I took some time out to what to hear Dr. Ron Comfort explain his concerns of reformed theology and why he is a dispensationalist'. To be honest, I would rather read a transcript than listen (unless obviously, I'm driving) but nevertheless, I took the time required to hear what the critic had to say. Would he say something I hadn't heard before? Something that would really set me thinking and reviewing my adherence to a Biblical hermeneutic which I have adopted for the past 30 years?
From the blurb, I was under the distinct impression that the interview would focus on these subjects, but they were not mentioned at all until practically the 20 minute mark. The majority of the interview was taken up with Dr. Ron Comfort speaking movingly about his background, conversion to Christ and subsequent ministry at Ambassador College etc.
There was practically nothing said about Dispensationalism at all, other than Dr. Comfort affirm that he believed it. He gave but two short reasons why he does not embraced covenant or Reformed Theology. To summarise the 90 seconds he actually spoke on Calvinism:
(1) He sees free will in the Bible.
(2) If God predestinates people to Heaven or Hell - then why evangelise?
That was it.
Two things by way of reply:
1) Calvinism sees man's free will on every page of the Bible too. Man is free to follow the dictates of his own heart and does so without any violence offered to it by His Creator. Unfortunately, man's heart is wicked and subsequently (unless preventing grace intervene) man's decisions are wicked too. Every page of God's word also reveals that man is in bondage to sin (John 8:34) and that sin's chains affect his whole being, including his heart. The unsaved man does not enjoy the liberty of the sons of God until he is set free by believing the truth of God (John 8:32). It is only whom the Son sets free, who is free indeed (John 8:36) and not those who stubbornly (of their own free will) resist Him. And yes, Calvinists do believe that sinners can, and do, reject the grace of God.
2) Why evangelise if God has predestinated people to Heaven or Hell? Well, here are no less than 8 reasons why, and an application of the same faulty reasoning which Dr Ron Comfort engages in. Basically, I must wonder: Surely the learnéd Doctor knows by now that Calvinism believes that God has ordained the means as well as the end?
So that was that. I must admit I am somewhat surprised that this interview was marked up in the way that it was. I freely accept that it was not Dr. Comfort's fault that it was severely over packaged. (BTW: This review should not be seen as an attack on Dr. Comfort or indeed anyone. There might well be other places to go to see his theme developed more, but the above interview obviously isn't it. Indeed, without sounding harsh, it took on all the characteristics of a damp squib, as far as an attack on Calvinism is concerned.)
Will anyone abandon Calvinism and embrace its alternative on the basis of this interview? I doubt it. Will they be strengthened to continue on in their position? Probably. Once again, another attack on Calvinism is left to wallow in its own self failure.