Kingdoms: Duane W.H. Arnold, PhD

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115 Responses

  1. Xenia says:

    A good article, Duane.

    Can we trace this attitude back to the foundation of our nation? The “Ain’t nobody gonna tell me what to do” attitude of the Declaration of Independence with its emphasis on a type of unlimited personal freedom that has devolved into a self-serving selfishness where everyone is under the delusion they have unlimited rights.

  2. Gabby says:

    Thank you for writing this. I tried to watch some of the Jericho March, and could only get through about 20 minutes before I had to give up. What made that event most difficult for me was the fact that many people I know back home would have watched that same event and would have had no concerns about what was said. The most jarring comment that I heard was Metaxas’s description of Trump flying over the crowd (paraphrase): “Praise God! God bless America! That’s not the Messiah, it’s just the President in his helicopter!” (As if it would be hard to distinguish between the slain Lamb of God and Donald Trump…). This is certainly an apocalyptic time – a time of revealing what has festered underneath the surface for many years. Lord, have mercy on us.

  3. Michael says:

    Xenia,

    I think that attitude started in a Garden…never thought about that before now…

  4. Michael says:

    Thank you, Gabby…well said!

  5. Duane Arnold says:

    Xenia

    Many thanks. It may be a foundational issue as you suggest (unlimited rights) or it may be the other foundational issue of race and slavery. Retaining slavery on the basis of race (“race” only being defined in 1775 in Germany) the ⅗ personhood of slaves in the South, the broken promises following the Civil War, etc., right through to the present day… we still don’t have a sense of national reconciliation…

  6. Bride of Christ says:

    This has clearly become a case of conservative Republicans Christians using the Gospel to further their own purely political agendas. They clearly are no longer being witnesses for Christ, but care only about their own worldly power. I am reminded of the Spanish Inquisition, and I wonder if this slippery slope will lead to similar horrors ” in Christ’s name”. These so-called Christians seem to have decided that the ends justified the means. They want to tear down our great country and hundreds of years of tradition handed down by our forefathers in their efforts to keep Trump, who they have chosen as their king, in power. They are destroying the guard rails put in place by the founding fathers of out great nation for our nation’s protection. How can they call themselves conservatives when they have no interest in conserving the very values our nation was founded on? Republicans can never again claim to be ‘the law,and order party “.

  7. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I don’t know about anyone else but my faith was not present or represented out there.

    I had a FB friend on a bit of a rant saying he was embarrassed that they were representing his faith. I asked him what he witnessed that represented his actual faith? He didn’t reply.

  8. Duane Arnold says:

    B of C

    You’re right, the desire for power is seductive and justifies all…

  9. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Actually I think I will be more offended next week by the way the majority of Americans who claim to be Christians will celebrate Christmas with eating, feasting, and football watching with no acknowledgment at all of the Christ.

    I will also be embarrassed / offended by the number of churches that shutter their doors on Christmas (non Covid years especially) – but remained closed in recognition of “family time” – as if families in church on Christmas morning would be anathema.

  10. prodinov says:

    I am in the throes on finishing a history book on “manifest destiny” by President Polk as the US moved westward. Frightening. The identical representations made to Americans, especially those living in Missouri to bear arms and assist our county as we claimed our manifest destiny against both the Mexicans and Native Americans is tit for tat on exactly what i am seeing now….and President Polk used the preachers at that time to incite patriotism and support….

  11. prodinov says:

    sorry, the book was not by President Polk but featured him throughout the book…my bad….was typing to fast….

  12. bob1 says:

    I read an article about burning Asbury UMC’s “BLM” flags with disgust.

    How very shameful.

    Are the “Proud Boys” professing Christians? I hope not. If they’re not, I certainly hope they will be…but this behavior is anti-Christ in nature.

  13. MLD, I think it’s great that your church gathers on Christmas. But I don’t think churches that don’t gather on Christmas Day deserve to scorned. Throughout December our church offers all sorts of Christ-honoring events and activities, right up to our December 25 Christmas Eve service. We are glad to have the people of our flock gather as “little churches” in their homes on December 25. We trust they will figure out how to make sure Jesus’ birth is acknowledged.

