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Calvanism (brief)

Discussion in 'Bible Answers' started by Chad, Jul 21, 2006.

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  1. I'll give you a gold star for cherry picking out of context in your attempts to prove your point.

    The sad thing is...we are all individuals and we each have our own opinions. It is none of our jobs to force our beliefs on another.

    I too am amazed at your stance on things, and how you bring yourself across, but that is just the way it is.
  2. Election doesn't hinder evangelism. Before I believed in the doctrine of election I was scared to death that I was going to say something wrong when I presented the gospel. I was afraid that I was going to lead someone to hell instead of heaven. Now I know that it's not me it's God. I don't lead someone to salvation God does. And even when I do it wrong he can use it for good, Romans 8:28. Now I'm not scared to present the gospel.
  3. Your right JWayne we can't force our beliefs on anyone, God in his good time will reveal his truth to you.
  4. You are absolutely right Bambi, our job is merely to share the gospel, and the rest is up to God.
  5. Jwayne:

    You are amazed at my views on Calvinism??? Why does this surprise you, being that it is YOU who willingly entered a giant 8-page-long thread called...surprise!!... "Calvinism"!

    You came into this thread, offered nothing useful to the discussion, but came in all haughty and puffed up, and mocked the rest of us for studying and discussing theology and doctrine.

    You came in accusing us of worshipping men, being idolaters, practicing eisegesis, preaching a false gospel, and a plethora of other accusations, all without offering anything meaningful to the discussion, no exegesis of scripture, and no copy/pasting of Bible texts with the intention of discussing the true interpretation!!!!.

    Your lack of input, actions, and finger pointing here speak volumes about your pride, arrogance, and puffed up attitude about being ignorant of Christian history, doctrine, and jargon. (I'm not sure such ignorance warrants a slap on the back and a snap of the suspenders, but you seem to think it does)

    Please, if you cannot offer anything meaningful to a debate between Christians about Bible theology, then just be on your way. Otherwise, stay, listen, and learn from those of us who have actually invested countless hours in study, Biblical exegesis, Christian History, and actually know what the heck we are talking about.

    Good day.
  6. It is *because* of the fact that the Biblical doctrines of predestination and election are true that we evangelize. Why?

    Because, when we know that God has selected and purchased a people in Christ, we know that they will believe the gospel when they hear it. (Act 13:48, John 6:37) This gives us great confidence that our evangelical efforts will not be in vain, because we know all we need to is plant the seed, and God will give the increase in whomever He wills (the elect).

    This also leads to our diligence to present the gospel accurately and clearly, and not water it down to make it more palatable to modern man. We can preach on the things the natural man hates, such as sin, and hell, and justice, without fear, because we know that the elect will only be saved when the Gospel is presented accurately.

    Calvinism does not hinder evangelism, it fuels it. We evangelize for the same reason the Apostle Paul did:

    "I endure all things for the sake of the elect, so that they may be saved" 2 Ti 2:10

    We evangelize for the same reason Jesus Christ did:

    "Other sheep I have that are not yet in the flock. I must find them, and bring them, and they will hear my voice and follow me...My sheep hear my voice, and follow me, and I give them eternal life. My Father gave them to me..." (John 10:16, 27-29)

    If you evangelize with the idea that salvation is a game of chance, and God is crossing His fingers hoping the sinner will "allow him to save them", then you have the wrong attitude.

    We evangelize with the knowledge that there ARE sheep that will believe, there ARE people ordained to eternal life, and there ARE elect that need to be saved, and brought back to the flock of the Shepard.
  7. Amazing how the one that feels threatened is always the accuser! Why are your feathers ruffled so? Are you so uncomfortable with your beliefs that you must attack others? So this is the way Calvinist Christians act?! Guess Calvinist Christians are a step above us regular Christians, HUH?

    I will pray that you will be able to get a grip on the anger, and that God will enlighten you as to how not to fly off the handle when another does not follow your beliefs. May He show you how not to verbally attack others with such hateful words, and that He will show you how to love others as He loves you.

