What is the Full Gospel according to Calvinism?

In an interview, posted in October on the Desiring God site, John Piper was asked:

Can an Arminian preach the gospel effectively — Christ and him crucified?

This question was prompted by Charles Spurgeon’s claim that “[t]here is no such thing as preaching Christ and Him crucified, unless we preach what nowadays is called Calvinism”.

Arminian’s do preach an effective gospel, affirms Piper, if by effective it is meant that there is “enough of gospel truth so that God is willing to use it to save sinners.” While admitting that an Arminian can preach an effective gospel, Piper underscores the point that they cannot preach a full gospel; only one that is defective and harmful.

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Can an Arminian preach the gospel fully?
Can an Arminian preach the gospel without implicit or explicit theological defects?
Can an Arminian preach the gospel without tendencies that lead the church in harmful directions?
Can an Arminian preach the gospel in the most Christ-exalting way?
And my answer to all those questions would be: No, they can’t.

Piper explains that when gospel truth is presented it can and often is stated in such a way that both an Arminian and a Calvinist would readily accept it.

However, he rightly notes that as one unpacks the terminology in that presentation that there would be a different “direction” or meaning behind many of the words and phrases that are used. Differences that, Piper notes “really do matter as people grow in faith.” Continue reading

Grace for All: John Wesley challenges Reformers on Reprobation

Just as Pinson examined the theology of Arminius Grace for All, Vic Reasoner explores the theology of John Wesley. Reasoner is the president of Southern Methodist College (link) and an author, having written a Wesleyan commentary on Romans (link).

415xXkjORGLReasoner starts off surveying the various scholars who have studied and interpreted John Wesley over the last 50+ years, highlighting Thomas Oden recently published 4 volume set that is considered “the first systematic exposition” of Wesley’s theology (amazon).

Reasoner, exploring numerous aspects of Wesleyan theology, starts off the affirming God’s sovereignty.

Wesleyan-Arminians affirm God’s sovereignty, but believe that God has the prerogative of not always exercising total sovereignty. Thus we have true libertarian freedom. Yet God never surrenders the consequences of our free choices to us. … God is so sovereign he can allow human rebellion, yet that rebellion does not thwart his ultimate purpose.

Continue reading