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Calvin Resurrected; Claims to be 3 and 1/2 Point Calvinist

Calvin Resurrected; Claims to be 3 and 1/2 Point Calvinist (Links to where this was originally posted)

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – In an event that has left the medical community stunned, John Calvin the Reformer (click here to read about a different John Calvin) was resurrected from the dead about three weeks ago. This has been kept silent until today for two reasons. First, because it would cause a media frenzy, Calvin’s doctors did not want to immediately release the news to the press. Second, Calvin needed to be brought up to speed on things that have occurred since his death (such as the Puritan movement in England, the Enlightenment, the Industrial revolution, controlled electricity, manned-flight, the wars of the 20th Century, and the iPhone).

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Rey’s Daffodil: What This Non-Calvinist Looks Like

At this stage in my life I have moved from a Calvinistic system (I didnt’ call it that) through an Arminian system (didn’t call it that either), back to a Calvinistic position (I still didn’t call it that though I knew I wasn’t Arminian which I didn’t call it that either) towards something else that I don’t know what to call but I know it’s not Calvinistic and some may even say it’s Arminian though I don’t know for sure at this point. I wanted to state with broad strokes what I think about TULIPPS (7 Point Calvinism) in particular without citing the verses (for now since they’re often the same verses that both Calvinists and Arminians cite but usually embedded in their broader context) while positively stating what I believe at this point of my development (I use the acronym DAFFODIL). This might make me a Big Hairy Tick but at this point this is what I think is generally closer to the teaching of Scripture. I will state the Calvinist position first, the Arminian position second and then my own position. I’ll reserve the WHY or the HOW for any discussion that might flow from this. I will also link to discussion threads where I’ve dealt with these issues as well.

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Calvinism: What is it Good For?

As my parents got older they started putting away the salt from the table. It wasn’t that they didn’t like the taste it’s that they realized that too much of it was not good for them. They were realizing it was coming out all the time and that their blood pressure was steadily rising. But what I don’t think they noticed is that when they put it away they would slowly, imperceptibly miss it—and even need it back in their bodies. The rise of Calvinism and Charismatic Continuism seems to be doing the same thing.

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Calvinism Illustrated

Patton wasn’t using the following so much as an argument but as a retelling of his own theological journey. What’s interesting about the story is that it offered several reasons of how people Know what they Know. I mean, Unconditional Election wasn’t proved point by point for Michael (at least not according to that post) but it was illustrated in a very compelling manner. Likewise, at twelve his mind was influenced by a specific interpretation by his mother, so psychologically speaking you can see where something like that would become important.

But I did want to post a counter illustration because the one Boice used (in Michael’s post) wound up being one of those stories that preachers (and professors) love to use that doesn’t prove anything. It’s an appeal to emotion by using unbalanced data and an unserviceable hypothetical.

Here’s my version based heavily on Boice’s:

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Unsaved Israel: Why? (Part 1 of 5)

Now then, if God shows mercy, and salvation is so near to everyone, and it is brought so undeniably near by the Lord God why is Israel not saved?

Well, Paul pointed out that they must call on the name of the Lord to be saved but one must realize that for someone to call they must have some prerequisites filled out. "They must be chosen before the foundation of the world" someone might say but not Paul.

A person can’t call on someone they haven’t believed. And to believe someone they must have heard them—not about them, but actually them. And for someone to hear them someone must be saying Something. And for someone to say Something they must have been given the mission to go Say.

So this preacher has the wonderful mission of preaching good news and he preaches the good news to the Jews and in that preaching they must hear the Lord speaking and from there they might believe and following that call on Him. There’s the actual steps.

The point Paul is making that for someone to be saved they must have faith and to have faith they must first have heard the word of Christ. That’s it.

Now, has the message gone awry when it comes to the Jew that they don’t believe? Is there a point where we can see the thread broken for Israel and thus find the reason they are not saved lying in some other domain?

Paul proceeds to ask four questions in a form that demands the negative.

Let me unpack that, when we ask questions we can form them in such a way that they are merely questions.

"Are there bears outside the tent?" is an open ended question that can be answered with either a Yes or a No, it’s purely informational and the answer can go either way.

But a person can ask "There aren’t bears outside, are there?" which is formed in a way that demands to be "No, there are no bears outside". Sometimes sneaky people frame their questions like this when they’re being sarcastic or some such, but that is not the case here in Paul’s argument.

  1. Question 1: It’s not is it, that Israel didn’t hear? (Rom 10:18)
  2. Question 2: It’s not is it, that Israel didn’t understand? (Rom 10:19)
  3. Question 3: It’s not is it, that God has rejected His people? (Rom 11:1)
  4. Question 4: It’s not is it, that they have stumbled so as to fall? (Rom 11:11)

Four questions all asked to demand the negative to prove that God did not falter in his offer of salvation.