Michael Horton and Roger Olson discuss their books For Calvinism and Against Calvinism

From Ed Stetzer-

For/Against Calvinism – The Exchange – Aired March 13, 2012 from Ed Stetzer on Vimeo.

Calvinism and the puppet and robot analogies

Kevin DeYoung at The Gospel Coalition, on the puppet and robot analogies, and why they don’t work:

It’s true that Calvin, like Augustine before him, believed the will of God to be the necessity of all things. But the Church’s leading theologians have always carefully distinguished between different kinds of necessity. Calvin, for example, though he held to the highest view of God’s sovereignty vehemently rejected any notion of necessity which entailed external coercion or compulsion. In this matter he was simply following Augustine, Aquinas, Luther, and the entire tradition of Christian orthodoxy.

This is why the puppet and robot analogies don’t work, and no Calvinist should own them. While we believe that God’s grace is irresistible and flows from his electing love, we must be clear that this grace renews us from within. It does not coerce us from without. God is not a puppet master pulling on our strings so that we do what he wants apart from our own willing or doing. His will precedes our will, but it does not eradicate it.

Anyone familiar with the Canons of Dort should know that Calvinists do not believe that God works on his people by means of forcible coercion. Instead, we believe that God supernaturally, sovereignly, and irresistibly renews our hearts so that we can feel and choose and do what we ought.


In short, Calvinists have no problem affirming that God does not coerce the love of his human creatures. Where we may differ with others is in our joyous affirmation that our love for God is only possible when God—by mercy alone, through sovereign grace, and by his eternal decree—chooses to love us first.

Read the entire article here – http://thegospelcoalition.org/kevindeyoung

Phil Johnson – The story of Calvinism

Photo from Spurgeon.org which also happens to be one of Phil Johnson’s websites. It contains an entire library of Spurgeon’s sermons.
phil johnsonPhil Johnson (Pyromaniacs) does a survey of Calvinism. Phil Johnson is Executive Director of Grace to You. He teaches regularly as a lay pastor at Grace Community Church, Sun Valley, CA. He has been closely associated with John MacArthur since 1981 and edits most of Dr. MacArthur’s major books. Phil is an elder at Grace Church, a trustee of the UK-based Martyn Lloyd-Jones Recordings Trust, a member of FIRE, husband to Darlene, father of three sons (two of them married), and grandfather to three precious children. Phil is probably best known for his websites, which include The Spurgeon Archive (www.spurgeon.org) and a blog known as Pyromaniacs (teampyro.blogspot.com).

The Video –  Published on Nov 18, 2012 by needanewstartcom.

The Christian doctrine of ‘Election’ has caused more difficulties to believers than any other. It is indeed one of the most frequently misunderstood of all Biblical teachings. Many have been distressed by what they think this teaching means. But rather than causing Christians concern, this doctrine is actually one that should fill believers with comfort and a much better grasp of the great and sovereign God that they serve.

In the first message Phil introduces us to this doctrine, and begins by dispelling the myth that election was an addition to the gospel invented by the Apostle Paul, and which cannot be found in the teaching of Christ. But as Phil shows us, this is simply not the case, and he then goes on to explain what election is really all about, directly from the teaching of Christ.

The second message provides a very helpful overview of Calvinism and its history, which actually sets the doctrine of election in the context of the Biblical teaching with which it is most commonly associated. Once correctly understood, election is seen to be actually a demonstration of the Lord’s love for his people. These two recordings will be a great help to those who are struggling to understand this most difficult doctrine.

Related posts

From the SBC Convention – Daniel Akin, Al Mohler and Mark Dever

An interesting, edifying conversation on various topics (you may have to bear through the first 8 minutes where the discussion is about holding the SBC Convention every 2 years instead of yearly. Afterwards, it is a great and fruitful discussion. Dr. Daniel Akin is President of the Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, Dr. R. Albert Mohler Jr., serves as president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary – the flagship school of the Southern Baptist Convention and one of the largest seminaries in the world and Mark Dever serves as the senior pastor of Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington, DC.

Video by  on vimeo – Dr. Akin sits down with Mark Dever and Al Mohler on Tuesday night of the SBC Annual Meeting to talk about the motion for a bi-annual meeting, the debate over Calvinism, and the election of Fred Luter as the first African-American president of the SBC.

IX Marks at 9 – 2012 SBC Annual Meeting – Tuesday Night from Southeastern Seminary on Vimeo.

…some church history – Jacob Arminius

Jacobus Arminius, Kupferstich aus Theatrum Eur...

Image via Wikipedia

From a great historical book – 131 Christians Everyone Should Know by Mark Galli.(P.41-42):

The year Jacob Arminius was born (1559-1609) in Oudewater, Holland, John Calvin (1509-1564) was busy establishing the Genevan Academy to propagate his ideas of predestination.  About that same time, Guido de Bres (1522 – 1567) wrote the first edition of the Belgic confession, which became one of the basic doctrinal standards of Dutch Calvinism. As Arminius grew up arguments over Calvin’s teachings interrupted those over spanish rule. By the time Armenius was 14, William the Silent, Holland’s king, was a Calvinist.

But by the time Arminius died, the theological landscape was shifting again, and Arminius’s anti-Calvinist theology was spreading rapidly across Europe.

Arminius began to question Calvinism (especially the view of grace and predestination) in his early 20’s , but rather than fight for his views at the Geneva academy, where he had studied under  Calvin’s successor, Theodore Beza, he left quietly. When Genevan authorities became angry at Arminius’s defense of french humanist Peter Ramus, Arminius left for Basel.  He was offered a doctorate there, but turned it down on the grounds that his youth (he was only 24 or 25) would bring dishonor to the title.

It was his study of the epistle to the Romans as an Amsterdam minister that set Jacob Arminius firmly against Calvinism. Faith, he believed, was the cause of election. „It is an eternal and gracious decree of God in Christ, by which he determines to justify and adopt believers, and impenitent persons.

Though he was accused of Pelagianism (an overemphasis of free will) and other heresies, his critics brought no proof of the charges.

„That teacher obtains my highest approbation who ascribes as much as possible to divine grace,”he assured them,’provided he so pleads the cause of grace, as not to inflict an injury on the justice of God, and not to take away the free will of that which is evil.”

In 1606 while professor of theology at Leiden, Arminius delivered an address entitled „On Reconciling Religious Dissensions among Christians”.

„Religious dissension is the worst kind of disagreement,” he wrote,”for it strikes the very altar itself. It engulfs everyone; each must take sides or else make a third party of himself”.

Still he continued to be disturbed by the determinism of Calvinism, and he called for a national synod to resolve the conflicts and to look critically at two crucial Calvinist documents, the Belgic Confession and the Heidelberg Catechism. The synod finally met but not until nine years after Arminius died (in good standing with the Dutch Reformed Church), and eight years after the Remonstrance was issued, which developed and articulated the key themes of what is today called Arminian Theology:

Christ died for all (not just the elect) and individuals can resist grace and even lose salvation. Arminianism since has influenced key figures in church history such as John Wesley, the founder of methodism.

You can survey a list of  works by and about Jacob Arminius here.

You can  survey a list of works by and about John Calvin here.

You can read the Belgic confession here.

You can read the Heidelberg Catechism here.

Some useful links used for the  study of Christian History and Historical Creeds:

Christian Classics Ethereal Library

Grateful to the dead

Puritan Seminary


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