Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Job for the Non-Calvinist

That's the book of Job, not a job that pays you. Quick question. I am certain that I have a few readers that are not necessarily persuaded by the the arguments for Calvinism. Here is my question, and it is legit. I am not trying to trap anyone, I am trying to learn. If someone were coming from a Semi-Pelagian or Arminian perspective how do you understand the book of Job?

The basic gist of my question is that Arminians and Semi-Pelagians have a wonderful answer for the problem of evil...the fall of man, our sinfulness, our choices, etc. The book of Job does not allow for such an answer. In fact those answers are rebuked by God. The Calvinist is able to sit back read the book of Job, and say "let God do what He will". So, for my Arminian/Semi-Pelagian readers, how do you address the book of Job as a whole?


  1. Mike
    As you know, I'm leading a Bible Survey on Wednesdays and tonight we are looking at Job. I can't respond to your post in the sense that I'm a non-Calvinist. But I had not considered your question as I approached the study for tonight.

    It is an interesting question. I can't wait to hear the response.

  2. We are going through the book of Job in our guys Bible study. It is very interesting...I have found myself counseling as Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar...which serves as a rebuke. Tonight we are looking at Eliphaz's first speech. It's amazing that there is really nothing wrong with his theology. Only problem is that he is spiritually arrogant and applying right theology at the wrong time. Again, that sounds familiar in my own life.

    Any gleanings from Job that you've uncovered thus far?

    P.S. why do pastors always get their picture taken with books behind them? LOL

  3. Mike:
    Job demonstrates wonderfully that God is God and "we ain't," doesn't it?!?
    Very thought-provoking post.

  4. As far as the books and the pictures go....I can't come up with a witty response, so I'll just say, "I duuna know."

    Gleanings from Job.....Since we're going through the whole book in 45 minutes and I'm primarily quoting Dever with few comments....Here's the best I've got.

    "One of the central ironies of Job is that Job suffered not because of his sin nor weakness, but because of his faith and strength in the Lord."

    This certainly stands the 3 friends arguments on their ears, doesn't it?

  5. LOL, way's far more pastoral, than all that book readin'...patriotic, in your face, and assuring me of my self-worth...what better pastor could we have than Uncle Sam?

  6. Mike,

    I've been thinking about this and I haven't gone back to read Job recently.

    So, we know that the Holy Spirit reveals new, deeper applications to the reader (assuming he is in the right place Spiritually) every time we read scripture we haven't studied in a while.

    Having said that, I don't know where I fall on the Calvinism/Arminian scale, so this is what I think of Job.

    1.) God has a permissive will
    2.) God is sovereign
    3.) God knows the future completely, but allows it to play out for several reasons
    a.) His righteousness and Glory
    b.) Our learning and education about Him
    c.) Our edification/judgment
    d.) others I am sure

    God Bless,

  7. why do pastors always get their picture taken with books behind them?

    There is actually a reason for this. In older times, before photography, when people would have their portraits painted, the artist would place books within the scene to show that the subject was educated and/or intelligent. Based on this, when photography was invented the same would hold true. Books would be placed placed in the picture as a symbol of their education and intelligence. So, why is Terry pictured with books, I don't know...

    Just kidding Terry.

    Hope the Flavel study goes well today. Could someone please fill me in on what is talked about?

  8. "If someone were coming from a Semi-Pelagian or Arminian perspective how do you understand the book of Job?...The basic gist of my question is...The book of Job does not allow for such an answer [as] the fall of man...."

    Job's friends think nobody can be righteous and God tells them in the end they are wrong, accepts Job as righteous because of his works, and forces them to make a sacrifice to make up for their stupidity in saying that nobody can be righteous.

  9. In this way, the Calvinist cannot "sit back read the book of Job," for the book of Job is an attack on a Calvinistic-like theology that asserts that man cannot be righteous. This is indeed the devil's argument in the book of Job. Job is not really righteous. He just pretends to be to get God's favors. Satan is a Calvinist in Job.



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