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CALVIN ON THE ROPES
By

Douglas R. Shearer

Introduction by Doug Krieger

1From time to time it is imperative that this web site assert its theological priorities.  Believers are susceptible to unseen radiation that contaminates the truth—the protective ozone layer of theological exactitude is destroyed causing cancerous exposures upon the Body of Christ.

This is all the more recognizable within the sphere of eschatology—the study of end times.  The extremities of “Five Point Calvinism” have been, in the main, decisively aligned against the tenants of premillennialism—having embraced within its excess the failed but ever resilient socio-politico revivals of postmillennialism.

It is, therefore, of supreme importance for believers – and even the rank and file among the nations – to know this Reformation-Era disputation is neither inane nor irrelevant in today’s world.  I rather conjecture that most will find Shearer’s doctrinal deliberations a rather dry exercise having little to do with the real world; however, the stratosphere extends far and beyond the immediate troposphere but contains 90% of the atmosphere’s protective ozone, though few ascend to its heights.  You may not be aware of this exposure – but ignorance is no excuse to what makes the world what it is; and, they who bear the greater condemnation (i.e., the teachers among us), ought not to react cavalierly to so great an importance as this! 

That said, this metaphorical elucidation by George Bellows wherein it would appear, that Jack Dempsey – though knocked out of the ring by Argentine Luis Firpo on September 14, 1923 in New York City – will be pushed back, with the aid of reporters, into the ring to finish off Firpo in the second round.   Even so, will we ultimately witness the triumph of “sound doctrine” over the flurry of punches so powerful that they have knocked us Premillenialists out of the ring?  Thankfully, we who report these matters on the ringside are determine to push Dempsey back into the ring to finish off Calvin’s attempts to eliminate the true champion.

Five point Calvinism is NOT the final recourse to post-modern relativism

2Exposing the Calvinist nature of an indifferent God whose alleged harshness, void of mercy and love, is an inexplicable embarrassment embedded within the tulip fields of this theological rigidity.

What tragedy is this:  God’s mercy and man’s faith in the grand object of Life play but bit parts in the divine schematic?  Gone are the imperatives of preaching the gospel – for the Almighty has destined those to eternal damnation; therefore, the Testimony of Jesus and the prophetic witness of the Last Days is made of none effect. 

Finally, and conclusively, all traces of inner life and the inner workings of the cross of Christ, the transformation of the soul, the good fight of faith, the endurance and perseverance of the saints and, in sum, the overcomers within the churches, is made null and void as the God of Calvin transcends all expectations.

Now, we at the Tribnet do not sell anything – however, we do promote from time to time the acquisition of outstanding texts; this is one of those texts.  May the Lord bless this effort to broadcast His truth through biblically-based and enlightened readings which point God’s people to Christ and call sinners to repentance (Note:  The graphs and charts within the text make it mandatory and essential to the understanding of the reader; thence, if you can – please read the text and diligently study the graphics – every thinking believer would do well in this exercise.).

Likewise, every died-in-the-wool Calvinist should note that their citadel of theological virtue has within its framework the seeds of eschatological disintegration and destruction – Doug Shearer has brought premillennialism back into the ring for a final knockout punch; we do well to witness, comprehend and display the profundities within the struggle and its final outcome – to which, we most certainly exclaim:  TO GOD BE THE GLORY! - Doug Krieger

This book is highly recommended to both Dispensational Calvinists and Covenantal Calvinists as well as to Arminians, and also to all of those who do not see themselves in any of these categories for an honest evaluation of what the Book of Romans really says about God’s program for salvation and God’s program for Israel. - Dr. Arnold Fruchtenbaum, Ariel Ministries 

To the Reader –

3Ordinarily, I’d want to wait on getting this first volume out until completion of the others - carrying us through to the end of Romans; however, in this case I don’t believe it’s necessary - largely because an exegesis of the first three chapters of Romans invalidates so many of the proof-texts used by Calvinists in Romans 9-11, and conclusively proves that those three chapters are not about God’s sovereignty, but the unfettered nature of God’s mercy.  But even more importantly, I’m convinced that there’s an urgent need to get what I’ve completed into circulation - and that there’s a ready audience for it across a wide spectrum of evangelical Christianity - from Baptists to Pentecostals.

