Aseity of God

Also taken from John A. Battle’s paper on the Doctrine of God.

Aseity means “self-existence.” God’s existence is “necessary,” that is, his existence is not conditioned on anything outside himself; he is totally independent. His existence is grounded totally on himself:

Moses said to God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?” God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I AM has sent me to you.’” (Exod 3:14)

This necessity of existence is not only a logical necessity (as with the ontological and cosmological arguments), but also a necessity of nature. God’s existence is not grounded on the will of God, but on the nature of God. God’s nature is prior to his will (in this regard Aquinas was correct over William of Occam). Since God absolutely exists, he is the source of all existence and life for us.



God’s Absolute Attributes

Also known as His incommunicable attributes. Here is a definition from John A. Battle’s paper on the Doctrine of God:

Those attributes of God which he has in himself, which can be exercised apart from his relationship to his creation, are referred to as his absolute attributes. Those attributes exercised especially with regard to the creation are called relative attributes. Of course, there is some overlap. God’s absolute attributes are exercised in relation to his creation as well, and his knowledge and love were exercised before the creation within the Godhead. The Shorter Catechism describes God as “infinite, eternal, and unchangeable, in his being.” The characteristics of infinity or immensity, eternity, and immutability are descriptive of all his attributes. These qualities are studied under this category of absolute or incommunicable attributes.

Double Predestination

Double Predestination

Double predestination can be quite troubling. On the surface, it seems to be a doctrine that points to the fact that God predestines some to become the elect, saved, and spend eternity in heaven with Christ, while the rest, He predestines to agony and hell for all of eternity. This makes God sound almost cruel. I say “almost” due to the fact that the one thing God is not, is “cruel.” He is most benevolent, most gracious, most loving, most kind, most long-suffering. In fact, without God’s intervention into the affairs of mankind, with His self revelation, we fail to understand any of those terms in a real way. So let’s be clear about what I’m not sayin: I’m not saying God is cruel. In fact, God is love. Not the Hollywood, leftist love that says “anything goes.” But the reality of what true love is, in that while we were yet sinners, His Son died on the cross for us.

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Does the Covenant Keeper Save Dying Infant Children?

Originally published on March 27, 2008. 

The sign of the covenant does not save us. However, the Covenant Keeper does.

Don’t know much about the theology: reminds me of a premature daughter many years ago. She was in dire straits and the neonatal staff offered: “If a chaplain is not available, or if death is imminent, a nurse or physician may baptize the child. A small amount of water should be placed on the child’s head with these words: “I baptize you (give the child’s full name) in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.” An entry should be made in the chart.” ..this little girl did not last the day and I’m glad we did the emergency baptism. What are the ramifications of ‘original sin’, premature birth & death and the place of baptism (by a medical practioner) in this not uncommon circumstance?

BB, I’m sorry for your loss and that you had to go through this. I hope the following is helpful and will strengthen your faith in our LORD.

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Against Dispensationalism — Thesis 26

Yes, there are plenty more thesis’ to go concerning Dispensationalism. I’ve already posted numbers 1-25 but I wanted us to look at number 26 in particular.

Remember, that in this discussion, I am not saying that Dispensationalists are not Christians. What I am saying is that their view of Scripture is misguided and wrong. It is a movement that only started in the 1800s and breaks with orthodox Christianity.

I was reminded this week that Dispensationalism was also a movement started by a woman who had a visions about the rapture and those around her proclaimed her to be a prophetess. (See here for the implications, and a related post concerning hearing the voice of God today).

What is wrong with this? Well, it goes against the basic understanding that the Canon of Scripture is closed. There is no more new revelation of what God has given us (Jude 3). Those who buy into Dispensationalism are buying into a system of doctrine that is based on a woman’s vision in the 1830s. If they do this, then they cannot  criticize those who have visions and so-called special revelations like David Koresh did before his death back in the early 1990s. I know that may be a bit on the extreme side in order to make the point. But the question remains: if we are accepting modern-day visions and prophecies, where do we draw the line between acceptable visions and prophecies and that which beyond reason, as was the case with Koresh, or Mary Baker Eddy, or Joseph Smith, or any number of nut jobs that have come along in the last 2000 years?

