This is the seventh of a series of articles by Dr. Cox, with a Biblical critique of Calvinism drawn in part from his book Not One Little Child.
Calvinism does not seem to account for the fact that God has promised to reveal Himself in one way or another to everyone. Many Scriptures bear clear testimony to this fact. Isaiah said that people will see what they had not been told, and will understand what they had not heard (Isa. 52:15). The Apostle John announced that the true light enlightens every man, suggesting that God’s redemptive scope is inclusive (John 1:9). The Apostle Paul proclaimed in Rom. 1:19 that what is known about God is evident within man. This means that knowledge of God is innate. God makes Himself known in them (en autois), that is in the human consciousness.1 The present tense verb “it is” (estin) denotes the permanency of this knowledge of the personal God. Moreover, God has stamped knowledge of Himself once for all time upon human consciousness, which is denoted by the past (aorist) tense verb for “manifested.”2 No human being has ever been without this knowledge. This implies that one has the ability to know, thus eliminating infants and the mentally challenged. All people have received at least general revelation within and, with the exception of infants and the mentally challenged, are accountable for it.
This is the sixth of a series of articles by Dr. Cox, with a Biblical critique of Calvinism drawn in part from his book Not One Little Child.
Doctrines referencing a “limited” atonement simply do not harmonize with the overall teaching of Scripture. Man is ordered to love God with all his heart, soul, and mind (Deut. 6:5; Matt. 22:37). This is a statement no one would deny. Therefore, since all are commanded to do so, it is necessary that all be capable of doing so. One does not issue commands to unconscious entities, nor does one hold them responsible.1 Man is conscious, and those who reach the stage of accountability are held responsible. Jesus said that God loves the entire world (John 3:16). Our Lord also declared that God desires for all of mankind to be saved, and this is recorded in the writings of several Apostles. Matthew recorded the words of Jesus when He disclosed that it is not the will of the Father that even one little child perish (Matt. 18:14), and every person begins as a little child. Likewise, John recorded the Gethsemane prayer of Jesus, which plainly published His desire that the whole world would believe in Him (John 17:21). Paul said the same thing when he wrote to Timothy and said that God desires that all people be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth (1 Tim. 2:4).
Author Gil VanOrder, Jr., in “Considering Calvinism: Faith or Fatalism,” presents a clear and logical case against Five Point Calvinism. While his book is accessible for any layperson, it is written in such a way that theologians and pastors will also benefit from the discussion, since his writing is especially transferrable for use in preaching and teaching, and also includes excellent (if leading) discussion questions at the end of each chapter.
VanOrder cannot possibly be accused of failing to draw his doctrines from Scripture itself, for Chapter One alone contains thirty-six Scripture references! He also makes ample use of parables (which I have titled in the list that follows) illustrating key doctrinal issues in Calvinism: The Selective Healer (page 13), The Compassionate Healer (page 14), The Drowning Man (page 21), The Lost Wanderer and the Rescue Party (page 68), The Rescuer of Shipwreck Island (page 69), The Man Atop the Mountain (page 74-75), The Assistant Chemist (page 76), The House Builder’s Offer (page 125), and The Drunkard’s Helpful Brother (page 157).