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Calvinism & The South
Old Virginia Blog ^ | 03/16/2009 | Richard G. Williams, Jr.

Posted on 03/16/2009 2:35:40 PM PDT by Davy Buck

Now comes Time Magazine with a piece saying that Calvinism is back as a dominating force in American culture. What does this mean for our future, politically and culturally. . .

(Excerpt) Read more at oldvirginiablog.blogspot.com ...


TOPICS: Apologetics; Current Events; History; Religion & Culture
KEYWORDS: calvinism; confederacy; south; southern

1 posted on 03/16/2009 2:35:40 PM PDT by Davy Buck
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To: Davy Buck

Calvinism is huge. I see stickers of that kid on vehicles everywhere.


2 posted on 03/16/2009 2:39:35 PM PDT by hawkboy
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To: hawkboy

Hobbes is running a close 2nd.


3 posted on 03/16/2009 2:41:04 PM PDT by Davy Buck
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To: hawkboy

Why does he hate Chevy so much?


4 posted on 03/16/2009 2:43:25 PM PDT by YCTHouston
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To: Davy Buck

Lots of characatures of “Calvinism”. What flavor is this? Most of the folks that teach a Reformed view, such as RC Sproul, don’t really have a hard edged political agenda. That they observe that the Scriptures set out the idea that God manages every detail of all that is occurring, thus giving rise to pre-destination and election, doesn’t seem to be the prevailing view that I notice. Most are turning to the Arminian view of self-determination ala Joel Osteen, Rick Warren, et al.


5 posted on 03/16/2009 2:43:42 PM PDT by Dutchboy88
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To: Dutchboy88

Read the Times piece. They’re talking in general terms and speaking of a “modern version” - oh boy.

In any event, there are some valid points.


6 posted on 03/16/2009 2:45:39 PM PDT by Davy Buck
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To: Davy Buck

The Reign of the Servant Kings

A Study of Eternal Security and the Final Significance of Man

by Joseph C. Dillow

This outstanding presentation and defense of the Free Grace position covers nearly every passage and subject in the Gospel debate. It is a valuable resource for the pastor, elder, deacon, Sunday School teacher, or anyone with an interest in Gospel issues.

Reviews from the back cover

In this penetrating critique of Westminster Calvinism, Dr. Dillow has given us a comprehensive discussion of eternal security and rewards. By constant appeal to Scripture, the biblical doctrine of eternal security is supported instead of the Reformed doctrine of perseverance. This scholarly and well-written book should be read by all pastors and students of the Word who are interested in the doctrines of grace. A TRULY LANDMARK BOOK!

Charles C. Ryrie, Th.D., Ph.D.

Author of Ryrie Study Bible

Former Dean of the graduate school at Dallas Theological Seminary

Here it is at last! For over 25 years I've been waiting for a book that would present the Biblical recognition of the doctrine of rewards as it relates to the full-orbed teaching of salvation. This book does it, and does it beautifully! . . . Dr. Dillow's Reign Of The Servant Kings may well be the most significant contribution toward resolving the several hundred year debate between Calvinism and Arminianism.

Earl Radmacher, Th.D.

President Emeritus, Western Conservative Baptist Seminary

7 posted on 03/16/2009 2:49:52 PM PDT by fishtank (Until the GOP repents of supporting Bush, people will think they're just "bashing 0bama".)
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To: fishtank
How does he explain this verse?

Rev 3:5 5 "He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels. (NKJ)

8 posted on 03/16/2009 2:56:10 PM PDT by guitarplayer1953 (Psalm 83:1-8 is on the horizon.)
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To: guitarplayer1953

My emphasis was on the cultural impact of Calvinism, not the details of a doctrinal discussion.


9 posted on 03/16/2009 2:57:47 PM PDT by Davy Buck
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To: Davy Buck
Reformed Theology cuts through the cr$p of Liberalism like a knife through soft butter.

The current fashion of liberalism is based upon the ideal that "Judge not that you be not judged", means that you can't judge their actions. Whereas the verse in context means "Judge not" - The Son of Man - That you be not judged.

Also Calvinism refutes universal salvation - the idea that all are saved so they participate in active sin as much as they desire. This through the L of Tulip - Limited Attonment.

10 posted on 03/16/2009 3:02:56 PM PDT by sr4402
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To: Davy Buck

If the doctrine is not defendable then what harm will it have on culture?


