Doctrine matters! Well, of course it does! What you believe and why you believe it effects and influences every aspect of your life. To pretend otherwise is to, well, pretend otherwise. The passage of Romans we just studied (i.e. Romans 1-5) and the passage we’re about to begin (i.e. ch. 6-8) teach and solidify several truths.
Among these truths are the “ordo slutis” (the order of salvation), original sin (as a concept), original grace (as a reality), confession, faith, and baptism as parts of the plan of salvation. Paul also addresses the reality of sin, the responsibility of being saved, the ongoing struggle with sin, and the power of the Holy Spirit. But before moving on to these it is important to acknowledge the significant differences between two opposing views.
The differences between Augustinian-Calvinism (aka Reformed theology) and non-Calvinist theology (i.e. historical/traditional theology) is proof that doctrine matters. Several of the key components of T.U.L.I.P. – the self-applied acronym of Reformed theology’s principle doctrines – are found in Romans. At least that is what Calvinists would have us believe. Problem is, the concepts are in fact there, just not in the way they think they are. The Bible actually teaches the contrary of T.U.L.I.P. (Acquired Partial Depravity, Conditional Election, Unlimited Atonement, Resistible Grace, & Assurance By Faith).
Another problem with Augustinian-Calvinism is found in its philosophical roots. That is, where the concepts of theistic determinism (i.e. T.U.L.I.P.) actually come from. For example, Stoicism, Gnoticism, Neoplatonism, & Manichaeism – all identified by the church as heresies prior to Augustine – each teach one or more of Reformed theology’s foundational concepts. When confronted with various questions from the Pelagians, Augustine reverted to his prior teaching and understanding that was rooted in these false teachings.
Additionally, Augustinian-Calvinism’s presuppositional definitions can be found in these philosophies as well. The fact is that the theology of Augustinian-Calvinism requires eisegetical interpretation of Scripture (as opposed of exegetical). Meaning, the foundation of Augustinian-Calvinism is built on sand ( cf. Matthew 24-27). Ultimately, sound systematic theology is only as good as its foundation. Think Leaning Tower of Pisa.
Unless you’re completely new to this podcast, then you’re fully aware that I am not a Calvinist. My goal in going through Romans is first to establish sound doctrine and second to refute (or at least point out) false doctrine. In this episode I briefly discuss the prominent differences between Augustinian-Calvinism and the biblical view. For more detailed discussion I refer you to the resources listed below.
Study Romans From The Beginning By Clicking Here
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES THAT ADDRESS AUGUSTINIAN-CALVINISM
The Foundation of Augustinian-Calvinism – Wilson (book)
Augustine’s Conversion from Traditional Free Choice to ‘non-Free Free Will’: A Comprehensive Methodology (Studien Und Texte Zu Antike Und Christentum / Studies and Texts in Antiquity and Christianity) Wilson (book)
Soteriology 101 – Dr. Leighton Flowers’ website
Soteriology 101 – YouTube Channel
Was Augustine The First To Introduce “Calvinism” Into The Church? (Flowers & Wilson)
Did The Early Church Fathers Teach “Calvinism”? (Flowers & Wilson)
Calvinism In A Nutshell (Cottrell)