28

John Piper 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 of a man ...


22

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 ...


19

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 ...


19

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 half-baked-...


17

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: ...


16

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 ...


15

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 few ...


14

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 ...


14

I see three questions beneath your one question, and I will handle them each separately. Are Calvinists allowed to disagree with Calvin? First of all, they get their name from him because they are believed to be in accord with him on most/all doctrine, not because they get their doctrine from him, although he is of course a highly esteemed and respected ...


13

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 ...


13

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 ...


13

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 ...


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

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 ...


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 ...


11

If you do research on Calvinism, Jansenism, Pelagianism, etc., you might find the term "sufficient grace" bandied about. The trouble is, depending on who's using it, it's defined differently, which makes it a not terribly useful term. So I'll try here to clear up who uses the term and what they mean by it. Catholics and Arminians use the term "sufficient ...


11

There is nothing absolutely specific in the Westminster Confession about Roman Catholic baptism. What there is supports its validity. However there was a long-established acceptance of baptism by Roman Catholic priests, even more than by laymen or even women, and the Westminster Confession says nothing against it. Perhaps more significantly, actions speak ...


10

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 "...


10

Background Although Calvinism and Arminianism are often presented as polar opposites, they have a common heritage. Jacobus Arminius studied under Calvinist teachers and was himself a Calvinist when he began his ministry. So it's not a surprise that the two systems share a common framework. But Arminius eventually questioned some of the tenets of Calvinism, ...


10

As expected, "once saved, always saved" advocates (I'll use "reformed" as shorthand for this) generally agree that both the second and third types of soil represent people who were never saved. Broadly speaking, they make these points: The four soils represent four types of people or hearts: the unresponsive, the impulsive, the preoccupied, and the well-...


10

Yes and no. That is, in simple terms: No, the doctrine of the Trinity is not "finalized" or "completed" – Reformed theologians regularly debate the intricacies of this doctrine Yes, the doctrine of the Trinity is "finalized" – anyone who rejects the fundamentals of the Trinity would generally not be considered "Reformed." Your quote of the Westminster ...


10

I can see how this would look confusing and logically incoherent, but the reason that 5 statements, each about "something alone" can co-exist is that each of them achieves something different "alone". This can make more sense to look at, by chaining three of them together, as per the first line of the summary of "Faith alone" here. Justification is by ...


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

Calvin dedicates an entire Book of his Institutes (Book IV) to the Church, and Chapters 1-2 are about the "true church" in which he mentions the marks of a true church. From 4.1.9: Wherever we see the word of God sincerely preached and heard, wherever we see the sacraments administered according to the institution of Christ, there we cannot have any ...


9

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 good,...


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 separately....


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 ...


9

The Westminster Confession of Faith (the doctrinal standard for many Presbyterians), Chapter III, makes it clear that at least one well recognized portion of Calvinists firmly rejects the claim that God is the author of evil (emphasis added): I. God from all eternity did by the most wise and holy counsel of his own will, freely and unchangeably ordain ...


9

More or less, yes, but the question is slightly misleading by the word 'only' (but about that later). As this discussion is so complex and visited by so many people with so many quotations, etc., I prefer to try and give you a summary view from many years studying many books on the subject. Mine is not the 'only view' but really on this question you can ...


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