Cork Free Presbyterian Church, 10 Briarscourt (Annex) Shanakiel, Cork, Ireland Pastor: Colin Maxwell. Email: cfpc@esatclear.ie

 

THE BALANCED TRUTH OF CALVINISM

 

Doctrine:

Unbalanced

Arminianism

Balanced

Calvinism

Unbalanced Hyper-Calvinism

Man's responsibility

Rightly emphasise it but believe it implies man's ability & so deny man's total depravity.

Believe that man is absolutely responsible for his actions while God is absolutely sovereign.

Deny man's responsibility in a vain effort to protect the doctrine of man's depravity. Reduces man to being a block of wood.

God's Sovereignty

Believe it in regards to creation & providence etc., but deny it in the most important matter of all i.e. salvation.

Believe this truth holds in every situation. "All my ways shall ever be… ordered by His wise decree"

Hold to this doctrine but over emphasise it to the exclusion of man's responsibility.

Man's depravity

Deny this doctrine believing that all men have the ability to repent & believe the gospel.

Believe that while all men are required to repent etc., SIN has robbed them of the power to do so.

Hold to this doctrine but over emphasise it to the exclusion of man's responsibility.

Election

Make it conditional upon faith. Effectively self election rather than "God's election"

Place it where it belongs - in the hand of God. Unconditional so as to put God under no obligation.

Hold to this doctrine but over emphasise it to the exclusion of man's responsibility.

Extent of the Atonement

Believe that it extends to every last son of Adam, including those who eternally in hell when Jesus died.

Believe that although sufficient for all men in its merit…yet intended to redeem only the elect.

Afraid to preach the universal aspect of the atonement (Compare the Calvinist belief) lest they be considered Arminian.

Effect of the Atonement

Largely ineffectual since many of those for whom Christ is said to have died are bearing those same sins in Hell for which He is said to have died.

Totally effectual since every last one for whom Christ died will be gathered in, thus making His feeling of satisfaction (Isaiah 53:10) credible.

There does not seem to be any imbalance here on this particular point.

Preaching of the Atonement

Although sound in preaching the free offer of the gospel, their theology is inherently compromised.

Preach the free offer of the gospel, assuring every last man (elect or not) that if they come to the Cross, they will find pardon.

Will only preach it as a fact. As above, will not offer it. Believe that the free offer implies creature power… which it doesn't.

Effectual grace

Believe that the grace of God can always be resisted by the sinner.

Believe that the elect and non elect alike can resist the grace of God… but there comes a time when the elect find it irresistible.

Too much emphasise on this doctrine leaves them in a state of practical fatalism.

Perseverance of the Saints

Rank Arminians believe that true Christians can lose their salvation. Others who disbelieve the first 4 points of Calvinism, effectively believe the last.

The elect will persevere in holiness unto the end and so will be saved, being kept by the power of God through faith.

Although they believe this doctrine in theory…yet their over emphasise on other points leaves them constantly in a state of gloomy doubt.

Evangelism

 

Click here for article on Calvin - the Soulwinner.

Believe it in although their basic message is compromised & they have no absolute assurance of the success of their mission.

Believe in it - can offer a Saviour who actually accomplished something at Calvary - as opposed to merely making it possible - and have absolute guarantee by divine decree that their mission will be successful.

Don't believe in evangelism at all. At best will but state the gospel facts, but will not plead with men to be saved as the great Calvinist evangelists did in the past.

Holiness

Holiness is to be found among all schools of God's people… often despite their doctrine.

Holiness is to be found among all schools of God's people… often despite their doctrine.

Holiness is to be found among all schools of God's people… often despite their doctrine. Unfortunately there are those in the hyper camp who believe that if you are going to be saved, then you will be saved no matter how you live. Such Antinomianism is to be abhorred and separated from.

 

 

 

 

THE END

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