11 posted on 03/16/2009 3:06:36 PM PDT by guitarplayer1953 (Psalm 83:1-8 is on the horizon.)
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To: Davy Buck
Time articles like this aren't really descriptive.

They're more like marching orders for people who are stupid enough to listen to what Time magazine has to say.

I do see that paleoconservatives are playing up a Calvinistic emphasis on limits and restraints.

This isn't so very different from what happened 70 years ago during the Great Depression: disillusionment with globe-trotting and a return to localism and the land.

Waste and haste replaced by thrift and honest toil.

But the paleos have been lecturing this for almost two decades already and the idea has lost its freshness.

A return to Calvin or to the land sounds nice, but like everything else, people will tire of it soon enough.

12 posted on 03/16/2009 3:15:49 PM PDT by x
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To: Davy Buck

this was inevitable...


13 posted on 03/16/2009 3:19:19 PM PDT by ConservativeDude
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To: ConservativeDude

Sigh ... you’re right.


14 posted on 03/16/2009 3:32:40 PM PDT by Davy Buck
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To: Davy Buck

Don’t be a closet Calvinist, it just not God’s Will...


15 posted on 03/16/2009 3:56:08 PM PDT by pvoce ('Good' sense and 'Common' sense are two entirely different concepts.)
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To: fishtank
Former Dean of the graduate school at Dallas Theological Seminary

All I need to know.

16 posted on 03/16/2009 5:11:30 PM PDT by PAR35
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To: sr4402

“Reformed Theology cuts through the cr$p of Liberalism like a knife through soft butter.”

Yes, but unfortunately Calvinism also plows though the Scriptures like a bull in a china shop.


17 posted on 03/16/2009 8:33:24 PM PDT by PetroniusMaximus
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To: PAR35

I’m kind of stuck in a Reformed church right now, but it’s proving very motivational to me to do in depth study of the work of Chafer, Walvoord, and Dillow, etc, since it clarifies why those men broke from the strict Reformed traditions.


18 posted on 03/17/2009 4:39:32 AM PDT by fishtank (Until the GOP repents of supporting Bush, people will think they're just "bashing 0bama".)
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To: PetroniusMaximus
>Yes, but unfortunately Calvinism also plows though the Scriptures like a bull in a china shop

Such broad insinuations without proof. But in the spirit of the Bereans, I will give you the first shot at those. the First point of Calvinism is based upon Romans 3 "There is none that Seeks for God", "There is none that does Good", no not one" to both.

The First Point of Calvanism is that man is thoroughly and Totally Depraved to the level that God permits. That sin is terrible and that man's kinds default condition is Not seeking God, Not doing any Good in God's sight and being thoroughly and truly Dead in Trespasses and Sin from the get go.

God buttresses this with two identical Psalm from which the Roman Road is taken. Psalm 14 and Psalm 53. In which it clearly states:

Psalm 14:2 "The LORD looks down from heaven on the sons of men to see if there are any who understand, any who seek God. 3 All have turned aside, they have together become corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one.

Thus there was not one who sought for God on their own throughout History.

Our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ confirms this in John and repeats it in John 6:44 and John 6:65:

44 "No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day

65 He went on to say, "This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless the Father has enabled him."

So if the the Lord Jesus Christ, the Psalms and the Apostle Paul say "No One" comes on their own power. How then do the they do it, under the power of their own free will, being Dead?

How then could the Lord Jesus Christ be wrong in saying "Unless the Father draws.. Unless the Father has enabled him"??

God has done much more than you think, and the issue you are having with Calvinism is not with Calvin, but the need to examine the Scriptures and ask what they mean from the Holy Spirit of God, our teacher, just as all of us do.

I look forward to hearing what you believe of these Scriptures.

19 posted on 03/17/2009 5:31:27 AM PDT by sr4402
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To: sr4402
But in the spirit of the Bereans, I will give you the first shot at those.
 
 
Thank you for your pleasant attitude. You seem like a person not easily riled. God bless you for it.
 

++++++++++++++++++++

Psalm 14:2 "The LORD looks down from heaven on the sons of men to see if there are any who understand, any who seek God. 3 All have turned aside, they have together become corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one.

Thus there was not one who sought for God on their own throughout History.

Have you looked carefully at those Psalms? If you go back to them I think you will notice that there are two distinct sets of people in them. Look at this...

God looks down from heaven
   on the children of man
to see if there are any who understand,
   who seek after God.

