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  • Calvinist renaissance?

    Not sure what yet another camp many of y'all fall into Calvinist or Arminianism. Just read a article on Mark Driscoll the neo Calvinist "rock and roll" minister in Seattle. I understand his backlash against the prosperity/feel good preaching of several popular ministers today. Most of it makes me want to puke. Is that too strong? mmmmm However his Calvinism does leave me cold. Never onboard with predestination or unconditional election or limited atonement. To me it conflicts with the notion of free will and the great commission.

    Recently I had a discussion with a co worker who is a Baptist in the Calvinist tradition. He was pretty adamant that he was predestined to go to hell. Kinda through me for a loop. You know those moments when your jaw drops. He is a avid church goer and very involved in church activities. So say one is a Calvinist? What's the point of doing anything (repentance, salvation, church attendance, giving, missions, etc)?
    "So we finish the eighteenth and he's gonna stiff me. And I say, "Hey, Lama, hey, how about a little something, you know, for the effort, you know." And he says, "Oh, uh, there won't be any money, but when you die, on your deathbed, you will receive total consciousness." So I got that goin' for me, which is nice."

  • #2
    Originally posted by fishbowlsoul View Post
    Not sure what yet another camp many of y'all fall into Calvinist or Arminianism. Just read a article on Mark Driscoll the neo Calvinist "rock and roll" minister in Seattle. I understand his backlash against the prosperity/feel good preaching of several popular ministers today. Most of it makes me want to puke. Is that too strong? mmmmm However his Calvinism does leave me cold. Never onboard with predestination or unconditional election or limited atonement. To me it conflicts with the notion of free will and the great commission.

    Recently I had a discussion with a co worker who is a Baptist in the Calvinist tradition. He was pretty adamant that he was predestined to go to hell. Kinda through me for a loop. You know those moments when your jaw drops. He is a avid church goer and very involved in church activities. So say one is a Calvinist? What's the point of doing anything (repentance, salvation, church attendance, giving, missions, etc)?
    That guy has a messed up understanding of Calvinism and people need to realize that's not what Calvinism teaches. We understand that we can't know who is predestined for salvation and that's why we go and spread the Gospel to as many people as we can knowing God will save His elect. And people also need to understand that Calvinism is not Fatalism. God has ordained the means as well as the ends.
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    • #3
      Originally posted by fishbowlsoul View Post
      ........it conflicts with the notion of free will and the great commission.

      Absolutely agree.


      Recently I had a discussion with a co worker ......adamant that he was predestined to go to hell....... So say one is a Calvinist? What's the point of doing anything (repentance, salvation, church attendance, giving, missions, etc)?
      Absolutely. The reason I have such a strong objection to the 'derived doctrine'. Much better off to set men's thinking aside for scripture...
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      • #4
        Originally posted by fishbowlsoul View Post
        Not sure what yet another camp many of y'all fall into Calvinist or Arminianism. Just read a article on Mark Driscoll the neo Calvinist "rock and roll" minister in Seattle. I understand his backlash against the prosperity/feel good preaching of several popular ministers today. Most of it makes me want to puke. Is that too strong? mmmmm However his Calvinism does leave me cold. Never onboard with predestination or unconditional election or limited atonement. To me it conflicts with the notion of free will and the great commission.

        Recently I had a discussion with a co worker who is a Baptist in the Calvinist tradition. He was pretty adamant that he was predestined to go to hell. Kinda through me for a loop. You know those moments when your jaw drops. He is a avid church goer and very involved in church activities. So say one is a Calvinist? What's the point of doing anything (repentance, salvation, church attendance, giving, missions, etc)?
        I used to be of Calvinist leaning, but I've come to disagree with the point of limited atonement, and I only agree with unconditional election so far as it pertains to man being able to do nothing as far as meriting God's favor. I also believe that most Calvinists today do not have a right understanding of what the bible says on predestination (God's Plan for those who would be saved) versus God Foreknowing who would come and that being two different things. It is such thinking which results in what some have termed "Frozen Chosen" syndrome. that being that whoever is going to get saved will be because God ordained it, and thus they neglect their responsibilities to reach out and minister.

