Four Views of Salvation Throughout Church History


Theological Position

God’s Contribution in Salvation

Man’s Contribution in Salvation

Pelagianism

Non-Essential – other than granting the grace of free will and the revelation of his commandments that man may know how to please him.

Total. Gains God’s favor with his wise free will choice and strict obedience to the commandments.

Semi-Pelagianism

Secondary. Responds to man’s initiative to repent and believe the gospel.

Primary. Must take initiative to repent and believe the gospel.

Arminianism

Primary. A special act of grace is necessary for any man to repent and believe the gospel.

Secondary. Responds to God’s act of grace by making a free will choice to repent and believe the gospel.

Calvinism

Total. A special act of grace irresistibly calls and enables man to repent and believe the gospel. This grace does not fail to achieve its goal.

Non-Essential. His repentance and faith proceeds from God as a gift of grace.

Is Only Willing Love worth the Price?


I have featured this atrocious video before but it is so theologically bankrupt that it bears another look.  I saw this again recently on You Tube and was disturbed to find many people actually defending it.  Sadly, this song sums up the soteriology of a large segment of Evangelicalism today.  I have listed below the lyrics to  ‘I Give You Freedom’ or ‘The Whippoorwill Song’.  A few observations will follow. Blatant heresy has been bolded for your convenience.

I set the boundaries of the ocean vast,
Carved out the mountains from the distant past,
Molded a man from the miry clay,
Breathed in him life, but he went astray.

CHORUS:
I own the cattle on a thousand hills,
I write the music for the whippoorwills,
Control the planets with their rocks and rills,
But give you freedom to use your own will.

And if you want Me to, I’ll make you whole,
I’ll only do it tho’ if you say so.
I’ll never force you, for I love you so,
I give you freedom – Is it “yes” or “no”?

I hold the waters in My mighty hand
Spread out the heavens with a single span,
Make all creation tremble at My voice,
But My own children come to Me by choice.
(chorus)

Even the oxen knows the master’s stall,
And sheep will recognize the shepherd’s call
I could demand your love – I own you twice,
But only willing love is worth the price!

(chorus)

Continue reading

In the Valley


Here is a great quote from an unknown source.  If anyone can identify the author for me I would greatly appreciate it.  Whoever penned this piece of divine wisdom should be given due credit.

We pray for courage in times of tribulation – then question our Commander’s battle plan. We pray to be made perfect – then run at the first sight of the refining fire. We pray for brokenness – then flee the Potter’s hands. All too often our Savior’s merciful act of sanctification is met by our doubt when we discover that His path may lead us down the valley of the shadow of death. How foolish it is for us to demand peaceful green pastures, as if we expect to be carried to Heaven’s skies on “flowery beds of ease.” We erroneously see these valleys as periods of abandonment, when they are actually demonstrations of Christ’s perfect love. Our Father gives only good gifts to his children: this is His character, and as such is not subject to change. The man that proclaims his gratitude only when “the Lord giveth” has much to learn. When “the Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away”, man often forgets gratitude and screams injustice has befallen him. He searches for any visible exit, then sprints toward escape. But God did not design these tests so man could cheat. He designed these tests so man could be made more like the image of His Son. When we finally see God as truly good and merciful beyond compare, we will not flee. We will instead fall face down in the valley before the Lord of perfect love and worship His majestic sovereignty. This humble submission is where peace and joy can be experienced; the misery comes when we lean on our own understanding and attempt to climb out of the valley. My Commander will give me His strength, and I will stay in the valley He has ordained. When I pray to be made perfect by God’s grace, I will welcome His refining fire. When I pray for brokenness, I will rest in the Potter’s outstretched hands. Only then will I be able to repeat, “The Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” – Unknown.

Grasping God


I am currently reading Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology and last night I came across a section on God’s incommunicable attributes.  This refers to the fact that God possesses certain attributes that he has not shared or passed on to mankind.  For example, God is eternal and infinite in his being, having neither beginning nor end.  However, man is finite and has a definite beginning.  God is independent in that he does not depend on any source outside of himself to sustain his existence.  Since he created all things he does not require creation to ‘Be’.  Man cannot claim this attribute.  These traits are opposite of his communicable attributes, or those qualities of God that he has shared or passed on to mankind.  Examples of this would include God’s love, justice, and mercy.  Man has the capacity to express each and everyone of these divine attributes, though not to the degree and scope that God does. Continue reading

Notice: Programming Change


For personal reasons I am suspending the weekly posts on my thoughts concerning the Sunday sermon at our church. I may still post one on occasion as I see fit.  I am concentrating on other endeavours at this time.  Look for an announcement in the next week or two that will have an impact on me personally and on this blog.

Stay on Target…


Distinguished Scottish theologian Sinclair Ferguson has some sound counsel for pastors and teachers who preach from the Gospel accounts of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.  This is a particularly relevant quote for the season I am currently in right now.  Plus, I’ve been looking for an opportunity to use a Star Wars quote as a post title…

Too often preaching on the Gospels takes what I whimsically think of as the “Find Waldo Approach.” The underlying question in the sermon is “Where are you to be found in this story?” (are you Martha or Mary, James and John, Peter, the grateful leper . . .?). The question “Where, Who and What is Jesus in this story? Tends to be marginalized. The truth is it is far easier to preach about Mary, Martha, James, John, or Peter than it is about Christ. It is far easier to preach even about the darkness of sin and the human heart than to preach Christ. Plus my bookshelves are groaning with literature on Mary, Martha . . . the good life, the family life, the Spirit-filled life, the parenting life, the damaged self life . . . but most of us have only a few inches of shelf space on the person and work of Christ himself. Am I absolutely at my best when talking about him, or about us?