9Comments

  1. Charles Page   •  

    I am totally apathetic about the regeneration of the lost. I am just indifferent as to who is regenerated. Not my concern; not my business. It is out of my hands. Not worth me fretting over something that is out of my hands. Thank the Lord!

  2. Bruce Ashford   •     Author

    Charles,

    We received your brief brag/comment, above.

    We at BtT are committed to an appropriate theological diversity within out cooperative network of churches, and on our weblog. There is no room, however, for your version of Calvinism.

    Rom 9:2-3: “I have great sorrow and continual grief in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my countrymen according to the flesh.”

    Mt 9:36: “But when he saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, becaause they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd.”

  3. Johnny   •  

    Bruce

    What Charles has refer to is not a brand of Calvinism! I have never heard any Calvinist say such things, every one I know has a heart for souls and the glory of Christ as their heartbeat!

    Johnny

  4. Charles Page   •  

    My classical view of Calvinism is that regeneration preceeds faith and is determined for the elect before the foundation of the world. Election and regeneration are out of my hands and out of the range of my control.
    Now getting the regenerate to repent, follow Christ and be baptized are in my range of control when they ask me for information.

    The scattered sheep and our brethern are always sources of anxiety.

  5. Bruce Ashford   •     Author

    Charles, the only thing “classical” about your latest comment is its fallacious nature. Even given your view of regeneration preceding faith, this in no way means that you should not be concerned with those who are not converted. Your witness to them is the means by which God elects them.

    You mentioned that certain things become “in your range of control” when “they ask me for information.” Would you take a minute and think about that? Are you really serious? This blogpost was about those who have never heard the gospel and nobody will take the gospel to them. How are they going to “ask you for information”?

    My point is: If God’s renown it to be preached to all tribes, tongues, peoples, and nations (Rev 5), and if preaching is the only means of their salvation (Romans 10), then it is incumbent on us to go, or to support and send those who will.

    God doesn’t “elect” only those who live in Europe, the US, Latin America, and sub-Saharan Africa (where the church already exists). Amazingly, he also begins electing people in the Middle East (and other places where the gospel is not found) when we obey and take the gospel to them.

    Furthermore, Charles, if Paul and the early church had taken your view of things, the gospel would never have been taken to Europe and therefore never taken to America, and therefore you yourself would have never been “elected.”

  6. Tim Brister   •  

    Don’t let anyone be led to believe that the kind of “classical Calvinism” Charles Page is talking about has anything to do with Calvinism. It is pure hyper-Calvinism and should be considered beyond the realm of Christian orthodoxy. I have personally told Charles this elsewhere and say this again. No Calvinist would come close to holding such an anti-evangelical conviction and claim to be a Calvinist.

  7. Julie   •  

    Unfortunately many Presbyterian churches function in accordance with this truth. I would agree that Southern Baptist Calvinists would never hold to this definition of Calvinism, but I been acquainted with whole churches filled with and led by so-called “Calvinist” Presbyterians who hold anti-evangelical beliefs. This is the danger of claiming a theologian or theology over the clear instruction of the word of God – which was well quoted by Bruce earlier. Moreover, I’m reminded of 1 John wherein John wrote that if we truly know and love God we will feel what He feels towards others, which includes His desire that ALL would know about His incredible work of salvation done for all of mankind.

  8. Julie   •  

    Clarification: I do not want, by that comment to provoke division by making a generalizing statement. I simply wanted to point out that this kind of thinking is not as sparse as precious commentors made it sound. While SBC members and churches would generally not claim Calvinism as an excuse for avoiding the great commission, as we all know, there is a serious problem in our convention about embracing the Great Commission – and really, there is no excuse.

  9. kamatu   •  

    Well, there is the apocryphal tale of the older pastor telling William Carey some variation of “Young man, God will save the heathen in His own time and He won’t need any help from you or me.”

    IMO, absolutely true. God doesn’t need any of us to save anybody. However: “And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.” (Matthew 3:9)

    Every last one of us can preach, teach, evangelize, go on missions, give and/or send until we have nothing and we may never help save another person. Remember though, the justification for the GCR is to fulfill the command of God, the one we, as Christians, claim to be our Lord, Master, Father and King.

    “And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” (Matthew 28:18-20)

    So even if I know absolutely that everything I can ever do with the absolute limit of my strength will save no other person, as long as He is my Lord, I must do so. Even though all salvation of all people remains in His hands and His hands alone, my choices are, in the words of Brother Piper: “Go, Send or Disobey!”

    Why? When all my greatest efforts done at the command of God will produce nothing, why does He demand I waste my time doing so? Why should I have to fret so over the lost, since it is all about Him and His glory? Are God’s commands foolishness?

    Because He said to. I don’t have to know why. I don’t have to understand. I can make some guesses, but that is all they are, my speculations. My child doesn’t need to know why I tell him to do things certain ways. He has to learn to freeze on my command, which probably seems silly when he wants to run and play, but I know that this “foolish” exercise means that I can more safely take my child with me into potentially dangerous environments and teach him more, until his perceptions are as trained as mine to spot the snake, the ant hill, the rusting sharp metal, the jagged stump.

    So the why does not matter to me, I know that my Father wants me to do these things, so it is my duty, honor and pleasure to do as He wishes.

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