    As to the original post, I’m no fan of most Christian marches in D.C. My perspective is the church is to quietly minister within the body of Christ as well as the greater community. Events such as the Jericho March are pretty much grandstanding. I’m sure some who participate are well-meaning. It’s just not how I see the world be turned upside down for Christ.

  14. Edit to above post: “December 24 Christmas Eve Service”

  15. Duane Arnold says:

    bob1

    Most of the white supremacist groups claim some sort of “Christian” basis…

  16. Duane Arnold says:

    PH

    “Events such as the Jericho March are pretty much grandstanding.” From what I heard on the day, there is a much darker side involved in these events…

  17. josh hamrick says:

    “Are the “Proud Boys” professing Christians? ”

    No. Nor are they necessarily white supremacist. They are conservative, pro-western culture, pro-masculinity. I am sure that some of them claim Christianity, and some of them I’m sure, are racists.

  18. bob1 says:

    Thanks Josh and Duane.

    It appears that the Proud Boys condone violence, at least from several news reports I’ve been reading about what happened in DC after the Jericho March. Looks like they were the ones who burned the BLM flag at the black church and chanted obscenities.

  19. Duane, I’ll admit my knowledge of the JM is quite cursory. They don’t represent my tribe, thus they fail to capture my imagination or time.

    I’m am glad for free speech. Even speech I don’t agree with. I’d prefer to know where people stand.

  20. Duane Arnold says:

    PH

    As Maya Angelou says, “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.”

  21. josh hamrick says:

    “It appears that the Proud Boys condone violence”

    I don’t know the official stance, but violence always follows them. Their idea of masculinity seems to be a guy who likes to use his fists. I was friends in high school with a guy who is now leader of a local chapter. It is the lamest stuff imaginable.

  22. Bride of Christ says:

    Barr has resigned, just minutes after the electoral college tallied enough votes to make Joe Biden America’s official ‘ President Elect”. I read that Barr’s resignation letter was effusive and full of praise for Trump. I can’t help but think of King Henry the 8th, who beheaded so many of his former wives and colleagues. My husband and I ate streaming a historical series about King Henry the 8th, and it has inspired me to fact check the narratives and read the actual historical records. Nearly every colleague that King Henry beheaded declared their loyalty to the king and praised his many accomplishments right before the executioner took their heads. The historical records claim that these poor souls feared for their children, wives, and friends after they were gone and they were still currying King Henry’s favor in the last few moments if their lives.

  23. bob1 says:

    Found this about the Proud Boys. I’m starting to think Josh’s comment that “violence always follows them” might be a massive understatement. Looks like they’re the ones acting violently.

    “For years, the Proud Boys have angrily resisted critics who say the group is racist, claiming instead to be for “Western chauvinism.” Before the heat got to him and he quit, Proud Boys founder (and onetime Vice co-founder) Gavin McInnes described the group as being “alt-right without the racism.”

    The Boys’ insistence that they are absolutely, definitely not a bunch of racists even led to ugly infighting when a splinter group broke off over the refusal of group leaders to commit to overtly white nationalist beliefs.

    But on one Saturday night in Washington, fueled by alcohol and rage over Donald Trump’s electoral defeat, the pretense that “Western chauvinism” is not a racist ideology collapsed.

    After hours of drinking and ginning themselves up, the Proud Boys stole Black Lives Matter flags and targeted counter-protesters who were gathered in Black Lives Matter Plaza. A group of Proud Boys dramatically lit a large Black Lives Matter flag on fire, while flashing the “OK” sign, which of late has been appropriated by racists as a “white power” symbol.

