561 thoughts on “Support

  1. Hey Leighton my Name is Damien Bareham

    I appreciate the sound way you deal with these arguments based on the context of a passage. I myself have never been a Calvinist, I’ve never considered myself any denomination or theological persuasion by title. All I’ve known was that I was a Christian whose God was very near and voice known. If someone told me for instance that they were a lutheran, I’d respond that I was a Christian. I thought what I now know as differing denominations were in fact different religions! When I did learn of denominations I despised the idea, too dysfunctional. This among many things caused me to question–not God or His Messiah but Christianity as an expression. I have had very shaking moments when my world view has been challenged and I’ve had to test it and prove it. It seemed like they just made it up as they went along and I drank it up because it was all I knew. But I was always one to need to varify. Where did they get their info from? That journey led me through fear and mistrust and very close to despair. But God allowed me to be very aware of His presence through it, Reading the Bible with prayer and letting it speak for itself has kept me. During that time I kept hearing God say, “What did the Jews think? The word came to them first, how did they see it?” My search, skepticism, and desire for what was true led me to messianic Judaism. I find in it the most healthy and consistently biblical theology and practice. It represents perfectly Gods command not to stray to the right nor to the left.

    Anyways my reason for writing you is to seek your perspective on a struggle of mine.

    How do you keep your emotions in check when dealing with opposing views of Fellow Believers?
    How do you keep from thinking of them as against you and therefore against God?
    How can one who knows a lot stay humble enough to not be “puffed up with knowledge” and how does one build another up in love when they are in stark disagreement?
    Why do I feel the need to correct them as if I’m somehow saving them from disaster? Did Jesus Care? I don’t think so because he never followed after any theological school of his day nor paid it much mind. That’s not to say he wasn’t influenced by it in anyway, I think his teaching very much reflected the Judaism of His day but ultimately He was not on the side of the Pharisee, Sadducee, Zealot, Essene, East vs West Jew mentality or any of it. Why do we battle theology so much when ultimately Jesus called us to himself and not to any school of man made thought? Did he not say, “Don’t call yourselves Rabbi or Father.”? Meaning not to start your own teaching but keep to his teaching.
    Why do we theologize? what are its benefits and limits?

    Or is This whole debate like a bridge where there are two opposing forces absolutely staked in position that gives the tension which allows us to cross.
    Are there supposed to be calvinist to emphasize Gods Sovereignty and Armenians to emphasize human responsibility? Are there supposed to be charismatics to emphasize experience and personal life with God and Cessationist to emphasize taking the written word seriously?

    Any insight will help me out, thanks and God Bless.

    If you email me an answer I would get it for sure, work and family life keep me from being on the computer frequently but I can access my email from my Iphone. untamed_gmw@hotmail.com

    One last thing, I think Id really enjoy a conversation with you and If ever possible Id like to have a Skype call with you someday.

  2. I believe it was divine providence that I came across your ministry. I was searching for non-reformed rappers and someone has posted a video of you on YouTube. I too have come to many, if not all of the same conclusions you have. It is possible that you know of the ministry of a friend of mine that also shares these beliefs. In case you do not I wanted to share that information with you. He has written a series of four books called the God’s Heart Series, and in each he addresses the contradictions within all forms of Calvinism and Armenianism; he offers instead a biblical contextual view of the scriptures. Please take some time and investigate the three messages from Romans at the bottom of this page. http://www.lifeonthehill.org/?page_id=10

    Walk on.

  3. Hi there,

    I struggle as a christian with some things calvinism says. They say God decreed/ordained the fall of man to happen. Is that true? Because that would make God the author of a lot of nasty and evil things in a way doesnt it? How can I trust that He is good if that is so?

    Also some say all that happens God ordains, so even if someone gets raped it’s Gods ordaining it but holding people responsible for it. Is that true?

    1. Hi to Diet, I also get upset when I hear Calvinists say it is God’s plan for good (for example when a loved one is tragically lost or suffering), even when we cannot see His purpose. I believe bad things happen because this is a fallen world, not because God ordained them, but God is always there to sustain us and help us through difficult and tragic circumstances. A good book dealing with this is “the Innocence of God” by Udo Middelmann, Frances Schaeffer’s son-in-law. Middelmann speaks eloquently in contradiction to many Calvinistic beliefs. This web site may want to add his name to the list of non-Calvinistic theologians.

  4. Hi there, Thanks for the reply!
    I will look into that book.

    Ps why did God allow satan in the garden of Eden? Why did God allow the fall, if He knew that would happen?
    How must I read texts like CHRIST who was slain before the foundation of the world? Our being chosen in CHRIST from eternity etc. There are a lot of texts that speak like that. Did God plan for the fall or…? I struggle with these issues.

    1. ➡ Why did God allow the fall, if He knew that would happen?

      The way the Bible reads—is that God entrusted the fate of many to one. Why would God do that? I don’t know. It doesn’t make sense to me, But if he had sufficient reasons, we must trust him.

      ➡ How must I read texts like.. being chosen in CHRIST from eternity

      We read them just as they stand. We accept that God’s foreknowledge is what he bases election on, as the Bible states. Does this mean God wanted others to be lost? Or that God’s omniscience means God is responsible? We must accept the Biblical testimony even if it seems to include paradoxes.

  5. Hello Mr. Flowers

    Thank God for you ministry. I know you have a million questions to answer but I hope you can answer my question.

    First of all, I’m not calvinist. I thought I was closer to arminianism, but after reading your Baptist Faith and Message doctirne, I think I’m Baptist in belief.

    My issue is this:

    1. Why do Christian Leaders insist that the Calvinists and Arminians or Baptists are brothers?

    2. Are Christian Leaders afraid of causing too much tension or is it they don’t want to divide the body? (as if it hadn’t been divided already since Augustine or John Calvin)

    3. Why can’t Christian leaders (notable) just stand up and say “Hey! Cavlinism is absolutely wrong!” Because if Truth is absolute, then there is only One truth, and you and I know with a certainty that calvinism is not the truth!

