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Posts Tagged ‘Calvinism’

Note: For fans of Spurgeon have you checked out my Review: Charles Spurgeon Framed Art Print?

 

Charles H. Spurgeon. Effective Prayer.  Pensacola, FL: Chapel Library, June 24th 2015. 20 pp.

5 out of 5

Free: Chapel Library

Purchase: Amazon (99 cents for Kindle)

How can you pray more biblically and powerfully?  This booklet is Spurgeon’s sermon on Job 23:3-4 on the topic of praying effectively.  Since 2016 I started reading a number of sermons by the famous English preacher Charles Spurgeon and have desired to read more of his writings so here I am in 2020 still being edified by the content of his preaching.

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These are links concerning Presuppositional apologetics gathered from May 15th-21st, 2020.

1.) Quick Thoughts on the self attesting nature of the Bible

2.) New book by Greg Bahnsen: AGAINST ALL OPPOSITION: DEFENDING THE CHRISTIAN WORLDVIEW

3.) Angry Atheists Exterminate Reason

4.) Don’t play fetch the ball

5.) The Epistemological Spiral

6.) Bible Contradiction? Who was Salah’s father?

7.) Carnival mirror

8.) A Word on Gettier Cases

9.) Is There a God?

10.) CORNELIUS VAN TIL

 

Missed the last round up?  Check out the re-blogged post from a friend here, and a repost here

 

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John Piper. Coronavirus and Christ.  Wheaton, IL: Crossway, April 28th 2020.  112 pp.

5 out of 5

Free: PDF and other format at Desiring God

Purchase: Amazon

According to the Bible what are the possible things God is doing with the Coronavirus?  In this book by pastor and theologian John Piper the author looks at the issue from a Gospel driven perspective.  Piper is nuanced in the beginning to say that no doubt readers will know more about what will happen with the virus situation than the book is able to capture at the moment he wrote this book; instead Piper is going to focus on God’s work in crisis and also look at the issue of death and suffering from an eternal perspective.  I am grateful that Piper wrote this book.

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A late post today since after my lectures last night I just couldn’t type up a post!  Ever have one of those days?

Charles H. Spurgeon. Free Will a Slave.  Pensacola, FL: Chapel Library, December 3rd 2018. 18 pp.

4 out of 5

Free: Chapel Library

Purchase: Amazon (99 cents for Kindle)

In 2016 I read quite a number of works by the famous English preacher Charles Spurgeon and since then I have desired to read more of his work though sadly I haven’t been able to read any of his works until now in 2020.  This booklet is Spurgeon’s defense of Calvinism by responding to John 5:40 which some Arminians in his day thought it was “one of the great guns of the Arminians” which I’m quoting from Spurgeon in the opening sentences in his booklet.  What Spurgeon aim to show in this booklet is how John 5:40 is actually a support for Calvinism instead.

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John Calvin. A Little Book on the Christian Life.  Sanford, FL: Reformation Trust Publishing, March 2nd 2017. 126 pp.

5 out of 5

Purchase: Westminster Amazon

Are you looking for a practical devotional that’s biblically sound and theologically driven?  This work titled A Little Book on the Christian Life might something worth considering.  My wife and I read this as our evening devotional and we found this an excellent work.  It is an extraction from the second edition of John Calvin’s classic work The Institute of the Christian religion that was originally a chapter titled “On the life of a Christian man” in the book but later throughout Protestant history it has been adapted as a stand-alone book on the Christian life.

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These are links concerning Presuppositional apologetics gathered from May 15th-21st, 2019.

1.) Since God is Unchanging Atheism is Impossible

2.) Apologetics Sermon Illustration #51: The Person who denied the Sun

3.) Anti-theism Presupposes Theism

4.) Understanding the Opposition

5.) Updates to Van Til PDF’s Section

6.) Updated:

7.)

 

Missed the last round up?  Check out the re-blogged post from a friend or that of another reblog here,  and a repost here.

 

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This is from my daily Greek exercise of sight reading many months ago, courtesy of Vincent S Artale Jr.

Our text is from the Greek translation of 1 Timothy 1:14.  Here is my translation:

“SENTENCE 14 ὑπερεπλεόνασεν δὲ ἡ χάρις τοῦ κυρίου ἡμῶν μετὰ πίστεως καὶ
And the grace of our Lord overflowed with faith and

ἀγάπης τῆς ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ”
love which is of Jesus in Christ

Here are some observations:

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Note: This is a guest post.  This is by Dan Carwright.  He’s been a brother who has been iron sharpening iron with us on here and social media for years.  His blog can be found here.  He also tweets.

