Open Letter to Baptists about the Biblical doctrine of election.
I never got to Bible college where the discussion of Calvinism gets settled into the brain of budding Bible students. I remain in disdain of the subject and the toxins that linger in Baptists minds after college. I keep hearing that God does not elect souls for salvation he just foreknows which ones will be saved and which lost. That toxin of Augustinian theology makes one as fatalistic as the whole TULIP does. To rid Baptists of the leaven of such theology I have penned a book entitled “The Biblical Doctrine of Election and Predestination” I wish every Baptist would read it and purge out such leaven. The following excerpt captures a key concept of our flawed thinking on the subject:
Although God controls every impulse my brain sends down my spine to secure my next heart beat, the thoughts and intents of my 'heart' are given free rein. My, thoughts and intents are surely known by God but that is always in real time, not in future time. If you doubt this, the word 'thought(s)' occurs 134 times in the Bible, in an hour or two you can examine every occurrence for yourself. You will find them to be present tense in relation to Gods thinking and working toward man; it is always in real time, with man's thought and direction free from God's foreknowledge or control and man's thoughts pondered by God in real time. This is an awesome truth that will need repeating when we examine God's foreknowledge. In faulty theology God can reel time backward and forward like I do a movie reel full of fixed unchangeable pictures and sounds. That is ground breaking theology but it is not true nor implied in any Biblical revelation. Therein God operates in real time not in reel time. For this article on Sovereignty understand that man is given a mobility of thought and action which are outside of God's sovereignty, i.e. God in sovereignty allows man a mobility outside of His direct control. This is an awesome reckoning which directly violates Augustinian, Reformed and Calvinistic theology. If you get a grasp of this truth from Scripture I hardly need to continue in the theme of Biblical election and foreknowledge. Getting a hold of this concept, and unhinged from the restricting 'infinite divine plan' concept of Calvinism, will open all the Scriptures to a new light that puts election, predestination and foreknowledge in their proper corporate perspective. Perhaps here, we should all examine the 134 referenced verses to better understand God's thoughts and mans thoughts, germane and key to this discourse. It could shake loose the 'infinite divine plan' misnomer ingrained by 1,700 years of erroneous teaching and give new insight about what God does and does not foreknow about my grand children's salvation. Baptists, of all people, need to get their faith and practice on this subject from the Bible and not from the theology books of old.
The whole book in rough draft can be viewed at at www.gsbaptistchurch.com /calvinism. It is available in .doc format or palm pilot format upon request. I left the ranks of Regular Baptists to stand as an Independent Baptist. If you could get this open letter to several of my bygone colleagues still tangled in the TULIP I would be most grateful.
Elect In Christ
Pastor Ed Rice