I enjoy reading. It is one of the great pleasures in life that God has given us. You want to be known as a big reader and as someone who enjoys consuming books. Reading helps you to build a base of knowledge, and as you see how others put pen to paper, your own speaking and writing skills will improve as well.
I am reading a book right now by Dave Hunt called CalvinÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Dilemma: GodÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Sovereignty vs. ManÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Free Will. Dave was an excellent writer. I have read a few of his books and have watched and listened to many of his messages. He was a solid man of God who had the kind of love for the Scriptures that all of us should have.
The false teachings of Calvinism have seen a real resurgence in the last several years. False teaching is false teaching, and whether it originated a thousand years ago or yesterday, it can fester and rear its ugly head at different times in life. Calvinism has popped up again in our day. Its teachings have infiltrated many of the seminaries out there. Even some of ChristianityÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s most popular teachers and authors today promote its philosophy.
We have written on this topic before, but now seems like a good time to mention it again.
From DaveÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s book:
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Could it be that AdamÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s nature was actually sinful, though God pronounced him Ã¢â‚¬ËœgoodÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ when He created him? How else, except by free will, can his sin be explained? The Calvinist escapes free will by declaring that even the sin of Adam and Eve was foreordained and decreed by God. A. W. Pink argues, Ã¢â‚¬ËœGod foreordains everything which comes to pass. His sovereign rule extends throughout the entire Universe and is over every creatureÃ¢â‚¬Â¦ God initiates all things, regulates all thingsÃ¢â‚¬Â¦ Ã¢â‚¬â„¢ Then why did Christ tell us to pray, Ã¢â‚¬ËœThy will be done on earthÃ¢â‚¬Â¦ Ã¢â‚¬â„¢ if all is already according to GodÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s will and decree?
Ã¢â‚¬Å“It is fallacious to imagine that for God to be in control of His universe He must foreordain and initiate everything. In fact, it would deny His omniscience and omnipotence to suggest that God cannot foreknow and control what He doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t foreordain, decree, and cause. Here again, Calvinists are trapped in contradictions. Though he was a leading Presbyterian theologian, A. A. Hodge recognized the severe consequences of that extremist view of GodÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s sovereignty: Ã¢â‚¬ËœEverything is gone if free-will is gone; the moral system is gone if free-will is goneÃ¢â‚¬Â¦Ã¢â‚¬â„¢ At the same time, however, he declared: Ã¢â‚¬ËœForeordination is an act of the … benevolent will of God from all eternity determining … all events … that come to pass.Ã¢â‚¬â„¢Ã¢â‚¬Â 1
The Calvinist view of sovereignty is a false view of GodÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s power and authority. God can never and will never predetermine anything that violates His perfect character. So rather than ordain Adam to fall into sin, GodÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s perfect character created him with a free will that could make obedient choices. The day you ascribe AdamÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s fall into sin to the outworking of GodÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s sovereign will is the day you ascribe imperfection to His character. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s also the day you have lost me and the moment you should lose every Christian follower as well. Why? It is a direct contradiction against the Word of God.
Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:
Ã¢â‚¬Å“CalvinismÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s basic error is a failure to see that God could sovereignly give to man the power of genuine choice and still remain in control of the universe.Ã¢â‚¬Â 2
God is in full control, yet He has given us free moral agency to make choices, just as He did with Adam. Sounds simple, and it really is. Isn’t exaggerated sovereignty just an elaborate attempt to shift the blame for sin to God, yet saddle man with the consequences?
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Why would an infinitely holy God ruin his own creation by purposely creating sin? Why invent the elaborate story of Ã¢â‚¬Ëœcasting fallen angels out of heavenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢? Why cause mankind to sin in order to Ã¢â‚¬ËœforgiveÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ them? How would that glorify God? Instead, in Calvinism God becomes like the person who sets a forest fire so he can Ã¢â‚¬ËœdiscoverÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ it, put it out, and be a hero. It also turns God into a fraud who pretends that Satan, though GodÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s own intentional creation, was His enemy. How absurd!Ã¢â‚¬Â 3
God is not a fraud. His character does not allow for that possibility. One of the many reasons thisÃ‚Â subject is so heavy on my heart, and should be on yours as well, is that we are talking about the very character and essence of who God is. This isnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t some little theological discussion. This isnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t some side issue where we can all agree to disagree. We are talking about who God is. What could be more important than that?
Here are some questions to think about:
Is God the author of all evil?
John MacArthur says: Ã¢â‚¬Å“If God is not in total control of evil, if He has not ordained it, listen, and if He does not have it under complete control at every millisecond of history, then this universe is out of control at the most crucial pointÃ‚Â . . . But the God of the Bible is in complete control of evil for His own purposes. It is really heresy to say that the world is full of evil apart from a predetermined plan and purpose by God that is far above the willy-nilly choices of people.Ã¢â‚¬Â4Ã‚Â
Did God cause Adam to commit the first sin?
Does God cause every rape and murder?
John Piper says: Ã¢â‚¬Å“…[T]he sovereignty of GodÃ‚Â . . . is absolutely all-embracing, including the murder of your husband, or your father, or your friend, or yourself because nothing will stop God from turning everything for the service, omnipotently, for your significance forever.Ã¢â‚¬Â5Ã‚Â
Loraine Boettner says: Ã¢â‚¬Å“All evil forces are under His absolute control and could be blotted out of existence in an instant if He so willed. The murderer is kept in life and is indebted to God for the strength to kill his victim, and also for the opportunity.Ã¢â‚¬Â6
Can I really choose to obey or disobey God, or am I forced by His hand to do whatever He wants?
Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.
Either we can reason together with God, or we canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t. I think I will go with what the Bible instructs us to do.
Dave Hunt and his ministry have a ton of good information on the subject of Calvinism, which you can find at the following link:
Also, you can pick up this book and other materials that he has put together about Calvinism at:
This is no time to have a false god in your life. Too many things are happening in this world. We need to be as close to the one true God as we possibly can. Calvinism is one of those false teachings you do not want to let seep into your life, your familyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s life, or your churchÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s life. Guards up. Protect your heart.
Until the Nets are Full,
P.S. We have received some good feedback from folks about these audiobooks. Driving in your car, exercising, or doing chores around the house are all good opportunities to redeem the time by listening to One Thing You CanÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t Do in Heaven or One Heartbeat Away audiobooks. They will equip you with great conversation tips and solid answers to help those who have probing questions.
Another benefit of listening to these audiobooks is they can help you to stay fired up to get out there and reach the lost. When you feel prepared, you will want to use what youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve learned and go out into the world to be an unstoppable force for the Lord Jesus Christ and the gospel!
Check out our audiobook downloads today at:
- Dave Hunt, CalvinÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Dilemma: GodÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Sovereignty vs. ManÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Free Will (Bend, OR: The Berean Call, 2014), 13.
- Ibid., 14
- Ibid., 16, 17
- John MacArthur, Ã¢â‚¬Å“Why Does Evil Dominate the World?Ã¢â‚¬Â Grace To You, 90-33, March 04, 2007 http://www.gty.org/resources/sermons/90-333/why-does-evil-dominate-the-world
- John Piper, Passion Conference 2014; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BgbWL1P6Kdg; 46:53
- Loraine Boettner, The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination (Phillipsburg, NJ: Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Company, 1932), 239.