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Against Dispensationalism: Theses 1-25

Originally published December 5, 2010.

Many of you may know that I came through the Dispensational brand of theology when I was at Dallas Theological Seminary. DTS is known for its stance on dispensationalism. They have made that their trademark. (When we are talking about Dispensationalism, think of the Left Behind series and you get the idea). As a Reformed Presbyterian, I am not a dispensationalist. I believe the system of doctrine contained in that teaching is contrary to the best understanding of scripture. When I criticize dispensationalist, I am not saying they are heretics or non-believers, but simply wrong in their understanding of Scripture. There are many godly men and women who hold to the views that I reject here. So please understand that these differences I have with dispensationalist are not issues that would separate us from the table of communion together.

My main problem with dispensationalism is the common held belief that there are two peoples of God, Israelites/Jews and then those who belong to the church. This seems to go against the grain of the entire New Testament, especially in verses like Ephesian 2:11 – 3:7.

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Is God Omnibenevolent?

From a discussion on the Calvin page, on the concept of God’s Omnibenevolent.

Sacred struggler writes:

I’m talking about God’s omnibenevolence, not the world’s. This is all about God’s character here. I can’t imagine anyone trying to argue that the world has no evil in it.

“Omnibenevolence (from Latin omni- meaning “all”, and benevolent, meaning “good”)[1] is defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as “unlimited or infinite benevolence”. It is often held to be impossible, or at least improbable, for a deity to exhibit such property along side omniscience and omnipotence as a result of the problem of evil. However, some philosophers, such as Alvin Plantinga, argue the plausibility of co-existence. ” This is from the article. This is what we’re talking about. Of course it’s hard to defend that God is good, it doesn’t make it false though.

My response:

Not sure I’m buying the term itself perhaps because of the idea of benevolence itself. I believe God is infinitely good, but has a hatred of that which is evil. Infinite benevolence seems to suggest that He is infinitely good apart from His anger and wrath toward a rebellious world. In other words, He is infinitely good toward the rebellious, which one could argue He does the moment He shows any goodness or kindness to anyone. But does this infinite goodness, being all present at all times in every place completely and beyond measure, be present in a world in which evil exists at all?

Comment in comment section.

Do You Take the Bible Literally?

I don’t, and guess what? I’m still a Christian. I know many of my brothers from Dallas Theological Seminary are taught that if we do not take the Bible literally, then we are not true Christians. The problem is: what does “literal” actually mean? According to Charles Ryrie, it means the normal usage of the word in the text. The problem with this is: who gets to determine what “normal” means?

The True Church has always let Christ and the Apostles define the terms since that puts Christ and the text of Scripture at the center of defining terms as opposed to men being at the center of those definitions. What Ryrie, and the rest at DTS, fail to see, is that they have set themselves up as the final authority’s on what the Bible means. This is a man-centered hermeneutic instead of a Christ-centered hermeneutic. In other words, this type of Bible interpretation is Solo Scriptura instead of Sola Scriptura. It is man-centered instead of Word centered.

For more on this, watch the video below from Jerry Johnson and Against the World.

Morgan Freeman IS GOD??? O No! We’re In Trouble

In an interview with Fox411, Morgan Freeman came out and admitted that he is God. I’m not surprised by this. If we do not believe in the living and true God of the Bible then it is no great leap to conclude that we are gods as well. Here is the interview:

Fox411: Do you think there is a God?

MF: Do I think there’s a God? Um (pause) yeah.

Fox411: You paused.

MF: I paused because I am God.

Fox411: Because every man is created in God’s image.

MF: Yes or God’s created in my image.

This is the major problem with all mankind, both saved and unsaved a like. We want to make God out into our image, as opposed to the God who actually has revealed Himself in the 66 books of the Bible. This is the heart of man’s problem. It is why the first four commandments of the moral Law are so vital in understanding who God is, and who we are.