        Such thinking ultimately leads to a much colder heart, and its no wonder that the vain repetitions seen in many such churches becomes dead, for I was once among them.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Veretax View Post
          I used to be of Calvinist leaning, but I've come to disagree with the point of limited atonement, and I only agree with unconditional election so far as it pertains to man being able to do nothing as far as meriting God's favor. I also believe that most Calvinists today do not have a right understanding of what the bible says on predestination (God's Plan for those who would be saved) versus God Foreknowing who would come and that being two different things. It is such thinking which results in what some have termed "Frozen Chosen" syndrome. that being that whoever is going to get saved will be because God ordained it, and thus they neglect their responsibilities to reach out and minister.

          Such thinking ultimately leads to a much colder heart, and its no wonder that the vain repetitions seen in many such churches becomes dead, for I was once among them.
          Well there's nothing cold about the ministry of Mark Driscoll or other prominent Calvinist preachers in the US today (John Piper, CJ Mahaney, Josh Harris, Paul Washer, etc) - that's because they understand that God uses MEANS to accomplish His foreordained will - and there is great freedom in understanding and embracing that!

          Driscoll is almost unique and his church is being greatly blessed with a people genuinely sold out for Christ and embracing the glorious truth of the bible - if Driscoll were wrong in his theology, don't you think his church wouldn't be so full of joyful, enthusiastic believers? They're hardly the "frozen chosen" at Mars Hill!
          Last edited by 9Marksfan; Jan 15th 2009, 02:35 PM. Reason: typo

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          • #6
            Originally posted by 9Marksfan View Post
            Well there's nothing cold about the ministry of Mark Driscoll or other prominent Calvinist preachers in the US today (John Piper, CJ Mahaney, Josh Harris, Paul Washer, etc) - that's because they understand that God uses MEANS to accomplish His foreordained will - and there is great freedom in understanding and embracing that!

            Driscoll is almost unique and his church is being greatly blessed with a people genuinely sold out for Christ and embracing the glorious truth of the bible - if Driscoll were wrong in his theology, don't you think his church wouldn't be so full of joyful, enthusiastic believers? They're hardly the "frozen chosen" at Mars Hill!
            I believe I said some, not all, and I don't know much about any of those fellows (even driscoll) othre than maybe piper or harris, and then its only tangentially known. I'm not meaning to cast aspersisions on all calvinists, but the behaviors I had found localy when I made the break I felt were necessary to maintain a right relationship with God. Does that make sense?

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            • #7
              I used to be in the calvinist camp, and I believe that most non-calvinists really don't know what calvinism is - at least not fully.

              Yeah, there are "cold" calvinists. There are also "cold" people in all other theological camps. Calvinism is not the only one, and others are not immune to it.

              Basically, calvinists believe that sin corrupted us so completely that it is impossible for a person to do anything other than sin; that every single thing that a person does is sinful (apart from God's grace). And that since we are spiritually dead, we are bound by the shackles of sin and cannot free ourselves from them.

              So the only way for us to be able to be out of those shackles and desire anything godly is for God to do a supernatural act in our lives and change our nature to one that is God-oriented - i.e., the new birth, or regeneration. After God does that, a person is able to repent of sin and believe in Christ.

              But God doesn't do that for everyone, or else everyone would believe. He sovereignly chooses to do that for His elect, and sovereignly passes over those whom He has chosen to leave in their sin. Him choosing to leave people in their sin is not unjust, for it gives people exactly what they deserve for their sin, and He is under no obligation to save even one person.

              And since God only chose to save those whom He has chosen to save, Christ only died to pay for those sins. Christ did not die to pay for the sins of people whom He is not saving.

              God's word does what it sets out to do. So when God calls someone out of sin with the Gospel (which is what God uses to call people to salvation), His call is effective and accomplishes His will. When God changes a person from someone who by nature can do nothing but sin to a person whose nature is changed to be inclined toward God, His word does just that.

              And since God is faithful, then He keeps His own and loses none of them.

              Remember, I am not necessarily describing my own doctrinal stance. I am describing what Calvinists believe. So don't quote this post later on as if I am describing my own theology.

