Drinking Deeply

Friday, February 20, 2009 at 10:37 AM

Choosing Calvinism

Sometimes an Arminian argues against Calvinism by pointing out that Calvinism makes choices meaningless, because "if God predestined everything, what's the point of doing anything?"

3 quick points

1) I don't actually need God to tell me why I must do something in order for me to do it. We do things because God commands us to. Given, many times God does tell us why we do things, which leads me to ...

2) The ends (what God predestined us for) does not happen apart from the means (our praying, or evangelizing, or any act). Calvinists don't believe in fatalism, where there's an inevitable "destiny" that happens no matter what. We believe that God uses means to accomplish His ends.

3) Rather, it seems that the Arminian, who holds to "free will" is actually more of a fatalist in a sense. To them, we make choices not God, but God has already set a final plan which cannot be overthrown.

If we affirm that our wills are free and independent of God, then either a) we can change God's plan or b) we cannot.

a) leads us to issues with immutability
b) is basically fatalism.

But what of the Calvinist? Well, we would say that since God is sovereign over even our decisions, God does not "react" to anything we do, but has planned and working through us as part of His plan. He does not react to free agents, nor does he set a destiny that happens to us independent of how we got there.

Ephesians 1:11
In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will


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Thursday, February 19, 2009 at 11:54 PM

How old did Adam and Eve look?

I am a 6-day creationist.  I find it to be clear in Scripture and entirely unavoidable.  The fact that the language is poetic and there is clear structure reflects the beauty of God and His ability to create in a manner that is pleasing to us.  

I think many people find it untenable because if God created in 6 days, they would ask what of the stars?  What of the billions of light years?  What of carbon dating and the appearance of age?  It would seem that God would be a liar. 

To which I respond, "well, did God lie when he created Adam and Eve as adult humans even though they were just a day old?"


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Sunday, February 15, 2009 at 12:52 PM

Need and God

I've been reading Piper's book A Hunger for God, which is on fasting and prayer. Mostly because I don't fast and I don't pray and yet there are the words, spoken by Jesus, "when you fast" and "when you pray..."

One thing that really jumped out at me was Piper's comments on Christ's fast in the wilderness and subsequent temptation by Satan. One of Piper's point is regarding the source of "man does not live by bread alone" verse:
Deut. 8:3 And he humbled you and let you hunger and fed you with manna, which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that he might make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word[1] that comes from the mouth of the Lord.
Piper points out that God humbled and let them hunger in order to teach them to rely upon God.

After going through a particularly stressful week with lots of fears and questions up in the air, I really needed to hear that. The answer for my problems is always the same: The righteous will live by faith.

Yes, the weeks will be hard, work will be stressful, home may be difficult. But that all happens under the sovereign hand of a gracious God. All in order that I might learn to rely upon Him and not upon my strength, my intelligence, my charisma (hah!), or even my friends. He has been, is currently, and will forever, be the source of all strength and joy. Do I believe that?

I believe, help my unbelief.

Help My Unbelief
Taken from the Gadsby Hymnal #278
Words: John Newton, 1725-1807.

I know the Lord is nigh,
And would but cannot pray,
For Satan meets me when I try,
And frights my soul away.
And frights my soul away.

I would but can’t repent,
Though I endeavor oft;
This stony heart can ne’er relent
Till Jesus makes it soft.
Till Jesus make it soft.

Help my unbelief. Help my unbelief.
Help my unbelief.
My help must come from Thee.

I would but cannot love,
Though wooed by love divine;
No arguments have power to move
A soul as base as mine.
A soul so base as mine.

I would but cannot rest,
In God’s most holy will;
I know what He appoints is best,
And murmur at it still.
I murmur at it still.

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