Lawson > The importance of Calvinism

“The great Princeton theologian Benjamin Breckenridge Warfield, writing more than a century ago, perceptively noted, ‘The world should realize with increased clearness that Evangelicalism stands or falls with Calvinism.’ At first glance, this stunning statement may appear to be an exaggeration, even hyperbole. But the more it is weighed, the more one discerns that evangelicalism – that part of the body of Christ that rightly adheres to the inerrancy of Scripture, the total depravity of man, and the sovereignty of God in all aspects of life – always needs the doctrines of sovereign grace to anchor it to the high ground. For without the theological teachings of Reformed truth concerning God’s sovereignty in man’s salvation, the church is weakened and made vulnerable, soon to begin an inevitable decline into baser beliefs, whether she realizes it or not.

Whenever the church becomes increasingly man-centered, she begins the downhill slide, often without recovery, and always to her detriment. Once yielding the high ground of Calvinism, a self-absorbed church puts its full weight onto the slippery slope of Arminianism, resulting in a loss of its foundational stability. Tragically, however, the descent rarely stops there. Historically, man-centered doctrine has served only as a catalyst for an even greater fall.

Rappelling down the slippery slopes of Arminianism, one is soon to find the church sinking deeper and deeper into a murky quagmire of heretical ideas. Such a descent inevitably gives way to liberalism, the utter rejection of the absolute authority of Scripture. From liberalism – given enough time – the church always plunges yet lower into ecumenism, that deadly philosophy that embraces all religions as having some part of the truth. Continuing this downward spiral, the church plummets into universalism, the damning belief that all men eventually will be saved. Yet worse, universalism gives way to agnosticism, a degenerate view that one cannot even know whether there is a God. Finally, the church falls into the deepest abyss – the hellish flames of atheism, the belief that there is no God.”

Steven J. Lawson, A Long Line of Godly Men, Vol. 1, Foundations of Grace 1400 BC – AD 100 (Reformation Trust/Ligonier: 2006) p. 22.

Title: A Long Line of Godly Men; vol. 1, Foundations of Grace 1400 BC – AD 100
Author: Steven J. Lawson
Boards: hardcover
Pages: 577
Volumes: first of projected 5 volumes
Dust jacket: yes
Binding: Smyth sewn
Paper: normal
Topical index: no (publisher should consider this in future volumes)
Scriptural index: yes
Text: perfect type
Publisher: Reformation Trust, Ligonier Ministries
Year: 2006
Price USD: $28.00
ISBNs: 1567690777

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