An excerpt from Predestination: God’s Sovereignty In Salvation:
You know you don’t
understand God’s grace when
…Live with a vague
sense of God’s disapproval.
bringing your needs before him
when you’ve just failed him.
…Feel you deserve an
answer to prayer because of
your hard work and sacrifice.
…Think that there is
no point in confessing your sin
to God since you’ve already
failed him so many times.
…Feel more confident
before God when you’ve been
faithful with your Christian
disciplines (prayer, Bible
…Cannot honestly say
you see yourself as blameless
in his eyes.
consistent peace and joy in your
…Dont really believe
God likes you.
…Can think of
someone you look down on.
…Shy away from
asking God for things because
you think it annoys him.
…Fear that the day
may not go as expected because
you missed your quiet time.
(Adapted from a list by Jerry Bridges)
I finished reading Debating Calvinism: Five Points, Two Views a couple of months ago. Found it to be a valuable addition to my modest library. That being said, I think that the Arminian position, or rather opposition, could have been better represented, more clearly articulated, though. Dave Hunt seemed to be a bit unfocused at times and often ventured into the realm of ad hominem arguments. I think, too, Hunt perhaps misunderstands that which he opposes and finds himself fighting against an errant mixture of hyper-Calvinism and some weak caricature of Calvinism, a strawman of sorts. Also, my limited experience in these exchanges leads me to the conclusion that most, but not all, of the opposition to the doctrines of grace is founded more on an emotional response to the doctrine of election than a wholly biblical argument, an opposition often evidenced by the common ‘God does not want robots to worship/love Him’ refrain.
For further thought, here is video I found at New Demonstration in a post titled He is Not a Weak Beggar, He is a Powerful Saviour. The speaker is James White from Alpha and Omega Ministries who represented the counter-point to Dave Hunt in the aforementioned book.
For those whom He foreknew… (Romans 8:29)
“Before the foundations of the earth He knew you, and it’s not because He looked in some crystal ball, or down the corridors of time and saw you in the future.
The bible never speaks of a crystal ball, and it never speaks of corridors of time or God looking into a book that talks about the future… it never does. It never talks about God looking into the future.
God does not know the future because He’s looked ahead and seen it… God knows the future because He’s Lord over it, and directs every molecule, every fiber of being, every bit of matter towards the purpose He has ordained.
That is a God my friend.
Not a god who looks into the future and then reacts, not a god who makes choices based on choices of other men He’s seen in the future.
A god who is The God and Lord and Author of the future.”
I have rather recently shied away from culture war rhetoric. I do not think I engage it well, even though I did fight that fight a bit on my old Stumbleupon blog. As an aside and just so you know, if you chose to peruse through the aforementioned blog, understand that I have distanced myself from some of the interests and attitudes found in the aforementioned blog.
Too, part of my push-back as been that often what is spoken by some culture warriors is perhaps, without intent, a form of moralism without a strong Gospel. I confess I have been guilty of such
However, this clip from James White is powerful. I am especially appreciative of his observation of the weakness of post-Christian (European) secularism as it crashes into Islam….
I saw a sign in someones yard today that declared: “Elect Jesus As Your Lord!” Now, I do not in any way shape or form infer anything ill about the character of the person who displayed this sign in their yard. I know nothing about the family that lives in the house that sits behind this sign, nor do I infer that nothing ‘good’ ever comes from such faddish displays of faith.
However, does not this sign, albeit without intention, portray a Jesus that seems a bit weak and needy? Is He awaiting a majority vote before He acts? Is the mighty Lion of Judah, is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords restrained by some political process? Is He not the absolute Lord of salvation, of the created order; is He not a mighty Redeemer? He elected me that all glory should go to Him; I do not elect Him that any glory should go to me.
I think of a sermon I listened to a number of months ago at a moderately sized community church wherein the well-intentioned pastor, after having two members of the church ride their large, loud motorcycles through the poorly ventilated church to park them in front of the stage to make some point, perfumed by carbon monoxide, about God’s timing, declared that Jesus is a ‘gentleman’ who would never force His will on anyone. Is that a biblical understanding of the sovereignty and power of Jesus?
I saw a tee shirt for sale at a large book retailer a few weeks ago. The front of the shirt was a ripoff of the Staples Easy Button. “Jesus” replaced the “Easy” on the button. Wasn’t easy for Jesus.