Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life. (John 4:13-14)

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Some Feedback

I have been very busy with classes that I teach at a Bible college. It has been the end of the semester and I have been grading term papers and finals. I see that I have some feedback.

Nothing new. More mud-slinging and theological cuss words. I like how to a Calvinist, there are only two types of Christians: Calvinists and Arminians. To the Calvinist, Calvinism is the gospel, pure and true. Anyone who disagrees with Calvinism is automatically an Arminan by default. To this category is heaped every objectionable tenet and doctrine that has ever arisen in Christendom. Calvinism seeks to entrap the undiscerning and immature with this divide and conquer tactic; these people rightly do not want to be associated with such a picture as Calvinism paints of the only other Christian group! Neither do they wish to be called every Christian pejorative in the book.

As for Arminian, I am not.

You may call it Free Grace, Overcomer theology, Metachoi theology, or most aptly Biblical.

Arminian, no. Calvinism, NO!

Good day!

Antonio

14 Comments:

Blogger Bobby Grow said...

So you like, Joseph Dillow I see, so do I ;).

November 03, 2005 6:55 PM  
Blogger Antonio said...

I do. I enjoy his book and use it as reference. I do not hold to his Calvinism though. He is a Free-Grace Calvinist, and I am just happy he wrote the book he did. It is excellent. There are other Free Grace Calvinists as well:

John Robbins and Gordon Clark of the Trinity Foundation
R.T. Kendall
Michael Eaton

to name a few.

I have to say that I enjoy Zane Hodges the most.

His book (that is now out of print and used copies are going for $50) "Grace in Eclipse" was a life changing book for me!

I correspond with him frequently as he is a very approachable and humble fellow. I had the pleasure of hanging out with him on several occasions and most recently in August.

November 03, 2005 7:44 PM  
Blogger Bobby Grow said...

What is it that sets a "Free-Grace Calvinist" apart from a pure "Free-Gracer"--such as yourself?

BTW, I've read a bit of Kendall, he's a good read. And Hodges, "Absolutely Free", his approach almost seems reactionistic here; rather than measured in his response to MacArthur.

And I'm also curious as to what your understanding of grace is. In other words, do you see it as a "created quality" or as personified by the Holy Spirit?

November 03, 2005 11:28 PM  
Blogger Antonio said...

bobby,

actually, John MacArthur's book, "The Gospel According to Jesus" is a reaction to Zane Hodges' book "The Gospel Under Seige". And "Absolutely Free!" is in response to John's book.

AF! is a brief yet powerful answer to Lordship salvation. I would be happy to discuss any of its points in detail.

"The Gospel under Seige" is in its second edition and like 15th publication. You should get your hands on it! It is a GREAT reference and covers many Scriptures!

Antonio

November 04, 2005 2:52 PM  
Blogger Antonio said...

Oh yeah,

One of the biggest correspondences between FG and C FG is that of assurance and the denial of the practical syllogism. They agree it is truly by grace through faith apart from any works whatsoever (see Gerstner, Piper, and MacArthur for their insistence that a form of works IS necessary for eternal life).

Also, FG people believe that the faith that appropriates eternal life is punctilliar rather than linear. Linear aspect would make faith meritorious, while punctilliar faith corresponds to a one time appropriation, like to the one who "drinks of" the water that Jesus gives and never thirst again (John 4:14).

Most FG Calvinists reject particular atonement and and modify the perseverance of the Saints to be preservation (eternal security, or OSAS) in its place.

R.T. Kendall shows clearly that Calvin himself believed in universal atonement.

If you look at Jody Dillow in "Reign" chapter 23 I think, on Negative Rewards, you will see that the atonement is not limited in extent but limited in INTENT.

You may want to re-read it.

Also, Zane Hodges (whom first suggested the limited intent doctrine) wrote about it in his book, "Harmony with God: Repentance reconsidered" which, the entire book, is online at http://www.chafer.edu in their back journals section.

It is GREAT stuff, and interesting reading!

there are other correspondences as well.

I differ from C FG in that I do not believe in individual election unto eternal life. I do not believe in the supposed fruit of total depravity = total inability. I do not believe in irresistible grace (is this not an oxymoron!?). I do not believe in POS, nor particular atonement.

http://www.faithalone.org

Antonio

November 04, 2005 3:03 PM  
Blogger Bobby Grow said...

Thanks Antonio, for the response, I think I differ from you a bit in my approach to viewing salvation--but then again I see alot of overlap as well.

I noticed your comment over at the "Moor", and I distance myself from you a bit, because I don't know your approach well enough to necessarily say I am in essential alignment with you. And you know how those Calvinists are, if you're not one of them then you must be an Arminian; and if I disagree with them in that context (Moor's blog), then I must agree with you--at least that's how Jeremy frame's me a bit (in the comment section, where they're trying to bash you).

