Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Which is Better - Calvinism or Arminianism?

I have sometimes been asked to choose between Calvinism and Armianism, on the assumption that Christian Universal Reconciliation is not a legitimate option.

Very briefly, the god of the Calvinists has the ability to save all mankind, but doesn't choose to, whereas the god of the Arminians wants to save all mankind, but does not have the power or ability to.

The real God, the God of the Bible, has the will, power and ability to save all mankind, and sent Jesus to be the Saviour of the world to make sure that happens. In the introduction to The Really Good News About God", I briefly describe Calvinism and Arminianism and show the short-comings of each.

There are some people who tell me these are the only two positions that can be held, so, Barry, which one do you hold?
Well, if you put it like that I would have to say I'm a Calvinist, but not a Calvinist of the common variety.

I believe God has the will and strength to save those he has chosen to save ... but I broaden that number to everyone (on the basis of solid Biblical evidence you will find in the book}.

OK. I'll give you a sneak peek right now.

Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.
(1 John 2 : 1b - 2 NIV)

Consequently, just as one trespass resulted in condemnation for all people, so also one righteous act resulted in justification and life for all people. 
(Romans 5 : 18  NIV)

I have also discussed this position more thoroughly in a previous post "The Third View" published on June 6th, 2010.

Blessings, Barry

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Biblical Challenges to Mainstream World Views

It's my turn to lead a Bible Study at my church this week. One of the Scripture passages chosen by the Lectionary for this week is Romans 5 : 12 - 21, one of my favourites. So I will need to be careful that I don't slip from my prescribed role as facilitator of the group into one of preacher/teacher for the morning. 😎

It is only a short passage, but it deals a fatal blow to several of the world's favourite views (beliefs).

Belief in the Theory of Evolution
(I won't get side-tracked by the "scientific" aspects of this theory, which are erroneous and predominantly quite unscientific. I will just mention one of the Biblical challenges to this theory.)

Therefore just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people ....
(verse 12  NIV)

Note the order of events here.
Man then sin then death.
The Theory of Evolution requires the opposite - long ages of death to precede the arrival of humans on earth.

Belief in Man's Free Will
Consequently, just as one trespass resulted in condemnation for all people,
so also
one righteous act resulted in justification and life for all people.
(verse 18 NIV)

We do not choose our destiny, God does.
We are allowed to make choices along the way, which determines how difficult or enjoyable and rewarding the journey becomes.
But the end result has already been determined by God.
(mentioned again in Eph 1 : 9 - 10; Col 1 : 19 -20; etc.)

Belief in Eternal Torment in Hell
For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners,
so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.
(verse 19 NIV)

A righteous outcome for all hardly makes room for an eternity in hell or any other place that might be a separation from God.
Romans 11 : 32 also reinforces this point with ...

For God has bound everyone over to disobedience (unbelief) so that he may have mercy on them all. (NIV)
These are very brief comments on these unBiblical, misleading world views.
However if you would like to discuss any of them further, add a comment below and let's start a conversation.

Blessings, Barry