Next week we will begin changing our podcast series. On Tuesdays I will begin discussing the doctrine of election, or Calvinism. This is a very hot-button issue, so I plan on working through it very diligently and making sure I come across respectful and direct, so I do not confuse the listener or reader.
On Thursdays we will be continuing our study of 1 John and then later going in to a different study. We might start discussing the various arguments concerning the age of the Earth since that is also becoming a hot-button issue.
Throughout all of our studies and studies you might be doing on your own, it is extremely important that we study and pray over the text that we are interpreting and using in our everyday lives to guide us through the Holy Spirit.
There are far too many pastors out there trying to use “verse hopping” as their witnessing and evangelizing tool each Sunday for their sermons. Instead of expository, verse-by-verse teaching we have been given a watered down gospel that fits the narrative of the pastor. This has led to an entire generation (or two) learning the gospel based on the pastor’s worldview and not the truly inspired word of God.
The Doctrine of Election; Calvinism
This is probably the greatest debated theological position since the reformation with Luther and Calvin. For years both sides of the debate have been sure that their side is correct. In the age of social media this debate has only become more heated and concerning. As a Calvinist, I am fully aware of how some of the people on my side can come across. The worst argument I think on either side is the argument of how the other side views God and His power on this Earth. That argument is one that I will not use to argue for my viewpoint and I hope you can stay away from using it as well. I think it is an argument people online use to throw mud on their opponent from the beginning, which takes away from the reason for Christian arguments.
In a previous blog posting I discussed how my friend viewed pastors that have this viewpoint as false teachers. I kept my mouth shut not wanting to start a theological debate, but false teachers are very obvious and can come from both sides of this argument. Throwing the false teacher label on a teacher or pastor can be very damaging and might become watered down if we do not become more careful when using that label. The Christian that uses this argument during each debate has become the secular on Twitter calling someone a racist or bigot. Those words have become so overused that they have no meaning anymore.
Age of the Earth
I fall into the camp of the young – Earth theory. I thought that this was a fairly common viewpoint until my grandfather told me that he is a Gap Theorist. The gap theory is the belief that Satan ruled between Gen 1:1 and 1:2 for millions and millions of years. I think you have to do some serious verse shopping to conclude this theory on the age of the Earth. As we go through this topic I want to take a very cautious approach, like I would be talking to my Grandpa in a friendly debate. I am a fairly strong follower of Ken Ham. If some of my arguments sound repetitive that might be where you are hearing them from.
The Importance of Biblical Debates
Notice I said BIBLICAL. These debates are very important among believers because we can use it to strengthen our Biblical worldview and it might change our own opinions. These debates can also strengthen relations among believers and bring a more togetherness and understanding that although we might disagree on some subjects, we can still see each other as brothers and sisters in Christ. Do not get me wrong, there are some Biblical viewpoints that are deeply heretical and blasphemous, but these two viewpoints I do not see as that whatsoever. Sure, there are some heretics that fall into both camps, but it is important to note that 90% of the people that fall into these camps are not heretics at all.
God bless and happy debating!