My Conversion to the Doctrines of Grace – Part 2

Surprisingly, my conversion from free-will, Arminian theology to Calvinism came rather swiftly. It’s shocking really, if you only understood the depths of hatred I once held toward those doctrines. (See Part 1 of this series for proof).

I resisted initially, desperately hopeful that some sensible compromise existed between these diametrically opposed belief systems. I figured Arminianism fell into one ditch while Calvinism veered clear over to the other side of the road. I searched in vain for the imaginary highway that ran through the middle of both views, but of course I never found any signs to point the way. After wrangling with Calvinism for about 4 months, I finally beheld its beauty with a clarity only the Holy Spirit could grant.

The ditch I had plowed into, turns out, is really an off-ramp exiting the pothole plagued ‘Free Will’ service road. It flows into a smoothly paved four-lane interstate winding a clear path to the Celestial City. The road first runs through the firmly established townships of Sola Fide, Sola Gratia, Solus Christus, Sola Scriptura and finally Soli Deo Gloria, which lies at the very gates of the streets of gold.

You may have already deduced the obvious. My diligent search through the scriptures utterly convinced me of the truth of the Doctrines of Grace.

So, the first and foremost reason I became a Calvinist is the overwhelming evidence contained in the scriptures declaring God’s unquestionable sovereignty over every person, place and event in all of history.

The scriptures seen through the lens of God’s sovereignty and man’s helplessness made clear to me salvation can only be a gift freely bestowed upon those the Father has loved.
A Calvinistic world view allowed me to engage scripture passages that in the past I had tended to avoid, because they made me uncomfortable. In retrospect, it is clearly obvious why I avoided them. They shook the very foundations of my belief systems. I passed over difficult passages (such as those found in Romans Ch 8-9) expounding the doctrines of election and reprobation. If ever confronted with them in study or conversation I would quickly throw out carefully articulated defenses I had memorized from teachers opposed to the Reformed Faith without giving the text much thought.

I won’t go into detail about how the scriptures convinced me of Calvinism, (I will fulfill that requirement in my Tiptoeing Through the TULIP series) but will briefly explain how Arminianism failed to answer one very nagging question satisfactorily and how the Doctrines of Grace did answer it.

The question formed in my mind partly due to the church growth principles embraced so fiercely by my former church. We changed our altar call by adopting a sinner’s prayer approach to salvation, which included a pulpit guarantee of eternal life for all who spoke the prayer aloud and ‘meant it in their heart.’ I questioned the validity of such a presumptuous statement. In these prayers sin was never confronted . The pastor never clearly defined it as a power of wickedness that dominates human nature. He didn’t strip people naked (figuratively, of course) and lay them bare before the holiness of God with the righteousness of the law. He didn’t send them to their knees, pleading for mercy; a poor sinner in desperate need of grace through the righteousness of Christ.

The question causing so much unrest in my soul was this:

Is salvation really as easy as reciting a canned prayer, and sincerely confessing belief in a certain set of biblical truths?

I didn’t remember it being that easy for me! More importantly, where did the Holy Spirit fit into this approach? I had always believed that the ministry of the Holy Spirit actively participated in the conversion of a soul, even if I did not really understand why. I mean, as a former ‘free-willie’ type, I strongly believed that every person had to make a choice unconstrained by inward or outward influence to follow Christ. To be honest, I am obligated to believe this or my doctrine of free will would be crushed. Yet, at the same time I also believed the Holy Spirit initiated this process, too. I never took the time to examine the obvious dichotomy between these ideas – at least until I began to examine the theology of salvation.