The title of this post is the first line of a popular late 60’s tune called Alfie that was the title song of a 1966 British film movie by the same name. The film tells the story of a young man who leads a self-centered life, purely for his own enjoyment, until events force him to question his uncaring behavior, his loneliness and his priorities. It was also the first film to receive the “suggested for mature audiences” classification by the Motion Picture Association of America in the US. The song asks Alfie about the real meaning of life.

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(Note: This is a guest post written by Michael Coughlin who tweets here and blogs here.  I am currently away and thank Michael for this guest post.  If you have thoughts and questions, feel free to comment and when he has time he will respond.)

Yesterday, we reviewed four of the six reasonable categories one can fall in concerning their belief about the election of infacts. Many folks have argued whether babies go to Heaven for centuries. For the sake of ease of writing, I will use the term “infants” to describe those “who are incapable of being outwardly called by the ministry of the Word.” (1689 LBCF 10.3)1

Here are the positions one can take.

  1. We know that ALL infants go to Hell when they die.
  2. We know that some infants go to Hell when they die, but some may go to Heaven.
  3. We don’t know where infants go when they die, and we can’t even guess. The Bible doesn’t say so we should be silent.
  4. We don’t know whether all infants go to Hell or Heaven, but we accept both are possible.
  5. We know that some infants go to Heaven when they die, but some may go to Hell.
  6. We know that ALL infants go to Heaven when they die.

Let’s look at the two remaining options in bold.

We don’t know whether all infants go to Hell or Heaven, but we accept both are possible.

This position seems to accept the idea that the Bible is not crystal clear on the topic. At least in the sense that there is no verse that says “All infants are elect of God,” while still being honest about the evidence given by those who think there are implications in Scripture about the election of infants. There are doctrinal truths which are clear and undeniable, lest you put yourself outside orthodox Christianity. In the case of infact election, it seems there is room to say, “Wow, I can see both sides of that argument,” and still be a faithful Christian. For example, this post from Founders Ministries gives a very good outline of the doctrine.

I will add this: if you fall into the belief that “we don’t know for sure, but it’s possible infants are elect” you have a choice when someone you know faces a miscarriage, a child’s death or the death of their loved one who never had the brain capacity above a toddler. Your options are

offer them a hope that their child was saved by the blood of the lamb and the mercy of God
throw your hands up and say I don’t know
or to try to convince them their loved one is now in hell. That is, their loved one they knew couldn’t understand the gospel, nor their own sin.
Which one of those options seems most comforting? Which one seems to glorify God in His goodness and mercy? Which one follows the pattern of God taking evil and using it for good? Look, if you fall in this “any infant has a chance at Heaven category,” then that means every infant has that hope. Why would you live any other way? We trust that the Lord will do right, and we can thus hope that we will see loved ones in Heaven who were not able to be outwardly called. So encourage one another this way.

My point is not that this makes universal infant salvation doctrinally true. What I am saying is that if you believe any infant may go to Heaven, you have no reason to not hope that for each infant. This is no different from looking at all non believers around you as people who could possibly be adopted into the family of God, even though you are sure many will not be. Real love offers hurting people rational hope. Assuming you think some infants go to Heaven, rational hope is to tell any grieving parent to hope to see their child again, and to trust the judge of all the earth shall do right.

We know that ALL infants go to Heaven when they die.

Here is the category of believers that is often under attack. Yet I showed earlier that if you believe ANY infant goes to Heaven when he or she dies, then you might as well behave as if they all do. For what reason would you ever have in this world to say to a hurting mother, “sorry, not your kid.” People in this group are accused of simply being emotional about it, but why is it considered so illogical to think that our God has a special love for children? Did he not have compassion for the children in Nineveh? (Jonah 4). Were not children a special part of Christ’s ministry prior to his death, burial and resurrection?

Opponents of this view rightly point out that this is not crystal clear in Scripture. I think that is a good argument. If, indeed, all infants go to Heaven, then it seems God may have hidden that from us, maybe in order to prevent us from concocting atrocities, in the name of sending souls to glory.

Another counter argument to this viewpoint is the one that says, “if all babies go to Heaven, then abortion is a good thing.” Let it not be so that anyone says this from regenerate mind. If it is so that God saves an aborted baby, that doesn’t make that abortion murder any more morally good than the crucifixion of Christ can be considered good or moral because it was used to save our souls! The fact that God does something wonderful with a wicked act neither validates that act nor does it make the agents of the act morally good!

