Recently I have been engaging heavily in the arena of ideas over at the wonderful and informative and necessary site, Wartburg Watch. If you’ve not visited this cite, I highly recommend you do so. The two self-described “Blog Queens” over there bravely and unabashedly tackle some of the biggest problems and controversies in Christendom today, not the least of which is the false doctrine and heresy of what some describe as “new Calvinism” (which I submit is really simply Calvinism, but instead of a robe or brown friar frock, its Khakis and button ups…or, for the more “hipster mega churches”, 40-plus-year old gnostic tyrants looking weird and creepy dressed up as 21 year old college boys (nothing says mid-life-crisis-as-an-attempt-at-upper-middle-class-mass-appeal like saggy eyes, grey hair (or receding hairline, or no hair, if you are Josh Harris) and tight jeans and a track jacket. My former SGM despot-in-the-stead was probably late fifties and wore flip flops with blue jeans–gross–but at least not when he was demagoguing…er, I mean, “preaching”).
At any rate, that’s what’s been keeping me from posting for so long. And I wrote so much over at Wartburg that I decided that instead of writing a new entry for my site I would simply edit (for clarity and brevity…well, okay, it’s me, so probably not much brevity) and post a portion of what I wrote over there, over here. After this I’ll return to my normal programming with the series on “A Double-Minded God”. After that, I’ll eventually get around to addressing some hard core metaphysical issues that will be sure to raise some eyebrows.
But, fair warning, I have recently been treated to some Calvinist double-speak…er, essays, I mean…regarding what they call the “heresy” of Pelagianism. I actually hadn’t heard of Pelagius and, seeings as he was condemned as a heretic by BOTH the Catholic Church in general and Augustine, the “philosopher king” gnostic, himself, my interest was immediately piqued. Apparently, the Calvinists have an affinity for calling Arminians “semi-Pelagian” as a means to denigrate Arminian theology. Well, after reading up on Monk Pelagius I have concluded that I do in fact share in many of his doctrinal ideas, most notably the denial of Original Sin and Predestination.
Though I do not wish to label myself, because, really, I haven’t found anyone yet who shares my metaphysics–they are my own–I would describe myself as not semi-Pelagian, but rather semi-semi-Pelagian. Why “semi-semi”? Because that’s how much I really like this guy. He was calling out the gnostic insanity almost two thousand years before any of us.
So, my point is that if you’ve been on the fence as to whether or not to label me a heretic for denying all five points of TULIP, the impossibility of God knowing the future and past, that women are every bit as qualified to be pastors as men, that I deny “biblical roles” as false doctrine which is nothing but oppression of women, that the Bible is not inerrant nor infallible and sometimes the guys who wrote it simply didn’t understand things…well, now’s the chance to run away with your conscience clear. Officially, according to both the Catholic Church and just about every church which sprung into existence from the Protestant Reformation, I am, in fact, a heretic.
But keep this in mind: any group which the CALVINISTS and the CATHOLICS (both of whom, by the way, are either guilty of or seriously suspected of fairly recently covering up multiple counts of child sexual abuse) declare heretical must, by utter logical necessity and default, be given a fair hearing. I hereby request that my few loyal readers stay with me and hear me out.
But if you choose to hop, skip, and jump from this harmless little old heretic…well, I can’t promise to understand.
But, it’s a free country. And I’m not a Calvinist tyrant, so you won’t need to assume I’ll be drawing up “church discipline” papers on you. We’ll leave that for the real heretics, shall we?
Anyway…next up, the first post on various anti-Calvinist points made during the past week, by me, on Wartburg Watch. Interestingly, I was engaged in debates with those who are, in fact, harshly critical of Calvinism. But the problem even with non-Calvinists is that SO MANY still insist on holding to the root doctrines that force them to cede the debate to the neo-Reformers every time, almost without exception.
For example, as soon as you agree that Predestination and Free-Will are, in fact, “paradoxical”, and that you “really don’t understand it…and we were just not meant to know certain things”, you have lost the debate. For IF predestination is either not outright rejected as the incomplete understanding or faulty metaphysics of the writers of the Bible, or re-interpreted so that it is utterly consistent with free-will (and I believe that you can do the latter, but I honestly have no problem with the former…predestination, in the grand scheme of Christian doctrinal and theological and world-view application can have NO bearing on what we do or what we think or how we live or what we tell people because it simply confuses the issues, muddies the waters, and makes Christianity look like Eastern mysticism).
So, I found myself in the strange position of having both Calvinists and non-Calvinists riled up at me. That? Was kind of weird. But, hey, irrational metaphysics and logically impossible explanations of “faith” are bad no matter who thinks them. It doesn’t matter who prepares it, you can’t give a person a good meal from rotten meat, regardless of how good the intentions of the chef are.
