One of the challenges I have as a pastor is finding writers and speakers that I agree with on all points. What I often find instead are lots and lots of authors that I value and respect while at the same time finding points of disagreement. For example, I value and respect the work of John Piper and John MacArthur while at the same time disagreeing on some of the key points of their doctrine. I recently discovered this same tension with a fellow that I respect – David Platt. I thought it worthwhile to record my thoughts for those that later wonder why I might still use his materials in my own teaching.
First of all, here is my point of contention. David Platt believes in what is called “Calvinism” as the core foundational truth regarding salvation. We cannot come to Christ – Christ comes to us. We cannot choose salvation – Christ must do that for us. Now he would argue until red in the face for this belief, but I would likely be just as frustrated as he was. We simply are not going to agree on that point. For every Scripture he cites in favor of Calvinism, there are (and have been for 2000 years) just as many that refute that belief.
I am not going to get into a full argument here. I’ll just give this one verse as an example of verses against Calvinism.
Matt 10:32 Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. 33 But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.
But even as I find disagreement with Platt on this view of salvation, what is clear in David Platt’s preaching is a belief that Christ alone redeems and saves. Platt’s passionate preaching on missions and evangelism demonstrates his belief that Christ must be preached to the ends of the earth. And his call to radically follow Christ (exhibited in his first and second books) allow me to see the great value in hearing his message.
So in an upcoming Wednesday evening series, I will use David Platt’s book “Follow Me”. However, I will not allow him the soapbox called Chapter Two in this book to promote his belief of Calvinism. I believe we have had far too many seminary classrooms divided over these arguments and we will soon have an SBC divided just the same if we are not careful.