    Vandalism at two historically Black churches, Asbury United Methodist Church and Metropolitan A.M.E. Church, is being investigated as a hate crime. Four people were stabbed in altercations between the Proud Boys and counter-protesters.

    https://www.salon.com/2020/12/14/proud-boys-party-is-over-trump-fans-throw-tantrums-because-theyve-lost-more-than-an-election/

  24. Linn says:

    For years I thought Trump was a has-been, rich reality star who had married too many times. I could not believe how he absorbed most of the Republican Party. I think he and his minions could easily recruit a large part of the evangelical church to their cause. Trump has tapped into feelings of racism and resentment that many whites have been feeling for years. I don’t understand it, but I am concerned for the future.

  25. Duane Arnold says:

    Linn

    “…I am concerned for the future.”

    Yes. This is not going to simply disappear…

  26. filbertz says:

    Thanks for your continued engagement here and thoughtful contributions to this site. The tone of what appears to be the vast majority of our population has become increasingly strident, judgmental, and accusatory. I’m grieved by the actions of so many who claim the name of Christ. Yes, I believe dialogue and listening is needed and may provide a path forward, yet I fear most people aren’t in the space where curiosity for alternative narratives and an openness to adjust and accommodate are welcome or seen as necessary. Instead, people insist on venting, being heard, and dominating others. Few seem to be willing to listen & commit to understanding another. I’m increasingly discouraged by the lack of respectful exchange on this site, and the haste with which many assume, label, and disparage others. I appreciate that you represent a window into a broader world that many like me haven’t had access to before. I think much of what really ails us has little to do with a virus or our culture’s response to it. It has ripped the veneer off & exposed some pretty ugly innards. I’m not optimistic about the dynamics at work in our nation, but I still hold hope that God is at work in his people and will accomplish his purposes in & through them. That’s the kingdom I wish to be a part of.

  27. Duane Arnold says:

    filbertz

    Many thanks for your kind and thoughtful comment. I’ve always considered it a privilege to post articles on PhxP. Michael is not only a good friend, he is also a gifted teacher and theologian who is worthy of any support or help which I may be able to offer.

    “I’m increasingly discouraged by the lack of respectful exchange on this site, and the haste with which many assume, label, and disparage others.”

    Yes, I am as well. In the code of conduct for this site, ad hominem attacks are supposed to be off the table. Unfortunately, some seem not to have gotten the memo. There often times seems to be an attempt to tear down others in order to either make a specific point or to introduce an element of chaos into the discussion.

    More worrying to me is the lack of empathy for others that we have known, albeit digitally, for years. When we abandon simple human compassion in order to make a theological and/or political point, it seems to me that we have missed the point of the exercise. Bludgeoning is rarely an effective tool of persuasion, much less for growth in Christian discipleship which, after all, is really what any community of faith is supposed to be all about.

    I know that some view arguing online as some sort of sport… Unfortunately, in many cases it has become a blood sport in which people and relationships are irreparably harmed. It is hard for me to see any value in such behavior.

    Filbertz, like you, I long for another kingdom…

  28. Jean says:

    “As we have seen with certain groups on the fringe of the evangelical world, decision theology is easily transferred to charismatic church leaders in a cult-like form.”

    Duane,

    I’ve been thinking about this statement. I think that at the intersection of decision theology, dispensationalism, pentecostalism and Christian nationalism, there are 2 or 3 great dissertation topics for budding doctors of the church.

    One initial thought about decision theology, is that where that is theology is held, the task of the preacher is to elicit the right decision from the hearers. That has tremendous implications.

  29. CM says:

    I Left Dispensationalism Behind (pun intended).

  30. Muff Potter says:

    If America (in its advanced stages of decline) can be cast as another Rome on the world stage, the Proud Boys are surely the Huns.

  31. Duane Arnold says:

    Jean

    Yes, it could be a great topic for research, especially as decision theology seems to have its roots in the ability of the leader to persuade. You might wonder where grace fits in…

  32. josh hamrick says:

    “Decision Theology” is a term thrown around on this site often. Is there a standard accepted definition on this term? It is only used in the negative here, as far as I can see.

  33. josh hamrick says:

    By “decision Theology” do we mean synergism?

  34. Duane Arnold says:

    Josh

    Before we go down this particular rabbit hole, a question: Can a person persuade another person to make a decision to follow Christ? Or better: What is the role of human agency in conversion?

