Are you a Calvinist? The problem with man-made labels

by Grant Swart

It is with predictable regularity that Bible believing Christians are confronted with the question: “Are you a Calvinist?” More often than not, the question is posed rather as an accusatory punch than as a genuine inquiry.  Those who pose the question have generally made up their minds beforehand, what the qualifications for a Calvinist ought to be and accordingly to label the Bible believer as a Calvinist.

After just a few short years, those who have upheld Sola Scriptura, become accustomed to (and frankly quite bored by) being labelled Calvinists, based on the fact that they have steadfastly opposed the authority of man-centered teaching by holding to the sole authority of Scripture and the Sovereignty of God. Continue reading

POLL: Where do you stand on the issue of infant baptism?

Grant Swart

Infant baptism represents yet another controversial subject among many of those who regard themselves as being steadfastly of the Christian faith. It has continued to be divisive and a cause of much confusion ever since it started developing as a Christian sacrament over the first few hundred years of church history.

Infant baptism is sometimes referred to as, or can be confused with, a christening ceremony in which the baby is named and welcomed into the congregation. In certain instances the ceremonies are private and held between family members and close friends, but often it involves entire congregations and can be a very public affair. Christenings and infant baptisms generally require the infant to be sprinkled with water or to be bodily immersed in water. Neither of these are the same as the non-sacramental Continue reading

Open Letter to C. Peter Wagner of NAR

A very timely letter !!

Prof. Johan Malan, Mossel Bay, South Africa (2011.08.24)

(The original version of this article may be read on Sandy Simpson’s website: http://www.deceptioninthechurch.com/page2.html )

Dear Peter

I address this Open Letter to you in response to your article, The New Apostolic Reformation: an Update (Aug. 19, 2011).

Evangelical Christians everywhere, but particularly also here in South Africa, have to take issue with you for deceptively presenting the NAR as a movement which subscribes to “all the standard classic statements of Christian doctrine”, for creating false expectations of introducing God’s kingdom on earth by, among others, using an unbiblical form of strategic spiritual warfare, for completely negating biblical prophecies on the end-time, and also for associating a Christian reformation with the African Independent Church Movement.

I will briefly substantiate these four objections:

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What Theology is This?

Pastor Steven J. Cole
Flagstaff, Arizona

Dave Hunt’s Misrepresentation of God and Calvinism

As I read Dave Hunt’s latest book, What Love is This? subtitled, “Calvinism’s Misrepresentation of God,” I felt both profound sadness and righteous anger. I was sad because many unsuspecting and uneducated Christians will believe that Hunt is accurate and thereby miss out on one of the richest spiritual gold mines available, namely, the life and writings of John Calvin and his heirs in the faith. I was angry because Hunt deliberately misrepresents and slanders both Calvin and Calvinism, and in the process grossly misrepresents God Himself. I know that his misrepresentation is deliberate because many Calvinists, including myself, wrote repeatedly to Hunt as the book was being written, pointing out his errors and asking him to stop misrepresenting what we believe. But sadly, he stubbornly ignored our corrections and went full steam ahead.

The resulting book is a first magnitude theological and spiritual disaster. If you rely on the supermarket tabloids as your reliable source of news, you’ll probably find Hunt satisfying for your theology. It will give you the same sort of sensational slander as the tabloids, only it is presented as if it were biblically and historically based. But if you want to grow in your knowledge of the living God, I advise you to leave this tabloid theology on the shelf.

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Not a Kingdom Now

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Why would someone hate the word Exegesis? part 3

John MacArthur – Grace to You

How to Study Your Bible

Psalms 1:1-2; Deuteronomy 29:29; 1 Corinthians 8:1

Introduction

Truly the Bible is magnificent. Early twentieth-century evangelist Billy Sunday pictured the Bible like a majestic palace. He wrote,

I entered through the portico of Genesis and walked down through the Old Testament’s art gallery, where I saw the portraits of Joseph, Jacob, Daniel, Moses, Isaiah, Solomon and David hanging on the wall; I entered the music room of the Psalms and the Spirit of God struck the keyboard of my nature until it seemed to me that every reed and pipe in God’s great organ of nature responded to the harp of David, and the charm of King Solomon in his moods.

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Why would someone hate the word Exegesis? part 1

Someone said : I am really beginning to hate the word exegesis. What’s wrong with the word summary? It’s simple, easy to understand!

It made me think. Why would the word Exegesis be an issue for someone if they are christian? If one is a believer I believe it is important to understand the meaning of Exegesis before we study the Word of God. there is a big difference between the word summary and the word exegesis. Should Bible teachers now change using the word exegesis to summary?

Summary = Presenting the substance in a condensed form; concise: a summary review.

Exegesis = This is a Latin term relating to correct Biblical understanding. It means literally ‘to lead out’. In the context of studying the Bible it means to get out of the text what the text is saying. This may include a number of things to aid the process such as reading the context in the chapter, in the particular book as a whole eg. Jeremiah or Matthew and even where it fits within the whole Bible. It may also include cultural awareness, the timing of the writing, and identifying the author and even the target audience.

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Christian Duty in a Pagan Culture

John MacArthur – Grace to You

In an increasingly secular and ungodly culture, many Christians wonder about their role and duty. Should we lobby for rights that have traditionally belonged to us? Should we make every effort to implement a Christian agenda? Should we completely reform the government? The Bible speaks clearly about our duty, and it’s all about governing our character.

Over a quarter of a century ago the late apologist and Christian thinker Francis Schaeffer asked the question, “How should we then live?” in his landmark book of the same title. The relevance of that question has not changed. If anything, it has only become more urgent for believers at the dawn of a new century and millennium.

Society has taken a nosedive into greater and greater evil, debauchery, violence, and corruption, and outside the church, the landscape seems filled with “modern barbarians.” The temptation is strong for believers to jump into the cultural fray as self-righteous social/political reformers and condescending moralizers. All the while those self-styled Christian activists forget or ignore their true mission in the world and completely miss the answer to Schaeffer’s question–an answer that God’s Word spells out quite clearly.

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Who’s to Blame

John MacArthur – Grace to you

Luke 19:10, John 1:29, Acts 2:23, John 10:17-18

An obscure Hindu holy man named Rao flirted with worldwide fame in 1966. An eccentric, pompous mystic, Rao became convinced he could walk on water. He was so confident in his own spiritual power that he announced he would perform the feat before a live audience-tickets sold for a hundred dollars apiece. Bombay’s elite turned out en masse to behold the spectacle.

The event was held in a large garden with a deep pool. More than six hundred of Rao’s faithful, along with curiosity seekers, assembled to watch. The white-bearded yogi appeared in flowing robes and stepped confidently to the edge of the pool. He paused to pray silently. A reverent hush fell on the crowd. Rao opened his eyes, looked heavenward and boldly stepped forward.

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