Calvinism Diminishes God

Calvinism’s endeavor to exalt God by emphasizing compatibilism, unconditional election, and monergism actually diminishes God.[1] One simply cannot diminish the work of the Creator without diminishing its Creator, which Calvinism does by strapping man with compatibilism, whereby man was created to inevitably sin and be totally passive prior to regeneration. Continue reading →

Can Human Acts like Prayers and Childrearing Really Affect Someone’s Salvation?

Both Calvinists and Extensivists (non-Calvinists) speak as though things such as prayers, trials, miracles, preaching, testimonies, child rearing, education, and other influences play a vital part in salvation; these, along with a host of other influences may be categorized as events. It seems as though we all really mean these kinds of events play a similar role in God’s salvation plan. However, such is not the case. The only similarity is that Calvinists and Extensivists use the same words, but the way Calvinists use these words are essentially dissimilar to the way they are normally used and used by Extensivists. Calvinists themselves tend to obscure the real differences. Continue reading →

Does Calvinism Believe Man is Free, Determined, or Both?

I have a strong desire to enable people to more readily recognize the unmitigated determinism within every aspect of Calvinism.[1] This serves to make dialogue regarding the merits and liabilities of Calvinism clearer as well as enabling everyone a better opportunity to be aware of what they are actually embracing when they don the title Calvinist. In view of that, I frequently speak about the nature of compatibilism, which is Calvinism’s chosen perspective regarding man’s freedom as contrasted with libertarianism, Extensivism’s belief about man’s freedom.[2] If the entailments of these perspectives are misunderstood, the conversation is unproductive. Continue reading →

Is Murder a Choice of Man or a Choice of God?

The following is a question from a respondent to one of my articles. It was asked and responded to in a public forum.

Hello

You said, “Let me make sure I understand what you’re saying. My mother was brutally murdered when I was 8 years old. Are you saying my God wasn’t strong enough to save her or that He cares more about something (namely the free will of man) other than making life perfect and free from sin?”

The following is my response. Continue reading →

Compatibilism and Libertarianism: A Summary

Much of the confusion in discussions between Extensivists (here used in place of non-Calvinists) and Calvinists is due to not understanding the different perspectives regarding man’s moral freedom. Calvinists believe man is free according to compatible moral freedom; in contrast, Extensivists believe man is free according to libertarian moral freedom. A clear understanding of these two ideas is essential to properly evaluating the claims of each perspective. The following is provided as a summary. A more detailed explanation can be found by searching Compatible and Libertarian Freedom. Continue reading →

God’s Knowledge of the Future Requires Neither Passivity Nor Determinism

Calvinism believes that God knows what will happen in the future, including everything each person will do because he has microscopically determined that humans perform such actions through decrees and compatible freedom. In very stark contrast, Extensivism believes that God knows everything including everything each person will do as well, but for different reasons. Extensivists recognize that Scripture presents the picture that God chose to create man in his image.[1] This includes the ability to choose otherwise within the range of options God has established, libertarian freedom, which is ubiquitously evident in Scriptures reflective of choosing between accessible options. Given that God chose to so endow man, God has eternally known every choice that every individual will make; further, while libertarian freedom is a force, it is a force created by God, and therefore, entirely under his sovereign rule. Continue reading →

The Ghastly Gospel of Limited Atonement

To be a consistent five-point Calvinist, a person must believe the Bible teaches that the benefit of Christ’s death is limited to actually having paid for the sins of only the unconditionally elect.[1] This means that the non-elect are condemned for rejecting what does not exist. To begin with, it is important to distinguish between the intent of the atonement (why), extent (for whom) and application (when) while maintaining the relationship of these distinct features of the atonement.[2] Continue reading →

Grace Enablements

The means of this grace enablement include but are not limited to: Gods’ salvific love for all (John 3:16), God’s manifestation of His power so that all may know He is the Sovereign (Isaiah 45:21–22) and Creator (Romans 1:18–20), which assures that everyone has opportunity to know about Him. Christ paying for all sins (John 1:29), conviction of the Holy Spirit (John 16:7–11), working of the Holy Spirit (Hebrews 6:1–6), enlightening of the Son (John 1:9), God’s teaching (John 6:45), God opening hearts (Acts 16:14), and the power of the gospel (Romans 1:16), without such redemptive grace, no one seeks or comes to God (Romans 3:11).

Further, I believe that man, because of these gracious provisions and workings of God, can choose to seek and find God (Jeremiah 29:13; Acts 17:11–12). Moreover, no one can come to God without God calling (Acts 2:39) and drawing (John 6:44), and that God is drawing all individuals (John 12:32). The same Greek word for draw, helkuō, is used in both verses. “About 115 passages condition salvation on believing alone, and about 35 simply on faith.”[1] Other grace enablements may include providential workings in and through other people, situations, and timing or circumstances that are a part of grace to provide an opportunity for every individual to choose to follow Christ.[2]

updated 6-27-16

©Ronnie W. Rogers 2016


[1] Lewis Sperry Chafer, Systematic Theology, vol. VII, (Dallas Seminary Press, 1948), 273–274.

[2] These are grace enablements in at least three ways: first, they are provided by God’s grace rather than deserved by mankind; second, the necessary components for each and every individual to have a real opportunity to believe unto salvation are provided or restored by God; third, they are provided by God without respect to whether the individual will believe or reject, which response God knew in eternity past.

The offer of the gospel is unconditional, but God sovereignly determined that the reception of the offer was conditioned upon grace-enabled faith. Thus, faith is the means to being regenerated and saved, not the reason for being saved. Finally, this truth of Scripture does not imply that God was held captive to the choice of man, but rather that God coextensively determined to create man and provide this genuine offer in eternity past; additionally, in order to fulfill this plan, God is not obligated to disseminate the gospel to people that he knows have rejected the light He has given them in creation and will in fact reject the gospel that He enables the lost to believe or reject; although He may still send the gospel to them.