Why Calvinism Matters

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There is always debate surrounding Calvinism and Arminianism. Some wonder if the labels matter, if we should take strong stands on either side, if we should just let it go and pretend they aren’t there.

They do matter.

Often, the debate between these two surrounds salvation.

Calvinism holds that “if saved, always saved.” Arminianism tends to hold that one can lose their salvation.

Calvinism holds that God took the first step to rescue sinners, while Arminianism holds that we choose to follow Jesus and Jesus is excited when we pick his team.

For Revolution, we are on the Calvinist side of this discussion, but also believe (as most Calvinist do) that there is a choice we make. The Bible is clear that God chooses, elects, whatever word you want to use and takes the first step towards sinners (Romans 5:8; Ephesians 1:3 – 10), but there is also a choice we make (1 John 1:9).

What I think many miss in this discussion is this: Your view of God is affected by your view of salvation. 

For a Calvinist, God takes the first step. God loves you, chose you, rescued you from your sin before you knew you were a sinner. God was working behind the scenes of your life to draw to himself. God is sovereign, in control, nothing happens without his direction or permission.

This belief affects more than just salvation.

This affects how we view suffering, injustice, the hurt we experience and the graciousness of God in all things. It also shows the power of God to not only rescue us, but keep us in his hand so that we cannot lose our salvation.

To me, Calvinism is bigger than “did we choose God or did God choose us” and affects so much more.

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Cheap Kindle Books 8.27.13

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Here are some cheap kindle books. Not sure how long they’ll stay that way:

Links of the Week

  1. John Piper on TULIP. Many people have an opinion about the 5 points of Calvinism, what they mean and how that affects how you live. Piper explains them really well in this series.
  2. Will Mancini on 11 trends for churches in 2011. I always read what Will has to say on church and leadership, this list is no different.
  3. A missional way for the pro-life passion.
  4. Michael Wallenmeyer on Missional (and simple) church is unattractive to cultural Christians. We see this a lot of Revolution because of our goal of being simple and missional.
  5. Tony Morgan on 11 questions every church leader needs to ask. Some good stuff here, a gold mine of questions.
  6. Justin Holcomb on What the Bible says about sexual assault. He recently wrote a great book Rid of my Disgrace: Hope & Healing for Victims of Sexual Assault.
  7. Mary Kassian on the Church in a post-Feminist Era.
  8. Scott Thomas on Parenting Sons.
  9. Dave Bruskas on Parenting daughters.
  10. Mark Driscoll put out a free ebook on Genesis. How to read it, talk about it with kids. Looks great. It looks especially helpful for our next series at Revolution.
  11. 10 characteristics of a missional church.
  12. Jeff Vanderstelt on Leading your people on mission.
  13. Tullian Tchividjian on Gospel gold.

Links to Start the Week

  1. Dave Mathis on The fairy tale of Universalism.
  2. John Piper on How to say what you believe. Really helpful.
  3. George Barna on 6 huge themes emerging in churches from the year 2010. Really insightful research for pastors and leaders.
  4. Andy Stanley on Being a courageous pastor.
  5. 5 things you have to believe and know before you plant a church. If you are thinking about planting a church, this is a good gut check to look at.
  6. A free chapter from the book “For the fame of God’s name.” This book is so good. This chapter is called “Abortion is about God.”
  7. Recently, Tim Keller was interviewed on his book Generous Justice. I’ve nothing but amazing things about the book and it is getting closer and closer to the top of the pile. Here is part 1 and part 2 of the interview.
  8. A primer on reformed theology. This is a great list for those that are curious about reformed theology.
  9. Will Mancini on The 5 horizons of leadership and how to use them.

Links of the Week

  1. Stop hatin’ on other pastors & ministries. This is right on (for the most part). The only discrepency I have with Scott is when a pastor is leading people into heresy. You need to call that out, you don’t need to hate on them, but you do need to address it.  
  2. Pastors are bible guys. I am loving this series by Acts 29 on what a pastor/elder is. Pastors have to be bible guys, men need to be bible guys.
  3. Sam Rainer on church staffing in 2020. This is interesting, no idea if it will come true, but I definitely think some of it will happen.
  4. In America’s, Christian faith, a surprising comeback of rock-ribbed Calvinism is challenging the Jesus-is-your-buddy gospel of modern evangelism.
  5. The gospel and marriage.
  6. Donald Miller on 10 reasons pastors are important.