    I’m not sure that I’m satisfied with most of the so-called “answers” to either of the questions.

  35. josh hamrick says:

    My current answers would be 1. No, and 2. Passive, if any at all.

    But it is complicated, and I’m just not sure that there is anything really called Decision Theology.

    I’m curious what you guys mean when you say that.

  36. Jean says:

    Josh,

    In my neck of the woods, decision theology is prevalent and very easy to spot.

    The following conversation comes up routinely before a Bible study I’m in when people have an opportunity to request prayers for themselves or others:

    Requester: My neighbor Jim had a heart attack and is in the hospital (or My neighbor Jim died of a heart attack last night, I would like to ask for prayers for his family).

    One of the other men: Did Jim accept Christ or Has Jim accepted Christ? Not Was Jim a Christian or Was Jim baptized.

    Requester: Yes, I was with Jim last year where I was able to share the Gospel. We prayed together and Jim accepted Jesus has his lord and savior.

    Sometimes the conversations go a different way. If the person in question “accepted” Christ many years ago, then people may inquire about how Jim had or had not lived a godly life. This sort of moral analysis about Jim (and his attendance at church and other activities) seems directed at the question of whether Jim’s prior decision was sincere.

    I’m pretty sure I am not relating anything that you all haven’t seen or heard many times before. This is text book evangelicalism. When I was younger, people used to ask, “Was he born again.” Nowadays the question seems to be, at least around here, “Has he accepted Christ.”

  37. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Decision theology (in layman’s terms) – a person is presented with the “facts & benefits” about Jesus / Christianity and now the person has a decision to make – accept Jesus or invite Jesus into my heart.
    The bad part is that when someone does not accept it is believed by the witnessing party that the person needs more information – and they proceed to give more information.

  38. Duane Arnold says:

    Josh

    I think Jean is pretty close to my understanding of decision theology. I would simply add the human agency of persuasion and the response to that persuasion. It’s not strictly speaking “synergy”…

  39. CM says:

    Duane,

    To piggyback off of this: The human agency of persuasion is merely the carrier of the verbal/written/text/etc. of the Gospel message as elucidated in the Scriptures. The Holy Spirit does the work. Is this any different when Peter spoke in Acts and 3000 joined the church that day?

  40. josh hamrick says:

    “Decision theology (in layman’s terms)”
    Maybe that’s what I’m asking…is there anything other than layman’s terms? Is this a real theological category, or just a perjorative?

    When we say that, do we just mean “evangelical”?

  41. Duane Arnold says:

    Josh

    I don’t see it as pejorative but rather as descriptive. I think it covers a pretty wide range of evangelicals…

  42. Duane Arnold says:

    CM

    The question of human agency and its role is one that I’ve yet to find wholly satisfactory answers. Theologically, I want to say that it is all the work of the Holy Spirit. From experience and the study of history, I see that God uses individuals… Is it “either or” or “both and”?

  43. josh hamrick says:

    Maybe we mean “Manipulative Evangelism Tactics”?

  44. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Josh – Billy Graham type stuff – he even called his evangelistic messages The Hour of Decision.
    The 4 spiritual laws out of Campus Crusade for Christ called for a decision by the hearer – it even had a form in the back so you could write down the details of your decision.

  45. Em says:

    Don’t dismiss the foolishness of preaching. God uses it to save some……….

  46. Jean says:

    Just so that we have some concrete terms to analyze, I am going to quote from the current Baptist Faith and Message. In those words I capitalize, I detect decision theology:

    “Faith is the ACCEPTANCE of Jesus Christ and COMMITMENT of the entire personality to Him as Lord and Saviour.” This definition is markedly different than my tradition.

    “Election is the gracious purpose of God, according to which He regenerates, justifies, sanctifies, and glorifies sinners. It is consistent with the FREE AGENCY OF MAN, and comprehends all the means in connection with the end.” My tradition does not believe that man has free agency.

