Christian Theology

May 6, 2009

“You Follow Calvin? Well, I Follow Christ!”

Some people think that using labels like Calvinism or Arminianism is wrong.  After all, shouldn’t we follow Christ, not men or schools of thought?  This video takes a look at these questions.

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6 Comments »

  1. I have long since realised soteriology, comprising issues of grace, election, free-will and perseverance, will never be understood by this theologian (I use the term loosely). Although theologically Reformed I am apprehensive with several points of the Calvinist TULIP perspective and, in some ways, consider the Arminian LILAC position more desirable (the emphasis on free will is surely an essential aspect of the imago dei?). I admit, my thinking seems full of theological inconsistencies, but I cannot adhere fully to Calvinism or Arminianism and am currently somewhere in-between. My thinking is that since both dogmas are found in Scripture each can claim total orthodoxy and possibly theological coherence can be found. Both perspectives have similarities (i.e. belief in the inspiration of Scripture, the dual natures of Christ, original sin, prevenient grace and that justification is through faith alone) and, therefore, I don’t think there is any other logical conclusion but to attempt to intertwine these diametrically opposing theologies. Hypothetical Universalism and Molinism were early attempts to bring both positions together, but recently I have discovered Sallie McFague’s metaphorical models of God as monarch, friend, parent and lover are helpful in understanding ordo salutis. We see through a glass darkly where God’s activity ends and our response begins (1 Cor.13:12). How does Calarmianism sound!

    Comment by revtimurc — May 14, 2009 @ 7:27 am | Reply

  2. I don’t know Pastor… It sounds like a bit of a disorder…

    “Did you hear about Pastor Tim?”

    “No, what happened?”

    “I hear he’s got Calarminianism!”

    “No!”

    “Yeah, he got it the other day when tripped over The Complete Works of John Wesley while holding his page worn copy of Calvin’s Institutes.”

    “Oh, that’s too bad.”

    “Yes, but there’s still hope for him. I left assorted works of Augustine around the floor of his study. He bound to stumble over one sooner or later.”

    “Only if he’s predestined to do so.”

    “Yes, if he’s predestined to do so of his own free will that is. I left a few copies of the London Baptists Confession in there too!”
    :)

    Comment by Neiswonger — May 14, 2009 @ 8:50 am | Reply

    • This is mildly amusing. Hyper-Calvinists will never see a middle-ground. Neither will Low-Arminians. But within ordo-salutis a middle way is thoroughly valid. Calvin was nothing more than a systematic Augustinian in this matter, but he was not a Calvinist and he even believed it was possible to fall from grace (ie no perseverance of the saints).

      Comment by revtimurc — May 16, 2009 @ 8:55 am | Reply

  3. the scriptures of the prophets declare that Christ is the way to the Father Jesus didnt entrust his word to false teachers or hirelings -that is why when you study and research history you can clearly see calvin evidently was a devisive man for what he did and how he acted and his fruit of his doings corroborates without question that his heart was ruled and guided by selfish ambition clearly manifest and evident in the fact that he treated people cruelly in burning them at the stake

    Comment by timothy — June 5, 2009 @ 9:54 pm | Reply

  4. calvin is just a man……!

    Comment by timothy — June 6, 2009 @ 8:26 am | Reply

  5. Oh brother. Such a deep lack of logic, charity and understanding that I can hardly respond to Tim or Revtimurc…sad…really sad. But, I’ll try.

    Ummm…Rev, I hope not a Reverend….there does not need to be a middle ground between God’s providential control over history and mankind’s free will, because here is no logical problem to reconcile. But before we can begin to discuss this, we’d have to come up with a meaningful and biblical definition of “free-will”. So, please provide a definition of free-will. While you are at it show where the bible teaches something like your definition and also where the conflict arises between God’s providence and man’s “free-will”. The assumption that there is a conflict is usually really where the road block to bowing the knee to God arises.

    Tim…lets try not to attack the character of Calvin, since it is logically foolish, historically questionable and entirely irrelevant to what the Bible teaches or does not teach. But lets take your logic out for a test drive.

    CALVIN IS A SINNER : a divisive, cruel man, who lived for selfish ambition and condemned a guilty man to death according to the law:

    THEREFORE: any positions Calvin held are without merit.

    TIM IS A SINNER: chooses to live without logical circumspection, attacks doctrines based on what certain adherents of that doctrine have done, speaks evil of civil magistrates without reference to any violation of God’s Law, dismisses doctrinal positions without reference to scripture, was born to sinful parents and has sinned every single day since birth:

    THEREFORE: any positions Tim holds are without merit.

    Tim, based on your logic, it would be better if you did not respond…since even you would have to admit that your statements are without merit.

    Comment by Will-I-Am — June 23, 2009 @ 6:10 am | Reply


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