How were you led to the doctrines of Grace?

Discussion in 'Calvinism & The Doctrines of Grace' started by Jon 316, Feb 28, 2009.

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  1. Laura

    Laura Puritan Board Junior

    An anti-calvinist youth minister led me to Calvinism. But for him I never would have heard of it and gone searching out of curiosity. :)
     
  2. Beth Ellen Nagle

    Beth Ellen Nagle Puritan Board Senior

    I was Southern Baptist (starting age 11) and while in Jr College in my early 20's my philosophy professor laid out arguments against "free will" and I began to ask questions and wrestled with it for awhile but in the end rejected the arminianism I was taught.
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2009
  3. ww

    ww Puritan Board Senior

    Bob Jones University and Dr Terry Rude's Bible Doctrines Class. Our Text Book addressed the Decrees of God from an Infra, Supra, etc point of view. So believe it or not my first introduction was as a result of the Decrees of God. From there a Free Presbyterian friend gave me Journey through Grace, a Theological novel by Richard Belcher and the rest is history.
     
  4. Jesus is my friend

    Jesus is my friend Puritan Board Junior

    Listening to the "Renewing your Mind" radio program was a major influence I thank God for using R.C Sproul

    My Pastor (Who is not a Calvinist) suggested I read "The Sovereignty of God" by A.W Pink when I asked him for resource on His Sovereignty,he asked me if I was a "five pointer" and I didnt know what that meant then but after I read Pink's book I became obsessed with these Doctrines,and one of the things that Pink alluded to in his book was something about God being the one that not only saves freely and monergistically but that it is only but a Sovereign work of His Spirit through His Word can anyone see and desire these doctrines

    Just like Saving grace that God gives it seems like He goes beyond this and gives a special Grace to see Him in His Majesty,Sovereignty and Glory through Reformed Theology,even though I've been on thier side it amazes me that they just dont get it at all and it's not due to me being more intelligent (I'm not) or whatever, just a blessing from God to see the Truth fully,it's kinda neet growing up on the other side of the tracks because I can understand how to explain where they fall short and have a compassion for them as God has with me and reveals Himself to "Babes" like me-Praise Him God Almighty!!
     
  5. tdowns

    tdowns Puritan Board Junior

    I relate to this...with my past, present, and future awareness of my sinful state, the obvious transcendent holiness of any being that could be called God, and therefore the obvious need for Him to do ALL the work...it's what I believed was the truth from day one; before having it "clarified, expanded, or systematized". As I traveled through Calvary Chapels, Four Squares, and the radio preachers; John MacArthur and RC rang true...then I stumbled across the White Horse Inn, and, although, I'd say my "dog" was in line, they pushed me over the edge to Reformed Theology as a whole (eschatology, etc.).

    And then...drum roll...in debating, and searching, I stumbled across, what I can say, over the last five years, outside God and His Word, was the most "clarifying, expanding, and systematizing" tool in my Reformed understanding...

    THE PURITAN BOARD!:)
     
  6. Brian Withnell

    Brian Withnell Puritan Board Junior

    Romans ... most particularly Romans 9.

    A very patient brother gave me a list of verses, and I didn't want to believe them. But I did know that the Bible is God's word, and I certainly didn't want to reject his word. Most of the verses had been glossed over by the preachers I'd heard. (U.S. Southern Baptists that just didn't get it ... they were good and Godly men, and I love them as they told me of the gospel which I had never heard as a child.) Just having someone say read Paul's argumentation and ask yourself why he asked each of the questions, and why he replied as he did.

    That changed me forever (at least until now ... I haven't reached eternity yet. :))
     
  7. he beholds

    he beholds Puritan Board Doctor

    Although I went to a Reformed college, I didn't know what that really meant (I thought it was the same as my PCUSA youth group at home, but they sang Psalms instead of "Lord I Lift Your Name on High."
    I had a friend who was a college professor for a very short time there, and she invited me to an RP church, where I suppose something was going on, but I still didn't notice! She mentored me, but I never really knew that what she believed was different than what I believed.
    After starting to go to a PCA church with friends (my future husband included) I heard sermons with the DoG on the periphery, but still did not catch it that it was not what I believed.
    My boyfriend or fiance (I forget exactly when this was!) was explaining election to me one evening, using the term and definitions and everything. I was really mad at him and could not believe that he believed what he was saying! I was so offended that God could have chosen me but not my mom, or others whom I knew weren't Christians. However, very quickly I realized how freeing this was, that I could not save someone, and I dove right in.
    Then I was the one making people mad! My dad, a Baptist, once told me, "Don't witness to my family, then. Don't even pray for them!" He was afraid I'd say, "God might not love you."
    He also had a hard time understanding how God didn't choose everyone. He still is not there, yet.
     
