Calvinism

Calvinism, Arminianism, Biblicism

In The Nick of Time
Some fundamentalist leaders have recently and publicly registered their objections to Calvinism, but they prefer not to be called Arminians. They believe that both Calvinism and Arminianism are man-made systems that predetermine one’s interpretation of Scripture. These leaders wish to start at the other end, with Scripture, and to arrive at a conclusion on the basis of the study of the text. Consequently, they prefer to be called Biblicists.

Fortunately, these recent pronouncements are irenic in tone. This is a token that fundamentalist theology is maturing. Not long ago, it was difficult to find criticism of Calvinism that did not end in a rant. If these recent publications are an example, however, we are now able to discuss Arminianism and Calvinism in a deliberate and thoughtful manner.

Nevertheless, the term Biblicist seems to have only limited usefulness in this debate. Which of us does not try to start with Scripture and to draw conclusions by studying the text? Which of us wishes to set aside any of the Bible in favor of a human system? No, we are all Biblicists here.

Since we are conversing as Biblicists, I would like to raise a question. Which problems do we Biblicists have to solve in order to be entitled to say that we have a biblical answer to the debate between Calvinism and Arminianism? I would like to suggest four specific problems for which we must find biblical solutions.

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Consider the Flowers: Tulip, Daisy, or Dandelion? Part 1

A Missio-Botanical Journey

by Dr. Stephen M. Davis
bee_on_dandelion.jpgSome time ago, while debating a certain theological issue, a brother in Christ told me that he could not believe something I had proposed because his theology would not allow it. My tongue-in-cheek riposte was that perhaps the problem was that it was indeed “his theology” and maybe he needed to rethink his theology. My point was not only that I thought I was right—which we all think to some degree, or else we should make needed corrections—but that we never arrive at a point where our theology cannot be corrected, better articulated, or become more balanced and scriptural. Of course, I realize that there may be those who identify what they believe on all points of doctrine as “the faith once delivered to the saints,” hold all truth with the same degree of certitude, and claim that from their earliest days of theological study they have not changed one jot or tittle. They may learn little from this essay and appreciate it even less. Another perspective might offer us the opportunity to achieve greater balance in our theological perspectives while remaining committed to unchanging, fundamental truths (those without which one could not be called “Christian”).

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How Many Points—Some Comments

By Robert Keith Fall

Dr. David Burggraff (PDF), vice president for spiritual formation and ministry development at Clearwater Christian College (Clearwater, FL), spoke at the November 2006 Northern California Regional meeting of the Fundamental Baptist Fellowship International. He handed out various notes and articles during his messages to the attendees. “How Many Points” by Richard A. Muller, an article from the November 1993 issue of the Calvin Theological Journal, was one of those handouts. fall_tulip.jpgDr. Muller seems to represent a stream of Reformed thought not usually found among fundamentalists in America. He comes out of Continental Calvinism rather than from Scottish Presbyterianism or English Puritanism. Dr. Muller’s definition of what constitutes Calvinist or Reformed theology stands in stark contrast to how many Anglo-American Baptists define the term.

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Spurgeon and the Battle for Gospel Preaching, Part 3

Note: Dr. Sam Horn is host of The Word for Life radio program.

See Part 1 and Part 2.

by Dr. Sam Horn

The true minister of Christ feels impelled to preach the whole truth, because it and it alone can meet the wants of man. What evils has this world seen through a distorted, mangled, man-moulded gospel. What mischiefs have kutilek_spurgeon.jpgbeen done to the souls of men by men who have preached only one part and not all the counsel of God!
—C.H. Spurgeon, Metropolitan Tabernacle, 1859
 

Hyper-Calvinsim is all house and no door; Arminianism is all door and no house.
—John Duncan

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Spurgeon and the Battle for Gospel Preaching, Part 2

Note: Dr. Sam Horn is host of The Word for Life radio program.

See Part 1.

by Dr. Sam Horn

The true minister of Christ feels impelled to preach the whole truth, because it and it alone can meet the wants of man. What evils has this world seen through a distorted, mangled, man-moulded gospel. What mischiefs have kutilek_spurgeon.jpgbeen done to the souls of men by men who have preached only one part and not all the counsel of God!

—C.H. Spurgeon, Metropolitan Tabernacle, 1859

Hyper-Calvinsim is all house and no door; Arminianism is all door and no house.

—John Duncan

Editor’s Note: In Part 1, Dr. Horn summarized Charles Spurgeon’s background and surveyed statements Spurgeon had made about both Arminianism and Calvinism. In Part 2, he takes a closer look at Spurgeon’s role in a debate between these two views.

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An Open Letter to Dr. John Goetsch of West Coast Baptist College

A response to your article “What’s Wrong with Calvinism?” in The Baptist Voice, February 2007

by Alan Shook

Let me begin by saying that I am writing this response as one who came to Christ in a fundamental, Baptist, non-Calvinist church. I spent the first 28 years of my life in such churches and only finally left the last one after I had wrestled through the issue of “Calvinism” for over a year. I am happy to say that I left that church on good terms and can continue to tulip.jpgconsider the pastor and congregants as my friends and, of course, my brethren in Christ, our serious theological disagreement notwithstanding. Please understand that I believe that there are many, many godly men and women who are not Calvinists. I have known them personally; in fact, two of them are my parents! Likewise, I have no reason to believe that you are anything but a sincere and reasonable man of God, and I plead with you to read my comments as from one who bears no animosity toward you but who seeks to gently correct some misrepresentations and kindly challenge some of your arguments, one brother to another.

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