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Calvinism Questions and Comments:
The following are e-mails I received in 2001 asking general questions about Calvinism. The e-mailers' questions are in black and enclosed in "greater than" and "lesser than" signs. My responses are in red.
>Hello. Before I dogmatically held to limited atonement, I had to find out what 1 Timothy 4:10 meant if it didnt teach limited atonement. I reached the conclusion that God is the Preserver of all men (Psalm 36:6; Job 7:20), therefore being the Saviour of all men in a providential sense (Psalm 145:9; Acts 17:24, 25; etc.), especially of them that believe (2 Timothy 4:18; Jude 1:1).
From what I understand, (please correct me if I'm wrong), you hold to this similar position. Many Arminians say that Saviour is mentioned in salvific senses at all times, so why change here? I was wondering if you can point out anything in the context that points to something other than salvation, or if there are other reasons why God can't be the Saviour in the salvific sense, as in 1 Timothy 2:1-6? Any help would be appreciated.
Thank you for your time and God bless.
The main point in the context is the following phrase "especially of them who believe." If "Savior" is meant then this phrase makes no sense. ONLY people who believe are save; believers are not "especially" saved since non-believers are not saved in any sense.
But if it is talking about God preserving all people, then His "especially" preserving believers makes sense.
I give a different possible interpretation of verse in my Scripture Workbook, but that was before I came across the "Preserver" possibility. So I cannot say if this idea is my position or not. It is enough to me to know there are legitimate ways of interpreting this verse other than the Arminian one.
I'd like to ask you a few questions if you don't mind.
1) The first one has to do with 2 Peter 2:1. You said Peter was talking to Jews and the bought had to do with when the Jews were in Exodus. Do you have any Scriptural proof for that?<
1Peter 1:1 specifically tells us that 1Peter was addressed to Jews (the Dispersion would be Jews). Moreover, Peter was the apostle to the Jews (Gal 2:9). Putting these points together, it seems logical to assume 2Peter was written to Jews.
>2) In Hebrews 2:9, you corrected the passage saying "man" shouldn't be there. I believe the King James Bible is the word of God without any error. Are there any other possible solutions to the verse in light of limited atonement without it needing correction?<
Sorry, but since I absolutely disagree with the idea of the KJV being infallible, I can't help you here. Facts are facts: the word man is not in any Greek text. See my Bible versions book for more in this regard.
>3) I know Calvinism was somewhat taught by Augustine. It was popularized by John Calvin. Besides the human tools who authored Scripture, where in history did anyone believe Calvinism before Augustine and between Augustine and Calvin? Do you know any books on the history of Calvinism that can help me with this? That's what I'm basically interested in.<
There is much debate on exactly what the Church Fathers before Augustine believed. Statements can be taken from their writings to support either position. It seems like it was an issue that wasn't thought about much, until Pelagius forced Augustine to really study what the Bible taught about salvation, and this brought out the truth of Calvinism.
As for between Augustine and Calvin, Calvin has many quotes from such writers in his Institutes supporting his doctrines. I would suggest attaining a copy if you haven't already. I just posted a short review of Calvin's Institutes. Otherwise, I'm sure there would be books specifically on this, but I don't know any off-hand.
>4) Also, like the first question, you said 1 John was written to Jews. Do you have any Scriptural proof for this?<
I don't remember saying this.
>Thank you for your time. I hope to hear from you soon.
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