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Calvinism: Is it Biblical

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John Calvin Goes to Berkeley

 

John Calvin Goes to Berkeley

 

 

Group Discussion Questions

Download: JCGTB Group Study Guide.pdf

 

A great way to enjoy a book is to share it with friends. For advice on how to do so by forming a reading group, go to readinggroupchoices.com. Then download the “John Calvin Goes to Berkeley Group Study Guide” to the right and email it to some friends along with an invitation to discuss the book. The Study Guide provides questions about the characters, imagery, and theology of the book.

 

Please note: This study guide contains information which will spoil your reading of the story. Do not open the file until you have finished reading the book.

 

 

 

Inductive Bible Study Syllabus

Download: 25 Steps to Bible Knowledge.pdf

 

In Chapter Sixteen of John Calvin Goes to Berkeley, Michael Konrad presents a concept that becomes an important theme in the book. “If you study predestination within the context of the dispute between Calvinists and Arminians,” he tells Alex and his friends, “you’re going to be taking on a lot of theological baggage. Their assumptions will become your assumptions; their questions your questions. It can happen without you even realizing it.” Heeding his advice, the students gradually move away from a theological approach to the study of predestination and begin to study the Bible directly. After several false starts, they finally employ sound inductive Bible study methods and solve the mystery of predestination. For the reader who is unfamiliar with these methods and who would like to learn more about them, I offer my sixty-six page syllabus titled 25 Steps to Bible Knowledge. It provides an introduction to inductive Bible study using a book-by-book, verse-by-verse, clause-by-clause, and word-by-word approach.

 

 

 

Summary of Calvinism and Arminianism

Download: Calvinism & Arminianism Summarized.pdf

 

Studying predestination from a biblical perspective can be as difficult for us as it was for the characters in the book. We go to the Scriptures with good intentions, but we read it with preconceived ideas and definitions already in our minds that color our understanding of God’s Word. To counteract this, we must constantly discipline our thinking to allow the Scriptures to speak for themselves, to read the text in context, and to use those parts of Scripture which are clear and simple to explain those parts which are more difficult. We need to be constantly aware of our biases, lest they affect us without our realizing it.

           

To that end, I offer brief summaries of Calvinism and Arminianism that the reader might better understand the two most widely held viewpoints on predestination and the doctrines of salvation, their possible influence on his or her thinking, and possible misconceptions or biases he or she might have about these positions. The summary of Calvinism employs TULIP, a long-established mnemonic for remembering the main points of the Reformed doctrines of salvation. The summary of Arminianism uses PEACH , a mnemonic which I propose here for remembering the main points of Arminianism.

 

 

 

Summary of Author’s Beliefs

Download: This I Believe.pdf

 

In John Calvin Goes to Berkeley I present various theological viewpoints through the characters, some which I hold and consider biblically correct, others which I considers misguided or plain wrong. Lest there be any confusion as to where I stand on the doctrines of salvation, I offer here a summary of my beliefs.

 

 

 

Author’s Word Studies

 

In chapter Twenty-one of John Calvin Goes to Berkeley, Alex Kim asks Angela León to study the word election in the New Testament. She later summarizes for the other team members what she found. What follows is some of the work I did while preparing to write this chapter of the book. I offer these notes to facilitate the reader’s personal study of the topic. Each paper organizes the New Testament occurrences of one or more words and provides in a table the Greek text, the English text, the form in which the word is found, a summary of the context, and classification or category into which the word can be placed. A final column marked “comments” is provided for the reader to place his or her own notes and insights.

 

Word
Study

Greek Words
Examined

English Words
Examined

Paper for
Downloading

1

eklego, eklogee, eklektos, suneklektos

to choose, to select, election, choice, the elect, chosen together with

Word Study 1 eklego +3.pdf

2

orizo, proorizo

determine, appoint, to decide beforehand

Word Study 2 orizo +1.pdf

3

aireo, airetizo

to take, to choose

Word Study 3 aireo +1.pdf

4

procheirizomai, procheirotoneo

to choose in advance

Word Study 4 procheirizomai +1.pdf

5

tasso

to appoint, to decide

Word Study 5 tasso.pdf

6

prognosis

foreknowledge

Word Study 6 prognosis.pdf

 

 

 

Articles on Important Biblical Texts

 

In preparation for the writing of John Calvin Goes to Berkeley, I identified the most frequently discussed biblical texts in the debate between Calvinists and Arminians. I selected twelve to address in the book. Much more could have been said about these verses and others could rightfully have been added to this list, but the format of a novel would not allow it. In the coming months, I will be posting papers at this site, which will expand on the verses discussed in the book and address additional texts. Below is a projected schedule, but it is certain to change, depending upon reader interest and my other ministry responsibilities.

 

Projected Date

Biblical Text

Paper for
Downloading

January, 2010

Ephesians 2:8-9
For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast.

Ephesians 2:8-9 Is Faith a Gift.pdf

May, 2010

Matthew 22:14
For many are called, but few are chosen.

Matthew 22:14 Many Called Few Chosen.pdf

July, 2010

2 Thessalonians 2:13
But we should always give thanks to God for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth.

2 Thessalonians 2:13 God Has Chosen You.pdf

September, 2010

Acts 13:48
And when the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord; and as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed.

 

November, 2010

John 15:16
You did not choose Me, but I chose you. . . .

 

January, 2011

John 10:26
But you do not believe, because you are not of My sheep.

 

March, 2011

Romans 3:10-11
There is none righteous, not even one;  There is none who understands, There is none who seeks for God;

 

May, 2011

Ephesians 1:4
He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him.

 

July, 2011

Ephesians 1:5-6
He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will,  to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.

 

September, 2011

Ephesians 1:11
we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will,

 

November, 2011

Romans 8:29-30
For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the first-born among many brethren;  30 and whom He predestined, these He also called; and whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.

 

January, 2012

Romans 9:13
Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.

 

March, 2012

Romans 9:15
 For He says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.”

 

May, 2012

Romans 9:21 
Does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel for honorable use, and another for common use? 

 

July, 2012

1 Peter 1:1-2
. . . who are chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, . . .

 

September, 2012

John 6:44
No one can come to Me, unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day.

 

 

 

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