Monday, May 19, 2014

All Around the Web - May 19, 2014

Crossway - What John Calvin Really Said
Let us allow Calvin to speak briefly to four often-heard critiques of his soteriology:

Critique 1: Those who believe the doctrine of predestination cannot offer the gospel to all without exception.

Calvin: “But I say nothing on that subject [of predestination], because it has nothing to do with this passage [1 Timothy 2:4]; for the Apostle (Paul) simply means, that there is no people and no rank in the world that is excluded from salvation; because God wishes that the gospel should be proclaimed to all without exception. Now the preaching of the gospel gives life; and hence he justly concludes that God invites all equally to partake of salvation.” (Commentary on 1 Timothy)

Critique 2: Those who follow Calvin’s soteriology redefine “world” in John 3:16 to make it fit within a limiting theology.

Calvin: “For he intended expressly to state [in John 3:16] that, though we appear to have been born to death, undoubted deliverance is offered to us by the faith of Christ; and, therefore, that we ought not to fear death, which otherwise hangs over us. And he has employed the universal term whosoever, both to invite all indiscriminately to partake of life, and to cut off every excuse from unbelievers. Such is also the import of the term World, which he formerly used; for though nothing will be found in the world that is worthy of the favour of God, yet he shows himself to be reconciled to the whole world, when he invites all men without exception to faith in Christ, which is nothing else than an entrance into life.” (Commentary on the Gospel of John)

Critique 3: A belief in predestination undermines the impulse for evangelism.

Calvin: “If anyone addresses the people in this way; ‘If you do not believe, the reason is that you have already been divinely destined for destruction,’ he not only fosters sloth but also gives place to evil intention. If anyone extends to the future also the statement that they who hear will not believe because they have been condemned, this will be cursing rather than teaching. Augustine therefore, rightly bids such men begone from the church, as foolish teachers or perverse and foreboding prophets.” (Institutes, 3.23.14)

Critique 4: An adherent to Calvin’s view of the atonement cannot say to a sinner, “God desires your salvation and if you repent of your sins and believe in Christ, you will be saved.”

Calvin: “Now all are called to repentance, and the hope of salvation is promised to them when they repent: this is true, since God rejects no returning sinner: he pardons all (who come to him) without exception.” (Commentary on Ezekiel)

Justin Taylor - Why Defend Inerrancy?

Sam Allberry - Same-Sex Attraction in the Church
There are a number of things churches can do to help Christians with SSA:
1. Make it easy to talk about
2. Honor singleness
3. Remember that church is family.
4. Deal with biblical models of masculinity and feminity, rather than cultural stereotypes.
5. Provide good pastoral support.

Bible Gateway - Get a Sneak Peak at the New Bible Gateway!
1. It’s the same Bible Gateway you know and love.
2. User accounts.
3. Personal Bible annotation.
4. A responsive, cross-platform experience.
5. Unlockable digital study resources.
6. An improved, easy-to-use interface.

Syndey Morning Herald - Pope says baptism for all - even Martians
Pope Francis has declared everyone has the right to be baptised, even aliens should they come knocking on the church's door.

Christians cannot "close the door" to all those who seek baptism even if they are "green men, with a long nose and big ears, like children draw," the pope said at his daily mass on Monday, according to Vatican Radio.

"If tomorrow, for example, an expedition of Martians arrives and some of them come to us ... and if one of them says: 'Me, I want to be baptised!', what would happen?" Francis said in another display of his lively sense of humour.

The Argentine pontiff known for his down-to-earth style has often used colourful and humorous expressions to make his points on the direction of the Roman Catholic Church.

There should be a simple quiz before one is allowed to vote.

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