If you came by my Doctrine of Soteriology class last week, most of the time things would be calm and under control. But there were a few days filled with loud voices, arguing, people getting out of their chairs, and tons of enthusiastic questions.
Granted this isn’t how Bible classes are supposed to go (as the professor I did make sure to get things back under control) but in a way this was a blessing because young men were going through the process of wrestling with theological truth.
I made a large emphasis of our class the unlimited atonement of Christ since this is an incredibly important point of Salvation. Dealing with this meant discussing at length Calvinism, and the Doctrine of Election.
For two or three days we emphasized election within an unlimited atonement. Basically this means God chooses to save people based upon their future acceptance of the Gospel by faith (in my case this was at the age of five, in the back of a blue Toyota station wagon, on the way to the grocery store). Over time it became clear this view of election is different from that held by most Calvinists, that believes the sovereignty of God is what saves, without any human response.
To be honest I actually enjoyed our loud theological arguments because it meant the students were thinking about a complex doctrine such as election. And through those discussions, they were able to clearly understand, as well as articulate a biblical view of election through an unlimited atonement.
In a practical sense I am “giving them steak instead of baby food” an illustration Scott Duvall and Daniel Hays use in their book “Grasping God’s Word.” They describe the problem of Believers not being able to study the Word of God as coming to the Bible for steak, but only finding strained peas.
The solution to this problem is to put a toolbox of Biblical interpretation into their hands, and teach them a solid process of Bible study. However, sometimes this also means throwing them into the deep end of the pool, and help them interpret Biblical truth.
In my opinion a great problem in many churches is people have grown up on a diet of baby food. So the need someone to guide them from the basic truths of Scripture to the deeper ones.
This is why after the Believers are strong enough for meat, the gerbers baby food must be taken away, and they be fed meat the real meat.