  8. Rangerus

    Rangerus Puritan Board Junior

    I discovered the doctrines of Grace through my curiosity over what doctrine and theology my forefathers held. Reading Spurgeon and the early works of the reformation I begin to understand and accept the full Doctrines of Grace. Even though this is partially contrary to what my family believes as well as many of my fellow church members.
     
  9. JM

    JM Puritan Board Professor

    Honestly, I read Romans.

    When I was done I was a convinced predestinarian.

    Shortly after the first time I read through Romans I was talking with some Christian folks I knew about Romans and they called me a Calvinist, of course I denied it, I had no idea of what a Calvinist was.

    How dare they!

    After that short discussion I searched the net and found out I was a Calvinist.

    :lol:

    I started reading more about the Reformation after that.
     
  10. Ivan

    Ivan Pastor

    I was asking a lot of questions early on as a Christian. These questions made a lot of people in my little Southern Baptist church very uncomfortable. It was the simply reading of the Bible that lead me to ask those questions. Then, by God's providence, I became a member of Calvary Baptist Church while attending University. The pastor was Roger Ellsworth and he believed in the Doctrines of Grace. He help me flesh out my theology to help me have a better understanding of what God had been revealing to me over a period of about six years.

    I've never been the same.
     
  11. ReformedWretch

    ReformedWretch Puritan Board Doctor

    When I got sick and tiered of "easy believism" at Rapture Ready - your prophecy resource for the end times and was scolded for believing in "Lordship Salvation" I "Googled" that term and found John MacArhtur's "Hard to believe", and then about a week later, the Puritan Board. It all fell into place after that.
     
  12. timmopussycat

    timmopussycat Puritan Board Junior

    Can't resist this opportunity.

    As a young Christian, just a few days or weeks away from paganism, I dropped in on a Christian bookstore run by one of the elders of the independent Pentecostal church I had been converted in. As soon as he saw me he came over, marched me to the back rack and said "Buy this book!" It was Dr. Packer's Knowing God

    Yes, it was an unusual Pentecostal church!
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2009
  13. Athaleyah

    Athaleyah Puritan Board Sophomore

    I was happy in an arminian church with a great pastor who truly loved the Bible. He tried to answer my questions about predestination and election that I had from reading the Bible, but his answers never really satisfied me.

    RC Sproul's "Renewing your Mind" was on the radio during my lunch hour while I was in a training class at work and I started listening to him. I had a hard time believing what he was saying, but he kept backing up everything he said with the Bible. So I started buying and reading the books by Sproul that were recommended during the broadcast.

    Once I realized that the Bible did teach reformed theology, I was at first upset with God for doing things that way. The hardest thing for me to accept was that God chose me and changed my heart so that I loved him (and that there was nothing good in me that made him do it), rather than me making the choice to accept Christ.

    As I was learning I was sharing what I learned of reformed theology with my husband. He struggled with it at first as I had, then came to believe it as well (praise God!). We were sad to leave our much loved arminian pastor and congregation, but we felt that we had to move. We found a PCA church near our house.

    Praise God and thanks to him for letting RC Sproul be on the radio during my lunch break!
     
  14. baron

    baron Puritan Board Graduate

    After being saved I attended a Pentecostal church which stressed not reading any books but only the Bible. Christian books were taboo. One day on a church outing where I took my children to swim and skate, I found a christian book store there. I went in and the manager started a conservation with me and then he showed me Arthur Pink Practical Christianity.
    That was the end of the Pentecostal church for me. Then he showed me Spurgeon, and Lloyd-Jones. Started going to a Baptist churches found pastors who liked those men but did not believe as those men did. No internet in those days. Had lots of questions but no one to talk with about my questions. So drifted away from doctrines of grace till I found the PB board. So once again I'm new to Reformed thinking but now, I can read all the great questions and answers on this board.
    I do admit I LOVE lurking and reading here due to my limited knowledge regarding most of the questions.
    I'am truly greatfull for this Board and the people on it.
     
  15. MrMerlin777

    MrMerlin777 Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    Slowly by studying Ephesians 1&2, & Romans 9.

    My wife thought I was going nuts talking out loud and pacing during my personal bible studies all those years ago.
     
  16. Mushroom

    Mushroom Puritan Board Doctor

    After 10 years of wretched sorrow in (and out of) an armino/pelagian charismanian theology, I read the.... Book of Romans (surprise) all through in a night in 1989, then went to get a haircut where the barber happened to be a Reformed Baptist Pastor. He buried me in Pink, Spurgeon, and Luther pamphlets and tracts, and sent me home shorn and shocked. Fought for 5 years, ran and tried to hide, but to no avail. Through Sproul and White Horse Inn, I finally ended up in a PCA Church in 1996. Thanks be to God!
     
