Friday, July 31, 2009

"Fun" Calvinist Quotes on Arminian Theology

Here are some less than flattering quotes about Arminian theology from various Calvinists. You can click on the author's name if you're interested in the original context. As an Arminian there's really not much to say in reply to this kind of stuff. I have decided to use my God given free will to make fun of the quotes. My random thoughts are in italics. Don't take them any more seriously than you take the Calvinist quotes. :)

Agustus Toplady: If we sum up the evidence that has been given, we shall find its amount to be, that Arminianism came from the Church of Rome, and leads back again to the pit whence it was digged.

Now there you go again playing the Catholic card. If you can't successfully debate your opponents, you can always fall back and call them Catholics. By the way, "Agustus" sounds pretty ROMAN to me. You might want to take a look in the mirror buddy. Mind if I call you Gus for short? Growing up I had a dog named Gus. He was a cool little schnauzer. He could urinate on command. That chubby chocolate eating kid from Willy Wonka was also named "Agustus". That movie is one of my favorites. The Gene Wilder one, not the lame Johnny Depp one. Favorite Augustus line: "I feel very sorry for Wonka. It's gonna cost him a fortune in fudge!"

John Owen: Who would have thought that our church would ever have given entertainment to these Belgic semi-Pelagians, who have cast dirt upon the faces and raked up the ashes of all those great and pious souls whom God magnified, in using as his instruments to reform his church; to the least of which the whole troop of Arminians shall never make themselves equal, though they swell till they break?

But Gus said that the Arminians were dug from the pit of Rome. Now you think that they're entertained dirt casting Belgic semi-Pelagians? What the hey? Arminius was DUTCH, not Belgic. Belgic = Catholic. I hope you're not trying to play the Catholic card again. To help you remember the difference between Belgium and Holland, try memorizing the following: "If it ain't Dutch, it ain't much." Or here's another: "Remonstrants, common sense." Or you can simply visualize a windmill. At any rate, at least Arminius wasn't French. No pious souls have ever come from France. Well, there was Joan of Arc. But she was Catholic AND a female leader - no doubt that's two strikes in your book.

Christopher Ness: Lest this overflowing deluge of Arminianism should bring destruction upon us, there is great need that some servants of Christ should run to stop the further spreading of this plague and leprosy.

I like the word "deluge". It looks like "fudge" and makes me hungry for chocolate. Anyway, you're forgetting your theology again dude. Leprous Arminianism was decreed by God for his glory. Who are you oh man to talk back to the overflowing deluge? Besides, if someone tried to run and stop it, that would be a WORK, and that would give him something to boast about. Not to mention that he would get all wet. Also, I like your last name. It reminds me of Nessie.

Charles Spurgeon: And what is the heresy of Arminianism but the addition of something to the work of the Redeemer? Every heresy, if brought to the touchstone, will discover itself here. I have my own private opinion that there is no such thing as preaching Christ and Him crucified, unless we preach what nowadays is called Calvinism. It is a nickname to call it Calvinism; Calvinism is the gospel, and nothing else.

Can I call you Chuck? You're right, the work of the Redeemer is nothing without the the gratuitous addition of exhaustive determinism. And don't even get me going about those heretical Arminians, a bunch of tramps and thieves - the whole lot of them. As a side note, your own private opinion isn't private anymore if you put it into print. And what does Touchstone have to do with anything? Touchstone is just the front for Disney's R-rated movies. I fail to see how that is relevant. Oh wait...R-minian. I get it. Cute word play there Chuck.

John Piper: Here’s my rule of thumb: the more responsible a person is to shape the thoughts of others about God, the less Arminianism should be tolerated. Therefore church members should not be excommunicated for this view but elders and pastors and seminary and college teachers should be expected to hold the more fully biblical view of grace.

Whew, I had a scare there for a second. Glad I'm just a lowly church member! That means that you have to tolerate me. I'll stick to warming pews so that you can't kick me out. Don't worry, I won't do something rash like become an elder. Don't tell Chuck, but I have my own private opinion that we should run off the Supralapsarians. By the way, since y'all live in the same town, you should stop and have coffee some time with Greg Boyd. It could be a teaching moment, as Obama likes to say. You could discuss something interesting, like whether or not God decreed the Minnesota bridge collapse.

R.C. Sproul: I agree with Packer and Johnston that Arminianism contains un-Christian elements in it and that their view of the relationship between faith and regeneration is fundamentally un-Christian. Is this error so egregious that it is fatal to salvation? People often ask if I believe Arminians are Christians? I usually answer, "Yes, barely." They are Christians by what we call a felicitous inconsistency.

