Saturday, April 22, 2006

Spurgeon Quote

Spurgeon Quote
Category: Tartan Talk :
Author: tartanarmy (7:58 pm)

What a great quote here from Spurgeon, which I just read on James Whites site....Makes all of my defending Limited Atonement on other boards all worth it!, even the attacks against me personally..Praise the Lord that He is a real Saviour who really saves real genuine bonafide sinners!!!

But when Jesus Christ comes and puts his own sufferings into the place of our sufferings, the law is fully vindicated, while mercy is fitly displayed. A man dies; a soul is given; a life is offered the Just for the unjust.

What if I say that, instead of justice being less satisfied with the death of Christ than with the deaths of the ten thousand thousands of sinners for whom he died, it is more satisfied and it is most highly honored! Had all the sinners that ever lived in the world been consigned to hell, they could not have discharged the claims of justice.

They must still continue to endure the scourge of crime they could never expiate. But the Son of God, blending the infinite majesty of his Deity with the perfect capacity to suffer as a man, offered an atonement of such inestimable value that he has absolutely paid the entire debt for his people. Well may justice be content since it has received more from the Surety than it could have ever exacted from the assured.

Thus the debt was paid to the Eternal Father. Once more. What is the result of this? The result is that the man is redeemed. He is no longer a slave. Some preachers and professors affect to believe in a redemption which I must candidly confess I do not understand; it is so indistinct and indefinite a redemption which does not redeem anybody in particular, though it is alleged to redeem everybody in general; a redemption insufficient to exempt thousands of unhappy souls from hell after they have been redeemed by the blood of Jesus; a redemption, indeed, which does not actually save anybody, because it is dependent for its efficacy upon the will of the creature; a redemption that lacks intrinsic virtue and inherent power to redeem anybody, but is entirely dependent upon an extraneous contingency to render it effectual.

With such fickle theories I have no fellowship. That every soul for whom Christ shed his blood as a Substitute, he will claim as his own, and have as his right, I firmly hold. I love to hold and I delight to proclaim this precious truth.

Not all the powers of earth or hell; not the obstinacy of the human will, nor the deep depravity of the human mind, can ever prevent Christ seeing of the travail of his soul and being satisfied. To the last jot and tittle of his reward shall he receive it at the Fathers hand. A redemption that does redeem, a redemption that redeems many, seems to me infinitely better than a redemption that does not actually redeem anybody, but is supposed to have some imaginary influence upon all the sons of men.

(Charles Haddon Spurgeon, "Christ's Great Mission," Published 10/5/1916, delivered at the Metropolitan Tabernacle)

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

About Calvinism Part 5

About Calvinism Part 5
Category: Tartan Talk :
Author: tartanarmy (12:00 am)
Are these the five points of Calvinism?

Essentially, yes.

So where does "TULIP" come from?

The acronym comes from the terms theologians use for each of the synod's five heads of doctrine. In the order given above, they are:

1. Unconditional election
2. Limited atonement (called particular or definite atonement by Calvinists)
3. Total depravity (also called radical depravity or human inability)
4. Irresistible grace (called "effectual calling" by Calvinists)
5. Perseverance of the saints (also called preservation of the saints or eternal security)

Placing the third point first gives the acronym "TULIP." This mnemonic device is so common that some Reformed congregations advertise their Calvinism by adopting the tulip as a logo for their church.
I've heard of three-point Calvinists and four-point Calvinists. Are all five points really necessary?

Three-pointers and four-pointers are those who can buy into some of the points but disagree with others. It is not necessarily inconsistent to do this. Most evangelical Christian understandings of salvation meet some of the points but not others. For example, the common lay-level view among Baptists affirms perseverance of the saints and, to some extent, human depravity, and it redefines "unconditional" election to mean conditioned on a person's faith rather than works (which was actually what Arminius asserted). On this basis, many Baptists call themselves three-point Calvinists.

The issue here, though, is whether one can call one's self a Calvinist without adopting all five points. Calvinism is more than just the sum of five isolated doctrines. It is an entire understanding of God's plan of salvation. Rejection of any of the five points, or of other doctrines such as substitutionary atonement or the importance of preaching, reflects a different understanding which, however similar to Calvinism, or however affirming of predestination, is not properly Calvinism.