My search began with man’s nature. I quickly discovered man by nature did not seek after God, understand or receive the things of God, nor does he do good. Great enmity exists between man and God. This, in turn, has created a gulf that no man can bridge. The fact of the matter is, no man has any desire to cross that gulf and be reconciled to his Creator – at least not naturally. God took it upon himself to bridge the gap with the cross of Christ. He has reconciled to himself people from every tribe, tongue and nation for His glory alone. The only way God gets all the glory is if salvation is His to bestow on whom He wishes. God’s glory shines most brilliantly when we see that our salvation is From His sovereign hand from first to last. The doctrine of man’s total depravity utterly convinced me that salvation through rote recitation of a canned prayer is about as effective in converting souls as was the Spanish Inquisition. You might get a lot of converts, but their motivations are often centered solely on the immediate temporal benefits of doing so.

The Holy Spirit is not only a necessary helper in man’s conversion but acts as the lone agent in the regeneration of our souls. This is called the doctrine of Monergism. The Holy Spirit sends us to our knees with deep-hearted conviction. We then crawl to the altar of repentance, sapped of even the strength to lift up our heads toward heaven. With profound regret we beat our breasts and cry out “Lord, have mercy on me a sinner.” The Holy Spirit grants us a measure of faith, bestowed as a gift flowing from the cross of Christ. Man cannot come to Jesus in his own power. God, willing to show his great kindness and mercy, plucks many poor condemned souls from the jaws of hell and clothes them in the white robes of righteousness. They shall shine like the sun for all eternity.

At that point I had allowed the truth of God’s word to transform my highly overrated opinion of human nature. I realized God must renew the heart in order for any soul to be rescued from eternal damnation. If all this be true then God must choose who lives and who dies. The bible is clear in showing that only few ever find the narrow gate that leads to life. I then had to redefine the doctrines of election, predestination and foreknowledge. In light of my new understanding of man’s inherit corruptness, I could no longer believe that election and predestination referred to only God’s plan of salvation through Jesus Christ. A closer study revealed these verses taught the actual salvation of particular people through Jesus Christ. I had been taught Arminian doctrine as a toddler Christian. I held tenaciously to them without ever studying the passages thoroughly. If God indeed foreordained only the plan, He must believe in man’s natural ability to come to Him of his own free will. But this runs contradictory to the well established truth of man’s total depravity. Based on that fact alone, my errant election theology got tossed in the dumpster alongside my ‘man is not all bad’ belief.

So in wrapping up this post, the domino effect of theological truths beginning with man’s Total depravity unfolded very clearly the remaing ULIP in short order. Yes, it all makes sense logically, but that alone is not enough to believe it. The scriptures from Genesis to Revelation reveal these truths to be self-evident. I will go deeper in future articles concerning the exegesis of these holy doctrines. For now, know this: The only way I could fiercely embrace these doctrines, that are unquestionably repugnant to the carnal mind, is by the grace of God and submission to the authority of His eternal, inerrant word.

Read Part Three HERE.

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19 thoughts on “My Conversion to the Doctrines of Grace – Part 2

  1. Faulty logic: “…desperately hopeful that some sensible compromise existed between these diametrically opposed belief systems.” You seem to have started your journey from somebody’s theological ideas rather than from Scripture. I’m guessing you would deny that, but that’s surely what your statement reads. Our understanding of God is not, “is He Calvinist or Arminian?” He is neither; God is God! If you start with the wrong question, you will likely wind up with the wrong answer. It seems that your view of God is “either/or”. I would strongly disagree. God is not a Calvinist nor an Arminian. He is far too big to be boxed into what we can comprehend and explain.

    Great comment: “…overwhelming evidence contained in the scriptures declaring God’s unquestionable sovereignty over every person, place and event in all of history.” Amen, amen, and amen.

    Faulty assumption: “Yes, it all makes sense logically…” Soteriology doesn’t have to make sense. We should try to understand it as we seek the Holy Spirit to enlighten our minds with God’s inerrent word. But, at the end of the day, it is not logic we need. It is acquiesing to God’s ways – that He calls us, draws us, and gives us faith. And…you won’t like this…we respond to that amazing, unexplainable grace.

