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Posts Tagged ‘Gary DeMar

Five Favorite Living Arminians and Calvinists (2013)

Had an e-mail this week ask me to name my five favorite Arminians and Calvinists and why.  So here is a brief top five along with short reasons why.

Top Five Arminians

1.  Dr. Vic Reasoner.  I enjoy his commentaries on Romans and Revelation as well as his other works.  He is an expository preacher, President of the Southern Methodist College, and a very skilled writer.

2.  Dr. Robert Picirilli.  His book, Grace, Faith, Free Willis simply a good book.  I have read it nearly three times.  He also advocates expository preaching.  I do differ with him over the KJV as he believes that the KJV is the best English translation though he is not KJV only.

3.  Dr. Roger Olson.  While I don’t agree with Dr. Olson on all issues (see inerrancy), I do enjoy his books especially his book, Arminian Theology: Myths and Realities.  

4.  Dr. Jack Cottrell.  While Dr. Cottrell is part of the Restoration Movement, he does consider himself an Arminian.  His books, especially his commentary on Romans and his trilogy on the doctrine of God, are classics.  Dr. Cottrell will make you think and he always takes theological issues and wrestles with the Scriptures for the final say.

5.  Dr. Michael Brown.  One of the best Christian apologists and a good debater.  He and his friend Dr. James White often aim at each other yet Dr. Brown remains a godly man through it all.  I met Dr. Brown back in the 1990’s and he was a man with a fire for Jesus.  His preaching is a call to holiness.  His book, Go and Sin No More! is a great read.

Top Five Calvinists

1.  Dr. John MacArthur.  I truly enjoy Johnny Mac.  I had the honor of meeting him and found him to be a godly, warm man.  His writings are full of Scripture and I love his passion for expository preaching.  His book, The Gospel According to Jesus, is a must read for all disciples.

2.  Matt Chandler.  I enjoy Matt’s preaching style.  He is not a deep expositor like MacArthur above but he does teach the Word faithfully and calls people to radically follow Jesus.  His book, The Explicit Gospelis a must read.

3.  Paul Washer.  This brother burns with a passion for Jesus.  Paul describes himself as a “Spurgeonite” when asked what he believes.  I love his zeal for the lost, his hunger for holiness, and his preaching of repentance.

4.  Dr. Gary DeMar.  DeMar use to have a 2 hour podcast that I would download and listen to in my truck.  I first downloaded it to disagree with him but more and more he opened my eyes to many things.  While I don’t always agree with Gary, he is an excellent thinker and writer.  His book, Last Days Madness, is a good read.

5.  Dr. Richard Mayhue.  Some may not know who this is.  Dr. Mayhue is one of John MacArthur’s right hand men.  He is a good Bible teacher, a deep thinker, and signed a book for me once.  His book, The Healing Promise, is a good read.

Culture Debates and the Clash of World Views

When it comes to cultural debates, we disciples of Christ must not forget that we are dealing with more than just a difference in opinion over an issue but with an entirely different world view.  The disciple’s world view comes directly from the Bible.  It is a biblical worldview.  Our view of all of life flows from our relationship with the one true and living God.  We obey Him because we acknowledge His absolute Lordship over all things (1 John 2:3-6).  No matter what the issue may be, we view it from the perspective of the Bible.  It doesn’t matter what the issue may be, we always begin with what does Scripture say about this issue or what guidelines do the Scriptures give us about this issue.  Our primary focus is on the glory of God in all things (1 Corinthians 10:31).  Our focus is on pleasing God and giving Him glory and honor in all things.

Paul the Apostle argued this way with the Corinthians.  In 1 Corinthians Paul dealt with many various sins.  Divisions.  Sexual immorality.  Lawsuits among brethren.  Division over spiritual gifts and improper uses.  The role of women in the fellowship.  The abuse of the Lord’s Supper.  Yet he seemed to always point back to the glory of God.  What God said was what mattered.  For instance, in 1 Corinthians 6 Paul deals with the issues involving sexual immorality (we humans are still the same are we not?).  In 1 Corinthians 6:12 he quotes the Corinthians and then turns the quotes of the Corinthians around to show that our focus is not on self-pleasure but upon the Lord Jesus Christ and how we can please Him.  He ends 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 by telling the Corinthians that disciples are temples of the Holy Spirit and he ends by telling us to glorify God in our bodies which are temples of God.  The focus of Paul was clear: glorify God who alone is worthy of worship.

Cultural debates are difficult for the true disciple because we begin where unbelievers don’t and that is with the glory of God.  We begin with this and not with self-pleasure, license for sinning, or the focus on what we desire or want.  We begin with pleasing God and we remain committed to that principle throughout a civil debate.  In all things the disciple of Christ begins the question with, “Does this glorify God or not?”  and move from there.  What has God said in His Word about this?  What does our position do for the glory of Christ?

It is almost a given then that the disciple of Jesus must first deal with the non-Christian worldview that the unbeliever is expressing but don’t allow them to borrow from our worldview to prove their point.  For instance, the whole idea of fairness or equality must be based on a biblical worldview.  The unbeliever borrows from a Christian worldview to prove or disprove their point.  We should not allow them to borrow our foundations while denying the Word of God on a given issue.  The disciple should consistently question their foundation.  On what right do you have to borrow from the Christian worldview while denying the Lordship of Christ over all things in your life?  This frames the debate in a much different fashion.  It points to the lostness of the unbeliever, that they are dead in their sins apart from the life of Christ (Ephesians 2:1-3) and it shows their ignorance of what Christ has said in His Word about cultural issues or at least principles of holiness.

Never get caught up in a debate where you are put on the defensive while the unbeliever borrows from your worldview.  You can presume two things about all unbelievers.  First, they know that God exists and that He is real but they want to suppress that knowledge because of their sin (Romans 1:18).  Secondly, the unbeliever begins with a worldview that pleases self above God (Titus 1:15-16).  The disciple begins with an opposite view with the glory of God reigning supreme and a worldview that seeks to glorify God completely.

I urge you to listen to the following mp3 from Gary DeMar.  You can find the teaching here.

Written by The Seeking Disciple

03/28/2013 at 10:00 AM

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