I’m so grateful that many of you have pitched in (but haven’t posted yet), and that a number of other have dropped my private notes of apology (too busy)!
I am finding that part of the problem with most Free Grace folks who are against Calvinism is that they simply have not read the original documents. There is much in Calvinism that I love, and many things that I find to be pretty useless. We all know that Calvinism is a theoLOGICAL system which largely makes sense if Scripture is not used as the standard of evaluation. Do not miss the point– Calvinism is HIGHLY scriptural; yet, it is also, highly theological. In other words, this is how Calvinists put it together.
Yet, one point is often denied in certain Free Grace circles; there is no such thing as Consistent Calvinism. There is simply a broad spectrum of viewpoints within the largely circle. We see this same reality with Arminians, Dispensationalists, Amillenialists, Preterests, denominations, and Free Grace advocates. Sorry, that’s just the truth. When we preach against “Calvinism” without defining terms, we are in the worst of straw-man worlds. Sadly, we are attacking friends and patrons. I personally have felt the same sense of being ostracized for not taking a stance against Calvinsim.
All Free Grace Advocates (faith alone in Christ alone) OWE a debt of gratitude to the Reformation for the recover of Grace being returned to the forefront of conversation and focus. However, it doesn’t mean that forms and aspects of Calvinism aren’t mistaken (they are)!
Here is THE FLAW in DORT, as I study through it:
Dort assumes that humans are still depraved after regeneration. In other words, they apply the same standards to a ‘saved’ person as they do a ‘lost’ person. Practically, this means that they not only have the individual needing to be elected unto salvation, but elected unto sanctification (spiritual growth).
There is nothing inherently required in the ‘5 points’ or in Scripture concerning growth. The very reason a believer can be accountable is that he is indeed a ‘new creation’ in Christ. There is a new game in play where God can reward or chasten based on our works (and attitude, faith, doubt, etc.). Saying that on is chosen to belong to Christ is one thing, saying one is chosen to produce good works (increasing) is quite another.
We are certainly called to good works as believers (read Titus), and God has set the kind of good works in place by His own will (see Ephesians 2:10); but to say God is imposing His will on us to make us obey is actually irrational and indefensible.
Before Christ = Depraved
After Christ = NOT Depraved
I’m catching a flight…so I’ll prove this later!
What do you think? Where does this go?
Grace and peace,