Calvin, this is supposed to be good doctrine?

Paul in his letter to Timothy speaks of the gospel that he proclaims and how he suffers for proclaiming this gospel.  He speaks of his suffering and how he is even chained like a criminal.  Of course this is no surprise to us for Paul speaks in other places of his beating, shipwrecks and even being stoned and dragged out of the city for dead.

We in Christendom assume Paul suffered this so the believers in his day (what we would call the elect) could come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ and be saved.  Paul in his letter to Timothy demonstrates something just the opposite.  He says he suffers all of this so the elect (the believers in his day) too may obtain salvation.

Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David. This is my gospel, for which I am suffering even to the point of being chained like a criminal. But God’s word is not chained.  Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they too may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory.[1]

To this a good Calvinist would say, of course, it is evidence of the salvation future.  For a good Calvinist agrees with the Past Salvation (predestination), the now salvation (believing in Jesus Christ), and the future salvation, which this scripture is speaking of.  So they cover all of their bases.  That would be great if this were baseball, but it is not.

Another doctrine of Calvin is one can not loose their salvation because they have it past, present and future.  To a Calvinist loosing ones salvation is impossible.  They say our lives do not alter the fact of the work of Christ or his calling on our lives.

Funny though, Paul has a hope the elect will too receive salvation and after he says this in his letter he continues.

Here is a trustworthy saying: If we died with him, we will also live with him; if we endure, we will also reign with him. If we disown him, he will also disown us;[2]

Speaking of those whom he too hopes will obtain salvation, he says they can endure and reign or disown Christ and He will disown them.  Kinda smacks of other statements doesn’t it?

Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.[3]

Now a good Calvinist would be quick to remind me that I have left off a verse, and that would be their verse of comfort.  They would be quick to remind me that Paul didn’t stop Christ disowning us, but

if we are faithless, he will remain faithful, for he cannot disown himself.[4]

The Calvinist mistakenly assumes that even in our faithlessness Christ will remain faithful.  They assume they are the body of Christ and Christ can not disown Himself, therefore they are eternally secure.  This they would say is good doctrine, which is completely the opposite of what Paul wrote just before this.  So what is it?  Is it good Calvinistic doctrine and Paul teaches we can not be disowned even if we are faithless?  Or is it, we will be disowned by Christ if we disown Him, which is not a Calvinistic doctrine.

The Gospel According to the Gospel teaches there is no conflict in Paul’s statements to believers.  If we disown Christ we will be disowned by Him.  If we are faithless He will remain faithful.  Christ will not disown Himself if we are faithless.  He being the very word of God will not go back on His word.  He will not say to us like Santa Clause, “Well, I guess you all have been pretty good,” as if God were to grade on a curve.  No, The Gospel According to the Gospel agrees with scripture.  If we are faithless He will not disown Himself and He will do exactly what He said He will do.  He will disown us.  Just as He was faithful to Israel to bring the curses for their disobedience just as He said He would.

So while we may yet please the Lord, let us lay hold of the gospel of scripture and teach men they too can obtain salvation.

But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation–if you continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant.[5]

That there is no past salvation or present salvation, except being freed from being slaves to sin, that is, being saved from sin.  But we do have a hope of a future salvation.  Let us not disown Christ and be disowned.  Let us not disown His gospel and preach the doctrine of Calvin which teaches men they are saved, and further teaches Jesus will disown Himself and not do as He says, and also disown Paul who wrote we too may obtain salvation if we do not disown Him. 

[1] 2 Timothy 2:8-10

[2] 2 Timothy 2:11-12

[3] Matthew 24:12-13

[4] 2 Timothy 2:13

[5] Colossians 1:22-23

3 thoughts on “Calvin, this is supposed to be good doctrine?

  1. Dave,

    Again, it seems there is no real dialogue here, i.e. you and the honest scripture Text. It just seems you have set yourself against a certain straw argument, that is not even real Calvinism. And you have not really dialogued with my points either. But of course this is your blog.

  2. You have said there is a true Calvinism and I am arguing with a straw man that I have made up and not the doctrines of Calvin himself. How ever please understand that I am not simply addressing our conversations in this blog. I have been having a dialoged with another person who has made it very clear to me what Calvinism speaks of. He is of greater standing than either you or I even. He is writing his second book and it is on finishing the race. So you may be a theologian but he is a published author and teacher and guide to men.

    So it may appear to you I am making a straw man, but I am not only having my eyes opened by you alone on what doctrine the church embraces over God’s word.

    Please, I give you the invitation to articulate in simple down to earth, easy to understand terms for the common man, what you believe is true Calvinism.

    In your comments to this post I see no points to dialogue about except what I have just addressed. If there is a specific point about Christ disowning us if we disown Him that you disagree with let us know. If you disagree with Christ not disowning Himself, because He will do what He promised to do, then say so.

    If you disagree with what I say please let me know in a way that I can understand. A simple suggested format would be, “No David you are wrong, scripture clearly teaches … and give the address of the verses.”

    In my blogs I give scripture and addresses. In your rebuttal give me the same courtesy. If you want to quote the church fathers, then give me the scripture and the address as their mouth pieces, don’t tell me to go read something. You say it for them, with scripture and address.

    I hope this well help our dialogue.

  3. Dave,

    The book by this Tony Evans is certainly not Reformed or Calvinist! And I have had a few books in print in my time, now OP. And I have never written on a pop culture or pop bible level. I am 60 years old mate.

    I don’t think we are getting anywhere. And I am really more modern (so-called) “Reformed”, than I am hard Calvinist. At least Calvinist in your American sense. Though as I have said, you don’t have a clue to the real Calvin, nor do many American Reformed, sadly. I write in a biblical and theological manner, but also in a scholastic sense. But I am not seeking to be obtuse. No, if your going to seek to really have a debate with true Calvinism, then you must quote from “their” sources. And this you have never done. So as far as I can see, you are again just beating down a “staw-man”. But as I said, this is you blog. But I will withdraw, as we are not really in a dialogue. But best regards.

    Fr. Robert

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