Christmas and the gift of election

bethlehem-star

Every child of God is the object of eternal love without beginning and without end. This is one of the fat things full of marrow. Is it so, that I, a believer in Jesus, unworthy as I am, am the object of the eternal love of God? What transport lies in that thought! Long before the Lord began to create the world, he had thought of me. Long ere Adam fell or Christ was born, and the angels sung their first choral over Bethlehem’s miracle, the eye and the heart of God were towards his elect people. He never began to love them, they were always “a people near unto him.” Is it not so written, “I have loved thee with an everlasting love, therefore, with lovingkindness have I drawn thee”? Some kick at the doctrine of election, but they are ill advised, since they labour to overturn one of the noblest dishes of the feast; they would dam up one of the coolest streams that flow from Lebanon; they would cover over with rubbish one of the richest veins of golden ore that make rich the people of God. Continue reading

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Hyper-Calvinism: the perennial misnomer

GRANT SWART

In response to those who often refer to a group of people mistakenly labeled “hyper”-Calvinists, I felt it imperative to outline a few important distinctions between true Calvinist doctrine and what is referred to as “hyper”-Calvinism. If the 17 points I have listed below are those which supposedly distinguish and constitute “hyper”-Calvinism, then by that very implication, those points cannot also be what Calvinists believe. If those are the points which allegedly separate “hyper”-Calvinists from Calvinists, then those points cannot be ascribed to both sides, for then they would not be distinguishing points.

Nowhere in Calvin’s theology did he teach any of the 17 points which I list toward the end of this article, yet these points are perennially ascribed to those who agree with the doctrines of Grace. I might remind the reader here that TULIP was not Calvin’s invention, but was an acronym for the pronouncements of the Synod of Dort (1618) tasked with defending biblical doctrine, not Calvinism per se, against obvious destructive heresies of the time. Even so, it is clear that, when the doctrines as laid out in the five points of Calvinism or TULIP are understood, none of the distinguishing 17 points as I have listed below can be ascribed to TULIP. It is quite clear therefore that the term “hyper”-Calvinism is a misnomer and has no foundation in or relation to true Calvinism.

“Hyper”-Calvinism is a term which has been brandished as a whimsical weapon by those who Continue reading

Spurgeon – Devotional

Charles Haddon Spurgeon – Devotionals

Morning

“I have chosen you out of the world.”
– Joh_15:19

Here is distinguishing grace and discriminating regard; for some are made the special objects of divine affection. Do not be afraid to dwell upon this high doctrine of election. When your mind is most heavy and depressed, you will find it to be a bottle of richest cordial.

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Rejecting Synergism and Returning to Monergism


by Bob DeWaay

Recovering Reformation Theology

”For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8, 9)

A key idea in the contemporary evangelical movement is that revival can be engineered. The Purpose Driven Web site says, “Peter Drucker called him [Warren] ‘the inventor of perpetual revival’ and Forbes magazine has written, ‘If Warren’s church was a business it would be compared with Dell, Google or Starbucks.’”1 The Purpose Driven movement can cite this business management guru approvingly only because they have a faulty theology of human ability. For example, Rick Warren says, “It is my deep conviction that anybody can be won to Christ if you discover the key to his or her heart. . . . It may take some time to identify it. But the most likely place to start is with the person’s felt needs.”2 If this were true one could use modern marketing principles to sell people on their need for Christian religion and convince them to convert in order to find satisfaction of their felt needs. But it is not true.

Furthermore, it might surprise many people that this idea is not new. Charles Finney first proposed it one hundred fifty years ago. Finney wrote, “A revival is not a miracle according to another definition of the term ‘miracle’ — something above the powers of nature. There is nothing in religion beyond the ordinary powers of nature. It consists entirely in the right exercise of the powers of nature. It is just that, and nothing else.”3 Finney wrote more: “A revival is not a miracle, nor dependent on a miracle, in any sense. It is a purely philosophical result of the right use of the constituted means — as much so as any other effect produced by the application of means.”4 Finney’s position that there is some innate power in man that can be motivated by some discoverable process makes an engineered revival plausible.

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