Banner

"...if anyone makes the assistance of grace depend on the humility or obedience of man and does not agree that it is a gift of grace itself that we are obedient and humble, he contradicts the Apostle who says, "What have you that you did not receive?" (1 Cor. 4:7), and, "But by the grace of God I am what I am" (1 Cor. 15:10). (Council of Orange: Canon 6)

Contributors

  • Rev. John Samson
  • Rev. David Thommen (URC)
  • John Hendryx
  • Marco Gonzalez

    We are a community of confessing believers who love the gospel of Jesus Christ, affirm the Biblical and Christ-exalting truths of the Reformation such as the five solas, the doctrines of grace, monergistic regeneration, and the redemptive historical approach to interpreting the Scriptures.

    top250.jpg

    Community Websites

    Monergism Books on Facebook

    Blogroll

    Latest Posts

    Categories

    Archives

    Ministry Links

  • « The Importance of Predestination | Main | "To The Praise of His Glorious Grace!": A Brief Study on Predestination from Ephesians 1:3-14 by C. R. Biggs »

    J. I. Packer on 'Calvinism'

    An outstanding quotation from J. I. Packer (from his book ‘Quest for Godliness’ and his preface to John Owen’s classic work ‘The Death of Death in the Death of Christ’):

    “Now the real nature of Calvinistic soteriology becomes plain. It is no artificial oddity, nor a product of overbold logic. Its central confession, that God saves sinners, that Christ redeemed us by his blood is the witness both of the Bible and of the believing heart.

    The Calvinist is the Christian who confesses before men in his theology just what he believes in his heart before God when he prays. He thinks and speaks at all times of the sovereign grace of God in the way that every Christian does when he pleads for the souls of others, or when he obeys the impulse of worship which rises unbidden within him, prompting him to deny himself all praise and to give all the glory of his salvation to his Savior.

    Calvinism is the natural theology written on the heart of the new man in Christ, whereas Arminianism is an intellectual sin of infirmity, natural only in the sense in which all such sins are natural, even to the regenerate. Calvinistic thinking is the Christian being himself on the intellectual level; Arminian thinking is the Christian failing to be himself through the weakness of the flesh.

    Calvinism is what the Christian church has always held and taught when its mind has not been distracted by controversy and false traditions from attending to what Scripture actually says; that is the significance of the patristic testimonies to the teaching of the 'five points', which can be quoted in abundance. (Owen appends a few on redemption; a much larger collection may be seen in John Gill's The Cause of God and Truth.)

    So that really it is most misleading to call this soteriology 'Calvinism' at all, for it is not a peculiarity of John Calvin and the divines of Dort, but a part of the revealed truth of God and the catholic Christian faith. 'Calvinism' is one of the 'odious names' by which down the centuries prejudice has been raised against it. But the thing itself is just the biblical gospel.”

    To read Packer's entire essay, go to http://www.monergism.com/thethreshold/articles/onsite/packer_intro.html

    CRB

    Posted by Charles Biggs on October 24, 2006 03:35 PM

    Comments

    I am a bit confused. I respect J.I. Packer immensely. He states he is a Calvinist, but also says he believes what CS Lewis has stated about life being a series of choices which either lead us to Christ or away from Christ; that each of us by our own actions either chooses what we know to be right or choose what seems to benefit us in the moment. When asked if each person controls their own destiny he answers "I think it is a true statement, but we don't always know what we are choosing." (from the youtube video:Does Each Person Choose Their Own Destiny? J.I. Packer ) This seems to line up better with Arminian thought. Could someone please explain.

    Personal or individual choices are never denied by any believers in the gospel of grace and biblical theology that I know. This includes those who bear or allow the label "Calvinist."

    We believe freely and willingly the saving Gospel of Jesus Christ, through the enablement of the Spirit, of course. It is the Holy Spirit, who gives us spiritual life and power/ability in the new [spiritual] birth, who enables us to do what we must do to be saved (repent and believe) but cannot do in our natural unregenerate condition (1 Cor. 2:14; John 6:63) do because of our spiritual bondage and depravity in sin.