You know I've read Kendall's "English Calvinism . . ." and I'm not quite sure I agree with Kendall's final analysis. Calvin definitely believed in the ordo salutis that Christ died for all--but Calvin still sees a "functional" particular atonement as he sees Jesus electing from the R-hand of the Father (cf. Heb. 7:25). I've tried to argue this way, Kendall's way before, and I think it's untenable.

I too have been personally (I served as his T.A. for a couple yrs while in seminary) influenced by a professor, his name is Dr. Ron Frost (PhD King's College, University of London), he is a historical theologian, where my passion lies as well; he forwards and articulates a theological construct, reaching back into church history, known as Affective Theology. He fleshes this construct out in his PhD dissertation (forthcoming for publication with Paternoster Press)as he looks at Richard Sibbes and Federal Theology. He argues that Sibbes was part of the "Antinomians" of the Antinomian Controversy--which, interestingly they were known as "Free-gracers" as well (but nuanced differently from what I've read of Hodges and other contemporaries).

Some areas where I agree with you:

>I too reject the "practical syllogism"
>I see justification (your punctilliar) and sanctification (your linear) as distinct, but inseparably related (unlike typical Calvinists)

I'll keep a look out for you over at the Moor's, if you ever go back, I don't think my comment over there will make me very popular either (or maybe it will ;).

November 04, 2005 9:35 PM  
Blogger Antonio said...

Hey Bobby,

I feel we have a lot to learn from each other and I would like to discuss soteriology with you. Would you be inclined to answer some of my questions? I would answer first the same question I would ask you.

I think it would be fun and informative!

I am definitely interested in your Dr. Frost friend. Are there any articles by him that I could read that wouldn't take a long time to read? You know, journal size articles, not much longer?

Michael Horton talks about the Antinomian controversy in one of his books where he lies considerably about Zane Hodges. Zane reviews this book in the Journal of the Grace Evangelical Society.

If you are interested in historical theology, you may find a journal article on the Marrow Controversy quite interesting:

http://www.faithalone.org/journal/2003ii/makidon.pdf

I am interested in your soteriology since you have, in so many words, said that my soteriology and Calvinisms soteriology is cut from a common mold.

Your new friend,

Antonio

November 05, 2005 1:57 PM  
Blogger Bobby Grow said...

You no what Antonio, sometimes I put my foot in my mouth, in my immature zeal :). I really don't know enough about your position to put you in the same camp as the Calvinists or Arminians (not that I have authority to put anybody to put anyone in a particular camp--they'll have to do that themselves ;)).

Similarily I have much to learn from you--let me track down a link to Frost's article in the TEDS journal and get back to you with it. He is corresponding back and forth with Richard Mueller (an infamous scholastic theologian of our day); and critquing the impact that Aristotelianism/Thomism has had on our current day understanding of God, man, and salvation.

I'll be back with that . . .

A brother in Christ (and friend ;)

Bobby G.

November 05, 2005 2:36 PM  
Blogger Bobby Grow said...

P.S.

You said you teach at a bible college somewhere. Where is it (San Diego area I'm assuming); and what school is it?

November 05, 2005 2:41 PM  
Blogger Antonio said...

Hey Bobby,

It is called Southern California Seminary.

http://www.socalsem.edu/

It is an accredited Bible College/Seminary under the ministry of Dr. David Jeremiah.

It is a classical dispensational seminary with a Chafer/Walvoord DTS flavor.

Antonio

November 05, 2005 2:47 PM  
Blogger Bobby Grow said...

They're not in need of any new profs (theology/bib stud.) are they? I have an MA in bib studies (a few yrs of TA and adjunct teaching experience). It can't hurt to ask right? It's not the Heritage college is it?

I'm originally from Long Beach (CA), but spent some time as a kid living in the Temecula area (my dad grew up out there).

Anyway here's that link to Frost's article in the Trinity Journal, it's a good one: R. N. Frost

November 05, 2005 2:56 PM  
Blogger Antonio said...

Christian Heritage College (now known as San Diego Christian College) is a liberal arts college affiliated with Dr. Jeremiah's ministry. SCS is a different organization, but still associated with it, and is across the street.

Antonio

November 05, 2005 4:16 PM  
Blogger Bobby Grow said...

Antonio, if you read this article by Frost, let me give you a heads up--he is a thorough-going Augustinian. I would say more consistently "reformed" than any of the Calvinists I have spoken with (who hold to a cooperative model of salvation, as you point out, i.e. your linear).

At this point I label myself as semi-Augustinian (although somewhat inconsistently). Anyway if you read it tell me what you think. The anthropology described in this article is at odds with the intellect/will centered anthroplogy offered by Calvinists.Although I have a feeling, it is very much at odds with your own position as well (given your understanding of the extent of the Fall, i.e. not total inability). At least it will provide another perspective, than that offered by popular Calvinist understanding, for you to ponder.

November 05, 2005 11:15 PM  
Blogger Jon Lee said...

Amen brother!

January 29, 2007 9:37 AM  

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