Theological History

Which of course demands that we ask: who is this Joseph Arminius dude? I spent all these years thinking his name was “Jacobus.”

Then again I don’t have a copy of the Fundamentalist Greater Revised Imaginary History.

101 thoughts on “Theological History”

    1. He would do well to actually read the word in context sometime instead of twisting scripture to say what he wants it to.
      Schaap is another empire builder I don’t trust as far as I can spit head-on in a hurricane.

        1. I know, at least I hope so. But the thought that this cult leader is a man of the “Word” is nauseating at best. He epotomizes what is wrong with the pulpits in America today. The whole HAC/FBCH cult system typifies the excess of Americanized Churchianity and the whole Religious Mafia approach to what passes for Christianity these days.
          /end rant πŸ‘Ώ πŸ™ πŸ˜₯

  1. Bizarre. He takes a cheap shot and says he’s not a Calvanist or Armenian because HE doesn’t follow any man. HE’S a biblicist. Those are are simply biblical philosophies. And he doesn’t follow any man?? Cough cough. He preaches from his pulpit that he’s a Hyles man and whatever Hyles says is right, yes?

    1. PLEASE! it’s Calvinist (with an “i”) and Arminian. (Armenians are from Armenia.)

      Then there’s Ron Comfort who is against all the “tenants” of Calvinism. (I guess they’re people who rent from Calvin.)

  2. In all fairness, I’ve heard worse nonsense from Schaap. He starts out well, before his explanations start to go off the rails at about the 3:00 mark.

    Typically, he misquotes Matt. 23:37, then says that the refusal of the Jews to follow him was a will issue rather than an ability issue. Of course, Calvinism says nothing different: total depravity means that the total person, including the will, is corrupted by sin. He will not come to God because he is God’s enemy.

    He pulls out the “Calvinists don’t believe in soulwinning” straw man. Tell it to William Carey, Charles Spurgeon, and, yes, John Calvin, who turned Geneva into Missionary Central and sent the first Protestant missionaries to the New World.

    He argues that Calvin’s followers changed Calvin’s doctrine into something more rigid and ungracious, but of course provides no examples of such.

  3. This may or may not be the best thread to ask about this, but can anyone recommend some, or even one, Baptist pastors who have a good grip on theology, history, and don’t just spend time obsessing over whatever the current commiepinkoliberalislamofascistsatanic bogeymen du jour is?

    I realize it probably kind of sounds like I’m trolling, but I’m genuinely curious. I’ve been looking into various different denominations lately and I don’t want to short change the Baptists, but every time I find a Baptist sermon somewhere it tends to be rather fundy-esque if not downright fundytastic. I realize there’s gotta be reasonable Baptist pastors out there, but it seems many of the more prominent ones are kind of out there. I can’t really ever imagine myself as a Baptist as I’m more of the Orthodox/Catholic/Lutheran/high church Anglo-Catholic bent, but I’m willing to give them a chance, I guess. 😐

    1. My grandpa was an IFB pastor for a few years. He died well before I was born, but I remember looking through his library of books and seeing all kinds of old books about the history of the church, Bible commentaries, and even greek versions of the Bible… so he definitely wasn’t fundy. I wish there were recordings of his sermons so I could give them to you.

    2. I hear ya on the Baptist preacher thing. Piper is the only one that I enjoy.

      Why not become a Presbyterian? Go full-out Reformed.
      There’s some awesome Presby preachers: Sproul, Keller, Horton, and Tchividjian.

    3. Bunyan and Spurgeon come to mind. But I agree there are far more Prebyterians, Lutherans, Orthodox, etc. ministers with good grasps on theology.

    4. I have a friend that goes to a Baptist church in Jackson, Tennessee, called City Fellowship Baptist Church, and the preaching there is solid. They don’t have one pastor, like a Jack Schaap or most of your churches, they have three “elders” that rotate. The one who preaches the most is named Russ Pflasterer, and he is fantastic. Check out their website http://www.cityfellowship.net and listen to some of his sermons. Best Baptist preacher I’ve ever heard! And the church is awesome, too. They focus a lot on homeless ministry.

