Saturday, September 28, 2013

The book is done!

It's uploaded at Amazon. I have low expectations and high hopes. It took me a very long time to get the whole thing in order and being that I'm a nobody, I just can't picture it selling well.
However, it's a source of pride. I poured everything I knew into it, and if I do say so myself, it's amazing.
It's everything I think a good commentary should be- it's engaging, easy to read, has some depth and heft to it, and has a great deal of cross references. So whether it sells well or not, I'm happy about having reached the end of the journey with such a polished result. I suppose the thing to do is get back to work on the next one.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Hagar the Egyptian

It's pretty well understood that Abram leaving for Egypt because of the famine was the first act of disobedience. It was wrong. God said to go to Canaan, He didn't say anything about leaving it. Therefore Egypt was a point of failure.

Gen 12:10 "And there was a famine in the land: and Abram went down into Egypt to sojourn there; for the famine was grievous in the land."

But then, while in Egypt Pharaoh began blessing Abram, giving him all sorts of stuff because he loved Sarai "And for her sake he dealt well with Abram; and he had sheep, oxen, male donkeys, male servants, female servants, female donkeys, and camels."

Abram then leaves, but it seems, has now acquired a new servant: Hagar.

Genesis 16:1 "Now Sarai Abram's wife bare him no children: and she had an handmaid, an Egyptian, whose name was Hagar." v3 "So, after Abram had lived ten years in the land of Canaan, Sarai, Abram’s wife, took Hagar the Egyptian, her servant, and gave her to Abram her husband as a wife."

Twice, Twice, the Scriptures call Hagar the Egyptian. I can't help but think this is Abram revisiting his failure in Egypt, compounding his error.

Friday, September 13, 2013

The tribalism of Calvinism

The internet is inherently tribalistic. Let's face it. There's so much out there, it's so big, that you have to know what you want to see or you will not get anything out of it.
Calvinists know there are groups out there for them, and they go and seek them out, particularly because in the church they are so very rare. It's a very human thing to do.

Here's another one: it's very human to sense the true state of things, even if you don't acknowledge it. Atheists are so belligerent because they know in their heart that the Christians are right. They hope that by attacking and going on the offensive it will hide their insecurity and buttress their position. High Calvinists know that their views are unstable, and threaten to give way at any moment into hyper-Calvinism. Hyper-Calvinists sense the instability as well- if God does not desire to save men, why would He save you? And once you begin tossing out Scripture you don't like, you've sort of abandoned the principle of submission to Christ.

Here's the last very human thing to do: not think clearly. TULIP has been able to so completely dominate because it's easy to remember. It perfect for forming a tribe around because the markers are easily defined. But if you actually think about dividing the whole Bible, or even salvation, up in that way for more than a few minutes you will be taken aback. It's blankets all ability to think independently. It's really bad for making a man into a theologian, but it's a great little device to get people to remember. It's handy for the administrators too, because that's a useful tool for them to measure everyone by.

It's for this reason I got booted from the Reformed Baptist group. You are not a part of the tribe, you must go. You challenge our TULIP, by definition you seek our destruction both as a community, and as a believer. If we were to accept your position the boundaries between heterodox and orthodox would be erased.Only the thing is, our modern brand of tribalistic TULIP internet Calvinism can rise no higher than a simplified, over-reduced battle cry.

But you know what? The church isn't that way. Oh sure a local body of believers might nose dive into it, or a man who is a complete jerk might be appointed elder, but the bride of Christ isn't that way. She is warm and inviting, smart or stupid, articulate or inept, it makes no difference. She calls all to come. And for me, that's enough.

Arguing for the sincere offer of salvation

My favorite argument against the Sincere moral offer goes like this:

Unbeliever: "How can I be saved if Christ died only for some, and not all? Doesn't that mean that I'm in the same position as the demons? Doesn't it mean that even if I believe I won't be saved? I mean if I'm not elect then no provision for salvation was even made for me, right?"
Hyper Calvinist: "If you believe, you will find sufficient provision."
Moderate Calvinist: "If you believe you will find salvation" is only valid for the case where you are elect. Therefore you've told him a false statement. The actual conditional is: "If you are elect and you believe, you will find salvation."
Unbeliever: "Well then... how do I know I'm elect?"
Hyper Calvinist: "I told you, If you believe, you will find salvation."
Moderate Calvinist: "You have just equated election with belief. You just told him if he believes it will turn out he was elect."

And that's it. Under Owenistic Limited Atonement the only way the non-elect can be saved is if they are elect, belief is irrelevant. But the hyper insists that it's possible in theory for them to be saved, which means it's possible for them to become elect. Which is both amusing and absurd.