Saturday, February 18, 2017

The Realization of Reformed Theology

When a person realizes that Scripture reveals the level of sovereignty that God has over His creation (especially in the area of salvation), I believe that there are two reactions to this realization. These two reactions could also be brought out by asking the question, "if I could demonstrate to you that reformed soteriology and anthropology are both biblical, would you still trust Jesus, honor, serve and love God?" The two reactions are the following:

  1. Accept what Scripture teaches
    • This is the difficult path (I know from experience).
    • This response is likely indicative of a regenerate heart.

     2.  Ultimately reject it and/or fight it
    • This response is likely indicative of an unregenerate heart
    • If the person makes statements such as, "I could never serve a God like that...", that is a strong indication that the individual is engaging in idolatry.

Oneness Pentecostalism: The Real Issue

I recently ran into a Oneness Pentecostal acquaintance of mine. We talked for nearly 2 hours. We caught each other up on new developments in our lives and we also discussed our differences concerning the nature of God. I am supposed to meet with him as well as a mutual acquaintance (who preaches at the University of Maryland for a particular oneness parachurch group known as "Impact UMD") in the near future.

If you are unfamiliar with Oneness Theology, click here to read more.

In light of these recent events, I wanted to post a summary statement of the real issue at hand when we deal in love with Oneness individuals. This summary statement came from Dr. James White in his debate with Roger Perkins in 2011, which can be viewed here. It has proved useful in highlighting the very key distinction between the Trinitarian and Oneness position. And I would contend that it can be adapted to address the different forms of Unitarianism as well. Here it is:

Did the Son, as a divine person (not as an idealized plan, not a thought in the Father's Mind, but as a divine person aware of His own existence and the existence of the Father and Spirit) exist prior to the Incarnation itself, that is, in eternity past? 
If the Son, as a divine person, engaged in activities that only a person can engage in prior to the Incarnation, that is a refutation to the Oneness position (the debate is concluded for the Trinitarian position is established).

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Is Southern Baptist Traditionalist Soteriology Synergistic?

What is synergism?
[Synergism] is the teaching that we cooperate with God in our efforts of salvation. This is opposed to monergism which is the teaching that God is the sole agent involved in salvation. Cults are synergistic in that they teach that God's grace combined with our efforts are what makes forgiveness of sins possible. (Synergism

In other words, God is the only efficient cause in the bringing about of regeneration.

Dr. Leighton Flowers and I had a discussion on one of his Facebook Live videos called, "Q&A on G3 and Synergism," on his Soteriology 101 facebook page. At around 10:40 in, Dr. Flowers did something that perplexed me: he stated that he pushes back (i.e. rejects) against the term "synergism".  He stated that the reformed use of the term was the result of a conflation on the reformed side. I will allow him to speak for himself:

To see more, check out his video here and jump to 10:40.

Upon hearing his argumentation, I immediately realized that the issue of synergism was being confused with something else. As someone who has taken the time to understand Dr. Flowers and has spoken with Dr. Flowers in video chats, comment boxes, and through direct messages, I figured that I was well equipped to properly represent and respond to his position. After commenting, I responded to another commenter and tried to kindly, graciously correct the mistake made by Dr. Flowers. Here is our conversation:

EDIT: When speaking with a synergist in a situation like this, a friend of mine pointed out that it is very useful to bring up the term, "efficient cause." Ask the synergist, "who is the efficient cause of regeneration?"

Friday, January 13, 2017

Empty Rhetoric and Inconsistency for the Sake of Tradition

I recently had a discussion with a Roman Catholic in the comment section of a video by Dr. Leighton Flowers. It appeared that he was attempting to convert Dr. Flowers to Roman Catholicism. I would like to briefly note that this seems to be the trend among synergists: those who subscribe to a false gospel (Rome, the Orthodox Church, etc.) will make contact with synergists within the body of Christ (arminians, traditionalist southern baptists, etc.) in an attempt to either join with them or convert them. I have spoken before on the common betrayals of reformed brethren by the synergists (within the camp of Christ), who will join forces with those outside of the camp of Christ against those of the reformed faith. What is the reason? Reformed theology. However, that is not the purpose of this post.

Many topics were quickly covered in this discussion, but this is a display of the inconsistency that many Roman Catholics (even apologists) must engage in. It is breathtaking. It begins with John Martin's comment on the first page.