  47. Jean says:

    The words that my tradition use to define faith (from the Greek word, pistis) would be “trust” and “belief.”

  48. Michael says:

    I miss the days when I had certain answers to all these questions…but not much…

  49. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Em, God uses preaching to save all he is going to save – but the spoken word does the work – not my decision.
    So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ. Romans 10:17

  50. josh hamrick says:

    Gotcha – both MLD and Jean, and thanks for the clarification.

    i am then, certainly, a Decision Theologian. I don’t think it carries all the negative implications that you seem to think, but that’s OK.

    (of course, we use faith, trust, and belief as well…but all good.)

    Most of the SBC leadership are strict Monergists, reformed Baptists if you will. Double Predestination adherents. (not me, but them.) They all loudly affirm the BF &M, so still decision theologians…that’s interesting.

  51. josh hamrick says:

    “Em, God uses preaching to save all he is going to save – but the spoken word does the work – not my decision.”

    I, and all Southern Baptist of note, would agree with this.

  52. Jean says:

    The answer to the question, “Brothers, what shall we do?”, was there at the birth of Christ’s Church, and I assume it is of upmost importance to the church ever since. I think every parent and evangelist should care and have the answer to that question.

  53. josh hamrick says:

    “My tradition does not believe that man has free agency.”

    Also interesting. Mind-boggling, if you think about it.

  54. Jean says:

    I will quote one of a numerous amount of similar passages:

    “And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses,”

    How much free agency does a dead person have?

  55. josh hamrick says:

    “From experience and the study of history, I see that God uses individuals… Is it “either or” or “both and”?”

    At the risk of being someone’s heretic…I am working through the idea that it is all a matter of perspective. Certainly it was all God – His power, His intent – His ordination…but the recipient can only grasp it from his own perspective. From his view, depending upon his place in life at the time, he could perceive that he made his own choice in response to a dynamic preacher or something else. God was in control the whole time, it was God’s power that did the work, etc. The man was in the right place at the right time, according to God’s purpose.

    We see this illustrated in Elijah’s encounter with the Prophet’s of Baal. Elijah had no power over the fire that fell from the sky, that was all God. Elijah happened to be the guy standing there praying when the fire fell. Now, from Elijah’s perspective, he made many choices that led him to that position…woke up, prayed, walked to that location…ate lunch, whatever. All God’s power and all God’s doing, but to Elijah, it felt like he was cooperating in God’s purpose.

  56. josh hamrick says:

    No, I get it Jean. Double Predestination, pure fatalism. Understood.

  57. Michael says:

    Josh,

    @10:58 I think that’s as close as we can get to the truth…

  58. josh hamrick says:

    “In the end, Christian faith is about more than an obtuse set of doctrinal propositions. It is about who we are as people and how our faith is reflected in our lives. ”

    From the article, and Duane, I totally agree.

  59. josh hamrick says:

    Michael, in truth as you know, no man can fully grasp the ways of God. I appreciate all the efforts to do so in their faithfulness along the journey.

  60. Michael says:

    Josh,

    This is my heretical contribution for the day…all systems have some value in finding truth, but they all obscure the reality of the person of Jesus.
    I have become content with mystery and being unable to win blog debates in favor of knowing Christ more…

  61. josh hamrick says:

    “I have become content with mystery and being unable to win blog debates in favor of knowing Christ more…”

    Perhaps that station awaits further down the labyrinth. Looking forward to it.

  62. Michael says:

    Josh,

    I think the reason we have so many doctrinal divisions is because the Bible has enough paradoxical statements to support things seemingly contradictory.
    We can either choose one that feels right or just accept all the paradox and focus on the person and work of Christ.
    I don’t think either is sinful…I chose the one that draws me closer to Jesus.
    Your mileage may vary…and I’ll be more than ok with you if it does.