    Blessings my friend.
  8. #88 hiselect, Oct 21, 2008
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2008
    "Are you so uncomfortable with your beliefs that you must attack others?"

    Lol! Actually it is YOU who came in here to attack the rest of us by telling us we should just not be worried about doctrine and just be "Christians"

    It is YOU who is uncomfortable with the Bible's beliefs, because you have yet to offer anything meaningful to the discussion of God's absolute sovereignty in salvation, the total inability and helplessness of man, the effectual and actual substitutionary atonement of Christ on the cross, and the immense grace of God that He would even decide to save some, rather than letting all perish.

    It is me, and not you, who has exegeted countless scriptures. You have yet to do anything but puff up and make your chest big, as if your ignorance about theology and doctrine makes you better than the rest of us who are Bereans and study to shew ourselves approved.

    If you're content with your shallow "religion" that you slapped the name "Christianity" on, then that is no business of mine - just don't try to pollute our orthodox, historical, sound doctrine with it.
  9. <center> Romans 9-11
    I begin with the greatest Calvinist text: Romans 9. The simplest way to appreciate Calvinism is to read Romans 9:6-18.
    My conclusion is this: If we take this passage at face value, we should become Calvinists.
    But there is more to be said. We call this more interpretation. Candidly, we are going to look for a meaning for this passage other than the face value meaning.
    We begin by remembering that Paul was not writing in order to settle a debate between Calvinists and traditional Baptists. Why, then, was he writing?
    This is his only letter to a church he didn't establish himself. He had promised to come to be with them, but he has been delayed by a famine in Jerusalem; in Galatia he had collected some money for the Christians in Jerusalem to help them through the famine, and he felt that he should take that money to them before he went to Rome. So he wrote the church at Rome to tell them his understanding of the gospel, and to give them advice about their life together.
    In Romans 9-11, which all interpreters agree is a single connected passage, Paul is addressing a fact that was fast becoming obvious to everyone: In general, when Jews were hearing the gospel, they were rejecting it, and when Gentiles were hearing the gospel, they were accepting it.
    This created at least three problems for Paul. First, there was a personal problem; he was a Jew, and his heart was breaking because his fellow Jews were rejecting the gospel; that is why he says in Romans 9:2, I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart.
    Second, there was a theological problem. Paul believed, and frequently said, that Jesus Christ was the fulfillment of God's promises made centuries earlier to Israel. How, then, could Paul account for the fact that the Jews who had those promises resisted the message of their fulfillment in Christ and the Gentiles, who did not have those promises, accepted the message of their fulfillment in Christ?
    Third, there was a church problem. The church at Rome was either exclusively or predominantly a Gentile church, and there seems to have been some anti-Semitism, some anti-Jewish sentiment, in the church. When Paul in Romans 11:17 ff. speaks of Israel as the vine and of Gentiles as a branch grafted into the vine, he is heading off anti-Jewish sentiment.
    That is the fact Paul was confronting, and those are the problems he faced because of that fact. In chapter 9 he is not addressing Calvinist/traditional Baptist disagreement. We need to remember that when we read Romans 9.
    Paul's question was: Why is it the case that, in general, Jews are rejecting the gospel and Gentiles are accepting it? He gave at least five answers to that question.
    The first answer is Calvinistic: God loves some and not others. God loves Jacob, not Esau. Like a potter, God honors some vessels and destroys others. God shows mercy to some and not to others. That is God's prerogative. That is what we see in chapter 9. If that were all, we should become Calvinists, but it is not all.
    Second, the reason that God accepts some people and rejects others is that some people accept the gospel and others reject it. This is the burden of Rom. 10: If you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. So this is why so many Jews are not saved: they are rejecting Christ. And this is why many Gentiles are being saved: they are accepting Christ.
    Third, some Jews are being saved. We see this in 11:1: Has God rejected his people? By no means! I myself am an Israelite. There is today, as there always was throughout Israel's history, a faithful remnant who are following God, and who are being saved.
    Fourth, I will simply quote Romans 11:26: All Israel will be saved. Some of those who take Romans 9 at face value are not so comfortable with taking Romans 11:26 at face value. This, of course, resolves Paul's problem fully. His question is: Why are so few Israelites being saved? And this answer is: All Israel will be saved.
    Yet there is still more. Fifth, and finally, it is all a mystery. Romans 11:33-36.
    Now let's try to put this together, taking all five points with equal seriousness. We begin at the end. First, we respect the mystery in all this.
    Second, If we take the first and the second together, this is what we have: God has predestined that Jews will be lost, and Jews are lost because they themselves reject the gospel.
    Third, if we take the first and third together, we have this: God has predestined that the Jews will be lost, but some Jews are not lost.
    Fourth, if we take the first and fourth together, we have this: God has predestined that Jews will be lost, and all Jews will be saved.
    I think that, given these facts, we are entitled to say that Paul's initial affirmation of predestination is not an abstract statement about God's eternal predestining of some people to be damned. It is rather as a way of assuring us that, even though in general Gentiles are being saved and Jews aren't, God is not indifferent what is happening in the world and God has not lost control of the world. Paul then continues by assuring us of the great mystery that in fact the Jews will not be lost.
    For these reasons-Paul's real issues, Paul's five points, and the fact that Calvinists do not take Romans 11:26 at face value-I think that we are not required to understand Romans 9 to teach the Calvinist understanding of predestination.
    On the other hand, let me say again that, on the face of it, that is precisely what Romans 9 teaches. For the reasons I have given, I do not think the face value meaning is the one Paul intended.
  10. While both Arminianism and Calvinism both have some truth, neither of them are inerrant or complete. While it is impossible for both to be right, it is very possible for both to be wrong. The scriptures state that we know in part and this is especially true concerning John Calvin and Jacobus Arminius.

