Engaging the culture with the gospel of Jesus Christ.

The Biblical Road (or a Tale of Two Ditches):

I was raised in a church were Calvinism was said to be a ditch on the one hand, and Arminiansm was said to be a ditch on the other, and the road in the middle was biblicism. I even attended a Bible college where I was taught the same thing. But as I began to study Scripture something became evident. Those who were saying this, and calling themselves biblicist, were actually just 4 point Arminians at best. I am sure they meant well, but just because you call yourself a biblicist doesn’t make you one, nor keep you from error.

Another thing noticed was that the road wasn’t [Calvinism (ditch)]|Biblicism(road)|[Arminianism (ditch)]. They had left something out – Hyper-Calvinism. The illustration is, in reality,

[Hyper-Calvinism (ditch)]|Calvinism/Biblicism(road)|[Arminianism (ditch)]car in ditch

Now, this will probably make those who walk in the ditches angry, for two reasons. 1. I just said you are not on the theologically biblical path. 2. I just said my held theology was biblical.

I do not say these things to incite anger, but to stir the heart and mind, and encourage you to read this article I read on the subject. I think it is extremely helpful in laying the matter out plainly, and biblicaly.

Here’s the article by John Hendryx.

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4 responses

  1. Bryan Puleo

    What can I say? This is very well spoken, and very well truth. It hits the nail on the head as to what we have been taught both in church and in college. There is no getting around it.

    December 6, 2008 at 1:17 pm

  2. Thanks for a very interesting post. The article was helpful in explaining many things that I’d wondered concerning the differences in hyper-Calvinism and evangelical Calvinists. The author did a good job in breaking it down in fairly simple terms. Some things are a bit hard for me to grasp such as this:

    The following two statements are not contradictory and both are Scriptural

    (1) God’s desire is for all people to obey the gospel, repent and be saved

    (2) God in no way desires to save the reprobate

    but overall, the article was quite helpful. Thank you for sharing it!

    December 6, 2008 at 2:16 pm

  3. Susanne,
    I think desire is the wrong word. Rather, God has commanded all men to obey Him and to repent from their sins and believe on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. This is very much related to his position as Lord that he can command such a thing. It is very much analagous to the way in which an Author can create a story and make the characters as real as is within his power and then judge that a character is evil even though the Author made him the way that he is. The reason this analogy offends our sensibilities is because it makes us seem insignificant. Even more so, it make is seem as if people are only valuable to God in the sense that they bring Him glory.

    December 6, 2008 at 4:31 pm

  4. commissioned2serve

    I think the distinction Hendryx made was the same Charles was articulating. Hendryx said God desires all people to obey the gospel. Charles said God commands all men to obey the gospel. Which if a command is given, then there is a desire for it to be followed.
    Hendryx said God in no way desires to save the reprobate. Meaning that although God expects (desires) the wicked to repent; He does not desire to meet that condition for them; as He has done for His elect in changing their heart, and giving them repentance and faith. No wicked man can repent and believe. No wicked man can obey the gospel.

    My favorite explanation of this from Scripture is the crucifixion of Christ. We are told all through God’s Word that it is God’s will that men not lie or murder one another; yet we are told in Acts that the events of Christ’s death were predestined by God. So although God desired (in one sense) that men not lie or murder; He desired (in another sense) that they do just that against The Son of God.
    If you like labels then the declared will of God (though shalt not kill), and the decreed will of God (Lamb slain from the foundation of The World) may help. (it does me anyway)

    December 6, 2008 at 6:19 pm

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