    I don’t doubt for a minute that your previous pastor “sold” a cheap grace. But don’t throw the baby out with the bath water. Jesus said we must come to Him as a child. How hard can that be? Depends on how hard we want to hold on to our old, sinful ways.
    Billy

  2. QUOTE: Faulty logic: “…desperately hopeful that some sensible compromise existed between these diametrically opposed belief systems.” You seem to have started your journey from somebody’s theological ideas rather than from Scripture. I’m guessing you would deny that, but that’s surely what your statement reads. Our understanding of God is not, “is He Calvinist or Arminian?” He is neither; God is God! If you start with the wrong question, you will likely wind up with the wrong answer. It seems that your view of God is “either/or”. I would strongly disagree. God is not a Calvinist nor an Arminian. He is far too big to be boxed into what we can comprehend and explain.

    Forget the Arminian/Calvinistic terminology for a moment. The issue comes down to this: Does God cooperate with spiritually dead, God-hating men to achieve salvation? This is synergism. That’s one side of the pendulum.
    The other side is monergism – That God acts alone through the work of the Trinity to bring men to salvation.
    What other possibility remains? Oh, yes I did forget one. Pelagianism! This category believes man doesn’t need God at all. He can perfectly obey the laws of God and merit eternal life – But no one in their right mind would believe that! – Or would they?

    Quote: Soteriology doesn’t have to make sense

    I’m still scratching my head over that one… salvation makes absolute sense, or how could we understand it or ever teach it? How can truth come alive in our hearts without making some sense to our minds. The mind is not detached from our spirit when the Holy Ghost makes the scriptures alive in us.

    QUOTE: But, at the end of the day, it is not logic we need.

    I didn’t say I depended on logic, I trusted in the scriptures.

    QUOTE: t is acquiesing to God’s ways – that He calls us, draws us, and gives us faith. And…you won’t like this…we respond to that amazing, unexplainable grace.

    Yes, of course we respond to that amazing grace, it’s the how we are able to respond that is in question.

    QUOTE: Jesus said we must come to Him as a child. How hard can that be? Depends on how hard we want to hold on to our old, sinful ways.

    How hard is it for a naturally prideful heart to come to God in humility? Ponder that for awhile.

    My, Mr. Edwards, you are keeping me quite busy today.

    God Bless
    Brandon L.

  3. Hey Brandon,

    Good post! Just a couple of comments. One concerns logic. I don’t want to get into too much detail on epistimology or other big words, but the Scriptures were given by God to man for the express purpose of revelation. That means that we are supposed to understand them. Not that everything in Scripture is easy to understand, as Peter so clearly describes in 2 Peter 3:15-16. However, the Scriptures should be interpreted in a logical and systematic fashion, rather than a mystical and haphazard fashion. I would contend that soteriology should make sense, but it is God that opens our mind for it to make sense using our faculties of thinking and logic that He has so graciously bestowed. Salvation is not a feeling, nor is it accepting Jesus in my heart. Faith in English is from the Greek word that means trust. We trust God that He is faithful. We trust God will justify, and that Jesus actually was who the BIble says he was, and did that the Bible said he did. I submit that we can’t trust God unless the object of our trust, God, is clear and logical. Christianity, quite frankly, is the only religion (so to speak) on this planet that is logical, and historical as well. All others require leaps of faith.

    Calvinism and Arminianism (and Pelagianism) are systems through which people have summarized Biblical teaching. However, I would again submit that, as Spurgeon has stated, Calvinism reflects the gospel. It is the only system that can answer questions such as Why are some people saved and some are not (which came up at my church last night) in a clear Biblical way. We may not like what Romans 9 or Ephesians 1 says, but they are pretty clear. And the Arminian doctrine of prevenient grace is nowhere in the Scriptures.

    Arminianism, any way you cut it, allows for us to do something to gain justification. Calvinism makes sure that God gets all of the glory in salvation.

