Thanks to Rev. Koole for his four-part critique of K.J. Stewart’s Ten Myths about Calvinism. Exposed is a common element of the diverse, loosely affiliated churches espousing “New Calvinism” (Pseudo-Calvinism?). Populism, or being “culturally relevant,” driven by the “success” status of church growth, is the common element. The method? “Watering down” the faith once delivered to the saints in such areas as the historicity of Genesis, the love and reverent worship of God as He has laid out in Commandments 1 to 4, the doctrine of hell, the Trinity, God’s absolute sovereignty, the sinfulness of homosexuality, the truth that Roman Catholicism is heretical, etc. The Reformation creeds, in their uncompromising seeking to faithfully, systematically summarize the whole counsel of God, get in the way—so they must be watered down or relegated to obscurity.
In Australia, “New-Calvinism” has gained “success” in a church world that by and large has no subscribed form of sound words. But it has also attracted some of our own members and been partly responsible for drawing some away.
Rev. Koole’s defense of “TULIP” is appreciated (Part 3 on 4/15/17). K.J. Stewart’s idea of removal of “Total” and “Limited” from Depravity and Atonement militates against historic biblical Presbyterianism, for example, Westminster Confession of Faith, Ch. 6:
S.2 By this sin they [our first parents] fell from their original righteousness, and communion with God, and so became dead in sin, and wholly defiled in all the faculties and parts of soul and body. S.4 From this original corruption, whereby we are utterly indisposed, disabled, and made opposite to all good, and wholly inclined to all evil, do proceed all actual transgressions.
What a slander on those 70 or so godly ministers from England and Scotland who met (at great personal cost to some) for three years at Westminster, to suggest that they got together and said something like, “We must ensure that Calvin is followed—Calvin’s view must be our view!” The reality? They swore, ”I, A. B., do seriously promise and vow, in the presence of Almighty God, that in this assembly, whereof I am a member, I will maintain nothing in point of doctrine, but what I believe to be most agreeable to the Word of God; nor in point of discipline, but what may make most for God’s glory, and the peace and good of his church.”
On this matter of “Total” the Word of God does not equivocate,: “…God saw…that every imagination of the thought of his [man’s] heart was only evil continually”; Psalm 51:5, “Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me”; , “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?”; , “And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;”—and much more. Likewise the scriptural basis for “Limited” is clear; and so the statements of the great Reformed creeds are also quite clear in holding forth Limited Atonement.
Peter Torlach, Elder
Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Australia