 They have all fallen away;
   together they have become corrupt;
there is none who does good,
   not even one.

but look here...

have those who work evil no knowledge,
   who eat up my people as they eat bread,
   and do not call upon God?

There they are, in great terror,
    where there is no terror!
For God scatters the bones of him who encamps against you;
   you put them to shame, for God has rejected them.

 Oh, that salvation for Israel would come out of Zion!
   When God restores the fortunes of his people,
   let Jacob rejoice, let Israel be glad.

Do you see that? There are two groups in that passage. There are the "children of men" and there are the "people of God".

The children of men are corrupt, fallen away, don't call upon God and are oppressors of God people.

How can these Psalms be used as a universal declaration of condemnation against all humans if it is clear that all humans are not in it's purview? There is the set of "my people" who are not given the same description as the "children of men".

 

++++++++++++++++++++

"Our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ confirms this in John and repeats it in John 6:44 and John 6:65:44 "No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day 65 He went on to say, "This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless the Father has enabled him.""


But what else do we see in John...

"And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me." - John 12

This undercuts the Calvinist doctrine that God only draws the elect.

 

+++++++++++++++++++

"So if the the Lord Jesus Christ, the Psalms and the Apostle Paul say "No One" comes on their own power. How then do the they do it, under the power of their own free will, being Dead?"

I need some clarification. Would you say that a person is "dead" before they are born again or experience spiritual regeneration? 

To use your words, they are, "Not seeking God, Not doing any Good in God's sight and being thoroughly and truly Dead in Trespasses and Sin" ? Does this describe the preregenerate person? In other words, a person without the Holy Spirit?

 

Thanks and look forward to your thoughts.

 


20 posted on 03/17/2009 2:29:03 PM PDT by PetroniusMaximus
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To: fishtank
I’m kind of stuck in a Reformed church right now

Not enough Bible churches in your part of Texas?

21 posted on 03/17/2009 4:48:45 PM PDT by PAR35
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To: PetroniusMaximus
Excellent responses, thank you.

You are quite correct, that there are two people involved in the Scriptures. But first, it is essential to describe clearly the state of Mankind without God. The key word in Psalm 14:2 is the word "any" and "all": Psalm 14:2 "The LORD looks down from heaven on the sons of men to see if there are any who understand, any who seek God. 3 All/B> have turned aside, they have together become corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one. The word "any" and "all" are qualifiers. That is the quality or extent of what is being discussed is TOTAL. There are No Exceptions. Thus the Default state of Mankind apart from the work of God is this. There are no exceptions.

Note that God would have been totally justified in leaving mankind as they are or judging mankind in the point. God having forward Mankind, through Adam "Genesis 3:16 And the LORD God commanded the man, "You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die."

Adam and Eve disobeyed God through the fruit and they and All Mankind (as it says in Romans 5:12) Died.

They question then is how bad was that Death? It is obvious that it was Not immediate physical death, for Genesis cites the years of Adams death. Thus the only conclusion that can be made is that it is Spiritual and legal death that propagated to all Mankind. Again, I am making this distinction of all Mankind apart from the Work of God.

Several things we can say about this death comes from the passages we discussed. The Spiritual death can be see in the statements in Romans 3, Psalm 14 and Psalm 53 - repeated "None who seeks for God", "None Does Good" - "Not even One". We can clearly state that this is the form sin takes and it is evidence of the death spoken by God to Adam (and to us, his decendants).

Again, I refer to the Apostle Paul's repeated statements regarding that death in Ephesians and Philippians - "Dead in trespasses and Sin". This Death is devastating, universal terrible to all mankind apart from the work of God.

Thus the statement I made, "Thus there was not one who sought for God on their own throughout History." Is reliable, for God says "THERE IS NONE WHO SEEKS FOR GOD".

Clearly, before we can go any further. Do you understand this and believe it? If you do not, please indicate how you excegete "THERE IS NONE WHO SEEKS FOR GOD".

Thank you,

Yours in Christ,

SR

22 posted on 03/18/2009 6:48:48 AM PDT by sr4402
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To: fishtank
I'm in the PCA right now. Like all churches, they have their good points and not so good points. However, having visited some non-reformed church, after having so much good doctrine, I can spot sneaky false doctrines quite quickly.

Here are some of them:

"God Loves Everybody Equally"
11 Yet, before the twins were born or had done anything good or bad—in order that God's purpose in election might stand: 12not by works but by him who calls—she was told, "The older will serve the younger."[d] 13Just as it is written: "Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated"

The Non-Reformed cannot deal with these verses at all.

