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Calvinism

Discussion in 'Bible Answers' started by Chad, Oct 4, 2009.

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  1. Calvinism
    by Matt Slick (carm.org)

    Calvinism, also known as reformed theology, is a movement within orthodox Protestantism that was developed by John Calvin (1509-1564), a French theologian. John Calvin was eight years old when Martin Luther posted his 95 theses. Calvin and Luther never met.

    Calvin was a lawyer who later became a Pastor in Geneva, Switzerland. He was married in 1539.

    Calvin produced many commentaries on various books of the Bible, but he is best known for his seminal work known as The Institutes of the Christian Religion, a marvelous work expounding Christian theology, which he published at the age of 26.

    The system of Calvinism adheres to a very high view of scripture and seeks to derive its theological formulations based solely on God's word. It focuses on God's sovereignty, stating that God is able and willing by virtue of his omniscience, omnipresence, and omnipotence, to do whatever He desires with His creation. It also maintains that within the Bible are the following teachings: That God, by His sovereign grace predestines people into salvation; that Jesus died only for those predestined; that God regenerates the individual to where he is then able to and wants to choose God; and that it is impossible for those who are redeemed to lose their salvation.

    Arminianism, on the other hand, maintains that God predestined, but not in an absolute sense. Rather, He looked into the future to see who would pick him and then He chose them. Jesus died for all peoples' sins who have ever lived and ever will live, not just the Christians. Each person is the one who decides if he wants to be saved or not. And finally, it is possible to lose your salvation (some Arminians believe you cannot lose your salvation).

    Calvinism emphasizes the sovereignty of God and his eternal decrees by which he has ordained whatsoever shall come to pass. Calvinists take the Bible very seriously and try to harmonize all its concepts. It teaches monergism, that salvation is accomplished in God's work alone (John 6:28-29; Phil. 1:29), and that nothing occurs in the world except that God has given permission (Eph. 1:11). Some critics have maintained that Calvinism makes God the author of evil, but Calvinists are quick to deny such an accusation and teach that God is sovereign even over the forces of evil and that he uses evil within his eternal plan for the world and mankind: "For truly in this city there were gathered together against Thy holy servant Jesus, whom Thou didst anoint, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, 28to do whatever Thy hand and Thy purpose predestined to occur," (Acts 4:27-28).

    TULIP
    Basically, Calvinism is best known by an acronym: T.U.L.I.P.

    Total Depravity (also known as Total Inability and Original Sin)
    Unconditional Election
    Limited Atonement (also known as Particular Atonement)
    Irresistible Grace
    Perseverance of the Saints (also known as Once Saved Always Saved)

    These five categories do not comprise Calvinism in totality. They simply represent some of its main points.

    Total Depravity: Sin has affected all parts of man. The heart, emotions, will, mind, and body are all affected by sin. We are completely sinful. We are not as sinful as we could be, but we are completely affected by sin. The doctrine of Total Depravity is derived from scriptures that reveal human character: Man's heart is evil (Mark 7:21-23) and sick (Jer. 17:9). Man is a slave of sin (Rom. 6:14-20). He does not seek for God (Rom. 3:1). He cannot understand spiritual things (1 Cor. 2:14). He is at enmity with God (Eph. 2:15). And, is by nature a child of wrath (Eph. 2:3). The Calvinist asks the question, "In light of the scriptures that declare man's true nature as being utterly lost and incapable, how is it possible for anyone to choose or desire God?" The answer is, "He cannot. Therefore God must predestine." Calvinism also maintains that because of our fallen nature we are born again not by our own will but God's will (John 1:12-13); God grants that we believe (Phil. 1:29); faith is the work of God (John 6:28-29); God ordains people to eternal life (Acts 13:48); and God predestines (Eph. 1:1-11; Rom. 8:29; Rom. 9:9-23).

    Unconditional Election: God does not base His election on anything He sees in the individual. He chooses the elect according to the kind intention of His will (Eph. 1:4-8; Rom. 9:9:11) without any consideration of merit or quality within the individual. Nor does God look into the future to see who would pick Him (lest God learn and react to man's choices). Also, as some are elected into salvation, others are not (Rom. 9:15,21).

    Limited Atonement: Jesus died only for the elect. Though Jesus' sacrifice was sufficient for all, it was not efficacious for all. Jesus only bore the sins of the elect. Support for this position is drawn from such scriptures as Matt. 26:28 where Jesus died for 'many'; John 10:11,15 which say that Jesus died for the sheep (not the goats, per Matt. 25:32-33); John 17:9 where Jesus in prayer interceded for the ones given Him, not those of the entire world; Acts 20:28 and Eph. 5:25-27 which state that the Church was purchased by Christ, not all people; and Isaiah 53:12 which is a prophecy of Jesus' crucifixion where he would bear the sins of many (not all).

