Friday, July 16

BlogSwap 2: Tough Truths

As I promised yesterday, today is the second BlogSwap day, and so we have a guest blogger discussing the subject of tough truths from the Word. Today's contribution is from Ochuk, whose blog is always an interesting read, especially for old fogeys like me who need to be reminded what younger life was really like. Adam hails, I think, from somewhere near my old stomping grounds, so all you Minnesotans ought to perk up and pay attention.

Why I Am A Calvinist.

What has impacted me the most in my spiritual life is God's grace. I don't know how many times I've ran from God and he has pursued me. I thought God did this with everyone, until a person who believed in Reformation theology told me I was ignorant and my friends were reprobates destined for hell. Greg Boyd's God Of The Possible really impacted me because, naturally, he spoke about God's universal love. As you can imagine, I was shocked to find out about the doctine of election. I moved in with a student of Boyd's and we talked all the time about OV theism. I almost embraced it.

Open Theism, in my opinion is the best refutation of Arminianism because it is perfectly consistent. It posits the true ontological nature of libertarian freedom (i.e. God must know our choices as possibilities, not certainties). At first glance, the biblical texts used to support this notion are convincing. However, when this philosophy of "free-will" theism is applied to other texts of God clearly pre-ordaining things, it becomes confusing. When does God pre-ordain something and when does he leave us our free will? When does God cause evil and when does he leave it be determined by our self-determination? It became impossible to know what was going on in my life. Was it me, or was it God who was in control? There is no way to know. And if God determines someevents, how does he decide what is notdetermined? Certainly God is smart enough to figure that out-- which means he has some kind of pre-ordained blueprint, or plan-- something a thinker like Boyd abhors (he believes in a warfare worldview where anything can happen).

Once I was sure of the nature of reality being pre-ordained (in some way), the chips started to fall. Being an Arminian doesn't help, because God knows everything that is going to happen and is OK with it, therefore everything is pre-ordained (in some way). Another key question that nagged at me was why can't I overcome sin? If love must be chosen (Boyd's main thesis) why can't I choose to love (i.e. God, my neighbor?). I began to have an Augustinian journey, not understanding why I could not overcome my own will.

I spent some time studying the arguments about God's sovereignty in Frame's No Other God and I quickly came to the conclusion that the kind of freedom Open Theists needs for their view of providence is unbiblical and not true. That and Total Depravity overtook my thinking, and I was on my road to becoming a Calvinist. Ta Da!

I am not a strict 5 pointer, but I do believe in all of them. I've only been a Calvinist for 3 months, so I'm not as good at it as most of the people here.

Check out my Blog:

[Would you like to BlogSwap? For more information click visit My own post on Tough Truths is found at CoffeeSwirls. And you can find a list that'll tell you where to find all the participant's posts on this subject right here.]