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Posts Tagged ‘Misrepresentation’

“21 Misunderstandings of Calvinism”: The Fifth and Sixth Misunderstandings

November 30, 2015 2 comments

By Sam Waldron

I’ve dealt with four misunderstandings of Calvinism related to the doctrine of total depravity. In this blog I begin to deal with a number related to the doctrine of unconditional election. Here are the first two:

1.Misunderstandings related to Unconditional Election

(1) Calvinists are fatalists!

I looked up the dictionary definition of fatalism, but I think it has little to do with what the people who make this charge actually mean. Let me tell you what I think they mean. I think they mean to say that Calvinists think that nothing we do changes our final destiny. I think they mean that there is no relationship between how a person acts and where he will spend eternity. I think they mean that somehow a person’s destiny in eternity is fixed regardless of how he responds to the gospel here in this life. If that is what they mean by fatalism, then it has nothing to do with mainstream Calvinism. Calvinists believe that the promises of the gospel are true for any person who will receive them by faith. The promise of Acts 16:31 is true without exception: “They said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your…

 

 

 

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21 Misunderstandings of Calvinism: The Third and Fourth Misunderstandings

November 23, 2015 1 comment

By Sam Waldron

I. Misunderstandings related to Total Depravity

(3) Total depravity means that men are as bad as they can be!

Once more this is not mainline Reformed teaching. While it is true that men can do no spiritual or saving good, the Reformed tradition has recognized that unconverted men can and do perform what is often called acts of civil righteousness. It was better that Ahab outwardly responded to Elijah’s rebuke than if he had not, but it did not mean that Ahab had truly repented or truly done anything spiritually good. Here is the language of 1 Kings 21:27-29: “It came about when Ahab heard these words, that he tore his clothes and put on sackcloth and fasted, and he lay in sackcloth and went about despondently. 28 Then the word of the LORD came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying, 29 “Do you see how Ahab has humbled himself before Me? Because he has humbled himself before Me, I will not bring the evil in his days, but I will bring the evil upon his house in his son’s days.”” Thus, I agree with E. H. Palmer who in his book on the five points of Calvinism said that, while men are not as bad as they can be, they are as bad off as they can be. Total depravity is not absolute depravity!

 

 

 

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21 Misunderstandings of Calvinism: The Second Misunderstanding

November 16, 2015 1 comment

By Sam Waldron

I. Misunderstandings related to Total Depravity

(2) Calvinists do not believe in human responsibility!

This assertion is also a slander on authentic Calvinism. Calvinists not only believe that men have a natural liberty, but they also agree that men are responsible for their actions because of that natural liberty.

The reason why Arminians claim that Calvinists deny human responsibility is that they have adopted what amounts to a Pelagian premise into their theology. They believe that responsibility assumes ability. The notion that responsibility for doing something assumes ability to do something is not true—if you are talking about moral ability. The Bible in many places teaches that men cannot come to Christ, but it still holds them responsible to do so.

John 6:44 No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day.

John 6:65 And He was saying, “For this reason I have said to you, that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted him from the Father.”

 

 

 

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21 Misunderstandings of Calvinism: The First Misunderstanding

By Sam Waldron

I have arranged my treatment of 21 Misunderstandings of Calvinism in the order of

T-U-L-I-P.

I. Misunderstandings related to Total Depravity

The first of the five points of Calvinism is total depravity. This point includes the idea of total inability which (to quote 9:3 of the 1689 Baptist Confession) is the idea that “Man, by his fall into a state of sin, hath wholly lost all ability of will to any spiritual good accompanying salvation; so as a natural man, being altogether averse from that good, and dead in sin, is not able by his own strength to convert himself, or to prepare himself thereunto.”

A number of misunderstandings of this point must be refuted. The first is this…..

 

 

 

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21 Misunderstandings of Calvinism: Introduction Continued

By Sam Waldron

In my first post I identified three sources of misunderstanding with regard to Calvinism: Arminian Misrepresentation, Immature Reaction, and Hyper-Calvinist Presumption. This led me in my message at RP 15 to reflect by way of a second point of introduction on …

The Solution to These Misunderstandings

The root of each of these sources of misunderstanding is, I think, the same. It is rationalism. By that I mean the exaltation of human reason over the teaching of the Word of God. It is, of course, true that human reason is created by God and is a necessary tool in the interpretation of the Bible. This is undeniable. I concur with the Westminster Confession when it says:

 

 

 

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21 Misunderstandings of Calvinism: Introduction (part 1)

October 26, 2015 1 comment

By Sam Waldron

Recently, I had the privilege of speaking at the Reformation Preaching 2015 Conference. I was given the delicious, but in some ways difficult topic: Misunderstandings of Reformed Thinking. After some thought and seeking counsel, I entitled this message: 21 Misunderstandings of Calvinism.

There are a few things beside the native darkness and pride of the human heart that are a greater danger to the doctrines of grace than the widespread misunderstandings of those doctrines and their implications. The best solution to these misunderstandings is a study of the Reformed tradition itself and its clear statements about what the Bible does, and does not, teach regarding the doctrines of grace.

Before I addressed this important subject, I gave the conference four points of introduction. The first of those is the subject of this first post on those 21 misconceptions of Calvinism.

 

 

 

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Bringing to Remembrance a Book with Poor Theology

March 19, 2012 2 comments

Here is a critique of Dave Hunt’s book “What Love is This?” This book is a misrepresentation of Calvinism and the gospel. Dave Hunt constantly builds straw man views of Calvinism and it is these arguments or views which he sets forth his vicious attacks. It is one thing to critique a position and miss the mark, yet a whole different thing to misrepresent some ones position on a matter and still miss the mark.

What Theology is This?

 Dave Hunt’s Misrepresentation of God and Calvinism

As I read Dave Hunt’s latest book, What Love is This? subtitled, “Calvinism’s Misrepresentation of God,” I felt both profound sadness and righteous anger. I was sad because many unsuspecting and uneducated Christians will believe that Hunt is accurate and thereby miss out on one of the richest spiritual gold mines available, namely, the life and writings of John Calvin and his heirs in the faith. I was angry because Hunt deliberately misrepresents and slanders both Calvin and Calvinism, and in the process grossly misrepresents God Himself. I know that his misrepresentation is deliberate because many Calvinists, including myself, wrote repeatedly to Hunt as the book was being written, pointing out his errors and asking him to stop misrepresenting what we believe. But sadly, he stubbornly ignored our corrections and went full steam ahead.

 

The resulting book is a first magnitude theological and spiritual disaster. If you rely on the supermarket tabloids as your reliable source of news, you’ll probably find Hunt satisfying for your theology. It will give you the same sort of sensational slander as the tabloids, only it is presented as if it were biblically and historically based. But if you want to grow in your knowledge of the living God, I advise you to leave this tabloid theology on the shelf.

 

I have had to deal with the book because a former elder is giving it to some of my elders and others, telling them that it is a balanced critique of Reformed theology. On the back cover of the book are glowing endorsements from Chuck Smith, Elmer Towns, Tim LaHaye, and others. LaHaye even states, “Calvinism … comes perilously close to blasphemy” (ellipsis in the quote). Several families have left my church over this issue, because I teach what Scripture plainly affirms, that God sovereignly chooses to save some, but not all. Our salvation rests on the foundation of God’s sovereign choice of us. His choice of us is the causative reason that we choose to believe. Thus no one can boast in his salvation, but only in the Lord (1 Cor. 1:26-31; Gal. 1:15; Eph. 1:3-12).

 

Finish reading this critique here.

 

It is sad that Dave Hunt considers him self a theologian, yet cannot even recognize the position of which he is writing against.