    Calvinism taken to its logical conclusion is fatalistic and heres why.

    John Calvin states:

    “The devil, and the whole train of the ungodly, are in all directions, held in by the hand of God as with a bridle, so that they can neither conceive any mischief, nor plan what they have conceived, nor how muchsoever they may have planned, move a single finger to perpetrate, unless in so far as he permits, nay unless in so far as he commands, that they are not only bound by his fetters but are even forced to do him service” (John Calvin, Institutes of Christian Religion, Book 1, Chapter 17, Paragraph 11)

    Many calvinist I argue with affirm the above softly because as hard as it is to swallow, they do so anyways; (I believe out of pride.)

    But that’s my issue. I can tolerate a non -believer in their attacks, but I can’t tolerate someone who claims to be in the Truth but has such bizarre beliefs about the Father that I believe we can’t simply be worshipping the same God-The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The true God, Jesus.

    I don’t care how many of the essentials they all claim to believe, but if they believe that my Father parades the devil and evil people around to do His dirty work, I have a serious problem with that.

    The calvinist believe that their god ordained or decreed everything that comes to past, including the devil’s activities and evil people. But how can that be? Can God cast out God? I thought that Jesus came to undo the work of the devil? But if God caused or ordained the devil work against Him, then sends the Son to clean it up… I don’t get it, is God schizophrenic? He’s playing both sides of the table.

    Please help sir. I know where I stand and from listening to your podcast and reading your writings, I know where you stand. I just hope that someone of notoriety and with the proper credentials like you is able to make a stand for the truth of Christian faith for the benefit of the audience. And if nothing else, I just want my feelings to be validated by a credible source. Am I alone in feeling this way?

    1. You are not alone. There are others who view this difference as a point worthy of a divide. And to be clear, there are some higher forms of Calvinistic teaching I would not tolerate in my home church or in the SBC. Many of these more extreme versions of Calvinism get the most play time and thus those, like yourself, see the whole bunch as one in the same. I understand that.

      The truth is that there are many tender hearted Calvinists who would affirm just about every major point that you and I would affirm and while those affirmation may seem inconsistent with the claims of their systematic at least they are not willing to go against the essential truths revealed in scripture (i.e. God is all loving and genuinely desires for every individual to repent and be saved).

      For the ‘lower’ forms of Calvinism (i.e. the ‘inconsistent’ Calvinist) the differences are mostly philosophical and rarely show up in any practical way.

      I do think we need to stand for truth and we should do so in love. We should recognize that Calvinists are simply misunderstanding a few passages to mean something differently than you and I believe. There is nothing wrong with telling them you disagree and still loving them and respecting them as brothers.

      If the person is divisive and striving to split the church over disputable matters then they are in clear opposition to the Word of God.

      The bigger issue for me is the attitude/heart of the believer, not if all their theological “T’s” are crossed and “I’s” are dotted. We all have errant views. We all make theological mistakes. The issue is whether or not we love each other and are able to disagree respectably (John 13:35). I hope that helps.

  6. Thanks Leighton. I admire your patience and reasoned arguments, especially when dealing with rabid Calvinists like James White. It can’t be fun to deal with those of such rancor and all the cheap shots and shrill rhetoric. Yes, White repeatedly throws out the “no exegesis” charge, as though he is the only one who does it right. He made the same attack against Dr Brown in that debate. It’s getting old….
    By the way, your latest podcast on “a sinful God” was excellent! You have a way of making difficult concepts easy to understand. Keep up the good work!

  7. Professor Flowers, I watched excerpts from your debate with Dr. White. His implementation and interpretation of Jesus’ slave analogy in the gospel of John completely undercutted the Total Inability and Irresistable Grace doctrine of Calvinism. Around 1:45 Dr. White says. “A slave does not choose to become free. He may humble himself as much as he wants, but unless the Son sets you free you will remain in slavery.” The problem is with the second sentence of that quote. Read the second sentence of Dr. White’s quote again. According to Total Inability and Irresistable Grace, if a sinner has humbled himself that is evidence that the Son has already irresistibly regenerated him and set him free from his slavery. Dr. White is saying that a person can truly be humble before God and remain a slave to sin which is a contradiction of his own system. My two cents. 😉

  8. Hi Leighton,
    Just listened to your podcast, Does Calvary prove Compatiblistic Calvinism, and I wanted to thank you again and tell you how much I appreciate this blog. Most of my family members are still Calvinists, and having been raised in that way of thinking and culture, I need all the support I can get. Listening to Piper now is really hard for me. But thank you for your willingness to go the distance and clearly point out the errors. I can’t thank you enough. I’m praying your ministry will be increased and blessed. You are fighting a good fight — keep it up!

  9. Hi there Leighton.
    Let me start by saying I am a Calvinist, and I’ve been listening to your podcast for a bit now. I am not convinced on your views to be completely honest, but I find some of them interesting. I’ve also read your book, and am curious if you can point me in the direction of someone who can explain this “judicial hardening” view.
    Look forward to hearing from you.

    1. There are several podcasts that discuss that topic and listen to the ones next week with Matt Chandler because he touches on it in a sermon that I go over too.

      Thanks for listening

  10. I cited you in a paper on soteriology for my Systematic Theology II class. I would like to send you a copy. What’s the best e-mail to send it to? I searched through this site and couldn’t find one.

