Bruxy Cavey is a Canadian pastor of The Meeting House, Canada’s largest multi-site church. After growing up Pentecostal (Arminian) for years he pastored a Baptist church that was more or less Calvinist, and was really drawn to the academics of the systematic theology. But then, he discovered the Anabaptists (Arminian again.)
If Cavey sounds like a theological chameleon, I’m sure he’ll forgive you for that accusation. But now he wants to help his church understand the difference and has launched a series, Chosen and Choosing. As I type this, the video for week one is up, but only the audio for week two has been uploaded. I’ve decided to wait for the video for that one, but enjoyed his approach to week one, and regardless of which side of the doctrinal fence you lean to, you have to admire the way he turned the whole debate around in the last 3-4 minutes of week one. I never thought you could give an invitation after a doctrinal debate, but he did!
Catch the series here. And don’t forget the series, One Church, which we mentioned in the summer is also online. Bruxy invited people from various Christian denominations to ‘make their pitch’ over the summer with some interesting results. [Click further down the 2011 series tabs.]
…For those of you who weary of this particular debate, there’s always this.
Appendix [from the notes from Week One]:
AUGUSTINIAN (CALVINIST): We will not choose God unless he chooses to make us choose him. Without me you can do nothing. (John 15:5)
PALAGIAN (FUNCTIONAL): We are free to choose God or not. Choose life. (Deuteronomy 30:19)
SEMI-PALAGIAN (ARMINIAN): God frees everyone to choose. When I am lifted up, I will draw everyone to myself. (John 12:32)
ANABAPTIST (BRETHREN IN CHRIST): God works with our infirmed will to help us ask, seek, and knock. I believe; help my unbelief. (Mark 9:24)
He chose us, not because we believed, but that we might believe.
– Augustine, Predestination of the Saints
By free will one shapes one’s own life.
– Catechism of the Catholic Church (1994)
Free-will without God’s grace is not free at all, but is the permanent prisoner and bondslave of evil, since it cannot turn itself to good.
– Martin Luther, The Bondage of the Will
If it is not in the power of every man to keep what is commanded, all the exhortations in the Scriptures… are of necessity useless.
– Erasmus, Diatribe Concerning Free Will
When the will is enchained as the slave of sin, it cannot make a movement towards goodness, far less steadily pursue it.
– John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion
All unregenerate persons have freedom of will, and a capability of resisting the Holy Spirit… and of not opening to Him who knocks at the door of the heart; and these things they can actually do.
– Jacob Arminius, Certain Articles to Be Diligently Examined and Weighed: Because some Controversy Has Arisen Concerning Them among Even Those Who Profess the Reformed Religion
God having placed good and evil in our power, has given us full freedom of choice.
– Chrysostom, De proditione Judaeorum
God is the initiator and principal actor in salvation, and we should never think salvation originated with us. God, however, has given humanity a sense of freedom and requires us to make a choice.
– Gerald Borchert, New American Commentary on John
God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him won’t perish but will have eternal life.