Dear George Bryson…

Dear George Bryson,

I have tried to find another way to contact you, but to no avail.  I don’t even know if you will ever get this or not.   I write to you with a heart of peace and in the love of Jesus, yet troubled.

I attended a Calvary Chapel for 5 years, served diligently, was mentored, ordained and sent out by my Pastor to start a Calvary Chapel.  That was 2.5 years ago.

Long story short, I tried to affiliate with CCOF, but had to retract my application because of the issue of Calvinism/Arminianism because I could not affirm Pastor Chuck’s position 100%.  To say that one man’s view on the subject is correct for me is not possible.

To say the least I was severely disappointed, felt abandoned, and the church start failed.  That last two years have been some of the most difficult in my life.

When I began attending CC, I was not aware that Calvary Chapel had rejected Calvinism, kicked out Calvinistic Professors and Pastors, and turned their back on their Christian brothers who thought the Doctrines of Grace were valid.  I wish I would have been told.

I was not a Calvinist, nor do I consider myself a Calvinist, but I believe you and others would label me as one since I believe the Doctrines of Grace are legitimate.  I consider myself a Biblical Christian, nothing more and nothing less.

Before I came to that conclusion, I even defended the Calvary Chapel view on the subject before I even began attending a CC, and continued to defend the CC view when others in our church began to study Calvinism because our Pastor taught through the book of Romans, including Chapter 8-9.  That sparked interest.

During my mentorship I read your first book on the subject, which of course sparked my studies.  After hours and hours, weeks and weeks, and months and months of study and discussion with fellows in my church, I realized that the Doctrines of Grace were legitimate, but would not press my view on others.  Though your definition of the Doctrines of Grace and my definition are different.  When I teach the subject I am balanced and teach both sides and let the people decide.

Anyway, that is the short version of all that has transpired over the last 8 years.   I write to you because I am troubled by what you write and say.  I have read both your books, wrote reviews for my CCOF application and Pastor, listened to you on the Bible Answer Man, and watched your debate with James White.

I listened to part of your teaching at the CC Pastor’s Conference at the end of 2003 on James White’s show today.   My conclusion is simple.  You have confused mainstream Calvinism with Hyper-Calvinism and deny that the mainstream rejects Hyper-Calvinism.  You misrepresent the main group of those who believe the Doctrines of Grace, and you don’t appear to be concerned that you do so.

I am concerned that you never present an alternative interpretation of those passages in scripture such as John 6, John 10, John 17, Romans 9 etc etc.. and a ton of other passages that teach the Doctrines of Grace to line up with Calvary Chapel theology.

And despite that you say your a Biblicist, you do believe man can respond to God in his sinfulness, that God elects on condition, general atonement, and grace can be resisted.  Those are 4 points of Arminianism according to Pastor Chuck in his pamphlet.

I am concerned with God’s truth and what His Word teaches.  I love the truth of God’s Word, and I love the God of the Bible.  I am not a malicious, manipulating, deceitful “Calvinist” as you basically said in your talk in 2003 at the Pastor’s conference.

You believe your theology is the truth, and you may not be concerned with searching the truth of God’s Word like the Bereans, but don’t say that those who disagree with you when it comes to this subject are arrogant, prideful, “intellectual”, manipulating people.

Yes I am a young man, 32 at present, and it is true I love God’s Word and want what I believe to line up with His truth.  Yes I believe in the Doctrines of Grace because I am convinced of their accuracy by the Bible.  That doesn’t make me an evil, manipulating “Calvinist.”

Maybe if someone on the other side of the issue were to give us a valid interpretation of those texts that teach the Doctrines of Grace that lines up with CC teaching we could come out of “Calvinism.”  I have yet to see anyone who does so, and that is why people believe the Doctrines of Grace and defend them against the tradition of men.

I am not a “scholar” like some, nor do I have implicit first hand knowledge of the original languages.  I study to show myself approved, and do my best to understand God’s Word.  I love His truth.

I am currently writing a book to detail my understanding of the Doctrines of Grace.  I’ve titled it God’s Salvation, and I am basing all of my presentation on the text of the Bible alone.  I am not interested in presenting what men have said about this subject because at the end of the day the only thing that matters is God’s Word.

If you choose to continue misrepresenting the position of many Christians that is your choice, but I believe as a Bible believing Christian that I should confront you on this issue.

You may not be concerned with this letter in the least bit because I’m just a small little person out here in the world, but I know God is concerned with how we believe and teach His Word.

Therefore, I would be willing to come to the next Calvary Chapel Pastors’ Conference in California this next year and have a session with you on this subject.  I’d be willing to have a parallel presentation with you including cross examination.

Who would be better to discuss these things with than an ordained Calvary Chapel pastor banished from the ranks because I love and choose to understand the truth of God’s Word to the best of my ability.  And I am not willing to accept one man’s interpretation of these things.

I do hope you know that I write these things with gentleness and respect.  I write with the love for my brothers in Christ.  I believe you are my brother.

His Peace,
Daniel

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About Daniel Silas

www.danielsilas.com
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6 Responses to Dear George Bryson…

  1. Rob Carr says:

    Hi Daniel, How are you? Did Bryson ever write back to you? Are you still a Calvinist? I’m an ex-Calvinist. You wrote above that you are convinced of the doctrines of grace by the Bible. May I suggest to you that this is a risky way to do doctrine, because if we have a doctrine we like, we can be convinced of anything by the Bible. Why not forget about Calvinism for a moment, and then read the Bible with an open mind and heart and see if it says something else? And what about exegesis? Wow. Calvinists are smart and like to mention the word “exegesis” but I’m not sure they know what it is because they just do not do it. Do an exegesis of the start of Ephesians; you won’t get anything similar to Calvinism. You can’t. You have to start with Calvinism and add it to Ephesians. Same with the other places in scripture. The doctrines of grace constitute a system. This is not in its favor, not a compliment. If you want to find more and more truth, abandon all systems, especially the tidy, clever ones. You said you haven’t found Calvinism disproved? Well, many people have disproved it beautifully. Check out faithalone.org articles. Talk care. Yours, Rob Carr

    • Daniel Silas says:

      Hi Rob, thanks for the comment. I am doing well today, and I hope you are too.