  11. Hey Dr. Flowers
    I am 26 year old M.Div student at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, which I know is your Alma mater. I recently just stumbled on your podcast and have been glued to it ever since. I am non-Calvinist/traditionalist (we need a cooler name lol), and I find that so many people my age who are going into ministry are reformed. I have the uneasy feeling that in 20 years, when my generation becomes the major leadership of the SBC, the Calvinist prospective will be the majority opinion in the SBC. I would like to know what your opinion on how we got to this point. What I mean is how the Calvinist prospective became so popular so fast? I have my own opinions which include many different things all combining to create a perfect storm sort of speak. But I would love to hear your opinion and why they are drawn to it in the first place? My Systematic Professor at NOBTS said that Calvinists have just done more writing then non-Calvinist and I also heard you said that as well. Why do you think that is so? I have to admit I agree, it is even hard to find YouTube videos (other then yours of course) from intelligent non-Calvinist perspective. I do apologize if you already touched on some of these topics in your podcast.

  12. Thank you Dr. Flowers for your service and for your God given gift to explain some verses that I ,at one time, would rather ignore. I now can fully understand how these “trouble” verses fully line up with what I’ve always believed about salvation and about the character of God. Please keep it up and know that you are making a difference. Thank you and God Bless.

  13. Hi Leighton, can you please direct me to any of your podcasts that address ‘holiness’ and/or ‘sanctification’ in light of this discussion? thanks!

    1. Dr. Flowers,
      I appreciate our web-site and wonderful articles very much.
      And I understand the burden this must put on you, and how painful it must be to deal with Calvinist’s who are very often unChrist-like.
      Can I ask you to consider a possible future topic?
      We adult consumers know, a percentage of products on the market, would not be successful, if it weren’t for false advertising. Many products would lose all credibility in the marketplace, if it weren’t for the genius of misleading language, strategically designed to induce consumer buy-in by misleading. I think most Christians would sight that use of language as a form of dishonesty.

      And yet a preponderance of Christians never consider the possibility that Christian marketing incentives can function the same way. Jerry Walls, in his presentation, “What is wrong with Calvinism” remarks about the disingenuous language tactics he often observes by even leading Calvinists. I quote him as saying “Calvinism would lose all credibility in two years if it weren’t for its misleading rhetoric”.
      And William Lane Craig laments that Calvinist proponents always…..quote “fail to enunciate the radical distinctions that are logically inherent in their system”.

      Dr. Flowers, I’ve come to believe that language is one of the primary manifestations of both human integrity and human dishonesty.
      I would ask you to please consider a concerted review of the language subtitles that should be so noticeable to one who has had so much time and intellect with which to examine Calvinism.

      I believe that Calvinism’s strategic use of duplicitous language is its primary strength in the marketplace of protestant theologies, while in regard to Godliness, it is Calvinism’s greatest dishonor. I’ve said for many years, that of all the creatures, in the garden of protestant Christianity, Calvinism is the most subtle beast in the field. A scripture in the O.T. tells us not to remove the ancient landmarks. When we manipulate the meanings of words, I believe we are doing just that. I would ask you to consider looking into, and remarking on Calvinism’s significant reliance upon duplicitous semantic subtleties and semantic shell games. My very sincere thanks, Br.d

  14. Question: Why do we still have worth when we are no longer “good”?

    Is this a Calvinist game of semantics?

    If there is a man drowning and a dog drowning which one should we save?

    Does being created in God’s image give us worth even if we are not elect?

    In Genesis 1 all that God created was good.
    Yet after the fall in Genesis 3 we suffer the consequences of the fall and we are inclined towards sin. We are no longer good. Then why do the non-elect have any worth?

    Does worth=good?

    Does not good = no worth?

    How do we clarify this? I think the systematic lends itself to this idea which is never clearly articulated.

    I have listened to every Podcast and think your ministry is extremely important. Keep up the good fight.

    1. If goodness is understood as righteousness in accordance with the law then one could rightly say no one is good. This is Pauline.

      However, despite what Calvinists say, our inability to earn righteousness by works of the law does not equal and inability to trust in the one who fulfilled the law in our stead.

      I do not believe theologians typically use the term good with regard to the value of human life in general. But it does seem to me that Calvinists would be hard-pressed to prove that God values the reprobate of that system.

  15. I greatly appreciate your ministry. As a ‘near-Calvinist’, deep into the fold, it was something of a personal disturbance when God began to open my eyes to the serious nature of the errors of Calvinism. I was willing to put up with what I perceived as their ‘less than accurate’ theology, until I began to see how harmful it is both to the believer’s growth in maturity as well as the proclamation of the gospel. Frankly, with a God like Calvinism’s, who needs a devil? The proof is in the pudding, and after over a dozen years of seeing individuals and families wounded and/or broken by our church I had to admit that there was a serious problem that I could no longer deny.

    I found your website only recently, and was so excited to discover that there are other people in the world who understand the gospel as I believe the Holy Spirit has begun to reveal it to me. People are so enamored with ‘orthodoxy’ and tradition that they frequently become incapable of genuine, spirit-led learning. Thank you for encouraging people to think again, and to question their cherished presuppositions.

    May I make a request? As one who is more of a reader than listener, I would love it if your podcasts could be transcribed so that they could be read as well as listened to. Thanks again, and keep up the good work.

