A Balanced Calvinism

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Martin Marprelate, Jan 3, 2011.

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  1. Martin Marprelate

    Martin Marprelate
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    As I've browsed through the various threads relating to Calvinism and Arminianism, it seems to me that there are certain texts that people cling to as supporting Election and Predestination and other texts that folk believe support Free Will. If we believe in the Analogy of Faith (that the Bible doesn't contradict itself), it must be that these texts can be reconciled.

    There is one verse in which the two positions are actually side by side.

    John 6:37. "All that the Father gives Me will come to Me......"
    Here is particular Redemption writ large. The Father has chosen a people out of the mass of fallen mankind and given them to the Son to redeem. The Son has redeemed them by His blood shed on the cross, and they will come to them. There is no question of them not coming- the text says that they will all come. They are Christ's sheep. He has laid down His life for them, and by the power of the Spirit they will hear His voice and follow Him (John 10:14-15, 26-28). The truth of the Father giving His people to the Son is also found in John 6:38-40; 17:2, 6; Eph 1:4-5; Heb 2:13b, and perhaps in Matt 11:25-27.

    But there is another part to the verse.

    ".......And the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out."
    Here is the open invitation for sinners to come to Christ; He will not turn away anyone who genuinely comes to Him in repentance and faith (Mark 1:15). No one is ever turned away because they are not 'elect.' If they do not come it is because their sinful unregenerate hearts reject Christ (Luke 19:14; John 3:19) unless they are changed by the power of the Spirit (Psalm 110:3, KJV; John 3:3-5).

    The very worst of men can come to Christ and He will not turn them away. Indeed, He came into the world to save sinners (1Tim 1:15) and died for the ungodly, even for enemies of God (Rom 5:6, 10).

    John 6:37 was a favourite text of Spurgeon:-
    '"Him that cometh to me:"....the manmay have been guily of an atrocious sin, too black for mention; but if he comes to Christ he shall not be cast out. He may have made himself as black as night- as black as hell....I cannot tell what kind of persons may have come into this hall tonight; but if burglars, murderers and dynamite men [suicide bombers?] were here, I would still bid them come to Christ, for he will not cast them out. No limit is set to the extent of sin: any "him" in all the world- any blaspheming, devilish "him" that comes to Christ shall be welcomed. I use strong words that I may open the gate of mercy. Any "him" that comes to Christ- though he come from taproom, betting-ring or gambling hell, prison or brothel- Jesus Christ will in no wise cast out.' {MTP Vol 9, pp.537-8}

    The sinner's warrant to come to Christ is not that he feels himself somehow to be elect; his warrant is that he is a sinner and Christ died for such as he. This was not only the understanding of Spurgeon, but the older 17th Century Particular Baptists like Keach and Bunyan. Read Bunyan's Come and Welcome to the Lord Jesus Christ.

    Another book well worth reading is Spurgeon vs Hyper-Calvinism by Iain Murray, Published by Banner of Truth.

    Steve
     
  2. The Archangel

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    Good words. Thank you.

    The Archangel
     
  3. jbh28

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    The bolded part was right on. I believe on problem we have is when we ignore one truth because it doesn't make sense to us with another truth. How can God be sovereign and man have a free will is the big question. I see the Bible clearly teaching election but also teaching whosoever will. Will God save anyone that comes for salvation? YES! Did God choose them before the foundation of the world? YES! I can't ignore "election" for the sake of "whosoever will." I can't ignore "whosoever will" for the sake of election.
     
  4. Winman

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    I like this, this is exactly what I have been trying to get across in another thread, that there often appears to be contradictory statements in scripture, yet they are both true- a paradox.

    This verse is a perfect example.
     
  5. Jerome

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    Hear, hear.

    "Men who are morbidly anxious to possess a self-consistent creed,—a creed which they can put together, and form into a square, like a Chinese puzzle,—are very apt to narrow their souls. Fancying that all truth can be comprehended in half-a-dozen formulae, they reject as worthless every doctrinal statement which cannot be so comprehended. Those who will only believe what they can reconcile will necessarily disbelieve much of Divine revelation; they are, without knowing it, following the lead of the Rationalists. Those who receive by faith anything which they find in the Bible will receive two things, twenty things, ay, or twenty thousand things, though they cannot construct a theory which harmonizes them all. That process of theory-making is an expensive folly, the invention of middle terms is a waste of ingenuity; it were far better to believe the truths, and leave the Lord to show their consistency." —Charles Spurgeon, An All-Round Ministry
     
  6. Luke2427

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    #6 Luke2427, Jan 3, 2011
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  7. Winman

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    You don't? Well, they are in the scriptures.

    Lev 1:3 If his offering be a burnt sacrifice of the herd, let him offer a male without blemish: he shall offer it of his own voluntary will at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation before the LORD.

    Voluntary means free.
     
  8. Luke2427

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    This is not the common idea of free will which is libertarian free will.

    How do YOU define free will?

    If you mean that man can choose one things as easily as he chooses the next and that he has no inclinations one way or the other then this verse does not at all teach your idea of free will.

    If you define free will as a man having the ability to choose what he wants- then yes, free will, is in view in this verse.

    But what I think you miss is that man wants what he wants for a reason.

    Wants or desires have causes.

    Something causes you to want what you want.

    That is true with EVERY choice you make.

    You choose what you want always.

    But your wants have causes.

    Those causes mold your wants into what they are and those causes ultimately control your choices.

    Those causes are controlled by God.

