A Contradiction of Calvinists

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Skandelon, Jan 23, 2011.

  1. Skandelon

    Skandelon
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    Calvinists often argue that if man does make the decision to be saved then man gets some measure of credit and therefore that must be unbiblical. After all, the bible never gives any man credit or praise for their faith (except for a few dozen times, and those don't really count).

    On the other hand, Calvinists also argue that men are able to respond in faith, but just not willing to respond unless God regenerates them and gives them that new desire.

    Now here is the contradiction: Once a man has been born again or regenerated he still must choose to follow Christ, which according to Calvinists he will certainly do (its "irresistible" or "effectual"), but he must be the one who does it. It must be him who believes and him who chooses to follow, therefore he still has a measure of credit applied to him. Even if Calvinists claim that faith is not possible without regeneration and even if they teach faith is a certain response of one who has been born again it does not take away from the fact that man must choose and believe and therefore, by the logic first imposed, must be given some measure of credit for his part.

    We are saved by Grace through faith, so if you insist that faith, in and of itself is a work of man (even if it is effectually caused by God), then you MUST admit that we are all saved through works.

    "But, God is the one who caused the faith, so that doesn't count toward the man," one may argue.

    But, Arminians believe the same. The Holy Spirit wrought gospel is what caused my faith (faith cometh by hearing), so that shouldn't count toward my credit either. The fact that the faith is effectual in the Calvinistic system doesn't change the fact that it is an act of man and must be credited to him by that logic. This seems to be a clear contradiction.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. jbh28

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    faith's source is christ. I would never deny that faith is required for salvation. But I cannot make boast about this faith because the source is of God.
     
  3. Skandelon

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    We both believe that, you just believe it is effectually applied while we believe it can be refused/resisted, so that doesn't really address the argument presented.

    Once again, we BOTH believe the source is "of God," which was the point of my OP. Please address the actual argument. Thanks
     
  4. annsni

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    See, I think the issue is in what you wrote: "man must choose"

    I see it much more in the Bible as "man WILL choose"

    The difference is in the heart and in the will. In the second case, it's not to his credit that he chooses. In the first, it is.
     
  5. Skandelon

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    Fine, but that doesn't change the fact that it is man doing the choosing and thus getting some measure of credit for doing so, whether effectually caused to do so or not...

    The effectuality of the cause doesn't change the author of the cause. God authors the means by which man is saved in both the Calvinistic and Arminian systems. Whether or not man is made to be willing or freely chooses to be willing makes no difference when it comes to giving credit where credit it due, because in both cases God is the cause and man is choosing.
     
  6. annsni

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    How do I get credit for choosing that which is offered to me?



    See, it does change the author of the cause because with Arminianism, it is man who saves himself. It's up to him. God has to accept his choice. In Calvinism, it's God who is the author of the cause. Yes, man accepts - but it is God who chooses.
     
  7. Martin Marprelate

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    Just read through Eph 2:1-10. That should be clear enough for you.

    Steve
     
  8. jbh28

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    If you agree with me, then there is no argument.
     
  9. zrs6v4

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    Naturally in these debates, there becomes divisions and people team up. Cals typically emphasize the power of God and Non-Cals emphasize the free will of man. I don't necessarily think Cals misunderstand man's will, but they want to put more emphasis on God's power, which I also agree. This isn't to say non-Cals don't put emphasis on God's power, but generally don't seem to put enough. So while both recognize that it is the power of God that has done something within them, so they could respond, the Cals treat their decision as more of an overflow to God's internal work, while non-Cals many times treat their decision as merely a decision after God worked. If the decision is an overflow of God's effectual work in however way God fashioned it, then their response was brought about by a complete work of God rather than a work of God that, at some point, left the sinner to accept or reject. Does that make sense?

    Now, I want to say that I didn't mean to clump all Cals and Non-Cals into the same group because there are many different degrees by which their view is argued. I can't stand to here some Cals argue, and likewise Non-Cals. So please don't hear me say, "Cals are so much better at praising God for their salvation" This isn't at all true.

    By the way, I currently disagree with the Calvinist view of regeneration and still hold to the general 5 points.
     
  10. Luke2427

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    Phil. 2:13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of [his] good pleasure.

    Does that not settle the matter for you?
     
  11. Tom Butler

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    How about Philippians 1:29: For it is given unto you (Philippian believers) in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake.

    The very saving faith that is required of us is given to us by God.
     
  12. pinoybaptist

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    I am not a Calvinist but I think you are mistaken in how they interpret "irresistible" or "effectual" call....
     
  13. HankD

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    The problem here is that we are probing into an area where we have insufficient data.

    Obviously there have been those who have resisted the gospel and yet were saved later .e.g. Saul aka Paul and also those who resisted but went their way in their sin.

    Speaking of Paul, he witnessed to at least two who "resisted" but seemed to come part way.
    Agrippa (Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian) and
    Felix (who trembled and said words to the effect - come back later).

    HankD
     
  14. psalms109:31

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    Truth

    I praise God for this. I wouldn't even know what to or how to believe. It is the work of God that we believe. I would be lost with no direction but to condemnation without Jesus.

    This comes when we repent and turn to Him and then He starts to teach us what and how to believe.

    Come to Jesus as we are a sinner and listen and learn from Him.

    It is a shame to think one day we woke up and believed without trusting in Jesus and letting Him work in our life.
     
  15. Skandelon

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    This is exactly the point my OP was attempting to address. Some Cals seem to assume that any passage that indicates God does something to bring men to salvation that it MUST support their premise, but unless the verse indicates that's God's work is always effectual in this matter then they are just begging the question.

    This verse is a perfect example. Read what Adam Clarke wrote about this passage and tell me why this is not just as viable: "The power to will and the power to act must necessarily come from God, who is the author both of the soul and body, and of all their powers and energies, but the act of volition and the act of working come from the man. God gives power to will, man wills through that power; God gives power to act, and man acts through that power."
     
  16. Skandelon

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    You only give credit in the way scripture gives credit:

    "Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness."

    So one, who is not concerned with offending Cals, could say, "Ann believed and it was credited to her as righteousness."


    Incorrect. Did "that man" die on the cross for the sins of the world? Did "that man" divinely inspire prophets and apostles to bring the powerful gospel message of reconciliation to the world? Did "that man" produce and send the Holy Spirit into the world to indwell the church body and give them the charge of telling the world this goodnews? Is that what we "Arminians" believe? Let's represent each others view more honestly, okay?

    And whether you recognize it or not, it is the same in Arminianism, which was the point of the OP that was obviously overlooked.
     
  17. mets65

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    Even if I accept Christ on my own the glory still goes to Jesus and I only accepted him because God allowed me this.
     
  18. Skandelon

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    For clarity, we must acknowledge that Arminians (non-Calvinists) don't believe we "accept Christ on our own."

    Moreover, not only did he "allow" you this, but he sought you. Jesus came to seek and save the lost. He sent the powerful Holy Spirit inspired message of redemption. He sent the apostles, the scriptures, the church, the Holy Spirit and even his creation screams of his divine qualities and eternal nature so that no one who refuses Him has any excuse.

    Now, I don't know about you, but being born unable to see, hear, understand and willingly respond in faith to God's revelation of Himself seems like a pretty good excuse to me.
     
    #18 Skandelon, Jan 26, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 26, 2011
  19. pinoybaptist

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    But how can God even have a hand at allowing you, when your action was done "on your own".
     
  20. quantumfaith

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    Just wanted to say, I appreciate the "tone" of the responses so far. :)
     

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