When I was in college I had a friend that was a proponent of Reformed Theology. He called himself a Calvinist and he rubbed me the wrong way when he spoke of his theology. By no fault of his, I developed some terrible misconceptions about Reformed Theology (that’s the proper term for Calvinism). These misconceptions made it easy to dismiss Reformed Theology anytime it was brought up.
Unfortunately, like me, many people have serious misconceptions about Reformed Theology. Whether as a result of a pastor that is a staunch opponent to Reformed Theology, or an experience similar to mine, a lot of folks have the wrong idea about what Reformed Theology is, and what it isn’t.
I appreciate an article by Michael Horton in which he helps to clear up some of the more common myths surrounding Reformed Theology. Horton is a well-respected theology professor and theologian that regularly blogs and discusses theological topics at his podcast, The White Horse Inn. Horton carefully discusses each of these myths and others in great detail in his work For Calvinism.
The above referenced article addresses five of the more common myths surrounding Reformed Theology in a quick, overview type format. The five myths that Horton addresses are:
- “REFORMED THEOLOGY IS ARROGANT AND PRIDEFUL”
- “REFORMED THEOLOGY MAKES US ROBOTS IN GOD’S PLAN”
- “REFORMED THEOLOGY HAS NO GRACE AND LOVE”
- “REFORMED THEOLOGY KILLS GENUINE, HEART-FELT PIETY”
- “REFORMED THEOLOGY KILLS COMMUNITY AND MISSION”
After several years of litigation, a Kentucky appeals court has decided that Hands On Originals, a local t-shirt printing business, did not discriminate by refusing to make t-shirt for a gay pride festival.
In 2012 a LGBT organization asked Hands On Originals (HOO) to print their t-shirts for the pride festival they were preparing for. The owner of HOO, Blaine Adamson declined the order saying his Christian beliefs would not permit him to take part in supporting the message of the festival by making shirts.
As you would expect, Adamson and his business were sued for discrimination under Kentucky’s fairness ordinance. The Human Rights Commission in Kentucky ruled against HOO in the case saying that it discriminated on the basis of sexual orientation. Adamson and HOO appealed the decision to the Fayette Circuit Court, which overturned the decision and ruled that there was no discrimination. The decision was then sent to the Kentucky appeals court where the lower court decision was upheld.
One of the appeals court justices wrote a concurring opinion that stated clearly that forcing HOO to print shirts with a message supporting homosexuality would be coercion. A recent article comments: Continue reading
The House of Representatives recently passed a bill to repeal Obamacare, led by Republicans in the House and mostly on a party-line vote. This is in keeping with many Republican’s promise during the 2016 election cycle to repeal the healthcare bill. This was also one of President Donald Trump’s biggest campaign promises so there’s little doubt that he charged Republicans in Congress with getting it done.
Given this bit of reality it’s hard to believe that anyone would be surprised when Republicans in the House passed a bill to repeal Obamacare. And yet, some seem surprised.
Others, however, are just really angry.
Take for example Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards. She is really “angry,” and “furious” and “disgusted” by the attempt to repeal Obamacare. But, to be fair, it’s probably because the bill has a provision to defund Planned Parenthood.
Richards went on an unhinged rant against Republicans after the bill was passed accusing lawmakers of “stripping health care from millions.” Richard’s alarmist language is intended to stir up supporters of abortion. Let’s put this in perspective. Continue reading
I’ll never forget visiting a church where the pastor strung one feel-good cliché after another while interjecting “Jesus” every now and then. At the end of his “sermon” he wanted to make sure everyone knew “how awesome” we all were and invited us all to join him in yelling as loud as we could to “release our negativity.”
I left that church service wondering what had just happened and feeling like I had just wasted my entire Sunday morning. This was mainly due to the fact that I didn’t learn anything; the Bible was not preached and taught in a rich way to provide the food my soul needed.
I’m not alone, a recent study has concluded that the number one reason people attend church is to hear “sermons that teach about Scripture.”
For years church leaders tried to convince us that being a hip, trendy, and relevant church was the key to doing church right. It was about professional bands, cool video graphics, and more ministry choices than you can fit on one bulletin page. But after many years and many failures even the well-respected church growth guru’s are admitting that it’s really about the preaching.
But not just any preaching. The trendy “talks” that cite one Bible verse then shares stories, jokes, and illustrations for 40 minutes are also failing. What people are really looking for is teaching from the Bible that expounds the Scriptures and connects them with daily life. In other words, expository preaching. What exactly is expository preaching? Continue reading
One of the firsts actions President Trump took after taking office in January was to reinstate the Mexico City policy. This policy says that funds given to organizations for international health care efforts cannot be used to promote or perform abortions. These nongovernment organizations must agree not to promote or perform abortion or support coercive and forced sterilization efforts in the countries they provide health care aid.
The policy was in effect through George W Bush’s entire presidency but was revoked for the entire 8 years of President Obama’s presidency. Considering that President Obama was American’s most pro-abortion president in history, it’s not surprising that he would support abortion efforts on foreign soil using taxpayers money.