Coming soon, in audio form, my first post from my discussions/arguments/tugs-of-wars/hate speech (just kidding) from this past week on Wartburg Watch.
3 thoughts on “Various Anti-Calvinist Metaphysical Points, and Some Dispute on the Nature of Time”
I won’t be riled up at you Argo, I promise. I will however disagree on your premise that one cannot believe predestination and free will are both possible. The reason I believe this is that God is one of balance- He both claims Sovereignty and all knowing nature but also allows man to freely choose. This in perfect with His nature.
I look at it this way- all the points that man has argued over the years in spirituality are all apart of Gods nature, but in balance with each other. Man, however, tends to go to extremes and puts one point above the other making it dogma. I also believe that God has all qualities, talents, personalities, gifts (meaning He is perfect in everything and in every way) of which He imparted to man- some men have administrative abilities others are servants. This is all apart of Gods balanced nature. Therefore I also believe that Scripture is inerrant, because it is stated that it is God breathed. And I believe that Scripture is balanced in nature- it is man who takes Scripture out of context and therefore tips the scales, so to speak. We are to trust in His Word and the Holy Spirits total ability to give us truth, but also we are to be very careful when we are actually teaching others for there is a hefty responsibility that comes with it.
Well…unless you can somehow make a reasonable argument that determinism and free will (eg non-determinism) are not in fact contradictory, then your belief in both being true belongs more in the realm of mysticism, of the fantastic defining the real. We can believe what we want…we can believe because the bible “clearly says” this or that. But if it isn’t logically reconcilable with God’s metaphysical truth and the nature of man’s rational existence, the belief is irrelevant. And Argo’s super-great truth #11 🙂 is: irrelevancy = zero.
God cannot know every choice you make before you make it, and He cannot predestined you apart from you without YOU being ultimately irrelevant. And if YOU are irrelevant then so is God. Thus, we must re-define our understanding of “predestination”, or deny it. I know this will not go over well with Christians, but the metaphysically and rationally impossible simply cannot be TRUTH.
The Bible is not inerrant for many reasons, but the primary one is that the issue of biblical fallibility is irrelevant. The Bible doesn’t need to be inerrant to be efficacious because the Holy Spirit is inerrant. The Holy Spirit is the force behind spiritual application. Inerrancy of scripture then is merely an issue for those whole wish to lord their interpretations. Nothing more.
Why does “God breathed” mean “infallible”? Since when does “useful” mean “utterly infalli ible”? What did Paul mean by “scripture”?
But is not leaving it just up to the Holy Spirit and not combine Him with the inerrancy of His Word leave it up to the realm of mysticism?
Scripture is given to us for a reason- I believe that there is both a form of mysticism and objectivity in God. We cannot explain how we change to be more like Christ and this is a mystery, but this happens. Just like we can’t explain gravity or air and why it travels the way it does; some things are unexplainable and some things God only knows. There are definite verses in Scripture that both affirm predestination and free will.
We also know that God gives us objective truth in His Word for a reason- “to study it and make ourselves approved”. If the Word was fallible then we should not trust one thing about it and we would say that the disciples were not guided at all by the Holy Spirit but by their own whims. This then makes the Scripture open to being just another book, such as the Apocrypha or Calvins Institutes.
18 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:
19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.
This is where I have a problem is this: The Bible is inerrant or we would have nothing to guide us into truth, because remember again the Holy Spirit only works with in the framework of His Word; other then that then remember Satan can disguise himself as an angel of light. He can look like the HS and make it seem he is moving you with the breath of the Spirit. This is a facade and when we look at the word as fallible we will not have a framework to go back on. This is what has happened to many Charismatics- they let go of the Word and only based their truth on the experience of the HS. This is where we get IHOP and The Toronto Blessing.
The problem I find is that many churches will leave out one or the other. Calvinists will totally leave out the Holy Spirit and relegate Him to a lesser part of the Trinity, where He is just as important as God and Jesus Christ. I do not think you can do without one or the other- His Word or the Holy Spirit. The two cannot be separated.
For me I read His Word and then rely on the Holy Spirit too direct me in His truth. If I do not know something or have a hard time grasping certain things in Scripture I just release it and leave it go for awhile until the HS gives me truth. I do not stress out about it because I trust in Him to deliver. I guess it has been easy for me in this because I never read others writings or theologies too much or espoused to a certain doctrine- I was a loner (and still am). I also believe everyone should be allowed to breathe without pastors and elders oppressing and forcing them into certain doctrines. I am a firm believer that if one puts their trust in the Holy Spirit and also reads and believes the Word, they will get truth. I have so much peace and freedom about this.
So with this comment back I have the freedom to say you can take or leave it, without feeling stress out about it or forcing you to my viewpoint. I really have enjoyed your comments on PPTs Argo.