Archive for November, 2010


Mangled History

In the age old debate between Calvinist and Arminians you have good thorough scholarly work on both sides though disagreement arises in the exegetical (interpretation) portion of such writings. But then you have what you mostly see on the internet, what I like to call “internet theologians” and I’m using the word “theologian” very lightly in reference to these individuals. What you will find is that these self proclaimed “teachers” in their blind zeal do not actually do their homework and research before attempting to come against other points of view and or doctrine they disagree with, they don’t read original sources but instead depend on second and third party sources such as other internet theologians and self proclaimed teachers and they also base their theological backg round information and teaching on Wikipedia in doing so misinterpret not only the view they have taken up to critique but also with this lens misinterpret scripture to back their claims up, the blind leading the blind. In the debate world this is called a strawman argument which means that they build a weak and false version of the view they are attempting to attack hence the straws and then they proceed to tear down this strawman they have falsely built and then proclaim some type of victory or sound critique when in fact what they did was actually attack and tear down a point of view of their own imagination, not dealing with the actual arguments of the proposed view and not only that but also, and what is more disturbing, accuse the other view of error by attempting to use church history but what is actually being taught by these guys is historical opinion based on unhistorical events. This type of rhetoric is really frustrating for those who actually know what they believe because all it does is complicate the matter worse and tends to keep honest discussion going in circles and people talking past each other. This type of stuff is what you mostly see on blogs and Internet articles that attempt to discredit Reformed theology and or Calvinism. It is with this in mind that I will attempt to tackle a few recent articles written by a fellow blogger whose HipHop name is Justparadox which is also his screen name not sure what his real name is actually, who uses such erroneous techniques to proclaim a sound defense against Calvinism. The first part of this critique of his critique will then focus on the inaccurate historical statements. All in all I am contemplating that this entire critique will consist of 3 or 4 parts but we will just have to see. You can read these critiques for yourself at his blog paradoxparables.wordpress.com for further reading.

Why have I taken it upon myself to focus on this brother’s article out of the plethora of erroneous articles out there? Well, because this brother is part of my culture and pretty much have the same audience not to mention like myself he is also a member of a pretty large Christian hip hop community that gather at a website called Holy Culture Radio and also contributes to the message boards there where these things are discussed ad naseum. For those who don’t know me, I don’t claim to be some scholar or heavy theologian, yet hehe, so my critiques will not be so intellectual and professional that I omit my own character in it, I am going to be myself and speak as I always do speaking the truth in love, with a hint of sarcasm and comedy lol…

So then, first and foremost this part of my critique will consist of simply showing the historical errors this individual has made concerning Calvinism and its effects on the Church, people usually just cut to the chase and engage in a proof-text war with each other but I would like to take a different approach and start with the critiques use of history to support its assertions and false claims. I will be quoting him extensively to leave no room for speculation or claims of misrepresentation and will quote him as each misrepresentation appears chronologically in his article, his words will be in blue. Let us begin……..

Historical fallacies in part 1 of Justparadox’s critique

“To understand the Calvinistic Order of Salvation (Ordo Salutis) you have to understand the Catholic Ordo Salutis and Catechism.”

Really? How so? Where is his sources for such assertions? On the contrary the Ordo Salutis that is taught by Reformed theology is found in Romans 8:29-30 and has nothing whatsoever to do with a parallel or response to the so called Catholic ordo salutis and or their Catechism. The Romans passage reads as follows:

29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30 And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified. (ESV)

This is what we call the Golden Chain of Salvation aka the Order of Salvation aka Ordo Salutis (Latin). Foreknowledge(fore loving not foreknowing our actions) predestination, calling, justification, glorification and all these ALREADY DONE in a true believer, the only step missing is Sanctification which is a ongoing process through the power of the Holy Spirit in us though technically also already done since it is God that gives us the want and ability to walk according to His statutes and His law that is ENGRAVED in our hearts.

“I’ve heard the debates for and against Arminianism and Calvinism and have always took a more balanced approach than either side takes this is not a new discussion just one that needs to be revisited in favor of balance and real reform, not just “Reformed” Catholicism. Martin Luther’s goal was to Reform Catholicism not repent and return to pre-Catholic biblical faith.”

