Let's be reasonable with one another, shall we?

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Chasing Wind

Did you ever try to catch the wind?

It is there. You can tell it is there, because you see it's result: the leaves on the tree move; the trash in the inner city tumbles down the sidewalk; your hair gets mussed up. But you can't catch it.

Sometimes in life the things that attract us are like the wind. They seem so powerful, so exciting. We want to hold them in our hand and experience them and understand them... but they are like wind - we can't have them; we can't hold them; we can't harness them.

If we want to something solid to hold onto, we need to look for things other than wind: how about the affection of a son or daughter? What about a good friend who is always there for you? God, who never changes, is a great refuge from the frustration of chasing wind.

Chasing wind is something that I think we, as people, are naturally prone to do... but it is really unsatisfying... and quite exhausting.

(Something I wrote mainly for those not-so-heavenly minded... like myself sometimes)

Friday, July 25, 2008

Some Thoughts on the Doctrines of Grace vs. Baptist Calvinism

OK, below is a comment exchange between myself and Colin Maxwell back in 2007. He ask me a question and then I answer him. I wonder if anyone (including, of course, Colin) has any thoughts on what I say here. I am really curious as to whether or not any of you have noticed anything similar or made this observation ... or is it just in my head?

First, I said this to an local anonymous commenter that was sniping at me for going to a "Calvinist" church:
Rose said:
The church I go to is "Calvinist" in the sense that most everyone believes in ETERNAL SECURITY and that SALVATION IS A GIFT NOT OF WORKS. From what I understand ... in the last 100 or so years around these parts, that was what "Calvinist" really meant to people. A majority in our church would not recognize the newer "Doctrines of Grace" Calvinism.

Colin Maxwell said:
Genuinely and lovingly interested in "the newer "Doctrines of Grace" Calvinism". How old/young are these? In your own time.
By goodnightsafehome at 3/7/2007

Rose said:
I do have a basis for saying "newer" and here it is... It might be different in Ireland, but around these parts, in the GARBC circles ... (General Association of Regular Baptist Churches) and other Baptist circles, there has been a certain cap on Calvinistic thought. That is changing... I did not mean to say that the "d.o.g." were newer altogether ... I know better than that... but "newer" in influence around these parts and in these circles.

Here is a good example of the naiveté about "Calvinism" by Dr. Ron Comfort:
"When I was a college student, I was naive enough to think that everybody was either an Arminian ora Calvinist, and the determining factor was whether or not they accepted the security of the believer.When somebody would come to you and say, “Are you a Calvinist?,” if you believed in the security ofthe believer, you would say, “Yes, I’m a Calvinist.” Later on as I got to studying more about Calvinism,I realized that there was more involved in Calvinism than the security of the believer.

I exerpted that from an article here.

I know people, who, while not that "green" about it, they just won't carry the thoughts out to the extremes that the "d.o.g." do. They will say they believe in the doctrine of "Total Depravity" but they don't interpret this as "Inability". TD just means to them that man has nothing good to offer to God ... he is tainted by sin. It doesn't mean that He is not able to believe something that God has shown through the testimony of the HS. These same "Calvinists" will not say that Christ did not die for all, but that His death was not "efficacious" for all. They don't believe in "regeneration preceding faith" or that "faith is a gift." They don't recognize "perseverence of the saints" as the "d.o.g." spells it out, but they would simply present it as resembling "Eternal Security" or (as now scourged by MacArthur Calvinists) "OSAS."

They will tell you that the way they were taught it at BBC or FaithBBC was not what is being spelled out in the "d.o.g."Very simple.

While I might agree with someone who says that the "d.o.g." is just carrying out TULIP in its totality to its logical conclusions ....there it is.

"Calvinism" in the Midwest of the US was not the same as the "doctrines of grace" that we now see in the Midwest of the US. There never used to be much of a "Reformed Baptist" church in existence either. That would have been thought to be a contradiction of terms.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Never Too Old To Learn

I took up a new hobby this summer.

It is scary sometimes. I am getting better all the time, but I still don't like going up and down the driveway.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

A Tribute to Liver and Onions

In February of 2007, I discovered the Liver and Onions blog. I posted about it then.
Wow, I remember I was so surprised at all the comments I got in response to my recognizing such a blog and linking to it. I had an local anonymous commenter sniping at me about belonging to a "Calvinist" church and saying that I was a Calvinist (imagine that!!!!) I ended the post with a long comment to Colin Maxwell which he never responded to. Hmmmm.... maybe I will just have to make a post out of that.

Anyways, it became clear right away that the Liver and Onions blog was a hotbed of controversy. Some of my readers pointed out some things that they thought were less-than-loving over there. I kept reading. I came to really appreciate TJP's posts. His humor really cracked me up. I think I sort of "got" him. He is an edgy fellow. My favorite thing about interacting with him in his comments was that for a time he would say goodbye with a lil' quip like this: "Well, carry on in free grace and don't let the doldrums of determinism get you down." He came up with several more employments of alliteration that would just cause me to chuckle all day when I read them.

ANYWAY: TJP has removed the L&O blog. I will miss him! I emailed him and asked him about it and he said he just doesn't have enough time right now and he was a little less than pleased with Google. He also told me in an email that he may get back to blogging sometime around the end of this year. We can only hope!!!! [;~) for my Calvinist readers]

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Saved from what?

10 For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. 11 And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation. (Romans 5)
What is the "saved" that Paul is speaking of in verse 10? Saved from what?

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

...we have gained access by faith into this grace?

1Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. (Romans 5)
This makes sense to me - but to those who say that the grace of God first comes upon a person, giving them new life and then gifting them with faith - I wonder what they do with a verse like this? Was Paul teaching MERITED GRACE? Was Paul saying that these people merited the grace of God because they had faith? Well, if we view faith as meritorious, I can see how that charge could be made against Paul - as I read yesterday where it is made against non-Calvinists. However, Paul seems to view faith as a non-meritorious tunnel through which God choses to bestow grace, just as he explain in Ephesians:
8For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9not by works, so that no one can boast. (Ephesians 2)


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