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  • Any Opinions about This One Man?

    What does Christforums think about James White?
    In how far is he a meme, in how far a well-versed teacher, teaching sound doctrine?
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  • Addressing the Top Five Misconceptions of Calvinism

    by Robin Schumacher
    Even though I embrace reformed theology (aka “Calvinism”) now, I understand the thinking behind articles such as Dan Delzell’s recent “Infant Baptism and 5-Point Calvinism are Limited”. I grew up under an Arminian pastor who I still deeply respect and admire that would nod in agreement with all the points Delzell makes in his post. When I first went to seminary, I studied systematic theology under a very well know theologian who espouses what he calls “moderate Calvinism”, which is really an inconsistent form of Arminian theology.[1] At the time, that framework seemed logical to me. But when I started my Ph.D. studies, I chose as the focus of my dissertation the apologetics of the Apostle Paul. This topic forced me to do something I had never done in my Christian life up to that point: seriously study the doctrines of grace. I’m ashamed to admit I had never actually examined any of the Biblical arguments of reformed thinkers, but had only read what those opposed to Calvinism said that reformed theology taught. The outcome of that Biblical investigation was that I became convinced of reformed theology’s validity. Because I know both sides of the fence so well, I thought I’d try and sort out what I believe to be the top incorrect stereotypes and misconceptions about Calvinism that I constantly run into and see if some of the confusion that surrounds this sometimes volatile subject can’t be cleared up. I’ll use Calvinism’s TULIP acronym[2] to work through each false impression. T – Total Depravity Misconception: People don’t have “free will” and are basically robots without any ability to choos...
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  • Do Calvinists Have Too Low a View of Themselves?

    from R.C. Sproul Jr.
    Perhaps. It is virtually impossible to have too low a view of ourselves by ourselves. We, all of us who are human, do indeed bear the image of God. Even that, however, is ultimately extrinsic to us. The imago, we need to understand isn’t essential to us in a sense, but is added to us. By ourselves, apart from His grace, we are but dust and rebellion. In His grace, however, He has imposed upon us, stamped upon us, His image. We humans thus have worth, dignity and value, though these are ultimately from without rather than within. In affirming the total depravity of all men we still affirm that we could always be worse. Total depravity speaks to two lines of our wickedness. First, it affirms the breadth of our sin. There is no part of us untouched by sin. The ravages of the fall are not contained within our wills, and sealed off from our minds. All that we are is depraved. Second, this sin nature leaves us totally unable, in ourselves, to will any good, including the good of repenting and believing. Left to ourselves we wi...
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  • William
    started a topic Five Big Myths About Calvinism

    Five Big Myths About Calvinism

    I speak for many when I say that I have not always embraced the doctrines of grace or what is commonly called Calvinism. Its actually unfortunate that a man's name is associated with the doctrines that came out of the Protestant Reformation. Calvin was not the first to articulate these truths, but merely was the chief systematizer of such doctrines. There was actually nothing in Calvin that was not first seen in Luther, and much of Luther was first found in Augustine. Luther was an Augustinian monk, of course. We would also naturally affirm that there was nothing in any of these men that was not first found in Paul and Peter and John in the New Testament. Even now, I have no desire to be a Calvinist in the Corinthian sense of the word - a follower of John Calvin, per say. Though I believe Calvin was a tremendous expositor of the Scriptures and had many great insights, I am not someone who believes he was in any way infallible. I am with Spurgeon who declared, "There is no soul living who holds more firmly to the doctrines of grace than I do, and if any man asks me whether I am ashamed to be called a Calvinist, I answer - I wish to be called nothing but a Christian; but if you ask me, do I hold the doctrinal views which were held by John Calvin, I reply, I do in the main hold them, and rejoice to avow it." (C. H. Spurgeon, a Defense of Calvinism) In coming to ...
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  • William
    started a topic The Marrow of Calvinism

    The Marrow of Calvinism

    by Joel Beeke
    There is no true religion in the world which is not Calvinistic-Calvinistic in its essence, Calvinistic in its implications.... In proportion as we are religious, in that proportion, then, are we Calvinistic; and when religion comes fully to its rights in our thinking, and feeling, and doing, then shall we be truly Calvinistic.... [Calvinism] is not merely the hope of true religion in the world: it is true religion in the world-as far as true religion is in the world at all.' - BENJAMIN B. WARFIELD If you were to ask theologians in seminaries or people on the street, "What is Calvinism all about?" the answers you would receive would vary widely. Caricatures abound. For instance, on Thanksgiving Day 2007, the Grand Rapids Press printed an article by John M. Crisp titled, "Thinking like a Pilgrim on Thanksgiving." It said of the Pilgrims: "Their religious roots reached back to the gloomy tenets of John Calvin, which means-at the risk of oversimplificationthat they lived with the nagging fear that they dangled every moment by a thin thread over the fiery pit of hell in spite of their own faith or good works or the outward manifestations of the blessings of God."2 Does any Calvinist recognize this as a definition of Calvinism? I wrote back to the Grand Rapids Press: "This statement is not an oversimplification. It is a misrepresentation. Calvin and most of the Pilgrims rejoiced in Christ their Savior, and lived joyous Christian lives of spiritual depth with assured faith in the rich promises of God."3 Of course, most evangelical Christians and, sadly, even some Calvinists, lack a proper understanding of the real heartbeat of Calvinism. "There is nothing upon which men need to be more instructed than upon the question of what Calvinism really is," Charles H. Spurgeon once said.4 Whether you are a Calvinist, a non-Calvinist, or an anti-Calvinist, you need to give this question a fair hearing: what really is the marrow of Calvinism? THE BASIC PRINCIPLE OF CALVINISM Calvinistic theology incl...
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  • William
    started a topic Calvinism Fact Sheet

