I must repent for some of my last blog. First, I was incredulous and somewhat miffed upon reading the Trouble With Tulip, and therefore some of my comments were supercilious. I must admit, I love Frank Page as a brother in Christ and as a capable leader of our Convention. He is , I am sure, a good scholar. The Trouble With Tulip was written on a popular level and is not a scholarly endeavor. However, I do stand by my critique of the message of the book. Page seems to suggest that all Calvinists are hypers. Church history is full of 5-point Calvinists who were not only evangelical, but were the cornerstones of frontier missions such as William Carey, Adoniram Judson, the Haldain brothers, John Patterson, etc. etc.
Secondly, I have been a student of reformed theology for 20 years and I have never heard the claim that Page makes on page 21 of The trouble with Tulip that "the image of God in human beings was totally destroyed" according to Calvin. It is interesting there is no footnote there, because I believe Page made that up. Here is what Calvin says regarding the image of God in man, "The concept of the image of God emerges clearly as we see the skills in which he excels, and which reflect God's glory. However, a more accurate assessment still comes from looking at God's remedy for sin. It is undeniable that when Adam fell from grace, he became alienated from God. So, although we know that the image of God was not completely wiped out, it was so damaged that what remains is an ugly deformity. Our salvation begins with that new start which we receive from Christ. This is why he is called the second Adam, because he restores us to wholeness." (Institutes, Abridged Edition, Baker, 1986). Again, this shows a total lack of what Calvinism represnts on the part of Dr. Page. According to Spurgeon, Calvinism was simply a nickname for the gospel itself (from a Defense of Calvinism by C.H. Spurgeon).
I am no advocate of double-predestination, but Dr. Page says " God never predestined a person to hell"(p.55) and suggests that he cannot find any reference to such in the Bible. I need to point out Judas. He is prophesied about clearly in the Old Testament. He was chosen by Christ as a disciple, and Jesus called him the Son of Perdition (hell). Blanket statements about what God can or can not do should be assessed in light of the Bible and should never be made hastily.
Dr. Page suggests that Calvin substituted absolute Sovereignty for grace through faith(p.16-17 Trouble With Tulip). Page dosent seem to understand that grace and faith as well as sovereignty are attributes of God. God is graceful, God is Faithful and God is Sovreign. Can we not see that all these work together. More later...
The Problem With Page and the Trouble With Tulip shall be continued...
Friday, February 22, 2008
Wednesday, February 6, 2008
I have just finished reading The Trouble With Tulip, by Dr. Frank Page. I must say that I am profoundly embarrassed that the best and the brightest the SBC has to offer seem to have lost their minds, as evidenced by this booklet from Dr. Page. The lack of good exegesis, sound logic, or solid historical research are apparent throughout this short treatise (which is astounding for someone who has a PhD). To boil it down the Trouble with Tulip has five fatal flaws. First, Dr. Page doesn't seem to understand the points in which he is trying to refute. Secondly, he espouses a universalist view of atonement; thirdly, he lacks a biblical understanding of faith. Fourth, Dr. Page's use of Acts 2:38 is misinterpreted. Fifth, and finally his acronym for grace is neither clear nor biblical. In the forthcoming critical review articles I will show the depth of these flaws and point out the scriptural, logical, and historical refutations of each.