    Finally, I am glad that your pastor didn’t strip people naked. For some people, that would seriously hamper that “love your neighbor” thing, and on the other hand, it might really make it hard to obey the 7th commandment! 🙂

    Brett (T-bone)

  4. T-bone,
    Your commentary on logic was very well put. And your absolutely right, Christianity is the only truly logical religion on the planet.
    I too agree with Spurgeon that Calvinism best reflects the gospel. Its all about God’s glory – not ours.
    On a side note, you mentioned Romans 9. I just listened to an audio message by James White giving an excellent exposition of that chapter.
    Here, give it a listen.
    [audio src="http://mp3.aomin.org/JRW/Romans9.mp3" /]

    God Bless
    Brandon L.

  5. Brandon, you switched horses on me in the middle of the stream! You began with the whole C-A debate, then switched to monergism/synergism. Believe it or not, I’m believe God is the single causer of salvation. But I also believe that we must respond to that – and that our response is not some puppet-like action. How do you explain all the “whosoever will’s” of the Bible? And again, I contend that your starting place is faullty – a theological construct that is nice, neat, packaged, and void of questions. You started your journedy as an A, are now a C. How about a “B”?

    I’ll admit right off the bat that, despite a modicum of theological training, I’m not the brightest bulb in the package. I’ll admit that you guys (Brandon and Brett) are probably more versed in some aspects of theology. However, what puzzles me a bit is this whole” logic” thing. I guess I’m bothered that you two, B&B, seem to have such a nicely packaged system of God. I know you both have a very high view of God. That so, how can you be so convinced that God must act in conformity to a man-made theological system? And why do you feel the need to explain why some are saved and some are not? Is there no mystery to God’s ways? Or do we have to explain everything?

    Perhaps my time on this planet – 51 years to be exact – and my spiritual journey (personally, familially, and ministerially) have led me to many more questions than answers. Maybe you guys haven’t had that. Maybe you will, maybe not. But I’m fully content with becoming a serious, well-versed student of God’s inerrent word by the power of the Holy Spirit, while at the same time living with the contradictions of God’s ways that I cannot explain. You ought to try it…it’s freeing, really. “Why” is a dead-end street for God’s kids. Trust, on the other hand, while hard to do all the time, is a path of freedom and joy.
    Billy

  6. Let me try to be concise here. Arminianism is Synergism. Calvinism is monergism. I thought the terms were hanging you up because they are named after men so I switched gears a bit.

    QUOTE: Believe it or not, I’m believe God is the single causer of salvation. But I also believe that we must respond to that – and that our response is not some puppet-like action.

    Again, we do respond to the gospel, and no it is not a puppet-like action. Calvinism has been misunderstood on this aspect for centuries.
    And you are inconsistent to write as you do elsewhere that you believe in total depravity yet believe we can independently make free will choices over repentance toward God and faith in Jesus Christ. That would be partial depravity. Read my Radical Corruption Series to understand total depravity better.

    Ok, here’s what we do not say or remotely believe about logic and Calvinism
    – Logic can save you
    – Logic comes separate from illumination of God’s revelation
    – Calvinism answers all questions
    -Calvinism takes the mystery of God’s will away.
    — Calvinism is based on man’s ideas
    -That God must act in conformity to man-made theologies
    -Calvinism takes all the mystery out of salvation.

    Please, put away all your presuppositions and just openly examine the scriptures on these issues. In your last paragraph you sound almost emergent; embracing mystery, content in not understanding those things he has freely revealed to us. Yes, I believe that the secret things belong to the Lord, but those things he has revealed are for us and our children forever.
    Perhaps you have more questions than answers because that is the lasting fruit of Arminian theology. An aberrant teaching cannot give true answers. I beg you to give the Doctrines of Grace a chance.

  7. Hey Billy;

    Good post there. And what do you know. You are a “B’ too. The three B’s! That’s what my mom called me, my brother, and my dad!

