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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 ...


18

First of all, Calvinists do believe in free will. This point is often mis-understood by non-Calvinists; but the position that men don't actually have free will and control over their own choices is not Calvinism but hyper-Calvinism -- a deterministic view that goes far beyond that of it's namesake Calvin and the general constituency. With that out of the ...


17

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 ...


15

This is a good place to start: We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment. We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away. -- Isaiah 64:6, ESV Btw, the Hebrew for "polluted garment" is more literally "menstrual rag". But I think there is a lot of misunderstanding ...


14

I think the issue here is that you are trying to examine one point of doctrine outside of the context of the whole system of doctrines that it fits into. If you take the Calvinistic doctrine of predestination by itself and tack it on to a generic pseudo-protestant view of salvation, you'll end up with a problem such as the one you describe. God becomes ...


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

My Thesis While you won't find many modern Calvinists preaching firebrand sermons of this sort, that has more to do with the change in American culture than with a change in theology. The point of the sermon is not to rejoice in the suffering of sinners, but to warn of the very real danger (under Calvin's theology) of falling into hell. Edwards was ...


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 ...


13

Calvinists indeed believe they can only make educated guesses about others; if someone you thought was saved falls away, the conclusion is they were never actually saved. But Calvinism teaches that "infallible assurance of faith" is available to believers about themselves. The Grounds of Assurance The Westminster Confession of Faith says in chapter 18: ...


12

Put simply, perseverance of the saints refers to the Calvinistic view that since Christians are chosen (or "elect") by God prior to conception, it is impossible to lose salvation - if we have it, we've always had it, if we "lose it," we never had it to begin with. Eternal Security (Also known as "Free Grace") is the view that once someone believes in Jesus ...


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

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

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

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 ...


11

When the five points of Calvinism are looked at as distinct entities, then there does seem to be a bit of redundancy in there. Part of the reason, though, for that is that the five points are emphasizing bullet-point highlights of a comprehensive theology, and they were done so as a retort to the five points of Arminianism, which follows: Five Articles of ...


11

The important thing to remember is that each of the items in TULIP was a response to the (Arminian) Remonstrants own five point rejection of Calvinism. Thus the simple reason why faith is omitted is because the Remonstrants weren't critiquing the place of faith, per se, but the place of grace in salvation. Because TULIP is a response to a critique, the ...


10

Augustinianism is not nearly as specific as 5-points, Dordt Calvinism. For instance, I don't know of anyplace where Augustine specifically addresses limited atonement. The largest difference is that Augustine held to single predestination (God chooses the elect, but does not actively reprobate anyone - he simply "passes over" them), while Calvin held to ...


10

While I agree with warren's answer, I do believe like Ray points out that this is mostly about the original sin, transmitted from Adam to all of his offspring. Total depravity goes beyond that, as it states that we are not only sinners, but that we are not even righteous enough to accept Christ on our own. On the fact that all have sinned, we can refer to ...


10

Unconditional Election refers to God's choosing of people to be the object of his grace or otherwise fulfill his purpose. There are a couple of versus specifically that are associated with this. Romans 8:29: For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many ...


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

The idea of Common Grace is that the grace of God is accessible and granted to all people (ie "common" to all people). This is different from "special" or "saving" grace in that special grace is extended only to the elect. More clearly, it's the idea that there is grace available and inside everyone. It can be seen in such verses as: Matthew 7:9-10 9 ...


9

There are several scriptures that illustrate that God draws his elect to him. These were cribbed from this site John 6:35-37 States that those the Father gives will come to him. Not that they might come. That they will come. 35Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will ...


9

No. Even as a Calvinist, one has to understand that it takes more than one verse to put together a complete picture of how we understand salvation to work. The verse you reference in Timothy is indeed very helpful, but it really only proves the part about his purpose as the author of salvation was conceived before we were. In order to defend the doctrine of ...


9

With all due respect to Mark Hausam, the logic just doesn't hold water. That sounds like a category error. Category Errors These fallacies occur because the author mistakenly assumes that the whole is nothing more than the sum of its parts. However, things joined together may have different properties as a whole than any of them do ...


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

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

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

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

The TULIP acronym is intended to define the Calvinist position - however it is not intended to define that position relative to non-Christians, it is intended to define it relative to other Christians. It doesn't include doctrines that are considered basic to Christianity, or Protestantism. So you will find no emphasis on: Necessity of faith; Primacy of ...


8

Yes, salvation can still be considered a gift. In general, something can be considered a gift if it: Is positive/desirable Is given rather than earned (otherwise it should be called a wage) Is given without obligation of repayment (otherwise it should be called a loan) Whether a gift can be resisted or not has no bearing on its "giftiness". According ...



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