Saturday, October 29, 2011

Calvinism & Evangelism

From Fundamentally Reformed

Perhaps you are familiar with this parable concerning the difficulties of affirming both man’s free will and God’s all-encompassing sovereignty.

A sign above the door to Heaven boldly proclaims “Whosoever will may come!” However, once through Heaven’s gates, an astute observer will notice that the flip side of the sign says, “Only those predestined before the foundation of the world may enter.”

There is more than a little truth to this parable. The first sign deals with salvation from man’s perspective. To the awakened sinner, the first sign gives hope that if he will but look, he will live. Calvinism pulls the curtain back on the awakened sinner’s soul and sees God’s Spirit at work in regenerating the sinner, and granting him repentance and faith, due to the second sign.

As I see it, Calvinism deals mostly with what goes on behind the scenes, so to speak, in respect to salvation. But let me stress that Calvinism is not prying into secret areas of God’s will. No, Calvinism responds to numerous Scripture texts. While they don’t claim to understand everything, Calvinists are bound to believe the five points due to their regard for Scripture. This is not something they enjoy “making up from thin air” so to speak.

A proper understanding of man’s part and God’s part in salvation will do much to help us sort through the sticky issues surrounding Calvinism and evangelism. Historically, some Calvinists (hyper Calvinists, actually) have claimed that we have no responsibility to evangelize since God will irresistibly draw His elect with or without our help. Furthermore, they have claimed that we cannot confidently tell anyone necessarily that if they will but believe and come, that they will be saved. Such hyper Calvinists, then, denied the first sign.

So it is due to extremists from   (Read rest of post here)

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