    One of the posts here in this thread stated that the basic principles of calvinism's doctrines date back to the early church, while this may be true, it does not justify it as truth, there are other redemption doctrines which date back further that refute calvinism principles.

    I have found that most people who engage in the Calvinites vrs Arminianites debate have very limited knowledge of the history involving either side and much less, history concerning the early church.
  11. #91 hiselect, Oct 21, 2008
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2008
    Finally, something meaningful! I only care what the Bible says, but the reason we discuss these things is to talk about the correct interpretation. Why was this so hard for you acknowledge when you first entered this thread? I digress...

    An interesting interpretation of Romans 9. But the writer of the article, whoever it is, assumes that Romans 9 is the "great Calvinist text", as if this was the only thing Reformed Theology had to fall on in defense of its doctrines.

    Secondly, there is a great error on the author's part when he charges Calvinists of believing that "God predestines men to hell". I'm sorry, but that is a strawman, a misrepresentation of Calvinism. The Bible never, ever states that God predestines men to hell. Rather, it only, repeatedly states that men are predestined to heaven alone. Men go to hell because of sin. Men go to heaven because of predestinating grace. It is deceitful to charge Calvinists of believing otherwise. God need take no action for men to end up in hell - He simply lets them go there, justly, offering no grace to save them (which He is not obligated to give). God should have justly let all perish, but He is rich in mercy, and decided to save some, rather than condemning all.

    Thirdly, it was pointed out that Paul was not writing as a Calvinist. This is a big "duh", for the "term" Calvinist was not invented until the followers of Arminias protested against the reformation, and sparked controversy, and the Christians at that time held the Synod of Dort to deal with the Arminian's claims, and put forth TULIP as a response and a rejection of those claims.

    It was also said that "Paul was not writing to settle debate between "Calvinists and traditional Baptists". What the author here is implying is that Traditional Baptists are not Calvinists! This is laughable, for a quick glance at the London Baptist Confession of faith from 1644 will have Calvinism written all over it. Here's a few snippets:

    The greatest baptist preachers and teachers in history have been Calvinists. For example, the beloved Charles Spurgeon, was a Calvinist. Baptists have historically been Calvinists. Why? Because the doctrines that Calvinism contains is the true exposition of Scripture, which is another debate. Moving on...

