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The NIV Thematic Reference Bible

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#1 Tommy Barnabas Dahl

Tommy Barnabas Dahl


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Posted 16 May 2006 - 06:52 AM

Hi I just bought Accordance, an so far I like it :D

I have a question about, the Zondervan Personal Growth Bible Study Suite.
and it is simple, is it any good :) well to be more specific, the module: Thematic Reference Bible. I have read it may be Calvinistic, not that I have anything against Calvinist, but I prefer neutral sources.

Is he Thompson Chain Reference Bible, better?


Tommy Barnabas.

#2 David Lang

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Posted 16 May 2006 - 03:35 PM


The NIV Thematic Study Bible is essentially just a topical approach to the Bible. Each verse lists certain topics which that verse addresses, with links to an index where those topics are discussed. In most topics, there is nothing I can see which might be considered Calvinistic. However, topics such as "predestination," "election," etc. do appear to be approached from a Calvinistic perspective. For example, here is a little of the article on election:

6639-election, to salvation
God chooses to bring individuals to salvation through faith in Jesus Christ.

ē Election is part of Godís eternal decree
Election is from eternity Eph 1:4 See also 2Th 2:13; 2Ti 1:9

Election is Godís sovereign prerogative Ro 9:15-24; 11:1-6 See also Ex 33:19; Isa 65:1; Jer 18:1-12; Jn 15:16; 17:6; Ro 9:10-13; Eph 2:10

Godís election places individuals within the covenant of grace Ne 9:7-8 See also Ge 15:7, 8, 18-21; 18:19; Gal 3:29

Election is not on the basis of merit 1Co 1:26-31 See also Dt 7:7-8; 9:4-6; Jas 2:5

ē Godís election of his people is the foundation of his saving action

Election does not suspend Godís use of the means of salvation 2Th 2:13-14 See also Mt 1:21; Eph 2:8-10; Jas 1:18; 1Pe 1:2

Election works in tandem with the call of the gospel Mt 22:14 See also Ro 8:29-30

Election is evidenced through a positive response to the gospel 1Th 1:4-5 See also Jn 6:37-40

As you can see, most of these bullet points are expressed in fairly standard Calvinistic ways. However, it gets tricky because most Arminians would not necessarily argue with any of these propositions in and of themselves. Arminians also affirm that "Election is not on the basis of merit," but they mean something slightly different when they make that affirmation.

For comparison sake, here is the Thompson Chain Reference entry on election:

Election, 1107
of Godís people
Exodus 6:7; Deuteronomy 4:37; 7:6; Matthew 25:34; John 15:16; Galatians 4:30; Ephesians 1:4; 1 Peter 1:2


As you can see, there's a lot less there; but it certainly appears to be a little more value-neutral.

Hope this helps.
David Lang
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