Sunday, November 13, 2011

Refuting Against Calvinism (Part 6)

Here is part 6 of the review of Roger Olson's book Against Calvinism:

Chapter 5 — Election and Double Predestination

Olson is correct that a belief in unconditional election implies double predestination. From there, Olson argues that since God's choice of election is unconditional, it must be arbitrary (p. 115). Such a conclusion however is in error, especially because it contradicts the express teaching of Scripture on this topic. Eph. 1:5 teaches that the basis for election is based upon the purpose of God's will, or God's good pleasure, the counsel of His will (cf Eph. 1:11). God is not arbitrary in his choice, for God is not subject to chance. What it is in His will that make Him choose one person over the other God does not reveal and it is therefore none of our business. What Scripture says is that God's choice is deliberate and made by Him alone based upon His good pleasure alone. It makes no difference if Olson cannot understand that God's will is not arbitrary, for chance is not the ruler of our destinies. On the contrary, chance plays a huge role in the Arminian system since God is not sovereign (as understood in the proper definition of what sovereignty means) and Man with his libertarian free has equal probability to choose one way or the other if no compulsion is present either way.

One person that Olson loves to quote is the theologian James Daane, who evidently calls himself Reformed yet he denies TULIP. As a hostile witness, he is indeed effective just as a spy is effective in warfare to work towards the defeat of the enemy from within. But as we have shown, the Reformed confessions define what Reformed is, and Daane as such is not Reformed or a Calvinist. Pages 124-125 show Daane promoting the idea of corporate election, which however contradicts the express teaching of Scripture. Eph. 1:4-11 is unmistakably speaking of individuals, as groups cannot be adopted or sealed with the Holy Spirit. Rom. 9 in context was written as Paul's defence of why the Jews as a whole have rejected Christ, with the argument being that not all who are of Israel are truly Israel (Rom. 9:6). Taking election corporately makes no sense, for how would saying that God elects a group and reprobates a group answer the charge that God's promises to Israel have failed? We note here that Paul was differentiating between those who are externally of Israel and internally of Israel in Rom. 9:6, and differentiating within a group must pertain to individuals! Daane and Olson are thus in error in thinking that Romans 9 actually teach corporate election.

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