§1. Matt Chandler’s Calvinism Given Historical and Theological Background … Choose You This Day!

Okay, here we go. I am going to get into this issue, this way; i.e. by having you all watch this video interview with Matt Chandler done by John Piper. My point in sharing this video is not to use it as a piece that I critique materially; instead, I want what Chandler says to take up residence in your heart and mind so that you will be able to recall this as a reference point for some of the things I will be getting at later. What I mean is this; Matt Chandler says something very explicitly and up front that I’ve known to be true for along time, but I am afraid that many who listen to, not just Matt Chandler, but many others in his tribe, are failing to realize that the informing theology behind what Chandler & co. communicate to the masses is plain old 5 point Calvinism. Now, some folk are totally fine with this, but other folk didn’t realize this to be the case (until now); and so my motive is to expose where Chandler and The Gospel Coalition are coming from, and then offer an alternative way to approach scripture through a better Christian grammar and theological grid. Watch the video, please spend the time to do that, and then I will close this video with some brief reflections and set myself up for further posts.

Click Here: John Piper Interviews Matt Chandler on Calvinism.

One thing I don’t want this to turn into is another slam-fest on 5 point Calvinism; I want to take us somewhat deeper than that. I want to take us into the Holy of holies, or into God’s life; since this is where it all goes wrong for a 5 point Calvinist (which I will establish in posts to come). This is, as you heard Chandler mention in the interview, where a need for a God with two wills comes into the picture. Let me just assert right now, if you have a god with two wills you don’t have the God of the Bible revealed in Jesus Christ! And if you don’t have the God of the Bible Self-revealed in Jesus Christ; then you don’t have the full bodied version of the Gospel.

Just be prepared to have your thinking piqued, and maybe your beliefs challenged (which I hope is what happens if you appreciate or are a follower of Matt Chandler’s teaching). Just pray that I communicate in a fair, firm, and then loving way…. thank you!

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10 comments

  1. Well my interest already well piqued! I look forward to what follows.

  2. Hi Mark,

    Great to hear from you! Thanks for the encouragement; this will be an unfolding project of mine. Great to hear from another Kiwi (I mean besides the transplanted one who I always enjoy hearing from, Myk ;-) ).

  3. Interesting interview. I like John Piper a lot (though I’m 100% *not* a Calvinist), but Chandler seemed to be one of those ‘Calvinism is the Gospel,’ types, which I don’t think Piper is, to his credit. Plus, the whole ‘two wills,’ thing is kinda silly to me.

  4. @WF,

    I don’t like Piper or Chandler, theologically! Why do you say that you don’t think Piper is one of those Calvinism is the Gospel guys? I do!

  5. I remember seeing a video (I’m sure it’s on the DesiringGod website) where he specifically says that to make theology, rather than God, the object of your affection and love is dangerous. He makes it quite clear, so far as I can tell, that he does *not* think Calvinism is the Gospel, but rather a formidable systematic theology.

  6. @WH,

    I don’t see a distinction between ones theological prolegomenon and Theology Proper; how one approaches and interprets God, will necessarily mutually implicate his (Piper’s) view of the Gospel in general.

  7. Arminians believe that God has two wills, too. Does God desire the destruction of the Devil, a part of His creation? No. Has God decided that it will happen no matter what? Yes. What about Judas Iscariot? Did Jesus desire him to commit sin and betray the Son of God? No. Was it written and destined that he would? Yes, according to John 17, so that the Scripture concerning Judas would be fulfilled.

    It’s the same thing. While we don’t claim to understand everything about God, we know that his love has many different facets. There is the general love that He has for His creation. He causes the rain to fall on the just and the unjust. There is a special love that He has for His chosen; those who would love Him.

    Arminians will just battle anything that explains the doctrines of Calvinism, even if it causes them to deny (unknowingly) a part of their own doctrines. Don’t throw out the baby with the bath water.

  8. Brian,

    You are being very presumptuous. I am not Arminian, did you check out the title of my blog prior to commenting. You are lucky that I am not simply deleting your comment and marking it as spam. You need to back up your assertions by some sort or gesturing towards an actual argument. All I have to do in response to what you’ve written, to counter it, is to assert that your are wrong! And now we’re on even ground again and we can start all over again by you providing actual argument beyond the simple assertions of your comment.

    peace.

  9. Bobby, I did read it. Spam? Really? Maybe I misunderstood your post. I thought you were an Arminian saying that God doesn’t have two wills. Even though the post is under a website that would indicate Calvinist teachings. Sorry for being “simple;” a sarcastic way of saying, “stupid.” No offense. I just didn’t understand the point of the article, I guess. I honestly thought all Calvinists believed that God has two wills. I guess I’ll read closer next time. Sorry, man.

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