    Believe me, I understand exactly where you are coming from. And please don’t get me wrong. We would not even be able to understand anything about God or the Scriptures without the work of the Holy Spirit. Spiritual things can only be spiritually discerned. The natural mind is at odds with God. As Paul said, no one seeks God, and no one understands God. However, I think you may have misunderstood us a bit. We are not saying that God must act in accordance with a man-made theological system. That, as you say, is not going to happen. And certainly there are still mysteries that God has not felt the need to reveal to us yet. Why do some things happen? We may never know, because it is not meant for us to know. But the Bible is God’s complete revelation to us. There is no more, or no less. And certainly, God would not have given us His revelation without meaning for us to understand it. The Bible tells us all we need to know, but not necessarily all we want to know.

    That said, what the Bible does say, we need to make every effort to understand through prayer and study. God does not act according to a man-made system, but the man-made system is rather a systematic summary of the teaching of the Bible. We derive the system from the Bible, not the other way around. The Bible is the Word of God alone, but we do not use the Bible alone. And certainly, there are mysteries to God, but if the Bible is true, then we can be sure that God will act according to His word. That is His faithfulness. If that were not the case, then we would never know anything about God for sure. God can never be fully known, but what we do know that has been revealed can be truly known, for sure. So these systems do not put God in a box, but serve to define Him and organize Him the way He has chosen to reveal Himself to us. These systems help us to gather the doctrines God has revealed in a way that we can readily see. They are not infallible, but are tools to help us understand an infinite God and His ways as He has revealed them.

    My point is this, after a long-winded rant: faith is not a blind leap. While we will never know all there is to know about God, and can never know all there is to know about God, we can definitely know some things. Those things He has revealed in His Word. He has revealed them through the means of language, which is structured, logical, and meant for comprehension. So we must be diligent in our prayer and study so that we may comprehend and trust all that God has said. “Why” is a legitimate question, and is the basis of learning. You might try asking God “why;” it’s OK, He can handle it! 🙂

    By the way, Romans 9 explains exactly why some people are saved and some are not. So does John 6, 10, and 17, among other places.

    Gotta run. My daughter needs a bath! I love this conversation. We can disagree about some things, yet still be brothers in Christ. I love it!

  8. You “Bible-only” people sure through around the names of a lot of Bible interpreters and mediators.

    Scripturally and historically, salvation happens via Baptism/incorporation into the Body of Christ. Read that guy Paul of whom who are so fond.

    Astonishing that you folks believe that the Apostles got everything wrong, right off the bat, and it took 1500 years, plus a lot of squabbles in subsequent centuries to get it right.

    Does that make any sense at all?

  9. First, thank you, T-bone, for the well-worded reply. I, too, appreciate that we can have conversation and disagree, yet still be brothers. I’m grateful for your attitude – may your tribe increase!

    Brandon,
    I’m glad that I had a few days of extreme busyness – moving a daughter and her husband, coaching my peewee football team, helping another daughter with some house remodeling, visiting the hospital, and oh, yeah, preparing sermons. It gave me time to respond in a better frame of mind.

    I’m well acquainted with theological constructs – spent many hours studying and reading systematic and biblical theology in seminary. I’ve spent literally hundreds of hours while in seminary (and since) talking to folks who are both Calvinists and Armenians. I’ve read a good bit of Calvin’s Institutes as well. I may not be as versed as you in some things, but I’ve got a good handle on theology, at least for an old country boy.

    I understand that you wouldn’t know all that, but I was still pretty miffed about what I perceived as your condescending tone. Honestly, I don’t have to read your posts to understand total depravity.

    But you have missed my point. It’s not the names associated with theology that throw me – whether C or A or monergism or synergism. My point – and again I trust you don’t miss it – is that you have bought hook, line, and sinker into the idea that either C or A has to be true…that there is no wiggle room. In your mind, one has to be either C or A. This is the false assumption. And I still understand that you don’t agree with that. But your insistence on 5-point Calvinism as the only valid way to look at salvation is missing an abundancy of Biblical thought – chiefly, the “whosoever will’s”. But we probably will never agree on that.

