20 Questions For Calvinists

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by w_fortenberry, Mar 26, 2003.

  1. w_fortenberry

    w_fortenberry
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2002
    Messages:
    68
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have recently begun a study comparing the works of John Calvin to the Bible. As a result, I have come up against several questions which I would like ask the Calvinists on this board. These questions are not given in any specific order other than that of their occurance to me. Any help in answering these questions will be very much appreciated.

    1. Could you please explain Matt 5:21-22 in light of election?
    2. Could you please ecplain Matt 5:28-29 in light of election?
    3. Are there any sins which an elect person cannot commit?
    4. Can you explain Matt 7:17-21 in light of election?
    5. Can those who are elected to damnation know who is elected to salvation (Matt 5:14-16)?
    6. Can you explain the necessity of electing some to damnation?
    7. If grace is irresistable, what need is there for Christ's death (Matt 9:12)?
    8. Is faith irresistable?
    9. What is the "measure of faith" mentioned in Romans 12:3?
    10. Can the unelect perceive the declaration of the heavens (Psalm 19:1, Rom 1:18)?
    11. Can you explain Romans 1:21-32?
    12. Is Romans 2:4 referring to the unelect?
    13. Have the unelect heard the gospel (Rom 10:16-18)?
    14. Who were the "disobedient and gainsaying people" of Romans 10:21?
    15. Is God capable of graffing unbelievers into the olive tree of Romans 11?
    16. How can Israelites be both lost and elect (Rom 11:28)?
    17. Does God give us commandments which He does not honor (Rom 17:17)?
    18. Does God love those He did not elect to salvation (I John 4:7-8)?
    19. Does Acts 17:30 refer to all men or just the elect?
    20. Was John Calvin one of those elected to salvation?
     
  2. npetreley

    npetreley
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2002
    Messages:
    7,359
    Likes Received:
    0
    I don't have much time to delve into detail, but here are some thoughts off the top of my head. I'm picking the ones I can answer quickly.

    Hopefully I can come back and tackle the others if someone doesn't beat me to it with better answers. ;) But I should also mention that many of your questions don't make any sense (at least to me).

    Look at the whole message here. Jesus begins this particular section by saying, "For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven."

    Then He goes on to describe some aspects of God's righteousness that is impossible for man to attain on man's own steam.

    There are plenty of men who, by the grace of God, do not act on their lusts or are even not tempted to act on their lusts. I know of no normal male human being who has the power to not feel lust after some sort of woman who strikes his fancy. Maybe the women are different, maybe certain men have other weaknesses, but Jesus is clearly saying that your flesh is what gets you in trouble. He emphasizes how much trouble by saying that you'd be better off plucking your eyes out.

    But the message is clear. God's standard of righteousness is so far above ours that it boggles the mind. The message is meant to leave you aware of your inability to attain that righteousness.

    So far, this has nothing to do with the elect, but IMO, the elect will respond to this message by recognizing their need for a savior. The non-elect won't get it. They'll brush it off. They'll think it's a command to work harder to be righteous. Or whatever.

    Without the atonement, we remain in our sin and God's Holiness would prevent Him from bestowing unmerited favor on us in His love. So whether or not you believe grace is resistable or irresistable makes no difference. There would be no grace at all to resist or otherwise without the atonement.

    If you mean grafting them in as unbelievers, it doesn't make sense. If you mean grafting them in by making them believers, of course He can. On the other hand, if you're simply talking about the tree including the Gentiles, then He has already grafted in unbelievers. I guess it depends on how you interpret the section.

    The same way a person can be elected president of a country but not elect to salvation.

    I'm not sure. This is just my opinion, but I believe God does love everyone, including the non-elect, in one sense, but loves the elect in another.

    Neither. He's talking about the fact that God wants men everywhere (not just Israel) to repent. Whether that includes all men or just the elect is not even addressed by the verse, IMO. But if I had to guess, I'd say it applies to everyone. But I see no problem with the fact that God can rightly say that everyone should repent, yet elect only a portion of them. The command is perfectly valid and just, and issuing it to everyone does not deny God the right to elect whomever He pleases.
     
