Saturday, October 31, 2009

The intersection of God's plan and our duty

As I thought about how this works, how God's plan intersects man's responsibility, and I thought of a more tangible example.

No one exists apart from the knowledge and will of God. God ordains, knits together, creates and orders the life of each person. Men like Moses and Abraham, John the Baptist, Paul, each of these men where called and used by God. Men like Pharaoh who were created for a purpose. We are each lumps of clay, and God is the potter. See Romans 9:19-24.

God has set aside and uses each person according to Romans 9, but with the exception of one person, every person has been conceived by the coming together or a man and a woman in the act of procreation. Aside from Jesus, Adam and Eve, everyone that God used in the scripture was born as a result as human action. . . and interaction.

Each child that is born is an combination of God's will and man's action. God works with the activity and duty of a man and a woman. The result is a miracle, but also a result of a biological action.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience.
Heb 4:11 (ESV)

Not going to comment, just throwing the verse out there. You really should read it in context, but I find it interesting.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Thinking Woven

So I have been reading about astrophysics lately. Why you ask? I think much of our view of God comes from Newtonian Physics. Namely, we think of God as linear. We think that God exists in our dimension, on our plane and in our time line. In thinking about the way that Salvation happens, and putting scripture together, it is clear to me that He does not. What we must do it change our thinking about God.

In regards to salvation, we assume that Salvation happens at the point we accept Christ. This is a man-centered idea, and I believe is in error. The process of Salvation begins after we are saved. We respond to salvation, but we respond because God calls us. God calls us before the beginning of time. God called us before the beginning of time for His purpose and His glory. His glory is most seen in our obedience. Our obedience brings Him glory. We are obedient and glorify Him, which is why he predestined us since the foundation of the world, for His own purpose, without our need to respond. We respond to salvation because we cannot hold ourselves back from grace, but we can't hold ourselves back from grace because we have already accepted it because it was offered.

We must weave together this reality, that two things that must occur happen, which seem to contradict. We must seek after and accept God to be saved. We must repent, confess and believe. We have responsibility. The ability to seek, to confess, repent and believe is not something we are even capable of, so God must cause it to happen before it happens, yet we know it does not happen until we respond, but has been set since time began? How? Simple, God exists out of time.

Let's add one more string to weave in. Let's weave in prayer. Prayer is that area in which we can affect the entire process from the 3rd party. We pray for the salvation of others, because our prayers affect their response, and God's call.

First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, 2 for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. 3 This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 1 Tim 2:1-4 (ESV)

God wants all people to be saved, so we are commanded to pray for all people. We pray for them to be saved, because God desires for them to be saved. The catalyst that effects the foundation of time is prayer, in addition to faith and belief. As the different parts come together, God's unconditional call, the response, the prayers, belief and faith, grace and mercy, they all come together to create a tapestry that we call Salvation. None of the parts on their own can create it. Each part is vital and need the other, yet there is no time line they can be placed in. They happen before, during and after, over and under, weaving together.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Not sure we look like Christ.

Gandhi once said "I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ."

I have witnessed some conversation, mostly online at one particular location, about the difference in some SBC polity, relating to some of our traditions, and different views. There is a movement called Baptist Identity, (or BI) that has caused some division. Of course, the Calvinist debate continues to rage, as does the worship wars. Seems like Christinas will find anything to fight about.

Gandhi also said "If Christians would really live according to the teachings of Christ, as found in the Bible, all of India would be Christian today". Wow, this last week, I have seen this lived out (mostly online) with Christians, leaders and people who profess to be mature believers constantly. So often, we (yes, I am including myself) use the Bible to justify our cruelty. Most of the time, it's proof texting, out of context and used as a weapon. The fights are suppose to be for "the good of the SBC", but never seem to be helping anyone.

I wonder if we are more concerned with being right than we are with truth. We are more concerned with the law and the tradition than we are with grace and mercy. We are more concerned with quoting the New Testament, and not concerned enough with living the New Testament. Maybe we should listen to Ghandhi a little more, and work to look a little more like Christ.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Quotes you never thought would come from John Calvin

I found these at

“No man is excluded from calling upon God, the gate of salvation is set open unto all men: neither is there any other thing which keepeth us back from entering in, save only our own unbelief.”

“Augustine does not disagree with this when he teaches that it is a faculty of the reason and the will to choose good with the assistance of grace; evil, when grace is absent.”

“It behooves us to accomplish what God requires of us, even when we are in the greatest despair respecting the results.”

“God tolerates even our stammering, and pardons our ignorance whenever something inadvertently escapes us – as, indeed, without this mercy there would be no freedom to pray.”

breaking from the UnElect.

