Wednesday, December 10, 2008

What's the big deal about Calvinism?

Where the Arminian says, "I owe my election to my faith," the Calvinist says, "I owe my faith to my election." Clearly, these two concepts of elections are very far apart.

Where the Arminian says, "I could not have gained my salvation without Calvary," the Calvinist says, "Christ gained my salvation for me at Calvary."

Where the Arminian is content to say, "I decided for Christ," the Calvinist says

Long my imprisoned spirit lay,
fast bound in sin and nature's night.
Thine eye difused a quickening ray;
I woke, the dungeon flamed with light.
My chains fell off, my heart was free;
I rose, went forth and followed Thee.

("And Can It Be?" by Charles Wesley)

To say, in the Arminian sense, that God elects believers, Christ died for all men and the Spirit quickens those who receive the Word is really to say that, in the biblical sense, God elects nobody, Christ died for nobody and the Spirit quickens nobody.

- JI Packer


Pastor Andy said...

Thanks for posting! Great quote. Where did it come from?

Is the second argument by the Arminian supposed to be "I could not have gained my salvation withOUT Calvary?"

Andy said...

Thanks for catching that, Andy.

The quote is taken from Packer's intro to John Owen's THE DEATH OF DEATH IN THE DEATH OF CHRIST.

How did you find our blog?


Pastor Andy said...

Dave Rudd was my RA at Cedarville. He knew I was reformed and told me about Vince's blog. So it is a round about way, but I have you on my google reader. keep posting!

Brad said...

What of the person who says "I owe my election to my faith, and I owe my faith to the work of the Holy Spirit"? Is it mutually exclusive to suppose that a person cannot have a saving faith without the empowerment of God granting them that faith, and at the same time believe that a person can either choose to embrace that faith or harden their heart to the movement of God within them?