Dave Hunt Slays the Calvinist Doctrine of Unconditional Election

Dave Hunt is a favorite Christian author of mine, and the author of many books including What Love Is This? Hunt is also noted for the book Debating Calvinism in which he and ardent Calvinist defender James White go toe-to-toe on the doctrines of grace. Hunt writes in a manner making complex topics easy to understand. He does, however, like the KJV – but … I guess … I can forgive him for that. Below is Hunt’s response to a Calvinist question posed in The Berean Call in which unconditional election is inferred.

Calvinist’s Question

In your February 2001 Berean Call newsletter, you stated that a sovereign God does not overcome a person’s free will in regard to justification. But, if God has not irresistibly overcome my will, why did I believe in Christ and someone else didn’t? If I’m able to believe the gospel without God regenerating me first, couldn’t I take credit for believing and boast in heaven?

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When John Calvin Speaks, Do Calvinists Listen, Comprehend and Respond?

The more of John Calvin’s writings and teachings I see the less I like them. His emphasis as to sovereignty and predestination over love ought to tell us something about the man himself. But I’m not sure just what that is. I can’t imagine that he was a happy fellow and a delight to be around. I’m aghast how Calvinists can define the nature and character of God through the writings of Calvin – which makes God out to be arbitrary, capricious and devoid of love over all that God created. At least, that’s my take. I wonder if the (literally) years that Calvin spent isolated and alone while writing his Institutes of Religion brought about a sense of isolation and loneliness in which he imparted his own anger towards his fellow man and attributed that to God. Who knows? Below are some quotes I’ve compiled. That so many find truth within Calvin’s words and the subsequent doctrines aka TULIP somehow seems distressing.

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Does a Calvinist Have Assurance of Salvation?

Given the previous post where John Piper seems to be wondering whether he is saved, I thought it would be good to repost this article:

Every Calvinist I know believes that they’re part of Team Elect. But, interestingly enough, John Calvin writes in his Institutes of Religion 3.2.11 that God reveals himself not just to his elect, but also to the reprobate. Per Calvin, God instills within the reprobate a sense of God’s goodness and mercy to the point where the reprobate believes God loves him, has mercy for him and will save him However, the reprobate is only enlightened with a present and not eternal sense of grace. As such, any conviction the reprobate experiences doesn’t lead to salvation.

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John Piper: “No Christian Can Be Sure He’s a True Believer”

Really? John Piper actually said this in front of Steven Lawson and all those ardent Calvinists – and no one corrected Piper that per Calvinist doctrines God does the choosing unto salvation ‘unconditionally’ – meaning that actions and behaviors have nothing to do with it?

John Piper at the Ligonier National Conference in 200 said, “No Christian can be sure he is a true believer. Hence, there’s an ongoing need to be dedicated to the Lord and deny ourselves so that we might make it.”

What a horrible aspect of Piper’s Calvinism – being unsure of one’s salvation, sensing God is dangling the “carrot” of salvation only to pull the rug out from under you just before you depart to eternal destruction because you failed to deny yourself sufficiently that you “might make it”! Please! Is this Piper’s actual belief? Is Piper expressing concern as to the assurance of his own salvation?

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God’s Total Control = Pointless Prayer

I’m currently re-reading John Piper’s book, A Sweet and Bitter Providence and am reminded that Piper is a hard determinist. I’ll likely be posting some thoughts on something Piper calls “the sovereign bullet’ in the near future. In any event, Piper has previously made deterministic statements including:

  • God [has predetermined] every tiny detail in the universe such as dust particles in the air and all of our besetting sins [because] the Bible says, “The dice are thrown in the lap, and every decision is from the Lord.
  • [Everything] including evil is ordained by an infinitely holy and all-wise God to make the glory of Christ shine more brightly.
  • God [ensures that everyone] does what God ordains – even if it involves evil.
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Additional Thoughts on Unconditional Election

Calvinists often site Eph 1:4 as “proof” that God chosen certain individuals from “the foundation of the world”. As I looked at the wording of the verse, it occurred to me that if the prepositions are removed, then the verse essentially distills down to God deciding that we were to be holy and blameless before he created the world. Calvinists often site Eph 1:4 as “proof” that God chosen certain individuals from “the foundation of the world”. As I looked at the wording of the verse, it occurred to me that if the prepositions are removed, then the verse essentially distills down to God deciding that we were to be holy and blameless before he created the world.

Well, it didn’t take long before I was chided (albeit, gently) with the following comment: “Ummm, [the word] ‘to’ is also a preposition [and] if you remove all the prepositional phrases, [then there’s] no verse left! The idea that there is an end-result to God’s choice does not define in any way how God made the choice, or why God made the choice. [T]he basic facts we are left with are that 1) God chooses, and 2) those chosen will be made holy. [Eph 1:4] supports “Calvinistic” election more than it does not.”

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A Dozen Reasons People Leave Calvinism in Particular and Christian Faith in General

Just an observation … but in a Calvinistically leaning church I used to attend, the Sunday population has dwindled from around 500 (in two services) to less than 200 over the last seven or eight years. No doubt there are a number of reasons that people leave one church to start attending another. Or they stop going to church altogether.

COVID has certainly played a part in many people no longer attending church. Those people who left and haven’t returned due to COVID are perhaps the weakest of Christians.

I suspect many people stop going to church for ‘physical’ reasons such as being dissatisfied with the preaching, the music, the overall stage presence, the seating, children’s programs, how fresh the coffee is, the drive-time to church, how welcome they’re made to feel or any number of other similar reasons.

But I suspect that churches are primarily concerned with the ‘spiritual’ reasons as to why folks are leaving. And that’s what I’ve tried to compile below.

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Ardent Calvinist Arthur Pink Disowns Calvinistic Doctrines – John Calvin Turning Over in His Grave

Repent or Perish? Really? You actually said this?

After listening to the audio (noted below) … I’m calling this for what it is – “B as in B, S as in S” with respect to Calvinistic doctrines. If anything, Arthur Pink’s wording demonstrates absolutely nothing regarding Calvinist doctrine. Rather, this audio devotional presents the rightness of Arminianism as to one’s sin and the responsibility in owning up to one’s sin and asking God for forgiveness. If anything, Arthur Pink just made a mockery of Calvinistic doctrines!

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Salvation: It’s Our Choice – Just Not Our Doing

I am often frustrated with the Calvinistic overview that people bring nothing to the table as to salvation because no one disagrees with this concept. I have long used the analogy that we have to get ourselves to the table, but it is God who has prepared and will serve the feast. People have to be willing to be saved … at least that is my contention. Calvinists, on the other hand, are adamant that people can’t ‘locate’ the table much less realize that everything we need is on that table due to total depravity and unconditional election. That is, Calvinists believe people are so depraved that they are unable to seek out God. And therefore, Calvinists believe that it is God who must decide who will sit at the table and subsequently steer people toward the table.

I saw the below post on a FB forum. It makes so much logical sense and, to me, ties the apparently discordant scriptural references together into a cohesive and persuasive argument.

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Sometimes, It’s All That Makes Sense

There are times when I’m more confused and troubled as to what I believe with respect to Christian faith. Variance of thought amongst Christians as to beliefs, statements of faith, doctrines, creeds, tenants and constructs can lead to frustration and alienation. If nothing else, I find the simplicity of faith as indicated through the Apostles’ Creed refreshing.

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