    So, no, Paul was not writing to offer material for the "Calvinist vs Arminian" debate. Paul was writing, however, as an Apostle who we know believed in Predestination, for he himself also wrote the following statements:

    Rom 8:30,33
    Whom He predestined, He called, and whom He called, He justified, and Whom He justified, He glorified..who shall lay anything to the charge of God's elect?

    Eph 1:4-6,11
    According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:
    Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,
    To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.
    In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;
    In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:

    2Th 2:13-14
    But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:
    Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

    2Ti 2:10
    Therefore I endure all things for the elect's sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.

    2Ti 1:9
    Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,

    (1Co 1:26-31)
    For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence. But of him(But of God, by His doing, because of him (ESV)) are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.

    Long story short, since we know without a scintilla of a doubt that Paul was writing as an apostle who believed in Predestination, there is no reason to shy away from this fact when we approach Romans 9 and assume "Paul is not really talking about" what the text obviously screams - Paul's defense of unconditional election.

    It would be easy enough for me to SAY that, but it wouldn't be enough evidence. Therefore, I point to the context of the entire book of Romans itself in general, and specifically, the end of Romans Chapter 8. If you would follow Paul's flow of arguments and thought processes and context from Romans 8 to Romans 9, you can see why Paul decided it was necessary to write Romans 9!

    At the end of Romans 8, Paul had just concluded that nothing can separate the love of God from the people he had just described, nor will God break His promises to these people.

    In other words, Paul had just promised us that "All things work for good" for a certain group of people, and he describes these people as "who love God, and are the called according to His purpose"(v28), and "who were predestined, called, justified, and glorified"(v29-30), and who "are God's elect, whom nobody can lay a charge against, because it is God who justifies them" (v33)

    He then goes on to talk about how nothing can separate these same people from God's love.

    Paul then realizes that the people to whom he is writing will immediately think of Israel and how many promises of blessings and love were given to them as well, yet now, many are not believing, and are separated from Christ and God. "What happened to God's promise?" is what they will be asking.

    Therefore, Romans 9 is Paul's defense of his statements about God's promises to "his people" in the prior chapter (Romans 8). Observe:

    Paul starts out by saying "I am not lying". Remember, there are no chapter breaks in the original text. Those were added later by translators. We know that Paul is saying he is not lying about the promises of God's love and that God's predestined people can never be separated from Him, though his readers will question such things. This is Paul's defense and reason:

    "It is not as though God's word has failed" (v 9:6a). It is not as though God's promise was broken, Paul argues, because:

    "Not all who are descended from Israel are Israel" (v 6b)
    "Not all are children of Abraham because they are his offspring.." (v7)
    "It is not the children of the flesh who are children of God, but it is the children of the promise who are counted as such" (v8)

    Paul then explains what this "promise" is.

    "This is what the promise is..." (v9)

    Paul then explains the doctrine of election from verse 9-24.

    This matches perfectly with Paul had stressed earlier in the book of Romans about physical Israel not being Israel at all, but rather, Spiritual Israel is to whom the promises are made:

    Rom 2:28-29
    For no one is a Jew who is merely one outwardly, nor is circumcision outward and physical.
    But a Jew is one inwardly, and circumcision is a matter of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter. His praise is not from man but from God.

    Paul also gives a nod to this idea in Gal 3:16,29

    Gal 3:16 Now the promises were made to Abraham and to his offspring. It does not say, "And to offsprings," referring to many, but referring to one, "And to your offspring," who is Christ.
    Gal 3:29 And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's offspring, heirs according to promise.

    Paul's argument is that to merely be a Jew physically is to not be a Jew at all! Rather, a Jew is one inwardly, spiritually, not if the flesh is circumcised, but if the heart is circumcised. (born again - a believer in God and His Christ)

    He concludes that all are under sin, both (physical) Jew and Greek. For several chapters Paul stresses the terrible dilemma all men are in. His answer to this dilemma comes when he finally writes Romans chapter 8. "There is no condemnation to them in Christ Jesus". At the end of this same chapter, he explains how and why people are ever in Christ Jesus - Predestination.