    Irresistible Grace: When God calls his elect into salvation, they cannot resist. God offers to all people the gospel message. This is called the external call. But to the elect, God extends an internal call and it cannot be resisted. This call is by the Holy Spirit who works in the hearts and minds of the elect to bring them to repentance and regeneration whereby they willingly and freely come to God. Some of the verses used in support of this teaching are Rom. 9:16 where it says that "it is not of him who wills nor of him who runs, but of God who has mercy"; Phil. 2:12-13 where God is said to be the one working salvation in the individual; John 6:28-29 where faith is declared to be the work of God; Acts 13:48 where God appoints people to eternal life; and John 1:12-13 where being born again is not by man's will, but by God's.

    Perseverance of the Saints: You cannot lose your salvation. Because the Father has elected, the Son has redeemed, and the Holy Spirit has applied salvation, those thus saved are eternally secure. They are eternally secure in Christ. Some of the verses for this position are John 10:27-28 where Jesus said His sheep will never perish; John 6:47 where salvation is described as everlasting life; Romans 8:1 where it is said we have passed out of judgment; 1 Cor. 10:13 where God promises to never let us be tempted beyond what we can handle; and Phil. 1:6 where God is the one being faithful to perfect us until the day of Jesus' return.

    Hyper Calvinism

    The hyper Calvinist emphasizes the sovereignty of God to such an extent that man's human responsibility is denied. In actuality, hyper Calvinism is a rejection of historic Calvinist thought. Hyper-Calvinism deniesthat the gospel call applies to all, and/or denies that faith is the duty of every sinner, and/or denies the gospel offer to the non-elect, and/or denies that the offer of divine mercy is free and universal, and/or denies that there is such a thing as "common grace," and/or denies that God has any sort of love for the non-elect. Calvinists do not agree with the hyper-Calvinists.
     
  2. Thanks for posting that, Chad. There's another thread about Calvanism that I just posted a question on, but what you just said about hypercalvanism answered part of it.

    Now I have a new question that is I don't understand how those five points don't automatically lead to hypercalvanism. Maybe I'm hung up on what elect and non-elect means.

    I'm going to go through some of the things you said were hypercalvanism because I don't understand how tulip doesn't lead to them, so you or someone can answer my questions about it.

    faith is the duty of every sinner
    If irrisistable grace means that faith is given to us by God, then where does duty come in?

    denies the gospel offer to the non-elect
    Does this mean that somebody who is non-elect can become elect? If they can't then what does the gospel offer to them?

    the offer of divine mercy is free and universal
    If Jesus didn't die for the non-elect, then how is the offer of divine mercy universal?
     
  3. I too am trying to understand this doctrine. I don't know what it means and am trying to understand, also after reading the other post about it. I've commented in the context below, if anyone would care to fill in the blanks. ??

    I may have not "gotten" everything there is to know, especially the different doctrines of the different churches, but I know what my heart tells me, and these are just my own personal feelings. So, you may have to correct me where I've gotten it wrong. So far, I guess I must not be a Calvinist. Who knows? :helppc:
     
  4. what is it about calvinism that you disagree with?
     
  5. I think the thing I don't agree most with is the predestination thing. How could a loving god pick and choose who will come to know Him and who will not? Even if He knew who would accept Him because He is all-knowing, that doesn't seem right either. If this were true, then why even put us through this whole life thing, if in the end, we will end up in Hell?
     
  6. DEAR HoneyBare,

    I took the time to read your testimony and was blessed to hear your heart toward getting to know God in a deeper way. You are a child of God and His love will see you through.

    I think this calninism theology is confusing
    because it is more from man's thinking and needs than from God's word. The study of where and how it was developed is very interesting. The truth of the
    basis of how and why God is doing what He is doing to insure our salvation is probably better explained by how he is working to defeat the enemy of our souls; ie. the Devil; rather than God using us like puppets on a string against ourselves. The Bble says that Jesus died for all men's sins. Anything that does not translate to mean what God's plan is; Jesus came for all; is suspect to me also. Those who defiantly adhere to so called "reformed theology" need to dig a little deeper. The truth lies in what Jesus gave us in the beggining but which was taken from us by so called "church fathers; after the first century authors of the scriptures solidified what Jesus had left us with. Much of what is taught today does not line up with what Jesus left us with.