    5. OPC: Orthodox Presbyterian Church. It was born out of the fundamentalist/modernist controversy in the Presbyterian Church (USA) during the 1920s and 30s. It’s a solid Reformed and Confessional denomination. The pastors (generally) do not get caught up in the social topics of the day and opt, rather, for preaching the Gospel. πŸ™‚

      Of course, their not Baptist, and so not really what you were looking for…but I can’t think of a good reason for seeking out Baptist preachers. πŸ˜‰

    6. Try R. C. Sproul. He’s Presbyterian, also there is James White who is Baptist. Two really good authors who would between them have everything your looking for.

      If you just want some sermons to listen to I would recommend John Piper, Matt Chandler, and Mark Driscoll. For something closer to the Fundy side there is John MacArthur.

    7. My favorite preacher to listen to is Alistair Begg. His roots are Baptist, but not fundy. He’s a transplanted Scotsman now in Cleveland. You can download his sermons for free from http://www.truthforlife.org/

      His ability to teach the Bible and make it applicable to how we are living today is unmatched by any other preacher. Many of the other names that were mentioned are excellent as well. Begg mostly gets left off of the lists of current relevant preachers, but he shouldn’t. Plus, he frequently quotes classic rock lyrics and inserts them into his sermons. πŸ˜‰

      Also, I would mention Ferguson as well. He’s definitely Presbyterian, but he is called “The Teacher” by the other preachers named for a very good reason.

        1. True – Somehow I imagine that the voice of God is a combination of a Scottish accent blended with a cello and the sound of rolling thunder.

      1. Bit of trivia: Did you know Alistair Begg acted in a “Hollywood movie”? Starring Jim Caviezel.

        That alone would be enough to condemn him to hell in the eyes of most IFB’s…

    8. Try First Baptist Church of Medina, Ohio. Pastor Mark, I apologize I don’t know his last name off-hand, but he is very good and NOT fundy! πŸ˜€

    9. I certainly appreciate all of the suggestions. I’ll check them out. I think I’m mostly Orthodox with a wee bit of Catholicism thrown in for good measure, but I like to keep an open mind and stray outside of my comfort zone now and then. You never know when you might hear something from someone unexpected that just resonates with you and gives you a whole new way of looking at something you’ve taken for granted all of these years, so it never hurts to seek out new perspectives every now and then.

  4. Late night (especially jack*ss schaap video) posts should come with some free ibuprofen, or Tylenol pm! I have to try to sleep now!

  5. PS is any level of vocabulary beyond 3rd grade really that evil? I’m not sure if he was avoiding the word volition, or just doesn’t know those kinds of words, but “will-based” just makes him sound as stupid as he is.

  6. Not impressed. I went to a interdenominational Reformed seminary and his understanding of Reformed Theology would not get him a passing grade in an intro to doctrine class.
    He not only misnames Arminius, but also the title of Calvin’s seminal work, which is The Institutes of Christian Religion, not Christian “Living.” He also doesn’t seem to understand what Total Depravity means, overextends election into “double-predestination” which is actually refuted by Calvin’s school, and he also has a typical “sloppy baptist” understanding of Perseverance.
    After listening to this, I can conclude that he doesn’t have a clue about what he is talking about, but that seems to be par for the course for the man.
    If I were a learned person sitting in his church and heard this, I would wonder how I can trust he knows anything about what the Bible says when he cannot even understand a very common expression of theology like Calvinism?

    1. I think your last statement is the whole issue – there *aren’t* any learned people in his congregation, because this is the extent of Reformed education they get. You can’t know right from wrong if you’ve only ever seen one (faulty) side of the story.

  7. As I watched this, I was reminded of this quote by R. K. Wright:

    “The seriousness of this problem (free will/man centered theology) has been brought home to me during fifteen years of ministry to the cults. I have found at least one common denominator among all those I studied – the belief in human autonomy.

    From the Jehovah’s Witnesses to the Mormons and a host of other modern cults, war has been declared against any form of Calvinism … history has shown that the dogma of human autonomy gradually eats away at the foundations of orthodoxy until eventually it collapses entirely.”