23 posted on 03/18/2009 7:06:19 AM PDT by sr4402
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To: sr4402

Most DTS people believe in election, in my experience.

I’ve been on the GRPL list for a while, since I’ve posted strongly on election. It’s just that since I am millennialist, and also believe in eternal security, with no guarantee of perseverance, some here on FR have not accepted me as fully ‘reformed’, even though I’ve also left Rome in my rearview mirror, on top of all the rest.


24 posted on 03/18/2009 7:37:27 AM PDT by fishtank (Until the GOP repents of supporting Bush, people will think they're just "bashing 0bama".)
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To: fishtank
Thank you for your wonderful Reply.

I am also a millenialist. But I don't think you have to be a a-mill, mill, post-mil or preterrist to be Reformed. If someone pressures you to become an a-mill, tell them "In Essentials - Unity, etc." since it is Christ and the Five point that are essential to the Reformed faith.

Also make sure they understand that no-one is "Reformed", that it is a process we go through to always be Reforming ourself to the Word of God. Those who say they are "Reformed" miss the point. They may say they subscribe to the Reformed faith, but Reforming is a process not an arrived destination until the day we leave this earthly body and are truly reformed all the way.

I do beleieve in Perserverance, with the gaurantee (Assurance) provided by the Holy Spirit since it is God that does it all.

Dear Freind, the Christian life is impossible without God. Since God is the Author and the Finisher, it is He who does all things neccessary through us. Ours is to co-operate and believe. There is much under co-operation, but it is to be appropriated by faith.

Like all things spiritual, take in His Word, mediate, be reformed by it and believe! This is the Key to joy in the Reformed faith.

Private Email me any time. Yours in Christ, SR

25 posted on 03/18/2009 8:01:07 AM PDT by sr4402
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To: sr4402

Good thoughts.

Thank you very much!


26 posted on 03/18/2009 10:50:46 AM PDT by fishtank (Until the GOP repents of supporting Bush, people will think they're just "bashing 0bama".)
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To: sr4402

“Clearly, before we can go any further. Do you understand this and believe it? “

Thanks for your response.

But I still need this clarified from you...

Would you say that a person is “dead” before they are born again or experience spiritual regeneration?

To use your words, they are, “Not seeking God, Not doing any Good in God’s sight and being thoroughly and truly Dead in Trespasses and Sin”?

Does this describe for you the preregenerate person? In other words, a person without the Holy Spirit?


27 posted on 03/18/2009 11:53:42 AM PDT by PetroniusMaximus
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To: PetroniusMaximus
To use your words, they are, “Not seeking God, Not doing any Good in God’s sight and being thoroughly and truly Dead in Trespasses and Sin”?

That is what Ephesians 2:1 says "And you were dead in your trespasses and sins", Yes Now it is your turn. Do you believe that man, apart from God does "not seek for God"?

28 posted on 03/18/2009 12:03:26 PM PDT by sr4402
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To: sr4402
"That is what Ephesians 2:1 says "And you were dead in your trespasses and sins", Yes Now it is your turn. Do you believe that man, apart from God does "not seek for God"?"
 
Then I would ask you to turn your attention to the account of Cornelius.
 
"At Caesarea there was a man named Cornelius, a centurion of what was known as the Italian Cohort, a devout man who feared God with all his household, gave alms generously to the people, and prayed continually to God.
 
About the ninth hour of the day he saw clearly in a vision an angel of God come in and say to him, "Cornelius." And he stared at him in terror and said, "What is it, Lord?" And he said to him, "Your prayers and your alms have ascended as a memorial before God. And now send men to Joppa and bring one Simon who is called Peter. He is lodging with one Simon, a tanner, whose house is by the sea." When the angel who spoke to him had departed, he called two of his servants and a devout soldier from among those who attended him, and having related everything to them, he sent them to Joppa."
 
 
Now, this occured before Cornelius had ever heard the Gospel and definitely before he had received the Spirit.
 
Does that sound like someone who could be described as : “Not seeking God, Not doing any Good in God’s sight and being thoroughly and truly Dead in Trespasses and Sin”?
 
 
 

29 posted on 03/18/2009 12:32:33 PM PDT by PetroniusMaximus
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To: PetroniusMaximus
Superb Question: Now, this occured before Cornelius had ever heard the Gospel and definitely before he had received the Spirit.

