"Light Duty "Irony

If you know of me in real life you know that I recently sprained my right ankle. It is fine now but at work my boss has not let me do any regular work since the doctor has put me on “restrictions.”

This has been quite annoying, boring and challenging because the type of work I am doing is boring, annoying, not my regular work and actually painful. You see at UPS Freight, my job description is simple: move skidded freight from one door to another on a forklift as a dockworker.
My boss will not let me move freight while the doctor has me on restrictions so he has been making me sweep the dock, sweep the dock pad, pick up trash, fix the chains, check the fire extinguishers, pick up cardboard and generally clean the dock. In other words I have been on my feet and on my ankle for hours straight. (Instead of being on a forklift for hours.)
I do not blame my doctor really. He is helping my ankle heal by restricting me. I do blame my boss. I understand that he is protecting the company and attempting to obey the doctor’s orders. Although hi honestly think he does not know what he is doing because I am on my ankle MORE these past weeks of “light duty” than I have ever walked on the dock at this job! It is ridiculous.
Being on my ankle a lot has been painful.
I have complained about it and told him straight up that I think that he is taking the idea of protecting the company too far and actually hurting my ankle/making it worse than if I was working normally.
My boss will say it is for the good of my ankle but it is not helping.

Baptists, Calvinists, Doctrine of Election (Bibliography and Appendix A)

Appendix A

Arminianism

Calvinism

1. The decree of salvation applies to all who believe on Christ and who persevere in obedience and faith.

1. Total depravity.

2. Christ died for all men.

2. Unconditional election.

3.The Holy Spirit must help men to do

things that are truly good (such as having

faith in Christ for salvation.)

3. Limited Atonement. (Christ’s death for the elect.)

4. God’s saving grace is not irresistible

It is possible for Christians to fall from

grace.

4. Irresistible Grace.

5. Perseverance of the saints.

From:

Tangelder, Johan D. “The Doctrine of Election.” From the Pastor’s Desk. (1989 – 1993). Retrieved from http://www.reformedreflections.ca/pages/pastor-desk-index.html accessed on July 29th, 2009.

Bibliography

Erickson, Millard. Christian Theology. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983.

Grudem, Wayne. Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine. Grand Rapids, Mi: Zonderzan, 1994.

Patton, Michael. “Introduction to Theology – Workbook.” (presented as part of class material at The Theology Program, Frisco, TX, November 2006), Reclaiming the Mind Ministries, http://www.reclaimingthemind.org/content/files/TTP/IT/IntroductiontoTheologyWorkbook-Jul-2006.pdf.

Yarnell III, Malcolm B. “Assessing the ‘TULIP’ of Calvinism.” SBC LIFE. (2009). Baptist Press. Retrieved from http://www.bpnews.net/bpnews.asp?id=22971 accessed on Aug. 1st, 2009.

MacArthur Jr, John. “Is the Doctrine of Election Biblical?” Adapted from The Body Dynamic. (1996.) Christian Art Distributors. Retrieved from http://www.biblebb.com/files/MAC/GTYW02.htm accessed on Aug. 1st, 2009.

Towns, Elmer L. “WHAT SHOULD SOUTHERN BAPTIST DO WITH CALVINIST?” The Baptist Banner, March 2009, Vol. XXII, No.3.

Tangelder, Johan D. “The Doctrine of Election.” From the Pastor’s Desk. (1989 – 1993). Retrieved from http://www.reformedreflections.ca/pages/pastor-desk-index.html accessed on July 29th, 2009.

Patterson, Paige. “Happy Southern Baptists and the Tricky Track.”SBC Today. (2005.) Retrieved from sbctoday.com/files/trickytrack.pdf accessed on July 20th, 2009.

Thompson, Philip E. “Baptists and “Calvinism” : discerning the shape of the question.” Baptist History and Heritage, Spring 2004. (April 01, 2004). accessed July 11, 2009.

Hinson, Keith. “Calvinism resurging among SBC’s young elites.” Christianity Today 41, no. 11. (October 06, 1997): 86. Academic Search Complete, EBSCOhost (accessed August 1, 2009).