God simply states: You shall have no other gods before Me. He states this in the context of idolatrous nations that were in the habit of worshipping false gods, but the problem rested in Israel just as much as it rests in our hearts as well. We want so badly to be gods, that we must die to ourselves and our desires daily, taking up our cross as a matter of habit. Every conflict we face, ever sin we jump into is our declaration with Adam that we are god.

Yet Christ calls His followers to be different because He was different. His entire life was in submission to the Father’s will, and this is what He calls His children to do. The only way we can do so is to be in His word, allowing the Spirit to conform us to His image. It is a life-long calling for the believer.

Is Morgan Freeman truly God? Nope. Not in the least. What Freeman is saying is what everyone single man, woman and child has said since Adam’s fall: “I want to be god, and I hope the living and true God doesn’t mind.” The problem is that the living and true God does mind, hence the Ten Commandments and the Cross. Let’s hope God shows Freeman grace to repent of his own idolatry, and grace to us in order to do the same.

The Prayer of an Arminian

I have often said that when an Arminian prays, they pray like Calvinist when it comes to the salvation of others. What I mean by this is that Calvinist believe that the Spirit of God must move in a person’s heart before they are saved. The Spirit moves, causing them to be born again, and THEN they have the ability to believe in Jesus Christ for salvation. God gets all the glory for our salvation because we are completely dependent upon Him.

Whereas the Arminian goes around spouting the damnable doctrine of free will. They say that we have the freedom to choose God of our own and when we trust in Christ for salvation, it is because we are just infinitely smarter than everyone else. The focus is always on what we “do.”

Yet, when it comes to their prayers, Arminian’s do not pray consistently with their doctrine. Instead of praying that God need not move in the hearts of the unbeliever, since they are wise enough to make the choice on their own, they pray that God would move and change their hearts… O Lawd!!!

Jerry Johnson, with Against the World, demonstrates this by giving us a consistent Arminian prayer in the following video:

The Death of Love

Jerry Johnson, of the Nicene Council, does an excellent job of showing that true-biblical love has slowly died since the beginning of the Romantic age in literature. What has replaced biblical love is romantic love, based upon our base emotions toward a person instead of our covenantal commitment spoken of in Scripture. For example, we know that Christ died on the cross for the love of His people, who, were quite unlovable when He died for them. Had He waited for the modern-day emotion that so many base love upon, He would have bypassed the cross all together.

True love for a person is a covenantal commitment before God, not emotions that determine our happiness. After all, if we base our marriages on emotional happiness, what will happen when that happiness fades? The question isn’t: “will it fade?” But, “when will it fade?”

When it does fade, we need to remember that true, covenantal love is a commitment toward a person, not just an emotion toward a person. This is alteration of the definition of love is the reason so many have caved in the area of marriage, be it biblical marriage, or the current debate surrounding gay unions. Since so many believe that love is based on emotions and not commitment, then who are we to truly question the emotions of people who divorce and remarry, who marry people of the same sex, or marry their dog (which is coming next). When we return to the biblical understanding of love, and marriage, these arguments fall by the wayside.

Watch the video:

Here is the true definition of love according to 1 Corinthians 13:

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned,[a] but have not love, it profits me nothing.

Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part.10 But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.

11 When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 12 For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.

13 And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

Vision for Victory — Jerry Johnson

I have to say this one convicted me a great deal. Jerry Johnson asks the question of why so many young people are joining moves such as Obama’s campaign in 2008, Ron Paul’s campaign today and the empty-headedness of the Occupy Wall Street movement over the past year, but they don’t join the church?

It’s because of so many inside the church that have pessimistic, doom and gloom, cut-your wrists theologies like Dispensationalism, and pessimistic Amillellinnialist. In other words, far too many believe the world is going to hell in a handbasket and there is nothing we can do about it… even though we… the church, have the gospel of Jesus Christ, which is the power unto salvation, which is the message that turned the world on its head 2,000 years ago, and again 500 years ago, and again 250 years ago… Watch the video:

Presbyterian vs. Baptist Baptism

The argument between Reformed Presbyterians and Reformed Baptist essentially boils down to the following statements:

BAPTIST: “You Presbyterians use too little water too early!”

