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An Arminian Appears on The Gospel Coalition

I am proud to say that Dr. Matthew Pinson, an Arminian and President of Welch College (formally Free Will Baptist Bible College in Nashville, TN), has a piece now on The Gospel Coalition site.  I am proud of this.  Recently I had written a post lamenting how Arminians do not appear on TGC site.  Praise the Lord that Dr. Pinson’s article now is there.  It is a good piece on Carl Henry and his desire to see Protestants come together for the defense of the gospel.

You can find the piece here.

Written by The Seeking Disciple

05/16/2013 at 2:59 PM

Rethinking Hell

Here is a blog by Calvinist Chris Date on the subject of hell.  Date has adopted the view known as conditionalism.  He now holds to annihilation.  I have followed Date’s struggles with the traditional view of hell and then his ultimate adoption of the view he now holds.  I must admit that if you have never read literature on the conditionalist view, it is very appealing.  Even Arminian Dr. Roger Olson states that he finds conditionalism appealing as it reflects the love of God in that sinners are merely thrown into hell and cease to exist.

Over the years I have gone back and forth.  I read Edward Fudge’s book and his arguments are very convincing.  I have likewise read other works on hell such as Francis Chan’s book Erasing Hell.  The problem with the debate over hell is that it often turns into an issue of salvation (if you don’t believe in hell you are wrong or if you do believe in hell you are wrong) and emotions.  The thought of dear granny Smith burning in hell bothers us.  Yet we have no problem seeing Hitler burning in hell.  However, we must admit that both are guilty before God of sin and if granny Smith did not repent, she is guilty before God just as Hitler is though she might not be punished on the same level.

Arminius said little about hell.  His debate was over salvation so he rarely went beyond that.  John Wesley preached on hell and his sermons have often been sources for those who believe in the traditional view of hell.  Of course Jonathan Edwards famous sermon, Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God, reflects the traditional view.

I do think there is room in the church to debate hell.  I would not divide over a brother or a sister who rejects the traditional view.  I would reject someone if they completely reject hell (such as universalist).  Even conditionalist speak of hell.  They simply debate whether hell is eternal or not.  I don’t write this post to sway you either way.  I pray that we preach that all sinners must repent or they will face the judgement of God (Acts 17:30-31).  God will judge all people (Hebrew 9:27).  This I do know and this I will preach (Hebrews 12:29).

Written by The Seeking Disciple

05/04/2013 at 10:00 AM

Top Ten Books

The top ten books in the world.  Interesting.  You can find them here.

HT: Scot McKnight

Written by The Seeking Disciple

04/29/2013 at 9:33 PM

Does Arminianism Deny the Providence of God?

Here is an excellent article from the Examining Calvinism blog on the Arminian view of the providence of God.  Arminius wrote the following about divine providence:

I consider Divine Providence to be “that solicitous, continued, and universally present inspection and oversight of God, according to which he exercises a general care over the whole world, but evinces a particular concern for all his [intelligent] creatures without any exception, with the design of preserving and governing them in their own essence, qualities, actions, and passions, in a manner that is at once worthy of himself and suitable to them, to the praise of his name and the salvation of believers. In this definition of Divine Providence, I by no means deprive it of any particle of those properties which agree with it or belong to it; but I declare that it preserves, regulates, governs and directs all things and that nothing in the world happens fortuitously or by chance. Beside this, I place in subjection to Divine Providence both the free-will and even the actions of a rational creature, so that nothing can be done without the will of God, not even any of those things which are done in opposition to it; only we must observe a distinction between good actions and evil ones, by saying, that “God both wills and performs good acts,” but that “He only freely permits those which are evil.” Still farther than this, I very readily grant, that even all actions whatever, concerning evil, that can possibly be devised or invented, may be attributed to Divine Providence Employing solely one caution, “not to conclude from this concession that God is the cause of sin.” This I have testified with sufficient clearness, in a certain disputation concerning the Righteousness and Efficacy of Divine Providence concerning things that are evil, which was discussed at Leyden on two different occasions, as a divinity-act, at which I presided. In that disputation, I endeavoured to ascribe to God whatever actions concerning sin I could possibly conclude from the scriptures to belong to him; and I proceeded to such a length in my attempt, that some persons thought proper on that account to charge me with having made God the author of sin. The same serious allegation has likewise been often produced against me, from the pulpit, in the city of Amsterdam, on account of those very theses; but with what show of justice such a charge was made, may be evident to any one, from the contents of my written answer to those Thirty-one Articles formerly mentioned, which have been falsely imputed to me, and of which this was one.

You can the find the post here.

Dr. John MacArthur on Critiquing the Catholic Church

Here is a great post from Dr. John MacArthur on critiquing the Roman Catholic Church.  The Catholic Church is set to appoint a new pope.  How should disciples of Christ feel about this?  I believe Dr. MacArthur’s post is right on the mark about this.  Both Calvin and Arminius had very harsh words for the Catholic Church and both viewed the pope as the “spirit of the antichrist.”  I am reading some evangelicals who are fasting and praying for the Catholic Church, for the Lord to lead them in selecting a new pope.  What we need to be doing is praying for the gospel to radically save Catholics and for Bible-believing missionaries in Catholic nations to preach the gospel and see souls saved (1 Timothy 2:1-7).  This should be our heart, to see people saved by God’s grace through faith and apart from good works (Ephesians 2:8-9; Titus 3:5-7).