Walker, Ken. “TULIP Blooming.” Christianity Today 52, no. 2. (February 2008): 19-19. Academic Search Complete, EBSCOhost(accessed August 2, 2009).

Hansen, Collin. “Young, restless, reformed : Calvinism is making a comeback–and shaking up the church.” Christianity Today Sep 2006. (September 01, 2006). Christian Periodical Index, EBSCOhost (accessed August 1, 2009).

Jones, Jim. “Tiptoeing through TULIP.” Christianity Today 53, no. 4. (April 2009): 13-13. Religion and Philosophy Collection, EBSCOhost (accessed July 11, 2009).

McKibbens, Thomas R. “Disseminating Biblical Doctrine Through Preaching.” Baptist History and Heritage Spring 1984. (April 1984).Accessed on July 11, 2009.

Weaver, Douglas and Finn, Nathan. “Youth for Calvin: Reformed Theology and Baptist Collegians.” Baptist History and Heritage, Spring 2004.Accessed on July 10, 2009.

Nettles, Thomas. “SOUTHERN BAPTIST IDENTITY: INFLUENCED BY CALVINISM.” Baptist History and Heritage, Oct. 1996.Accessed Aug. 1, 2009.

Wood, Ralph. “What Ever Happened to Baptist Calvinist?” Review and Expositor, 91 (1994).

NASB (New American Standard Bible.) La Habra, CA: Lockman Foundation, 1995.

Sproul, R.C. “Double Predestination.” Ligonier Ministries: renewing Your Mind. Retrieved from http://www.the-highway.com/DoublePredestination_Sproul.html , Accessed on Aug. 10, 2009.

Handy, Robert T. “The Baptist family : a heritage of faith.” Review & Expositor 84, no. 4. (Fall 1987): 589-598. ATLA Religion Database with ATLASerials, EBSCOhost (accessed July 11, 2009).

Secondary:

Richards, Wiley W. “SOUTHERN BAPTIST IDENTITY: MOVING AWAY FROM CALVINISM” W. Baptist History and Heritage, Oct. 1996.Accessed Aug. 1, 2009.

Briggs, John. “The Influence of Calvinism on Seventeenth-Century English Baptists.” Baptist History and Heritage, Spring 2004.Accessed on July 10, 2009.

Elwell, Walter. Evangelical Dictionary of Theology. 2nd ed. Grand Rapids, Mi: Baker Academic, 2001.

Baptists, Calvinists, Doctrine of Election (8)

Conclusion

Baptists are free to be Arminian, one-point Calvinist, or even five-point Calvinists. Baptists have the free will power to choice. When it comes to the doctrine of election, Baptist can find reasonable Biblical grounds to the idea that God desires to save all men and also Biblical argument that God only saves “an elect.” Like the other 4 points of Calvinism, there is some wiggle room in-between the two extremes of “human free will” and “double predestination.” In fact, the Bible advocates a modest, middle ground.

Throughout Christianity’s history, people from both sides of the argument have inspired division and conflict because of this man-made argument. “[T]he greatest tragedy is when adherence to TULIP leads to division in churches and prevents them from cooperation and urgency for, a passion toward fulfilling the Great Commission.[1]” Young Calvinists value theological systems far less than God and his Word. It is more important to evaluate the Word of God and let it speak for itself. “Southern Baptists are first, last, and always followers of Jesus Christ, not John Calvin.”[2] Let each man evaluate the Word of God for himself and decide according to God Word. After fair Biblical treatment and in light of grace, one will come to decide that the Calvinistic doctrine of election is the most Biblical one.


[1] Malcolm Yarnell III, “Assessing the ‘TULIP’ of Calvinism.” Pg. 1.

[2] Collin Hansen. “Young, restless, reformed,” pg. 38.