I have seen someone say, if that is true, then people will kill their small children rather than risk them growing up and rejecting Christ. Again, if an evildoer would do this, (which they do), then you are blaming God for their evil. What you are saying is infant election cannot be universally true because it gives people authorization to do evil that good may come. God forbid! Knowing or believing God will do something good is never justification for evil. But secondly, if you believe in God’s sovereignty, then you know your child is either elect or not, and that that decision was made before your child was conceived. You can no more ensure your child’s election by murdering them than you can by reading the Bible to them daily. So it isn’t logical to say a reasonable parent would do that, and we are not responsible for how unreasoning beasts (Jude 1:10) manage God’s good truths. If infant election is true, the death of your infant does not secure their salvation, it is just an indicator of God’s grace, like a profession of faith in an older person.

What I find insulting is how opponents of this view characterize it as simply an emotional plea, when so many arguments from Scripture and logic have been put forth. Again, it may be emotional for many, but that doesn’t invalidate the argument. God created us to be emotional creatures. A people whose emotions are governed by the mind of Christ, taking every thought captive. Good doctrine can and should elicit emotions. Do not discount a brother’s argument about doctrine because he not only believes but feels strongly about it. Neither should sincere belief in a doctrine add weight to it from a debate perspective, of course!

In Conclusion

In conclusion, I believe there needs to be much charity on all sides of this debate, and folks need to seriously consider what are good and bad arguments concerning each of the positions above. I think Christians can glorify God through our love for one another as we hash out hard things together from His Word, and infant election is an historical doctrine which has provided hope to many hurting Christians without practically harming evangelism or causing Christians to suddenly abort babies for the sake of their salvation.


1 http://www.arbca.com/1689-chapter10

Here are some arguments people have made. In some cases the argument may not be compelling, but the Scriptures cited are worth considering.

http://thecripplegate.com/what-happens-to-infants-who-die-the-ot-answers/

http://thecripplegate.com/what-happens-to-infants-who-die-the-nt-answers/

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A brother in the Lord mentioned an anti-Reformed interpretation of Acts 13:48 he saw in a conversation on Facebook.

Here’s what Acts 13:48 states:

When the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of [ac]the Lord; and as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed

A Reformed interpretation would mean that God took the initiative in appointing people to believe.  Of course an anti-Reformed interpretation would deny that.

Here’s the anti-Reformed take of Acts 13:48

The Greek verb tasso means being arranged or position, which makes perfect sense, the ones who accept the Gospel are arranged or positioned for everlasting life by the Holy Spirit.  The Scriptures are very clear God mold us into whatever we decide, if we reject the message of the Gospel He hardens our heart by our choice but if we accept the Gospel the Holy Spirit prepares us for everlasting life.

Here’s my response:

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These are links concerning Presuppositional apologetics gathered from May 15th-21st, 2017.

1.) God is the Ground for Truth

2.) He is There and He is Not Silent- Francis Schaeffer (1972)

3.) Western Law’s Theological Basis

4.) An Atheist Suppressing the Truth

5.) Disturbing Reasoning

6.) Bible Contradiction? Did Sarah have faith that she would conceive?

 

Missed the last round up?  Check out the re-blogged post from a friend OR that of Another REBLOG HERE

 

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brother-walter-writings-e-book

This Monday will be the International Symposium for the The Master’s Academy International (TMAI) which is involved with training Pastors and Bible teachers overseas.  Every year they have the International Symposium the Monday before the week of Shepherd’s Conference and there’s believers from several dozen countries present.

One of the tables will feature works and ministry of Brother Walter.

We are hosting the Word Document to his E-Books on our blog.  There’s three titles: Christian Epistemology, Humanism, and Doctrine of Grace.  I have also included in this post the table of contents so people could have a better idea of what’s in these E-books.

If you are dropping by from the International Symposium drop us a comment!

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Here are the links related to Presuppositional apologetics gathered between November 8th-14, 2016.

1.) Mike Robinson’s Presuppositional Apologetics Books, eBooks, and Unique Resources

2.) Van Til Quote: Revelation of the Sovereign God

3.) TELOS SHORTS: QUESTIONS & ANSWERS

4.) Calvinist Cartoons: Play by MY Rules

5.) RECLAIMING HELL: COLLECTED ARTICLES AGAINST ANNIHILATIONISM

6.) Calvinist Cartoons: Target – Dead Center!

