Monday, January 29, 2007

According to Calvinism....

In the book, Why I am not a Calvinist, written by Jerry Walls, and Joseph Dongell, Walls gives a reason why he is not a Calvinist:

For instance, according to Calvinism, it is entirely up to God who is an is not saved, and if one is not numbered among the elect, one cannot help but sin. And yet God blames sinners and punishes them for their unbelief even though they cannot act otherwise.

This is one of the most often objections to Calvinism, and because of that several things need to be understood.

1) God created Man with a Free Will. Adam was not enslaved to any particular choice. Adam was created good, because God created Him, and what God creates is good. This theme of God creating what is good is clearly seen in the creation account in Genesis. Though Adam was created good, he had the free will to do what is evil, if he chose to do it. Of course he did choose to do what God had forbidden him.
2) Man's Will is no longer completely free. Jesus told the Jews that if they were to know the truth, then the truth would see them free. The Jews objected that they had never been enslaved. Jesus then tells them that "Everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin." (John 8:34). It is clear that the man who commits sin is enslaved to his sin.
3) Man sins freely. Man is not enslaved to sin because some outside force is making him sin against his will, Man sins because he wants to. He is enslaved by his own sinful desires. Ephesians 2 says that we were dead in our trespasses and sins, and we were fulfilling the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body, and the mind.
4) God is sovereign. God did not force Adam to sin, he sinned because he wanted to, God was completely able to prevent it from happening, because he knew it would happen, but he didn't. It fit in to his plan of redemption to allow it, thus even sin was a a part of God's plan, even though he did not create it, or make it happen. The Fall did not come as a surprise to God, as Open Theists would believe. God has also determined to save some; many scriptures proclaim this truth (Ephesians 1, 2, John 6, Romans 9, 2 Thessalonians 2:13, etc.)
5) God holds us accountable for our sins. To the Arminian, as Walls agrees, it seems ridiculous to say God would hold someone accountable for something they cannot do. However, they miss the fact that the sinner WANTS to sin, The sinner is enslaved by his OWN desires. God can hold sinners accountable because we sin because we want to sin. If a sinner is going to be freed from himself, something besides himself must free him.

I am so thankful that God freed me from my sinful desires. If left to myself, I would have continued living a sinful life. I would have happily skipped down the road of destruction, blinded to where I was going. I am thankful that by God's grace, he saved me from my own self. He saved me from my sin. Sin no longer controls my life, the King of Kings is Lord of my life, and I gladly give him all the glory for saving my soul! Be Blessed!


Rhett said...

Such simple truths, yet they are so misunderstood...

Good work Josh.

Highland Host said...

Arminans (such as John Wesley) operate with an Arminian filter that ensures they can never hear a Calvinist without the message being distorted. Sad but true.