Monthly Archives: May 2008

Audio Links: The Berean Call

A fellow named Jesse Larsen has put together a bunch of mp3 links from The Berean Call (a Christian radio show) when they have addressed the issue of Calvinism. There are a number of topics, most fairly short in length (under 10 minutes or so) He also has a link to a sermon by Bob Hoekstra entitled “The Sovereignty Of God And The Responsibility Of Man”. Good stuff.

The Berean Call is a radio show hosted by Dave Hunt and T.A. McMahon. They are non-Calvinists who hold to eternal security. Bob Hoekstra is a pastor with Calvary Chapel, and is also involved in prison ministries.

Here is the link to the audio resources: Resources on Calvinism

Jesse’s main website is here: Jesse Larsen

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Filed under Arminian Audio, The Berean Call

Calvinist Dictionary

A dictionary to help Arminians better understand Calvinist terminology.
(Don’t take this too seriously, this is meant in good fun)

All: The elect

Altar Call: An insult to God

Arminianism:
Man centered theology

Assurance:
hoping that you’re elect

Augustine:
The first church father.

Calvinism:
The gospel

Call (effectual):
to be irresistibly dragged

Call (general):
God’s justification to condemn the reprobate.

Catholicism: What Arminianism leads to.

Compatiblism:
We are free to do whatever the Potter decrees us to do.

Contradiction:
a mystery

Doctrines of Grace:
Term that helps illustrate how God has given us Calvinists superior insight. Usage example: “I was an Arminian before being illuminated by the Doctrines of Grace.”

Doris Day:
Singer of truth

To Draw:
To drag

Easy believism:
The false idea that you can believe in Jesus Christ and be saved. Can a rotten corpse believe? Nope, neither can you.

Eisegesis
: Any Arminian interpretation of a difficult passage (thanks Ben)

Emergent:
Synonymous with “heretic”, unless your name happens to be Mark Driscoll.

Esau:
Someone God hated, not for any reason though.

Everyone:
The elect

Exegesis:
Any interpretation by James White, after all he’s a Greek scholar.

faith (1):
Something that the elect are zapped with after regeneration.

faith
(2): A work that gives pride to Arminians.

Fatalism:
Nothing to see here, move along.

Faux Pas
: Coming to church with a Bible translation other than the ESV.

Finney, Charles:
Wicked man who ravaged the evangelical movement. (Really)

To Foreknow:
To decree or to love, absolutely nothing to do with knowing before.

Four Point Calvinist:
An Arminian

Frankenstein: Cool story about a dead monster that got zapped with lightning and then became alive. Great parallel to the way we are regenerated.

Free Will:
Something that can’t exist because it would make God helpless if true.

Glory:
Praise we give to God for anything wicked that has ever happened (except for the birth of Charles Finney).

God’s secret will:
To save a few and reprobate the rest (secret to Arminians but not to us).

God’s revealed will:
a mystery

Gospel of John:
anything by John Piper

Hebrews:
Skip this book and read the Gospel of John instead.

Hyper-Calvinists: Calvinists who care more about consistency than looking good.

Infralapsarianism:
See “Four Point Calvinist”.

Infant damnation:
Something that brings God glory.

James:
Book that Luther wanted thrown out of the canon.

Jesus Loves Me, This I Know:
Misleading children’s song.

Jesus Loves the Little Children: Another terrible song, obviously written by someone who didn’t take the time to do a proper exegesis of scripture.

John 3:16: Enigmatic verse. One must be a scholar to properly understand this passage. James White’s unbiased insights are recommended.

Kosmos:
Greek word that means “elect”.

The Living Bible:
I hope you’re joking.

Missions:
A complete waste of time, see “altar call” for more info.

Mystery:
The way God decrees sin but is not responsible for it.

NIV:
Word for thought translation is heresy.

Paul:
Author of Romans 9

Pelagian:
Name to call Arminians, extra points if they don’t know what it means.

Polemic Atheist:
Another name to call Arminians, good diversionary tactic when appealing to John Owen doesn’t work.

Preaching the Gospel:
Something God commands, but the reason why is a mystery.

Pride:
Something that works-based Arminians have in abundance, but we Calvinists don’t after being chosen by God.

Regeneration: See “Frankenstein”.

Reprobate:
Those whom God justly damns to maximize His glory.

