A Courteous Contrararian

A Third Way (Predestination 0)

Written By: Jon Jaroszewski - Jan• 10•15

It’s time for me to stop dallying with silly football posts and start to address some of the ideas that made me want to start this blog in the first place. I want to deal with some places in our theologies and doctrines where we might have drawn some improper conclusions.

I know I might sound arrogant: the whole believing world has it wrong and I have it right. Let me offer the reason I think this may just be so. I am powerless and untaught. That sounds a little humbler, doesn’t it? But it is key. I believe God has molded and shaped me my entire life for just this task, and it is precisely because he has left me naive and powerless that I am suited for it.

Has I come to theology or a love of the Bible early in life, had I studied and gotten a degree and developed a specialization and an expertise, I would have naturally chosen positions I would have needed to defend.

Free will or predestination. Calvinism or Arminianism. Once we take a position it is hard to abandon it or grant any validity to the other side of the question. We all want to be right and we look for affirmation. Whether at church or online, we want to hang with those who believe like we do.

What I’m talking about here is power. Whether a Christian speaker, a theologian, a pastor, or a youth group leader, we adopt positions which we then need to defend. We defend them by teaching them to others. By influencing others we can justify our existence and augment our sense of purpose. Power in itself is not evil. It is human; understandable.

But the accumulation of powers, not by an individual necessarily, but by a group (let’s say 5 point Calvinists) can be a bad thing because it stops our brains in mid-process. The thoughts of such a group turn from seeking the truth and toward defending and amplifying their position. Such a Calvinist becomes unable to see the validity of certain Arminian arguments because they are so caught up in refuting them. And vice versa.

When our views become so entrenched, so calcified, they can stop us from seeing the truths of scripture even when they are plain to see. The point of this series then will be to point out a third way, a scriptural way, to view these debates. In fact, I think I will deal with Calvinism Vs. Arminianism first.

What will become apparent as we work through these controversies is that a third way makes sense, reconciles differences, and grants validity to all the arguments. All we need to do is stop looking at the Bible through preconceived notions.

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