I'm curious, what does R.C. stand for? I'm guessing that it doesn't stand for Roman Catholic. Maybe Remote Control? "Remote Control Sproul" has a very nice flow to it, plus it is consistent with your theology. Whatever R.C stands for, it makes me thirsty for a cola. Back to the subject at hand. Weren't the egregious un-Christian elements of Arminianism decreed by God? And since your answer must be 'yes', I want to know was what was God thinking of when he came up with that particular felicitous inconsistency? Can you answer that without referring to Deut 29:29? Another thing I'm wondering about: how can anything be fatal to a fatalist?

John MacArthur: The question comes, “Can somebody who holds an Arminian view be a Christian?” And I would hate to say they couldn’t be. I really believe that it is possible to be Arminian and to be a Christian…to misunderstand your human capability, to misunderstand the election, to misunderstand the extent of the atonement, even to misunderstand the irresistible nature of God’s saving grace, and even to think you could lose your salvation. But, at the same time--while being confused or ignorant of those things--to know that you’re a sinner and know that the only way of salvation is through Jesus Christ. I guess you could say that someone could be an Arminian and push those points far enough, where they could jeopardize my confidence that they really are a Christian. You could push the point of not being totally depraved far enough where you’re actually being saved by your own works, by your own belief, by your own ingenuity, by your own self-induced faith. And you could get to the point where you could really wonder whether someone understands that it’s all a work of God.

Uh oh, the last thing I want to do is jeopardize your confidence, John. I'm probably going to lose some self-induced sleep over that one. By the way, it almost sounds like you think that Arminians can lose their salvation by thinking that they can lose their salvation. Now THAT would be a felicitous inconsistency.

C Matthew McMahon: Arminianism is not something hidden under a stone, but lives in full view, and in direct opposition, to the Gospel. It is a deceiving doctrine of demons wrought up from the pit of hell, where, in the consummation of the age, it will be cast for all eternity with the devil that spawned it and the false teachers who propagated it.

Devil spawned doctrine of demons huh? Tell me how you really feel C Matthew. Hmm, what does C stand for? Catholic? Sorry, redundant joke. Do you know how you can easily recognize demons? They're the ones who like to burn human beings at the stake. By the way, are you any relation to Ed or Jim? Naw, probably not, they're a lot nicer. And how did a hyper-Calvinist get on this list? Oh well, what's done is done. Que sera sera I always say.

22 comments:

DonaldH said...

I love the humor..But am I sickened by those claims. Even when I used to read Sproul and MacArthur I had never heard those quotes.

When I used to consider myself a moderate calvinist I never held that view.

It's the air of superiority, this more intelligent-than-thou that helped lead me right out of that sordid camp.

It's actually sad. But these supposed great scholars, great expositors, beloved teachers have the audicity to call christians barely saved, heretics, hard pressed to say they are christians.

Yet they obscure simple verses of the bible like John 3:16 or 1 Timothy 4:10.

Okay I'm barely saved, but I know the simple truths of scripture, that whosever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. And that the word world means what it means, as well as the word all.

Bob Brewer said...

Kevin,

Your ability to lightly and humorously interact with such disparaging remarks is refreshing and entertaining.

What troubles me the most is the fact that many Calvinist's claim either explicitly or implicitly that Calvinism is the gospel. Are not these men in danger of adding to the gospel?

Kevin Jackson said...

Thanks for the comments guys. Joking around only gets me so far, but it's better than getting all worked up.

Donald, very true. I think the C "air of superiority" is really a type of pride. Which is ironic, because C's frequently charge A's with pride. :)

Bob, I think C adds determinism to the Gospel. Or put another way, it makes determinism the Gospel.

Godismyjudge said...

Here's another:

Luther (Bondage of the Will):Where is the God by nature most merciful? Where is He who "willeth not the death of a sinner?" Has He then created us for this purpose only, that He might delight Himself in the torments of men? And many things of the same kind, which will be howled forth by the damned in hell to all eternity.

http://www.truecovenanter.com/truelutheran/luther_bow.html#conc

I ain't laughing!

God be with you,
Dan

bossmanham said...

Funny stuff, Kevin, lol. Is this in response to what the Triabloguers posted from the Wesley brothers?

Kevin Jackson said...

Hi Dan, wow, I hadn't heard that one. Luther was way out there sometimes.

