"...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)


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    Calvinist Distinctives

    The Main Difference Between Calvinist and Non-Calvinist Views of Saving Grace

    Recently I had am exchange on a message board regarding the particulars of Calvinism. Here is the conversation.

    Also, check out the new long-sleeve Five Solas t-shirt from Monergism Books


    Posted by John on November 2, 2009 12:58 PM


    Great conversation thanks for post.

    It made me think of my former (non-Calvinist) views on how Calvinist viewed evangelism.(which was a caricature of Calvinist).

    That Calvinist can right off anyone who doesn't "get saved" through personnel evangelism because they weren't chosen.

    After a God opening Holy Spirit made revelation of the Sovereignty of God and the Satisfaction of Jesus' propitiation of sin. I
    now have a more thorough understanding of Reformed theology and I see it the other way.

    A non-reformed position leaves the saving work of God up to personnel decision. So if I share Jesus with you and you make no decision my thought is well you might choose God one day.

    As opposed to praying constantly and constantly sharing the Gospel of Jesus with you because, " what is impossible with man is possible with God"

    In Him

    You guys over there at Monergism or so stinkin' creative!

    LOVE this long sleeve Five Solas shirt. I'll be grabbing one when I visit your warehouse to lighten my wallet on some more of your books. ;)


    great article and perspicuous, mostly, :)

    Your story of the parents, the one puts the weight on the child to get out of the danger rolling down the street and the other "getting" the child out of the danger rolling down the street reminded me of the time I was witness to a man just before and just after he was hit by a car.

    What I want to focus on with it is something akind to these verses:::>

    Act 20:28 Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood.
    Act 20:29 I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock;
    Act 20:30 and from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them.
    Act 20:31 Therefore be alert, remembering that for three years I did not cease night or day to admonish everyone with tears.
    Act 20:32 And now I commend you to God and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified.
    Act 20:33 I coveted no one's silver or gold or apparel.
    Act 20:34 You yourselves know that these hands ministered to my necessities and to those who were with me.
    Act 20:35 In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.'"

    There is a lot piled in those verses there for us.

    The incident I was party too many years ago happened such that the "impact" of the car hitting the man left his shoes right where he was hit and everything in his pockets were strewn all over the busy street. I had just walked past the man. I had then just crossed the street when I hear this thud and then the screeching sound of tires locked up by a driver hitting the brakes of the car. I turned around just as the man landed hitting the curb cracking his head wide open. Blood was oozing out of his ears, nose, mouth and other places on his body. He was lifeless. I was the third person to reach him and because two others were attending to him I began picking up his "posessions"/"inheritance" from the street.

    There was paper money, coins, keys and a wallet strewn around nearby the man. They were his posessions but he was not able to claim any of it for himself so I did it for him. I gathered up as much of his personal belongings that I could, his shoes, money, keys and wallet and held custody of them until the police arrived. I then gave custody of his things to the police.

    We all are like that man, in a similar state of being, in that I am assuming, by the looks of it, he did not survive. Just so, like Eve and then Adam, we do not survive any and all attempts to overcome our inherited nature on our own so as to have a place one with His Divine Nature. The impact of our own sin is so great, even our possessions/inheritances are in need of another's care for "safe" keeping.

    I believe the best, most perspicuous description about it comes here with these words of Peter:::>

    1Pe 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
    1Pe 1:4 to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you,
    1Pe 1:5 who by God's power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

    Not only is it God, who, by His mercy, causes me to be born again to a Living Hope, obtaining my inheritance, which is imperishable, undefiled and unfading, it is also by God's power afterward, being dead in tresspasses and sins, that I am being "kept" by another while alive in this world.

    I am monergistic.

    Eph 2:4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us,
    Eph 2:5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ--by grace you have been saved--
    Eph 2:6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,
    Eph 2:7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.

    I have a question for you. How do you answer someone who says they left a church because they teach that God made some people just to send them to Hell.

    This person had been attending a local church that has been slowly moving over to a Reformed point of view. I'm guessing that because of the teaching that salvation is ALL of grace in Christ and God has chosen us from the the foundation of the earth that this is how this person arrived at the conclusion that some people were created specifically to be sent to Hell.
    We did not counter his statement as it wasn't on the topic of the class and would have caused a stir, so we just brought him back to the topic at hand without dealing with it. But I'm not sure how we would have dealt with it given the right circumstance. Some help here would be appreciated.


    Thanks for your comment. Since God knows all things even prior to creating us, he knows that we are sinners, so if he saves us it is because of his grace ... if we are damned it is because of our sin. Sin is the only thing that causes us damnation.

    Furthermore, the arminian position does not escape this. In their view, God knows all thing prior to creating them so he knows with certainty who will be damned even before he creates the world, so in some very real sense he wills this to take place. So it would be false to ascribe this problem to Calvinists alone.

    Attn for some time now I have held very strongly to the reformed doctrines of which I absolutely know that God himself has shown me to be true. After many years of seeing God prove his faithfulness to me amongst the many failures and victories I want to find a solid live in christian community that adheres to the sound doctrines of faith that reformed doctrins teach. Its just to bad that mans mind is completely blocked out from seeing the truth unless God himself through his Son the lord Jesus Christ reveals himself through his holy sprit. I used to believe that man could choose God but I now know that this is simply impossible because the word of God states that we are dead in our sins and tresspasses and that the Ruler of this world blinds us and unless God draws us to him through is Son the lord Jesus by His sprit and regenerates our Hearts unto a living hope we have no capacity to open our minds to God or come to him by our own efforts as well accept him as our savior because there is nothing in us besides our sinful nature that could ever want him or have him or even agree with him. Please call me at 262-385-6557 if you know of truth practicing communitiy that practices reformed theology so that I can get my life on track once again. Signed a desporate man who needs a good truthful family to be a part of

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