Many pro-life voters were energized by the reinstatement of the Mexico City policy, seeing it as a sign of good things to come from President Trump’s administration; an administration that vowed to be pro-life. The latest announcement by the Trump administration is sure to further fuel the energy of pro-life voters.
A recent article reports “the Trump Administration will significantly expand the pro-life Mexico City Policy by drastically increasing the amount of global health assistance funds and government programs that will be covered under the policy.” Continue reading
Let me ask a quick question. It should be fairly easy for you to answer because it involves your television habits. Think of a few of the shows you watch on a regular basis and then answer the following question:
Name 3 male characters that portray hard-working, loving, protective leaders in their families.
I’ve sat here for the past 15 minutes and I am having serious trouble writing just one name, much less a few.
When I was a kid I could have answered this question in a few seconds with several names: Carl Winslow, Howard Cunningham, Cliff Huxtable, and Tim Taylor.
If I go back in time even farther, more and more names start to fill the list. But to name even a single male, playing the role of a loving, protective, nurturing father that provides for his family is nearly impossible.
The lack of positive portrayal of men in the media is not coincidence. It’s part of a larger movement that has sought to change the very nature of men. The results have been catastrophic. And the people hurt most, I think, are women and children.
Studies in recent years have shown two disturbing trends: men are marrying later in life and adolescence is stretching into the early 30’s. Continue reading
Bill Nye has been catapulted to cultural stardom by trumpeting climate change alarmism. But his new Netflix show is filled with anything but real science. Strange for a “science guy.”
Anyone with an ounce of cultural popularity that is willing to sound the climate change alarm will be given all the media attention he or she wants. You don’t even need any real credibility. For example, Al Gore knows nothing about science but won a Nobel Prize for producing a scientific documentary about climate change. A documentary that, incidentally, has been debunked more than once.
Bill Nye is the latest pseudo-celebrity being used by the media to pus various forms of pseudo-science. For example, in an episode of his new Netflix show, Nye aired a clip of actress Rachel Bloom singing a song called “My Sex Junk.” Now, before you get any ideas that maybe the content of the song is better than the title, it’s not. It’s worse. Much worse.
This is a song and dance number (a very awkward performance) about how sexuality is fluid and gender is more about what you think rather than biology. The main message of the performance is transgenderism is scientific fact. Continue reading
Another objection raised to the doctrine of election is man’s free will. Christians will object to election by saying that man is free to choose or reject the Gospel and therefore, it is man’s free will that determines his eternal destiny. But this understanding of free will is mistaken, and applying this understanding to salvation is unbiblical.
First, I absolutely agree that man has free will. In fact, most theologians and pastors and Christians that believe the doctrine of election also believe in man’s free will. The difference, however, is our understanding of free will. The Bible makes it clear that “no one seeks after God,” (Rom. 3:10-19) and that “no one can come to [Jesus] unless the Father…draws him,” (John 6:44) and “everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light.” (John 3:19)
In these verses we come to understand that the will of man is bent on evil and rejection of God. There is no one that will, of his own free will, choose God (Rom. 3:10-19). In fact, the human will is so captive to sin that no man has any desire for God and prefers the darkness over the light (John 3:19). This means that the idea of free will is true. But it also means that if given a choice man will always choose sin, the darkness, and always choose to reject Christ.
When given the choice between sin and Christ, man will always choose sin. Continue reading
Nearly every Christian, when asked, will say that they believe God is sovereign. It’s almost a no-brainer. But, understanding exactly what that means is far more difficult and shows that many Christians don’t believe God is sovereign.
The word sovereign means, “possessing supreme or ultimate power.” Some of the synonyms for sovereign include: absolute, unlimited, unrestricted, total, and unconditional. So when we talk about God being sovereign we are referring to the fact that He has complete and total power in this world.
This isn’t hard to understand given the fact that God create the world. The One that creates something typically has complete authority and control over that thing that has been created. Believing that God has complete and total control over the earth and universe He created should be a fairly easy concept to understand.
In a theological sense, when we speak of God’s sovereignty, we are speaking of the reality that everything that happens in this universe happens by a direct act of God, or because God has allowed it to happen. In other words, there is nothing that happens in this universe that does not first pass through God for approval. This truth has propelled some to believe that God is the cause of sin, but that is patently false. Man’s sinful heart and lust is the cause of sin and, as we will see later, man’s free will leads only to sin.
Regarding salvation God’s sovereignty is a critical aspect that is misunderstood by many Christians. Some choose to reject the biblical doctrine of election because, in their words, “it’s not fair.” But, as we will see, the doctrine of election and God’s sovereignty cannot be divorced. Continue reading
Pro-life votes are seeing fruit from their decision to put Donald Trump in the White House. After 8 years of seeing virtually no remotely pro-life bill signed into law by President Obama, several executive orders and now a senate bill have given pro-life Americans optimism.
House Joint Resolution 43 allows states to withhold federal money from Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers if they choose. Since a majority of Americans don’t think tax money should be used to fund abortion, the new legislation is one that is sure to find bi-partisan support.
The Obama administration barred states from withholding federal funding from Planned Parenthood with a rule issued by the Department of Health and Human Services in December of 2016, just a few weeks before Obama left office. This is not terribly surprising, as Obama stands as the most pro-abortion president in American history.