  3. AITB

    AITB
    Expand Collapse
    <img src="http://www.mildenhall.net/imagemsc/bb128

    Joined:
    May 19, 2002
    Messages:
    1,091
    Likes Received:
    0
    Romans only has 16 chapters - do you have the actual chapter and verse you were thinking of?

    Helen/AITB
     
  4. KenH

    KenH
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2002
    Messages:
    32,485
    Likes Received:
    0
    Judging by his life, I would say absolutely yes. And I would say the same thing about Charles Wesley, John Wesley, George Whitfield, among others. Obviously, none of us knows for sure if any particular person is saved or not. But God knows, and that is all that really matters. [​IMG]
     
  5. TheTravelingMinstrel

    TheTravelingMinstrel
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2002
    Messages:
    119
    Likes Received:
    0
    Post edited to remove comments that didn't further the discussion.

    [ March 27, 2003, 09:01 AM: Message edited by: Pastor Larry ]
     
  6. russell55

    russell55
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2002
    Messages:
    2,424
    Likes Received:
    0
    I am not sure what you are getting at with this question. Are you asking about the unpardonable sin? I can say that the elect WILL not commit the unpardonable sin...

    After the elect are born again, their new nature and the continued santifying work of the Holy Spirit will produce a real change in their behaviour. They will be made more and more righteous.

    The way to identify a false prophet is by looking at their fruits. Not everyone who claims to be speaking for God and doing miracles in His name really is.

    What it is about election that you think contradicts any of this, I don't know. Maybe you can explain....


    People are not elected to damnation.

    The good works of those who are believers serve as a beacon to those who are unsaved.

    See answer above.

    The work of the Spirit that produces saving faith within us is irresistible.

    The faith given to the members of the body by which they exercise their spiritual gift.
     
  7. William C

    William C
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2003
    Messages:
    1,562
    Likes Received:
    0
    Russell55,

    I understand that Calvinists don't believe that there a people elected to damnation, I used to argue that when I was a Calvinist myself.

    However, I have a question for clarification.

    Within the Calvinistic system:

    Who chose to allow Adam's sin to impute guilt and damnation upon the entire world?

    Who chose to remove that imputed guilt from some of those in the world while leaving that imputed sin and damnation on the rest?

    No matter how you look at it within the Calvinistic system, God does choose to damn some to hell.
     
  8. TheTravelingMinstrel

    TheTravelingMinstrel
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2002
    Messages:
    119
    Likes Received:
    0
    Moderator:
    I never meant that comment as to be an insult.
    It was merely a joke.
    Hezikiah 3:16
    "Thee who sits on a tac will surely rise again"
     
  9. TheTravelingMinstrel

    TheTravelingMinstrel
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2002
    Messages:
    119
    Likes Received:
    0
    1. Man is damned to hell by his own to sin, therefore, because it was his own sin, God is not responsible for their damnation. God did not predestine people to hell because *they* where the ones that sin.
    2. Christ's task was to do the will of the Father, and the will of the Father is to save all that *were given to him*, these people, the elect, are predestined to be saved.
    3. Because God predestined some to life, He did not predestine the others to death. Man, by his own sin, has damned him to hell.

    Here's an illustration.
    We have a firefighter and a 2 men in a burning building. The building is buring, because they did something down right stupid. The firefighter grabs one of these men and drags them to safty. Both of the men in the building are in ther because of their own deeds. One was saved because of the firefighter, but it was not the firefighters fault that the other died.
    (this is not a perfect analogy, so please, don't pick it apart, it's only to help you understand what I am saying)
     
  10. William C

    William C
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2003
    Messages:
    1,562
    Likes Received:
    0
    So you don't believe that people are born objects of wrath prepared for damnation?
    The term "were given to him" is in reference to those who followed Christ while in the flesh. It was not in reference to all believers.
    But by imputing Adam's sin upon all mankind he damned everyone that He had not predestined to life.