      No, George Bryson never did write me back.

      I don’t consider myself a Calvinist, but I do think the Doctrines of Grace are Biblical.

      I do read the Bible with an open mind and heart. I do not impose preconceived doctrine on scripture. I let scripture drive my theology and beliefs. That is what I meant when I wrote I am convinced by the Bible.

      As to this subject my book, God’s Salvation, gives the Biblical evidence to support my position.

    • Daniel Silas says:

      Exegesis means a critical explanation or interpretation of a text or a portion of a text, especially in regard to the Bible. In my exegesis work, I do my best to honestly apply proper hermeneutics as I do so. And those teachers I listen too work hard to do so as well. I don’t think your general statement that Calvinists don’t know what it means or do it is a fair assessment. For example James White, John Piper, and John MacArthur are excellent Bible scholars who exegete scripture in their teachings.

    • Daniel Silas says:

      Let’s take a look at Ephesians 1:3-6 since you mention it.

      “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.”

      1) God has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in Christ.
      2) He chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world.
      3) That we should be holy (set apart) and without blame before Him in love.
      4) We were predestined to be adopted as His children by Christ to Himself.
      5) All because of the good pleasure of His will and glorious grace.
      6) By which He made us acceptable.

      So this tells me we are chosen and predestined because of God. Notice this is all God’s doing. He is the active one who is doing all of this. He blesses us. He chose us. He predestined us. We are set apart because of the work of the Holy Spirit. We are blameless (justified) because of Jesus’ atonement. All according to His will and grace. We are in His love because of Him.

      Am I misinterpreting this passage?

      As to folks disproving the Doctrines of Grace… I wouldn’t say they disprove it. I would say they argue against it, but I have yet to find anyone who can do so successfully (resolving contradictions created by their arguments) in light of the clear teachings of scripture. The Bible does not contradict itself.

      • S. Yang says:

        Daniel, I ran across your page by accident. I have no idea if you even update or monitor it currently. I too have wrestled with these verses and have come to this conclusion. Believers are chosen in Christ meaning when God looks at a believer he sees his Son. In my opinion, it doesn’t mean he personally chose us before the beginning of time to heaven (or hell). Those who are chosen in Christ are predestined to be adopted as children in himself. We are not predestined to heaven (or hell) from eternity’s past. I think these philosophies of determinism are interjected into the passages. It is a proof text. Exegesis is very important but exegesis with a deterministic agenda is dangerous. It’s the perspective in which we view these verses. When Paul was writing these things I doubt his goal was to cause division. It is a sad situation for the Church. It may seem like I’m simply restating the verses but it’s how it is applied.

    • Daniel Silas says:

      Hi S. Yang,

      I hope you are doing well today.

      You wrote: “Daniel, I ran across your page by accident. I have no idea if you even update or monitor it currently.”

      I do monitor the website, but I have not been doing a lot of updates recently. It fluctuates from time-to-time depending on offline responsibilities and demands. I’m in the midst of writing my second fiction novel (under a different pen name), which has been getting more of my attention.

      You wrote: “I too have wrestled with these verses and have come to this conclusion. Believers are chosen in Christ meaning when God looks at a believer he sees his Son. In my opinion, it doesn’t mean he personally chose us before the beginning of time to heaven (or hell). Those who are chosen in Christ are predestined to be adopted as children in himself. We are not predestined to heaven (or hell) from eternity’s past.”

      According to Ephesians 1, Yahuwah actively, personally chose us in Christ. We were chosen to be set apart (holy), without blame before Him, and in His love. He personally predestined us to adoption as sons by Yahushua to Himself. The text does not say anything about being chosen for heaven (or hell). As a result of Yahuwah’s active work in our lives to accomplish His will that He determined before the foundation of the world, we will be with Him forever. Heaven (really wherever Christ dwells) is a simple reality of belonging to Him.

      You wrote: “I think these philosophies of determinism are interjected into the passages. It is a proof text. Exegesis is very important but exegesis with a deterministic agenda is dangerous. It’s the perspective in which we view these verses. When Paul was writing these things I doubt his goal was to cause division. It is a sad situation for the Church. It may seem like I’m simply restating the verses but it’s how it is applied.”

      I have to disagree, I don’t think the determinism is interjected into the passage. Bringing a deterministic agenda into a text isn’t Exegesis. A man’s bias and perspective can definitely have an impact on the reading of the text and the meaning that he draws from it.

      I don’t think Paul was writing these things to cause division either, but they were written. He was attempting to give us an insight as believers into the wondrous things of Yahuwah and all that He has done on our behalf.

      In regard to George Bryson, he has led the charge within Calvary Chapel to cause division and kick pastors and elders out of the fellowship if we don’t agree with his particular views.

      As to determinism to heaven or hell, the Gospel of our Lord is open to anyone who wants and desires to follow Him. Yahuwah doesn’t keep anyone away from Jesus. The Gospel is an open invitation and a command. Those who go to hell do not want Yahuwah, Jesus, the Bible, or anything else. They choose to go their own way, and as a result they are judged. The only reason why the entire human race isn’t lost is because Yahuwah chose to intervene in love and actively save those in Christ.

      I appreciate you stopping by and discussing the topic.

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