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Speaker challenges Calvinism as not reflecting God’s grace

FORT WORTH, Texas (BP)–Looking at God’s grace through a Calvinistic view is missing what God means by grace, said Frank Page, pastor of Warren Baptist Church in Augusta, Ga., during a March 4 chapel service at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas.
“Calvinism presents a God who arbitrarily selects some to be saved and some to be lost,” Page said, adding grace is not a term of selection but an expression of love and acceptance.
A Calvinistic perspective on grace misses the most important part of the true nature of grace, he said.
“It portrays a nature of God who is capricious and even cruel in his selection of those who would be elect and non-elect,” he said.
Page cautioned that by seeing a God who selects his children randomly with no concern for the lost, Christians are not genuinely seeing who God is.
“Not only does the Calvinistic view portray a nature of God that is other than that in the Bible, but it also neglects an overall teaching of [the nature of God] in the Scripture,” he said.
Quoting Titus 2:11, which speaks of God’s grace and the salvation he offers to all, Page said it is “inaccurate and dangerous to adopt philosophies that are manmade” because they are faulty and are not from God’s Word.
He did not completely discount human philosophies, stating that they may have some parts, if based wholly on Scripture, that are correct. The problem, he said, is where to draw the line between what is true and what is not.
“We may agree with the Calvinists in the total depravity of man or with the Armenians in their free will concept, but the Scripture is so plain,” he said. “Scripture shows that grace is a gift that God desires to give all men.
“Without looking at other doctrines, we need to look at the doctrine of the gospel,” he said, adding God’s true nature can only be seen by looking fully at his grace and God’s Word is always the ultimate authority on the matters of God’s grace.
The wonderful thing about grace, he said, is that God’s grace does not end once one has accepted God’s forgiveness and received Christ as Savior.
“God’s grace is not only a saving grace, but it’s enabling grace, living grace and daily grace,” he continued.
Telling students that God’s grace is the tool God uses to train his children in righteous living, Page said, “God’s grace involves us in the greatest training school in the world.”
By continually walking in God’s grace, God instructs Christians on how to become more Christlike and less worldly, he said, adding “God’s grace teaches us to say no to ungodliness and worldly passions.”
Page also reminded students that just as God is always available to help Christians walk in righteousness and holiness, Satan is also around to distract and destroy them.
“Be more aware of Satan’s footprints so we will know where he is trying to make an inroad into our lives,” he cautioned. This is a vital step in pursuing the righteousness that God desires Christians to have, he said.
“The Bible says God wants us to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives,” Page emphasized. To truly live that way, he said, Christians need to accept the grace that God has given and use it in the way that he desires.

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  • Robyn Little