  16. Brother Leighton,

    I am so grateful to have stumbled onto your first debate with James white on You Tube, and subsequently found so much more of your material. I have been burdened for some time as I attend a church here in Maine that is staunchly “Doctrines of Grace” so called. After growing up in this church, I left to go to a conservative Pentecostal church, only to be discouraged with the lack of Biblical teaching, and return to the church of my youth.
    I left my Calvinist view after seeing so much that is simply contrariwise in the scriptures, yet had little knowledge of the available other Biblical teachings that are out there. After reading men like Hunt, and watching many others debate James White, I was appreciative of stumbling onto your material. Specifically regarding the teaching of “Judicial Hardening” as you refer to it.
    Over the last year or so, I have been meeting with my pastors to discuss these matters, and trying to be objective by reading their recommended books such as AW Pink’s “The sovereignty of God”, and a book by Parker and Dever titled “In My Place Condemned He Stood”. These materials seem to be complicated, and full of philosophical arguments contrary to the plain teachings of scripture. have often wondered how I can question their authority given I am no match for their intellectual thinking and have no formal education of my own.
    You have given me much hope, and confidence to believe and articulate the scriptures for what they say and don’t say in their proper context. I fear so many pastors and teachers are too busy teaching people their systematic instead of teaching how to read the Bible and understand it.
    One request I would make would be for you to address the seeming focus of God in the OT to Israel, as apposed to the surrounding pagan nations. I realize there were times in which God saved individuals outside of Israel, as well as people groups such as the Ninevites, but the emphasis does appear to be lopsided as my Calvinistic brothers never fail to point out! Perhaps there is already a resource you could point me to?
    Your personal testimony of your struggle with and overcoming of sexual sin is precious to me as mine was very similar. After working with a local ministry called Free Indeed NE, I have found that testimony to be all too common in the church. Thanks for sharing it.
    I have often had the desire for a more formal education, but have felt it to be too impractical at this season of life. I am married, and am the father of 6 children under 13. Would you recommend the online version of Trinity?
    Your spirit of humility speaks loud and clear, and your passion for the glory of Christ is very evident. I have joined your supporters, and look forward to the content, and especially your curriculum as it becomes available, Lord willing!
    You have blessed me more than you will know! Keep up the great work!
    For the Kingdom,

    1. Jason, this message made my day. Thank you for sharing this. I add resources recommendations to the “beliefs” page as I find them. I hope that help my friend!

  17. Dear DR, flowers we are in Romans nine and am thankful again, not only for your perspective,but as listen to you honor Gods” Holy scriptures. your humility has not only kept me in my church, your humility has kept me humble before God and to repent from -unrighteous anger……… These brothers that say they love one another but are sarcastic and flippant in their responses are also showing me that, they are lacking humility,and they teach others to be the same by their public responses to you. You have helped me to defend, my understanding of Gods’ word and to be obedient to the whole counsel of Gods’ word and to pray for unity and not to sin in what i believe is a in-correct teaching, that God passes over from the womb…..one night in are bible study we showed a clip of R.C Sproul laughing at the Arminian view and it caused 4 new believers to anxiety and not want to return, because of what i have learned from you example, they came back to the study. i am grateful….. steven

  18. Thank you Dr. Flowers for you awesome web-site and wonderful work!!! And thanks for the opportunity to support it with a tangible form of fidelity! :-]

  19. regarding your podcast today….your point regarding “what is there for God to restrain if He is behind the evil actions of man” is right on target. You could also say to White, why call the Hanegraff radio show “the Bryson debacle” if God ordained Bryson’s views and comments, as though Bryson did or said something wrong? Why doesn’t White see the futility of his argument/position?

  20. I totally agree with this. I think reasoning like this raises the specter of dishonesty. Jerry Walls remarks about this in one of his books, where he says that Calvinists consistently try to present facades of things logically consistent within (Libertarian Free Will ) that are not not logically consistent with Calvinistic determinism, AS-IF they are. I think this is a marketing strategy on Calvinism’s part, and it does raise the specter of dishonesty for me.

    In Calvinism, everything that “comes to pass” does so because god (foreknows by foreordination) it meticulously to do so .
    So on this view, god decrees [A], and “renders certain” [A], but then attempts to resist [A].
    How this does not appear as dishonest, coming from a philosophically astute person is beyond me.

    1. I agree with you on this point as well. It seems like Calvinists believe in that God determines everything to be and has totally control over salvation. They a lot of the time do not act like it when they are preaching and witnessing. They will preach against having a luke warm faith, but if Calvinism is true then God causes that luke warmness cause he controls everything when it comes to faith.

  21. Hi Leighton,
    I will be supporting your ministry soon, and getting your book . . . I read this blog all the time. I’m wondering if you know how Calvinistic Francis Chan is? My 7th-grader is going through one of his bible studies at church with her small group, and I know the college students went to a Passion conference recently where Chan was one of the speakers. Should I be concerned?

  22. Dr. Flowers, I really enjoy and appreciate the work that you do. I recently had a book published through Christian Faith Publishing. It is called “Poetic Faith”. It is currently available through Amazon, Barnes & Noble’s online store, and is distributed through Ingram. It will be available on ITunes in a few weeks in digital format as well. I would describe my book as a combination topical Bible study / devotional. I cover a variety of topics, such as; temptation, prayer, spiritual warfare, angels, God’s design for sex and marriage, soul mates, the crucifixion, and many more. I close each chapter with an original poem that I wrote that directly relates to the topic being discussed, hence the title. I’m wondering if I could mail you a copy of my book to look over? If you like it, maybe you could tell your friends and social media followers about it. Just tell me where you want me to mail the book to if you are interested in taking a look at it. Thank you in advance for your consideration of my request. – Randy Mlejnek

  23. You make some insightful comments here.

    You might be interested in reviewing an analysis by Dr. Erich Fromm, in his book “Escape from Freedom”, where he identifies how the phenomenon of works-righteousness actually is prevalent within Calvinist Psychology, yet in a manner that is unexpected, and therefore generally not recognized. Fromm sites it as the natural outworking on a subconscious internal state of dread.

    Thanks for your post! :-]

  24. Hello, Brother Leighton
    My Name is Cesar,
    I have been lurking around this topic of Calvinism, for. while now and I would like if you can provide any good, anti Calvinism books, I’m in the middle, and lately i been leaning toward more non Calvinism, from the research i have done. I’m somewhat convinced that i don’t believe in Calvinism, but I would like any good recommended books or videos you have put out.
    Btw I love you very well explained, “Total inability” SWBTS 2016 Spring Chapel sermon. I am a baby drinking milk bearly walking a year in the Faith, so my issue is the Soteriolgoy aspect on how Salvations works, I have always hold to the Syngergistic role between God and man, but seeing this Theolgoical doctrine of Calvinism seems very exhaustive, on my mind at times, seeing some of my friend a are Calvinists, I would be swooned to the idea of Calvinism, but not always 100 percent, write that check type of deal, always that what if, what about that aspect of me has me on searching still. I appreciate the work that you do! Im very interested in the new Book that you came out with, I was hoping you had more, ahahah but Lord willing you will publish more books in the future! One is Enough for me! But if I like this book, which I probably will, after seening your sermon, I’ll be waiting to see another book out, before I get on my hands on your latest one! Ahah.
    Have a good one! I’ll be praying for you, your Family and Ministry!
    I couldn’t find your email so I just had to type this here, is there anyway i can contact you personally? if possible?