7.) FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE PART 137 Marvin Minsky Part B (Featured artist is Lawrence Ferlinghetti)

8.) An Introduction to Systematic Theology

 

Missed the last round up?  Check out the re-blogged post from a friend OR that of Another REBLOG HERE

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Biblical Theism Definition of Foreknowledge and Decree

Paul Helm states,

Divine foreknowledge is infallible and extends to all future things including the free actions of all his creatures…”[1]

In other words, God knows about an event (includes all of His creation) before it occurs.

For God’s divine ordination or decree, it can be defined this way:  (1) in Scripture, God’s will is irresistible (whatever He desires will come to pass); (2) exhaustive divine foreordination is compatible with moral free agents (can be seen with the example of Daniel’s prayer and the decisions we make); (3) God has complete fixed control because of His unalterable decree (God is also immutable).[2]  If we take these three elements into account, I think it will help decrease any misconceptions and misunderstandings surrounding this topic we have covered in this series.

Wayne Grudem defines the decrees of God this way,

The eternal plans of God whereby, before the creation of the world, he determined to bring about everything that happens.”[3]

In other words, God’s decisions came before the world was created.

Biblical Theism Describes Foreknowledge and Divine Decree

When studying God’s divine decree, you will see that the decree of God is wise (Romans 11:33), free (Isaiah 40:10), and unconditional (Is. 46:10; Eph. 1:11).[4]  It must also be noted that the teaching of God’s divine decree in Scripture is different than His providential actions in time because God’s providential actions are an outflow of the eternal decrees of God.[5]  For example, David says in Psalm 139:16,

Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; and in Your book were all written the days that were ordained for me, when as yet there was not one of them.”[6]

On another note, just because God’s decrees or eternal plans were before the creation of the world, does not mean that God’s creatures are not responsible for their actions—our actions have real results and also changes the course of events in light of God’s eternal decree.[7] One form of action would be prayer.  God ordained prayer as a means to bring about changes in the world.[8]  An example of that would be Daniel’s prayer.  Daniel’s prayer in Daniel chapter nine, which exhibits submission to God’s will—both in heartfelt confession of Israel’s sin and passionate intercession for Israel’s deliverance from exile in the hands of her enemies and the blessing of restoration, is just one of many Old Testament examples of how God uses human prayer like Daniel as a means to accomplish his predetermined sovereign plan.[9]

In Wayne Grudem’s Sytematic Theology book, the topic of foreknowledge and its interactions with other doctrines are discussed.  For example, Grudem points out that election is not based on God’s foreknowledge of our faith.  But that does not mean that there is no foreknowledge of persons and facts.[10]  In light of foreknowledge’s interaction with predestination, predestination based on foreknowledge, does not give people free choice to determine their own destinies outside of God’s decree  because God determines people’s destinies.[11]  Faith, on the other hand, is the outflow of God’s decree.

Biblical Theism Defense of Foreknowledge and Divine Decree

Calvin puts it like this concerning this topic

How should [God] foresee that which could not be?  For we know that all Adam’s offspring is corrupted and that we do not have the skill to think one good thought of doing well, and much less therefore are we able to commence to do good.”[12]

This truth as stated by John Calvin resonates how Christians see the relationship between God’s foreknowledge and decree.  In the area of soteriology for example, Calvin understood the a nature of man; and there was no way that God would wait for man to respond to His Gospel in order to bring about his decree regarding salvation.  His decree is not reliant on no one nor anything, but events and actions of man are outflows of His decree because they are reliant upon His decree.

Now we will move into the exegetical defense of God’s foreknowledge and God’s divine decree.  When it comes to the discussion of the election of God’s people based on foreknowledge, Scripture says that God made His decisions on the basis of His foreknowledge.  Romans 8:29 says that God predestined those whom He foreknew.  1 Peter 1:1-2 says that believers are elected according to God’s foreknowledge.  Acts 2:23 says,

This Man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death.”

But the money question that we must answer is: “How does one reconcile God’s decree and foreknowledge?”  I believe answering this question will help us against the assaults of open theism or any other view (i.e. Arminianism) that is contrary to the Bible’s understanding of divine decree.

