Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Calvinist Punchline...

     I heard this great description of Arminian soteriology (study of salvation) in an introductory summation of
"Really, Steve?!?  You're a Calvinist??"
the doctrines of grace;  Al Martin had lamented the hollow straw men that abound to misrepresent a logical, systematized understanding of what the Bible says about how God saves us.  He referenced a great book, which J. I. Packer introduces with the simple, central thesis of Calvinism:  GOD SAVES SINNERS!  So, Mr. Martin turns around and explores (around the 49 minute mark) how a cooperative view, where God waits for and requires men to turn to Him on their own initiative, could be characterized;  I cracked up laughing, and I hope you do, too:
"That's the confession of a Calvinist.  He doesn't have the Father, as it were, ignorant of whom He wishes to save; and the Son dying really for nobody in particular to secure nothing for sure; and the Spirit, as it were, willy-nilly hoping to accomplish something somehow for somebody that may have been in the mind of Christ when He did something on the Cross for nobody in particular... is that a caricature?"
     Then the Scriptural evidence of God's choosing:  the same word is used when David chooses and gathers his ammunition to gun down Goliath
"The picture is not of David standing there with arms folded with all those stones saying now: 'You've been lying there for hundreds of years in the brook... you've all experienced the same washing of the babbling brook and it would be the height of impudence for me to exercise any kind of favoritism!  I would like five stones;  would you please wiggle up on the shore and I will use you in my conquest of Goliath?'  Now we wouldn't picture language like that when dealing with historical events... David CHOSE five stones!  He reached in with his grubby hand into the brook and pulled out five stones!  When the Scripture says that Almighty God chose a people in Christ, it means just that.  For reasons that lie locked up in His own heart, He chose."
 Photo courtesy of Daniel Semper

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