    God bless -Cesar

    1. Hello Cesare,
      I hope its ok if I provide a response to your question.
      Firstly, its wonderful you have established a relationship with Jesus.
      I pray he richly blesses you as you grow in his wisdom and strength.
      It has been many years for me, and He is more wonderful every day. :-]

      One book you might take a look at is written by an ex-Calvinist Daniel Gracely who writes about Calvinism as an insider, as Dr. Leighton.

      In your research on Calvinism, one thing I believe many Christians are not prepared for, is the degree to which Calvinism’s language is strategically misleading. I advise you to never take Calvinist statements at face value. Many statements are framed, using words posturing as having a meaning you assume you understand. When Calvinist’s have their own unique and often undisclosed meanings for words they use.

      So the most critical word of caution is to never assume the Calvinist is speaking with full disclosure.
      I know that is not a wonderful testimony for professing Christians, but it is the unfortunate reality we live in.



      1. Thank you so much! For commenting and the helpful insight on the language Calvinists use. Thanks for the book recommendation!

  25. Hey Prof. Leighton! I have thoroughly enjoyed your podcast! great stuff man. I’m wondering if you have ever or will ever take the time to address the topic of the Greek concept of Gods timelessness as a presupposition of Calvinist theology. I am a Wesleyan-Arminian and after studying Calvinism to try and understand it, I cant get away from this connection. It seems like the Augustinian/ Calvinist view of God is based on the Greek definition of what timelessness would look like and when one uses it as a hermeneutic to interpret the gospel, determinism is the natural result. But without this presupposition determinism seems to have no (or at best a super weak) foundation on which to stand. I know Roger Olson has addressed it briefly on his blog and was wondering if you have ever given any thought to it and have/will podcast on it.

    Would love to hear your thoughts on this,


    1. Hi Marcos,
      Hope you don’t mind if I provide an a comment.

      You probably already know this, but theories of God being timeless is part of general Christian philosophy, in its evolution of dealing with certain philosophical issues – theological fatalism, theological determinism, divine foreknowledge, providence, free-will etc.

      “Aquinas adopted the Boethian solution as one of his ways out of theological fatalism, using some of the same metaphors as Boethius. One is the circle analogy, in which the way a timeless God is present to each and every moment of time is compared to the way in which the center of a circle is present to each and every point on its circumference.”


      You can also check out William Lane Craig on this topic:

      Blessings!! :-]

  26. Hello Brother Leighton,
    I have read your book The Potter’s Promise and listen to and read your material daily. I appreciate your ministry very much and want to make a donation. Can you provide me with an address where I can mail a check. Thanks again for all you do.
    Jerry Jacobsen

  27. Dr. Flowers:
    Not anyone, including the pastor at my church knows about your effort to challenge the Calvinistic worldview presently trying to dominate our Provisional beliefs as Southern Baptists. Thank you so much for standing for our belief that the gospel provides every person the opportunity for salvation. I will periodically be financially supporting your ministry. On a side note, if I had been taught Christian apologetics and doctrine as a young person, it’s possible that I might not have taken the sinful journey I did on my way back to Christ.

  28. Dr. Flowers,
    When was ” from the foundation of the world”?
    Could ” the world” be after the fall, after Adam and Eve were drove out of the garden? When God gives the prophecy to the serpent about the woman’s seed and the bruised head and bruised heel, is this when the ” lamb slain from the foundation of the world” plan came into existence? Or was it from the foundation of the Earth? I apologize in advance if this is a crazy question. Thanks for all you do my brother in Christ.
    Bill Stiltner

  29. Dr. Flowers,
    When was ” from the foundation of the world”?
    Could ” the world” be after the fall, after Adam and Eve were drove out of the garden? When God gives the prophecy to the serpent about the woman’s seed and the bruised head and bruised heel, is this when the ” lamb slain from the foundation of the world” plan came into existence? Or was it from the foundation of the Earth? I apologize in advance if this is a crazy question. Thanks for all you do my brother in Christ.

  30. Hey Dr. Flowers, I am a high school student who loves God’s Word and desires to do similar things you do for youth. I am currently trying to figure out the debate God’s sovereignty vs. free will. I have read Why I Am Not A Calvinist and it’s companion and a few others. My position is a Amyraldianist who has a low view of Calvinism. But I am not sure if I am biblical in this. I want to be biblical as I can. What are some flaws in both of these views? Thanks for reading this and taking your time to.

    1. Hey Jaden and welcome!! :-]

      Just wanted to let you know, with Dr. Flowers schedule, he is not always able to respond to individual posts here on this blog.
      Just in case he doesn’t, please don’t take that to mean he doesn’t see you as important.

      Blessings! br.d

  31. Hey Dr. Flowers
    I love your book and podcast. I love this site. I have a question I don’t know how to answer. If God doesn’t force people to be saved then what about Paul or the people in the Old Testament that were forced by Moses to believe and make a decision? I have encountered this question by other Calvinist. How do I answer? Where do I look?

    1. I hope you don’t mind if I provide a Calvinist answer.

      so far as he [Calvin’s god] commands…they are not only bound by his fetters but are even forced to do him service”
      (John Calvin, Institutes of Christian Religion, Book 1, Chapter 17, Paragraph 11)

      In Calvinist double-speak – Calvin’s god forces with a force that doesn’t force. 😉

  32. Thank you for being a huge part in my current search for knowing God. Not about, but knowing. I’ve been side tracked through doctrines and belief systems. I appreciate your knowledge of calvinisms redefinition of words they use. None has been more startlingly different that LOVE.
    D A Davidson, Piper and others are proliferate about writing of God’s love, but through their shaded lenses. The I read the Westminster short confession about who is God and see exactly what the think.
    What resources can you recommend helpful about understanding the nature of God especially His love?