Regarding God’s decree and foreknowledge, one must ask, “Are God’s decrees, seen in light of the election of His people and His predetermined plan for Christ to suffer, on the basis of God’s foreknowledge of what Christ and people would do or was it a predetermined plan?  Can we say that His creatures affected God’s decree?  These are some questions that must be answered when dealing with foreknowledge.[13]  However, foreknowledge does not mean what the objecting questions suggest.  This is so because our English word “foreknowledge does a poor job in explaining foreknowledge.”  As a result, this negatively impacts the understanding of foreknowledge.[14]

When one does a biblical survey of the biblical uses of “know” and “foreknow,” one will see that Greek has three separate words for know.[15]  In Hebrew, there is no word for foreknowledge, but there is a word for know which is ידע (Gen.22:12; cf. yāda).[16]  The first word for “know” in the Greek is epistamai, which refers to a knowledge that is reasoned out.[17]  This is a knowledge that appears at an end of an argument that eventually leads to a conclusion.[18]  There is also a second Greek word for “know,” that is οἶδα (oida; cf. Matt. 27:65), which typically refers to intuitive knowledge; and it implies what is known without the process of reasoning.[19]  The third term is ginōsko.  Feinberg points out that that ginōsko refers to experiential and/or relational knowledge.[20]  On another note, in the Hebrew Bible, there are no words for foreknowing or foreknowledge, but the New Testament Greek provides the words for foreknowing (proginōsko) and foreknowledge (prognōsin).[21]

There are many instances where the Hebrew word yāda refer to nothing other than intellectual awareness; and the same is true for the biblical usage of the Greek words.[22]  As a result, context must be taken into consideration for the OT and NT, not just the lexical meanings, if one is to figure out the meaning of “know.”  For example, in Amos 3:2, the prophet says,

You only have I known among all the families of the earth.”[23]

This verse would make no sense if it was just mere intellectual knowledge.  From context, we see that God knew them in a relational way.  The same applies to Hosea 13:4, where God warns His people to not know any god, except Yahweh.  If this was just mere intellectual knowledge, it would not make sense for God to warn them because Israel was living close, relationally to their pagan enemies.[24]  Another example of knowing can be found in Psalm 101:4 where David says,

A perverse heart shall depart from me; I will know no evil.”

Context conveys the idea of relational knowledge in Ps. 101, Hosea 13:4, and Amos 3:2, because God wants a relationship with His people—for He is a jealous God.[25]

The NT also provides examples of how the word “know” also points to relational knowledge (Matt. 7:22-23; John 10:27.  If this is mere intellectual knowledge then there are no reasons for God to say this, because God also knows intellectually those who are not His sheep.[26]  1 John 2:3 says,

By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments.”

Feinberg says,

If the two instances of ‘know’ in this verse are identical and refer merely to intellectual awareness, the first use of know is redundant.”

In other words John could have written, “By this we know Him if we keep His commandments.”[27]  The word “knowing” in the OT can also be taken as relational knowledge.

In regards to “foreknow” and “foreknowledge,” there are only seven passages in the NT that uses either a verb or a noun (Acts 2:23; 26:5; Romans 8:29; 11:2; 1 Peter 1:2, 20; 2 Peter 3:17); and only two of the seven passages clearly means knowing something intellectually in advance.[28]  Two of those seven passages can be found in Acts 26:5, where Paul says,

Since they have known about me for a long time, if they are willing to testify, that I lived as a Pharisee according to the strictest sect of our religion.”

This verse gives evidence about intellectual knowledge and personal acquaintance since it is speaking about Paul’s manner of life.[29]  Likewise 2 Peter 3:17 must also mean an awareness of information since he has forewarn them about the Lord’s coming beforehand, in order that they should not be fooled by those who think that the Lord will not return.[30]  Both these verses illustrate the notion of knowing something in advance or prior to its happening.[31]  Here is what Feinberg notes in regards to proginōsko,

Any who think proginōsko can never mean prescience in Scripture are mistaken.”

It is crucial to note that those passages mentioned earlier such as Acts 26:5 that speak of humans knowing something in advance; neither refers to divine foreknowledge or knowledge that is a priori to the events or communication of what these events will be.  Man in his fallen state does not have that type of attribute that God has.  Only God can have prescience.  Some will ask, “What about prophets?”  Prophets are not inspired.  Their messages are from God.  They are used as instruments to speak God’s predetermined messages.