Brennon, No reference to Triablogue. I don't visit that site anymore. They act too much like the people quoted above. :)

The Wesley brothers were very hard on Calvinism, that is true. Like the quote that Calvinist doctrine makes God worse than the devil. The distinction I see is that the Wesleys were hard on the Calvinist doctrine and gracious to Calvinists themselves.

On the flip side, Calvinists often make it personal. In the case of the Wesley brothers, it's interesting to read Toplady's stuff against them. You can feel his personal hatred of the Wesleys. He had it out for them.

On the other hand, Whitefield deserves props. He was a very kind and gracious person.

The Seeking Disciple said...

Wow! You did your homework for those quotes. Great stuff. I have seen many of them but loved your commentary on them. How sad that you were being funny while they were being dead serious.

Jnorm888 said...

Thanks for posting this








Jnorm888

Kevin Jackson said...

Thanks Roy and Jnorm.

Mr. Guthrie said...

Spurgeon was actually saved in an Arminian church. On his way to church a snow storm prevented him from reaching his destination. So he entered the first church he came to which turned out to be a Primitive Methodist Church. The sermon was preached by an uneducated layman. It was then that Spurgeon first really understood the Gospel and became a disciple. See:http://www.christianitytoday.com/ch/1991/issue29/2908.html?start=3
Personally I think Spurgeon knew better concerning Arminianism but was loyal to Calvinism because of his family background and religious instruction.

Kevin Jackson said...

Mr. Guthrie, I didn't know that about Spurgeon, very interesting. There's a lot to admire about him. He was no doubt a gifted preacher used by God. He seems to be to have been a reluctant and inconsistent Calvinist - which is a good thing. :)

J.C. Thibodaux said...

Awesome post and commentary Kevin! These guys put the crazy fun into crazed fundamentalism!

Kevin Jackson said...

Without crazy and fun you're left with just mental. :)

A.M. Mallett said...

Absolutely great! That made my evening.
Thanks!

Kevin Jackson said...

Thanks AM, glad you enjoyed it.

Chris said...

Thanks Kevin for posting this. I do get troubled by the sort of remarks made by MacArthur, Sproul, Spurgeon etc. They are slanderous and arrogant. Such attitudes are nworthy of a servant of Christ and it is no way to treat brothers who happen to disagree with you.

Let us be better than this when opposing their point of view.

By the way I've posted more on Spurgeon's "Eloquent Hogwash" on my blog.

Tony-Allen said...

When Calvinist apologists starting calling their beliefs "Biblical Christianity" and anything else "un-Christian," I generally get turned off. I do have Calvinist friends who sincerely believe that it doesn't matter, and I wish some of their leaders had such humbled and less schismatic views.

Skarlet said...

Very enjoyable blog. I have often come across the disparagement of Arminians (or anyone who disagrees) by calvinists. Sometimes it's more subtle, and sometimes it isn't, but more often than not there is an attitude among them. Because of it, I have never had any shortage of calvinist quotes similar to these ones you posted. It was refreshing to hear your humorous commentary on them.

Anonymous said...

This post is genius. It's funny. But on a more serious note, when I'm really sad (or crying) because of mean things that Calvinists actually do say to me, I read this and it makes me take what they say less seriously.

Kevin Jackson said...

Glad you enjoyed it anonymous. Sometimes making light is the best thing to do. :)

qsmith90 said...

I find it amusing that mr. guthrie said that spurgeon was calvinist because his family was. this is not ture. in john pipers book the pleasures of God chapter 6 it gives an account of charles spurgeon belief in election and how it came about. do i myself consider either calvinism or arminianism heresy... NO, but i do believe in Election by God's choice and not our own. we have no choice because sin corrupts us so much that our free will only choses evil. so we have no way of chosing anything righteous. i just find it intreesting that armminians belive in losing your salvation... can someone explain that to me. i believe christ blood is unremovable AMEN!!! if you have felt like you lost your salvation, you are either given to a reprobate mind or you were not genuine in the first place. all in all the goal of a beliver (weather you are arminian or calvinist) is to glorify God and to evangelize the world.

Kevin Jackson said...

Qsmith, thanks for stopping by.

There are some Arminians who believe it is impossible to forfeit salvation, we are not all decided on the matter (although I am) Check out OSAS Arminian for more on this view.

I believe that believers are elected in Christ. The Father chose Christ before the foundation of the world. Christ is the elect one. We are saved in Him. Those who trust in Christ are saved and are corporately elected in Him. If we cease to trust in Christ, we no longer have grounds to be saved. Thus, one cannot "lose" salvation, but one can deliberately forfeit it by ceasing to trust in Christ. It is only in Him and through Him that we have eternal life.