What Stops God from Saving with a Bare-Bones Arminian Gospel?
“Nothing stops God from regenerating and causing assent to that bare-bones truth taught by Arminians.”
Universalists always say: nothing stops God from saving everybody. In other words, even though God has revealed what He promises to do, nothing keeps a sovereign God from breaking that promise and doing something else. Another way the neo-orthodox universalists say it: God speaks in baby talk, so that we can never articulate who God is or what the gospel is anyway. So we will articulate a possibility which the fundy-Bible itself excludes!
The truth of God stops God from saving people with a lie. The glory of God stops God from denying the sufficency of the propitiation for sins by the God-man: if even one of those sins is further punished, then neither Jesus is God or the Father is God. The glory of God is the revelation of God, not only God being God, but God showing Himself by the gospel to be God!
John 5:36 “the works which the Father has gvien me to finish–the very works that I do–bear witness of Me, that the Father has sent me.”
Is it true that nothing keeps God from saving those who say that Jesus worked for all but did not finish the work for any so that the “finished work” depends on the creature? Nothing about that “bad theology” keeps God from saving such an idolater? I say that nothing keeps God from saving such an idolater, because I WAS SUCH AN IDOLATER and the way He saved me was by teaching me the gospel and that my idol god was no god and that my idol gospel was no gospel.
I know almost all “mainstream” Calvinists like to hedge: sometimes they say that God saves folks in “barebones idolatry” but that God will not keep the sheep in such darkness, but makes sure that sooner or later somebody will bring them the C explanation and that if they don’t accept it (after x amount of trying) then MAYBE (they withhold judgment) but maybe they are an idolater!
If a “barebones gospel” tries to talk about priesthood without talking about the God-man reigning and the God-man revealing the glory of God, then it denies the purpose of the gospel being proclaimed. (Eph 3:21; I Cor 2:7-14).
The wisdom of God does not remain “inarticulate”. But it is not revealed merely by study and books: understanding of and judgment by the gospel is given by the Spirit of God, for the glory of God.
Acts 17:30 says that religious people need to repent: they need to turn from their false theologies, and are commanded to turn to the specific one who is revealed and who was raised and who will judge by righteousness. He will not judge by bare sovereignty.
I agree with “nominalism” enough to say that right is right because God’s nature says it’s right and that imputation is right because God’s gospel says it’s right. But God is three persons with one unchanging being, one “nature” if you will. This means that the God-man WILL judge by what He has said is right, and what God says is right because of the revealed nature of the God who said it. The God-man will judge by “righteousness”, and that means this one specific sacrifice and no other sacrifice.
Yes, both pagans and Jews are quick to shed blood. (Rom 3) But no other blood is the gospel. Only the blood of the human who is also God, only the blood of that one person who came to save a specific people, will count for anything at the judgment. Jesus will not suddenly reverse Himself and say “nothing prevents me from repenting now”. He will say “I never knew you” to all who are ignorant of the gospel.
(John 7:24) Judge not by appearance. Jesus will judge by the gospel: Romans 2:16. There are many who sing “Nothing but the blood” who sincerely believe “nothing but the blood and my faith”.
Not by our standards: not “though he signed up with Arminians, he didn’t sign with ECT”, not “though he signed up with Catholics, he didn’t sign with the process no foresight gospel”. Not “he spoke some truth” so I better call him brother. Rather, he did not submit to the gospel, and remains in debt to do all the law.
Since God’s thoughts are not our thoughts, we need to “think God’s thoughts after Him”, and to do that we need to study the gospel. None of us yet perfectly knows and understands the gospel: to know all about the work, we would need to know all about the person; to know all about the person, we would need to know all about the work. Instead of saying “I know it all”, let us say instead: I need to know more. The reason we lack full assurance in the gospel is that we are not yet as skilled in the gospel as we need to be, nor are we as committed to LOVE IT as we need to.
II Thess 2:9 The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all powers, signs, and lying, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they DID NOT RECEIVE THE LOVE OF THE TRUTH, that THEY MAY BE SAVED and for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie.
For some, the no-foresight god of the general baptists is a strong delusion; the strongest delusion I know is the Calvinist who speaks peace to the idolatry of the Arminian god.
“Barebones” may sound good. But it is a terrible thing to have people name the name of Jesus Christ and think they are saved when they do not yet even know anything about the rightousness of God. It is a severe thing to claim that Philip baptised the Ethiopian without telling him about the GOSPEL promise:
“He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper His hand. He shall see the travail of His soul, and be satisfied. by His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many For he shall bear their iniquities. Therefore I will divide Him a portion with the great…
The “barebones gospel” of Arminians leaves out the glory of the God-man bringing to freedom all those for whom He was punished. It says that nothing stops God from denying His own justice/pleasure and submitting to the justice/pleasure of the creature. It says that justification depends not only on the travail of the Son but on the faith of some of the sinners for whom the Son was in travail.
It is too “barebones” to necessarily need to exclude such an unrighteous explanation. Sometruth yes, but not “gospel”. So just maybe you can say that the God-man bore iniquities without getting into the question if those iniquities are further borne by some sinners.
Is “lordship” the thing you add later to the barebones gospel? Not many Calvinists would agree. Yet these very same Calvinists agree that you can add later “the lordship of God in salvation” to the Arminian gospel by which they claimed that they were saved.
Shame on us, they posture, beating their chests to pose as the publican, we “doctrinal experts” do “growth by transfer” but those good old Arminians they sure can make a lot of Christians with their gospel! These Calvinists are adamant that the “nonlordship” gospel preached these days results in lots of false converts, but they think that the good old “gospel” preached by good old Arminians like Moody and Tozer and Wesley produced more converts to the true Christ than Calvinism ever did.
And my question: unless you are proud of your humility, why do you waste time on the “Calvinist” explanation when you could still be preaching the same Jesus you believed in when you got saved? If the “Calvinist” explanation is not about Jesus, then why does your pride insist on quibbling about it?