Exactly, if Cornelius is clearly seeking God but the Scriptures say "No one seeks for God", what then has been happening??

Non-Reformed Doctrine would say that God couldn't hear him because he was not in Christ, nor had the Holy Spirit inside him.

Therefore there is only one conclusion: God has been at work in Cornelius's life before His recieving Christ and the Holy Spirit.

Thus proving what Christ said "No one comes unto me unless the Father draws him"

For if someone is clearly seeking God and God says they man doesn't do that, then we need to pay attention and give them the Gospel.

Now what about "No one seeks for God" on His own? Do you believe that now?

30 posted on 03/18/2009 1:01:16 PM PDT by sr4402
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To: sr4402
"Non-Reformed Doctrine would say that God couldn't hear him because he was not in Christ, nor had the Holy Spirit inside him."
 
My understanding is that Reformed doctrine would say that what "ascended as a memorial before God" would have been the smell of the "filthy rags" of human effort.
 
Clearly that is not the intention of the passage.
 
How can you explain the Bible's description of a pre-regenerate Cornelius as "a devout man who feared God with all his household, gave alms generously to the people, and prayed continually to God" and who's, "prayers and [...] alms have ascended as a memorial before God"?
 

++++++++++++++++++++++
 

"Now what about "No one seeks for God" on His own? Do you believe that now?"
 
Do I believe no one seeks after God on their own and without His help in any way? Of course not. Nor do I believe that any man takes a single breath without the help of God. Jesus said when he was lifted up he would draw all men to himself. I believe there is a general and effective call to all people.
 
Now, if I'm not mistaken, the point you are trying to make is that salvation is a monergistic operation and that man has no role to play whatsoever in the process. This is what I take issue with. I take issue with it because I see too many verses in the Bible which contradict that theological concept.
 
Forgive me if I'm wrong, but you seem to be a fan of presuppositions apologetics. The problem I have with that is fundamentally it puts theology first and the Scripture second. It says, "Let's decide to view Scripture through the lenses of Calvinism." I would say the problem with that method is that it "presumes" too much. It presumes Calvinism is right and that the Reformed have preformed flawless theology.
 
I would suggest a better method would be to put the various doctrines of Calvinism under the lens and see if they line up with the final arbiter - the Scriptures.
 

31 posted on 03/18/2009 1:51:25 PM PDT by PetroniusMaximus
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To: PetroniusMaximus
Do I believe no one seeks after God on their own and without His help in any way? Of course not.

It may be surprising to you that I would have said the same thing about 10 years ago. I've known the Lord for 35 years and being impressed to memorize Scripture in order to grow Spiritually, I memorized John 6 and noticed the "No one comes unto me, unless the Father draws him" and it's confirmation in verse 56.

Later I was in Romans 3 and drawn to the verse "No one seeks for God" and wanted to know where it came from. The NASB provided the reference to Psalm 14 and it was from there I discover to my great surprise that Psalm 14 was duplicated in Psalm 53 and that the Roman road came from those Psalms.

The thing that struck me, in both Psalms is that it went a bit further than "No one seeks for God" in that God looked over the Sons of men and found "No One".

Now, I don't know about you, but when God repeats Himself in Scripture, I know he is really trying to make a point.

So the idea that I'm being misled by Calvinism is not correct. For I clearly see the repetition in the Scriptures regarding them.

I used to believe Man was Sovereign in Salvation and argued vociferously if any said they were chosen - Saying that it would be unfair if God were to do so.

But the Scriptures are clear, Romans 5:12 is clear, Mankind died under Adam. The issue of fairness only appies if we think Mankind is spiritually alive, by default, in the eyes of God.

Once seeing this by faith, the Marvelous work of God is readily apparent that He has been working in us even "While we were Dead in Trespasses and Sin", even before we confessed faith upon the Savior and His dying for us.

Dear Friend, Man wants control and wants to be able to boast, but God gives absolutely no grounds for boasting. Thus when folks like us go to heaven, I will shout "You have done it ALL!", "ALL GLORY AND DOMINION AND POWER BELONG TO YOU" as it will be readily apparent to all.

I leave you with that thought, and bid you Au Reviour.

32 posted on 03/19/2009 11:26:25 AM PDT by sr4402
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To: sr4402

Powerful!


33 posted on 03/19/2009 11:51:36 AM PDT by colorcountry (A faith without truth is not true faith.)
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