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Grove Hill, Alabama  
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TRUTH MATTERS

Are Calvinists claim-jumpers?


November 18, 2011



 



Are Calvinists claim-jumpers?



 



From the beginning of the conference, “Reclaiming Grace: A Biblical Response to Calvinism”, the tone is set and the tenor (the progressive thought throughout) is established. The title of the conference itself asserts that Calvinism has wrongly laid claim to the Biblical teaching on grace (salvation by grace through faith) and the speakers intend to lay claim on the Biblical teaching. The speakers, then, are set to oppose Calvinism’s teaching on grace by proving from the Bible that it is wrong. So we have from the beginning an anti-Calvinistic tone and tenor established for the conference. What could be plainer? Listening to the speakers confirm this. To them, Calvinists are claim-jumpers?



Yet the speakers tell their listeners that they are not providing ammunition to fire against the Calvinist brothers. They love them. Calvinism is not a cult. Christians are to love one another. Unity is to be sought. A right understanding and experience of grace will cause us to love one another. Others who are not saved will see how much we love one another and will be influenced to receive the gospel of Jesus Christ. The speakers have good friends who are Calvinists and have discussed with them their disagreements concerning Calvinism. Such disclaimers are made throughout the conference. To borrow from Shakespeare, “Methinks he doth protest too much.”



Telling me you love me while continually punching me in the stomach hardly softens the blows. Your words don’t match your deeds. No! Let’s be clear. The speakers believe, rightly or wrongly, that Calvinism (whatever it is) is a bad thing. And if you believe it and promote it, that is a bad thing. Let us say that if we understood Calvinism as they do, and if we believed the Bible disproved Calvinism, we would agree wholeheartedly that Calvinism is a bad thing too. But is what they call Calvinism really Calvinism? Do they really offer a “Biblical Response” to it? We hope by God’s grace to continue to look into this because TRUTH MATTERS.



David K. Curtis




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November 2, 2011


November 2, 2011



 



In January 2011 a conference was held in our area entitled “Recovering Grace: A Biblical Response to Calvinism.” Since we have had time to listen to the CDs of the speakers’ messages during the conference, and because of the numbers of people in our area who have been influenced by the things said, and because our people at The Cornerstone Baptist Church have also heard these things and have questions about them, we believe it is our duty to speak concerning these issues. In the interest of truth (in so far as by God’s grace we are enabled to know and to believe the truth) then, we will endeavor to address what was said at the conference.



 



But first, we should say that we will not refer to the speakers by name, since we are not interested in arousing any personal antagonism between ourselves and others. However, the things which were spoken at the conference must be addressed, and where issue must be taken with what was said in the interest of truth, we shall attempt to speak with Christian courtesy toward brothers in Christ, but also plainly and straightforwardly, because what was said was spoken in public at an advertised meeting for the express purpose of taking issue with what is commonly called “Calvinism” (sometimes referred to as the “Doctrines of Grace”), which as far as we are concerned is nothing other than the Biblical teaching of salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ.



 



May it be understood by all that we are not (as some assert) primarily concerned with putting forth a system of teaching produced by John Calvin and conforming Scripture to his “system”. Calvin himself, we believe, would “turn over in his grave” at such a thing. He himself was a pastor, preacher, theologian interested in the study and dissemination of Biblical teaching. Anyone who asserts otherwise is either unfamiliar with his writings (and therefore unqualified to write or speak about John Calvin) or so biased against what he wrote that his bias clouds his reason, confounds his speech and confuses his hearers.



 



The five presentations at the conference delivered by five local ministers were arranged along the lines of the “five points of Calvinism” (as they are popularly called). Many years ago (God alone knows when), someone (God alone knows who) formed an acrostic to help aid the memory in recalling these five points. The acrostic is T – U –L –I –P. Why this flower was chosen to set these doctrines forth, again God alone knows. But the acrostic itself puts forward “Calvinism” thus:



 



T = Total Depravity



U = Unconditional Election



L = Limited Atonement



I = Irresistible Grace



P = Perseverance of the Saints



 



So as we consider the five presentations of the conference, we will see what the speakers have to say about each of these teachings ascribed to John Calvin and Calvinism. But most importantly we shall see and consider what the Scriptures say. Because after all we say God’s word is true if it makes every man a liar. Truth Matters.



David K. Curtis




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TRUTH MATTERS


TRUTH MATTERS

Our hope in adding this page to our website is to edify God’s people, to the glory of God, by addressing matters of Biblical and historical importance. We believe all of God’s people “must contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3), and especially ministers of the Word must stand upon the truth and stand for the truth. Our Lord, who is “the Way, and the Truth, and the Life” (John 14:6), testified before Pilate: “For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice” (John 18:37). Sounding like a modern cynic, Pilate responded, “What is truth?” (John 18:38).

Like Pilate, too many in our day shrug off any serious attempt to seek truth. Some don’t even believe truth exists. Truth, for them, is just personal preference, a personal construct. What’s true for one is not necessarily true for another. This is sheer folly. Relativism rules and ruins too many lives. Christians, however, are ruled by Christ through the Word of God, Holy Scripture, of which Jesus said, “Thy Word is truth” (John 17:17).

Let it be understood at the outset that we make no claim to infallibility in our knowledge of the truth, nor in our interpretation of Scripture, nor in our obedience to Him whom we worship and serve. But we do have an obligation to stand for the truth as it is in Jesus. And, as it is written, “‘I believed, therefore I spoke,’ we also believe, therefore also we speak” (2 Corinthians 4:13). One more voice added to the many already speaking may seem to some only an addition to the confusion. We sincerely hope not. Our aim is to stand for the truth by speaking the truth in love – because TRUTH MATTERS.

David K. Curtis





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TRUTH MATTERS



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