You are hereClash of the “Church of Christ” & the Calvinists
Clash of the “Church of Christ” & the Calvinists
It was bound to happen, as this “movement” continues to absorb more and more people of opposing soteriologies, there would be a clash of biblical and non-biblical (philosophical) proportions.It seems the latest clash is between those who come primarily from the “Church of Christ” (CoC) background with those who are Calvinistic, or “Reformed”. It is understandable how this has happened. A brief look at the modern origins of this movement will lead us to Max King; one of the most prominent 20th century advocates of the fulfilled view.
Max King comes from the Church of Christ background, which is almost the archetype to the Reformed background. Indeed, the members of the denomination of CoC have claimed they did not even come from the “Protestant” heritage, but rather they are “children of the Restoration movement” (example). Reformed folk will often cite that other groups from the Restoration Movement are Pentecostals, Mormons, and Jehovah’s Witnesses and will even question the entire concept of a “restoring” of the “gospel” in that such a phrase implies it was once lost.
As the preterist movement continued to grow in the 20th century, more and more Reformed persons were becoming vocal. There was David Chilton, R.C. Sproul, Kenneth Gentry and others. Obviously many of these went no further than partial preterism. But what is interesting is that many of the 18th-19th century Reformed scholars held to forms of preterism; such as John Owen, Jonathan Edwards, C.H. Spurgeon, and others.
At first, our soteriological & ecclesiological differences were set aside as we excitedly discussed the proposition that what Christ and the Apostles said about the
Now it seems we have come full circle, with the Semi-Pelagian/Arminians battling the Calvinist over the question:
So far the most vocal group are those of the Semi-Pelagian/Arminian persuasion. They have brought some interesting questions and thoughts to the theological table but they have also trotted out some of the same old accusations:
By implication, Calvinism teaches, “a God that intrudes into people’s lives and rips out their thoughts, feelings, and memories”
“Calvinism robs man of the God-given sense of self, and the sense of spiritual realities given to man by God.”
It seems the lines are being drawn ever so tighter. You now have several “Reformed” Preterist congregations such as those “led” by David Curtis, Samuel Frost, and Kelly Birks. But these men have been relatively silent when it comes to interacting on the latest discussion about election and free-will. Perhaps they believe it is not worth the effort, or is no big deal. Perhaps they believe the fight has been fought and re-fought in history from Augustine vs Pelagius, to Luther vs Erasmus and requires no more interaction.
But I worry that just as in the first Reformation when the Lutherans and the Zwinglians could not find common ground over the Eucharist (real blood & body vs memorial) and split, so shall the Semi-Pelagian/Arminian and Calvinistic Preterists split.
In a recent article I published called “The Order of the ‘Ologies’”, I tried to make the case that one’s eschatological views actually impact their soteriological and ecclesiological views more than they could imagine. Perhaps that is what is happening here. We are beginning to grapple with the notion of who the “elect” really are/were and what they were being “called out” from. We are struggling with the contrast that in Adam all died but in Christ all are made alive – what does that really mean?
It will be interesting to continue to follow these discussions to their conclusions and I pray and plead that people do not drop out or shy away, or wall themselves in. Let us continue moving forward, letting the Scriptures speak plainly and so that we ascertain the ORIGINALLY INTENDED meaning even if the implications scare us or dramatically alter everything we thought we knew.
In Christ revealing,