    I have dis­cov­ered from many years of shar­ing my faith with many Chris­tians of dif­fer­ent per­sua­sion, usu­ally by deal­ing directly with the scrip­tures them­selves (not by argu­ing the beloved tenets of the doc­trines of grace) and by read­ing the bar­rage of crit­i­cism and attacks on same, that many, when they are not con­fus­ing the doc­trines of grace (Calvin­ism) with hyper-Calvinism, sim­ply don’t under­stand the doc­trines of grace. This is very obvi­ous just by read­ing the posts of non-Calvinists on the topic of why some Chris­tians hate Calvin­ists. Per­son­ally, hav­ing been of Armin­ian per­sua­sion myself for years before I believed in the bib­li­cal doc­trines of grace, I believe the rea­son many get upset, even angry, at Calvin­ists is that often. much to their sur­prise, they are able to show clearly that the doc­trines of grace are plainly taught in scrip­ture. I will not under­take to do that here, but please allow me to say that, unlike some of the posts I’ve read here, I don’t believe “uni­ver­sal atone­ment advo­cates are unre­gen­er­ate”, no more than I believe a sin­ner needs to believe he/she is elect before he comes to Christ for salvation–the Calvin­ists I know believed they were elect after God brought them to Christ in gen­uine repen­tance and faith for sal­va­tion. In any case, this notwith­stand­ing does not detract from the clear bib­li­cal teach­ing that the rea­son any­one believes is because he/she is cho­sen by God (see John 6:44, 65; Acts 13:48; 2 Thess. 2:13–14; John 1:13; John 6:37; 10:26; 17:2, 6,9, 11, 12, 20, 24; many more verses.

    Surely Christ never intended for this life to be so difficult.
    KISS Keep it simple S!

    We are all held accountable for every word and thought ever said or thought. These are intentional actions by each person.
    God is no respector of persons.

    He didn't condemn children from birth.
    Wake up guys.

    I don't see Calvinism taught by the church, I see it from Augustine onward 3 centuries after Christ. I doubt Paul would have been energized to cross the Roman empire preaching the Gospel to anyone who would listen, if he believed that the majority couldn't accept it without being regenerated by God first. I reject Calvinistic doctrine that Jesus only shed his blood for the elect and that it was God's good pleasure to damn billions to hell for His glory (of course if you aren't a hyper Calvinist then we can agree that whomsoever will come can be saved and become part of the elect). Nor am I an Arminian, because the bible clearly teaches that God cannot lose one child who has put their faith in Christ.

    I also have some questions about giving so much praise for a man's complicated doctrine who bore some very bad fruit. By their fruit you will know them. I for one would not want to have lived in Geneva during the tyrannical theocracy of Calvin where people were imprisoned, beheaded and burned at the stake. A doctrine that teaches God forces his will on the unwilling will naturally lead to Christians who want to set up the Kingdom on earth and force the unelect into a theocracy.

    I don't see Calvinism taught by the early church, I see it from Augustine onward 3 centuries after Christ. I doubt Paul would have been energized to cross the Roman empire preaching the Gospel to anyone who would listen if he believed that the majority couldn't accept it without being regenerated by God first. I reject Calvinistic doctrine that Jesus only shed his blood for the elect and that it was God's good pleasure to damn billions to hell for His glory (of course if you aren't a hyper Calvinist then we can agree that whomsoever will come can be saved and become part of the elect). Nor am I an Arminian, because the bible clearly teaches that God cannot lose one child who has put their faith in Christ.

    I also have some questions about giving so much praise for a man's complicated doctrine who bore some very bad fruit. By their fruit you will know them. I for one would not want to have lived in Geneva during the tyrannical theocracy of Calvin where people were imprisoned, beheaded and burned at the stake. A doctrine that teaches God forces his will on the unwilling will naturally lead to Christians who want to set up the Kingdom on earth and force the unelect into a theocracy. An interesting parallel is Islam which has a fatalistic view of Allah's will who capriciously saves whom he will and damns the rest. A system who's adherents are well known for forcing Islam on everyone whether they want it or not.

    It's interesting that it is said that all who disagree with the doctrines of Calvinism just don't understand the doctrines of grace. I understand them well. They make salvation unavailable to the world, and only for those who have been chosen for it. The rest were clearly created for the purpose of hell, with no choice or option or ability to believe in God. Calvinism, for the majority of the world, is actually the abortion of grace, and the doctrines of death. This horror is well hidden behind fancy talk, just as with Job's friends. Many don't realize that there is actually no difference between Calvinism and Hyper-calvinism. Many don't realize that the God presented by Calvinism is not a God of love, but a God of hate and wrath, that controls all things by predetermined decree. When a Calvinist tells you they affirm free will, they are lying, because they know they don't define free will with any sense of freedom in it. I see it as a deception upon the Church.

    Post a comment

    Please enter the letter "m" in the field below: