We have examined and answered so far:
- Not everyone who is not Calvinist is Armenian
- There is a difference between Baptist and Armenian
- The TULIP theology actually contradicts Scripture
- Total Depravity actually teaches Total Inability
- Total Inability is the key teaching of Calvinism – if Total Inability is removed, the entire Calvinism doctrine falls apart immediately.
- Calvinism really is Augustinianism
- There’s not a whole lot of difference between Calvinism and some Roman Catholic doctrines
- The historic understanding of Salvation as expressed by the Early Church “Fathers” does not match Calvinism’s undertsanding
- A person reading the Bible literally through for years without having been taught Calvinism would not arrive at an understanding of TULIP theology, thus raising grave doubts as to any claims of it being “Biblical”.
We begin with Total Depravity. As I’ve mentioned, there are major problems with the TULIP, and especially Total Inability. A former Calvinist even describes Calvinism rising and falling on this one doctrine.
Like all successful distortions of Scripture, it’s based upon half truths. Let’s see what the Bible has to say on the depravity of man.
9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? Jeremiah 17:9 (KJV)
10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: 11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. 12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. 13 Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: 14 Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: 15 Their feet are swift to shed blood: 16 Destruction and misery are in their ways: 17 And the way of peace have they not known: 18 There is no fear of God before their eyes. Romans 3:10-18 (KJV)
1 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; Ephesians 2:1 (KJV)
14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 1 Corinthians 2:14 (KJV)
However, as David Cloud points out in his “The Calvinism Debate” book, there is no verse anywhere in the Bible that specificallty says man is unable to repsond to the Gospel.
When I have challenged Calvinists to provide me with even one verse that says man is dead in trespasses and sins in SUCH A MANNER that he cannot even believe the gospel, they have never provided such a verse. One suggested Ephesians 2, but nowhere does Ephesians 2 teach such a thing. One has to read the Calvinist doctrine of “total depravity” into the Scripture. — David Cloud, The Calvinism Debate, pg. 22, Way of Life Publishing
That’s a major problem. If Calvinism is “…the Gospel”, as it’s adherents claim, there should be clear verses explaining this. Remember rules number one and two of studying the Bible:
- Every verse is to be read literally unless indicated by the text (“as it were a…”, “as if…”)
- Every verse must be understood in context to the passage. Only the book of proverbs features isolated verses that may be read and understood by themselves.
Total Depravity, or Total Inability as it really is, makes two claims simultaneously. Man is utterly corrupt, and is incapable of responding to the Gospel. Two-part conditional sentences are dishonest, unless we examine and answer the conditions one at a time. It’s a classic debating trick – If I can get you to agree with part one of my statement, then you must accept part two. In true conditional statements, this is a correct approach.
However, in the dishonest conditional argument, it is a trap, an example of crooked thinking as defined by Henry Thouless. We answer it in exactly this way – breaking it apart into the separate conditions.
Is man depraved? Yes.
Does that mean Man is unable to respond to the Gospel? No. Indeed, the Bible teaches exactly the opposite.
Calvinists must grow weary of debating Baptists, as we immediately resort to “Whosoever…”. I would suggest this is a major reason why James White campaigns so hard against the King James Bible – the wording is so precise as to dismiss Calvinism almost immediately. Calvinism does much better when reading a modern translation – this is why White campaigns so hard and so agressively against it.
35 For whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother. Mark 3:35 (KJV)
11 And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear you, when ye depart thence, shake off the dust under your feet for a testimony against them. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city. Mark 6:11 (KJV)
Here are two verses from Mark, using the word “Whosoever”. The Calvinist will grudgingly agree (sensing a trap) that Mark 6:11 is saying anyone who rejects the Gospel will enter into Hell. Who will descend into Hell? Whosoever rejects the Gospel. What does Whosoever apply to? Anyone.
However, the same Calvinist will deny that the same word, used in exactly the same manner, in Mark 3:35 means “Anyone.” They will immediately insist that means, “The elect.”
That’s unBiblical. The words “The elect” cannot be found there. We must go to another of the rules of Biblical interpretation (hermaneutics):
When facing verses that on the surface appear to contradict, start first by understanding the majority verses, and often after that the meaning of the contradictions will be revealed (usually, it is merely a refinement of the original contention).
That means, that if the Bible states 110 times that whoever comes to the cross of Christ they will be saved forever, and we see two or three verses on predestination, the predestination is by far the minority, and we must interpret by the majority, not the minority. Calvinists will admit that’s the first tactic of a cult is to cite one or two verses that out of context seem to support their false doctrine, and ignore the vast majority that oppose them.
An example of this is the Mormon doctrine of Baptism of the dead. One verse seems to support it, out of context. And many other verses are ignored that show one must desire salvation to be saved. A dead man cannot desire salvation, thus the Mormon doctrine is incorrect.
“Aha! You just played into my hands!” The Calvinist shouts. “Men are dead in their trespasses and sins, correct? And a dead man cannot desire to be saved! Thus a sinner is incapable of repsonding to the Gospel!”
I’m aware that argument is often used. I’ve got to ask – really? Are you SURE you want to try that route? Because it’s going to reveal something VERY uncomfortable about Calvinism.
We’re not saved by logic. I’ve condemned the United Methodist stance before that Methodists live by “Scripture, reason, experience.” We do not do that. We go by “Scripture, Scripture, Scripture.”
The Calvinist claims to, as well. However, the Calvinist in reality goes by “Calvinism, tradition, Scripture.” By the time I’m done, the conclusion will be inescapable.
If I construct a logical argument that 2+2=5 (and I’m aware there’s a flawed calculus expression that teaches this… in reality proving nothing), and facts tells us something different, we go by facts. If I have two dollars, and you give me two dollars, I have four dollars. Bottom line.
If you construct a flawed logical argument that man is incapable of responding to the Gospel but the Scriptures say otherwise, all you’ve proved is that your logic is flawed – and that you place Calvinism’s doctrine far above the Bible.
34 And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. 35 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it. 36 For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? 37 Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? 38 Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels. Mark 8:34-38 (KJV)
15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. 16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. 18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. John 3:15-18 (KJV)
13 Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: 14 But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life. John 4:13-14 (KJV)
25 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: 26 And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this? John 11:25-26 (KJV)
44 Jesus cried and said, He that believeth on me, believeth not on me, but on him that sent me. 45 And he that seeth me seeth him that sent me. 46 I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness. 47 And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. 48 He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day. John 12:44-48 (KJV)
21 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved. Acts 2:21 (KJV)
43 To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins. Acts 10:43 (KJV)
33 As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. Romans 9:33 (KJV)
11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. 12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. 13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. Romans 10:11-13 (KJV)
23 Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: (but) he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also. 1 John 2:23 (KJV)
1 Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him. 1 John 5:1 (KJV)
15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire. Revelation 20:15 (KJV)
17 And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely. Revelation 22:17 (KJV)
Hard to argue with that. The Bible says, “If anyone believes in Jesus Christ, they will be saved, born again.” Anyone. That’s what the Bible says. The Calvinist has to read the words, “The elect…” into the verses. That’s a distortion of Scripture. I’ll prove it.
23 If any man have ears to hear, let him hear. Mark 4:23 (KJV)
Can that apply to the elect? No. According to Calvinism, they already had ears to hear. So it applies to the lost? No, they don’t have ears to hear. According to Calvinism, they are permanantly incapable of hearing.
So, who does it apply to???
Right. In kung fu, there’s a tactique to win a fight quickly, called a spinning footsweep. Basically, the kung fu guy kicks your feet out from under you, and pounces on you when you fall.
I just did that very thing to TULIP.
Stay tuned… I can see now this won’t last all of January. I’m either going to have to stretch it out, post videos to fill up time the way I did with Atheism, or just resign myself that January is going to be a short topic month.