  63. Em says:

    Free agency? FWIW
    I once heard an example – not a bomb proof one – God knows who will respond to His invitation to His marriage supper and He sets the table accordingly. … Yet……
    There is a certain amount of mystery….. Omniscience IS a bit beyond our ken….. 🙆

  64. Em says:

    Michael @11:34
    Yes, thus we have the J Wits and that other group that knocks on our doors in order to “straighten us out “

  65. Duane Arnold says:

    Josh

    It is comfortable to have a “closed system” with all the questions answered. Yet, there are always (or at least there seem to be) anomalies and exceptions, which we have to twist into pretzels to make them fit into that system. I have certainty about the ecumenical creeds. I have certainty about the centrality of the Eucharist in Christian worship. I have certainty about the efficacy of Scripture. I have certainty about the Incarnation. How God uses all of this to redeem humanity is still, after all these years, a bit of a mystery… but it’s a mystery that I can embrace.

  66. Jean says:

    I hope that no one is saying that the Holy Spirit is an inept communicator.

  67. josh hamrick says:

    Jean – Do you perceive that someone here is saying that?

  68. Duane Arnold says:

    Jean

    Nope… but on occasion we can be inept receptors…

  69. Em says:

    An inept Holy Spirit? Now that is a strange perception. .
    However it IS holy and thus has no fellowship with unrighteousness. ……. 🙆

  70. josh hamrick says:

    I don’t see anyone saying anything like that. Wonder what spawned that comment? Hmm. Interesting, indeed.

  71. Jean says:

    Josh,

    The old fashioned way of debating theology would be to see what Scripture has to say on the topic. Let’s see if it’s clear or fuzzy or if it contradicts itself on the topic of human free agency.

    I can even start:

    “You did not choose me, but I chose you”. Does that support human free agency?

    Your turn.

    By the way, and I do not want to agitate anyone, is theology a good topic to discuss here? I prefer it over politics, but it has the same potential to upset people, so I want to tread lightly.

  72. josh hamrick says:

    I’m not upset, but verse against verse is not a good way to discuss theology. You believe the bible supports you view, and I disagree. I could counter each verse with another, and you’d never be convinced, nor will I. Because I have verses and you have verses.

    So just generally, not a verse battle..when (if) you sin, God caused that to happen? You had no choice in the matter?

  73. Jean says:

    The subject we began with is the free agency of man in salvation, not if God causes one to sin.

    Can you support man’s free agency to choose (or decide) their salvation? I’m not looking for human logic or human reason, but for whether God’s Word acknowledges man’s free agency to decide their salvation?

    My reading of Scripture says no. The Baptist Faith and Message says yes. You view is, to quote you, “mind-boggling.” Let’s find out why.

  74. Jean says:

    My last sentence at 1:09 pm is garbled. It should read: “You said my view is, to quote you, “mind-boggling.”

  75. josh hamrick says:

    Oh, then you misunderstood. No, I nor the BF & M thanks man has free agency to decide his own salvation.

    You did not clarify, just said that you believed man had no free agency.

  76. Jean says:

    Josh,

    The term “free agency” came up from a quote in the BF&M:

    “Election is the gracious purpose of God, according to which He regenerates, justifies, sanctifies, and glorifies sinners. It is consistent with the FREE AGENCY OF MAN, and comprehends all the means in connection with the end.”

    The topic is election to salvation. That was and is the context for my view that man has no free agency.

  77. josh hamrick says:

    Now I understand. Thanks for the clarification.

    Again, the sentence you quoted does not imply that man has free agency to choose his own salvation. The very next sentence speaks of God’s sovereignty over such matters.

  78. Anon says:

    Oh,boy!

    SCRIPTURE VERSES FIGHT!

    Can’t wait

    Just what we need here.

    SARCASM MODE OFF

  79. Jean says:

    Josh,
    I did find the BF&M talking out of both sides of its mouth a few times. I think it is very poorly written in a few different sections.

    Anon,
    I’m sorry that seeking God’s truth turns you off.

  80. josh hamrick says:

    Before we dig to much deeper into the BF &M, it was purposefully written by a committee including Calvinists and non-Calvinists so that both could affirm the whole statement.

    That said, all 6 of our Seminary presidents affirm it, and are Calvinists, as is our president, and the leader of the ELRC…and many, many more.

