En Gedi: Finding rest in the wilderness!

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A Balanced Doctrine Evidenced by John Calvin!

Posted by Scott on January 31, 2009

Behold John Calvin’s beautifully balanced doctrine! written by Chris de Vidal

You can read more from Chris @ deVidal.Blogspot.com

Behold the beautiful balance of doctrine that John Calvin handed down to us!
Arminian view: You must persevere in faith until the end to be saved.
Calvin’s view:  You will persevere in faith until the end and thus be saved.

You must choose Christ of your own free will.
You will choose Christ because your will has been freed.

You must bear fruit when converted.
You will bear fruit when converted.

Christ died to make forgiveness possible for anyone who would believe. His blood is sufficient for all.
Christ died to forgive those who would believe. His blood, sufficient for all, was applied directly to us.

God loves everybody!
God loves everybody but also, in ways unfathomable to us, hates the sinner in addition to loving him.

God takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked!
God takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked and yet, in ways unfathomable to us, takes pleasure in all that He does!

God wants no one to perish!
God wants no one to perish, and yet people perish. He must have a higher desire than His desire that no one perish.

Mankind is fully responsible!
God is fully sovereign!

I love how Arminian arguments are enveloped and supported and agreed upon by classic Calvinistic teaching! There are very few points in which we Calvinistic Christians actually cannot agree with Arminians. There are very few things that an Arminian says, in the positive, that I cannot agree with.

I think the only doctrine Arminians say in the positive that I disagree with is this: God would not command something that mankind was not able to obey, that in order to have responsibility you must have ability. In other words, “If I ought, I can.” That doctrine is NOT FOUND ANYWHERE IN SCRIPTURE.* It is a philosophical presupposition that has always existed in mankind but is not found in Scripture.

And I’m talking about the things they say in the positive, not the things they deny (things they say in the negative). They deny many things that are fully Biblical. We cannot agree there. But the things they say in the positive I can agree upon. Therefore I can appreciate for example John Wesley’s messages and the holiness that the Nazarene church celebrates.

Therefore I share wholeheartedly in the doctrines that Arminians know to be fully Biblical and wholeheartedly reject the doctrines that Arminians forget are not Biblical.

Therefore I think that classic Calvinistic doctrines are the most wholly Biblical. Hyper-Calvinistic doctrines slant too far in one direction and Arminian doctrines too far in the other. Classic Calvinistic doctrines that Calvin and Spurgeon and St. Augustine and Edwards and Piper and MacArthur and Sproul and Moeller and Dever and Mahaney et. al. teach are based off the entire Bible, not just selected proof texts. I love what Calvin found!!

* “But Chris, what about all of those commands to obey or repent, don’t they imply that mankind is able?”

No. That is circular logic. See this article.

“But Chris, what about 1 Corinthians 10:13?”

I know, I’ve looked at it dozens of times myself, trying to be completely honest with the Scriptures. I don’t believe that it addresses anyone but believers.

“But Chris, doesn’t that therefore mean that God would allow the lost to be tempted beyond what they are able?

I would have to come to that conclusion, yes.

“How could God judge these people?”

That is a good question.

It sounds wrong, but I simply believe that there must be another way in which neither of us see how this works together with God’s justice. There are simply no other texts to support your doctrine, therefore I must come to the conclusion that there’s another way to figure it out that neither of us have discovered yet.

I plan on writing on that verse at some point in the future. It’s a good verse for thinking about, but that verse alone doesn’t sway my opinion that “If I ought, I can” is NOT TAUGHT IN SCRIPTURE.


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