    HoneyBare, God is showing you his true heart. There is much to learn and to line up with the Bible.
    Bible does not always look like church doctrine because church doctrine comes from the falible men that got themselves into the sin that Jesus had to save them from in the first place. Truth will always look like the Bible; we, like the Bereans, need to keep seeking truth until we find it.

    I am sure others will chime in with more on this. If you want my opinions just ask.

    God Bless You,
    Smokey Jack
     
  7. #7 MsAmby, Oct 5, 2009
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2009

    John 1:29
    John 3:16
    John 4:42
    1 Timothy 4:10
    1 John 2:2
    1 John 4:14


    These are some of the verses I got from carm.org on the question,
    Did Jesus die for everyone? My Calvinist friends say no.

    I believe Jesus died for all humanity's sins and not just a select group.

    Romans 10:11-13
    For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
    For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek:
    for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.
    For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.


    What if a person you knew wasn't saved and was a Buddhist, then later wanted to be born again?
    Would you tell him/her,
    "Oh, I'm sorry, but Jesus didn't die for you, He only died for me and other Christians"?

    Matthew 4:17


    John 6:47
    Romans 3:21-23

    Romans 5:6
    Romans 5:8
    Romans 5:15


    I don't think I've seen a verse anywhere that mentions God sent Jesus to die for some people's sins.
    Jesus preached to people to repent for the Kingdom of God is at hand.
    So that would obviously mean the people would have a choice rather to believe or not, right?
    What would be the use of preaching if God already selected for some to believe or not to believe?

    Jesus said in John 3:3. He said "except a man" in general--meaning, anyone! Doesn't matter what race/height/etc a person is!
    He didn't say anyone in particular or a select group of people, Jesus said "except a man".

    John 3:17
    Ezekiel 18:32
    2 Peter 3:9
    1 Timothy 2:4
    If God only allowed some people to believe and some not to, then why do these verses tell us otherwise? What would be the use of God desiring all men to repent?
    I don't think there is a verse in the Bible that says God meant for some people to go to Heaven and for some to go to Hell--that just sounds absurd. God doesn't want any to perish!

    I don't really understand all the calvinism/arminianism stuff myself but
    I do know that I rather go by God's Word rather than man-made doctrine,
    even if the doctrine may seem right in some ways,
    it still isn't God's Word in the end.

    Why is there Calvinism vs. Arminianism?
    These were both men who looked at certain verses in the Bible and made them into what they believed.
    How would you think Paul would have handled this?
    Isn't this just like how what he was going through when the people were getting mixed up messages about Jesus?

    My NLT Bible says in "Introduction to Colossians"
    "Plenty of people had come to their town and spouted the "truth".
    In fact, the Colossians had heard so many different truths that they had become completely confused
    about who Jesus was and what that meant for them."


    There should only be ONE TRUTH.


    Galatians 1:8


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  8. i have asked myself that same question in the past and the only answer is for the Pleasure of God
     
  9. #9 Bambi, Oct 22, 2009
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2009
    God doesn’t have to prove himself to us. He is God. He is sovereign. He is Lord.

    Rom 11:34-36
    34 For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor?
    35 Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again?
    36 For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.

    1 Pet 1:2
    2 Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.

    4268 prognosis (prog'-no-sis);
    from 4267; forethought:
    KJV-- foreknowledge.

    1 Pet 1:19-20
    19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:
    20 Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,

    4267 proginosko (prog-in-oce'-ko);
    from 4253 and 1097; to know beforehand, i.e. foresee:
    KJV-- foreknow (ordain), know (before).

    If you notice that the word foreknowledge and foreordained are very similar in definition and the Greek word is very similar. Some people have even said that they are the same words. I don’t know Greek very much but they do look a little different in spelling. In verse 2 Peter is talking about the believers who were chosen with the foreknowledge of God. If you believe in Free will like an Armenian then you would believe that God saw through the tunnel of time and knew who would believe his truth so he chose you.

    Now using that same thought with verse 20, did God look through the tunnel of time, saw Christ choosing to die for our sins, and decided then that Christ would be the sacrifice? Does that sound right? Because that’s what your saying if you are an Arminian.
     
  10. Testimony

    HoneyBare this is a hard doctrine to accept. I was raised in an Armenian style church. I believed in the free-will of man. I would use 2 Peter 3:9 to refute the Calvinist I met along the way. It wasn't till I married my husband that my view changed.

    He never told me before we were married that he believed in election and when he did I was so mad at him. But since I believe that once married always married I was stuck. But the Lord was working in my heart when it came to election.

    My husband told me something no one had ever said before and that was, "All doesn't mean All All the time."
    The problem with false doctrine is that they take verses out of contexts. When you read the whole 3rd chapter of 2 Peter you see that Peter is talking to believers about the end times and why Jesus is delaying his return. In 2 Peter 3:8, Peter identifies who he is talking about in verse 9, "Beloved". He is talking to believers about believers.