    I understand you analogy and out of fairness I will only "pick" on the point that we are seeking to illustrate in our debate.

    What if the men were in the building because the firemen put them there and only intended to save one of them while leaving the other one to burn. We would call that murder.
     
  11. russell55

    russell55
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2002
    Messages:
    2,424
    Likes Received:
    0
    I agree. But choosing to damn sinners to hell is not the same as electing them to hell. Elect means to choose out of or to select from a group. It's an active thing of choosing some from among a larger group, and often carries with it the idea of choosing some for oneself.

    For instance, Christ elected out of the group of disciples twelve of them to be apostles--He chose 12 for himself. Out of the many things to be concerned about, Mary (sister of Martha and Lazarus) elected the good thing--she chose the good thing for herself. At the dinner of one of the Pharisees, guests were electing the places of honor--they were choosing those seats for themselves. In the newborn church, seven men were elected to take care of serving the food. They were chosen out of the whole congregation.

    God doesn't "choose out of" the group of already condemned sinners those who He will send to hell--they're all already on their way there. He does "choose out of" the group of already condemned sinners those He will save from condemnation, those who will become His own people.

    To say God "elects" those who go to hell would be using the word incorrectly.
     
  12. russell55

    russell55
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2002
    Messages:
    2,424
    Likes Received:
    0
    Bill, Bill, Bill.....

    Having Adam's sin imputed to us does not make us worse off than we would be already, for we are born with a sin nature as a natural consequence of being born into a corrupt race. That sin nature means we already have no hope of being with God, and that is not a result of the imputation of Adam's guilt, but as a natural consequence of Adam's corruption.

    Our only hope is having our nature changed, and having Christ's righteousness imputed to us, and this second part can only be done because Adam's guilt was imputed to us. Because Adam represented us in the sin stuff, Christ can represent us in the righteousness stuff. Having Adam represent us is actually a kindness, because it makes us salvable through the representation of Christ. It gives us hope. It's part of the help given to us that is not given to angels.

    [ March 27, 2003, 07:48 PM: Message edited by: russell55 ]
     
  13. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
    Expand Collapse
    <b>Moderator</b>
    Moderator

    Joined:
    May 4, 2001
    Messages:
    21,763
    Likes Received:
    0
    It is their own sins that have damned them, as Scripture says.

    But what if the other one didn't want to be saved? What if he was running away from the fireman? You see, you skipped over that and that is why the analogy doesn't work as you have answered it. Those who do not come to Christ do not want to come to Christ. When the "fireman" comes, they run away, preferring to do it their own way.
     
  14. TheTravelingMinstrel

    TheTravelingMinstrel
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2002
    Messages:
    119
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have posted this several times, and I will post it again
    Our God is HOLY HOLY HOLY.

    We are by nature, children of wrath.
    Our nature is wholly defiled and perverted.
    Our God is holy and he cannot stand our sin.

    so, you have a problem with God sending people to hell?
    Well, here is what God says about that.
    Romans 9:20
    "Nay, but o man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, why hast thou made me thus?"


    John 6:37-39
    37 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.
    38 For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of Him that sent me.
    39 And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which He hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.

    Verse 37
    Here, redemption is definate.
    *All* that the *Father giveth* me *shall come* to me.
    All - definate, not dependant
    Father giveth - not man willeth
    shall come - a reassurance that they will with no doubt come.
    saying that the 'Father giveth' means all mankind is not an appropiate translation. Because if it were all mankind, then all must be Christians, according to this verse.
    But it is not so, so, we must conclude that redemption is definate
    'and him that cometh to me, I will no wise cast out'
    -I bet arminists will try to use this verse as support, but you must read it in light of the previous text.

