Three Point Calvinism

Three point Calvinists are a cross between Calvinists and Arminians.  They hold to three points of Calvinism although not always the same three points.

Some contend that Calvinism is an all or nothing concept and that it is impossible and theologically incorrect to hold to only certain tenants of Calvinism.

Those who hold to some form of both Calvinism and Arminianism believe that they are being open minded and not dogmatic in their approach to theology.  They see this as balancing between the sovereignty of God and the free will of man and believe that the Bible clearly teaches both aspects.

The area of Calvinism that is often most in contention is the subject of limited atonement.  At the other end of spectrum the most Calvinistic viewpoint, so to say, is the idea of eternal security.  Some even consider this to be the only crucial part of Calvinism.

Pseudepigrapha

Pseudepigrapha literally means false writing.  It gets its name from the fact that the books that are classified as such have false author claims.  Such a book is the Gospel of Thomas which is not accepted to have been written by Thomas but instead written several centuries after that.  Another book is the Book of Enoch which claims to have been written by the Enoch of Genesis who “walked with God and then was no more.”

While numerous accepted books of the Bible have been attacked by liberal scholars as having been written much later – for example some claim the book of Daniel could not have been written until the 1st or 2nd century BC – books that are classified as pseudepigrapha have essentially no support for their authorship claims.  They are almost universal understood not to have been written by the claimed author and almost never was even written during their lifetime.

See also: apocrypha, canon of scripture

Protoevangelium

Protoevangelium is a compound word.  Proto means first.  A prototype is the first creation of some item.

Evangelium sounds a lot like the word evangelize, and it is.  When you evangelize, you share the gospel.  That’s what evangelium is.  The gospel.

So, protoevangelium is the first gospel.  It is the first good news.  It is found in Genesis 3:15 when God first tells us that he is going to send Jesus (even though he doesn’t mention Jesus by name!)

After the Fall of Man, God pronounces judgment on man for his sin.  But He also offers the good news that the seed of the woman, Jesus, would crush the head of the serpent, Satan.  Satan would strike Jesus on the heel, his death on the cross, but it would not be mortal as Jesus would rise from the dead.  Jesus would strike back with a mortal wound to Satan by crushing his head.  The protoevangelium is God’s first announcement that Jesus was coming and that Satan would be defeated.

Prevenient Grace

Prevenient grace is grace that is extended to humankind in order that they may choose to follow God.  Both Calvinism and Arminianism hold that man will not choose God on his own.  Calvinism offers that God unconditionally elects people for salvation while Arminians claim that God offers prevenient grace in order that man may choose to follow God.

Prevenient grace is a conclusion that is drawn rather than a direct teaching of scripture.  Because of their belief in free will Arminians reject the notion of irresistible grace and thus unconditional election.  Scripture makes it clear that no one seeks God on their own.  So prevenient grace is extended in order that man may have faith.  This should be understood as a softening of the heart, allowing for free will to remain intact.  It doesn’t “elect” or force anyone to become saved but rather opens the door for them so that they may choose whether or not to walk through the door on their own.

Premillennialism

This view holds that Christ will return to begin a period of time known as the Millennial Kingdom as described in Revelation 20.

While other views are still considered orthodox and biblically based, this view is regarded as the most literal interpretation.  (Opponents argue that apocalyptic literature can’t and shouldn’t be taken literally.)  This view holds to a literal reign of Christ on David’s throne.  Resurrected saints will reign with Christ during this time.

Many consider this time to be a literal thousand years although one may hold to this view without believing in a literal millennium but rather just an extended period of time.

During this time Satan is bound and holds no sway over humanity.  At the end of the time though, he will be released and conquered once and for all and thrown into the lake of fire.

The world will witness unprecedented peace as Isaiah 65:20 is realized.  “Never again will there be in it an infant who lives but a few days, or an old man who does not live out his years; he who dies at a hundred will be thought a mere youth; he who fails to reach a hundred will be considered accursed.”

During this time, the promises to Israel will finally and completely be fulfilled.  This is the only millennial view that is in line with dispensationalism as it is the only view that still sees God continue to work with the nation of Israel.

See amillennialism and postmillennialism for different views concerning the Millennial Kingdom.

For further discussion see the article on the Millennial Kingdom.