I read most of this article and intend to read the rest when I have more time. First off I feel like I need to say that when I was reading this it was hard for me to take seriously the things that were written because of the capitalizing of the "h" in the word "he" when referring to man. I am asserting that this was a grammatical mistake because I doubt that the writer of this passage thinks so highly of man to capitalize the "h" like is done is scripture when referring to Jesus and God. Also I noticed that when something was written about what Calvinists believe there were no quotations other than the Westminster Catechism. It would be nice to have direct quotes and statements directly from a Calvinistic book or passage to back up what is being stated here. Also, I know there are the two sides to free will and predestination. I was wondering how you debated with the passages speaking about predestination. Do you believe that man deserves to be saved and go to heaven at all? In my understanding you believe that man does deserve to go to heaven. The reason why I say this is because if God sends people to hell the only way that that would be unjust is if man deserved it. If man does not deserve it then how would it be unjust for God to send people to hell?
There were a few more questions I had and some things that I was a bit confused on but I will ask them later if I get a response.
If I do not but this message is read I definitely suggest that there be more scripture verses to back up your points because I definitely felt like I was reading a bitter passage with intentions to degrade and discredit Calvinism rather than a passage with Biblical backing and reasons against Calvinism.
Thank you for your time.
Who is "email"?
About quotations, we do have quotations from Calvin himself, for example:
Unconditional Election - http://www.insearchoftruth.org/articles/election.htmlThese implications can be observed in quotations from Calvin's Institutes:
"I again ask how it is that the fall of Adam involves so many nations with their infant children in eternal death without remedy, unless that it so seemed meet to God? Here the most loquacious tongues must be dumb. The decree, I admit, is dreadful; and yet it is impossible to deny that God foreknew what the end of man was to be before he made him, and foreknew, because he had so ordained by his decree." Institutes, Book III, chap. 23, para. 7
"All are not created on equal terms, but some are preordained to eternal life, others to eternal damnation; and, accordingly, as each has been created for one or other of these ends, we say that he has been predestinated to life or to death." Institutes, Book III, chapter 21, para. 5
"Nor ought it to seem absurd when I say, that God not only foresaw the fall of the first man, and in him the ruin of his posterity; but also at His own pleasure arranged it." Institutes, Book III, chapter 32, p. 232
However, we quote frequently from the Westminster Catechism, because I believe it is a profound doctrine that most popularly and succinctly sets forth the Calvinistic belief system:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Westminste ... _Catechism
The Westminster Confession of Faith is another profoundly supportive document, closely associated with Calvin and the Presbyterian denomination:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Westminste ... n_of_Faith
I know of no other sources that more clearly advocate Calvin's doctrines. If you have a document or author that you believe is generally more recognized as presenting a more accepted Calvinistic viewpoint, then I would be happy to consider it for inclusion in the future. I know R. C. Sproul is a popular, modern proponent of Calvinism, but I do not have any of his books at my disposal.
About predestination, yes, I believe in predestination, election, and forordination. However, all Calvinistic "proof-texts" that mention these keywords assume the basis of the predestination, election, and forordination. Whereas the Calvinist assumes that God elects the saved outside of anything they do, I read that God elected us corporately in Jesus (the Man and the Plan). In other words, God elected and foreordained the means and the type of person who would be saved - not each individual, independent of their choices. For example, please read Ephesians 1 and ask yourself, "Where does it specifically say that God elected the save apart from their deeds?" And, consider, "Exactly what basis is mentioned?" I think you will see that the basis is Christ and in Christ. Only assumption can provide the rest. As you look through our responses to Calvinist proof-texts, I think you will find that "assumption" plays a major role in the Calvinistic interpretation:
http://www.insearchoftruth.org/articles ... inism.html
About God's justice, the Scriptures teach that the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23), and it also teaches that all have sinned (Romans 3:23); therefore, we all deserve death in hell. That is what we deserve (assuming we live to a responsible age - Romans 7:8-9). Christians are saved by God's grace - that would be unmerited favor (Ephesians 2:5-8). Therefore, nobody deserves heaven - except Jesus, of course.
Do I believe that there is a distinction between the saved and unsaved? Yes. Jesus' parable of the sower shows that distinction very clearly (Luke 8:4-15; Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23).
However, do you think accepting Jesus and being immersed in water merits one eternal salvation? ... Likewise, do you think Namaan earned his physical salvation, when he was physically immersed 7 times in the Jordan (II Kings 5)? Then, how could it be just and fair for us to merit eternal salvation by being physically immersed in any water just once? Both of these are clear demonstrations of grace and mercy.
Just because God requires us to do something as a condition for salvation, it would be a mistake to assume that God owes us salvation as a result of that. What God asks of us is complimentary to faith and grace. In fact, James said that these conditional works "perfect" faith (James 2:14-26). Without them, faith alone is dead (James 2:26).
Maybe there is a disconnect between what you think I am teaching and what I am really teaching? This is a common issue addressed in our Calvinism F.A.Q. (see, "Straw Man"):
http://www.insearchoftruth.org/articles ... #straw_man
I am sorry that you feel that the article was lacking in Scripture. I am guessing you are referring to our concluding article, "Why I Am Not A Calvinist":
http://www.insearchoftruth.org/articles ... inism.html
Maybe you did not realize that this was a series? We have 10 articles on Calvinism:
http://www.insearchoftruth.org/articles ... #calvinism
Although this is not intended to be a protracted analysis of Calvinism, each of these articles contain multiple Scriptures. The concluding article is meant to summarize arguments made throughout the series, not offer them again in their entirety.
Plus, we have several informal exchanges, archived in our forums:
I believe you will find many Scriptures there, plus, more than adequate representation of the opposing view. I would highly recommend reading these if you would like to see a "real world", detailed exchange on these topics.
Of course, I would be happy to discuss any point with you, which is not already addressed in one of these articles or forum threads. It is certainly not my desire to quash or misrepresent anyone.
I am also sorry that you interpreted our writing as being "bitter". I can assure you that I am not. I have enjoyed several friendly conversations and studies with Calvinists. These articles come from my love for them - not because of any bitterness toward them. I spent many prayerful hours trying to word these articles in the most friendly, non-hostile way I could manage, while still clearly correcting what I understand is a deadly and blasphemous theology.
If you have any suggestions on how to reword any piece anywhere on the site, which would make it less "bitter", I would greatly appreciate the feedback. I do not want the truth to be one whit diminished or crippled by my human frailties.
I pray this helpful, and I look forward to hearing from you soon.
May God help us to have a sincere love of truth,