  17. Knoxienne

    Knoxienne Puritan Board Graduate

    Someone gave us a bunch of old Steve Brown tapes in the early to mid-nineties when I was in college - old tapes from when he pastored what I think was a PCA in Key Biscayne FL, long before he taught at RTS. He kept using the term Five Point Calvinist, but never said what the Five Points were. I'd ask people and all I'd get was a bunch of garbage from my evanjelly friends about "burning witches" and "legalism" and how four of the five points were great, but "limited atonement" was mean and nasty and "unmerciful".

    All I knew is, I liked Brown's preaching at that time in my young Christian life :smug:, and the Bible started making sense to me in a way it never had before. I had never heard the Bible interpreted non-dispensationally before and that was a breath of fresh air. Brown often mentioned that he was a Presbyterian, but the only presbyterian "churches" I knew of were apostate dens of Marxism and modernistic blasphemy. So I looked in the phone book for a Calvinistic Presbyterian type Church and found an OPC and went there, became a member and stayed there for two years until Bill and I were married there.

    Memory lane! Wow... :coffee: what a load of fun. :)
     
  18. Jon 316

    Jon 316 Puritan Board Sophomore

    Heh folks, awesome testimonies! Thanks for sharing. Keep them rolling in!

    As for me, it was a long journey, some of the said names were influential in my own journey. i.e

    Charles Spurgeon
    M.L Jones
    Phil Johnson's articles on Finney and Spurgeon.
    Romans 9 was the scripture which upset my world.
    John Piper was an awesome influence.
    I'm sure there were many more...

    I also remember getting upset with the doctrines of grace. I remember throwing a calvinist pamphlet across my room in disgust when I read about limited atonement!

    However, God allowed me no rest until I bowed the knee to his Sovereignty in all things including salvation.

    I never was into 'easy believism' though, and I think in many ways I was a calvinist in my heart, if not some of my understanding. I guess the stumbling blocks were free will and limited atonement.

    Praise God for his goodness and His soverign grace!
     
  19. MMasztal

    MMasztal Puritan Board Sophomore

    I'd have to say that after I became a Christian (I had been a non-observant Roman Catholic) and visiting some churches, the Lord led me to a small OPC church where I was blessed with great teaching. I remember that we were studying Packer's "Knowing God" and I also listened to many Sproul tapes.
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2009
  20. Herald

    Herald Administrator Staff Member

    The book of Romans. It captured my heart and mind.
     
  21. Ezekiel3626

    Ezekiel3626 Puritan Board Freshman

    I do not have anything original to add, but I will chime in anyway. My story is basically a mash-up of the ones already mentioned. My former pastor had been introduced, in subtle ways, to the DoG over the years. One day he mentioned the word "Calvinism". I simply googled it, and the search was on. I settled in on Lorraine Boettners' "Reformed Doctrine of Predestination". I literally sat down with this book and my Bible, and began to study and pray over the next several weeks. As already mentioned, there was no "struggle" for me. I was raised Southern Baptist, but had only been converted for less than a year. Most of what I had learned in my life (Arminianism) just did not "add up". I progressed to many more books, and continued to grow in the Word, primarily. Simply put, for me anyway, the DoG simply "make sense", at least to my finite mind. These doctrines fully line up with what I read in Gods Holy Word, and that settled it for me.
     
  22. moral necessity

    moral necessity Puritan Board Junior

    Well....I entered an Arminian Baptist church at age 17 that was slowly reading into Calvinism. The weird, twisted conglomeration of theology that developed out of their pursuit I don't know has ever been duplicated in this life, it seems,....at least I have not read of anything exactly similar to it in any books. After 15 or so years of exposure to their "development", I began to read for myself the books of the reformers that they began to quote evey so often. I bought Edwards' works, as well as Calvin's Commentaries, and began reading them for myself. But, the main difference was prayer, and the near daily crying out of my own spirit to the Lord for help and relief from the burden of their teachings that was upon me. Gradually, light began to ensue......and I quickly became an outcast. But, the doctrines of grace were coming more and more to light, all at the same time it seems. And so, the Lord saw my way out of that pit, and provided my escape that I ever so needed. I still have so many ripple marks and scars, that show themselves as often as the day, it seems. I'm sure, those of you who identify with my experience, know well what I'm talking about. But, I'd never trade the cost for the benefit.....ever.....in my entire life. I've seen the value of the benefit of the doctrines of grace......and they are worth every penny that it has cost me to find them......and boy.....I could go on and on about that cost,.......you have no idea. But, I praise God, for his grace, that allows me to partake of such a blessed understanding! I'm soooo humbled.....and yet, soooooo much thankful and enjoying of it all! And then.......I found the PB.....and I have been blessed that much more!!! But, that is another story...
     
