Archive for August, 2012

Rite of Passage Parenting:
iPhone: The New Pacifier

By Walker Moore


I’m proud of myself because I’ve hit another mile marker. I’ve only had my iPhone for about six months and have already mastered turning it on, making a call and charging it up every night. Just don’t ask me about text messaging and video chatting. I think I have a few more lessons to go.

The other day, I was at the doctor’s office when a mother with three little girls came in and sat near me. The longer these young ladies remained in the waiting the room, the more fidgety they became. At last, the mother pulled out her iPhone and handed it to the oldest daughter, who began to go through some different apps.

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A Biblical Critique of Calvinism
Part 2b: The Optional Nature of the Gospel Invitation

by Dr. Michael A. Cox, Pastor of First Baptist Church in Pryor, Oklahoma, and author of Not One Little Child: A Biblical Critique of Calvinism

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This is the fifth of a series of articles by Dr. Cox, with a Biblical critique of Calvinism drawn in part from his book Not One Little Child.
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A survey of the New Testament documents harmonizes beautifully with the testimony of the Old Testament concerning human options. Matthew recorded the words of Jesus when he taught His disciples to pray. Jesus stated that there is God’s will and implied that there is man’s will (Matt. 6:10). Jesus said that man may or may not choose to do the will of God (Matt. 7:21), that whoever does the will of God is related to Christ (Matt. 12:50), and that willingness to follow Him rests with man (Matt. 16:24). He further declared that the Father wills that none should perish, not one little child, which all of us begin as (Matt. 18:14). Jesus also implied that doing the will of God is optional when He taught the parable of the two sons (Matt. 21:31). And, I think one of the most fabulous of all passages regarding the human freewill is the one which relates the prayer of Jesus just before His arrest, in which is seen His human will conflicting with the will of God; but Jesus voluntarily submitted His human will to God’s will when He said, “… if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as Thou wilt” (Matt. 26:39). 

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A Selective Review and Critique of Whomever He Wills – Part 2D

David L. Allen

Matthew Barrett and Thomas Nettles, eds. Whomever He Wills: a Surprising Display of Sovereign Mercy (Cape Coral, FL: Founders Press, 2012), 401 pgs.


(Ed.’s note: What follows below is Part 2D. This follows Part 2C that appeared on Aug. 15.)

 

6) The Efficacious Nature of the Atonement.

On pages 85-90, Schrock moves from the discussion of the particular nature of Christ’s atonement to the efficacious nature of it. Here there is less to disagree with, but some troublesome spots occur. Schrock writes, “Historically, those who have defended penal substitution have usually embraced definite atonement” (88). In light of the large variety of Calvinists throughout Reformed history who have affirmed a form of unlimited atonement, coupled with the large number of non-Calvinists like John Wesley who affirmed unlimited atonement along with penal substitution, this statement needs qualification. In the footnote, he mistakenly cites Shedd who was actually moderate on the question of the extent of the atonement. (I am here assuming Schrock is citing Shedd as a proponent of Limited Atonement.)

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A Selective Review and Critique of Whomever He Wills – Part 2C

David L. Allen

Matthew Barrett and Thomas Nettles, eds. Whomever He Wills: a Surprising Display of Sovereign Mercy (Cape Coral, FL: Founders Press, 2012), 401 pgs.


(Ed.’s note: What follows below is Part 2C. This follows Part 2B that appeared on Aug. 14.)

3) Non-Elect are not “Saveable.”

In Schrock’s third paragraph of footnote 13, he continues the “misrepresentation” charge and supports it by a lengthy quote from Wills’ review of my chapter. It should be noted that Schrock’s quotation of Wills has been somehow truncated when compared with the actual quotation in the original review. Having written and edited a few books, I am well aware that this kind of thing can inadvertently happen. I have inserted in brackets the missing words from the quotation so the reader can see the correct quote and get the full sense of what Wills is arguing.

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A Selective Review and Critique of Whomever He Wills – Part 2B

David L. Allen

Matthew Barrett and Thomas Nettles, eds. Whomever He Wills: a Surprising Display of Sovereign Mercy (Cape Coral, FL: Founders Press, 2012), 401 pgs.


(Ed.’s note: Dr. Allen’s “Part 2” is approximately 8,000 words in length. SBCToday will therefore publish Part 2 in 2,000-word (approximate) increments. These shorter installments will be signified thusly: Part 2A; Part 2B; etc. What follows below is Part 2B. This follows sequentially Dr. Allen’s “Part 2A” that appeared on Aug. 13.)

2) Dabney Misread.

Schrock cites my appeal to the negative inference fallacy, and my citation of Dabney. He says my point would be well-taken if these “bare positive statements” [texts which speak of the extent of the atonement “for His people” or “for the church.”] were all there was (80-81). Notice his next move. He follows by saying “However, these texts are but visible geysers forced to the surface by the power of God’s plan to save a particular people. As we will see below, the fountainhead of these verses is God’s covenantal relationship with His particular people” (81). Nothing here mitigates or refutes what I have said at all. Schrock footnotes J. Ramsey Michaels (Ibid.). He then quotes Michaels: “Most references to Jesus death in John’s gospel have to do with its benefits for believers, of Jesus’ own disciples, and are thus fully consistent with ‘particular redemption’ as the early English Baptists understood it” (81-82). Again, this has nothing to do with the price of tea in China. We are not talking about the benefits of the atonement being limited only to those who believe. All agree with that. Nothing in Michaels’ statement contradicts the notion of an unlimited atonement. Nothing in God’s covenantal relationship with His people, i.e., believers, mandates particular redemption either, but Schrock promises more on this later, so we will address this issue later as well.

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