    1. Indeed. Why would I want to watch an 8-minute video of an ignorant windbag speaking about something he know relatively little about? No thanks.

  8. I find it utterly shocking that so many IFB continue to worship at the altar of FBH/HAC and Jack*** Schaap. Talk about veneration of the “saints”!

  9. I didn’t know very much about Schaap before coming to SFL about a year ago,and as a result, have come to detest him like most of the rest of you folks. With that said, I will not simply declare everything that comes from his mouth to be foolishness, he said many truths in this clip. I would say if someone knew next to nothing about Calvinism and saw this clip they would certainly go away having some idea of the different beliefs regarding these two streams of belief or theology. I concur and echo his sentiment, that I too am a biblicist,and I do not follow any of these simple men, I think as much of my own opinion as I do that of Calvin or Arminius.

    Let me say I have grown to respect “followers” of Calvin’s theology more since coming here, at least the ones that actually do understand it. I still feel it is nearly completely wrong, but I have learned the idiocy of repeat after me, 1,2,3 prayers for salvation, walking aisles, magical prayers and the like. Most of us understand and agree that it is God that does the drawing, actually many fundies also would agree with this, but their emphasis is still wrong, attempting to “guilt” folks into walking an aisle.

    Besides all of this one of my very favorite teachers (Charles Spurgeon) and preachers of all time was a Calvinist, which I still find hard to believe. But again as much as I value Spurgeon, he was merely a sinful man, just like you and me.

    1. “they would certainly go away having some idea of the different beliefs”

      Some idea, yes. A wrong idea, to be exact. Some things he said were true, so not all were false. But many were indeed falsehoods – misrepresentations of a theological system. With no prior knowledge, people watching this clip will not know the true needle when they see it in the haystack of falsehood.

      1. Agree. With all due respect, greg, this clip contains little more than gross reductionism on both sides. It is both ignorant and misleading.

        1. Schaap gets some things right in the same way that a stopped clock can tell the correct time twice a day.

  10. Oh wow. I lost count of the number of historical errors in this presentation. John Wesley was a convert of Arminius?!?! This is the thing about the internet…anyone can present themselves as an expert. Yikes.

  11. Taking the most charitable view that by ‘convert’ of Arminius, Schaap means ‘convert to his views’, he’s still wrong. Wesley was brought up an Arminian in the Rectory at Epworth.

    The video is full of the usual straw men. He even misquotes Jesus, who said “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem… how often I would have gathered YOUR CHILDREN…” Very common. Still wrong.

    The irony is that there are far more who accept their theology ‘because Pastor Jack holds it’ than there are do so because Calvin taught it. All the Calvinists I ever met are Calvinists because of the Bible, not because of John Calvin. We would all say the problem is the will of man – and if Schaap is third-hand quoting who I think he is (Jonathan Edwards), the irony is that Edwards particularly insists on that point (against Unitarian John Taylor).

    Finally, if a man thinks that the followers of Arminius are called “Arminists”, he obviously has not actually studied the matter. I write as one who has pictures of John Wesley and John Calvin on my study wall, and the writings of both in my bookcases.

    1. Given that Wesly was responsible for starting the Methodist denominations you would think that Schaap would know he was an Arminianist.

      1. He does. His mistake is to say that Wesley was ‘converted’ to Arminianism. Wesley’s parents were Arminian, and he was taught it from a very early age.

  12. John Calvin didn’t consider himself a “Calvinist”. Calvinism became Calvinism long after his death. Calvin was/ became a prominent leader in the Reformation with Luther and Knox and company.

    I will RESIST the urge to make too many comments just like you can RESIST the Holy Spirit. πŸ˜€ Suffice it to say, he is misinformed.

    1. “You stiff-necked people, with uncircumcised hearts and ears! You are just like your fathers: You always resist the Holy Spirit! Acts 7:51

      1. Ezekiel 11:19. Stiff-necked people? Absolutely!! Hearts of stone turned to flesh in His time according to His plan by Him alone.

