Wes Kenny at SBC Today killed the link to the previous post, because he thought it too insulting. But then, this is A Rose by Any Other Name. So I revised the post, took out the direct, definitive, accusatory language and played the anti-Calvinist bashing game: Lets call them names without using direct language and see if we can get away with it. God knows when we use direct language, we don’t, hyuk!So here it is, all saccharinized.
It was Shakespeare who wrote, “What’s in a name? that which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” In the final analysis I do not care much whether an educational institution calls itself Baptist or not. What matters to me is that those who lead and teach in such institutions be honest with their subjects and not try to rewrite history simply because they don’t like the way it happened.
I am praying for them. I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours.
(Hmm wonder why he doesn’t pray for all the world, if indeed he was to die for them all? Wow, Jesus believed in a limited atonement! I guess he is historically irrelevant. Notice world does not mean the whole world. It means instead a portion, and that the portion given was everyone out of the world given, but not the whole, was given.)
Hebrews (could be Luke, probably Paul, who cares) says-
But we see him who for a little while was made lower than the angels, namely Jesus, crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.
(an inferior rendering from some translations say every man)
Every man? Well it isn’t. The word is all or, everyone, but more accurately means each class or kind? The word is not anthropos or hapas, but pas, and refers to selected individual persons or things, unique, discrete and complete portion, but rarely the entirety. As in John 3:16, pas, cannot mean all, obviously, where it clearly means only the believing ones, setting it in opposition to John 3:18. And, this use here in Hebrews is connected, in context, to Hebrews 2:13, children given, and no others. And, is in concert with John, cf. Genesis 24, where God through Abraham limits the bride of the Seed, to an elected one, rejecting the nations all around. It is the Seed and his children, and no others who are co-heirs of the household of faith, marked out by the HS before they are called. Limited, such that it is only out of His own family. (Note how anothen gennao, is from above, not from below. It is the Spirit which conceives us from above by the will of God, John 1:12 and 13, that determines who will receive it, not the will of man below.) Amazing revelation for those with eyes to see.
A good treatment of what Calvin taught was done by Helm. Dr. James White does a great job of demolishing Dr. Waite’s examination of Calvin’s work. Why would someone go to such great extent to disprove Calvin’s philosophy of limited atonement, as Dr. Waite did, if he didn’t teach it? Search around James White’s materials on Calvin and limited atonement. You’ll find other scholarly articles on the extent of the atonement.
Many have quoted Calvin out of context just as they use selected Scripture taken out of context, and fill it with meaning that suits tradition, perverting truth. It is disingenuous anti-intellectualism.
Now… someone is not telling the truth. The big fat rabbit is being pulled out of the hat by a prestidigitator, no doubt. To call five point Calvinists prestidigitator’s, is an insult, whether you name them or not. But, are they the magicians playing sleight of hand with the texts? And, do the five point SBC Pastors deserve to be labeled such with impunity? Or, do those who hurl insults at them deserve to be slapped with the same gauntlet they’ve thrown?
The point of Debbie’s comment, Gordon, is that it is wrong take Spurgeon out of the context of all his teaching. It is wrong with Calvin’s writing just the same, and not academic scholarship, but intellectual dishonesty. One could take Jesus out of context and make him contradict himself. Why should we trust anything that a person says who operates this way? Just like Scripture, it matters what a person has said everywhere, not just the immediate text.
I, like Debbie, did not come to know the Doctrines of Grace via any of the reformers. It was when I followed the SBC’s standard Hobbsian philosophy to its logical conclusion and found myself teaching my daughter open theism. That is the result of denying the middle petal. And, when I started asking questions I found that I had been lied to. The alternative was on the shelves of my pastor’s library, but he wasn’t truthful, and hid the knowledge of the history of the SBC, which was required to be taught by our constitution, from the congregation. When I found out by reading Southern Baptists and the Doctrine of Election by Robert B. Selph that my pastor had on his shelf, being a required reading at Southeastern, I became angry, and righteously so. I was at the time being mentored by this man, to become ordained to be an honest minister.
I have thoroughly read Calvin’s institutes, and many portions of his commentaries. I have cross referenced many quotes used in attempts to discredit his view of limited atonement. They are in stark contrast to the clear statements by Helm, where he shows, contrarily, that Calvin explicitly believed in a limited atonement, consistently. Which means, the statements Calvin made using universalist terminology must be conditioned upon a view of limited atonement. Calvin, like the Scripture, uses terms that may or may not have universal application. He uses world, mankind, human species, all, everyone, in their normal literal nuances. This is quite different than the presumptive application that all always means all and the like. It is wrong to take ones presumptive method of hermeneutics and apply them to Calvin, rather than letting Calvin’s speak for Calvin. And if you approach any text that way, like the Scripture, it will not be exegesis, but eisegesis.