Academic Discussion: Predestination

TULIPWe started the Academic Discussion series last Friday, and since then have examined issues like the age of the earth and the rapture. Up until now I have played the devil’s advocate so to speak and approached the arguments from both sides. This difference with this topic, predestination as defined by 5 point Calvinism, is that I take a position and feel very strongly about it. Although I have had a few heated discussions, I still believe the issue is ultimately academic.

This page at Calvinist Corner provides an excellent summation of Calvinism at a glance. Arminianism is generally considered to be the opposing view. A more extreme opposing viewpoint would be Pelagianism (which denies original sin and a host of biblical tenants). The reason I consider this argument to be purely academic is that each of these positions considers the nature of God’s salvation. At the heart of the debate is our understanding, or rather defining, of predestination. Did we choose God or did he choose us? Do we have the ability to choose God, or are we in our nature so depraved it is not a choice we could ever make? And why would I even stir this particular pot? Continue reading

Discussions That Are Academic

debateThere are some discussions/debates that are purely academic in nature, meaning that they have no real bearing on anything practical.  Is Superman strong enough to beat up the Incredible Hulk?  It doesn’t matter who wins the debate, there is no practical application for the results.  Continue reading

Free will, or not free will?

Today that is the question. We clearly read in scripture where God has ordained certain events to take place. God establishes thrones and kingdoms on the earth, to serve in certain instances, as instruments he uses to bring about his righteous judgment, or at other times to show his mighty hand. He is the Lord of history. But.. what about free will? If humanity has the will to choose for himself, how does God predestine historical events? That my friend is the right question.

Okay, I’m going to cheat. I’m not exactly going to answer these quesitons, but give you some useful information as you work it out. In Genesis chp. 50, Joseph tells his brothers “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.” They had evil in their heart when they sold Joseph into slavery, but God used it to bring about his purpose and plan.

Consider this passage from Acts 2:23 “this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men.” God’s plan of salvation called for Jesus to die as a sacrifice. The evil men of the first century, whom Peter is preaching to in Acts, carried out God’s plan in order to bring salvation.

Man does what he wants; God gets what he wants.

Let’s try something new. Below is video of this sermon being preached on Sunday, May 18th. Sorry about the sound quality. This is my first attempt at uploading digital video. (The video made me nervous; I’m normally a better public speaker than a writer.)