This week I've been re-thinking my Calvinism, I am listening right now to a sermon by Mark Driscoll on Limited vs. Unlimited Atonement. This might be nit-picky but I just am frustrated with him a bit these days.
First of all he keeps saying 'James Arminius' but it's Jacobus Arminius and he talks about Pelagianism and how he says that Augustine is a hero who proved it is wrong. But why do reformed people always quote Augustine and fail to accept all of his theology. For example he believes in Free Will, something all good Calvinists deny. He also believed and advocated at church councils that the Deutero-canonical books (Apocrypha) was the inspired word of God. And arguably (though a good case can be made) he believed in the bible only because the church authorized it and believed in the supremacy of Rome. The famous misquote (but still retaining the intention) of Augustine is after all "Rome has spoken, the case is closed".
I think I'm just tired of the way people prooftext certain thinkers and totally pull cafeteria theology. I do that, but I'm not preaching it to people. If I was a Methodist Pastor, I would preach what John Wesley said. I don't agree with Christian Perfection (I think it's heresy) but Wesley taught it, so I would. I just think that maybe if people have unique opinions they should be based on what the thinker actually said.
Look at this quote and try to guess who wrote it:
"It is a sweet and pious belief that the infusion of Mary's soul was effected without original sin; so that in the very infusion of her soul she was also purified from original sin and adorned with God's gifts, receiving a pure soul infused by God; thus from the first moment she began to live she was free from all sin."
That is a quote so Roman Catholic it makes me throw up a little in my mouth. And guess who said it. Maybe Brennan Manning? no too intelligent. Pope Benedict XVI? nope no Nazism, but MARTIN (effing) LUTHER. One and the same, founder of Protestantism believed that Mary was sinless. If Martin Luther were alive, he probably wouldn't be able to be ordained as a Lutheran...in his own denomination.
This is why Driscoll and everyone else makes me angry, they quote early Christians to pretend that their views are 'historic' but really if you think Augustine is the shit, be an Augustinian Catholic. Otherwise just be another fool who misquotes famous people.
I just find there are too many "all"'s in the bible if you know what I mean, to believe in limited atonement, and too many commands to obey for me to deny free will. So call me an Arminian - the worst of all slurs, but I'm just tired of the proof-texting and the Calvinist arrogance. And for the love of Wesley - there is a difference between foreknowledge and predestination... wow I really sound Arminian now.
However let it be noted that Driscoll does say you can be an Arminian and that most people believe it and that it's alright.
Finally Driscoll says Thomas Aquinas wrote one of the two most important books in all of Christianity, but Aquinas believes in merited salvation (though it is through God's grace - so really it's not super merited). So really he would disagree with Aquinas as well.
So finally we get to Calvin. Look at some of his quotes Calvin says "You cannot have God as your Father unless you have the Church as your mother". In a congregational (I'm assuming) church like Mars Hill, I doubt he holds to Calvin's authoritative view of the church. As well Calvin would punish by death heresy (anything other than his opinion) and I doubt that Driscoll cares that much about theology.
Furthermore I guess no one agrees with their denominations founder or whatever. And basically I have found that Arminianism and Calvinism both fail at answering these questions and fail at offering a full view of scripture, so in the end maybe everyone is wrong. Though I still haven't read on Molinism but I have a feeling I'll disagree with it too.