Jared Smith On Various Issues

Thoughts On High-Calvinism Versus Arminianism and Fullerism

The leading issue which distinguishes a High-Calvinist from the Arminians and Fullerites (Moderate-Calvinists) is the subject of God’s sovereignty and man’s relatedness to Him. Whereas the Fullerite embraces fairly high views of God’s sovereignty, yet he remains as confused as the Arminian on the subject of man’s relatedness to the Lord.

Two Requirements For Having A Relationship With God

There are two requirements if man is to have a relationship with God. First, man must be a spirit being. This gives man the ABILITY to have a relationship with God. God is a spirit, and if man is to know God, he must also be a spirit. This is what it means to be made in God’s image. God created only two species of spirit beings. On day one, the first creatures He made were the angels; on day six, the last creatures He made were humans. Both creatures are ABLE to relate to God because they are spirit beings. Second, man must enter the relationship on the basis of a covenant. This gives man the AUTHORITY to have a relationship with God. All relationships are based on some type of covenant (agreement), and this is certainly true for man and God. Sometimes a covenant is formal and verbal, such as the marriage covenant between husband and wife. Most times the covenant is informal and non-verbal, such as that between parents and children, or best friends. There is always some type of agreement (governed by expectations) that bind relationships together.

A Soul: The Ability To Have A Relationship With God

As for the ABILITY to have a relationship with God, man is by nature conceived in sin and shaped in iniquity. He is dead in trespasses and sins. He cannot exercise spiritual faculties towards God. The unregenerate sinner (not born again) cannot savingly believe and repent so long as he/she remains dead in sins. The Spirit of God must first grant a new birth (uniting the soul to Christ, which imparts a new nature to the soul), and only then will the sinner be ENABLED to exercise saving faith and repentance. Now, at this stage, many Fullerites agree. However, when I then add that the unregenerate sinner is not duty-bound to savingly believe on Christ, the Fullerite will cleverly reply, “The sinner’s INABILITY to believe doesn’t negate his/her RESPONSIBILITY to believe.” Of course, the Fullerite is perfectly correct on this point. In fact, I fully agree. But I don’t reject the unregenerate’s duty to savingly believe on Christ because he/she is UNABLE to do so. Rather, it is based on the premise that he/she has no AUTHORITY to do so. And that leads to the second requirement if a person is to have a relationship with God – a covenant.

A Covenant: The Authority To Have A Relationship With God

There are two perpetual covenants under which members of the human race are given authority to have a relationship with God. First, there is a covenant of works, made between God and Adam, and renewed with every member of the human race. Second, there is a covenant of grace, made between the three Persons of the Godhead on behalf of the elect. Now, at no time is a person EXPERIENTIALLY (in time) responsible to God on the basis of both covenants simultaneously. So long as the sinner remains unregenerate, he/she is subject to the covenant of works and therefore under the condemnation of God. However, when the sinner is regenerated, then he/she is experientially delivered from the covenant of works and condemnation, having been brought under the terms and promises of the covenant of grace. Henceforth, the members of the human race are divided into two groups, each responsible to God on the basis of the covenant under which he/she is subject. The unregenerate are responsible under the covenant of works (having been brought under it at the time of his/her first birth); the regenerate are responsible under the covenant of grace (having been brought under it at the time of his/her second birth). Is it the responsibility of the unregenerate sinner to savingly believe on Christ? Well, under the covenant of works, there is no gospel. The covenant of works is a curse to all that are under it. Obedience to the law of God is required and judgment is upon all who transgress His law. The unregenerate are entirely accountable to God – but under the covenant of works. Only after the new birth, is the sinner freed from that curse and the covenant of work’s obligations, the Lord Jesus Christ having completely fulfilled the Covenant of Works on behalf of His people.

High-Calvinism: A Scriptural, Consistent And Comprehensive Worldview

It is in precisely this way all men and women, since Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden, have related to God. This Scriptural overview provides the most consistent and comprehensive framework of history and theology. It is diametrically opposed to the Arminian-Dispensational view of history and theology (which is a complex, contradictory and convoluted system). Furthermore, while this Scriptural view of the Covenants is largely embraced by the Fullerites, yet they haven’t taken the teachings far enough with consistent applications to the grand scheme of sovereign grace.