    You cannot get around it.
     
  9. Winman

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    Being voluntary, acting or done without compulsion or obligation, of one's own accord.

    Just how the dictionary defines voluntary.
     
  10. The Archangel

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    This has NOTHING to do with free will as it is being discussed on this thread.

    What you are pointing to is a class of sacrifice, not an attribute of humanity.

    Contextfail.

    The Archangel
     
  11. Winman

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    Here is your problem, you have your own set of definitions for words. I don't always do what I choose. If someone pulls a gun on me and asks for my wallet I will give it to him, but I did not choose to give it to him, I was forced or coerced.

    If your definition of choice was true, then armed robbery would not exist. The lawyer for the robber could argue that he did not steal the money, the victim chose to give it to him.

    This is why it is difficult to debate with you, you operate with an entirely different set of definitions from the rest of the world.
     
  12. preacher4truth

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    Those who are not His people, or His sheep, will never come to Him. So of course no one is ever turned away from Him because they aren't elect, for only the elect will ever do so.

    So, to say He will never turn any away because they are not elect, is to say, and agree to the fact that those who are not His will never come to Him. Only those who are His will. :)

    "...no one CAN come to Me unless it has been granted him from the Father." John 6:65

    Sovereign choice? Yep. Election? Certainly. I see this supplanting any so called free will. God works in His elect to will and to do of HIS good pleasure, not ours.

    It is impossible to come to Him, unless it was granted by Him, and neither can we except it was granted by Him, not by us.

    Simply said, and in context of this chapter, those that did not believe plainly were not His people.

    I think people are afraid of this. Why be afraid? I know people that study this, and feel like "what if I am not His?" and they panic. The mere fact they came to Him for salvation proves otherwise.
     
  13. Winman

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    The "it" in John 6:65 is speaking of God's word. Jesus had just told them in verse 63 that "the flesh profiteth nothing; the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life." Then in 64 he says, "But there are some of you that believe not."

    What is the first word of his next statement?

    "THEREFORE said I unto you, that no man can come to me, except it were given unto him of my Father."

    No man can come of the flesh, of his own will, unless he hath learned and been taught of the Father through God"s word (vs.44-45).

    You err by pulling this verse out of context and making it stand alone. The word THEREFORE connects it to the preceding verses.

    Calvinists often brag about their superior study of the scriptures, but pull verses out of context to make them say what they do not truly say. This is a glaring example of this.
     
    #13 Winman, Jan 3, 2011
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  14. Amy.G

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    I agree. This is also shown by Paul in regards to the Gentiles who have not the Law. God has revealed Himself to ALL through the things He has made so that NO man has an excuse.
     
  15. preacher4truth

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    Baloney. :)

    The therefore refers to the fact that they don't believe, and thus, are not His, and consequently won't and can't come to Him. :)

    His sheep hear His voice. Those that are not His sheep, well, don't.

    For this reason, they don't come to Him.

    God wasn't surprised they didn't reject Him, as you would have us believe, winman.

    Your theology is error. God knows all.

    You should truly get some schooling to dispell your errors and inabilities to properly see context. :)

    Nice try. :thumbsup: No trophy.
     
    #15 preacher4truth, Jan 3, 2011
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  16. Luke2427

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  17. preacher4truth

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    Who is arguing whether or not He revealed Himself to persons? I think also there are passages proving God reveals Himself to whom He wills. :)

    No one is arguing He hasn't revealed Himself. That is apples/oranges Amy.

    This is speaking of those that come to Him, and those who don't.

    There is no correlation between this and what you refer to.

    You trying to prove what winman says with another argument is plain wrong. They don't match. All you're doing is saying "winman, I agree with your theology" then try to prove it with a different subject altogether.

    :)
     
    #17 preacher4truth, Jan 3, 2011
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  18. Winman

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    Why am I not surprised you cannot understand?

    Jesus said, BUT there are some of you that believe not. Verse 64 is connected to 63. Verses 63-65 are all connected.

    Ask a real English teacher and they will confirm this.
     
    #18 Winman, Jan 3, 2011
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  19. preacher4truth

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    You need help from an english professor. :smilewinkgrin:

    See, the Bible isn't as simple as you say. You get things wrong constantly.

    You really should get some schooling. They'll teach you about how God knows all things, that He is what we call omniscient, and that your theory you came up with on your own, to the contrary, is total error. As a matter of fact, if you put this belief on your application to enter, they would most likely reject you from being a candidate.

    :wavey:

    They'll also teach you how to interpret Scripture. You may even come out a Calvinist!

    (by the way, I actually was studying this, and actually opened my Scriptures to this this morning around 4:00 a.m. here. You should try that instead of going off the cuff. It gets you in trouble often.)

    :thumbsup:
     
  20. The Archangel

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    Wrong.

    The "it" in John 6:65 is speaking of coming to Christ. I know this because the Greek for "it" (which is not actually in the text as a separate word) comes from the verb "to be" (translated in the ESV as "is"). The being verb is in the 3rd person singular and refers back to "is able" which is also 3rd person singular.

    The word in v. 63 you want "it" to point to (words) cannot be what it is referencing. It in v. 65 is singular and words in v. 63 is plural.

    Frankly, you could not be more wrong about this if you tried.

    Wrong.

    The word at the beginning of v. 65 is not "therefore," it is "and." I know this because the conjunction κάι is the first word of v. 65.

    Your entire premise here is wrong because you do not have John 6:63-65 correct.

    The Archangel
     
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