The other five passages do refer to God’s foreknowledge, and a good case can be made that none of them means prior knowledge, but foreordination instead.”[32]

In 1 Peter 1:20, the root word of foreknow (προγινώσκω/ proginōsko) is used, but in this verse Peter is not speaking (not that He does not know–of course He knows) about God being mentally aware about His Son before the foundation of the world.[33]  If the emphasis is primarily prescience, one must ask what is the basis for prescience.[34]  Also one must ask, “Did God send Christ because He foresaw that He would be persecuted and die?”[35]  One must not take this verse nor with the other verses in this section (Acts 2:23; Rom. 8:29; 11:2; 1 Peter 1:2; 20) as God first consulting what He foresees Himself doing before He decrees, but rather, God foreordains.[36]  This applies to 1 Peter 1:20 and Acts 2:23 too.  In regards to 1 Peter 1:2 and Romans 8:29, it must be pointed out that salvation for God’s people is either based God’s foreordination to save them or based on what He foresaw.[37]  John Frame clarifies 1 Peter 1:2 and Romans 8:29 with this statement,

Often in the biblical languages, as in English, when the verb know has a noun rather than a fact-clause as its object, it refers to a personal relationship, not a foreknowledge of information.”[38]

Moreover, in Word Biblical Commentary, says that ὅτι οὓς προέγνω, καὶ προώρισεν (“For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined”) that προγινώσκω means more than simply that knowledge before the event, but as more of the Hebraic understanding of relational/experiential.[39]  In other words, when reading verses like Romans 8:29, it would be unbiblical to say that the Lord simply looked ahead to see who would believe; and then He chose some for salvation.[40]  God did not first consult what He foresees Himself doing before He decrees, but rather, God foreordains.  Pastor John MacArthur argues this concerning Romans 8:29,

If that were true, salvation not only would begin with man’s faith but would make God obligated to grant it.  In such a scheme, God’s initiative would be eliminated and His grace would be vitiated.”[41]

CONCLUSION

Much has been discussed regarding the words that have to do with knowledge, foreknowledge, and preordination.  I went over these terms exegetically in order to help Christians be familiar with them and how to use them in context when dealing with open theism, Arminiansim, or any view that assaults the eternal, divine decree of God.

Biblical theism is rooted in the orthodox of Scripture, which is absolute, objective, eternal, transcendent, immutable, and unified.  The Open theist, portrays a shade of orthodoxy of community, which is, relative, subjective, temporal, cultural, and mutable.[42]

To deny the biblical understanding of God’s foreknowledge and divine decree would have huge negative implications on the Gospel of Christ.  In other words, the Gospel is at stake when it comes to the openness debate.  Open theism’s denial of God’s exhaustive foreknowledge renders unsure God’s own covenant promises, jeopardizes the legitimacy of God’s justification of saints, renders uncertain His execution of Yahweh’s plan of salvation, jeopardizes the substitutionary nature of Christ’s death for sin, undermines God’s wise plan of suffering and evil in a believer’s life (Rom. 8:28), and undermines the church’s ultimate eschatological hope (unalterable plans).[43]

The Gospel of Christ according to Bruce Ware can be best summarized this way when contrasted against open theism,

What we—and the whole Protestant Christian tradition—hold in common is that in eternity past, God knew the future sin of humankind, he made a deliberate and decisive choice to save sinners, and he formulated then a definitive and fixed plan by which he would succeed in bringing about their future, certain salvation.  According to this saving purpose and plan, devised and fixed in eternity past, God would send his Son to die in the place of sinners to pay the penalties of their sin, and he offers freely the gift of justification and eternal life through faith alone in Christ alone.”[44]

Here is what Pastor John MacArthur conveys about the negative implications of open theism,

True evangelicals will never relinquish those truths. And those who cannot stomach God the way He has revealed Himself have no right to the label ‘evangelical.’ These are issues worth fighting for, as both church history and Scripture plainly prove. The rise of open theism is a grave threat to the cause of the true gospel. May God raise up a new generation of evangelical warriors with the courage and conviction to contend for the truth of substitutionary atonement.”[45]

Please see the prior installments to this series:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Bibliography

Boice, James Montgomery.  Ephesians: An Expositional Commentary. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Publishing Group, 1997.

Boyd, Gregory A., Hunt, David, Craig, William Lane, and Helm, Paul.  Divine Foreknowledge: Four Views. Downers Grove, Ill.:     InterVarsity Press, 2001.

Boyd, Gregory A. “Two Ancient (and Modern) Motivations for Ascribing Exhaustively Definite Foreknowledge to God: A Historic Overview and Critical Assessment.” Religious Studies 46, no. 1 (March 1, 2010): 41-59. ATLA Religion Database with ATLASerials, EBSCOhost (accessed December 1, 2010).