At the moment, there are two powerful trends developing within evangelicalism - and here I’m speaking as a pastor - both of which surfaced initially at the academic level, but today are spilling out into churches and generating a powerful impact there:

·        a pernicious postmodernism that demeans moral and intellectual certainty and presses for accommodation among competing "truths" - a postmodernism that’s now "institutionalizing" itself in the so-called "emerging churches" - some more so than others; and

·        a resurgent five point Calvinism - which, though wrong, nevertheless casts itself in opposition to postmodernism and, therefore, appeals to college Christians who are desperately looking for a spiritual and intellectual mooring - a mooring that will safeguard their beliefs from being swept into the sea of relativism that's engulfing so much of contemporary academic culture.

In short, the one, postmodernism and the relativism it’s producing among American intellectuals, has led to the other, a resurgence of five point Calvinism with all its rigor and internal consistency - along, of course, with its moral certainty.

In the past, five point Calvinists, though always scornful of
Arminianists, were willing to negotiate a modus vivendi with so-called four point Calvinists who, by and large, shied away from the harsher conclusions that flow so inexorably from "tulip." Now, however, they’re far less inclined to do so; they’ve been buoyed by a confidence they haven’t enjoyed for almost a hundred years and see little or no need any longer to rein in their disdain of four point Calvinists.

The resurgence of Five Point Calvinism has aroused my concern along several lines of thought - each of which is related to the other:

·        First, is the horrifying portrait it sketches of God - a deity who, as James Montgomery Boice reluctantly acknowledges, assigns human destinies with an apparent indifference that calls into question his compassion and love. It’s a portrait that Calvinists, try as they may, can’t soften - not at least on an intellectual level. And, indeed, if that were the portrait an accurate exegesis of the New Testament sketched, then that’s the portrait we’d be stuck with - regardless of how repulsive it might seem. Simply put, however, it’s not an accurate exegesis.

·        Second, Five Point Calvinism inevitably denigrates the Cross. For Calvinists, it’s election and reprobation that most vividly display God’s mercy and his wrath, meaning his hatred of sin. But that runs completely contrary to the whole corpus of the New Testament - which, in no uncertain terms, teaches that it’s the Cross, a single event occurring at a single point in time, that most vividly reveals God’s mercy and his wrath: (a) his mercy poured out on mankind, and (b) his wrath poured out on Christ.

·        Third, Five Point Calvinism, as we shall see, assigns both mercy and faith only bit roles in the drama of salvation. The featured role is reserved exclusively for God’s sovereignty; mercy and faith are little more than corollaries of God’s sovereignty and can boast no independent reality of their own. In light of the importance Paul gives both mercy and faith in the book of Romans, that’s an awfully hard pill to swallow.

·        Fourth, Five Point Calvinism makes evangelism superfluous - at least from an intellectual standpoint if not from an ethical one. For Calvinists, the drama of personal salvation is a fiction - because the outcome has already been determined. Yes, many Five Point Calvinists make a real effort to underscore the need for evangelism, but not because it will make any genuine difference in the lives of those they’re evangelizing, but only because it’s an all too obvious imperative woven into the fabric of the New Testament. That, however, begs the question, "Why would God send the church off on a wild-goose chase to evangelize the already chosen and the irrevocably damned?" It certainly seems a bit odd - to say the least; and strongly suggests, on the very face of it, that Calvinists have "got it wrong."

·        Finally, Five Point Calvinists, with a few exceptions, have never been on "friendly" terms with premillennialism. They have historically aligned themselves with postmillennialism - an eschatology that lends little if any legitimacy to the resurrected state of Israel and the continuing significance of the Jews as "the people of God."

It’s with all this in mind that I’m anxious to get this first volume into the hands of American evangelicals without waiting on completion of the remaining volumes - and at every possible level: congregants, pastors and academicians - but especially college students, the pool from which most of our future leaders will be drawn and also the segment of American evangelicals likely to be most influenced by postmodernism and Five Point Calvinism.

May God bless you as you read this study; and may he reveal his staggering mercy to you - and so claim you for the cause of Christ.

Doug Shearer

Please order the book from Amazon.com.

 

 

 
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