Saturday, May 27, 2006

ANYBODY FOR CALVINISM?

There are five principal points of Calvinism, of which two are, to me, inconsequential.

The first of those two is Limited Atonement. That doctrine says that Jesus atoned for the sins of (only) the Elect, by His death. That He did not atone for the “sins of the world”, or the “sins of everyone”. There are several ways of explaining why that is: one holds that, if He died to atone for the sins of someone who dies unsaved, then He failed with respect to that person. But I think the major arguments over this point stem from misinterpretation of “atonement”, and not from the principle.

What it does not mean is limited payment, price, sacrifice, or number of salvations. Atonement is something else, according to Merriam Webster’s Online Dictionary:

ATONEMENT: The reconciliation of God and man through the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ; or: reparation for an offense or injury

Synonym: SATISFACTION

If someone dies lost, they were not reconciled to God … that is, the separation of them from God, caused by their sin, was never remedied. The debt for their sin was never paid; it was never satisfied. Oh, it could have been, had they done what the Bible sets forth as to how we must be saved.

I think of a parable to illustrate the thought: think of a bus driver who goes to the owner of a restaurant and sets a Rolex Watch before him. The driver then says “I have a busload of hungry people .. will you take this as payment for dinner for them?” The owner looks at it, and thinks “I’d feed everyone in town for THIS..” and says to bring the people in and let them eat.

40 folks do, but 8 stay on the bus. They’re not hungry, they don’t like the look of it, it’s too cold outside to walk in, it’s too long a walk, or whatever. They just don’t want to eat.

An hour later, when the bus leaves, 40 meals have been consumed. The Rolex paid for but 40 meals, despite the fact that 48 could have eaten. The price paid was enough for all, and even more.

If you choose to die lost, then your sins were not atoned for. And, since we cannot ever know whether someone else is saved, truly, it doesn’t matter. We can only know about ourselves, with any certainty.

So much for "L". I'll get to T U I & P in later posts.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

CURRENT TURMOIL IN THE SBC/IMB

I'm not sure how aware the SBC is about changes in our society ... indeed the world's society ... and how they effect the climate in which they operate.

Years ago, communication was limited at the national level, to that which filtered up through the Convention hierarchy. Ostensibly, that would have come through Pastors and other church representatives on the occasions of their meetings.

Email and (most pointedly) Blogs have changed that. Now, we rank & file folks can have a broad-based discussion about, and awareness of, the issues. Everyone can have a say. Partially (IMO) owing to the BoT's reaction to Bro. Wade Burleson's Blog, they are now getting more attention than ever before. Gone seem to be the days when the folks around the country didn't look beyond the local church, as are the days when all we knew was what our Pastors reported back to us.

I don't know whether the SBC, the IMB, or the BoT ever thought of using the Wonderful World of Blogging to share information with us common folks, which seems like it might have been a good idea. But, that didn't happen.

It's nice to have spent some years in Presbyterian denominations. It's easy to see, with that background, that God is behind the current turmoil. IMO, He is either going to purge the problems that have been going on unnoticed, or He'll harden the hearts of leadership (check the Genesis account of Pharaoh for a precedent) and history will continue unchanged.

If that happens, I expect a Pharaoh-type outcome. I'd rather that not happen. But the choice is up to what we might refer to as the "power structure".

It's going to be interesting.

God bless.

Bob

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

What Do I Do Next?

OK .. I have a blog. Now what? What am I supposed to say here?

I guess I should say I'm a born-again believer who has been known on the internet as MightyFowl for many years. That comes from Isaiah 40:31; all I could think of to go with that was Mighty Fowl, or Sturdy Birdy.

I think the current controversies in the Southern Baptist Convention are the most exciting things I've seen, in the spiritual realm, in a long time. At last, via the format of blogging, the feelings, opinions, and concerns of the masses are being heard. Guys like you and me can have our say, in a format that the "power structure" (if there is such a thing) cannot ignore. I applaud that.

Kind of reminds me of Biblical times when the band was small and strong and they couldn't ignore each other.

We'll see what develops.