“Martin Luther never sought to leave the Catholic Church, therefore all his followers are Reformed Catholics whether Episcopalian, Lutheran or any other form of Reformed follower of Martin Luther or his disciples.”

Here is our first example of his poor use of history but even worse his self claim of omniscience since he claims to know Luther’s heart in asserting that Luther’s goal was not to repent and return to pre-Catholic truth. Serious students of theology and Church history know that this statement is false reformed or not. While it is true that Luther wanted to Reform the Roman Catholic Church, his main objective was in fact to bring Rome back to the scriptures and eliminate all the man made traditions and man made sacraments of Rome as evident in his famous 95 thesis that he nailed to the castle church of Wittenburg. Most importantly what struck Luther was the phrase in the book of Romans that read “the just shall live by faith” and realized that faith is the sole means of justification and salvation without works of which Rome vigorously taught and in doing so Luther indeed did repent of his traditions of Rome and false teachings which resulted in his excommunication from Rome and enflamed the zealous fire of the Reformation. In other words since Rome did not accept Luther’s revisions and reform he was kicked out of the Roman Church his life also being threatened and Luther started a reformation of the people instead which spread like wild across Europe. Therefore Luthers and the Reformers main objective and teachings were to actually return to pre-Roman Catholic biblical faith hence the Great Reformation of the 16th century and its latin slogan POST TENEBRAS LUX when translated means AFTER DARKNESS LIGHT and what they meant by that is that the Church was in biblical darkness for many years but now has the Holy Spirit brought them back to its Biblical truth with its Light of the True Gospel. Thank God for Luther and the Reformation or we will still be worship ping Mary and praying to statues of saints which is Idolatry.

As far as his calling us reformed folk “Reformed Catholics” I don’t mind accepting that label as long as it is understood that it is NOT Roman Catholic and being the fact that the term “catholic” means Universal, therefore “Reformed Catholic” meaning the Universal Reformed Church. Lets move on then.

“The founders of many pseudo Christian cults (Jehovah’s Witnesses & 7th Day Adventist for one) have used this doctrine as a spring board to start anti-Christian doctrines.”

Now this assertion is extremely false and not even close to being a historical fact. I was almost not going to even entertain this assertion but for the sake of the uninformed I thought it would be best to at least say a little sumtin sumtin bout it, lol.

First of all, these cultic movements did not appear til like 200yrs later. Second of all, 7th day adventist are purely Arminian in their soteriology and heretical in their view of the atonement. Third and most importantly, the “spring board” that started the JW movement was their heretical view of the person of Christ (Arianism resurge) not double predestination which again the JW’s are Arminian to the core in their soteriology hence why I am baffled by such claims as this as an attempt to poison the well of Calvinism and make us look like something we are not. If you read his article you will see no actual sources for these claims whatsoever.

“Calvin’s first point asserts that the entire human (body, and soul, intellect and will) are fallen and helpless, passive and dead.”

This statement shows the lack of research in this paper. Calvin did not formulate the Doctrines of Grace aka 5 points of Calvinism a thorough investigation would have corrected this mistake. What’s interesting is that he got it right the first time in the beginning of this paper where he stated that the 5 points were a response to the Arminian 5 points of Remonstrance but then turns around and states that it was Calvin. I scratch my head and wonder if the writer of this paper even understands or is paying attention to what he is reading instead of just searching for points to attack, well I am not omniscient so I don’t know but it just seems that way.

“The inappropriate and false teachings of predestination have caused many to turn to false religions and paganism and as such are doctrines that do cause offense.”

Again, where is the proof? Where is his sources? Was there a consensus done to come up with this statistic? This is also a mere assertion that holds no weight.

“Calvin makes this his first point as a point of contention yet they seem to be in agreement at least in essence in the first part that man can not save himself.”

Once again this is incorrect. Calvin did not formulate the 5 points and so it cannot be stated that the first point of Calvinism was Calvins first point of contention, this is not a fact nor historical truth.