I found this from a friend of mine who had a question about it. The church of the Non-Elect, those who have no ability to seek after God and be saved. This is what has caused me to create Woven Theology. The church's doctrine is below, and can be found at

    Welcome to the First Calvinist Church U.S.A.
    of the Non-Elect

    Our Doctrine & Teaching:

    What the Calvinist Church of the Non-Elect in America Teaches:

  1. The Bible is the inspired and inerrant Word of God, the only infallible source of truth and practice.
  2. There is only one God, eternal and self-existing in three persons (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) who are to be equally loved, honored, and adored.
  3. All mankind participated in Adam's fall from his original sinless state and is thus lost in sin and totally helpless.
  4. The Sovereign God, for no other reason than His own unfathomable love and mercy, has chosen lost sinners from every nation to be redeemed by the quickening power of the Holy Spirit and through the atoning death and resurrection of His Son, Jesus Christ.
  5. Those sinners whom the Spirit quickens, come to believe in Christ as Savior by the Word of God, are born again, becomes sons of God, and will persevere to the end.
  6. Those sinners whom the Spirit does not quicken, may recognize that Christ is truly the Lord but that knowledge in and of itself does not alter the Sovereignty of God.
  7. God Almighty is "the potter" and has the absolute right to leave some vessels of His creation as objects of His just wrath while demonstrating His amazing and matchless grace and mercy to others of His choosing.
  8. Justification for the Elect is by His choice and through it the undeserving Elected sinner is clothed with the righteousness of God.
  9. The goal of God's salvation in the life of the Christian is holiness, good works, and service for the glory of God.
  10. The goal of God's Non-election of others is to provide a testimony to His Sovereignty, Justice, and to the praise of His glory. Those of us that are Non-Elect seek also to live and die in such a way that God is still glorified.
  11. At death the Christian's soul passes immediately into the presence of God and the unelected soul is eternally separated from God unto condemnation.
  12. At death the Non-Elect soul passes immediately into concious torment away from the presence of God and His holiness demonstrating the just wrath of our Sovereign Righteous God.
  13. Jesus Christ will return to earth, visibly and boldly, at a time when He is not expected, to consummate history and the eternal plan of God.
  14. The Gospel of God's salvation in Jesus Christ must be published to all the world as a witness before Jesus Christ returns.
  15. The publication of this Good News (Gospel) is being accomplished by both the Elect and the Non-Elect as determined and allowed by the absolute sovereign will of our God, Jehovah, the great eternal "I AM".

  16. While those of us who are Non-Elect have little to no hope or confidence of ever entering into the sinless, holy presence of Jehovah God Almighty, that does not prevent us from worshipping Him, glorifying Him, and acknowledging His Infinite Worth and Supreme Sovereignty over all His creation including us.

  17. In conformity, therefore,to Calvin's clear teachings, we assert, that by an eternal and immutable counsel, God has once for all determined, both whom He would admit to salvation [the Elect], and whom He would condemn to destruction [those of us who are Non-Elect].

  18. We affirm that this counsel, as far as concerns the Elect, is founded on His gratuitous mercy, totally irrespective of human merit; and...

  19. We affirm that this counsel, as far as concerns those of us that are the Non-Elect, is founded on His Divine Sovereignty and justice, to those of us whom He devotes to condemnation, the gate of life is forever closed by our just and irreprehensible, but incomprehensible, Sovereign God.

  20. In the Elect, we consider His calling as an evidence of election, and justification as another token of its manifestation, till they arrive in glory, which constitutes its completion.

  21. As God seals His Elect by vocation and justification, so by excluding those of us that are Non-Elect from the redemptive value of our Lord's limited sacrifice and the sanctification of His Spirit, He affords us as Non-Elect an indication of the judgement that awaits us, as vessels of wrath, yet even this is to His Glory, for which we are thankful.
Wow, I read this and I was stunned. This is contrary to the heart of God, to reject those who seek after Him. "Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. 13 You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart." Jer 29:12-13 (ESV). I realize this verse is written for the Jewish people after they were sentenced to exile, but there is a general promise and timeless principle in here, that God can be found when we seek Him.

This idea may be seen as contrary to unconditional election. Some would say that if God elects based on man's response, then man is still chosing God. The dicotimy comes because man's cannot respond on his own, and must be elected by God to respond. It's a contradiction, and inpossibility, and I forsee Woven Theology becoming as complex as String Theory or Quantum Mechanics because of the paradoxical reality that man must respond to God, but is incapable of responding to God without God interveining. Something happens before we make a choice, but the choice has an effect on the action that prompted us to make a choice. Make sense? We will talk more later.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Woven Theology

So I am proposing a new theological system, which really isn't a new theological system, but something must be done to curb the argument. I am not saying I am going to solve the "Calvinist, Non-Calvinist" debate, but for some reason, in the SBC, someone says "Calvinist" the assumption is "that person doesn't believe in Evangelism." I am a Calvinist who wrote a book on Evangelism. Woven theology is an intersection between God's sovereignty and man's responsibility. Notice I didn't say free will, free will is a fallacy. Woven theology simply states that man's response and responsibility has impact on God's ordaining call. Man's response is a requirement, even though the will and call of God are absolute and set since the foundation of the world.

God has predestined, See Romans 8, Romans 9, and 2 Peter 1. God, however, does not hide himself, and He can be found if we seek Him. We see this most powerfully in the act of prayer. Prayer changes things, otherwise we would have no reason to pray.

I have not completed my work on this topic, I have lots of work to do, so don't sit down and try to punch holes in it yet. You'll get your chance. The one thing you can do, if you are going to bash a theological system, like Calvinism, remember that there are as many types of Calvinist as their are Baptists.