Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Politically Incorrect Commercial

Sorry to post this after a serious one, but variety is the name of the game.

I don't suppose if it were a man there would be any problem with it.

Take Care

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Was The Cross Unnecessary?

I have argued before about the logical extension of hyper Calvinism. In fact, I'm afraid that the type of Calvinism that most of those who would call themselves Calvinists, if the logical extension of their view be examined, would be what even they derisively call, "hyper-Calvinism." This Calvinism is that which includes the view of election that holds that God, before the foundation of the world, chose particular individuals for salvation and other particular individuals to unconditional and irreversible individual reprobation and therefore damnation. I will call it, "John Piper calvinism," not out of any disrespect for the man (he is a man whose teachings I admire in other areas and hold in high regard), but because John Piper is often one to whom many Calvininsts point as an example of its proponents.

But the logical extension of even this type of Calvinism, if examined in all honesty, is that evangelism is, at the end of the day, unneccessary. Now, most Calvinists would deny this of course, attributing such an idea to hyper-Calvinism, but that is without thinking the matter through. Because if they are honest, that is exactly where their own position leads. If God has pre-chosen all who are to be saved, as well as all who will perish, and God's immutable purposes cannot be thwarted, then it matters not whether these, "elect" are evangelized, or by whom; they will be saved -- period! It may be argued that God uses means. But then it must be admitted that God also then must ordain the means, leading to a kind of complete and controlling determinism. Either that, or God is at the whim of someone who chooses or chooses not to obey the great commission. In other words, I may say, "I don't feel like speaking to that person (one of the elect, let's say) about Christ." Which then would force God to say, "Well then, guess I'll just have to use someone else."

In any case, if God has preselected His chosen, it can be argued that it doesn't matter whether we evangelize or not; the elect will be saved no matter what.

All that is to say that I am now reading a book by Robert Shank, "Elect in the Son." Although I may not agree with all he says, I found that he puts my view of election quite well. In fact, I discovered a name for it; "Corporate election." It holds that it is Christ who is elect )
“Behold! My Servant whom I uphold, My Elect One in whom My soul delights! I have put My Spirit upon Him; He will bring forth justice to the Gentiles (Isaiah 42:1 NKJV)
and that we who are saved were chosen, "in him" (from that great predestination passage in Ephesians 1), and we are his, "body."
In other words, it is the body that is elect, and saved individuals only by virtue of being included in it.

But evangelism is not the only thing made unnecessary by unconditional particular election. So, ultimately is the cross, is it not? If God has decreed, unconditionally and immutably in eternity past, those who will be saved, then the cross becomes a mere symbol of a decision already made. Shank writes,
Calvin's reference (folowing Augustine) to Christ as, "the mirror of election" has been construed by some as indicativeof his concept of the role of Christ in election as being merelyt reflect what God already had accomplished in eternity by His decree. Thus Christ's "redemptive" career -- the incarnation, His death and resurrection, His ascension and intercession -- are seen as incidental and symbolic, divine pageantry rather than authentic saving acts. Election becomes predicated on God's decree in eternity in abstractio from all occurrences in time in the experience of Jesus. (p32)
To push the point further, either there can be no truly unconditional election, because salvation, and therefore election, is conditional on the cross, or the cross becomes irrelevant, ineffectual and merely symbolic.

When it comes right down to it, though, I believe that every passage on election in the Bible can be read and understood in the light of the concept of corporate election. It is not necessary to consign, or have God consign, anyone to hell without any hope of redemption or access to appeal.

Take Care

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Oh Wait... This Is Our Own Country We're Destroying!

A couple of interesting perspectives on the current stupidity being demonstrated in the riots in Great Britain.

From Malcolm Muggeridge, via Here...
...whereas other civilizations have been brought down by attacks of barbarians from without, ours had the unique distinction of training its own destroyers at its own educational institutions, and then providing them with facilities for propagating their destructive ideology far and wide, all at the public expense. Thus did Western Man decide to abolish himself...
...blowing the trumpet that brought the walls of his own city tumbling down, and having convinced himself that he was too numerous, laboured with pill and scalpel and syringe to make himself fewer. Until at last, having educated himself into imbecility, and polluted and drugged himself into stupefaction, he keeled over–a weary, battered old brontosaurus–and became extinct.

And from Here...
The ferocious criminality exhibited by an uncomfortably large section of the English population during the current riots has not surprised me in the least.
To have spotted it required no great perspicacity...
...rather, it took a peculiar cowardly blindness, one regularly displayed by the British intelligentsia and political class, not to see it and not to realize its significance. There is nothing that an intellectual less likes to change than his mind, or a politician his policy.

A population thinks (because it has often been told so by intellectuals and the political class) that it is entitled to a high standard of consumption, irrespective of its personal efforts; and therefore it regards the fact that it does not receive that high standard, by comparison with the rest of society, as a sign of injustice. It believes itself deprived (because it has often been told so by intellectuals and the political class), even though each member of it has received an education costing $80,000, toward which neither he nor—quite likely—any member of his family has made much of a contribution; indeed, he may well have lived his entire life at others’ expense, such that every mouthful of food he has ever eaten, every shirt he has ever worn, every television he has ever watched, has been provided by others. Even if he were to recognize this, he would not be grateful, for dependency does not promote gratitude.

The picture I have of these types of people is of someone out in the middle of a lake in a wooden boat. They have a handgun with them, and as they are seated in the boat, they angle the gun downward and commence shooting holes in the bottom of the boat. They seem either to be unaware of the consequences of their actions, or they are quite conscious of them and do them anyway. In any case, they endanger not only themselves, but everyone in the boat with them.

Take Care