“The term saint was used for believers who were walking in the way of the Sect of the Nazarene, some came and some went, they are the foundation for the true Church.”

Wrong, the term “saint” was most vigourously used by the Apostle Paul to identify and refer to ALL Christians world-wide as found in most of his epistles, lets take a look a few:

Romans 1:7
7 To all those in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

1 Cor. 1:2
2 To the church of God that is in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints together with all those who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, both their Lord and ours:

2 Cor. 1:1
1:1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, To the church of God that is at Corinth, with all the saints who are in the whole of Achaia:

Ephesians 1:1
1:1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, To the saints who are in Ephesus, and are faithful [1] in Christ Jesus:

Philippians 1:1
1:1 Paul and Timothy, servants [1] of Christ Jesus, To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are at Philippi, with the overseers [2] and deacons: [3]

I assume you guys get the point.

Now the following statements by Justparadox were in response to my replies in his blogsite where he posted this paper. These few will also be historical errors one or two restated from above comments.

“Reformed theology has spawned the Jehovah’s Witness and Seventh Day Adventist, because the hard line they take both cults reacted to Calvinistic over reactions. Bet you didn’t know that.”

This is a reiteration of an above comment he made that I already spoke to. But suffice it to say once again that this assertion is false and unhistorical and once again, where are his resources for making such an assumption? He has none but probably false bias websites who make such false claims against Calvinism to make the system look evil, pure absurdity if you ask me. This tactic is dishonest and unscholarly.

“Martin Luther was only a reformed Catholic, the reformation didn’t fulfill its call to return to the first love it only reformed some bad Catholicism and kept other bad doctrine.”

Lol, he asserted something similar above to which I also already responded to. But let me add that the SOLE purpose of the reformation was in fact to return to sound biblical teaching as evident in the Reformers deeds and writings, now whether you agree with Reformed theology or not thats a different case but to claim that Luther and the Reformers (John Calvin, Zwingli, Knox to name a few) intention was to only remove some bad Catholicism is utterly ridiculous and false.

I conclude this first part with some advice to those seeking to really understands these debates and or disagreements. Really simple, DO YOUR HOMEWORK! No really if you are going to engage in study of this subject or ANY subject then actually study and thoroughly read the actual writings and works of what it is you are studying whether it be Calvinism, Eschatology, Apologetics or whatever, be of sound mind and actually do honest justice to what the subject at hand.

To be continued……………………..part 2 dealing with the strawmen and false charactitures next……stay tuned

A TestimoniYO!

Posted: November 22, 2010 by rickyroldan in Topical
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It was a spirit awakening night just about 21 years ago in my one bedroom apartment when I was contemplating my life as I was about to roll a blunt and get high for a second time that day when suddenly I began to have an urge to open the scriptures and investigate further my father and mother’s Christian guidance. As I began to read the book of Romans my soul was struck with an overwhelming sense of guilt and with the regenerating power of the Holy Spirit I then realized how unholy I was as a creature in the presence of a Holy God causing me to fall on my knees and plead to God for forgiveness and asked Christ to take over my life and do with it as He wished. Prior to this night I was involved in gang activity and drugs. I was a very feared individual by those who knew me or heard of me and it was this kind of life that I lived for despite the godly instruction in righteousness that my parents instilled in me growing up. I openly hated God and His law, I never denied that God was real and that Christ was His son and it was only through His atoning sacrifice that one would be saved but I was hostile towards this truth and even said the I didn’t even care and that I would rather be in hell with the true gangstas than go to a heaven filled with a bunch of goodie goodies who were really cowards, trust me I cringe even thinking about my past and my attitude towards God as I sit here thinking, but blessed is He who chose me before the foundation of the world to engraft me into His Covenant and show me divine mercy and grace though I deserved His wrath and justice. Now that I look back at it all, I can most def see how the Lord had His hand over me and my life since day one and I have nothing but unworthy gratitude towards Him and it is with this gratitude that I want to convey to others like me who people look at and see no hope for. As many have said, if God can take a wretched person like me and turn me into a vessel of righteousness then He can do that for anyone, period.

