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"The Contemporary Calvinist" - 5 new articles

  1. This Week in Calvinism - November 20, 2015
  2. This Week in Calvinism - November 13, 2015
  3. This Week in Calvinism - November 6, 2015
  4. This Week in Calvinism - October 30, 2015
  5. The story behind one of America's most endearing photographs
  6. More Recent Articles
  7. Search The Contemporary Calvinist
  8. Prior Mailing Archive

This Week in Calvinism - November 20, 2015

  • Why am I always suspicious of those who claim to have "a more balanced view" than Calvinism or Arminianism?

  • "Rev." Celia Hastings believes many people find Calvin's theology "abstract and confusing." She writes:
    Perhaps the Bible's message of sin and salvation is easier to understand in shepherding terms. From this view the prophet Isaiah describes original sin: "All of us, like sheep, have gone astray; each of us goes our own way." A sheep goes its own way to its own peril. When a sheep falls on its back it is helpless to get up on its own. Left alone it will die within hours. Jesus, the Good Shepherd, searches for the fallen ones and restores them – and even gives his life for the sheep. Jesus' self-giving love shows the way to the great unity and peace of original Shalom.
    So, Jesus died on the cross simply to show the way to peace? How about first looking at what Jesus had to say about who his sheep are? John 10:25-29 comes to mind.

  • Steve Sewell goes after Calvinism's "unsound interpretation" of John 6.

  • Let me get this straight. If we don't want to be labeled as liberals, then we must accept that true Calvinism is kinism. I am always saddened when racism rears its ugly head within Calvinist circles. It would be wise to steer clear of any group that says, "We affirm that all men, of every race, ethnicity, and tribe, are created in the image of God. However..."

  • Tim Challies recommends a great way to get to know the book of Romans.

This Week in Calvinism - November 13, 2015

  • Sam Waldron completes his series "21 Misunderstandings of Calvinism."

  • According to Greg Boyd, Calvinism misses the point about salvation:
    The Father "draws" people (or not) in response to their hearts. If a human heart is unwilling, however, it is hardened to God's leading and comes under the influence of Satan.

    God wants all to be saved and is working in every human heart to get each person to accept the Gospel. But people can and do resist God's influence and thwart his will for their lives (see e.g. Lk 7:30). When a heart has been successfully opened, however, God goes further and "draws" that person to Jesus Christ.
    Sounds a lot to me like Boyd is saying man is ultimately in control of his own salvation.

  • Phillip Holmes discusses the mind-blowing grace of God.

  • Andrew, of Beyond Calvinism, attempts to dismantle the Calvinist interpretation of Romans 9.

  • Arminian William Birch sees a waning of Calvinism, which has historically seen periods of ebb and flow: "Arminianism, on the other hand, is not burdened with popularity and decline. Arminian theology, the theology of the early Church fathers, carries a perpetual flow, constantly, invariably present within the Church."

  • On a "Radio Free Geneva" episode of The Dividing Line, James White responds to a sermon by Pastor Ronnie W. Rogers at Truett-McConnell College. Rogers's points are fleshed out in more detail here and here.

  • Todd Still, dean of Baylor University's Truett Theological Seminary, doesn't want to see Calvinism dividing Baptist churches.

This Week in Calvinism - November 6, 2015

  • Sam Waldron is already up to points 11, 12, and 13 of his series "21 Misunderstandings of Calvinism."

  • A sermon series on the five fruits of Calvinism.

  • Roger Olson takes issue with the idea that Arminians don't preach a "complete gospel":
    All true, historical, classical Arminians, Arminians of the heart, whole heartily affirm that salvation is a free gift of God that cannot be earned or merited. Preaching that it must be freely accepted "by faith" (trust in Christ Jesus) and that it can be freely rejected, does nothing to lessen the completeness of the "by grace through faith" heart of the gospel—Calvinist objections notwithstanding.

  • Author Joshua Guthman discusses his book about the Primitive Baptists.

  • Get your Reformed gear at

This Week in Calvinism - October 30, 2015


The story behind one of America's most endearing photographs

I've lived in Minnesota most of my life, and although I grew up seeing various versions of this iconic photograph, I never knew of its Minnesota origin:
Eric Enstrom was a Swedish American photographer who lived and worked in the mining town of Bovey. Around 1920 (some accounts date the event to 1918), an itinerant salesman named Charles Wilden visited his studio. Impressed by what he recognized as kindness in the man's face, Enstrom asked Wilden to pose for a picture. He had Wilden clasp his hands and bow his head, as in prayer, while seated at a table with an arrangement of household objects, including a book, a loaf of bread, and a bowl of soup. He called the photograph "Grace."

Enstrom composed "Grace" to represent survival in the face of hardship. He later connected it to World War I and the heavy toll the trenches of Europe had taken on American lives, as well as the rationing faced by Minnesotans on the home front. In a 1961 interview, he explained his intention to capture an image that would inspire thankfulness in people who had endured privations during the war. By highlighting Wilden's devout posture and humble surroundings, he aimed to evoke the spirit of religious faith, thankfulness, and humility he associated with many of the newly arrived European immigrants to Minnesota.
Read the full article here.

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