Sunday, April 06, 2008

Give me that Old Testament Calvinism

Calvinism is synonymous with a strong view of the sovereignty of God. In a nutshell, Calvinism teaches that the bible teaches that God does all the enabling, and man is then responsible to live by faith. Often the Calvinistic apologist will use the New Testament to make their case, but there is plenty in the Old Testament that supports this uncompromising view of God's sovereignty.

For example, we have in Ezekiel:
22"Therefore say to the house of Israel, 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am going to do these things, but for the sake of my holy name, which you have profaned among the nations where you have gone. 23 I will show the holiness of my great name, which has been profaned among the nations, the name you have profaned among them. Then the nations will know that I am the LORD, declares the Sovereign LORD, when I show myself holy through you before their eyes. 24 " 'For I will take you out of the nations; I will gather you from all the countries and bring you back into your own land. 25 I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. 26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. 28 You will live in the land I gave your forefathers; you will be my people, and I will be your God. 29 I will save you from all your uncleanness. I will call for the grain and make it plentiful and will not bring famine upon you. 30 I will increase the fruit of the trees and the crops of the field, so that you will no longer suffer disgrace among the nations because of famine. 31 Then you will remember your evil ways and wicked deeds, and you will loathe yourselves for your sins and detestable practices. 32 I want you to know that I am not doing this for your sake, declares the Sovereign LORD. (Ez 36:22-32)

Let’s enumerate the action items, separated by the person responsible:

God will:
  1. Takes us from all nations.
  2. Sprinkle clean water upon us.
  3. Cleanse us from impurities and idols.
  4. Give us a heart of flesh, replacing a heart of stone.
  5. Put his spirit within us.
  6. Cause us to follow his decrees.
  7. Adopt us.
  8. Save us from our sins.
  9. Provide for us.

Man will:
  1. Remember his sins (repent.)

That's a pretty good deal. Especially when the sense of the passage is that God will do what He promises, and then man is expected to respond. Arminianism turns it around, and makes it: man will do his part, and then God will respond.
Interesting also is verse 32, where God says: I am doing this not for you, but for me.

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