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Saturday, October 31, 2015

Reformation Day Discussion - Molinism (Part 2)

Happy Reformation Day everybody!

In this edition of the show, we are actually a Part II of a conversation I had with Rob Johnson of the Apologetics105 blog and podcast. We discuss everything from our eerily similar conversions, to atheistic fundamentalist David McAfee, but the main topics for the show are Molinism, Arminianism and Calvinism.

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You can catch Part I of the show by listening to Apologetics105 on iTunes or streaming it from Podbean. For more information on his show, find him on the Apologetics105 Facebook group or from his blog at

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Enjoy the show!

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  1. I listened to your podcast by accident the other day and I found your ruminations on Calvinism interesting but not in the way you'd think.

    I was always befuddled by the way leaders in my church where I grew up spent so much time defending TULIP theology. Even as I teen I thought it to be too high-minded to be useful in my day-to-day and even if Calvin was right or wrong what difference did it make, I thought.

    As I listened to your podcast I occurred to me that the two people speaking sounded as if they had already figured out and implemented solutions to hunger, war and disease. So after ushering in all those miracles it was time to discuss essentially pointless matters.

    So, why did Calvin and the leaders in the Church where I grew up spend so much time in this? I think it is for the purpose of short-circuiting any ensuing discussion with someone who may question your "assurance". You give yourself license to argue in bad faith because you already assume that your opponent is of a "reprobate mind" and is unable to understand your tenets because he is not "among the elect". You mentioned Sproul's wring about how you can be sure of your salvation but you set a low bar for yourself while setting a high one for everybody else. Simply put, you are not a Christian no matter what you think! You may profess to have assurance that you are saved but you can never prove that to me or anyone else. As far as I'm concerned your salvation is in doubt. Why should I listen to you?

    Joe Monte (I'm on FB)

  2. Joe,

    Hmmm. Quite the bizarre comment if I am to be honest. A couple of thoughts:

    1. Do you not think it is important to understand what the Bible means? So if the Bible teaches (for example) that we are totally depraved, should we not strive to understand what that means and how that applies to us and our understanding of the gospel? Should we remain in ignorance simply because we want to avoid disagreement or dispute within the church? If that is the case then what doctrine could we ever study or come to believe from the Scriptures?
    2. If you think Calvinism is too “high minded” then I think you may simply not understand it. I teach it in my adult Sunday school class and we spend whole sections on applications for us and for our lives and how it gives us a blessed assurance of our salvation because of what Christ has done for us. It leads us directly to the worship and the praise of God. So if you think it is simply a kind of cold doctrinaire thing, then I submit that you simply have not been trained to think through theological applications of it (or likely of any theological system).
    3. You seem to be veering into a kind of “no creed but Christ” but I can almost guarantee that should I press you on your theological convictions you would hold MANY.
    4. I’m not sure where you thought we “had already figured out and implemented solutions to hunger, war and disease.” We never mentioned any of that in the discussion and I’m not sure we would.
    5. If you think the implications of Calvinism and Arminianism are “pointless matters” then again I’m not sure you have really thought through your theology or the implications of these issues. If even for just understanding what God has revealed about his plan for salvation in the Scriptures, surely that is enough reason to discuss it? Does it matter to try and understand what Paul meant in Romans 9? What about Ephesians 2? How about 1 John 2? Do we just ignore those passages that discuss these issues and treat them like we do the genealogies of the OT where we just skim over them but never stop to read and understand what the author is trying to tell us about God and humanity and redemptive history?
    6. So Calvin and your church leaders spent so much time (as have billions of Christians) because we love the Word of God and want to know what it means. It has nothing to do with “short circuiting” a discussion. In fact it often leads to fruitful discussions where we can grow in our love for each other and for God and his word.
    7. You also seem to think that Robert and I were calling the other a “reprobate” or questioning the salvation of the other when we did nothing of the sort. Robert is a dear brother in Christ and I am thankful for his ministry to defend the gospel. I never once accused him of not being among the elect for one simple reason – I am not God and I am not in a position to know who is elect and who is not.
    8. Ironically, the only person questioning someone’s salvation is YOU. You are questioning my salvation basically because I had an open discussion with a fellow Christian on what the Scriptures mean and how they apply in our defense of the faith to an unbelieving world. So I’m thankful that my salvation is not dependant on what YOU believe. My salvation is based on the promises of God and finished work of Christ on the cross on my behalf and the application of the redemption to me by the indwelling presence of the Spirit until Christ comes.
    9. You don’t have to listen to me. It’s your choice.

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