Check Your Bias, Part 2

31 days big

You stuck with me through the entire Protestant Reformation! Yay! I hope it was enlightening.

If you remember, the next major kerfluffle we’re going to talk about is the  divide between Arminian and Calvinist theology; the Articles of Remonstrance and the Articles of Reformation, respectively. The main ideas thereof are traditionally presented in the following order: Depravity, Election, Atonement, Grace, and Apostasy (The acronym TULIP that you may have heard associated with Calvinism stands for the stances Calvin takes on these five issues.)

But a few things, before we get started. You might know that the core of all of this, somewhere down deep in the papering of all this theology, is the debate over predestination. To be all official, predestination is the divine fore-ordaining of all that will happen, particularly in reference to salvation.

The main arguments, Calvinism and Arminianism, are built on these five pillars (TULIP and the opposition), and these arguments stand or fall on the strength of those pillars. If one of the pillars doesn’t have Scriptural basis, the whole stance comes into question, since the pillars all go logically together.

Now, certainly it is possible for you to read the Scriptures with bias, to say “I believe that this is true, so I will explain away any Scriptures that appear to disagree with me. I will explain them on the basis of what I have decided to be true.”

Don’t do that. You have the Holy Spirit accessible to you. Ask Parakletos (that’s greek for the Spirit of God) for help. Read Scripture with an open mind and the Holy Spirit in your heart. Consider the possibility that predestination-or-not could be a Divine Mystery, like the Trinity is.

One of the attributes of God is that he is “incomprehensible” – that we can understand Scripture, but we’ll never completely comprehend our infinitely powerful, infinitely perfect, infinitely just, infinitely loving, infinitely…infinite…God. We are blessed beyond measure for searching Him out. He gives us something to boast of, He saves us, for knowing him. But He is also incomprehensible. Another one of those Divine Mysteries!

Ps 145:3 Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised and his greatness is unsearchable.

Job 26:14 Behold, these are but the outskirts of his ways, and how small a whisper do we hear of him! But the thunder of his power who can understand?”

Isaiah 55:8-9 For my thoughts are not your thoughts,  neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth,  so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Rom 11:33-34  Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! “For who has known the mind of the Lord,  or who has been his counselor?”

Deuteronomy 29:29 “The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.

1 Corinthians 2:2  For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.

Hebrews 8:11-12 And they shall not teach, each one his neighbor and each one his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest.  For I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more.”

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Published in: on October 13, 2013 at 7:57 pm  Comments (1)  

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