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Archive for the ‘Calvinism’ Category

The Trial, Burning and Murder of Michael Servetus by John Calvin

Posted on: November 26th, 2010 by Matt 1 Comment

Introduction

This article will discuss the historical events and people which surround the trial of Michael Servetus. Michael Servetus to some is a hero, a martyr, while to others he is a heretic. The trial of Servetus is frequently used by those who dislike Calvinism or Calvin to discredit him, while at the same time Calvin’s supporters often tend to downplay this event. This article will endeavor to be as unbiased as possible when dealing these historical events. Some of the sources used may have their own built in biases, but enough sources will be used from different viewpoints to hopefully mitigate these biases. Since this historical event and topic seems to be often an inflammatory one, many sources take a strong stand either for or against Calvin, and the execution of Servetus.  Too many historians and authors in the past have collected just those sources that ‘prove’ their viewpoint and not interacted with disagreeing viewpoints.

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His Ashes Cry Out Against John Calvin

Posted on: November 26th, 2010 by Matt No Comments

(The Murder of Michael Servetus)

Article By Dan Corner

All reference sources are listed at the end of this article.

You are about to read an important part of church history from the Reformation period that has been so concealed in our day that very few people know the facts. Brace yourself for a shock.

On October 27, 1553 John Calvin, the founder of Calvinism, had Michael Servetus, the Spanish physician, burned at the stake just outside of Geneva for his doctrinal heresies!(1) Hence, the originator of the popular doctrine of "once saved, always saved" (known in certain circles as "the perseverance of the saints") violated the cry of the Reformation — "Sola Scriptura" — by murdering a doctrinal heretic without Scriptural justification. This event was something Calvin had considered long before Servetus was even captured, for Calvin wrote his friend, Farel, on February 13, 1546 (seven years prior to Servetus’ arrest) and went on record as saying:

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Why I Am No Longer a Calvinist – A Facebook Debate

Posted on: November 25th, 2010 by Matt 3 Comments

To See the full article please click here.

Summary:

Recently I contacted an old friend on Facebook (I only reluctantly created a Facebook account and only visit it once a month or so).

Many years ago (a little longer than a decade ago) I  was a staunch 5 Point Calvinist. I attended a conservative PCA Reformed Church. At the time I was excited about Reformed theology and shared Calvinism with my friend.  My friend is still a strong Calvinist, though I began having doubts about Calvinism and moved away from it after a few years.

There are still several aspects of Calvinism that I enjoy and appreciate: such as God’s Sovereignty (though I believe this attribute of God is carried to extreme by Calvinists).  I enjoy debating theology though I have to admit I did not enjoy this debate much. Up till this point in my Christian life (of more than 23 years) I had never been called a heretic.

I was disheartened to see how my friend had been impacted by Calvinism. While he did not respond much, neither did he contradict or interject when his friends called me and other Christians who are not Calvinists heretics. 

I am sending this post and the following link to the actual article to my friend. I pray that he knows I truly love him and do not desire to hurt our relationship.

I feel responsible for his being a Calvinist since I am the one who shared it with him. It brought home to me once again how our beliefs and actions can have both good and bad affects on others.

While he is grateful I shared Calvinism with him, I am sorrowful.

Here is the link to the main (full)  article.  The names of those involved (except for mine) have been changed so that no one will be offended.

Matthew

If you have any questions please feel free to post comments below.

 

Can God Really Love Those He Does Not Save?

Posted on: November 25th, 2010 by Matt No Comments

[This article is from John MacArthur’s book "The God Who Loves." John MacArthur is a moderate Calvinist, and while I disagree with some of what he teaches here, he does point out the problems those have that deny God loves those He does not save]

Article by John MacArthur

Can God Really Love Whom He Does Not Save?

I realize, of course, that most readers have no objection whatsoever to the idea that God’s love is universal. Most of us were weaned on this notion, being taught as children to sing songs like, “Jesus loves the little children; all the children of the world.” Many may never even have encountered anyone who denies that God’s love is universal.

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Does God Love the Whole World?

Posted on: November 25th, 2010 by Matt No Comments

[This article is take from John MacArthurs book "The God Who Loves." Calvinists differ amongst themselves as to the extent of God’s Love.  John MacArthur is a Calvinist, but he does not take the extreme view of some Calvinists who teach that God hates those He has not chosen for salvation. I may disagree with MacArthur on his interpretation of ‘degrees of love’, but he does a good job of showing how John 3:16 should be interpreted… and not misinterpreted by those Calvinists that twist Scripture to make it agree with their theology – Matthew]

 by John MacArthur

"On the other hand, some well-meaning Christians concerned with doctrinal orthodoxy are so cautious about overemphasizing God’s love that they fear to speak of it at all. Our culture, after all, is “in love” with sin and self-love, and utterly dull to the wrath of God against sin. Isn’t it counterproductive to preach the love of God in the midst of such an ungodly society? Some who reason thus tend to see every bad thing that happens as if it were a direct judgment from the hand of a severe Deity."

John MacArthur, F., Jr, The God Who Loves. (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2003, c1996), xiv.