Baptists, Calvinists, Doctrine of Election (7)

Biblical Solution

Elmer Towns is honestly on to something. There is room for middle ground. Christians need to be cautious of any extreme view. The most Biblical solution is not an extreme view of hyper-Calvinism or the complete concept of “free will”. These are man-made concepts. Within the five-points of Calvinism there is a lot of wiggle room. Any given person who is seeking a “biblical solution” for Calvinism may decide to agree with Calvin on one point to a small degree and then completely disagree with another one of his points completely. While another person might decide that the most “biblical solution” is complete acceptance of all five-points in Calvinism! It is a false dichotomy to leave only two options: Calvinist or Arminius.

God elects people to salvation by His own sovereign choice and not because of some future action they will perform or condition they will meet. BUT… Election does not exclude human responsibility or the necessity of each person to respond to the gospel by faith. Admittedly the two concepts don’t seem to go together. However, both are true separately, and we must accept them both by faith. We may not understand it, but rest assured—it’s fully reconciled in the mind of God[1]. Both are biblical! Calvin is correct saying that God takes the initiative to save sinful sinners who cannot save themselves. The point of argument is to what degree do man work with God?

John Piper brings an interesting point to the table. “You may never feel the weight, you will never feel the wonder of grace, until you finally relinquish your claim to have any part of your salvation,” he said. “It’s got to be unconditional.”[2] If man is fallen and can only be reconciled by God, meaning God takes the imitative for salvation (Arminius might not agree with me up to this point[3]) then it follows that election and grace are unconditional. God chooses who He pleases. It is a free gift. Man did nothing to earn it, in fact, man is the one who chose to be fallen, man chose to sin.

Some objections that come up are: Is election fair? Think about it this way. Sin is punishable by death. All men deserved death and punishment. The fact that God chooses to save even some of us is demonstration of His grace. Secondly, who are we, mere humans, to decide if what God does is fair? If God ultimately decided to create some creatures to be saved and others not to be saved, then that was his sovereign choice. Ultimately, grace is not fair either.[4]

Another objection is that God wills to save everyone, right? While it is true that God desires to save everyone according to 1 Tim. 2:4 and 2 Pt. 3:9, there is one thing that God desires even more than that, His glory. God will do what most glorifies Himself. Men might not ever understand or know what brings God the most glory.[5] Arminians ask, “If God chooses to save some people from the beginning of time, why do evangelism?” But this question can be turned right back at them, “If God wills to save everyone, why do evangelism?” here in the Arminian argument, it sounds like God is going to do all the work, magically everyone will be saved. This sort of thinking leads to universalism. Karl Barth turned the doctrine of election into a thing of joy when he discovered that the entire world, no matter what religion, was elected in Jesus Christ.[6]

With a complete Biblical and moderate, not extreme, understanding of Calvin’s teachings many of these objections go away. “I felt like Calvinism was more than abstract points of theology,” said Cochran, 25. “I felt you would get a much bigger view of God if you accepted these things, an understanding of justice and grace that would so deepen your affections for God, that would make you so much more grateful for his grace.[7]For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.[8] It is not about what man can do or does. Man does not earn salvation. God gives it by grace. This Calvinist and Biblical way of thinking, in the context of a personal relationship with God should spur evangelism. It is this understanding of grace in light of the doctrine of election that Baptists need to get back to, much like the when J. T. Daggs wrote his Manuel of Theology.


[1] John MacArthur Jr. Is the doctrine of election Biblical? Adapted from The Body Dynamic. (1996.) Christian Art Distributors. Retrieved from http://www.biblebb.com/files/MAC/GTYW02.htm accessed on Aug. 1st, 2009, pg. 1.

[2] Collin Hansen. “Young, restless, reformed,” pg. 37.

[3] Which is ironic, in my own personal opinion, I am not sure how Arminius does not see that. –He chooses not to! The one who advocates “free will” cannot understand that free will got us into total depravity and in need of reconciliation. But this is another argument for another paper on Total depravity!

[4] Wayne Grudem. Systematic Theology. Pg. 681

[5] Ibid, pg 683.

[6] Ralph Wood, “What Ever Happened to Baptist Calvinist?,” pg. 597.

[7] Collin Hansen. “Young, restless, reformed,” pg. 38

[8] NASB. Eph. 2:8,9.