  23. sofarawaykisses

    sofarawaykisses Puritan Board Freshman

    well for me, I was raised in a penacostal church, in which they were huge, huge, HUGE on Arminianism. I felt that I could loose my salvation and in order to be a "good christian" I better show it by speaking in tongues and if the spirit of God was on the congregation, it was impressive if you fainted.
    No lie.
    Anyways, I recently became reformed about a year ago when I met my boyfriend, Matthew. It took a lot of God working through him for me to realize that doctrine I once believed was false and very much so decieving.
     
  24. moral necessity

    moral necessity Puritan Board Junior

    I remember attending a penacostal church service with a friend, when I was 19 or so, and we were in the 2nd row. The pastor came up to some older guy in the row in front of me, and I heard him say these very words....."have you received the Holy Spirit yet?" And, the guy said that he wasn't sure. So, the pastor said that the HS was available if he wanted it. So, the guy did want it....and he began to almost strain....as if his straining was going to allow the HS into his body and make him speak in tongues...he was so trying to make himself available for it....the man's mouth was even open....trying to allow it to be "moved" by the Spirit. Then the pastor leaned into him, so as to not allow himself to be heard through the microphone.....and I happened to be directly behind the guy and able to hear what was said. The pastor said, "if you think that the HS is going to come down here and make your tongue flap, then you're crazy. You have to start moving your tongue, and then trust by faith that it is the HS doing it. And then he will take over." I almost puked!

    So anyway,.......don't feel like you're alone.....many people...even smart and highly intelligent people...are being duped by this stuff. Praise God that he enlightened you to see what your boyfriend was telling you! Thank you for sharing, sister!

    Blessings!
     
  25. A.J.

    A.J. Puritan Board Junior

    I learned the doctrines of sovereign grace initially through James White's website AOMIN.org as I was looking for resources on Sola Scriptura and Sola Fide. Since my discovery of Reformed Theology, I've been reading Reformed books and listening to Reformed sermons.
     
  26. christiana

    christiana Puritan Board Senior

    I read Pink's The Sovereignty of God and also The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination by Boettner. I then prayed to be led to a 'real' church where truth was taught and preached. The very first Sunday I attended my new church was their first day of study of The Five Points of Calvinism. I'd never heard such doctrine taught before and my soul just drank it in like a dried out sponge! What joy!!
     
  27. ManleyBeasley

    ManleyBeasley Puritan Board Junior

    John Piper's sermons and Augustine's Confessions finally pushed me over the edge after years of fighting it. Spurgeon, Pink, and MacArthur got me moving that direction first. Besides that, God really put me through a humbling trial that helped make the Doctrines of Grace look beautiful to me.
     
  28. LeeJUk

    LeeJUk Puritan Board Junior

    Well I think I was truely converted after listening to Paul Washers "shocking message" sermon which has like 1 mill. hits on youtube or something now because even though I had trust in Jesus, I didn't know about blood atonement, the justice of God or anything really to do with the meaning behind Jesus paying for sin, therefore even though I wasn't the same as I used to be when I was unconverted, I had no power and no strength or consistency in my walk with Christ because the gospel had not been explained to me even though I was a year and counting in church and had read the bible through the NT once already It was like reading in German to me.

    Anyway sooo heres a funny part, God in his providence, had me meet Jon 316 in the street randomly when I was out with my old girlfriend and then I think the same day or some days after I seen a link to Jon 316's blog and I was like oh... i met him the other day lets check this out. I went on, there was a video by Paul washer, which explained the cross and then I watched the shocking youth one right after it and that same night boom, Christ became the most valueable thing and everything else became nothing and my christian walk just became real. I then proceeded to read scripture, ended up listening to more of washers sermons which explains calvinism etc... and then listened to some of the free presbyterian ministers on sermonaudio Dr. Ian Paisley, Rev. Alan Cairns etc... and from there I read the westminister confession of faith and I seen the sense it made from scripture and just kept listening to sermons, struggled with the idea of arminianism vs calvinism from both perspectives and calvinism still comes out the winner every time and then john suggested PB to me.
     
  29. Classical Presbyterian

    Classical Presbyterian Puritan Board Junior

    Well, I was an ordained minister, preaching every Sunday and serving a church when ZGod changed my heart, taught my mind and showed me the Biblical truth of the Doctrines of Grace. And in the mainline, no less!

    With God, all things are possible!
     
  30. Augusta

    Augusta Puritan Board Doctor

    Raised and steeped in charismatic pentecostalism until I heard RC Sproul on the Christian radio station one day. I was forever changed from that day forward. Before coming to the doctrines of grace I never understood the scriptures when I would read them, just like LeeJUk. It was truly a miracle because I had only ever heard bad things about "once saved always saved" people.
     
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