Then what is this entire understanding of God's plan?

A summary of the Calvinistic perspective is this: God ordains or permits all things that come to pass, including human decisions, and nothing can thwart His decrees.

It is for this reason that He knows all things, past, present, and future. For reasons inconceivable to us and unrevealed in the Bible, God allowed sin to enter the world, and humankind to fall. Adam's fall caused all his descendants to have a sinful nature from their conception, so that they are unable to do good and are at enmity with God.

None of this is understood to make God the author or approver of evil. Because of His justice, God had to punish people's sin; a penalty had to be paid. But because of His love, just as God chose Israel, He also chose to redeem a people for Himself from every tribe, nation, and tongue.

God did not choose everyone, and He made His unchangeable selection based only on His sovereign, gracious will, without regard to anything intrinsic to anyone. The Bible refers to these people as the elect. Their election is to salvation itself and is not simply a promise to complete the salvation of those who have already believed.

To show His love and provide for their salvation, God sent His Son Jesus to die on the cross. There God's wrath was poured out on Jesus, paying the penalty for all the sins (both original and actual) of these chosen people and thus satisfying God's justice.

Each one of the elect is born in sin, just like everyone else, and is indistinguishable from the non-elect. But throughout that person's life, God is at work preparing him or her for salvation. The means which God has ordained for bringing the elect to salvation is the sending out of believers to preach the gospel aggressively and persuasively to all people without distinction.

At some point, through the preaching of the gospel and the faith which God provides, the Holy Spirit regenerates the elect individual, who is thereby born again. The elect one, now having a nature capable of responding to God, then responds through faith and repentance, which are gifts from God, embracing Jesus as Lord and Savior.

At this moment the believer is declared righteous (justified) by the imputation of Christ's righteousness, adopted as a child of God and heir of Christ, and indwelt by the Holy Spirit as the seal of salvation. The process of sanctification (being made holy) continues throughout the believer's life through the working of the Holy Spirit, and it is not complete until the believer meets God at death.

But despite the believer's occasional sins, God keeps all His people so that not one will fall away and all of them will be glorified at the Resurrection upon Jesus' return.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006


Category: Tartan Talk :
Author: tartanarmy (5:31 am)

>Why is "abbreviated" such a long word?

>Why is it that doctors call what they do "practice"?

>Why is it that to stop Windows 98, you have to click on "start"?

Monday, April 10, 2006

Gospel-Driven Sanctification

Gospel-Driven Sanctification
Category: Tartan Talk :
Author: tartanarmy (4:11 pm)
A good read....

Good News for bad Dads.

Good News for bad Dads.
Category: Tartan Talk :
Author: tartanarmy (4:14 pm)
Another good article...

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

About Calvinism Part 4

About Calvinism Part 4
Category: Tartan Talk :
Author: tartanarmy (2:48 pm)
Were there any challenges to Calvinism among Protestants?

The Anabaptists, the majority of whom became known as Mennonites, and the General Baptists under John Smyth and Thomas Helwys, adopted a different understanding of the doctrine of election than most Protestants did, but they offered no direct challenge to other churches' teachings on the subject. Their differences with established churches were based primarily on religious liberty, the nature of baptism, and the sacramentalism of the Church of England.

The most famous challenge to Calvinism came from Arminius (1560-1609), a Dutch theologian whose teachings gained a wide following. Arminius' followers, who were called Remonstrants, accused the Reformed churches of teaching heresy, making God the author of evil, denying the salvation of infants, and relieving men of moral responsibility for their actions. These accusations necessitated the Synod of Dort in 1618, at which representatives of the Reformed churches gathered to hear and rule on the Arminian perspective. This international synod met dozens of times over the course of seven months to give the Remonstrants a fair hearing.

Notice that today, nearly anyone who does not believe in Calvinism is labeled an "Arminian," even though most would disagree with at least some of what Arminius taught.

What did the Arminians believe?

The Arminian position presented at Dort can be stated as five points.

First, God elects people on the basis of His prior knowledge that they would choose to believe (their foreseen faith).

Second, Christ's death did not actually atone for the sins of the elect, but instead made salvation possible for all people; God then applies forgiveness to any who accept it, but the gift must be accepted to have any effect.

