Monday, October 09, 2006

Same cloth - many points

Through past historical events, I am still part of list group whose members I am sure treasure and love their Calvinism. A discussion arose between me and with a Baptistic 4.5 point Calvinist friend in the list who then got into discussion with the guy I usually spar with, a Baptistic 5 pointer Calvinist. Here is a quote from the 4.5 pointer
Under all of our theologies (God's included) the death of Jesus Christ saves no one. It presents no one before God as justified, in and of itself. To be really blunt – the death of Christ is of no
more value than the death a sheep outside of the complete salvation "package" - sovereignly decided by God. Again very bluntly – the blood of Christ is of no more value for our salvation
than a quart of oil outside of the complete method of God given to us whereby we must be saved.

Even under the vaunted supposed Calvinistic theology, Christ's death accomplished nothing until the merits of it are applied to our lives when we exercise our God given faith.

You said, "The Calvinist believes that Christ has already purchased the redemption (saved positionally) of His own when He received their retribution. And that, the benefits of the secured salvation simply need to be brought to them by the Holy Spirit that they may
be saved experientially. "

Not true! I don't believe that and I don't think many Calvinists would say that they believe that.

I admire the candor of my 4.5 pointer friend about his Calvinism, he was willing to call a spade a spade. His frankness and boldness got me thinking, for a while now I have thought that Arminianism and Calvinism are a cut from the same paradigm. The 4.5 pointer brother confirmed what my hunches were telling me. In the end it leads to inward looking faith, i.e. we are saved by what is inside us. One is left looking at the subjective justification rather than the objective. Although the 5.0 pointer affirms that this faith is an instrument, one's faith nevertheless gets the subsequent attention or focus, at least my 4.5 pointer friend was willing to admit that, yet the 5.0 pointer fails to see it in the system. His brutal honesty was something to note and immitate.

What is quite unique about the Lutheran fathers is that they can say "do not talk to me about faith, talk to me about Jesus". Faith as opposed to works, simply trusts the promise God made that is already there. Indeed, when we focus on our faith and our consciousness of it, we can be side tracked. The Apology has this
56] For faith justifies and saves, not on the ground that it is a work in itself worthy, but only because it receives the promised mercy.
It receives the justification that is already there - won by Christ. Amen.

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