Disclaimer: About This Blog

THIS BLOG IS: my personal journey of how I am rethinking some of my spiritual beliefs.
THIS BLOG IS NOT: intended to point fingers at people who I think are wrong.
I do not believe the final judgement will be based on how many correct answers we get on a theology exam. I believe many people throughout history have had genuine relationships with our Lord and Saviour Jesus, despite holding questionable beliefs and practices. I make no claim to having it all figured out or being your judge. If we end up disagreeing over these topics I pray we can find a way to demonstrate grace.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Spurgeon on Calvinism

"Every heresy, if brought to the touchstone, will discover itself here. I have my own private opinion that there is no such thing as preaching Christ and Him crucified, unless we preach what nowadays is called Calvinism. It is a nickname to call it Calvinism; Calvinism is the gospel, and nothing else. I do not believe we can preach the gospel, if we do not preach justification by faith, without works; nor unless we preach the sovereignty of God in His dispensation of grace; nor unless we exalt the electing, unchangeable, eternal, immutable, conquering love of Jehovah; nor do I think we can preach the gospel, unless we base it upon the special and particular redemption of His elect and chosen people which Christ wrought out upon the cross; nor can I comprehend a gospel which lets saints fall away after they are called, and suffers the children of God to be burned in the fires of damnation after having once believed in Jesus. Such a gospel I abhor."

"Calvinism is the gospel" ????

When Jesus preached the good news of the kingdom of God was he preaching Calvinism?

Is there any evidence that the 5 points of Calvinism where widely accepted in Christianity before the days of John Calvin? I suspect not. The reason it is called Calvinism likely has something to do with John Calvin.

I suspect Calvinism is not the gospel, or the 5 points of Calvinism would be a central message of our scriptures.

Also, if Calvinism is the gospel, it is not good news for all people. Calvinism can only be good news for the elect. For those whom God chooses to punish, it's really bad news.

Luke 2:10-11 (NIV)
But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.
Mark 16:15 (NIV)
He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.
Matthew 24:14 (NIV)
And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.


The Puritan said...

Thank you Arminians. It's good to know there are *some* people around who are more just and charitable than God. Well done.

Jonathan said...

Hi Puritan, thanks for stopping by. I'm not certain what you are saying... I'm guessing a hint of sarcasm... I'm not certain one must be either a Calvinist or an Arminian tho. Clarification would be appreciated if you're wanting a discussion. Sorry if I've misread your comment.

God bless!

The Puritan said...

>When Jesus preached the good news of the kingdom of God was he preaching Calvinism?

This is a specious question. Calvinists (Reformed Christians) derive doctrine from the Word of God, not man. The break from Rome was over the authority of Scripture vs. the authority of man. Protestants hold to the former.

If you want to claim Calvinism is not Scriptural then you are back to the old ground of proving your case by Scripture. Opponents of Calvinism have never been successful on that ground.

The Puritan said...

>Also, if Calvinism is the gospel, it is not good news for all people. Calvinism can only be good news for the elect. For those whom God chooses to punish, it's really bad news.

Heb 4:1 Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it.
Heb 4:2 For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.

You write as if there are people who *want* to believe the Gospel, yet God just won't allow it because they are predestined to hellfire, so, too bad.

Maybe they consider God to be not just and charitable enough for them to want to hang out with Him? You know, humans who put God in the dock and find Him wanting... They are the ones who want to be in hell. There will be no one in hell who doesn't want to be there. Sound perverse? Sound irrational? Sin is perverse and irrational to its core. The devil himself thinks he can *defeat God.* Perverse.

Consider them shells. Zombies. Don't allow them to bring you to hell with them. They attempt it many ways, one appealing to your 'humanity' and 'goodness' and getting you to judge God by your 'righteous' standards.

Jonathan said...

Puritan, thanks for more clarification on your position. I understand many Christians share your position, I just don't see Calvinism fitting with all Scripture as I listed in my other post here:

Even the Heb 4:1-2 passage you listed doesn't fit with Perseverance of the saints to me. It mentions the possibility of being able to 'come short of' what was promised them.

I believe God wants all His children to live in a restored relationship with Him. But some would rather live outside that relationship and do things their own way. The choice is up to us. I don't think 5 point Calvinists view it this way... they see the choice being up to God.

God bless