This is a discussion of Calvinism by a Bible believer
is all about the book...
Well, I purchased the book, and boy was it to the point! After reading it, it became so clear to me how Calvinists themselves are able to suck in people from all walks of life! Consequently, I became so inflamed with Calvinism I decided to post a review on Amazon and here is a longer version of what it said:
Hello, my name is Mark. I am a respiratory therapist and I am new in my faith.
Please know that I am not a writer, I'm not a scholar, I'm not a scientist, and I'm not a theologian. This will show in my review. However, I am a baby Christian who is so hungry, I can't seem to get enough of GOD! This has been going on for the past two years and I feel as if I am being consumed and have come to enjoy the hunger I have asked for through prayer.
Nevertheless, one area where I constantly stumble is reading extra-Biblical literature to get a more clear picture of what GOD is like. I have come to the conclusion that this is unavoidable to some degree, however, I must keep in mind, any other literary work besides the bible is of how other people see GOD. I know in my heart that I will always be a baby Christian and what I need is BABY FOOD (the bible).
However, there are some WICKED fathers who are feeding their children TULIPs rather than BABY FOOD (tulips=Calvinism). These fathers are feeding their children TULIPs and most medical scientists agree that the digestive tract of an infant is in no way capable of digesting TULIPs. Dr. Vance, with his book "The Other Side of Calvinism" clearly defines Calvinism and it's implications. I recommend that all who read theological literature to gain insight on how others see GOD, read this book, Calvinist and non- Calvinist alike. The BIBLE along with this book brings to light the things that are of God's decrees opposed to that which are mans decree.
Dr. Vance SCRIPTURALLY breaks down the TULIP and shows us what it really stands for. Quotes are continually given from Calvinists themselves to show they have a hard time with the rotten TULIP. To one who may be reading, TULIP is an acronym for the five points of Calvinism:
After reading the book, I have come to the conclusion THAT: I WOULD RATHER SERVE A CREATOR WHO WOULD DIE FOR HIS CREATION , RATHER THAN SERVE A CREATOR WHO WOULD HAVE HIS CREATION DIE FOR HIM! Calvinism is by all means the latter! This is found as Dr. Vance points out in UNCONDITIONAL ELECTION.
Calvinists believe that man is predestined before creation, to be either REPROBATE (condemned to hell) or ELECT (saved). By doing this and believing this, Calvinists accept that man has fallen and that GOD is the author of the fall. If sin caused us to fall, then GOD by allowing the fall, is the author of sin. (Calvinism has you think this!). This is what most predestinarians believe.
Dr. Vance points out scripturally how this is not so. GOD, through his sovereignty did not create sin!!! GOD tells us himself and declared he is not the author of it:"WHICH I COMMANDED NOT, NOR SPAKE IT, NEITHER CAME IT INTO MY MIND. "Jeremiah 19:5 Throughout the bible one will note that GOD decreed very few things and by no means were they all eternal. However, man has decreed many things and GOD specifically speaks to us about this: "WOE UNTO THEM THAT DECREE UNRIGHTEOUS DECREES AND THAT WRITE GRIEVOUSNESS WHICH THEY HAVE PRESCRIBED" Is10:1.
This book makes a good point: where in the bible does GOD specifically decree predestination?? Where does he decree this and specify it by the name decree? Nevertheless, Calvinists will cause you not to question their doctrine(not God's) by the misuse of the term "Sovereignty of GOD". When presented on the terms that Calvinists present it, who in their GOD fearing right mind would question the Sovereignty of GOD?
If one does question the Sovereignty of GOD, Calvinists are quick to point out that one is not humble enough to accept their theory. Nevertheless, rather than accepting mans decrees, "The Other Side of Calvinism" has helped me accept God's WOE! "WOE UNTO THEM THAT DECREE UNRIGHTEOUS DECREES AND THAT WRITE GRIEVOUSNESS WHICH THEY HAVE PRESCRIBED".
