28 April, 2009
Cowboy Takes New Middle Position in Calvinism-Arminianism Debate
TULSA, OK - Terry Newton has two loves in life. The first is roping cattle. The second is studying theology. According to Terry, "There's a lot of time to think and read my bible as I sit on my horse and watch the cattle graze."
Terry is a long-time member of the Evangelical Theological Society (ETS). He reportedly likes a good theological discussion almost as much as a T-Bone steak. Terry not only reads and discusses theology, but also writes a good deal. His latest article was recently published in the ETS Journal.
The title of this groundbreaking article is, "A New Middle Position - Finding Two Truths in the Bible."
According to Terry, "After much study of the Bible, I have come to the conclusion that some people at birth are spiritually dead, while others are just spiritually dying. God knew who would be dead, and chose some of those unconditionally for salvation. Of those who were dying, God didn't choose any, but rather left the choice up to them. As for the atonement, God limits the application of Christ's death to those He chose of the spiritually dead, but allows it to be applied to all of the spiritually dying who choose Him."
Terry continued, "When God calls to some of the spiritually dead, His call is effective. All who are called end up placing their faith in Christ. On the other hand, God does not effectively call any of the spiritually dying, but rather simply calls out to them, hoping that they will respond. He would be too much of a gentleman to force the dying to get saved. Finally, regarding perseverance, God keeps those that He chooses - none are lost. However, those who ultimately choose Him have the freedom to reject Him later - they are not firmly held by God to anything."
When asked how two seemingly opposing views can be reconciled like this, he responded, "There are just so many good people on both sides of this debate. For example, when we look at history, the Calvinism side has Luther, Calvin (of course), Zwingli, Owen, Edwards, Spurgeon, Carey, Judson, etc. The Arminian side has Arminius, Wesley, and a bunch of popes. Well, I guess it's not that even. As for today, the Calvinists have MacArthur, Piper, Sproul, Mahaney, Mohler, Begg, Ferguson, Carson, Baucham, White, and Grudem. The Arminians have Geisler, Patterson, and, well, I suppose that isn't even either."
TBNN inquired, "What is your real motivation here? Why this new theory?"
Terry finally admitted, "I just want everyone to get along. Can't we all get along?"