Paul's Passing Thoughts

Why Calvinists Have No Understanding

Posted in Uncategorized by pptmoderator on February 7, 2015

PPT HandleOriginally published January 10, 2013

Think “colabor.” And by the way, that’s a biblical word. It should be understood that salvation is completely of the Lord. In our day, it’s just best to leave it at that though some finer points could be argued. Election is what it is, but I think it not a good idea to draw logical conclusions that lead to hardcore determinism. The apostle Paul evangelized like it depended on us to some point—that’s irrefutable. At any rate, if God didn’t make a way for reconciliation—there wouldn’t be any. So, should He get all the glory? Absolutely. Does that mean we have no role at all? I doubt it.

But one thing is clear: the Christian life is a colaboring with God, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Our role is learn and do. That’s what a “disciple” is. And one of the doings, perhaps the most important one, is….THINKING.

Throughout the Bible, the colaboring of God and the Christian is seen. Unlike salvation and justification, the Christian life (sanctification) is full of conditions, promises, commands, encouragement, warnings, and instruction. If you take note in your daily Bible reading, you will see this colaboring concept throughout. Perhaps the most profound is 2Timothy 2:7. Here is what the apostle Paul said to Timothy:

Think over what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything.

The Lord will give us understanding, BUT, we have to THINK. No thinking—no understanding. To say that Christians in our day believe that God will give us understanding without thinking is quite the understatement.

Clearly, in Reformed circles, the elders think for the parishioners, and the elders get their information from a bunch of Calvinistic dead people, also known as “orthodoxy.” Even when Calvinists do pick-up their own Bibles to read they are anticipating that God will show them “pictures of Jesus” in every verse. Look, those are John Piper’s very words, not mine. Bible reading in Reformed circles has become always been like watching TV; you just watch and let your brain chemicals to the rest. As you read, Jesus will show Himself and whatever Jesus shows you will be imputed to your life because Jesus came to live for our sanctification and die for our justification. The death and resurrection was for our justification, but His life prior to the cross was for our sanctification.

Also implicit in Paul’s charge to Timothy is the fact that Paul expected people to verify for themselves what he taught. Let me show you a picture since we like them so much: When Susan and I are discussing Reformed issues with people while enjoying the perplexity on their faces as we accuse the big names of heresy, this question often follows: “So, who do you follow?” Initially, Susan and I were too shocked at the response to even answer. The question is, at times, also followed by, “You can’t say that about him—he has a lot of followers.”

Not sure I can add to that point. Have a wonderful colaboring day in Christ.


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