Monday, July 25, 2011

Calvinist Trees Blocking the Christian Forest

Once in a while an argument is encountered or a speaker is engaged in a long monologue that you wish the presenter could have stepped back and taken a more sound approach with his argument. Instead we are left with a spurious design and empty, fallacious rhetoric. This is often the case with Calvinist apologetics and with a recent post by R.C. Sproul, the tradition continues.  More than a few Calvinists have recommended Sproul's seminal book Chosen By God as a representative tome of modern Calvinist thought. I read it quite some time ago and found it to be a continuation of the expected arguments I've encountered far too many times from Calvinists of all stripes. A straw man is constructed, an argument devised to tear it down and the ensuing victory party all proceed from the same tainted arguments over and over again. The same is true with the brief extract from "Chosen" that Sproul has posted on his website.

Sproul has built an argument using John 3:16 to oppose a position that is rarely made i.e. that non-Reformed (non-Calvinists) stake a position on this passage to argue that man has some innate ability to freely choose to come to the LORD. He states "... What does this famous verse teach about fallen man's ability to choose Christ? The answer, simply, is nothing. The argument used by non-Reformed people is that the text teaches that everybody in the world has it in their power to accept or reject Christ ...". Unfortunately for Sproul, he has dedicated considerable capital to dispelling this straw man without addressing the more appropriate argument that Arminians such as myself make with John 3:16. No classical or Reformed Arminian I know of argues for the Pelagian position of innate goodness and ability on the part of fallen man to do anything whatsoever with regard to a first step or a last or any step in between. Instead, this universal passage and the most often quoted verse in scripture is a clear denunciation of the spurious Calvinist doctrine of Limited Atonement. It tears down the idea that God reprobated a large percentage of mankind for his glory and showed some sense of partiality for an "elect" independent of foreknowing their faith. Even John Calvin in his commentaries regarding this chapter of John acknowledges the universal application of Christ's atonement without exception.

R.C. Sproul, instead of taking another victory lap around the ashes of your little bonfire from several years ago, perhaps you could address the true importance of the passage and attempt to address actual Arminian doctrine instead of the fabrications of your rather ill-informed polemic.

4 comments:

Salviano Adão said...

MUITO BOM! Eu acredito que Deus criou o homem e deixou o manual de instrução, a “BÍBLIA SAGRADA!” A bíblia é a divina revelação da palavra de Deus e não produtos enlatados, eu costumo dizer que: “As pessoas precisam parar de comer tudo o que dão. E começar a questionar! ” Alguém escuta alguma coisa de alguém, e saem falando, sem questionar, sem saber se é verdade ou não. As pessoas precisam se perguntar! Será que a minha crença esta de acordo com a lei de Deus? Será que a religião que eu nasci sempre me falou a verdade? Quando uma pessoa morre pra onde ela vai? Ela volta? A bíblia apóia o homossexualismo? Quem não herdara o reino de Deus? O que devo saber sobre idolatria, imagens e escultura? O que devo saber sobre o único batismo? Será que tem uma seqüência para salvação? A quem eu devo me confessar, quem pode me perdoar? Religião salva alguém? Essas e outras perguntas e respostas em:
www.aunicaverdadeemsuapropriabiblia.blogspot.com
Você pode dizer, eu já sou salvo amém! Vamos atrás de quem não esta, “Se você quer se dar bem com o mundo seja hipócrita, mas se você quer se dar bem com Deu seja verdadeiro!” divulgue este site, porque: “Eis que vêm dias, diz o Senhor Jeová, em que enviarei fome sobre a terra, não fome de pão, nem sede de água, mas de ouvir as palavras do Senhor. E irão vagabundos de um mar até outro mar, e do norte até ao oriente; correrão por toda parte, buscando a palavra do Senhor, e não a acharão." ( Amós cap 8 ver 11 e 12 )Fale para outras pessoas, por que “O Senhor não retarda a sua promessa, ainda que alguns têm por tardia: mas é longânimo para convosco, não querendo que alguns se percam, senão que todos venham a arrepender-se.” (II Pedro cap. 3 ver 8) e “Que quer que todos os homens se salvem, e venham ao conhecimento da verdade. Porque há um só Deus, e um só Mediador entre Deus e os homens, Jesus Cristo o homem. (I A Timóteo cap 2 ver 5 e 6)
Seja sua bíblia, católica ou evangélica, aqui você vai tirar suas duvidas.
www.aunicaverdadeemsuapropriabiblia.blogspot.com
E conhecereis a verdade, e a verdade vos libertara (João cap 8 ver 32) Se você tiver coragem de perguntar, a bíblia terá coragem de responder!

A.M. Mallett said...

Salviano's post roughly translated:


VERY GOOD! I believe that God created man and left the instruction manual, the "HOLY BIBLE". The Bible is the divine revelation of God's word and not a canned product. I usually say: "People need to stop eating all that is given and start to wonder! "Somebody hears something from someone, and speaking out, without question, without knowing if it is true or not. People need to ask! Is my belief in accordance with the law of God? Is the religion I was born in always telling the truth? When a person dies he goes to where? He comes back? The Bible supports homosexuality? Who does not inherit the kingdom of God? What should I know about idolatry, pictures and sculpture? What should I know about the one baptism? Do you have a sequence for salvation? To whom should I confess, who can forgive me? Religion saves someone? These and other questions and answers:
www.aunicaverdadeemsuapropriabiblia.blogspot.com

You can say, I am saved Amen! Let those who are not behind this, "If you want to get along with the world it is hypocritical, but if you want to get along with grace it's true!" Publicize this site because: "Behold, the days come, saith the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord. And Rovers will sea to sea, and north to the east, run everywhere, seeking the word of the Lord, and not find it. "(Amos 8 See chapter 11 and 12) Talk to others about why "The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some count slackness: but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance." (II Peter chapter 3. see 8) and " who wants all men to be saved and come unto the knowledge of truth. For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus. (see IA 2 Timothy chapter 5 and 6)
Be your Bible Catholic or Evangelical, here you will take your questions.
www.aunicaverdadeemsuapropriabiblia.blogspot.com

Know the truth and the truth shall make you free (see John chapter 8 32) If you have the courage to ask, the Bible would have the courage to respond!

Pumice said...

About 25 years ago when I was a young pastor I was on Sproule's mailing list and enjoyed what he had to say. At that point he must have still been trying to build his mailing list because he did not let his hostility show. I was willing to consider him as one of the giants that had shoulders we can stand on. That changed a few years ago when I heard him declare war on Arminians instead of pagans.

I don't mind a good argument. We have differences and they need to be discussed. I have never de-Christianized people for being Calvinists.

Remember, we will get our payback by watching their faces when we walk through the gates of the New Jerusalem.

Grace and peace.

A.M. Mallett said...

Pumice,
It is the good argument I am looking for from him. I do not know that he has one.