I believe that God has called me to bring the Gospel of reconciliation to the culture that once had a vicious grip on my life and to teach them sound doctrine as I am convinced is more thoroughly defended in Reformed theology. My passion is driven by the need of the true Gospel and doctrine in a culture that is brainwashed by rap music and videos. I have a desire to present the Gospel to this culture accompanied by orthodoxy bringing a reformation hence my 20 yrs of experience using this gift that God has blessed me with, teaching in my local church and using the means of internet to engage in discussions with others around the world and also through my music building relationships with other believers and non believers via internet message boards witnessing the many that have come to Christ and to Reformation theology in which they also now burn with desire to join the cause being obedient to Christ great commission.

Thought I’d share this quick testimonial so you guys would get a better picture of who I am and whats in my heart so I hope and pray that the Lord my be able to use this to either encourage or bring others to also contemplate where there life is headed and reassure cats out there that noone is too bad or in to deep in the streets for God to work His greatest miracle, saving sinners.

Grace and Peace

Quote Of The Month

Posted: November 19, 2010 by rickyroldan in Quotes
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Hey guys, Every month I will be posting my most favorite quote for each month from message boards….just thought it would be fun. I know that many of the quotes you will need context to understand lol, but I am willing to give context if need be so just ask away. I can also see this feature as a means for good healthy theological or Random discussions…..so heres the first EVER..haha….Be easy, one!

“If you don’t know….Let me inform you….Using the Book of Wisdom as if its inspired against a Protestant is highly irrevelant. Not to mention Early Mystical Church Fathers. I take it that you agree with everything the Early Church Fathers believe. I don’t believe you do, but requiring us to do so is very unsportmens of you. And the Book of James is true. God doesn’t tempt us to sin. He does ordain sinful acts. Once again, The Trinity before the foundations of the Earth decreed sinful men to crucify Christ. No getting around it.” Sylvester Pittman aka Seal


Grace and Peace, I am Richard Roldan preferably Ricky. I’m married with 2 children and 2 stepchildren who all live with me. But before being regenerated aka being born again I was pretty much a bad dude. You know the whole thug life, drug dealin gun wheelin lifestyle etc… don’t feel the need to go into details cause that would be a book actually LOL…..no but seriously, I made an official commitment to Christ at the age of 20 since being raised in a Christian home where your pops is a pastor, you really don’t know when that actual regeneration occurred and I don’t think anyone really does, but anyways I stop thuggin cold turkey like the next day, which brought me some trouble but that’s another story. Ever since I have been given a Godly desire to take the gospel and sound doctrine back to da hood aka my culture…..not that my culture is all hood but that is term we lovingly use to describe the inner-city and urban environment.

Basically, I feel called by the Lord to be an Evangelist/Reformer/Pastor to my culture, to bring them the true message of the gospel and teach them sound christian doctrine as found in our creeds and reformed confessions, which we in the Reformed faith, believe are the accurate summaries of the Word of God. I do not have any formal training but I have been studying biblical theology and systematic theology through the same means as bible college and seminary students via books, audio, video, and mentors for the last 19yrs and I also have been teaching for 18yrs but I am open to getting a formal training for the sake of better credentials and hanging a degree up on my wall…lol…..not to downplay formal training or anything, there is much need for it, believe it!

Now what culture do I refer to? By that I do not mean my spanish culture as many people quickly assume being that I’m Puerto Rican or Philarican, I was born in Philly, rather what I mean by my culture is the Hip Hop culture/inner city urban culture to which I was born and raised in. This culture is a sub-INTERNATIONAL culture, I emphasis international because individuals not learned of this culture quickly assume it is only a sub-American culture, which it is but not limited to America. This like any other culture or nation must also be evangelized and discipled as the principles of our Reformed faith mandate, a Reform Ordinance sort of speak, to bring nations and its cultures to Christ receiving this command by our Lord in the Great Commission.

Some of you will not understand this need, and to be quite frank, it makes me no difference being that my concern is for those likened to me in the same culture I was raised in. Christ calls us to engage the culture not attempt to change it but He does call us to to call them to repentance and to shun the sins of the culture. That’s a little about myself and the intentions of my heart.