Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Response to Jay Dyer on Calvinism (Part 7 of 13)

This is part 7 of the thirteen part series in response to Jay Dyer. The previous part may be found here (link).

Jay Dyer says:

6) "[A consistent Calvinist must be] A pagan, in that the Father can damn the Son of His love in wrath, splitting the Trinity: something more akin to Zeus."

I answer:

a) The Calvinist Position (whether right doctrine or error let Scripture decide)

The Father that spared not his own Son but delivered him up for us all, shall also freely give us all things (Romans 8:32). This was no pagan sacrifice, but a fulfilment of the pious type ("type" in the sense of "shadow") that Abraham provided by offering up Isaac his son (Hebrews 11:17-19). Jesus was stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted (Isaiah 53:4) and it pleased the LORD to bruise him, to put him to grief, and to make him an offering for sin (Isaiah 53:10). Nevertheless, God did not utterly forsake him, but raised him up on the third day when the work to obtain our justification was complete (Romans 4:25).

b) The Accusation Disputed

There's really nothing similar to Zeus here. Zeus did not offer his onlybegotten son as a sacrifice to satisfy divine justice. Zeus was generally placated with animal sacrifices and gifts to his temples and priests. Zeus' intra-familial intrigues are doubtless too numerous to mention, but it is mostly absurd to compare them to Christ's work.

Consistent Calvinists would generally limit the analogy to Zeus to that provided by Paul himself, who quoted from this hymn to Zeus:
“They fashioned a tomb for thee, O holy and high one—
the Cretans, always liars, evil beasts, idle bellies!
But thou art not dead: thou livest and abidest forever,
for in thee we live and move and have our being.”
(cf. Titus 1:12 and Acts 17:28). That is the extent that Calvinists (being followers of Paul and Christ) compare their true and living God to the false idol of Zeus. Zeus (like all the other false gods) is a cheap imitation and a dumb idol, the LORD is the true and living God.

c) The Accusation Redirected

Sadly, the view of Christ's sacrifice in Catholicism seems to be closer to paganism's view of sacrifice than to that of the Bible. I say "seems" because one finds differing explanations within Catholicism, even today. The pagans wrongly viewed the sacrifice in terms of creating merit - so that sacrificing 100 bulls would be more pleasing than just 1. Likewise, Catholicism has (from time to time) superstitiously said large numbers of masses with a similar purpose, seemingly, of trying to produce a greater influence than could be achieved once for all. Scripture, in contrast, teaches a once-for-all sacrifice of Christ that is complete, and that is remembered, not repeated or continued in the Lord's supper.

We see similar pagan influences in Catholicism in the use of icons and statues in worship. We also see pagan influences (more or less clear) in other aspects of Catholicism, from the treatment of Mary as a virtual goddess, to the treatment of the saints as a virtual pantheon of lesser deities - even to the selection of some feast days apparently (and I say "apparently" because this claim is disputed) to correspond to the pagan feast days. Others have noted apparent pagan influence in the vestments of the Roman clergy. Even the title "Pontifex Maximus" has its origins in Roman paganism.


Continue to Part 8


Anonymous said...

To add to this, the Psalmst said it this way:

Psa 96:3 Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples!
Psa 96:4 For great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised; he is to be feared above all gods.
Psa 96:5 For all the gods of the peoples are worthless idols, but the LORD made the heavens.
Psa 96:6 Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and beauty are in his sanctuary.

The quest of every evil being, human or demonic, is to center one's focus in the "strength" of it's respective "sanctuary".

Here the Psalm lays out the Truth that destroys the lies and falsehoods so easily attractive to those who seek for prominence and power and a following.

There is One God who in intimacy has caused a sacrifice to end such foolish notions among men, that within mankind, himself, lies the answers to life's quests.

There is one Life quest and it is this:

Psa 96:7 Ascribe to the LORD, O families of the peoples, ascribe to the LORD glory and strength!
Psa 96:8 Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name; bring an offering, and come into his courts!
Psa 96:9 Worship the LORD in the splendor of holiness; tremble before him, all the earth!
Psa 96:10 Say among the nations, "The LORD reigns! Yes, the world is established; it shall never be moved; he will judge the peoples with equity."

The thought of submission can cause one some powerful interfacing struggles.

The LORD reigns! That has always been the struggle within me, my will or God's?

Oh the joy and peace that comes to the soul when God prevails and the answer comes:

Psa 96:11 Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice; let the sea roar, and all that fills it;
Psa 96:12 let the field exult, and everything in it! Then shall all the trees of the forest sing for joy
Psa 96:13 before the LORD, for he comes, for he comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world in righteousness, and the peoples in his faithfulness.

Now, I stand on my feet, a creature, giving account to My Creator. And I am at peace with God now through His Salvation, not mine!

Anonymous said...

Please don't quote catholic apologists out of context. That isn't fair.

Turretinfan said...


This is part 7 of a series. If you want the rest of the context, click back through the series (and forward through the series, once I've finished the series). Alternatively, when you come to my introduction post you'll find a link to Mr. Dyer's entire original post.


Anonymous said...

He isn't quoting me out of context. He has been very fair in his posting of my materials.


Turretinfan said...

"He isn't quoting me out of context. He has been very fair in his posting of my materials."

Well - on the one hand I don't feel obliged to post any responses that anyone makes. That's really up to them to publicize their own responses. On the other hand, I have (in this instance) provided an Index post with links to (I think) all of Mr. Dyer's comments on his own blog about this topic (link).