I agree with the Calvinist claim that the gospel is simple and clear, but I contend that Calvinism, by its very nature, complicates and obscures the simple and clear gospel. Yes, someone can be saved when anyone says something like, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ,” but the difference between what a Calvinist and Extensivist (non-Calvinist) mean when uttering those words is quite different. Just the cache of extra-biblical concepts needed to characterize Calvinism as a biblical position is telling. Continue reading →
On Christmas, we give thanks and celebrate Christ humbling himself and being born a baby boy in order to die for the sins of the world (John 1:29). That is the greatest gift and message of Christmas; may Christ’s humility, which made the Christmas message possible, be seen in us.
“Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who . . . humbled Himself” (Phil 2:5, 8).
He who had no beginning was born. Continue reading →
John Piper writes, “My aim here is to show from Scripture that the simultaneous existence of God’s will for ‘all persons to be saved‘ (1 Tim. 2:4) and his will to elect unconditionally those who will actually be saved is not a sign of divine schizophrenia or exegetical confusion. A corresponding aim is to show that unconditional election, therefore, does not contradict biblical expressions of God’s compassion for all people, and does not nullify sincere offers of salvation to everyone who is lost among all the peoples of the world” (italics added). Continue reading →
When people reject Calvinism and its micro-determinism through compatibilism and decretal theology, some Calvinists retort that we are exalting the free will of man over God’s sovereignty. Of course, that is a straw man. We are exalting God’s Word, thereby exalting God because God’s Word depicts man and woman as having libertarian free will when properly defined. (See my article “Can Man Endowed with Libertarian Free Will Live Righteously Forever in Heaven?”). I contend that no one can read Scripture without being constantly exposed to a myriad of commands with concomitant consequences; choices given by God, conditional promises made by God, and a host of simple statements that only make sense if people can actually choose to obey or disobey, act or refrain, trust or distrust. Such events permeate the Scripture from Genesis 2:16 through Revelation 22:18. First, let me define compatibilism and libertarianism. Continue reading →
Thanksgiving, quite contrary to political correctness and revisionist historians, began as an act of faith and worship by the Pilgrims.
The first Thanksgiving was held in the autumn of 1621 in Plymouth, and it was a celebration of God’s bountiful blessing, which the Pilgrims shared with the Indians.
The Pilgrims’ lives had been characterized by religious persecution and loss of almost all worldly possessions. Many had died during the grueling voyage to the new land, and those that survived faced many more hardships that are so dramatically more treacherous than the difficulties faced by Americans today that we cannot quite grasp the gravity of it except romantically.
Yet, with bountiful food and the freedom to worship God, they gave thanks many times each day, but on this day in a most festive and worshipful way.
Let us not forget: Thanksgiving is an act of worship by God’s people. It is our thankfulness to Him for what He has done and does. Thus, from the vantage point of heaven, complaining must be a most sacrilegious act of self-absorption.
This Thanksgiving, celebrate it as an act of faith and worship, fulfilling the will of God. “In everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18)
On Sunday, 11/14/21, I preached a message with the above title to help people in our church respond biblically to three areas related to Christians dealing with COVID. I pray these will prove helpful to you as we live for Christ today.
I. How Christians can formulate a Religious exemption claim from the COVID mandate.
II. How Christians should relate to others regarding various opinions regarding COVID
III. How Christians need to handle statistics for the sake of truth-telling
You may access the audio and video here.
Calvinism’s exclusive doctrines position it in an untenable place when it comes to people spending eternity in hell. They offer various responses to allay the indefensible entailments of Calvinism that consign people to hell (the reprobate non-elect class). Here are a few: first, some say they deserve to be there. While that is true, it does not tell us why they are there since the people in heaven equally deserve to be in hell. Second, some say it is so God can show his full glory in both love and wrath. But damning people to hell is unnecessary for God to show his wrath or holiness since no one needed to suffer God’s wrath to demonstrate his holiness because Christ suffering his wrath for our sin is the quintessential display of God’s wrath. Continue reading →
Some compatibilists seek to temper compatibilism’s determinism by denying the principle of alternative possibilities (PAP) by various means, such as the proposed hypothetical otherwise choice known more technically as the hypothetical analytic. Calvinists are prone to seek refuge in the hypothetical otherwise from the harsh unbiblical determinism entailed in compatibilism but it fails as all other attempts to harmonize compatibilism with Scripture do. Continue reading →
In considering this article, remember that Compatibilism is the perspective of Calvinism regarding moral freedom and libertarianism is the perspective of Extensivism (non-Calvinism). Many compatibilists argue that what is known as the Frankfurt counterexamples demonstrate the falsehood of the principle of alternative possibilities (PAP) associated with libertarian freedom—that a person, in at least some scenarios, could have chosen differently. Thus, if successful, the Frankfurt counterexamples would minimize the objections libertarians have to compatibilism by demonstrating how true free, otherwise, choice can exist within compatibilism’s determinism. Continue reading →
Here is the path to better understand the Marxist nature of these ideologies. Neo-Marxist Herbert Marcuse and Antonio Gramsci laid the foundation of what is known as cultural Marxism. Mike Gonzalez has written a book, The Plot to Change America: How Identity Politics is Dividing the Land of the Free. He is also a policy expert at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank in Washington, D.C. He explains that Marcuse taught critical race theorist Angela Davis at Brandeis University. Significant as well, Angela Davis was the Communist Party’s candidate for Vice President in 1980 and 1984. Continue reading →