Watershed Differences Between Calvinists and Arminians

John Piper: Really helpful and careful summary: Audio Transcript: A listener to the podcast, Peter from Seattle, writes in: “Pastor John, what is the main difference between Calvinism and Arminianism? I’m trying to explain this difference to my 13-year-old son, and would love to boil it down to one or two watershed differences. What would those be?” Okay, I am going to give him more than he asked for. And then I am going to give him what he asked for, okay? I think it will be helpful for me to just walk through the so-called five points because these five points are what the Arminian Remonstrance in 1610 threw back at the Calvinists. The Calvinists didn’t come up with five points to start with. The Calvinists wrote their vision of what salvation looks like and how it happens under God’s sovereignty and when the Arminians read it, they said, “These are five places we don’t agree.” And that is

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J.I. Packer on three views of salvation

“Long ago, when I was an undergraduate, I had an experience on one of the rivers in Oxford where students love to pole themselves around in flat-bottomed boats called punts. I do not know if undergraduates do it in the universities of this country, but we do it in Oxford. The experience was my falling into the river. I can still remember the surprise I had when I suddenly found myself upside down in the water and that there were strands of green weed around my head and the light was up at my feet. You do not forget that sort of thing quickly, and on the basis of that experience I construct for you the following illustration. Imagine a man who has fallen into a river. He cannot swim. The weeds have caught his feet. He is threshing around, but he cannot get free and will not be above the surface for very long. His state is desperate. Three

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Why TULIP matters

From David Mathis: In his introductory essay to John Owen’s The Death of Death in the Death of Christ, J. I. Packer writes that Calvinism and Arminianism are “two coherent interpretations of the biblical gospel, which stand in evident opposition to each other. The difference between them is not primarily one of emphasis, but of content.” Packer continues, (paragraphing added) One proclaims a God who saves; the other speaks of a God who enables man to save himself. One view presents the three great acts of the Holy Trinity for the recovering of lost mankind—election by the Father, redemption by the Son, calling by the Spirit—as directed towards the same persons, and as securing their salvation infallibly. The other view gives each act a different reference (the objects of redemption being all mankind, of calling, those who hear the gospel, and of election, those hearers who respond), and denies that any man’s salvation is secured by any of them. The two

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Can a Reformed ministry bear fruit in an Arminan context?

I’m grateful to Adrian Warnock for pointing out this helpful article. I recently came to the same conclusion – preach the magnificence and supremacy of God! Here’s John Piper’s answer: Can my ministry flourish in an Arminian environment even though I hold to Reformed theology? I don’t want to encourage a pastor, whether a worship pastor or senior pastor or associate pastor, to act in a knee-jerk way about being out of sync with his church. It may have happened because he came into the church unaware of where they were. It may have happened because his theology changed after he got there. There are different reasons why you might wind up in this situation. And once you do, what I want to say first is, Don’t assume it can’t happen. Don’t assume flourishing can’t happen. And by “flourishing” I mean that over time the people would grow with you into greater truth about the sovereignty of God. And it

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