Monday, October 08, 2007

Calvinists Are Target of an Insightful Piece of Arminian Semi-Satire

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Thanks to my book cover artist friend, Chad Toney, I was alerted to this multi-part semi-satirical series by one "Mofast": a Wesleyan / Arminian clergyman. It's good enough to land him on my "Misc. Protestant" list of links. Like many of us non-Calvinists (I was Arminian as a Protestant and a Molinist as a Catholic), he is sick and tired of being condescendingly relegated to heterodoxy in matters soteriological, and being regarded as a second-class Christian, if at all. And that's why he wrote this:

Are all Calvinists Going to Hell?

Part I

Part II

Part III

It looks to be an ongoing series, so keep checking back on his blog. Some examples:
I have read blog comments that state, "I believe that Arminianism taken to its logical conclusions leads directly to heresy." Other blog posts are more blunt. I'll quote an unnamed blog, "Arminianism: The heresy plaguing the modern church of the 21st century. What is it and where did it come from?" The same blog credits John Wesley with "propagat(ing) the doctrine and resurrect(ing) the Pelagian error from the pit of hell once again to persecute the church of Christ." And again, "Sincere, theologically astute Arminians are more destructive to the church than sincere Buddhists will ever be." Another blog lovingly states,"those who have been saved have ceased to be Arminians, or else they are not saved." Another website states that Arminians are not saved because "they hate the truth."

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I would also like to coin a new phrase, "Romansolotry," which obviously means the worship and deification of the book of Romans. If you have been "preaching" from the book of Romans for more than 3 months (let alone several years) then I would, on behalf of your poor congregation, like to introduce you to the rest of the canon. We call it "The Bible." There are many books in it. Arminians believe in the inspiration of all of scripture, not only the Epistle to the Romans. I would especially like to draw your attention to Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. We Arminians calls these, "Gospels." Check them out.

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I have read through some books by Calvinists and one of the stunts they like to pull is to correct everyone on how to really read a majority of Scripture. For example, a verse such as 1 Timothy 2:3-4 "This is right and is acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires everyone to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth." needs to be reworked so we have the appropriate understanding of "everyone" and "saved". It could not mean what it appears to mean. It could not mean what the tradition of Christian thought through the majority of time and for the majority of people has meant. There is no way that God could desire that "everyone" would be saved! Or, of course, there is 2 Peter 3:9 "The Lord is not slow about his promise, as some think of slowness, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish, but all to come to repentance." Again, that couldn't mean that God didn't want "any" to perish.

And from Comments boxes:

Some Calvinists talk as if the theological house of cards that is the system of Calvinism contains no presuppositions or philosophical thought. The flip side of the argument also drives me crazy - the implication that Calvinists value scripture more or take it more seriously. It is this deception and mischaracterization that I am on a mission to bring to light.

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These posts are aimed at people who believe in Calvinism and who continue to tell people like me (Wesleyan Arminian) that we are heretics and outside of orthodoxy.

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Wesleyan Arminians believe that God's prevenient grace is active in all people - restoring their fallen nature to the point that they can choose to place their faith in Christ. Furthermore, we believe that God's grace can be resisted. So, we do believe that it is God's grace that saves us, however we also believe that God acting graciously respects our free choice.

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It is fair to say, "I vehemently disagree with your interpretation of portions of Scripture." I don't believe it is fair to say "you are ignoring portions of scripture."

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