Friday, September 10, 2010

Doctrine in a Nutshell

Although I have never subscribed, and although I have never sent a change of address when I moved, I still receive a certain fundamentalist periodical in the mail every 2 weeks. I think it was initially sent by a pastor friend who was trying to rescue me from the error of my ways. That’s OK. I can keep up to date on what that slice of the world is doing.

The latest edition had a front page article exposing the errors of Calvinism. The editor stated that he was co-authoring a book on the subject, but hasn’t had the time to complete the work. Instead, he used the space to refer to 2 earlier fundamentalist authors who wrote polemical books on the issue. One of those was called Why I Disagree with All Five Points of Calvinism.

I have no particular interest in defending Calvinism against its detractors. I would appreciate that any critique of any system, whether it is Calvinism, Dispensationalism, Dominion Theology, etc, includes discussion of source material. The aforementioned article had only one reference to a Reformed author and the remainder was an attempt to dismantle a straw man.

For those who may not be familiar with Reformed Theology, Steve Lawson encapsulates the doctrines of grace in one paragraph. There will be some who will disagree with some of the points mentioned in this paragraph. However, it is unlikely that any of the detractors will be able to identify a set of values that is more God-centered and God-focused as is this paragraph:

Before time began, the Bible teaches, God the Father chose a people for Himself to be worshipers of His glory by becoming the objects of His grace. As anexpression of His infinite love for His Son, the Father gave His elect to Christ as a love gift, a people who would praise Him forever and ever. The Father then commissioned His Son to come into this world in order to redeem these chosen ones through His sacrificial death. The Father, along with the Son, also sent the Spirit into this world to apply the saving work of the Son to this same group of elect sinners. This vast number of redeemed saints—those elected by God, purchased by Christ, and called by the Spirit—will never fall from grace. They all shall be transported safely to heaven and glorified forever. This is the God-honoring triumph of sovereign grace. Foundations of Grace (31-32) by Steven Lawson

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