    In Romans 9, Paul continues his argument and apologetic and defense of his doctrine:

    Rom 9:9 For this is what the promise said: "About this time next year I will return, and Sarah shall have a son."
    Rom 9:10 And not only so, but also when Rebekah had conceived children by one man, our forefather Isaac,
    Rom 9:11 though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad--in order that God's purpose of election might stand, not because of works but because of him who calls--
    Rom 9:12 she was told, "The older will serve the younger."
    Rom 9:13 As it is written, "Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated."
    Rom 9:14 What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God's part? By no means!
    Rom 9:15 For he says to Moses, "I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion."
    Rom 9:16 So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy.
    Rom 9:17 For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, "For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth."
    Rom 9:18 So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills.
    Rom 9:19 You will say to me then, "Why does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?"
    Rom 9:20 But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, "Why have you made me like this?"
    Rom 9:21 Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use?
    Rom 9:22 What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction,
    Rom 9:23 in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory--
    Rom 9:24 even us whom he has called, not from the Jews only but also from the Gentiles?

    I conclude that there is no reason to shy away from taking this chapter at face value. If we follow Paul's context, especially the directly preceding chapter (chapter 8), Romans 9, at face value, makes absolute perfect sense, especially considering the fact that we know without a doubt that Paul believed in predestination, for he talked about it constantly in his letters. (Consider his own conversion, and it's no surprise why)

    The previous poster's interpretation does some fancy footwork to ignore the obvious, and come to another conclusion that sounds more "fair" to the human mind and the fallen man's sense of justice and grace. There is no need for this - let the Bible speak, and let it speak in context.

    To anyone that rejects unconditional election, I have this to ask:

    If Paul believed in "Conditional election" (The non-Calvinist, Arminian variety), then why does Paul anticipate the objections about men thinking that election is "not fair" and "unjust"? Why is Paul concerned with defending God's justice if election was *conditional*? Who would ever in their right mind find conditional election unfair? Who would find it unfair that God only chooses those who first choose him? (Which is what conditional election teaches)

    Paul anticipates objections and questions about God's fairness! Why? Because, the answer is obvious, election is *unconditional*. He said it himself "Before the children were not born or had done anything good or bad, one was chosen over the other, so that God's purpose of election would stand"

    Paul anticipates that the natural human response is:

    "Is there injustice with God?" (v 14)
    "For he says to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion" (v15)

    The next question Paul anticipates is:

    "Why does God still find fault, for who has resisted His will?" (v19)

    In other words, Paul, why does God still hold people accountable for not being saved, it was His predestined plan all along?

    Paul's answer is a stiff rebuttal to anyone who would sit in judgement on God:

    "Who are you, O Man, to answer back to God?"

    Looking forward to the replies.
  12. Yes, you do, because all I did was directly copy/paste scripture from the Bible, and you accused me of "taking them out of context".

    How could you even comment on my contextual understanding if I didn't even COMMENT on the verses - I merely pasted them.

    I'll do it again. I wont even comment on the verses, I will simply paste them. We'll see if you can then accuse me of "taking them out of context"..ridiculous.

    Acts 13:48 says "And when the Gentiles hear this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord. And as many as were ordained to eternal life believed"

    Jesus says "You do not believe because you are not my sheep" John 10:26

    Jesus says Joh 8:47 Whoever is of God hears the words of God. The reason why you do not hear them is that you are not of God."

    Paul, in Romans 8:30 says " And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified. "

    Jesus in John 6:37 says "All that the Father gives to me will come to me, and whomever comes to me I will never cast out"

    Paul says in Eph 1:4-6 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love
    he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will,
    to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.

    Tell me, what's your understanding of these verses? Am I wrong in simply believing exactly what these verses say?

    If you notice, little to not actual "interpretation" is needed in these particular verses. They are crystal clear, not ambiguous in the least. Some of these verses do not even need as much exegetical gymnastics as John 3:16 does, for example.
  13. I'm closing this thread because the discussion has degenerated into people spitting anger and condemnation at each other. Not acceptable on this site.


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