  81. Anon says:

    Jean,

    You can be such a sarcastic ass.

    Looks like your Lutheranism doesn’t affect your conduct.

    So, stick it.

  82. josh hamrick says:

    It’s cool Jean, Lutherans aren’t required to accept the BF & M 🙂

  83. josh hamrick says:

    Baptists aren’t required either, come to think of it.

  84. Jean says:

    Josh,

    In the early 19th Century, the king of Prussia, after watched Napoleon defeat Prussia earlier in that century, decided that Prussia needed to be unified. His way of going about unification was to unify the churches in Prussia, particularly the Reformed and Lutherans.

    The unification of doctrine and practice created a watered down amalgam that both sides could sign. The Confessional Lutherans resisted and many left Prussia, some for the USA.

    I mention this because trying to come up with a faith statement that is satisfactory to both Calvinists and non-Calvinists is, by nature, going to be a compromised document.

  85. josh hamrick says:

    Absolutely, it is a compromising document.

    But you have to remember what the SBC is. It’s not really a denomination. It is a group of churches who pool our money together for missions. That’s it. We say we will cooperate (accept money) from anyone who can affirm that statement.

    It is by design, totally bare-bones.

    The top level of SBC government is the local church.

  86. Jean says:

    Well, the SBC has the freedom to put out whatever they want. But I don’t see the value in creating a compromise document on the subject of Christian doctrine, especially without disclosure that it is a compromise of Calvinist and non-Calvinist theologians and one might asked why is it needed if the purpose of the convention is to pool money together?

    Also, why should a non-Calvinist donor give money to Calvinist missionaries or visa versa?

  87. Duane Arnold says:

    *As a side note, William III (Reformed) had a personal reason as his Queen, Louise, was Lutheran, therefore they never took communion together. Additionally, William admired the Book of Common Prayer, Anglican ceremonial and the state church status of the Church of England and wanted something like it in Prussia.

    Carry on…

  88. Jean says:

    Duane,

    I new about the Queen’s faith, but didn’t know about the King’s admiration for the Book of Common Prayer and Anglican ceremonial. Thank you for noting this.

  89. Duane Arnold says:

    Jean

    Also, the Church of England as a state church contained everything from Calvinists to Arminians to high churchman. William saw no reason for it not to work in Prussia…

  90. Jean says:

    Anon,

    Since Michael has forbidden my from using profanity on his blog, I will not be able to reciprocate in kind.

  91. CM says:

    Quote from the BCP along with the works of Shakespeare have carried down to the present day in many cases. The standard phrases in weddings and funerals we all know by heart and in books, movies, TV shows, etc. are drawn from the BCP.

  92. Jean says:

    Duane,

    I’m sure he didn’t.

    However, I would argue that it is not within the proper office of any king to authorize or mandate the faith and practice of the church.

  93. Duane Arnold says:

    *Side note… His son, William IV entered into an agreement with the Church of England for a joint Evangelical-Anglican bishopric in Jerusalem, which helped to fuel the Anglo-Catholic movement in England which objected on the grounds of apostolic succession…

  94. DH says:

    “How much free agency does a dead person have?” (for salvation)

    Calvinism none
    Arminianism none
    Lutheranism none

    Bible same as the Prodigal who was dead/lost because of his rebellion, not innate moral inability.

    If it is an innate moral inability to come to saving faith then what must transpire so the dead can respond?

  95. Duane Arnold says:

    Jean,

    BTW, the current head of the Church of England, by law, is Elizabeth II…

  96. Jean says:

    I’m aware of that Duane. It’s a real pity, though, IMO. The title of this thread is about kingdoms in the plural. I find no biblical support for the conflation or synthesis of the two kingdoms (or cities).

  97. Jean says:

    Thoughts?

    “The temporal government has laws which extend no further than to life and property and external affairs on earth, for God cannot and will not permit anyone but himself to rule over the soul. Therefore, where the temporal authority presumes to prescribe laws for the soul, it encroaches upon God’s government and only misleads souls and destroys them. We want to make this so clear that everyone will grasp it, and that our fine gentlemen, the princes and bishops, will see what fools they are when they seek to coerce the people with their laws and commandments into believing this or that.”

