I’m Just Sayin’ 5

September 9, 2009 at 10:26 am | Posted in I'm Just Sayin' | 4 Comments
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God is sovereign in all things, including the salvation of man. “…Salvation is of the LORD.” (Jonah 2:9) It is right for this fact to be held in high regard, and for it to be taught as doctrine. However, I’m just sayin’, the truth of God’s sovereignty does not require an attack on the truth of man’s responsibility.

A word to the wise: Be careful about pointing out, in certain circles, God’s gracious empowering of man’s will. In fact, be careful about where you even dare to say that man has a will. Be prepared, in certain theological enclaves, to be called everything from Arminian to antinomian to semi-Pelagian (whatever those mean).

I understand that people are physically born into this world dead in sins and trespasses, and that, if they are “born again” (born spiritually into the family of God by His grace through faith in Jesus), they are not saved solely by their own wise choice. But, I’m just sayin’, Christians are called to preach. And the preaching of the Gospel means calling on men to “do” something. (If you listen closely you can hear the gasping, the clicking of keyboards, and the whirring of automated spell-checkers on the words “monergism” and “synergism” as I say this.)

Chances are you will eventually run across someone involved in “internet discernment ministry” one of these days. If you do, then you will quickly become familiar with some of their favorite phrases:

“Gospel reductionism”
“Death to the Sinner’s Prayer!”
“The damnable altar call”
“Decisional idolatry”
“Decisional regeneration”
“Decisionism” (They’ve really got a hatred for the word “decision.”)
“Don’t ask Jesus into your heart”

The fact is, the Bible is where we learn about the truth of God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility, and finite minds can never fully grasp the wondrous and astounding relationship of the two working together perfectly.

In the novel, True Grit, by Charles Portis, the main character, Mattie Ross, has a lawyer named J. Noble Daggett. When Mattie feels as if she’s being treated unfairly, she is quick to bring up Mr. Daggett’s name, and to threaten legal action. Two of the other characters, finally having had enough of this, complain, “Lawyer Daggett again! She draws him like a gun.”


Those in internet discernment ministries have their own versions of Lawyer Daggett, whom they also draw like guns in response to Bible verses that show that men do have a “will,” and that they do make “decisions.” The most common of these guns are John MacArthur, Paul Washer, James White, and A.W. Pink, but there are others. One lady who didn’t like me saying that the Apostles called for a response when they preached, finally just resorted to cutting and pasting sections of Matthew Henry’s commentary! No offense to these gentlemen, who, I am sure, are/were fine Biblical scholars, but when a pithy quote from a reformed theologian meets a Bible Verse, the Bible Verse is always going to win. I’m just sayin’.


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  1. […] proclaim the Gospel (Acts 13:28-30), and to press hard for a decision (Acts 13:38-41). This method has come under attack lately by those who claim that pressing for a decision means that men are being deceived into […]

  2. […] account of Jesus’s miraculous power: God needs no man to accomplish His will, but He does deign to work through human […]

  3. […] you couldn’t deny the guilt of your sins, could you? So you prayed a prayer. Or you made a decision. Or you got baptized. Or you joined a church – which, by the way, are all good things to […]

  4. […] calls) I’m Just Sayin’ 3 (dark circles) I’m Just Sayin’ 4 (tee-ball) I’m Just Sayin’ 5 (the altar call, the sinner’s prayer, and J. Noble Daggett) I’m Just Sayin’ 6 […]

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