Monday, February 21, 2011

Unedited Preface of Next Book - "(Untitled)"

Below is the proposed preface of the book I am currently researching. The goal of the book is to present support to my skepticism of Calvinism and to build a case for the reasonable doubt of the Reformed Theological system. The preface begins now:
“I believe in the sovereignty and foreknowledge of God and man’s free will and responsibility to respond to God.”  - Galyn Wiemers
That statement is good enough for most Christians. They require no more information. There is no need to write this book or teach any deeper. Most believers will be ready to move on to other areas of Bible study, to practical theological questions and to issues that are relevant in the Christian life. Yet, if these Christians get caught off guard by the presentation of Calvinist doctrine they will defenselessly succumb. If the average Christian faces the strong hand of Calvinistic teaching in seminary, Bible school, from the pulpit in church or in the home Bible study they will have no other choice than to swallow this bitter pill due to the average church member’s lack of preparation in biblical understanding and church history and to their lack of ability to debate the illogical and defend orthodox Christian faith. Thus, the result is the conquering of America’s emotional, non-academic faith with a structured, cult-like presentation of a pseudo-intellectual understanding of scripture and the “mysteries” of God. Game over.

I write this book to prepare God’s people to have a defense, or, at least, some questions in their seminary, Bible school, church or study group when someone starts to explain “predestination,” “total depravity,” “dead in sin,” and “grace” while stringing them all together with words like “paradox” and “mystery.”  They can have this presentation also, and, because they have free will, they can decide for themselves.

I also write because other Christians want to know more about the issue of sovereignty vs. free will since they have already been hit by the Calvin train or they hear its whistle coming down the track.

I also write this book for, or against, the Calvinist who’s blood runs thick with T.U.L.I.P. and the Institutes. I know I will not change them, but I do want them to know I am here with a big stick and I have a vaccination for their doctrinal plague.

Before I go any further these presuppositions should be stated:
  1. I may be wrong in my conclusion, but I will present my evidence which I understand to by historically accurate, biblically supported, theologically orthodox and philosophically logical. At the very least, everyone should understand why I have reasonable doubt concerning the doctrines of Calvinism.
  2. Calvinist should be free to believe what they want. I do not agree with Calvinism, but based on “Presupposition One” above, I can not be dogmatic. If a person wants to continue to investigate Calvinism or to embrace and believe Calvinism I must encourage them to continue. Even in my own Bible studies I allow this, as long as it is understood that I will also continue in my defense and presentation. I will meet suggestion with suggestion, teaching with teaching, history with history, quote with quote, scripture with scripture and the label “heretic” with the same proclamation returned with proof. This is not a threat, but a responsibility. Feel free, because I do. I will also respond to cooperation with cooperation, tolerance with tolerance, discussion with discussion and friendship with friendship.
Calvinism should not be allowed to make their unbiblical, illogical, anti-orthodox claims and then escape into the murky pseudo-academic world of “paradoxes,” “mysteries,” and the “sovereign mind of the eternal God.” Calvinism is surfacing and it must be answered. There must be a logical, historical, scriptural response.
“They must be silenced, because they are ruining whole households by teaching things they ought not to teach.” – Titus 1:11
I am not saying a Calvinist is not a believer simply because they adhere to this false notion (although, it is possible). I can not historically say Calvinist can not have a positive effect on church history. Jonathon Edwards would prove me wrong if I did. But, neither can a man like Jonathon Edwards be used as proof that Calvinism is correct. I remember the first time as a youth seeing my baseball hero Willie Mays smoking a cigarette in the tunnel to the locker room behind the dugout between innings. Willie Mays was one of the greatest (and, my favorite) baseball player of all time. But, this was in spite of the fact he smoked between innings. I could mention Babe Ruth who over drank, over ate and under trained on his way to becoming the greatest sports legend in American history. The Babe did this in spite of his bad habits. So it is with Calvinist. Some of the people I know, some of the people I study and read, some of the people who made the USA great were Calvinist. Calvinist have made positive impacts on Church history in spite of their bad doctrine just like baseball players can smoke and drink their way to Cooperstown.  Effective Christians can hold a warped view of the sovereignty of God and embrace an abusive view of man’s free will and still advance the cause of Christ. As Paul says:
“But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice.” – Philippians 1:18
In my understanding Christ can be preached without having to defend or disprove Calvinism. Some are presenting the gospel to God’s elect others are trying to win men’s hearts by presenting the gospel. The results are the same, I believe – men  come to God through Christ. We labor together. What follows may present a challenge. I also understand that part of the Christian responsibility is to grow in their faith and in their understanding of God. This is where we will eventually, at some point, move in different directions. It seems the Calvinists feel a quicker need to introduce their views of election, predestination, etc. much, much quicker than they introduce other concepts of the faith because so much of their personal theology (soteriology, ecclesiology, eschatology, Christology, angelology, hamartiology, and the study of God himself) is directly effected by Calvin’s views concerning God’s sovereignty and man’s bondage to sin. And, so the theological battle begins, or continues, since it remains unresolved since the 1500’s (some would say the 400’s, but that is in this book.)

So, this book is my case why I do not worship at the altar of Calvinism and why it is possible that I may not even worship the same God as John Calvin. This book explains why, if pushed, I could say that Calvinism is a heresy.

Ultimately, after reading this book I hope to have at least shown why there is room for reasonable doubt concerning the “doctrines” of Calvinism, the basis of Reform Theology.

Galyn Wiemers
Generation Word

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