Rick Warren:
worthless author, read something by John Gill instead.

The Road to Rome:
Where synergism always leads to.

Robot:
Don’t say that word!

Servetus:
A heretic who got what he deserved.

Shipwreck:
Misleading term, because the “ship” wasn’t really floating in the first place.

Sovereignty:
meticulous micromanagement

Supralapsarianism:
God orchestrated the fall for His glory, the central truth of scripture.

Wesley, John:
A false apostle of free will (not kidding)

Whitefield, George:
Wesley’s superior

Whosoever:
The elect

World:
The elect



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Filed under Calvinism, humor, satire

Movie Review: Prince Caspian

**Spoilers if you haven’t seen the movie**

I’ve been a C.S. Lewis fan since stumbling upon the Narnia series as a child. The stories were exciting, and it was fun to find the “hidden” Christian symbolism. I still enjoy the books today. I also loved the first Narnia movie: The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe. I thought that they did an excellent job with translating that book to the big screen, and was pleased with how faithful they stayed to the original story.

I had the same high expectations for Prince Caspian. After seeing the film I have mixed feelings. It was enjoyable to watch, and over all I give it a good rating, but I don’t think it was done as well as LWW. Much like the Lord of the Rings movies, they took more liberties with the second story as compared to the first one. Not all the changes were bad, some were helpful. But other changes were unnecessary in my opinion.

Likes:
This is a blockbuster movie, and it shows. I appreciate the resources and effort they have put into these movies. The special effects were amazing. The musical score was excellent. They did a great job with the character Reepicheep. The overall attention to detail was good. I appreciated the fact that a number of the lines came almost straight from the book. I also appreciated the extra little nods to fans of the books – like showing the bulgy bear sucking his paws.

They change the flow of the story line in the movie, and that worked well. It made it much easier to follow. In the original book Lewis follows a “flashback” storyline. The movie instead is chronological.

They developed the character Miraz more than he was explained in the book. The same is true of some of his evil cohorts. I thought the extra character development added to the story, and helped to explain why these were bad dudes who needed to be taken out.

There is a scene where they attempt to summon the White Witch. This is implied a bit in the book, but they took it much further in the movie. I liked the scene and thought it flowed well and added to the story.

Dislikes:
The role of Aslan was minimized. He seemed to be almost an afterthought instead of the center of the story. He doesn’t really show up at all until the end. That is a shame.

The goodness of the four Pensive children takes a hit. The way the story line plays out, it would have been better if they had never come back to Narnia, because they’re more of a hindrance than a help. Peter’s character particularly this way. He is more concerned with making himself look good than he is with doing the right thing. He has a lot of unneeded conflicts with Prince Caspian.

Susan is turned into a fighting machine. She reminded me more of Legolas from Lord of the Rings than she did Susan of Narnia. This is not at all consistent with her character. If Lewis were still around, I think this change would bother him. In the books he made a point of keeping the girls out of the heat of battle, but in this movie they are thrown into the middle of it. They added some romance to Susan too, which was a little irritating.

The castle scene was a distraction. There were lots of amazing special effects during that part, but I don’t think it added anything to the story.

Overall review:
On a scale of 1 to 10 I give this movie a 7. Not as good as LWW which I would give maybe a 9. Still, it’s definitely worth seeing. I recommend it, and appreciate the job they did, and the fact that they are putting these on the big screen.

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Quiz: Are you an Arminian?

Somebody has come up with a quiz to test if you are an Arminian or not. It’s actually pretty funny…if you have a thick skin. Warning: If you are a Charismatic Calvinist, you could fail this too. :)

Link: Are You an Arminian?

From the quiz: If your total is more than -5, you are either a full scale Arminian, or you are on your way. But it is still not too late for you to be given repentance… pray about it.

I scored a -44!

:)

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Audio Link: In Search of Truth

The website In Search of Truth has a 4 part series by Bob Waldron critiquing Calvinism. Here is the direct audio link: Calvinism Series

Waldron is a pastor/professor/missionary who comes from a Church of Christ background (the acapella guys). This is a good series, although I do have a couple of reservations. Here is an overview on each of the four lessons:

1) God’s Sovereignty and Total Depravity – Waldron explains the Calvinist concept of Sovereignty – that God “controls” everything, and how this is not a scriptural view. He addresses Total Depravity and refutes it from what I would call a Semi-Pelagian view.