  33. Leighton,

    My husband and I want to express to you how delighted we were when we found this website more than a year ago. We attend a John MacArthur-style church where the reformed view is presented on a weekly basis. As former Southern Baptists, we were intrigued at first with the preaching and teaching of the Master’s College professors, but now see the flaws in their conflated view of salvation. Your articles, podcasts, and your humble spirit have kept us going in the pursuit of Biblical truth. May God continue to bless you in your endeavors.

  34. Leighton, I have listened to some of your youtube videos. A question worth thinking about is this:

    Knowing that we are saved IN CHRIST.

    If faith in Christ qualifies you to be saved, can’t unbelief disqualify you? If such a person dies in unbelief in Christ. Would God force such a person into heaven…against their will?

    Does the scripture not say, “Can two walk together except they agree” and “without faith it is impossible to please God”?

  35. Dr. Flowers, I really appreciate your ministry. I am a Baptist of a Romanian origin and live in the United States since 1992. I was pastoring a Baptist Romanian Church in Los Angeles for about twenty four years. The struggle that I see among the Southern Baptist Churches on Calvinism it’s starting to affect the Romanian Baptists both in Romania and United States. I am writing a book on this subject and would much appreciate your help. I need some bibliography on Church Fathers’ position on “Calvinism.” I also have a Ph.D. in Practical Theology, so my approach in writing this book would be also pastoral. Thank you and keep up the good work.
    Liviu Tiplea

  36. Dr. Flowers
    Your ministry has blessed me greatly!! I grew up in a traditionalist Baptist church but at that point in time I was satisfied in the superficiality of soteriology. I began to develop an interest in theology after a church split caused me to look for another body. As you know, calvinist literature is aplenty, so every book i was reading left me feeling like I was odd for thinking the things I did about salvation. As a result, I had a thorough knowledge of the reformed positions, but a hazy view of my own. It wasn’t systematized. I knew what I didn’t believe but couldn’t articulate what I did. After viewing your debate with James White and listening to other videos and podcasts of yours, I came to realize you were not only articulating the doctrines i’d come to hold as a lay reader of the Bible, but actually defending them cogently. You inspire me! I’ve committed to praying for you daily! I have just one question… Which 5 books would you consider essential for a theological library?

  37. Professor Flowers,
    Thank you for your faithful ministry. My wife and I have found your teaching incredibly encouraging over the last 12 months or so as we have left our Calvinist church over differences in conscience regarding God’s character and nature.
    I’m wondering (if you haven’t done so already) if you could do a program on 1 Sam 18:10-11, where God sends an evil spirit to take control of Saul. I would love to understand the traditionalist perspective on this difficult passage.
    Richest blessings,
    Tom from Melbourne, Australia

      1. Hi Eric,
        My question would be that if God (being just, righteous, holy, good) can not even temp someone to sin, how can He send an evil spirit to cause someone to sin (i.e. throw a spear at David). Calvinists would probably have no worry attributing this to God (similar to God hardening Pharaohs heart for example), but I’m keen to understand the traditionalist perspective on this apparent contradiction of God’s good character.

    1. Hello Tom, and welcome!

      I hope you don’t mind me posting a thought on your question.

      Consider the possibility that when God created the world, the earth, and humans, he also created all of the laws of physics.
      This would include those three primary laws of physics (gravity, centrifugal force, and the law of motion) which scientists describe as governing the movements of all of the bodies in the universe.

      Consider the possibility that along with those governing laws of physics, God also established certain laws of the spirit world. And those laws, function in the spirit world, the same way the laws of physics function in the physical world – as governing the movements of the spirit world.

      If this is the case, and one of the laws in the spirit world is the law of Libertarian free will, then the scripture’s description of demon spirits as “tempting” or “seducing” agents would seem to make sense. Why would God create an spirit to “seduce” a person, when all the while God has already determined every neurological impulse both the spirit and the human will have? There is no REAL “seduction” going on here because the whole affair is in reality a puppet show.

      If however, Libertarian free will is one of God’s laws of the spirit realm, then the scriptures depict men making decisions that they are not fated to make, but in fact men are the actual source and origin of their own decisions. This being the case, the more a man leans towards the influences of God, the more he isolates himself from the “seductive” influences of the demonic.

      Taken from that perspective, the scripture describes David as “a man after God’s heart”. David decided to follow the influences of God which entailed a certain decree of humility and submission. David left the tinkering (i.e., engineering) of the spirit world up to God. David was “little in his own eyes”.

      People who practice witchcraft can be likened to engineers in the spirit world who believe that through their own devices (rituals etc) they can control spirits. When the reality is they are falling into a snare set for them. The N.T. warns us about the sins of Balaam. When you think about it, Balaam was attempting to treat God as if God were a spirit – whom Balaam could manipulate through spiritual engineering.

      Saul falls into this same error. In contrast to David, Saul attempts to manipulate God the same way Balaam does. That is why Samuel tells Saul he was acting like a witch. Saul by not remaining “little in his own eyes” assumed he could utilize the spirit world, including manipulating God. Thus Saul fell into a snare set for him by “seducing” spirits. And that’s why the narrative of his life and death have so many connections to the spirit world.

  38. Dr Flowers
    I cannot tell you what your ministry has done for me. I was introduced to Calvinism 3 years ago and I concluded that God was not loving but that he was evil (to the reprobate). I became very depressed and didn’t know what to do. When I watched your debate between you and dr White it was like a river of life and love and peace and joy was restored to my soul. I am now rejoicing again in the love and mercy and grace of my God. Who loves me and died for me even when I was a sinner. I am thankful especially for how you present these truths out of love. God bless you today.

