Blog Posts on The Doctrines of Grace / Calvinism

The Tragic Hypocrisy of Joyless Calvinism

David Mathis

Gospel wakefulness. That's Jared Wilson's term for the Christian's experience of treasuring Jesus more greatly and savoring his power more sweetly than ever before. For some it happens at new birth. For some it's a gradual dawning over time. And for many, it's a kind of spiritual quantum leap, almost like a kind of sanctification warp speed. You'll want to learn more. . . .

So join us this…

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My Experience with Racism and Reformed Theology

John Piper

The Bible and the Reformed faith have been used to defend racism and slavery. But, if you take the long view, in every case, the day came when the very Bible, and the very faith, that had once condoned racism and slavery, were finally used as part of its undoing.

This was certainly the case in my own experience. It was not Reformed theology that in any way spurred or…

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Saying What You Believe Is Clearer Than Saying “Calvinist”

John Piper

We are Christians. Radical, full-blooded, Bible-saturated, Christ-exalting, God-centered, mission-advancing, soul-winning, church-loving, holiness-pursing, sovereignty-savoring, grace-besotted, broken-hearted, happy followers of the omnipotent, crucified Christ. At least that’s our imperfect commitment.

In other words, we are Calvinists. But that label is not nearly as useful as telling people what you actually believe! So forget the label, if it helps, and tell them clearly, without evasion or ambiguity, what you believe about salvation.

If…

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Experimental Calvinism

Tyler Kenney

Rev. Ian Hamilton explains. What do you think?

Here's a taster:

This is what so many miss in their assessment of, or espousal of, Calvinism. It is not first and foremost a theological system; it is more fundamentally a “religious attitude”, an attitude that gives inevitable birth to a particular, precise, but gloriously God-centred and heart-engaging system of theology.

Before sovereign grace is a truth to defend, it is…

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Free Bodies, Bound Wills

Tyler Kenney

True and saving faith in Christ is not a thing out of the power of man, but infinitely easy. 'Tis entirely in a man's power to submit to Jesus Christ as a Savior, if he will; but the thing is, it never will be that he should will it, except God works it in him.

—Jonathan Edwards, from Miscellanies #71

Edwards draws a distinction here between two kinds of ability:

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Beyond Five Points

David Mathis

Tulips and sky

Don’t limit your understanding of God’s absolute sovereignty to five points in a mnemonic device (TULIP). Do start there, or at least cover that terrain in due course, but know that there is so much more to the full biblical worldview sometimes called Calvinism.

In the introductory essay that I referred to yesterday, J. I. Packer says, “it would not be correct to simply equate Calvinism…

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The Permanent Value of TULIP

David Mathis

In his introductory essay to John Owen’s The Death of Death in the Death of Christ, J. I. Packer writes that Calvinism and Arminianism are “two coherent interpretations of the biblical gospel, which stand in evident opposition to each other. The difference between them is not primarily one of emphasis, but of content.”

Packer continues, (paragraphing added)

One proclaims a God who saves; the other speaks of a God…

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Why We Love the Doctrines of Grace

John Piper

Unconditional election delivers the harshest and the sweetest judgments to my soul.

That it is unconditional destroys all self-exaltation; and that it is election makes me his treasured possession.

This is one of the beauties of the biblical doctrines of grace: their worst devastations prepare us for their greatest delights.

What prigs we would become at the words, “The LORD your God has chosen you to be a people for…

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Grace Is Resistible... Until It’s Not

John Piper

Learn your doctrine from texts. It stands up better that way, and feeds the soul. For example, learn irresistible grace from texts. In this way you will see it does not mean grace cannot be resisted; it means that when God chooses he can and will overcome that resistance.

In Isaiah 57:17-19, for instance. God chastises his rebellious people by striking them and hiding his face: “Because of the iniquity…

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