Chafer, Lewis Sperry.  “Biblical Theism: Divine Decrees.” Bibliotheca Sacra 96, no. 382 (April 1, 1939): 138-163. ATLA Religion Database with ATLASerials, EBSCOhost (accessed December 1, 2010).

Dunn, James D. G. Word Biblical Commentary: Romans. Word Biblical Commentary, 38A-38B. Waco, Tex: Word Books, 1988.

Feinberg, John S. No One Like Him: The Doctrine of God.  Foundations of Evangelical Theology. Wheaton, Ill.: Crossway Books, 2001.

Frame, John M. No Other God: A Response to Open Theism. Phillipsburg, N.J.: P&R, 2001.

Frame, John M.  The Doctrine of God.  Phillipsburg, N.J.: P. and R. Publishing, 2002.

Grudem, Wayne A. 1994. Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine. Leicester, England: Inter-Varsity Press.

MacArthur, John.  “Open Theism’s Attack.”  The Master’s Seminary Journal 12/1 (Spring 2001): 3-13.

MacArthur, John.  Romans 1-8. Chicago: Moody Press, 1991.

Morey, Robert A. The Trinity: Evidence and Issues. Grand Rapids, Mich.: World Pub, 1996.

Myers, A.C. The Eerdmans Bible Dictionary. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans, 1987.

Pettegrew, Larry D.  “Is There Knowledge in the Most High?’ (Psalm 73).” The Master’s Seminary Journal 12/2 (Fall 2001): 133-48.

Pinnock, Clark H. Most Moved Mover: A Theology of God’s Openness. Didsbury lectures, 2000. Carlisle, Cumbria, UK: Paternoster Press, 2001.

Pinnock, Clark H., Rice, Richard, Sanders, John, Hasker, William, and Basinger, David.   The Openness of God: A Biblical Challenge to the Traditional Understanding of God. Downers Grove, Ill: InterVarsity Press, 1994.

Piper, John, Justin Taylor, and Paul Kjoss Helseth.  Beyond the Bounds: Open Theism and the Undermining of Biblical Christianity. Wheaton, Ill.: Crossway Books, 2003.

Prokopenko, Alex.  “The Relationship Between the Divine Decree and the Human Will in Exodus 1-14.” Th.M. Theses., The Master’s Seminary, 2007.

Rosscup, James E.  “Prayer Relating to Prophecy in Daniel 9.”  Master’s Seminary Journal 3, no. 1 (Spring 1992): 47–71.

Sanders, John.  The God Who Risks: A Theology of Providence. Downers Grove, Ill.:  InterVarsity Press, 1998.

Ware, Bruce A. God’s Lesser Glory: The Diminished God of Open Theism. Wheaton, Ill.: Crossway Books, 2000.


[1] Paul Helm and others, eds.  “Classical Calvinist Doctrine of God,” Persepctives on the Doctrine of God, 14.

[2] John M. Frame, No Other God: A Response to Open Theism, 103.

[3] Wayne A. Grudem, Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine, 332.

[4]  Lewis Sperry Johnson, “Biblical Theism: Divine Decrees,” Bibliotheca Sacra 96, no. 382 (April 1, 1939): 138-163. ATLA Religion Database with ATLASerials, EBSCOhost (accessed December 1, 2010), 144.

[5] Wayne A. Grudem, Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine, 332.

[6] All Scripture is quoted from the New American Standard Bible.

[7] Wayne A. Grudem, Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine, 334.

[8] Ibid, 334.

[9] James E. Rosscup, “Prayer Relating to Prophecy in Daniel 9.”  Master’s Seminary Journal 3, no. 1 (Spring 1992): 47–71.

[10] Wayne A. Grudem, Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine, 676.

[11] Ibid, 679.

[12] James Montgomery Boice, Ephesians: An Expositional Commentary (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Publishing Group, 1997), 16.

[13] John S. Feinberg, No One Like Him: The Doctrine of God (Wheaton, Ill.: Crossway Books, 2001), 519.

[14] John S. Feinberg, No One Like Him: The Doctrine of God, 519.

[15] Ibid, 519.

[16] Ibid, 519.

[17] Ibid, 519.

[18] Ibid, 520.

[19] Ibid, 520.

[20] Ibid, 520.

[21] Ibid, 520.

[22] Ibid, 520.

[23] Ibid, 520.

[24] Ibid, 520.

[25] Ibid, 520.