    If you take the word beloved and place in context with verse 9 what he's saying is this.

    9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward,(beloved) not willing that any(beloved) should perish, but that all(beloved) should come to repentance.

    Christ is waiting for the last elect person, chosen before the foundation of the world, Eph 1:4 to repent and turn to God.

    This is a hard thing to believe I know, it took me almost 20 years to come to grips with it. Keep searching the scripture, praying that God will reveal his truth to you. Be a Berean. Don't take my word or anyone else. See if these things be so.

    Ps 86:11
    11 Teach me thy way, O LORD; I will walk in thy truth: unite my heart to fear thy name.
     
  11. calvinists

    i do not believe that a person cannot lose his or her salvation. they can or else paul would not be speaking to that in the word. we will always have that free will, it is never taken from us. although, i wonder why a person would turn away from God and His blessings, it is very possible. there is much to confirm this in the word of God. also, i have learned alot about this particular subject from the jimmy swaggart ministry.
     
  12. Bambi,

    This a very dangerous thing to put words into the word of God!

    I looked at several translations -- Rotherham; Concordant Literal; KJV; NKJV; NIV;(that seemed like enough to me) -- and I did not see beloved in parenthesis in any of those translations of 2Pe. 3:9.
    But I did see any and everyone.

    Maybe your husband is wrong and HoneyBare is right!
     
  13. Victress,

    I agree with you. A person can lose salvation. We do have freewill. On the flip side of this, God also has his, and He has desided to give us grace, mercy, salvation and to never leave us. So could our sins ever keep us from the love of God?
     
  14. calvinists

    True Smokey Jack. I believe He will always be there and forgive all times if we keep wanting it, the thing is always on our side not God's. God said He would never leave or forsake, it is the person that chooses. We have free choice and will every day, but can hope and pray that God will always keep us and He will.
     
  15. not adding, explaining


    I was not adding to scripture. I was explaining what the words, "us-ward, all, & any" were referring too. They are referring to the word Beloved in the previous verse.
     
  16. Lose salvation then you can't get it back


    Victress, I'm sorry you believe you can lose your salvation. If that where true then you can never get it back, because then Christ would have to be crucified again.

    Heb 6:4-6
    4 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost,
    5 And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,
    6 If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.

    But thank the Lord we can't lose our salvation because his sacrifice was the perfect sacrifice that is eternal. Read Hebrews chapter 10.

    Ps 86:11
    11 Teach me thy way, O LORD; I will walk in thy truth: unite my heart to fear thy name.
     
  17. Calvinism.
    Is it possible that it is named after it's origin?:wink:
     
  18. You mean Calvinism originated from a different organism than Christism?

    Sometimes I cant quite figure out which direction you are going with a point haha......


    "Calvinism: This theory was worked out by the French theologian and fashion designer John Calvin Klein, who argued that some people are predestined to be glamorous while others are doomed to be plain. America was founded by Calvinists, who sought to establish a country where they could pursue their belief that buckled hats were fashionable." - JollyBlogger

    I detest nametags...the "I`m of Cephus, I`m of Paul- I`m of Luther, I`m of Calvin" , that very divisiveness and departure from CHRIST....


    On the other hand, I think men resist words like omnipotence and predestination because it leaves them without a say in the matter.......hmmmm....
     
  19. Hey I'm trying to understand the difference between Calvanism and hypercalvanism. I asked some questions earlier but no one ever answered so I'm still confused.

    Chad said that the difference between Calvanism and hypercalvanism is that hypercalvanism ...

    • denies that faith is the duty of every sinner
    • denies the gospel offer to the non-elect
    • denies that offer of divine mercy is free and universal
    My questions were,

    • If irrisistable grace means that faith is given to us by God, then where does duty come in?
    • Can somebody who is non-elect become elect? If they can't then what does the gospel offer to them?
    • If Jesus didn't die for the non-elect, then how is the offer of divine mercy universal?
    Thanks
     
  20. Duty comes from God.

    Matt 28:19
    19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
    John 21:17
    17 He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.

    Non-elect can not be elect because what makes them non-elect is that God didn't choose them. Eph 1:4. And because they are non-elect they will not seek after God. Rom 3:10, 11. I've been told, and I'm not sure, I'll have to study this myself, but Christ's sacrifice affected the whole world just like Adam's sin affected the whole world. Romans Chapter 5. But not completely in a salvation sense.

    Divine Mercy universal? Where does it say that in the Bible?
     

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