  39. Here’s a YouTube link:

    It’s a 4 minute video answering “What is the role of faith, given that we are saved by grace?” posted yesterday (May 7th).

    Alan Shleman, a speaker for Stand To Reason (and a really great guy from what I’ve seen), answers this question. Interesting response given he is part of a ministry with Calvinistic soteriology. I’m along the lines of molinism and traditionalism, yet I think I’d agree with everything said here (other than faith being a gift, depending on what is meant there).

    This video may not contain anything new in the area of seemingly inconsistent claims and explanations but I thought I’d bring this to your attention incase it’s worth the four minutes.

    Keep up the good work.

  40. Dr. Flowers,
    I want to let you know that what your are teaching is reaching all the way up to northern Canada. I came across your blog/podcast during a time in my life, when the “Calvinistic” type answers were just not making any sense and I was desperate for truth. My pastor had announced one Sunday that Christ did not die for all, but only for those he had already chosen. I felt like I was in one of those crazy scenes where the world is crashing down and I looked around the congregation and no one else seemed to have noticed. Added to that was a significant tragedy in my family and I didn’t know where to find answers. I felt like I could no longer trust my pastor and my views of who God was, was completely turned upside down. I am thankful to now have answers to my questions that line up with the character of God whom I can trust. Also recently, during an adult Sunday school class I was able to speak up and give a sound alternative to the doctrine of election. I feel there is yearning for an alternative to Calvinism and I want to thank you for starting the discussion. Listening to your podcasts have become such a regular part of our household that today my 16yr old son showed me a notebook of scripture references he has been recording which contradict the theology of Calvinism. He told me when I started searching it made him begin his own search and for that I am also grateful.
    God Bless

    1. Thank you very much for your post Tanya – and welcome!!

      I’m afraid your pastor may be following a model we’ve seen all to many times – where Calvinism is introduced surreptitiously.

      You may want to prepare yourself emotionally for things to get worse – with the high probability this pastor will become aggressive.

      If you have an alternative fellowship you can connect with that has not been infiltrated by Calvinism you might find them especially stabilizing, in the event you may face being confronted by judgement and/or condemnation.

      Sending warm thoughts and prayers your way!

  41. I’m trying too become a monthly contributor but I do not have Facebook and it appears to want me to sign up that way is there another way to be a supporter?

  42. Dear Leighton. I enjoy your podcasts and I think you do a great job refuting Calvinism. Personally I’m not a calvinists or an Armenian or a traditionalist. I’m a bible believer and I’m full bible full truth. I believe you are deficient and wanting and aberrant in one critical area though. You are not stressing and emphasizing the importance and necessity of the inner working of the Spirit and grace for salvation.

  43. Dr. Flowers, I was wondering if Soteriology 101 has listed themselves as an NPO on AmazonSmile so that a percentage of our purchases can come to support your work? I appreciate all you do and all the videos and podcasts and I would like to support you in this way. I am a SBC missionary in the Ivory Coast of Africa, and I just want to do what I can to help you with this work.

  44. Hi Leighton, I greatly appreciate the time and knowledge and tact you apply to this difficult topic of Calvinism! My close friends and I got in a debate a couple months ago and during my research I came across your videos on YouTube and they have been a tremendous help in aiding me to clear up what difficult passages mean. My one friend who was a strong-willed Calvinist-leaning individual watched some of your videos and over time by God’s grace he softened his heart and has a completely different perspective on the topic now! Thank you and please continue doing what you are doing! We need more people like you defending the character of God.

  45. Hi Dr. Flowers. I want to thank you very much for your podcast ministry, as God has used your knowledge and graciousness to set my mind and heart on a new path and new found hope.

    Just for a background of how you’ve helped me:

    I grew up knowing God and Christ in my life and home with normal struggles. When I was about 16, I started to crave more scripture and I ended up listening to sermons for 3-4 hours a day everyday, mostly of John MacArthur. I know Dr. MacArthur is a good bible teacher, but after awhile I started to become self righteous in my thinking. Though Dr. MacArthur taught about the love of God for all, it still seemed like God just gave lip service to one group of people, while truly loving the other.
    I started to doubt my own salvation for various reasons, even though I was not living in wanton sin and had been trusting Jesus my whole life. I wanted to follow God, but I couldn’t help but doubt when I learned about limited atonement and the calvinistic world view. What if I wasn’t chosen?

    Because of my lack of assurance, I thought maybe God had to do a regeneration work in me for me to be saved, so I waited and prayed, but I wondered if God heard my prayers because I may not be a believer or chosen and I felt so very trapped.
    I became depressed for 15 years and was basically hopeless with my faith wondering why God would not regenerate me when I so desperately wanted to be. I figured God may or may not have chosen me and it was IMPOSSIBLE to ever know or find peace, always trying to feel if the spirit was in me to see if this time I was saved. I started to get angry, frustrated, and even said once (to my shame) that I hated God. I saw my love grow cold and it was a downward spiral. God’s character just seemed so unfair, and I thought I was just His puppet and he just was holding a carrot out but would never let me grab it. I just was never able to know if Christ loved me and died for me because of limited atonement, and so how could I every trust him…there was nothing sure that I could trust, only the uncertainty of my predestination possibly to damnation. Some of the versus about falling away scared me even more, though I sincerely did not want to fall away from God.

    I started to listen to your podcast, and I was renewed with the sense that God actually loved me, and that Jesus died for me too! My old way of thinking still seems to be holding on a little, but the fact that I know Jesus died for me and for everybody gives me so much hope and my depression seems to have lifted. You showed me that I needed to humble myself also, and that this is my responsibility. I really want to thank you for your bravery and your faithfulness to God, as I sincerely believe He is using you to stand up for the loving character of God.

    I really want to have an abiding faith in Christ and repentance toward a loving God. I just ask for your prayers for me as this change is still new, but I want this new way of living and reading the bible to continue.