Third, humans are marred by original sin, in that they are inclined toward sin, but the will is still free to choose either good or evil. (Arminius did not believe humans were essentially good; in fact, he was in agreement with Calvinists as to the depth of human depravity, but he believed the Holy Spirit graciously overcame that depravity and enabled all men to choose whether to be saved or not.)

Fourth, regardless of the Holy Spirit's work within a person, that person is completely free to reject God, as well as to accept Him; God's grace is always resistible.

Fifth, it may be possible for a true believer to fall away from salvation because of sin, or to renounce Christianity and die unforgiven. (The Remonstrants simply suggested further investigation on this last point. Few believed that anyone had actually ever lost their salvation.)

And what was the response of the Reformed Churches?

The Synod of Dort responded with the five "Canons of Dort." These canons are usually considered the defining statements of Calvinism. Each canon consists of a number of articles, similar to that found in any confession of faith, followed by a number of rejections of what the church called false teachings (including Arminian ones). The canons state, essentially, the following:

First, God's election is of individuals to salvation; it is totally unconditional, based solely on His gracious will.

Second, Christ's death was propitiatory; that is, it appeased God regarding sins. As a result, the penalty is paid for all the sins for which Christ died. Since only some are saved, Christ's death was effectual only for those who would believe. Nevertheless, this limitation of the atonement was not because of any insufficiency in Christ's death.

Third, original sin so corrupts mankind that every part of the person is depraved. The will is in opposition to God until it is regenerated by the Holy Spirit.

Fourth, the regeneration of the Holy Spirit ensures that an individual will believe in Christ.

Fifth, since salvation is totally in God's hands, no believer will finally fall away from salvation.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006


Category: Tartan Talk :
Author: tartanarmy (1:17 am)
Who was John Calvin?

John Calvin (1509-1564) was a Frenchman who turned to Protestantism while studying in Paris. He fled Paris because of persecution and eventually ended up in Geneva in 1541, where he became the leader of one branch of the Protestant Reformation. (Other branches were led by Martin Luther, Ulrich Zwingli, and John Knox.) Geneva became a haven for Protestant refugees. Calvin was a prolific writer, giving commentaries on 49 books of Scripture and writing the Institutes of the Christian Religion.

So why were Calvin's beliefs so important?

Calvin's primary beliefs were not much different from those of other Reformers, and Martin Luther wrote more extensively on election and free will than Calvin did. Both of them followed Augustine's understanding in combating the theological departures of the Roman Catholic Church. But Calvin's name is important because it was his followers in the Reformed churches who most ardently defended the "Calvinist" understanding of salvation.

Calvin's writings codified the beliefs held by pretty much all the Protestants of that time, with the exception of the Anabaptists, whose descendants are now called Mennonites. Most of the major confessions of the first two hundred years of Protestantism, from the Belgic, Heidelberg, and Helvetic Confessions to the Westminster Confession, to the early confessions of the Particular Baptists, are Calvinistic. Even the Thirty-Nine Articles of the Church of England, adopted in 1571, have a Calvinistic flavor. In addition, the Geneva Bible, which was the major English Bible before the King James gained widespread acceptance, was filled with notes by Puritan Calvinists. And a number of Calvinists helped translate the KJV itself.

Calvinists generally do not consider their beliefs about election to have come from Calvin, but rather to be part of the basic teaching of evangelical Protestant churches. They commonly call these teachings the "doctrines of grace," since they consider God's grace to be the basis for election and salvation. (Lutheran theology is not technically Calvinistic, but it does place a similar emphasis on God's sovereignty in matters of salvation and justification by faith.)

Why was this so central to Protestantism?

The main breaking point between the Catholic Church and the Reformers was whether one's justification came directly from God through faith or indirectly through the sacraments of the church. The Roman Catholic Church taught that grace and works operated together in producing salvation. People were justified by grace through the administering of the sacraments, and Purgatory "preserved human dignity" by allowing people to do something to atone for their own sins. When the Reformers rejected these teachings, the Church held the Council of Trent and, among other things, pronounced eternal condemnation on all those who taught that salvation was by grace through faith, apart from works and the sacraments of the Church. The Council of Trent was in direct opposition to the Protestant emphasis on salvation by grace through faith alone.