PRESBYTERIANS: “You Baptist use too much water too late!”

There, now you have it.

Two Kingdom Theology

I have heard and read about the Two Kingdom theology for some time now, but recently came across this interview with David VanDrunen who has written a book, Living in God’s Two Kingdoms,  about this aspect of Reformed Theology. I thought the interview was quite helpful and I do plan on reading the book as soon as it arrives.

Here is Chris Cooper’s question and VanDrunen’s answer and definition of the Two Kingdom theology:

Could you briefly define Two-Kingdoms Theology and explain how it differs from a transformationist approach to Christ and culture?

I like to describe the two kingdoms doctrine briefly as the conviction that God through his Son rules the whole world, but rules it in two distinct ways. As creator and sustainer, God rules the natural order and the ordinary institutions and structures of human society, and does so through his common grace, for purposes of preserving the ongoing life of this world. As redeemer, God also rules an eschatological kingdom that is already manifest in the life and ministry of the church, and he rules this kingdom through saving grace as he calls a special people to himself through the proclamation of the Scriptures.

As Christians, we participate in both kingdoms but should not confuse the purposes of one with those of the other. As a Reformed theologian devoted to a rich covenant theology, I think it helpful to see these two kingdoms in the light of the biblical covenants. In the covenant with Noah after the flood, God promised to preserve the natural order and human society (not to redeem them!), and this included all human beings and all living creatures.

But God also established special, redemptive covenant relationships with Abraham, with Israel through Moses, and now with the church under the new covenant. We Christians participate in both the Noahic and new covenants (remember that the covenant with Noah was put in place for as long as the earth endures), and through them in this twofold rule of God—or, God’s two kingdoms.

The “transformationist” approach to Christ and culture is embraced by so many people and used in so many different ways that I often wonder how useful a category it is. If by “transformation” we simply mean that we, as Christians, should strive for excellence in all areas of life and try to make a healthy impact on our workplace, neighborhood, etc., I am a transformationist.

But what people often mean by “transformationist” is that the structures and institutions of human society are being redeemed here and now, that is, that we should work to transform them according to the pattern of the redemptive kingdom of Christ. I believe the two kingdoms doctrine offers an approach that is clearly different from this.

Following the two kingdoms doctrine, a Christian politician, for example, would reject working for the redemption of the state (whatever that means) but recognize that God preserves the state for good purposes and strive to help the state operate the best it can for those temporary and provisional purposes.

If I’m understanding him correctly, then we do not vote for those who will turn the government back into the a theocracy. That should not be our goal. But that doesn’t mean that we do not work in politics as Christians. We are to be there living as Christians, seeking to serve as God calls us too, knowing that our service there may or may not lead to a more godly state. Go here to read the rest of the interview. I’m really looking forward to diving into this when the book arrives.

Debate: Calvinism — For or Against?

I heard about this debate from one of the men attending my church. I’m glad he mentioned it and glad I found it at Ed Stetzer’s site. It’s worth the listen, so play it in the background while you go about your work. I will post comments once I finish listening to it. Also, listen to it and see if there is something said by either side that really challenges your views.

Thoughts? After I listened to it, I saw what the man in my church told me about the debate. Michael Horton, who was defending Calvinism, kept referring to passage after passage, while Roger E. Olson just kept appealing to his logic. Not good.

One point that both Horton and Olson agreed upon were about those who try to claim to be “biblicist” as opposed to being Arminian or Calvinist. I saw this in my series in Answering an Arminian, where that writer tried to claim to be a Biblicist. I liked what both men pointed out is that the moment you open Scripture, read it and begin to interpret it, you start doing theology and that immediately puts you in one camp or the other. so this claim to be a “biblicist” is completely false. No one can just open Scripture and quote it without interpretation.

Jimmy Swaggert Gives Typical Misrepresentation of Calvinism

Jimmy Swaggert gives a fine misrepresentation of Calvinism. This is on Youtube as a “wonderful sermon,” but it’s not wonderful in the sense that it doesn’t represent the truth of what Calvin said, nor what Calvin believed.