        1. I guess it all boils down to who is more powerful in one’s theology and who is the central figure of one’s theology: man or God.

        2. It doesn’t matter at all what one’s theology (man’s reasoning) says, it always and only matters, what thus saith the Lord.

        3. Exactly,
          Ezekiel 11:17-20, Therefore say, β€˜Thus says the Lord GOD, β€œI will gather you from the peoples and assemble you out of the countries among which you have been scattered, and I will give you the land of Israel.”’ When they come there, they will remove all its detestable things and all its abominations from it. And I will give them one heart, and put a new spirit within them. And I will take the heart of stone out of their flesh and give them a heart of flesh, that they may walk in My statutes and keep My ordinances and do them. Then they will be My people, and I shall be their God.
          It is God who changes the hearts of men and we ourselves.

        4. It is God that changes the hearts of men and NOT we ourselves. (Yep, my typing, spelling and blogging skills basically suck 😳 πŸ™„ )

  13. I thought Schaap did fairly well outlining the Five Points and their historical meanings; it was when he began elucidating upon them that everything went a

  14. Sorry about that; I pressed the wrong key, and I don’t know how to edit a post (or even if it can be done). What I started to say that it was when Schaap began elucidating upon the Five Points that everything went awry and he just wound up caricaturing Calvinism (making himself look pretty ignorant in the process).

    I wonder how badly Schaap, “not an ‘Arminianist'” that he is (there’s no such word), would similarly botch trying to explain the writings of old “Joseph”.

  15. Here are some other preachers to look up if you are interested. These would also be Calvinistic in their preaching. Mark Dever, R.W. Glenn, Matt Chandler, David Platt, Mike McKinley. All of these, except one, pastors a Baptist church. R.W. Glenn pastors Redeemer Bible church. For goodness sake you can find all of Spurgeon’s sermons at Spurgeongems.org. Sermonaudio.com also has Spurgeon’s sermons as read by someone (I’d rather read them myself, though:) God has used the preaching of these men to bring me closer to Himself. Enjoy!

  16. “I never adopt one man’s, or a group of people’s, or anybody’s doctrinal strategy.” πŸ™„ That’s a steaming pile.

    P.S. As a young, missional, reformed fellow, I don’t hide behind my doctrinal beliefs to avoid my responsibility to fulfill the Great Commission.

    1. A year ago, I had a conversation with a friend in which I said how being missional was simply trying to obey Scripture and the Great Commission. Imagine my shock when she told me that she didn’t think the Great Commission applied to believers today. She proceded to warn me that I was headed in the dangerous direction of evangelicalism, while I, on the other hand, was already convinced that she was ALREADY on dangerous grounds – explaining away Christ’s last words. I couldn’t believe that she was warning ME about being “liberal”. Liberals are supposed to deny Scripture, right? Well, wasn’t that what she was doing? SFL: pretending to be more faithful to Scripture than ANY other Christian group while all along explaining away any Bible verses they don’t like.

  17. There is a whole conference of Reformed Baptist churches, plus a not-inconsiderable number of SBC, ABC and BGC churches with Reformed pastors (John Piper and Mark Dever probably the most notable among them). Add to those, of course, Albert Mohler of Southern Baptist Seminary (kinda leans toward being a fundie, but definitely a Calvinist), and Timothy George of Beeson Divinity School (more moderate SBC, Harvard-trained, very Reformed).

  18. So the badass German dude who hammered the 95 Theses on the doors of the Catholic Church was so insignificant in his role in the Reformation that you didn’t even bother mentioning him?

  19. The Lutherans are the largest Protestant body in the world, but here in the U.S. their influence, while considerable, has been tempered by their liturgical worship and their identity with the German, Scandinavian and Finnish populations. It wasn’t until recently that they reached out to other ethnic and national groups, and because they stuck to their native languages for such a long time, they didn’t evangelize to the extent that, say, the Methodists and Presbyterians did. Luther was a most excellent dude, however, and he did indeed set the whole thing in motion.