              The Presbyterians, a group that is officially calvinist, sends out more missionaries than almost any other christian group per capita. If calvinism lent itself to making people "cold", then why would they be so missions-minded and have such a heart for the lost?

              Charles Spurgeon and Jonathon Edwards, two preachers from the past couple hundred years, were staunch calvinists had some very powerful and evangelical sermons.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Veretax View Post
                I believe I said some, not all, and I don't know much about any of those fellows (even driscoll) othre than maybe piper or harris, and then its only tangentially known. I'm not meaning to cast aspersisions on all calvinists, but the behaviors I had found localy when I made the break I felt were necessary to maintain a right relationship with God. Does that make sense?
                Absolutely - some Calvinistic churches have indeed "lost the way" and are full of people who show no evidence of the grace of which Calvinistic doctrine speaks of so much. Tragic......

                Can I encourage you to check out Mark Driscoll's and John Piper's websites - you may be pleasantly surprised.......

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                • #9
                  Psalms Fan

                  Originally posted by Psalms Fan View Post
                  I used to be in the calvinist camp, and I believe that most non-calvinists really don't know what calvinism is - at least not fully.

                  Yeah, there are "cold" calvinists. There are also "cold" people in all other theological camps. Calvinism is not the only one, and others are not immune to it.

                  Basically, calvinists believe that sin corrupted us so completely that it is impossible for a person to do anything other than sin; that every single thing that a person does is sinful (apart from God's grace). And that since we are spiritually dead, we are bound by the shackles of sin and cannot free ourselves from them.

                  So the only way for us to be able to be out of those shackles and desire anything godly is for God to do a supernatural act in our lives and change our nature to one that is God-oriented - i.e., the new birth, or regeneration. After God does that, a person is able to repent of sin and believe in Christ.

                  But God doesn't do that for everyone, or else everyone would believe. He sovereignly chooses to do that for His elect, and sovereignly passes over those whom He has chosen to leave in their sin. Him choosing to leave people in their sin is not unjust, for it gives people exactly what they deserve for their sin, and He is under no obligation to save even one person.

                  And since God only chose to save those whom He has chosen to save, Christ only died to pay for those sins. Christ did not die to pay for the sins of people whom He is not saving.

                  God's word does what it sets out to do. So when God calls someone out of sin with the Gospel (which is what God uses to call people to salvation), His call is effective and accomplishes His will. When God changes a person from someone who by nature can do nothing but sin to a person whose nature is changed to be inclined toward God, His word does just that.

                  And since God is faithful, then He keeps His own and loses none of them.

                  Remember, I am not necessarily describing my own doctrinal stance. I am describing what Calvinists believe. So don't quote this post later on as if I am describing my own theology.

                  The Presbyterians, a group that is officially calvinist, sends out more missionaries than almost any other christian group per capita. If calvinism lent itself to making people "cold", then why would they be so missions-minded and have such a heart for the lost?

                  Charles Spurgeon and Jonathon Edwards, two preachers from the past couple hundred years, were staunch calvinists had some very powerful and evangelical sermons.

                  Excellent quick explanation of Calvinism Psalms.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by 9Marksfan View Post
                    Well there's nothing cold about the ministry of Mark Driscoll or other prominent Calvinist preachers in the US today (John Piper, CJ Mahaney, Josh Harris, Paul Washer, etc) - that's because they understand that God uses MEANS to accomplish His foreordained will - and there is great freedom in understanding and embracing that!
                    And this has been the case throughout history. Some of the greatest evangelists and apologists of the faith have been Calvinist. Luther, Knox, Whitefield, Spurgeon, Sproul, Jonathon Edwards, J.I. Packer, Francis Schaffer and many others. The argument that reformed theology vitiates evangelism just doesn't hold up in practice. I believe the duty of evangelism is as much for the benefit of the evangelist as the evangelee. Both are changed by the experience. This is why God chose evangelism to implement or trigger his gift of Grace. "O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God!how unsearchable are his judgments and his ways past finding out!"

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by 9Marksfan View Post
                      Absolutely - some Calvinistic churches have indeed "lost the way" and are full of people who show no evidence of the grace of which Calvinistic doctrine speaks of so much. Tragic......

