Why doesn’t God present the Gospel so all will believe?

Came across an old post (2006) by Sam Storms today as I was drinking my coffee. Storms, a Calvinist and contributor to Parchment & Pen, notes that the two traditions – Calvinism and Arminianism – “share a considerable amount of common theological ground, even when it comes to the issue of salvation.”

In sum, the Wesleyan Arminian analysis of fallen human nature does not differ fundamentally from the Calvinistic one. So wherein do they differ? Why do Wesleyan Arminians affirm conditional election and Calvinists affirm that election is unconditional? The answer is what is called prevenient (or preventing) grace

Throughout the post Storms is fair and accurate in his presentation. He quotes from several Arminian theologians (Wesley, Oden, Thiessen) as he accurately describes prevenient grace as providing “people with the ability to choose or reject God.”

Presenting prevenient grace properly does not mean Storms agrees with it. As he sees it there are numerous problems. Most are rooted in suspending God’s sovereign work “on the will of man” and giving people a reason to boast about their part in salvation.

BruceAlmighty2

Continue reading

Is Faith a Gift?

Faith, we all know that without it we can’t please God, nor can we have eternal life. It is through faith that we are placed in Christ and it is in Him that we receive every spiritual blessing. But have you ever stopped to think about how you would describe faith?

Would you describe faith as a gift? Something that is given to you by God. Or would you understand it as an act in which you expressed your trust in God, convinced that He will fulfill all of His promises? Continue reading

A Faith that Stays on Target

he has reconciled you by his physical body through death to present you holy, without blemish, and blameless before him – if indeed you remain in the faith, established and firm, without shifting from the hope of the gospel

The letter to the Colossians is written by Paul to a community that he has not met. This community, addressed as the “the saints, the faithful brothers and sisters in Christ”, is being pulled toward adopting false philosophies through persuasive arguments (2:4,8), so Paul is writing to encourage them. In this letter, Paul is urging everyone to remain steadfast in Christ, who is first in all things (1:15-20), and endure in the faith (1:21-23).

But what is at stake for those who do not endure in their faith?

That is the question that is tackled in Grace, Salvation, & Discipleship (GSD). Continue reading