    Calvinism Fact Sheet

    Joel Barnes
    Below are explanations of TULIP (an acronym representing Calvinism’s main tenets) followed by supporting biblical texts. Remember that not all supporting texts will explicitly teach a given tenet. In such instances, the tenet of Calvinism in question will be, to borrow from an old confession, “by good and necessary consequence deduced from” the supporting texts. Total Depravity (or Total Inability) When Calvinists speak of man as being totally depraved, they mean that man’s nature is corrupt, perverse, and sinful throughout. The adjective “total” does not mean that each sinner is as totally or completely corrupt in his actions and thoughts as it is possible for him to be. Instead, the word “total” is used to indicate that the whole of man’s being has been affected by sin. The corruption extends to every part of man, his body and soul; sin has affected all (the totality) of man’s faculties - his mind, his will, etc. As a result of this inborn corruption, the natural man is totally unable to do anything spiritually good; thus, Calvinists speak of man’s “total inability.” The inability intended by this terminology is spiritual inability; it means that the sinner is so spiritually bankrupt that he can do nothing pertaining to his salvation. The natural man is enslaved to sin; he is a child of Satan, rebellious toward God, blind to truth, corrupt, and unable to save himself or to prepare himself for salvation. Spiritual Deadness Genesis 2:16-17; Psalm 51:5; Psalm 58:3; John 3:5-7; Romans 5:12; Ephesians 2:1-3; Colossians 2:13. Darkened Minds and Corrupt Hearts Genesis 6:5; Genesis 8:21; Ecclesiastes 9:3; Jeremiah 17:9; Mark 7:21-23; John 3:19; Romans 8:7-8; 1 Corinthians 2:14; Ephesians 4:17-19; Ephesians 5:8; Titus 1:15. Bondage to Sin and Satan John 8:34; John 8:44; Romans 6:20; Ephesians 2:1-2; 2 Timothy 2:25-26; Titus 3:3; 1 John 3:10; 1 John 5:19. Universal Bondage 1 Kings 8:46; 2 Chronicles 6:36; Job 15:14-16; Psalm 130:3; Psalm 143:2; ...
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  • William
    started a topic What is Reformed Christian Theology?

    What is Reformed Christian Theology?

    The Reformed faith is biblical Christianity in its truest and most consistent form. Broadly speaking, Reformed theology includes any system of belief that traces its roots back to the Protestant Reformation of the 16th Century. Of course, the Reformers themselves traced their doctrine to Scripture, as indicated by their credo of “sola scriptura,” so Reformed theology is not a “new” belief system but one that seeks to continue apostolic doctrine. The Latin word sola means "alone" or "only" in English. The five solae articulated five fundamental beliefs of the Protestant Reformation, pillars which the Reformers believed to be essentials of the Christian life and practice. The “five solas” is a term used to designate five great foundational rallying cries of the Protestant reformers. They are as follows: “Sola Scriptura” (Scripture Alone); “Sola Gratia” (Grace Alone); “Sola Fide” (Faith Alone); “Solus Christus” (Christ Alone); and “Soli Deo Gloria” (To God Alone Be Glory). These “five solas” were developed in response to specific perversions of the truth that were taught by the corrupt Roman Catholic Church. The Roman Church taught that the foundation for faith and practice was a combination of the scriptures, sacred tradition, and the teachings of the magisterium and the pope; but the Reformers said, “No, our foundation is sola scriptura”. The Catholic Church taught that we are saved through a combination of God...
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  • William
    started a topic Libertarian Calvinism?

    Libertarian Calvinism?

    James Anderson

    Can a confessional Calvinist affirm a libertarian view of free will? Is “libertarian Calvinism” a live option? I suspect most Calvinists today would say no, but in chapter 3 of his book Deviant Calvinism, Oliver Crisp argues for the affirmative.

    One of Crisp’s central claims is that the Westminster Confession of Faith, one of the most widely endorsed Reformed confessions, doesn’t rule out a libertarian (i.e., incompatibilist) view of free will. In this post I want to take issue with that claim on two fronts. (What I say here overlaps to some extent with the criticisms raised by Paul Manata in his series of blog posts: here, here, here, and here.)
    Let’s begin by understanding how Crisp defines libertarian Calvinism (hereafter, LC). LC is Calvinist because it affirms (1) that God ordains whatsoever comes to pass (i.e., comprehensive divine providence) and (2) that God determines (indeed causally determines) that his elect will come to Christ for salvation (i.e., unconditional election and effectual calling). So LC is strictly monergistic with respect to salvation. But LC is also libertarian because it affirms (3) that...
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    Last edited by William; 02-11-2015, 03:25 AM.
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