    Nowhere did I say that man makes an independent choice for Christ. You quoted me when I said that I beleive God is the single causer of salvation. He initiates it, convicts men of their sinful, dead state, draws depraved (totally, OK!) men to Himself, and gives them faith to believe. But man responds to that, or fails to do so. After reading SCRIPTURE, I can see nothing other than that.

    As to the idea that I hold to the mystery of God and thus I am somehow “emergent”, may be as ludicrous a comment as I’ve heard in a while. I’m figuring you know that people have held to the mystery of God down through the ages. It didn’t start with Brian MacClaren.

    An even more astounding statement is that my supposed Arminian theology leaves me in the dark about God’s revealed Self. That’s nuts! First, I’m not Arminian! Second, if I were, that would have no bearing on my not understanding all there is to know about God. I understand Scripture. I have the Holy Spirit, I have been trained in Greek, Hebrew, systematic theology, church history, and the Scriptures. I have study tools that greatly aid me. Yet, in all that, much of God is a mystery to me. I don’t understand having to tell a committed believer than his wife was killed in a car wreck at age 32. I don’t understand having to hold parents who have just lost babies to cancer or liver disease. But I do understand why those people still love God, trust Him, and hold on to Him despite their pain and loss. Neither C nor A has an answer to that.

    Finally, I am still offended that you think because I question the tenents of Calvinism that I do not hold to the doctrine of grace. That statement is the perfect example of your thinking…that one is either Calvinist, or else he is heretical. You could not be farther from the truth.

    I do thank you for your replies to me, and for your passion for the the truth.

  10. Mr. Edwards,
    I apologize if my tone appeared condescending, that was not my intent. With the flurry of comments I received last week I just tried to be short and to the point. I do not wish to offend you in any way. I am truly sorry.

    You are busy fellow. I don’t think I could handle all the responsibilities you do. I’m not much of a multitasker.

    I say this with utmost sincerity, your theological credentials are quite impressive. I can’t hold a candle to you in that aspect.

    QUOTE: But you have missed my point. It’s not the names associated with theology that throw me – whether C or A or monergism or synergism. My point – and again I trust you don’t miss it – is that you have bought hook, line, and sinker into the idea that either C or A has to be true…that there is no wiggle room. In your mind, one has to be either C or A. This is the false assumption. And I still understand that you don’t agree with that. But your insistence on 5-point Calvinism as the only valid way to look at salvation is missing an abundancy of Biblical thought – chiefly, the “whosoever will’s”. But we probably will never agree on that.

    I honestly don’t see any other possibilities than synergism (Man cooperates with God), monergism (God acts alone) or Pelagianism (Man acts alone). ‘Whosoever will’ is compatible with Calvinism. (I’ll get more into that when I resume my series.)

    QUOTE: Nowhere did I say that man makes an independent choice for Christ. You quoted me when I said that I beleive God is the single causer of salvation. He initiates it, convicts men of their sinful, dead state, draws depraved (totally, OK!) men to Himself, and gives them faith to believe. But man responds to that, or fails to do so. After reading SCRIPTURE, I can see nothing other than that.

    What you state here shows me you believe in the classic Arminian view of ‘Prevenient grace. I respect that form of ‘free will’ much more so than today’s semi-Pelagian ‘decide for Jesus’ approach. It’s similar in many ways to the doctrines of Grace that I embrace. For a closer look at my thoughts on prevenient grace please read my article My Half-Hearted Apology to Jacob Arminius.

    QUOTE: As to the idea that I hold to the mystery of God and thus I am somehow “emergent”, may be as ludicrous a comment as I’ve heard in a while. I’m figuring you know that people have held to the mystery of God down through the ages. It didn’t start with Brian MacClaren.