What we believe is that Jesus death is only effectual for the elect, or those who believe. Yes, the number of elect is determined by God before the foundations of the world, based upon the immutable counsel of HIS will. Yes, the offer of salvation goes to all. This is why Jesus hung on the cross, outside the city on one of the main roads leading in and out of Jerusalem. God ordained that Jesus was there before all.

BUT, only those elected by the Father and born again by the Holy Spirit will believe in Christ and be saved (John 3). If God doesn’t move in them, they stay right where they are by their own free will, which Christ declares to us when He says that men do not come to the light because they love the darkness. They love the darkness because their deeds are evil. Therefore it takes the Holy Spirit blowing where He pleases in order to change the hearts and minds of those who would much rather sit in the darkness with the evilness of their sins than be saved.

Calvinist do agree with Swaggert that the gospel is to go to all. We would also agree that it is the responsibility of everyone, even those who have not heard, to trust in Christ for salvation. Where we disagree is on ability. The lost, even those who are of the elect, do not have the ability to believe with saving faith on their own. This is why Jesus declares that we must be born again. The Spirit must move in a person before they will believe, giving that person a new heart to believe, new ears to hear and new eyes to see. Otherwise they are dead in trespasses and sins and the beauty of the gospel means nothing to them.

Thanks be to the God and Father of Our LORD Jesus Christ that He does not leave us alone and that the Holy Spirit does blow where He pleases. Otherwise none would be saved and all would be lost. But by God’s grace, some are saved.

As for “just a few” as Swaggert declares, please note that Calvinist believe there are so many elect that they are uncountable. This is a fulfillment of God’s promise to Abraham, that his descendants in the faith would be so numerous, they would be like the sand upon the sea shore. Again, another misrepresentation of Calvinism by a card-carrying Arminian.

UPDATE: If Swaggert wants to go off on people who say just a few will make it into heaven, then he really needs to look to Jesus Himself. Matthew 7:13-14 Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. 14 Because[a] narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it. This is the problem that so man Arminians have… that Bible keeps getting in the way of all their humanistic arguments.

Harold Camping Repents! Amen and Amen!

Good news! Harold Camping, the man who has predicted the return of Christ multiple times, has now repented of doing so and admits that it was wrong to make such predictions.

“We have learned the very painful lesson that all of creation is in God’s hands and He will end time in His time, not ours!” a statement on Family Radio’s website reads. “We humbly recognize that God may not tell His people the date when Christ will return, any more than He tells anyone the date they will die physically.”

Camping, 90, has made predictions about Judgment Day, Christ’s return and the end of the world for the past few decades – with the May 21, 2011, forecast receiving the most media attention. Each time the date passed, he did not admit to mistaking the timing but instead reasoned that the events happened “spiritually” rather than physically.

But once Oct. 21, 2011 – the day Camping said the world would be destroyed physically – came and went, the Christian broadcaster began to reevaluate his views about being able to calculate and know the exact date of the apocalypse.

“Even the most sincere and zealous of us can be mistaken,” Camping and Family Radio staff stated in their March letter. “We realize that many people are hoping they will know the date of Christ’s return. In fact for a time Family Radio fell into that kind of thinking.

“But we now realize that those people who were calling our attention to the Bible’s statement that ‘of that day and hour knoweth no man’ (Matthew 24:36 & Mark 13:32), were right in their understanding of those verses and Family Radio was wrong. Whether God will ever give us any indication of the date of His return is hidden in God’s divine plan.”

This is absolutely wonderful. God’s Spirit has moved in the man and he realized his sinfulness in trying to predict the return of Christ. We have been calling for him to repent for years, since he has been making such predictions since 1992.

No man knows the time and day that Christ will return, and finally, Camping has seen the light of that Scripture. We should forgive him for what he has done, and rejoice that the Spirit has moved in him to bring him to repentance. Read more here.

