I come from a strong independant baptist background and currently now I am a southern baptist..anyways, I'd like to know what everyone thinks about salvation calls and alter calls at the end of each sunday service. I recently visited my BF church and I was shocked to see that the pastor did not have one :P I have a problem with that.. I've never in my life been to church that has done that. I think the alter should always be open to people and I believe as christians we should present the oppurtunity for others to accept Him not just when there are revivals. This has distrubed me greatly and I'd like to have some other peoples opinions. Thanks...
Someone mentioned the blog, "Reformation Theology." On its sidebar, it says:
Even though we may have differences on non-essential matters, we are all committed to the Biblical and Christ-exalting truths of the Reformation such as the five solas, the doctrines of grace, monergistic regeneration, and the redemptive historical approach to interpreting the Scriptures.
... And on the User Info page of this journal, it says:
If you're unfamilar with this concept, you may recognize these terms commonly associated with the doctrines of grace: Reformed, Calvinism, TULIP, election, predestination, foreknowledge, perseverance, depravity, subsitution, imputation, propitiation, regeneration, justification and soveriegnty.
Perhaps my question has been asked before; if so, you can just point me in the direction of its answer. If not, could someone here who is an expert on this subject : ) take a stab at an answer?
My question is: Are the concepts above all essential doctrines of reformation theology? Suppose you hold to all of these doctrines except for one. Does that make you non-reformed? In other words, what are the defining
doctrines of reformation theology?
Not much happening around here, so I thought I'd post This intriguing post
, which reprints an article describing some folks from Banner of Truth
meeting the-then Cardinal Ratzinger. I doubt it had much effect, but I found it encouraging that he at least seemed open to dialogue on the subject.
I found a new toy.
That toy is Dawson Bethrick and, along with whatever other pursuits he enjoys, he maintains the Bahnsen Burner
blog (a reference to the late Greg Bahnsen, Reformed Christian apologist), which serves as his platform from which he goes about "incinerating presuppositionalism"—at least that is how he describes his blog. Judging by the posts I had read, it seems he's still looking for a match.
His post "Can Reformed Christians Count?" (07-JUN-05
) seems to be a fairly typical demonstration of the integrity of his arguments, and one I wanted to succinctly post a response to before heading to bed. Bethrick remarks that Reformed Christians
tell us that their one god is actually three in number. Then they say we're wrong when we point out that this belief of theirs amounts to a species of polytheism. So we ask: Do you worship one, or do you worship three? Typically, instead of clear answers, we get bad attitude, as if we were supposed to accept their tangled convolutions on their say so.
Yes we say that you are wrong on the charge of polytheism, and for a very good reason!
If polytheism is defined as belief in and worship of a multiplicity of gods—and it is—then the charge is precisely false, for Christians believe in and worship God alone, who is one. Christianity does not teach that the one God "is actually three in number," if by that you mean three Gods. "Do you worship one, or do you worship three?" Bethrick wants to ask. There is only one response possible to this intellectually dishonest equivocation: "Do we worship one what
, or three what
?" Do we worship one God? Yes. Do we worship three Gods? No. Is God a person? No, God is three persons—the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
I suspect Bethrick's confusion stems from the idea that "God" implies "a person," yet such an idea fails to correspond with what Christianity affirms and proclaims. He might be tempted to accuse Christianity of affirming a logical contradiction on this point, but that would be the case if and only if Christianity affirmed God is a person and, at the same time and in the same sense, three persons. But this is not what Christianity affirms. And I should like to counter that if Bethrick persists in framing his response according to the idea that God is a person, despite an awareness that Christianity teaches that God is not a person but rather three persons, then his argument commits the Straw Man fallacy and is therefore bereft of both validity and intellectual integrity.
I wanted to share a book about the Clarity of General Revelation/ APologetics with everyone. My friend and fellow church mate wrote this book
(Benjamin B. Warfield and Right Reason: The Clarity of General Revelation and Function of Apologetics). I highly recommend it.
At least read what its about. Tell me what you think.. READ HERE
David Heddle (http://helives.blogspot.com
) in a recent post was wrestling with the idea of hyper-Calvinism in the context of evangelism, with a personal interest in one particular "flavor" of hyper-Calvinism of which he has been accused: "the denial that the gospel is a 'sincere' offer of salvation made to all persons." He was wondering if it's possible to understand and articulate God's offer of salvation as authentically sincere. Specifically, he wants to know "whether God Himself makes a sincere offer of salvation to everyone." He received a variety of comments in response to this and it made me think, How would I respond?
I believe my answer would have been, "No, he doesn't." And I say this because I am convinced that God doesn't offer
salvation to all in the first place, much less sincerely. He doesn't offer salvation
to all persons; rather, he efficaciously saves
his sheep. I don't particularly favour the practice of describing salvation as an "offer," mostly because it seems to suggest that Christ's atoning work only made salvation 'possible' and is therefore accessibly 'offered' to all, that the will of the sinner is the ultimate sine qua non
of his salvation, that God's grace is only penultimate. It smacks of Arminianism (with its roots buried firmly in semi-Pelagianism). Since Christ died for all men without exception, the 'offer' of salvation goes out 'sincerely' to all persons and they should 'make a decision for Christ' and grab hold of that.
It's not that salvation
to all. This, I feel, is incorrect. Rather, it's that the gospel
to all—and that quite sincerely! With passion, conviction, and boldness, we proclaim sincerely the good news of reconciliation for all who believe. We scatter the seed indiscriminately, but whether it takes solid root and grows is up to God and his most wise and righteous purposes (1 Cor 3:6-7; Act 13:48; 16:14). "I lay down my life," Jesus said, not for all persons but "for the sheep." There are some, like those Jews to whom he was speaking, who do not believe because
they are not his sheep (Joh 10:26), nor do they hear the message of Christ because
they do not belong to God (Joh 8:47). "All that the Father gives me will
come to me," Jesus proclaimed. He came to do the will of the Father, which is "that I shall lose none of all that he has given me
, but raise them up at the last day" because the Father "granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him
" (Joh 6:37-39; 17:2).
Salvation is not offered to all, sincerely or otherwise. However, the gospel of peace is indeed proclaimed to all, and very sincerely. The gospel is about salvation but is not itself salvation. 'Salvation' is a multi-faceted rubric of which the gospel is a part; other facets are sanctification, justification, regeneration, election, etc. Salvation is God's jurisdiction alone. Proclaiming the gospel, with sincerity to all persons, is our jurisdiction. It is in fact our great commission. And great joy.
I got to hear John Piper speak tonight!! It was incredible. The man is so full of knowledge its sick.