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How Far Can Christians Go in Sinning? Faith and Works…

Posted on: February 4th, 2010 by Matt No Comments

The Death Struggle with Sin

The form that sanctification takes is conflict with the indwelling sin that constantly assaults us. The conflict, which is lifelong, involves both resistance to sin’s assaults and the counterattack of mortification, whereby we seek to drain the life out of this troublesome enemy.

      J. I. Packer

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The Relationship Between Faith and Works

Posted on: February 3rd, 2010 by Matt No Comments

The Faith That Doesn’t Work

Sanctification … is the invariable result of that vital union with Christ which true faith gives to a Christian. “He that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit” ( John 15:5 ). The branch which bears no fruit is no living branch of the vine. The union with Christ which produces no effect on heart and life is a mere formal union, which is worthless before God. The faith which has not a sanctifying influence on the character is no better than the faith of devils. It is a “dead faith, because it is alone.” It is not the gift of God. It is not the faith of God’s elect. In short, where there is no sanctification of life, there is no real faith in Christ. True faith worketh by love. It constrains a man to live unto the Lord from a deep sense of gratitude for redemption. It makes him feel that he can never do too much for Him that died for him. Being much forgiven, he loves much. He whom the blood cleanses walks in the light. He who has real lively hope in Christ purifieth himself even as He is pure ( James 2:17–20 ; Titus 1:1 ; Gal. 5:6 ; 1 John 1:7 ; 3:3 ).

      J. C. Ryle

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Foreknowledge and Predestination – A Calvinist Viewpoint

Posted on: January 22nd, 2010 by Matt 1 Comment

THE VAST majority of Christians who reject the Reformed view of predestination adopt what is sometimes called the prescient or foreknowledge (pre-science, prior knowledge) view of predestination. Briefly stated, this view teaches that from all eternity God knew how we would live. He knew in advance whether we would receive Christ or reject Christ. He knew our free choices before we ever made them. God’s choice of our eternal destiny then was made on the basis of what he knew we would choose. He chooses us because he knows in advance that we will choose him. The elect, then, are those who God knows will choose Christ freely.

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Foreknowledge and Predestination: A Calvinist Viewpoint

Posted on: January 22nd, 2010 by Matt 2 Comments

Article by: R.C. Sproul

[This article contains arguments that we may disagree with, but we wanted to provide an unbiased Calvinist argument on Foreknowledge and Predestination.]

THE VAST majority of Christians who reject the Reformed view of predestination adopt what is sometimes called the prescient or foreknowledge (pre-science, prior knowledge) view of predestination. Briefly stated, this view teaches that from all eternity God knew how we would live. He knew in advance whether we would receive Christ or reject Christ. He knew our free choices before we ever made them. God’s choice of our eternal destiny then was made on the basis of what he knew we would choose. He chooses us because he knows in advance that we will choose him. The elect, then, are those who God knows will choose Christ freely.

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Predestination and Free Will – A Calvinist Viewpoint

Posted on: January 22nd, 2010 by Matt No Comments

PREDESTINATION seems to cast a shadow on the very heart of human freedom. If God has decided our destinies from all eternity, that strongly suggests that our free choices are but charades, empty exercises in predetermined playacting. It is as though God wrote the script for us in concrete and we are merely carrying out his scenario.

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Predestination – A Calvinist Viewpoint

Posted on: January 22nd, 2010 by Matt 2 Comments

Election, or predestination, is the belief or doctrine that God has chosen some persons for the gift of salvation. It is not to be confused with providence, that is, God’s governance of all things, nor with Fate or philosophical determinism. An important teaching in Western Christianity, it has been especially emphasized in Reformed theology.

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Sanctification – A Calvinist Viewpoint

Posted on: January 22nd, 2010 by Matt 3 Comments

The doctrine of sanctification has been a bone of contention in the church through the ages. Among areas of controversy are the interdependence of sanctification and justification; the relation of faith and love; the interplay of grace and works; the role of the Christian life in our salvation; the tension between personal holiness and the righteousness of Christ; and the question of rewards.

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Sin – A Calvinist Viewpoint

Posted on: January 22nd, 2010 by Matt No Comments

The Reformed tradition has always contained a virulent idea of sin. Having entered the human condition by “original sin,” sin renders human existence both tragic and miserable and takes on a life of its own.

Most often the tradition regards sin as the human transgression of God’s covenant which represents God’s active will for every human society and individual.

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Original Sin – A Calvinist Viewpoint

Posted on: January 22nd, 2010 by Matt No Comments

The Good Creation fell into sin. This is the story of original sin. We confess it but cannot explain it. For we must start where the Bible starts. It reveals the historical beginning of sin and evil but not its behind–the–scenes origin. Yet Christian thinkers struggle with this problem.

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Justification – A Calvinist Viewpoint

Posted on: January 22nd, 2010 by Matt No Comments

Justification

The doctrine of justification by grace through faith alone is central to the teaching of the Reformation. It stood as a key to Martin Luther’s own exegetical insight at the beginning and wellspring of the Reformation.

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