The Protestant understanding of election was part of their heavy emphasis on God's grace. If God were to elect people based on their actions or decisions, then it would be a salvation based on works, not on grace. No human act could have any saving merit; salvation had to be sola gratia, all of God and none of man.

Protestants were also mindful of a fifth-century controversy in which Pelagius had stated that people were essentially good and capable of achieving their own salvation. Augustine had opposed Pelagius with the doctrine of election and other biblical arguments, sounding very much like Calvin at many points. Protestants wanted to defend themselves against the heresies that had plagued the Christian church, and so they were quick to proclaim their biblical faithfulness on issues from the Trinity to the nature of Christ to the doctrine of election.

Because Calvinism was so important to the Reformers, the main theological system that incorporates the Calvinistic understanding of salvation is called Reformed theology.

Saturday, April 01, 2006


Category: Tartan Talk :
Author: tartanarmy (4:53 pm)
So who–besides Calvinists–believes in election?

Because the Bible is so explicit about election, just about all Christians who believe the Bible agree that believers are elected, or chosen, by God.

The point of disagreement is what election means. To some, election means that God chose specific individuals to salvation and guaranteed that they would be saved. Others hold that God chose believers collectively–in other words, God's election was His determination to offer salvation so that He would have a people, but that persons are not individually elected.

Still others believe that God elected that those who would become believers would achieve their final salvation, becoming like Christ and having eternal life, but that their initial act of faith was not foreordained. The first of these views is the one we call Calvinism.

Why do we call it Calvinism?

To quote Charles H. Spurgeon, the famous Baptist soul-winner of nineteenth-century England: "We only use the term 'Calvinism' for shortness.

That doctrine which is called 'Calvinism' did not spring from Calvin; we believe that it sprang from the great founder of all truth. Perhaps Calvin himself derived it mainly from the writings of Augustine. Augustine obtained his views, without doubt, through the Holy Spirit of God, from diligent study of the writings of Paul, and Paul received them from the Holy Ghost and from Jesus Christ, the great founder of the Christian Church. We use the term then, not because we impute an extraordinary importance to Calvin's having taught these doctrines. We would be just as willing to call them by any other name, if we could find one which would be better understood, and which on the whole would be as consistent with the fact."


ABOUT CALVINISM (Propadeutic © ) Part 1
Category: Tartan Talk :
Author: tartanarmy (4:49 pm)
What is Calvinism?

Calvinism is a specific way of understanding the biblical doctrine of election and its relationship to God's plan of human salvation. In essence, Calvinists believe that any person who becomes a Christian does so ultimately because God chose before the beginning of the world that that individual should be saved.

Okay, so what is "election"?

Election is a term the Bible uses to describe choices made by God. The Greek word used in the New Testament is "ekloge," which designates a selection of a part out of a whole.

"Elect" simply means chosen, and translators use both words to translate the same idea in the original languages. In the Bible, God is often said to choose individuals or groups for certain tasks (e.g., Abram, Levi, Moses, David, Solomon, Zerubbabel, the Twelve, Paul), and Jerusalem is often called His chosen city. Jesus and the angels are both described as elect. But when we speak of the "doctrine of election," we refer to the election of people to be God's people.

In the Old Testament, Israel is called "elect" in Isaiah 45:4, 65:9, and 65:22. New Testament believers are called "elect" in Matthew 24:22, 24, 31; Mark 13:20, 22, 27; Luke 18:7; Romans 8:33; Colossians 3:12; Titus 1:1; and 1 Peter 1:2. In addition, the Bible describes God's "choosing" a people for Himself in both testaments (Dt. 4:37; 7:6-7; 10:15; 14:2; 1 Kin. 3:8; 1 Chr. 16:13; Ps. 33:12; 135:4; Is. 14:1; 41:8-9; 43:9-10, 20; 44:1-2; 48:10; 49:7; Jer. 33:24; Ezek. 20:5; Matt. 20:16; 22:14; Mk. 13:20; Acts 13:17; Eph. 1:4; 2 Thes. 2:13; Jam. 2:5; 1 Pet. 2:9; Rev. 17:14).

Propadeutic ©