Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Matt Slick vs. Shawn McCraney

Well, I will give Shawn McCraney credit for finally having a "Calvinist" on his show to give a fair response to his mocking diatribes against the Reformed "position".

Matt Slick was on "Heart of the Matter" tonight and gave a quite solid presentation regarding God's sovereignty and the Biblical doctrine of total depravity.  Matt cited many verses substantiating his points and I was impressed by his lively and focused manner.  I've never seen him before an audience and he is very good--instructive AND entertaining.  I would definitely recommend anyone to check it out who is interested in these kinds of engagements and this subject.  They are planning are doing some more shows on the various related issues which I am looking forward to. . . .


Shawn, as usual answered with his mocking exasperation argument where he cites a few random verses out of context and then mostly ends up citing himself as the authority, saying things like, "it doesn't make sense", "I don't see how" while straw-manning various supposed Reformed propositions.  I've heard his complaints (against the God of the Bible/"the God of Calvinism") many, many times before--it's the same old rant. . . . From atheists . . . humanists . . . wiccans . . . feminists . . . militant homosexuals . . . agnostics . . .. pagans . . . universalists . . . Satanists . . . and any number of God-hating, man-exalting unbelievers.  "What kind of God sends people He created to Hell?!" is basically it. . . . Which is why I'm not so sure Shawn IS a "brother" in Christ . . . as so many who've tried to reach him . . . seem so reticent to clarify.  He is a likable, humorous, charismatic guy . . . and I know it is not a small thing to call someone a heretic or, worse, a "wolf" among the flock . . . but I'm beginning to wonder what is the difference between Shawn's Jesus and the Mormon or Jehovah's Witness or New Age Jesus?  Okay, the details are different . . . but in the end IT'S A DIFFERENT JESUS just the same.

Why do "we" say that Mormons or JW's or Catholic's "aren't Christian" even though they claim to believe in "Jesus"? 

Because they teach a different Jesus than the one shown in the Bible.  They have added or detracted from The Word and created a God to suit themselves and thus cannot be considered "of the faith."

Well, how is what Shawn is doing any different?  Not because of his rejection of Reformed theology . . . but because of the leaning aggregate of all his errant assertions: "The doctrine of the Trinity is garbage",  . . . "the 2nd Coming has already happened" . . . "Christianity is totally subjective" . . . "Everyone will ultimately be saved/there is no eternal damnation" . . . "The Bible isn't really relevant for us today--it was written by and for those prior to 70 A.D." . . . "you can lose your salvation" and so on. . . .

If God is the author of the Bible, and Jesus is God . . . and Shawn teaches a growing body of doctrines that contradict orthodox Christian belief--at what point is he no longer believing and teaching "Christianity" . . . but something else instead, just as we say the cults and heretics do?

Does truth matter?  Or only "love" as Shawn defines it?  I would say it is un"loving" to be unconcerned with what is actually "the truth."  Why?  Because HE IS The Truth!  And to push aside "truth" in favor of "getting along" and "love" (as Shawn defines it) is simply to push aside the real JESUS, Who IS The Truth!  . . . for some personal conception or understanding of how a "loving God ought to behave."

Shawn begs the question (which is a fallacy) when he says that "all that matters is 'love'" because "God is love" . . . therefor the "God of Calvinism" CANNOT be the correct God since he is not "loving". 

Shawn pre-supposes that HIS definition of "love" is the Biblical/Godly definition and that a God Who is Sovereign, Holy and Just CANNOT also be perfectly "loving" as well.  "It makes no sense!" Shawn would argue.

But this is because he starts with his own reasoning and biases and preferences and tries to fit the Biblical God into that.  RATHER THAN, starting with God as He presents Himself in scripture and go from there! 

The Bible is clear.  God elects some and not others.  God makes some vessels for honor and some for dishonor . . . AND . . . God is love.  THEREFORE, whether it "makes sense" to me or Shawn or anyone or not is irrelevant.  Reasoning FROM scripture (instead of TO or into scripture) we can say that it is LOVING that God elects some and not others according to His good pleasure and counsel.

