Monday, May 19, 2008

God, Sin and the Cross

"Suppose a farmer discovers three boys drowning in his pond where he had placed signs clearly forbidding swimming. Further, noting their blatant disobedience he says to himself, "They have violated the warning and have broken the law, and they have brought these deserved consequences on themselves" Thus far he is manifesting his sense of Justice. But if the farmer proceeds to say, " I will make no attempt to rescue them," we would immediately perceive that something is lacking in his love, and suppose by some inexplicable whim he should declare: "even though the boys are drowning as a consequence of their own disobedience, nonetheless, out of the goodness of my heart I will save one of them and let the other two drown." In such a case we would surely consider his love to be partial and imperfect."

Norman Geisler argues this picture represents Calvinism is his book Chosen but Free.

In my opinion, this picture can be used to perfectly illustrate the difference between Calvinism and the false Gospel being preached by most churches today in three important areas. The nature of God, the nature of sin, and the nature of redemption.

(borrowing heavily from insights from James White and C. Samuel Storms) See the Potter's Freedom

1) GOD

False Gospel - God is "Farmer God" ... you know.... one you can wear shorts at his house, put your feet up, drink some coffee and eat a donut during worship.

Calvinism - God is the King of Kings. A better, but very inadequate comparison would be the President of the United States. God is thrice Holy.

2) SIN

False Gospel - Sin is tantamount to pool hopping.

Calvinism - Sin would be better illustrated as the President coming home to see his family raped and murdered. To see the murderers robbing and vandalizing his home. In the process of tearing the house down it catches on fire and the people are now going to burn to death.

3) REDEMPTION

False Gospel - I will attempt to rescue them. ( Perhaps throwing a line and the willing will grab hold)

Calvinism - The President elects and chooses to save some. This must be accomplished by sending His son inside to be burned to death in the process of perfectly saving the appointed ones. ( this demonstrates love and this message has power)

1 comment:

Alan Richardson said...

A very powerful rebuttal. Both shows the weakness of Geisler's illustration and also provides a better one.