                      Can I encourage you to check out Mark Driscoll's and John Piper's websites - you may be pleasantly surprised.......
                      I have actually been on Piper's website, my former campus pastor suggested a sermon thereof, and it was very sound. I haven't been able to check out driscoll's yet due to a flash incompatibility in my version of fire fox (on a VERY antiquish computer)

                      Originally posted by thepenitent View Post
                      And this has been the case throughout history. Some of the greatest evangelists and apologists of the faith have been Calvinist. Luther, Knox, Whitefield, Spurgeon, Sproul, Jonathon Edwards, J.I. Packer, Francis Schaffer and many others. The argument that reformed theology vitiates evangelism just doesn't hold up in practice. I believe the duty of evangelism is as much for the benefit of the evangelist as the evangelee. Both are changed by the experience. This is why God chose evangelism to implement or trigger his gift of Grace. "O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God!how unsearchable are his judgments and his ways past finding out!"
                      Again not to cast aspersions, but someone being perceived as being great by man should not by itself mean they are right.

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                      • #12
                        JI Packer

                        "`God is love' is not the complete truth about God so far as the Bible is concerned"`

                        God is love is the complete truth about God so far as the Christian is concerned."
                        On a commentary about I John's God is Love. This is confusing and vague and the problem I have with Calvinism.

                        Packer and other Calvinists don't believe that Love is one of the attributes of God but something He can turn on and off.

                        Jonathon Edwards wrote the following.
                        The Apostle tells us that God is love, I John 4:8. And therefore seeing he is an infinite Being, it follows that he is an infinite fountain of love. Seeing he is an all-sufficient Being, it follows that he is a full and overflowing and an inexhaustible fountain of love. Seeing he is an unchangeable and eternal Being, he is an unchangeable and eternal source of love.
                        and
                        "In hell God manifests his being and perfections only in hatred and wrath, and hatred without love."
                        What if he had said the same thing about God's righteousness. God's righteousness is full and overflowing and inexhaustible and then turned around and said in another place that God sometimes acts toward some people without righteousness.

                        Calvinists would have a hissy fit.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by mikebr View Post
                          On a commentary about I John's God is Love. This is confusing and vague and the problem I have with Calvinism.

                          Packer and other Calvinists don't believe that Love is one of the attributes of God but something He can turn on and off.

                          Jonathon Edwards wrote the following.

                          and


                          What if he had said the same thing about God's righteousness. God's righteousness is full and overflowing and inexhaustible and then turned around and said in another place that God sometimes acts toward some people without righteousness.

                          Calvinists would have a hissy fit.
                          hows it goin mikebr,

                          i would just say, as far as Gods love (He is all loving) on judgement day the experience of His love and mercy will be up. There is no love of God experienced in hell of course. God does love all. However if they do not repent then one day they will be in a place where His love is not experienced. Although God is love, we must not forget as the Psalms says: God hates all who do evil(Psalm 5:5) God loves and hates. He is more complex than i thought at first glance.

                          Jonathan Edwards was saying that in hell God only MANIFESTS his attributes such as wrath, fury, etc. It doesnt mean God stopped being loving, it just means that in hell is love is not made known or manifest. In other words you will not feel the warmth of Gods in hell

                          i also consider myself a calvinist. I know what feelings that can bring and labels such as "Frozen Chosen" and all kinds of things. That is OK with me though, because i do believe that unconditional election is biblical. But if others disagree i have learned that in the end no matter how much we debate all of us will most likely disagree on some doctrinal points in our theology

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by 9Marksfan
                            Can I encourage you to check out Mark Driscoll's and John Piper's websites - you may be pleasantly surprised.......


                            I haven't been too impressed with what I've heard about Mark Driscoll, and it ain't his theology.

                            http://www.sliceoflaodicea.com/evang...rated-driscoll

                            http://www.sliceoflaodicea.com/abomi...t-the-remnant/
                            My Blog

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by 9Marksfan View Post
                              ... if Driscoll were wrong in his theology, don't you think his church wouldn't be so full of joyful, enthusiastic believers?
                              What about my church, which is full of joyful, enthusiastic Arminian believers?
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