 GOD defines "love".  GOD is the standard for "love"--not Shawn McCraney!

But then, Shawn is worried that "Calvinism" is gaining in popularity.  He's concerned the up and coming "astute" of the next generation won't take well to it. . . .

And I say, since when did ANYONE in ANY generation take to the Gospel, astute or not?  The natural man hates God, hates the Gospel--it is an offense!  God forbid we continue to tailor Biblical doctrine and truths to appeal to the "astute" of this or any other generation.  The Gospel is "foolishness to the worldly-wise".  --1 Cor. 1:18

I'll tell you what "makes sense to me". . . . It is that he who has made an idol of himself and his own reasoning and hates the sovereignty of God, rails and mocks and jeers and wars against God ever still, as such always have and will continue to . . . until He finally puts them down . . . and every knee finally bows and every mouth confesses that HE is Lord . . . not "me".

1 comment:

Linda Ryan said...

Greetings Brother Thomas,

The terms believer, saint, Christian, are referenced as individuals in the plan of salvation. However, predestination, foreordination, and election, "the elect", the remnant, refers to the body of Christ as a whole, not individuals to salvation. There is such a thing as a "remnant believer" the believer is the individual belonging to the remnant body of Christ. However, it was salvation in this remnant body of Christ that was predestined, not the individuals themselves.. It was the remnant body that was foreordained "IN" Christ, not individual believers. If not; this would make the cross a mere secondary link in the chain of Salvation, thus diminishing Christ's finished works on the cross, His blood atonement, and placing HIM not at the center of the cosmos, but rather off to the side of the playing field and of secondary importance..

The election is the body of Christ, it is so important to know this, because they have maligned all the definition of words to the point of no recognition....No individual is an elect, only the body of Christ is elect. The only passage that says chosen before the foundation of the world refers to those who would make up the body of Christ. Why? Because Christ was the Lamb that was slain from the foundation of the world, decided by Magisterial decree in Geneses 3-15

The new-age Calvinists are compatibilists at times, but the truth is: compatibilists and their philosophies are flawed no matter how one tries to twist logic. I think all the different doctrines arise when the philosophies of men are mixed in with the pure word of God, because men have continually come up with new spins on interpreting scripture even from the inception of the church, and especially since Constantine and the RCC.

Such human philosophy came from Gnostic Manichaeism, then Augustine, then Luther & Calvin, and then to such as Finney, Spurgeon, and Pink,>on up to today’s mighty men of renown; such as Washer, McCarther, Piper, Sproul etc. Each placing their own twist of compatibility on this fable, while deriving at a mixed bag of nuts calling it doctrine. However, this is merely flawed reasoning.
In doing so, they truly have turned Psalm 51 into a Psalm of excuse rather than a Psalm of repentance. Once again this is not "logical". Jesus is the "Word" (Logos). He is God in the flesh of who is "logical". He gave us this very same reasoning ability; "come let us reason together” Isaiah 1-18> He said this to sinners. He is the light that lighteth “everyman” that cometh into the world, John 1-9 Is Jesus so foolish to call everyone to the wedding supper if some are not predestined to attend? Where is the “logos” in that mindset? And that men as sinners have no ability to reason His call? It makes no since, and is void of sound reasoning.
Calvinism has not a clue what "predestined" means. Peter said God has desired all to be saved. God gave us sound reasoning ability. That’s why the apostle Paul warned us so strongly to watch out, be careful, as to what you hear. God was speaking directly to sinners in Isaiah 1-18 when He said “come let us reason together”. Yes sinners can reason! It was divinely given to all men to do so. Otherwise God cannot justly command all men everywhere to repent and believe the gospel Acts 17-30. Yes, this is simple reasoning ability, all men have it. No “prevenient grace” is necessary. Titus 2-11 proves this to be true. The command to repent was not a mere suggestion by God. But a commandment. Can God command a man to do something he is not capable of? Nay, may God forbid such heresy!


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