Because of our justification" might suggest that some action done by us is the cause of the resurrection. That's a problem for Reformed theology, and probably not just for us either, as it's a bit logically and temporally difficult. If we read ...


7

If you (say you) have faith but don't have works, do you really have faith? Works are the result of faith. They don't save you. If you have faith, it is only natural that you will have works. James's question is to people who have no works. Why don't you have any works? Where is your faith? Matthew 12:33 (NASB) "Make a tree good and its fruit will be ...


7

Roger Nicole was certainly not the first to say this. The quote can be traced to two 17th-century English authors, Thomas Manton and Nathaniel Culverwell. Culverwell's version of the quote appears in his 1652 work, published one year after his death, An Elegant and Learned Discourse of the Light of Nature. He writes that Augustine's attack on Pelagianism ...


6

I found this summary of reformed theology very helpful: http://www.reformedreader.org/t.u.l.i.p.htm Reformed theology emphasizes the doctrines of grace, best known by the acronym TULIP, though this does not correspond to the best possible names for the five doctrines. ... U stands for unconditional election. An emphasis on election bothers ...


6

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7GrwL5pXHbc This video is very helpful at seeing the overlap and distinctions between Reformed Baptist theology and Dispensationalism. First of all, you'd have to define Reformed Baptist. I prefer to define it as someone who holds to the 1689 London Baptist Confession. The LBCF1689 is a covenantal confession which by ...


6

First, let's have some slightly more in-depth definitions. Charles Hodge describes what traducianists believe as follows: Traducianists on the one hand deny that the soul is created; and on the other hand, they affirm that it is produced by the law of generation, being as truly derived from the parents as the body. The whole man, soul and body, is ...


6

Baptists and many evangelicals reject the notion of a sacremental "priest" that is somehow in essence different than mere laity, but still ordain their ministers. A "priest" confers the idea that the person is specially endowed with the ability to stand between man and God. Those who subscribe to the idea of the "priesthood of all believers" do not believe ...


6

The Covenant of Redemption in the Bible Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and ...


6

The term "hyper-Calvinist" is a moving target, due to its pejorative nature, but several historical theologians are widely considered to fall under that label. I'll examine the views of two of them before moving to the position held by "traditional" Calvinists/reformed theologians. Both groups see God working to change the will of the sinner, making him ...


5

My friend and bible study teacher Patricia Peterson has written 2 wonderful books about the order of salvation/redemption history, election and God's decree. The Ordo Salutis (her 1st book) & Whatsoever Comes to Pass ~ The Absolute Nature and Precious Comfort of God's Decree. I pulled some of this from her 1st book The Ordo Salutis. Faith comes from ...


5

Limited Atonement Defined Limited atonement is defined in the Canons of Dort: The Second Main Point of Doctrine: Christ's Death and Human Redemption Through It Article 3: The Infinite Value of Christ’s Death This death of God’s Son is the only and entirely complete sacrifice and satisfaction for sins; it is of infinite value and worth, more ...


5

I found a great explanation by John Piper on why some people are "predestined" to hell: https://soundcloud.com/askpastorjohn/god-glorified-predestination-hell Summary As preface to the question, he makes the following qualifying points: Nobody is in hell that doesn't deserve to be there, and isn't in active rebellion to God. The idea that there could be ...


5

This response addresses the question from a Reformed perspective, informed by concepts such as monergistic regeneration and sola gratia. The Westminster Assembly, in the Confession (quoted below), taught that the elect were chosen by God "before the foundations of the earth." Regarding your question as to God's choice of the elect & the sins of the ...


5

Although Caleb's answer is far better than this, I think you are asking something more philosophical that is hard to express.   First, I think the simple answer is that the Bible is not written as a system of theology, which a statemt of faith summarizes. It does not make precise general assertions with clearly defined logical deductions into a system of ...



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