I’ve been looking at some of the more strongly Calvinist apologists. Maybe you’d term it as that, maybe not. Anyway, a couple things have irked me a bit.
One is the idea that we should evangelize ‘just because God likes it’- that is how that adds up. That does not make sense to me in my understanding of how God is.
It has other things wrong with it, one of which is separating you from the culture in the wrong way: in ability to care about that soul properly and in communicating with this generation. Although if you are strong enough in the Word and with extra measure of humility, you might be all right. The Word will make up for you what you lack, in conviction that the person can be saved, and the humility will keep you out of the way. I’m open to you telling me I’m wrong on this, if you can support your reasons.
The other thing-which I have seen now on two blogs with very respectable writing intellects is “It’s a mystery, we probably will never know, God hasn’t made it possible to know” or something similar.
Isn’t it easier to say, I believe Calvinism, but I can’t explain or make sense of the two parts…? To admit there is a weakness in the structure of the argument in harmonizing the scriptures.
But you know what? Like some of these …and unlike some others…. I was forged on this anvil of Reformed faith. This approach to Christianity is where I cut my Christian baby teeth, and I know that part of it is to be hard-nosed and die-hard. Burn me, but I will not recant!
I love them, I do. I appreciate that this was what gives me some of the qualities I have as a believer. You think I have fared well in Pentecostal churches with this: “but the Bible, and the original language says” and all the other ways and means of the Presbyterians in hammering out the issues and answers? It just ruins that emotional good feeling they were all getting..you know?
And I didn’t even enjoy that. That is why I will say I don’t much like to get into the debate. I liike issues, but intra-scripture, intraChristian? Nothing is harder on you.
But it depends…because you can get together with people that are as excited about God and getting insights as you are, and that can just fly! You can go a long ways on the stretch between those times, because they are wonderfully special. I know some Christians know what I’m saying. The iron sharpeneth iron thing.
But there is a stiffness in some of these doctrinal stands that has a particularly unrelenting quality to it. There isn’t a strong enough scriptural cohesion to them to warrant that.
“21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.”
There is a dynamic there, and it involves us.
“13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?
15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! ”
“in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.”
I think I would have to ask, what is the situation with depravity? Is it that men are marred, or they are changed intrinsically from the image of God? Are they changed from the image of God through sin, so that they have no ability to chose and to respond? Or are they marred, so that they are doomed, in outcome, unless they come to Christ for remedy, but with preserved ability to choose? Thereby made acceptable to live forever in the presence of a Holy God.
In Revelation those who are with Christ are the called, chosen, faithful. Isn’t the ability for all three resident within Christ? Isn’t that why He came, to impart that?
“8 Then saith he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy.
9 Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage.
10 So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests.
11 And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment:
12 And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless.
13 Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness, there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
14 For many are called, but few are chosen. ”
The chosen are those who respond, those who avail themselves. It was made ready for all. Do we diminish the sovreignty of God when we declare that the choosing of the man is within Christ? That the calling is unto Christ? That the worthiness and the faithfulness is from Christ?