Before reading this book, I was bogging down and becoming confused due to the five points of Calvinism. Nevertheless, all it took was scripture to straighten me out! As Dr. Vance points out in his book,"GOD cannot deny himself " (2 Timothy 2:13) and neither is he "the author of confusion" (1 Corinthians14:33). As stated by Dr. Vance: " The contradictory and confusing nature of God's decrees as presented by the reformed theologians rules out any possibility of GOD being the source of them".
Secondly, the bible is full of scripture warning us of false teachers, wolves who come to us in sheep's clothing, etc. The bible tells us that we may know them by their works. However, look at the works of Calvin as pointed out by Dr. Vance.
CALVIN was responsible and accepted the responsibility for having SERVETUS bound to the stake and burnt alive. He did this just because he would not become a Calvinist. Dr. Vance quotes numerous texts by Calvin and others to show how ruthless Calvin really was. To Calvin's works I hold this view: Did Calvin not read the scripture that pertained to " ye without sin throw the first stone"? That was from the teacher himself, non other than the personage of JESUS CHRIST!
Moreover, Dr. Vance shows us the meaning of REPROBATE throughout scripture. The scripture says it for itself!! REPROBATE is used in the text of the bible to condemn those who reject him (JESUS,GOD, HOLY SPIRIT). It is used for those who do not accept him. It is used as a consequence to man for mans decision after man makes his decision! This in itself knocks the Calvinist for a loop when it pertains to free will.
A Calvinist would have you believe that reprobation was decided before the foundation of the world. No where in the bible does REPROBATE or REPROBATION pertain to a persons SALVATION from the beginning of time. It only points out what has happened to someone after they have CHOSEN TO REJECT GOD! One could write on the issues of Calvin forever; however, I recommend to whomever may be caught up in the debate of predestination, read Dr. Vances book! It is scripturally sound.
I would also like to say that this book is a good read if one is wanting to see where the Church is headed. All one has to do is read the letters to the seven churches in REVELATION. In my opinion, Calvinism possibly can breed an atmosphere that is neither hot nor cold. If all accountability is taken away from man, as does Calvinism with the likes of predestination, no wonder Christian will accept the abominations that GOD speaks of in LEVITICUS within the church!! Christianity is about change!
CHRISTIANITY is about our decision to accept or reject CHRIST! We must utilize our free will to do this! Christianity is about spreading the gospel, loving one another, and edifying each other as CHRISTIANS! Calvinism presents me none of what CHRISTIANITY is about. Dr. Vance's book is long and time consuming. It is direct and to the point (to the five points in fact!).
I recommend this book to everyone, especially for those who pursue the truth!
Oh soul, are you
tired of John Calvin?
Turn your eyes
The other side of the story
The problem with the discussion of Calvinism and Arminianism is that we are tempted to take one side or ther other. In fact, these two disciplines will demand that we take their side or be shunned from fellowship with them.
The point is, the Bible teaches both the free will of man AND predestination and election by God, in Christ, before the foundation of the world. Both are true. Both are a mystery to us because we cannot, humanly, rationalize them with each other as being both true and operating.
Predestination, individually, unto salvation is taught in Ephesians 1:3-13
1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us
with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:
Verse 4 makes it VERY clear that we were chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world. He did not choose those who would refuse salvation to damnation. He only chose us who believe now to salvation.
Verse 13 makes it VERY clear that we trusted. This is an act of our will-- "whosoever will". As much as we are able, humanly, we choose him, and before we are born again, we can reject him.
This is a mystery. It is stupid to try to explain it, for God has told us that there are things we will never fully understand about him. Would he be God if he were not beyond us once in a while? If he could be dissected in a university or seminary classroom, he would not be God. He would be no better than Neptune or Zeus of the Greeks.
Isaiah 55:9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
It is time to walk on from the milk sucking theologians who swing to the extremes and simply believe every word of God given to us in the King James Bible.
I also note here that Fundamental Baptists are guilty of painting all Reformed Christians with a broad brush. I know Reformed saints who are very zealous to preach the Gospel. They openly declare that, since they don't know who is elect, they are bound to obey Christ and give witness of their faith to all men. That suits me just fine, and they do it all week long instead of only on that magic carpet at the front of the Fundamental Baptist church house.