[26] Ibid, 520.

[27] Ibid, 521.

[28] Ibid, 522.

[29] Ibid, 522.

[30] Ibid, 522.

[31] Ibid, 522.

[32] Ibid, 522.

[33] Ibid, 523.

[34] Ibid, 523.

[35] Ibid, 523.

[36] Ibid, 523.

[37] Ibid, 522.

[38] John M. Frame, The Doctrine of God (Phillipsburg, N.J.: P. and R. Publishing, 2002), 72.

[39]  Dunn, James D. G. Dunn, Word Biblical Commentary: Romans. Word Biblical Commentary, 38A-38B (Waco, Tex: Word Books, 1988), 482.

[40] John MacArthur, Romans 1-8 (Chicago: Moody Press, 1991), 495.

[41]  Ibid, 495.

[42] Morey, Robert A. Morey, The Trinity: Evidence and Issues (Grand Rapids, Mich.: World Pub, 1996), 41.

[43] Bruce A. Ware and others, eds.  “What is at Stake in the Openess Debate,” Beyond the Bounds: Open Theism and the Undermining of Biblical Christianity. Wheaton, Ill.: Crossway Books, 2003.

[44]  Ibid, 309-310.

[45] John MacArthur, “Open Theism’s Attack.”  The Master’s Seminary Journal, 12, no. 1 (Spring 2001), 13.

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From the New Testament,

Mark 4:11-12, “And He was saying to them, “To you has been given the mystery of the kingdom of God; but those who are outside get everything in parables, 12in order that while seeing, they may see and not perceive; and while hearing, they may hear and not understand lest they return and be forgiven.”

John 1:12-13, “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, 13who were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.”

John 6:44, “No one can come to Me, unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day.”

John 6:65, “And He was saying, “For this reason I have said to you, that no one can come to Me, unless it has been granted him from the Father.”

Acts 16:14, “And a certain woman named Lydia, from the city of Thyatira, a seller of purple fabrics, a worshiper of God, was listening; and the Lord opened her heart to respond to the things spoken by Paul.”

Romans 9:18, “So then He has mercy on whom He desires, and He hardens whom He desires.”

Romans 11:8, “just as it is written, ‘God gave them a spirit of stupor, eyes to see not and ears to hear not, down to this very day.'”

Romans 12:3, “For through the grace given to me I say to every man among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith.”

2 Thessalonians 2:11, “And for this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they might believe what is false.”

1 Peter 1:3, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”

From the Old Testament,

Genesis 45:8, “Now, therefore, it was not you who sent me here, but God; and He has made me a father to Pharaoh and lord of all his household and ruler over all the land of Egypt

Exodus 4:21, “And the Lord said to Moses, ‘When you go back to Egypt see that you perform before Pharaoh all the wonders which I have put in your power; but I will harden his heart so that he will not let the people go.”

Exodus 14:17, “And as for Me, behold, I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians so that they will go in after them; and I will be honored through Pharaoh and all his army, through his chariots and his horsemen.”

Deuteronomy 2:30, “But Sihon king of Heshbon was not willing for us to pass through his land; for the Lord your God hardened his spirit and made his heart obstinate, in order to deliver him into your hand, as he is today.”

Deuteronomy 29:4, “Yet to this day the Lord has not given you a heart to know, nor eyes to see, nor ears to hear.”

1 Samuel. 10:9, “Then it happened when he turned his back to leave Samuel, God changed his heart; and all those signs came about on that day.”

2 Chronicles 25:20, “But Amaziah would not listen, for it was from God, that He might deliver them into the hand of Joash because they had sought the gods of Edom.”

Jeremiah 10:23, “I know, O Lord, that a man’s way is not in himself; nor is it in a man who walks to direct his steps.”

Jeremiah 24:7, “‘And I will give them a heart to know Me, for I am the Lord; and they will be My people, and I will be their God, for they will return to Me with their whole heart.”

Psalm 105:24-25, “And He caused His people to be very fruitful, and made them stronger than their adversaries. 25He turned their heart to hate His people, to deal craftily with His servants.

Proverbs 16:9, “The mind of man plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.

Proverbs 21:1, “The king’s heart is like channels of water in the hand of the Lord. He turns it wherever He wishes.”

Isaiah 44:28, “It is I who says of Cyrus, ‘He is My shepherd! and he will perform all My desire.’ And he declares of Jerusalem, ‘She will be built,’ and of the temple, ‘Your foundation will be laid.'”

 

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