2) Calvinism and TULIP – Waldron gives a little history on John Calvin, and then goes through the 5 points. He represents Calvinism very fairly and doesn’t create straw men. He is easy to understand.

3) Neo Calvinism #1 – Waldron argues that modern Calvinists have modified the system to make it seem not as harsh, and as a result are not as consistent as the old school Calvinists. He goes on a couple of tangents unique to the Church of Christ in this lesson (baptism, and complaints about instruments used in worship).

4) Neo Calvinism #2 This lesson is on the differences between Imputed Righteousness (Calvinist view) and Imparted Righteousness (View of some Arminians). Waldron argues for the Imparted view, and makes some very good points. Imputed Righteousness advocates say salvation “covers” sin, where as Imparted Righteousness advocates say salvation “cleanses” sin.

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Filed under Arminian Audio, Bob Walron

Who did Jesus die for?

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. -John 3:16-17

Who did Jesus die for? Did he die for everyone as Arminians believe (Universal Atomenent), or did he die for the elect as Calvinists believe (Limited Atonement)?

There is overwhelming evidence in scripture that Jesus died for everyone, And there is little to no evidence in the Bible to support the Limited Atonement view. Out of the five points of TULIP, L is the weakest link. It is a point that consistent Calvinists must argue out of philosophical necessity without the affirmation of scripture. This is no doubt why there are many 4-point Calvinists – people who love the logic and elegance of Monergism, but can’t bring themselves to advocate a view that is so contradictory to what the Bible teaches about the extent of Jesus’ sacrifice for humanity.

The Bible is clear: Jesus died for everyone. It is a simple truth. Scripture is so clear on the universality of the atonement that it amazes me that anyone who reads the whole Bible can attempt to limit the love and sacrifice of Jesus.

There are no verses in the Bible that specifically state that Jesus died only for the elect. Limited Atonement proponents instead refer to passages that speak of Jesus dying for “His sheep” (John 10:27) or for “His Church” (Eph 5:25). Calvinists argue that if Jesus died for a specific group, that precludes the possibility that He died for everyone. This is a weak argument because it comes from the necessity of the Calvinist system, and ignores the many passages that clearly do state that Jesus died for everyone. The Bible is full of verses that say Jesus died for all (John 1:29, John 3:16, John 4:42, Romans 5:15-18, Col 1:19-20, 1 Tim 2:5-6, 1 Tim. 4:10, Heb. 2:9, 2 Pet 2:1, 1 John 2:2, 1 John 4:14).

We need to look at scripture in context, without imposing an unsupported philosophical system upon it. If we look at the big picture, it becomes absurd to attempt to limit Jesus sacrifice based on the misreading of a verse that mentions a specific entity for whom Jesus died. For an example let’s apply the Calvinist’s limiting logic to Galatians 2:20 (bold mine):

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

If we look at the small picture here in this passage, Paul says specifically that “[Jesus] loved me and gave himself for me.” Without referring to the overall context of the Bible, one might legitimately argue that Jesus only gave himself to Paul. However, when we look at the big picture we know that this is a false limitation imposed on the verse. Jesus died for more than just Paul, because other verses say he did.

This same truth applies to any verse that states Jesus died for a specific entity. It is necessary to look at the big picture to fully appreciate the sacrifice that Jesus made. It is not adequate to look at one passage that says Jesus died for “Paul” or for “sheep”, when other passages clarify and enlarge the context, and clearly state that Jesus did indeed die for all.

We know that Jesus died for the whole world, because the Bible says so. That is an assurance we can build on.

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Prayer for a friend

My friend in Christ, Orval Halley, needs the healing hand of God. He’s very sick with pancreatic cancer, and will not live much longer unless God heals him.

Halley was my pastor for about 12 years. He has been a blessing to me and my family. He “retired” from his pastorate about 4 years ago to pursue full time missions in the 10-40 window. Pastor Halley is a man who is sold out for the kingdom. He has a commitment to God that I have seen in few other people.

If God places it on your heart, please pray for him and his wife Roberta, and for their extended family. I believe that God has more for him to do in this life.

[update: Pastor Orv went to be with his Father on 5-9-08]

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