Can you imagine telling the great Reformers such as John Knox, William Tyndale, Martin Luther, Calvin, Arminius, or Wycliffe that you were praying for the Catholic Church as they select a new pope?  Their reaction would probably be one of, “Praying for what?  His salvation?”  Can you imagine, if you could, speaking to the countless martyrs who shed their blood for the cause of Christ against the Catholic Church in books such as Foxe’s Book of Martyrs and telling them that you find no disagreement with the modern Catholic Church?

Friends, let us not fool ourselves.  Catholics need the gospel.  We are justified by grace alone, by faith alone, in Christ alone.  This is the heart of the Reformation and are we willing to lay that aside for false unity?  The gospel is what unites and the gospel is what divides.

Arminius saved his harshest words for the Pope writing:

First. The name of the Adulterer and The Pimp of the Church is his.

(1.) He is the Adulterer of the church, both by the public and mutual profession of each other; because he calls the [Roman Catholic] church his and she neither disowns the arrogance of this title nor is afraid of the odium [attached to such assumption,] and he is the adulterer in reality. For he practices spiritual adultery with the church, and she in return with him. He commands the apocryphal writings to be accounted divine and canonical; the ancient Latin version of the Scriptures, [commonly called] the vulgate, to be every where received as the true original, and under no pretense whatever to be rejected; his own interpretations of the Scriptures to be embraced with the most undoubting faith; and unwritten traditions to be honoured with an affection and reverence equal to that evinced for the written word of God. He enacts and rescinds laws that pertain to faith and morals, and binds them as fetters on consciences. He promises and offers plenary indulgences, and the remission of all sins, through the plenitude of his power. “He exalteth himself above all that is worshipped,” and offers himself as some god to be adored with religious worship. In all these acts the church, deceived by his artifices, complies with his wishes. He is, therefore, the Adulterer of the church.

(2.) But he is also the Pimp or Pander of the church, because he acts towards her as the author, persuader, impelling exciter and procurer of various spiritual adulteries committed, or to be hereafter committed, with different husbands, with angels, Mary and other deceased saints, with images of God, of Christ, of the Holy Ghost, of the cross, of angels, of Mary, and of saints; with the bread in the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper; and with other inanimate objects.

X. To him likewise belongs the name of The False Prophet, whom the Scripture calls “the tail,” in opposition to “the head;” (Isa. ix, 15;) and this, whether it be received in a general acceptation, or in a particular sense and restricted to a certain and determinate person.

(1.) In its general meaning, whether it signifies him who teaches falsehood without arrogating to himself the name of a prophet, or him who falsely boasts of being a prophet, the latter of which seems to be the proper signification of the word. (2 Pet. ii, 1; Acts xiii, 6.) For, first, he partly introduced into the church many false dogmas; and partly those which were introduced when such a great mystery of iniquity was finished, he defends, maintains and propagates. Of this kind, the dogmas concerning the insufficiency of the scriptures without traditions, to prove and confirm ever necessary truth, and to confute all errors; that it is of the last necessity unto salvation for every human creature to be under subjection to the Roman pontiff; that the bread in the Lord’s supper is transubstantiated, or changed in substance, into the body of Christ; that in the mass Christ is daily offered by the priest as a propitiatory sacrifice for the sins of the living and of the dead; that man is justified before God, partly by faith, and partly by works; that there is a purgatory, into which the souls of those enter who are not yet sufficiently purified, and that they are released from it by prayers, intercessions, watchings, alms-deeds, indulgences, &c. In the Second sense, this epithet is due to him, because he says that he is a prophet, who, on account of the perpetual assistance of the Holy Spirit, which is attached to that chair, cannot possibly err in things which pertain to faith and morals.

(2.) But it also belongs to him in the restricted meaning of the word; because the Roman pontiff is “the false prophet who works miracles before the beast, (Rev. xix, 20,) “out of whose mouth comes out three unclean spirits like frogs,” (xvi, 13,) and who is not improperly understood to be “the tail of the great red dragon, that drew the third part of the stars of heaven.” (xii, 4.)

Charles Spurgeon’s advice regarding how to pray for the Pope is as follows:

“It is the bounden duty of every Christian to pray against Antichrist and as to what Antichrist is no sane man ought to raise a question. If it be not the Popery in the Church of Rome, there is nothing in the world that can be called by that name. . .It wounds Christ, because it robs Christ of His glory, because it puts sacramental efficacy in the place of His atonement and lifts a piece of bread into the place of the Savior and a few drops of water into the place of the Holy Spirit and puts a mere fallible man like ourselves up as the Vicar of Christ on earth. If we pray against it, because it is against Him, we shall love the persons though we hate their errors; we shall love their souls though we loathe and detest their dogmas. And so the breath of our prayers will be sweetened because we turn our faces toward Christ when we pray.”

Amen!  Let us love Catholics but let us love them enough to pray for their eyes to be opened to the truth of salvation and to pray that many Catholics hear and believe the gospel (Romans 10:4).

Written by The Seeking Disciple

03/12/2013 at 1:29 PM

David Barton Controversy

Great post on a controversial subject brewing right now among evangelicals. I agree fully with the author, that David Barton should be humble and repent.

Written by The Seeking Disciple

08/13/2012 at 8:43 AM

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