    Martin Luther, Temporal Authority, To What Extent Should It Be Obeyed (1523)

  98. Duane Arnold says:

    I’m not advocating…. just reporting. 😁

  99. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Calvinism is a strange bird. It’s not a denomination but more of a soteriological overlay that almost any protestant group can adapt to their theology. This cannot happen with Confessional Lutherans as the BOC specifically denounces Calvinism.

    The ELCA is in pulpit and altar fellowship with a couple of Calvinist groups – but to do so they had to deny subscription as theological truth and declare it solely as the historical documents of the church.

    Calvinists work hard at minimizing the differences and actually holding that Luther himself was a Calvinist – much of this is based on the Calvinist translation of Bondage of the Will by Packer.

  100. Duane Arnold says:

    It is one approach…

  101. josh hamrick says:

    “Also, why should a non-Calvinist donor give money to Calvinist missionaries or visa versa?”

    Because we don’t think it is a first order issue. We’ll argue about it, but we believe in freedom in those convictions. Those things you do see well-defined in the BFM are things we would consider first order. Deny the trinity or deity of Christ , we’re not gonna cooperate with you for missions.

  102. Michael says:

    “Calvinists work hard at minimizing the differences and actually holding that Luther himself was a Calvinist – much of this is based on the Calvinist translation of Bondage of the Will by Packer.”

    I was Reformed for a long time…and that is nonsense.

  103. Michael says:

    Anon,

    That was unnecessary.
    One person can curse here and that’s me.
    Period.

  104. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Michael,just because you were reformed for a long time does not mean you know. I have read several Calvinists who try to make the point Luther held to double predestination and a couple of other flawed points.
    Besides, you left Reformed behind.

  105. Em says:

    cursing? my late grandfather wouldn’t even allow a “darn” in his house… was a cowardly damn, he said. … then my grandmother always maintained that cursing betrayed a low I.Q….
    but there are times in life…

    no need for it here, though…

    Jean a sneering mule? never seen a sneering mule…. oh the rear end of one? that doesn’t sneer either…. LOL
    wouldn’t tell him to “stick it” as i suspect he’d know just where to aim and the “it” might be something you hadn’t planned on….

  106. Em says:

    I have a new great grandson named Calvin… don’t mess with that name, please 🙂

  107. CM says:

    Em,

    Does he have a stuffed animal that is named Hobbs?

  108. Em says:

    CM, he’s a big bruiser of a baby, but a cute stuffed animal named Hobbs? That would be great! One of my other grandsons has a new cutie of a ginger haired baby boy named Finn. What would be appropriate for him? Don’t say a fish. 😏

    It 6 am here and we really got dumped on last night – daughter’s waiting for the snow plow so she can get to work…

  109. CM says:

    Em,

    Make sure the stuffed animal is a stuffed tiger actually to be faithful to the comic strip of the same name.

  110. josh hamrick says:

    Em, congratulations on the great-grandson! I’m sure he is predestined for great things!

  111. josh hamrick says:

    “One might asked why is it needed if the purpose of the convention is to pool money together?”

    So that we know we aren’t funding Mormon or Lutheran missionaries.

  112. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Josh – I know you mean it in fun, but I don’t think your people would allow you to do missionary work with us as we are there to baptize people unto salvation.

  113. josh hamrick says:

    Didn’t mean it in fun. We wouldn’t cooperate in missions with Lutherans, Mormons, Satanists, Orthodox, Episcopalian. Anyone who doesn’t agree with the BF & M, to whatever extent. That in itself is not condemning, obviously, just that we wouldn’t be putting our money towards those efforts.

  114. Jean says:

    Josh,
    What you’re saying is that the SBC has standards. This is similar to how Lutherans look at Communion, which for us is at the center of the Gospel.

  115. josh hamrick says:

    Of course. Any group has standards of some sort.

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