Date: 5/22/2011 3:22 am
It's hard for me to decide where to start with your response. First of all, I LOVE ALL SCRIPTURE not just parts of it, I genuinely enjoy discussing any and all of God's Word. And I hold NO MAN's teaching above the scripture itself, Calvin included, I believe in sola scriptura. If you knew me better, I think you would know that. Needless to say, it seems like the main interest is in your position that a genuinely regenerated and redeemed individual can ultimately be lost so I guess will invest some time into that. First, I would sincerely ask that you check out this short (5:29) Youtube clip from a "CALVINIST" evangelist and ask yourself if he sounds like someone who supports a doctrine that excuses sinful lifestyles. Remember, this evangelist would be described as reformed or "Calvinistic"...http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dc5lY9YP_bE We at least need to be accurate about what each other actually believes. This was an unfortunate part of my experience growing up in a church that I shall not name, you know the one; When I started to come to an understanding of the "Doctrines of Grace," I found that the traditional reformed position was almost 100% misrepresented by my "Arminian" brothers and sisters. However, I would like to think it was done simply out of ignorance and not purposeful deception. I digress...
With that said, I would also like to suggest that to truly understand reformed soteriology, you need to understand the big picture AS WELL AS the components (what have become known as the "five points"). Can't have one without the other, you will tend to run in circles. I will ignore the comment about calvinistic folks being in a cult, lol. That's a pretty bold statement. As for your dispensational eschatology, I'm not really that interested in that discussion right now. Although it is interesting:
"It may come as a surprise but the doctrine of the Rapture is not mentioned in any Christian writings, of which we have knowledge, until after the year 1830 C.E. Whether the early writers were Greek or Latin, Armenian or Coptic, Syrian or Ethiopian, English or German, orthodox or heretic, no one mentioned it before 1830 (though a sentence in Pseudo-Dionysius in about 500 C.E. could be so interpreted). Of course, those who feel the origin of the teaching is in the Bible would say that it ceased being taught for some unknown reason at the close of the apostolic age only to reappear in 1830. But if the doctrine were so clearly stated in Scripture, it seems incredible that no one should have referred to it before the 19th century.
The lateness of the doctrine does not necessarily mean the teaching is wrong (only the plain statements of the Bible can reveal that). It does show that thousands of eminent scholars over seventeen centuries (including the most astute “Christian Fathers” and those of the Reformation and post-Reformation periods) must be considered prophetic dunces for not having understood so fundamental a teaching. This lapse of seventeen centuries when no one elaborated on the doctrine must be viewed as an obstacle to accepting its reliability."
Digressed again, I apologize. But honestly, not really interested in eschatology so much as hoping your audience, whoever that may be, is given an accurate representation of reformed soteriology. Not one-liners and statements meant to get knee-jerk reactions.
Also not interested in defending Calvin's paedobaptist position. I disagree with him, Turretin, and other reformers there anyway, I'm a credobaptist. Because I would be considered "Calvinistic" doesn't mean I believe EVERYTHING Calvin believed, paedobaptism being an example. It is mainly in the area of Soteriology. Although it is interesting that you brought up the paedo/credo debate. Anyway, I will get to work on something soon, and look forward to getting back to you and hopefully giving you and other readers a clearer understanding of reformed soteriology than what has been presented on your website.
Soli Deo Gloria,