Answering an Arminian: Part Two on Election and Hell

I’m still working through the letter from one of the areas many Arminians. You can see part one here. In that issue, we were dealing with limited atonement, or particular redemption as the doctrine is properly called, in which Jesus died for the church (Ephesians 5:25).

Here, Arminian Bob (for lack of a better name) continues to takes on predestination. He writes:

(Augustine) taught that all others were created to go to Hell.

The best answer to his first sentence is Scripture… once again.

Romans 9:22-24 22 What if God, wanting to show His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath prepared for destruction23 and that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had prepared beforehand for glory, 24 even us whom He called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?

In the discussion in Romans 9, Paul is showing that God has made it clear that He will show mercy to whom He shows mercy. In other words, those whom He elects will be saved. The question then is: what about those who are not elect? Paul uses an illustration saying that God can use some of the clay to demonstrate His grace and mercy by saving some, and the rest of the clay to demonstrated the riches of His glory towards those who are saved by destroying the rest.

Many may find this truth very harsh and difficult. But it’s still God’s truth. He has a right to do with His creation as He pleases. When it comes to fallen mankind, what we all deserve is hell. God, in His infinite mercy, chooses to save some from what we all deserve.

The Arminian hates this truth because it ultimately points back to the fact that our salvation is based upon God’s choice of us, not our choice of Him. In other words, those who are saved will come to know Christ because the Father has elected us in eternity past, the Son died for us on the cross some 2,000 years ago, and the Holy Spirit moved in us, causing us to be born again, working faith in our hearts, and giving us the ability to believe in Christ for salvation, which is what we will do because we see the goodness and beauty of Christ.

The caveat to all this is that even though election be true, we do not know who the elect are and are commanded by Christ to continue to proclaim the gospel to all. Whosoever believes will be saved, as John 3:15-19 show us. We know that the “whosoever” are the elect, but we do not know who the elect are until they become the “whosoever.”

Jesus also tells us in John 3 that those who reject Christ, are condemned already, thereby showing themselves to be those who are prepared for hell. Unless they repent, they remain among those who are destine for hell and we have to trust in God’s sovereign choices.

This really is the issue. Arminians want to play God when it comes to salvation instead of letting God be God. They will charge us saying that if we are Calvinist, then why evangelize? Again, because the LORD commanded us. But we can make the same charge to them. If salvation is truly based upon the free will of mankind, then why evangelize. They will eventually make the right choice and trust in Jesus.

(Augustine) taught that all those who were chosen to go to Heaven were as good as in Heaven and all those whom God chose to go to Hell were as good as in Hell.

I would love for Arminian Bob to give some actual references for this teaching because Calvin certainly didn’t teach this. Our election is only made certain when we believe. Just because we were elected in eternity past, doesn’t mean that we were saved in eternity past. Jesus still had to die on the cross, we still had to have the Spirit move in us, and we still had to believe in our lifetime.

The responsibility to believe, which is placed on all mankind, is only obeyed by those who are the elect.

Enough for now, I will pick up the rest of Arminian Bob’s comment later.

Answering an Arminian’s Charges: Part One on Limited Atonement

I had a recent exchange with a former member of the church and his position against Calvinism. Since he was public in his point of view and a former elder, I have no problems answering him publicly and do so for the benefit of the flock entrusted to me. He shall go nameless, and will remain so unless he chooses to respond. I really wanted to leave this be, but given that the effects of those who think and teach this way are so pervasive among the flock entrusted to me and the other elders by Our LORD and Savior Jesus Christ, I feel compelled to answer.

Allow me to say upfront that when I say the word Calvinist, I do not mean by it that I get up on the morning and read from John Calvin’s work for my quiet time. I do not mean by the term that I follow John Calvin and that he is any way my LORD and Savior. He is not. He is a fallen man that I believed was simply used by God during his time to express clearly what the gospel was and is according to Scripture. This form of theology is only held to where Scripture confirms it, and where Scripture does not confirm it, we distance ourselves from such things. The Bible is our guide and God’s glory is our goal in understanding how we view the world in which we live.

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