    Verse 38
    *not to do mine own will, but the will of Him that sent me*
    God's will -- see next verse

    Verse 39
    *all that he hath given me* - see verse 37
    *I should lose nothing* - perserverence of the saints.
    *but should raise it up again at the last day* - don't go and tell me that this only applies to those who where physically following him at the time. That interperatation does not fit. Because these reasons: 1. He is not addressing those particular people, he is saying *all that He hath given me*. 2. The context of 'raise it up again on the last day', only applies to beleivers. There were many there that were not beleivers, so this does not apply to them, and there were many beleivers that were not their. So, now what, only the beleivers physically there at the time will be raised up on the last day.

    Christ always says 'whosoever beleives' and arminists will use this as support, but Christ always clarified who will believe, and you can't simply ignore it.
     
  15. russell55

    russell55
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2002
    Messages:
    2,424
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well, they know enough from creation itself to know there is an all-powerful eternal God that they ought to be worshipping. But they choose to suppress that knowledge, prefering the lie to the truth. That's why Paul can say in Romans 3 that no one seeks God.


    Men know God from creation, but prefer to worship something more like themselves than the eternal all-powerful God that is. So God quits restraining them and lets them do whatever evil is in their depraved minds...

    Yes.

    Some have, but it is foolishness to them.

    Those of the nation Israel who are not of the remnant according to God's gracious choice.
     
  16. w_fortenberry

    w_fortenberry
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2002
    Messages:
    68
    Likes Received:
    0
    Can the elect ever be in danger of hell?

    Isn't the very act of election an act of unmerited favor, and wasn't that act performed while the elect yet remained in their sins?

    or

    If one is elected before he is even born, then it stands to reason that being elected before he sinned, the presence of his sin can not prevent his salvation. Thus there is then no need for Christ to die for his sins.

    What about verses 20-21? If these are not unbelievers, do they lose their salvation when they are broken off?

    How many different types of election are mentioned in the Bible?

    How can God be said to love the non-elect in light of Romans 13:10?

    Doesn't the Bible say "all men everywhere"? Isn't this a reference to every individual in every place?

    Is man then capable of being drawn to Christ even if he is not one of the elect?
     
  17. npetreley

    npetreley
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2002
    Messages:
    7,359
    Likes Received:
    0
    It depends on who you are calling the elect, and what perspective. In the calvinist sense, IMO, the answer is no.

    That's like saying that if I choose to pay your debt before you incur the debt, that results in a situation where you never incur it and it will never need to be paid. That doesn't make sense.

    I never counted them. To be elect means to be chosen. People are chosen different ways for different reasons. To exploit the fact that "elect" can apply to different situations to prove a point the Bible does not make is a common logical fallacy used here. It's called equivocation. For example, "If Israel is elect, and not all Israel is saved, then how can all the elect be saved?"

    Are you suggesting that the non-elect are God's neighbors, and that this verse is supposed to be applied that way?

    It certainly could say that somewhere else, but the context of this particular passage suggests something other than that.

    This is probably a semantics argument. The fact is that not all men are drawn to Christ.
     
  18. w_fortenberry

    w_fortenberry
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2002
    Messages:
    68
    Likes Received:
    0
    My mistake. The reference should have been Romans 12:17.
     
  19. w_fortenberry

    w_fortenberry
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2002
    Messages:
    68
    Likes Received:
    0
    Can one know if he, himself is one of the elect?
     
  20. w_fortenberry

    w_fortenberry
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2002
    Messages:
    68
    Likes Received:
    0
    Russell55,

    What is the unpardonable sin? Does a member of the elect remain a member of the elect regardless of any sin he commits? Is there a difference between sins committed before salvation and sins committed after salvation? Can you explain I John 3:6-10?

    Can the elect bring forth evil fruit?

    Did God choose for Satan to fall, and did He choose for Adam to sin?

    What are they a beacon to? The verses speak of glorifying God. Can the non-elect actively glorify God?

    What is "saving faith"?

    How does this cause one to think soberly? Why did God choose to use the words "every man" twice and not rather, "every man...each of you"?
     

Share This Page

Loading...