    Thank you!



    1. WOW!
      Wonderful testimony Dan!
      Thank you so very much for your sincerity and honesty!!

      We don’t know how many people who followed in similar circumstances as yours will be blessed and feel Jesus is shining a light in their direction, from your testimony.

      May the Lord completely and totally deliver you from Calvin’s doctrines.
      It took God a few months to get the people of Israel out of Egypt.
      But it took years to get Egypt out of them.

      So keep on walking into the light brother!

      One of my favorite songs “Streams in the Desert”:
      There were times, I know it, my feet were nigh slipping. And only by grace did I stand. And the load I carried, I knelt down below it. But I did not let go of His hand.

      {Chorus} He made streams in the desert, a way in the wilderness. The waters He parted and there was dry land. He made streams in the desert, a way in the wilderness. Because I held to His hand.

      And the tempter untiring, drew grand conclusions of what a poor fool I am. And through waves of worry and clouds of confusion, still I did not let go of His hand. {Chorus}

      And so my brethren, commit to His keeping, your lives for Him to plan. For though trials be grievous there’s no shame in weeping. Just don’t let go of His hand. {Chorus}


  46. Mr. Flowers,

    I want thank you for all the time you put into this website and your podcasts. I grew up in a strong Christian family but little or no teaching on in intricacies of soteriology. I just knew we believed in ‘free will’. Why, or what that actually meant, I couldn’t tell you. When I was in my early 20s a friend was confused about Romans 9. We took a look at it and I saw everything in it from a Calvinistic perspective. After a couple of months of looking into it, I discovered what Calvinism was, that most of my favorite preachers were Calvinists, that half my friends were Calvinists, and that the girl I was very interested in was a Calvinist. My parents had some decent philosophical arguments against Calvinism, but didn’t really have much to respond to the verses I brought up. I was well on my way to becoming a Calvinist. I decided to ramp up my study and get the perspective from every side. It was hard to find a non-Calvinist perspective (my favorite sermon website turned out to be Calvinist as well and they don’t care to have the other perspective). What was even harder was to find anyone who could make an argument with any love and care for those holding the other view. Until I found this website. You explained a passage that I thought could only be understood from the Calvinist viewpoint, and with love too! That got me excited. I got your book on Romans 9, and that helped a lot as well, although I still still struggle to not see the duck at times. You made me realize that I didn’t really understand what predestination and sovereignty meant, and revealed the logical fallacies and wrong assumptions that had led me to the Calvinist perspective. I’m not on the path of being a Calvinist anymore. Thank you for your part in that and know that God is using you to create a more theologically sound Church.



    1. Wonderful Testimony Matthew!!

      Thank you so very much for sharing it!!

      N.T.Write uses the analogy of having a friend who firmly believes the sun orbits around the earth.
      He completely embraces this as unquestionable truth
      He also holds the scripture affirms all truth.
      Therefore bible verses MUST affirm the geocentric model.
      His mind could not read them any other way.

      N.T. tries and thinks he’s been able to show him the geocentric model is not logical and cannot be true.
      But alas – his friend just could not make the transition.
      That in fact – is often the way the human mind works.

      Some things take a lot of grace. :-]

  47. Dr. Flowers,

    I wanted to thank you for your podcast and this website… While I grew up a Christian, it wasn’t until these last 3 years in grad school that I became more serious in my faith. Every so often this issue of Soteriology would come up in Bible studies and such, but it was never really directly addressed, so I never really knew what I believed on it. About 5 months ago, after a conversation with a Calvinistic friend, I realized that it was a topic that I should at least know the basics on, and down the rabbit hole I went…

    I started with Piper and Sproul because, well, I knew of them. And while I thought both, and to me particularly Sproul, laid out the Calvinistic position really well, it still didn’t add up to me (how was there still real human responsibility?). I listened to a couple debates between Calvinists and Arminians (including the one between Dr. Brown and James White), and while I agreed with the Arminians more, there were still some things that felt a bit off. I happened to stumble on your podcast one day when one of your videos autoplayed on youtube. I appreciated that you handled these people you disagreed with graciously while still clearly addressing what they said. I think far too often it is easy to either become polemic (I did start a few videos from other people during my search who I noticed right away were solely out to disparage Calvinists, which I did not like), or ignore the topic altogether, neither of which is healthy…

    All that to say thank you for giving both a cordial and comprehensive view from another perspective, and providing good resources for difficult passages (the concept of corporate election helped fit a lot of things into place for me). There are several places to go for comprehensive views on Calvinistic doctrine, but it seems like there are very few places that give comprehensive answers from the other side… Your podacsts and articles have definitely helped me both think about the topic better as well as think about how I approach Bible reading a bit more.


  48. Hi pastor Flowers,
    Today I noticed a slight difference between KJV and NASB in Galatians 2:20. The KJV translates to
    …by the faith OF the Son of God.. The NASB translates
    …I live by faith in the Son of God…
    The NASB gives me the impression that it is my faith but KJV leads me to believe that it is not my faith but Jesus’ faith by which I now live.
    What do you say? This seems to be a duck/rabbit kind of thing. I have been truly stretched by your take on Calvinism. Dr. Martin Loyd Jones has brought me many hours of great study, but you have also brought me many hours of great perspective.
    I thank you.
    Sincerely, Greg Huffman

    1. Greg, I see no real issue shifting the toward Calvinism or Traditionalism just a look from a different view. The KJV has seems to be looking at the process, like verse 18,19 do the process through the law. Verse 20 examines the process through the Cross when Jesus was crucified I look back to the Cross in faith as the children of Israel looked to the Brass Serpent, but it did not save them God did. I believe that the translation uses this wording to try and bring perspective on the whole of Christ’s Life for if we don’t believe that Christ died for us knowing he could raise us up like he could raise himself up because he had been given the power to do so then just faith in a loving Jesus is not suffient.

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