    Ok, I apologize for that. I get a little jumpy with all the denial of absolute biblical truth spreading like wildfire – and for the record I didn’t actually accuse of being emergent, only sounding a little like one.

    QUOTE: An even more astounding statement is that my supposed Arminian theology leaves me in the dark about God’s revealed Self. That’s nuts! First, I’m not Arminian! Second, if I were, that would have no bearing on my not understanding all there is to know about God. I understand Scripture. I have the Holy Spirit, I have been trained in Greek, Hebrew, systematic theology, church history, and the Scriptures. I have study tools that greatly aid me. Yet, in all that, much of God is a mystery to me. I don’t understand having to tell a committed believer than his wife was killed in a car wreck at age 32. I don’t understand having to hold parents who have just lost babies to cancer or liver disease. But I do understand why those people still love God, trust Him, and hold on to Him despite their pain and loss. Neither C nor A has an answer to that.

    I understand what you are saying. I never intended to convey that I believe Calvinism answers all questions. I too do not understand the ‘why’ when events unfold the way they do. Calvinism simply states (and I believe in a comforting way) that no matter what happens God is God and he is sovereign over all events in history. Nothing happens apart from his direct decree or his permission.

    QUOTE: Finally, I am still offended that you think because I question the tenents of Calvinism that I do not hold to the doctrine of grace. That statement is the perfect example of your thinking…that one is either Calvinist, or else he is heretical. You could not be farther from the truth.

    Another misunderstanding –boy, I guess I need to work on my communication skills. When I say ‘doctrines of Grace’ I am referring specifically to the Calvinistic doctrines of total depravity, unconditional election, etc. etc. Maybe I should say the doctrines of God’s Sovereign Grace. No, I am not at all saying that you do not have a grasp on God’s grace. And I definitely am not saying Arminians are heretics. If so, I spent my first 10 years as a born-again Christian living as a heretic.

    Thanks for your patience and graciousness.
    God Bless
    Brandon L.

  11. Thank you for your gracious reply. I really appreciate your passion and your apology, as well. I understand where you are coming from a bit better, and I’m grateful that we can have this discussion. Believe it or not, it sharpens me! :>)

    And again, I look forward to the next posts, especially the next 2. I think you’re the kind of guy I’d love to play golf with, and talk theology over coffee.

    And BTW, it is the sovereignty of God that gives me – and all who will believe that great truth – comfort when tragedy strikes. Outside of a loving God running the show, little else makes sense in those times.

  12. Have you ever heard John Piper speak of his “conversion” to the Doctrines of Grace? It occurred during a seminary class on Romans 9. He speaks of beating the desk, literally crying tears upon the pages of his Bible, of getting in a professor’s face, taking a pen out of his pocket, dropping it, and emphatically stating, “See, I DROPPED THE PEN. I DECIDED.” It was a tough road, but finally the Scriptures won out and he, like you, finally saw the beauty in the Doctrines…and he has been a wonderful apologist for them ever since.

    In fact, he has a long audio series on TULIP available at Desiring God. In it, he addresses each point, bringing out the Scriptures each uses to support his argument. He then discusses why he believes the Reformed side is correct. And then he does something no one else ever seems to do: He addresses the Scriptures the other side uses and explains how they still fit in. He recognizes that each side must address the other side’s Scriptures, for they are all contained in the Bible. He also does it all in the charitable manner of a teaching pastor.

    Blessings,

    Charley
    Get Serious Blog
    HomeDiscipling Dad Blog

  13. I don’t remember that the testimony to his coming to embrace the Doctrines of Grace was in the TULIP series or not (might have been). But I know it was in his series on Romans when he was in Chapter 9. Also, the TULIP series is available to listen online or for download…an intro and seven parts. You can also purchase the CDs. Just go to the DGM website and search for TULIP.

    Charley
    Get Serious Blog
    HomeDiscipling Dad Blog

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