  20. OK, I admit to gross ignorance… but it seemed like a decent high-level overview.

    No one here has summarized his errors, or pointed out where he is wrong (Jacobus/Joseph is a mistake, but not a huge error), nor do I count the Wesley/Arminius as a real error; he may not have meant that Amminius converted Wesley, but that Wesley followed his teachings. I understand, too, that those on here who are Calvinistic and naturally disagree with Mr. Scaap’s position. But little Bible has been used to refute what he said. It doesn’t have to be a huge dissertation, but in general, what are his errors?

      1. Well, he used Bible passages when he stated the things he didn’t agree with. That’s better that most of the posts here, that just said “He’s wrong” or “What an ignoramus!”.

    1. This discussion cannot take place like a presidential debate – Jack’s “answer” is nothing but sound bites and talking points, worthy of sheeple afraid to ask the hard questions. I would love to hear his take on Romans Chapter 9 without the use of Scofield’s notes.

      1. Well, there is some truth to this — but he was giving a high-level overview, and such a thing would of necessity be pretty simple. I’m sure that there are large books that are filled with pro- and anti- Calvinism arguments. It’s about what I would expect from a web-based Q&A forum. I can quibble about the words he used, but, in general, it seemed to my untutored mind to be a fair high-level overview.

    2. I don’t need to use Scripture to know he is wrong because I am not defending Calvinism. He is wrong because he says “Calvinists believe X” and they don’t. Total Depravity does not mean people are 100% bad, it means that given the choice they will always choose to reject God. And yes, there is a difference. Perseverance of the saints is different than eternal security. It does not mean “once saved always saved,” like many Baptist believe, it means that the life of faith will be sustained by the grace of God “eg. they wont get saved and then shoot up a nursery.” etc.
      You may not agree with Calvinism, but what he calls “Calvinism” is not.

      1. This is more like what I was looking for — what is he wrong about? My (limited understanding) is that there are pretty wide variations in the Calvinist ranks, so anytime one tries to give a broad overview, someone (and usually several someones) will say “We don’t believe X”.

        To take your first point (total depravity), I’m afraid I don’t fully see the distinction you are making (“…doesn’t mean that man is 100% bad; it means that given a choice, they will always choose to reject God”). I don’t know if every Calvinistic position holds to that, but what you said is actually what I thought the Calvinistic position was. So, you’re saying that Jack Schaap should not have said that he agreed with Total Depravity because he does not agree with what it really means — is that right?

        And thanks for your post!

        1. Total Depravity essentially means that man is incapabable of “choosing” Christ without the gracious intervention of God’s Spirit. Even IFB baptists will agree to that statement up to a point.

    3. Schaap described Wesley as a ‘convert’ to Arminianism. He wasn’t, he was brought up one. That’s the problem. There never was a time when Wesley was not an Arminian.

      1. Granted, he used a wrong word here, but that is (to me), akin to a typographical error. It doesn’t invalidate the points he attempted to make.

  21. I have heard that script literally hundreds of times from people who did not understand the issue and wanted to give the impression that they were better than all those other folk. I have news for you, Pastor Schaap, EVERY Calvinist I have ever met is a Calvinist because of the Bible, not because of John Calvin, John Piper, John MacArthur, John Owen, R.C. Sproul, C.H. Spurgeon, James White or any other Calvinist.

    But if you reject all or most of the 5 points of Calvinism, you are an Arminian, by definition. The labels are descriptive of a person’s theology, not its source.

  22. Preeeety sure Arminius & Calvin were taking Scripture and organizing it into “systems” of thought, just as Jack Shaap and every other believer does.

  23. There were so many errors in that talk I don’t even know where to begin. The Wesley’s were not Arminian, they’re also not Calvinists. He has no clue about total depravity – it simply means there’s no hope by ourselves. That’s it. Don’t interpret, Jack. He’s not a biblicist (whatever that means). He gets up on Sunday mornings and says whatever he damn well wishes to say.

  24. He very well Isn’t a biblicists. I know many 5 point Arminian (where I am a 5 point Calvinist) who I agree much more with then this man. Why was I ever seduced by this man.

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