A Theatre of God's Glory--Calvinism and Creation

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by Daniel Dunivan, Sep 24, 2004.

  1. Daniel Dunivan

    Daniel Dunivan
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    Calvinism sees creation as a theatre of God's glory. Would you say that this same model would work as a good description of the Arminian understanding of creation.

    Grace and Peace, Danny [​IMG]
     
  2. Monergist

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    A view of God that sees him often failing in his redeeming purposes and whose plan for his creatures is often thwarted by their wayward will?-- I don't think so.
     
  3. Ray Berrian

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    Monergist,

    God has not created robots for Himself. The Godhead has created human beings with a free-will [Revelation 20:17f] so when they truly turn to Christ because of the Spirit's movement on their lives, He truly has people who worship Him.

    Human automitons programmed by holy God, do not offer true adoration to the Godhead.
     
  4. Marcia

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    I think all Christians would agree with the above statement; after all, the Bible says that creation shows there is a Creator God and the heavens declare the glory of God. What Christian is going to disagree with that? :confused:
     
  5. APuritanMindset

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    God has not created robots for Himself. The Godhead has created human beings with a free-will [Revelation 20:17f] so when they truly turn to Christ because of the Spirit's movement on their lives, He truly has people who worship Him.

    Human automitons programmed by holy God, do not offer true adoration to the Godhead.
    </font>[/QUOTE]There is no Revelation 20:17. What verse are you REALLY talking about? ;)
     
  6. Daniel Dunivan

    Daniel Dunivan
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    Marcia,

    I'm not asking if this statement is Christian or not, but whether this is the best description of each system's model of creation. The Theatre of God's Glory is Calvin's own description of creation and he works this out in a variety of ways. I think this also shows the strength of Calvinism (everything is ultimately turned back to God--sovereignity), but I don't think that an Arminian would totally disagree. Is there a model that shows the strength of the Arminian possition?

    Grace and Peace, Danny [​IMG]
     
  7. npetreley

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    Yes. It's known as the "Theatre of man's glory". ;)
     
  8. Daniel Dunivan

    Daniel Dunivan
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    I wonder if the Arminian description would allow for a theatre of God's glory, but make human kind autonomous players in the production (the Calvinist position being that God is the only real player). I'm struggling with a model here, so I'm just kind of thinking out loud.

    Grace and Peace, Danny
     
  9. Marcia

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    "Is there a model that shows the strength of the Arminian possition?"

    I'm not Arminian; I'm non-Calvinist (Calvinist being in the way it is interpreted today), so I don't know. It was actually said by God since the Bible talks about how creation reflects the glory of God, so it's not really original with Calvin.

    I get tired of the Calvinist attempt to make non-Calvinists look like they don't ascribe glory to God. The merry-go-round of the same ol' stuff in this forum is what got me to leave before and I'm close to leaving again.
     
  10. Frogman

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    Wisdom is justified of her children.

    Believing in a Sovereign God, as I do, is it possible that the Arminian position will fail to glorify God in due season?

    What did Christ say regarding this topic?

    The Father glorifies His name.

    The Father is glorified in the Son.

    The Father is glorified in that ye bear much fruit

    What did Paul say:

    The churches of Judea glorified God in him--because he who persecuted [them] now preacheth the faith which once he destroyed.

    What the Father said:

    What is the chief end of man?

    Bro. Dallas
     
  11. Daniel Dunivan

    Daniel Dunivan
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    The purpose of this thread is not really to debate if Calvin got this right or if the scriptures confirm either position. It is an attempt to understand the postitions of each side on this critical issue. Respectfully, the difficulty of some people to honestly listen to the other side and to a priori disregard another opinion is unhelpful even in a debate (in order to debate you have to agree on the definitions and understand the models on either side--otherwise your speech is little more than babble).

    Grace and Peace, Danny [​IMG]
     
  12. npetreley

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    That's really a difference between monergists and synergists. Arminius was a synergist, but synergy is really about all the people who call themselves Arminians here really share with Arminius. After that, they depart from Arminius radically.

    Synergists ascribe some of the glory to man, because they view salvation as cooperative. Any system of soteriology where man contributes to his own salvation by free will gives some of the glory to man. I don't see how any sane person can disagree with that. But it's not a matter of ascribing ALL the glory to man, but SOME of the glory, which (IMO) is too much.

    So the synergist position is really "Creation is a theatre where most of the Glory goes to God, and some of it goes to man."

    Unfortunately, the emphasis people here put on man's role makes it sound a lot more like "All the glory to man."
     
  13. Frogman

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    In that case, I agree with npetreley.

    He hit the nail on the head. No babble in his post.

    Bro. Dallas
     
  14. Sularis

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    Man saying I am a sinner God and you are the only who can save me - and so I ask you to come into my heart, cleanse my sins, and save me

    In no way gives glory to man

    Man says Im drowning God, you are the only who can save me, I ask you to come into the river, pull me out and thus save me

    This does not give glory to man
    This does not give glory to man
    This does not give glory to man

    I do not know how many times that even if man chooses salvation it ascribes no glory or merit to him. All glory is still God's

    I think I will repeat it for you

    This does not give glory to man
    This does not give glory to man
    This does not give glory to man
     
  15. npetreley

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    Theology by analogy does not work, and this analogy is especially flawed.

    Although propagandists do use this technique effectively to convince people that a lie is true, repeating something again and again doesn't make it true.
     
  16. Me2

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    exactly the same understanding. for both models disallow God from receiving all of the intended Glory he purposed in himself to receive.

    as alike in both camps of calvinism and arminianism. they both espouse that some men are ultimately seperated from Gods presence.

    Gods Glory is to bring all of creation into a mature understanding of the image he designed them to become.

    1Co 15:22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.
     
  17. Frogman

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    exactly the same understanding. for both models disallow God from receiving all of the intended Glory he purposed in himself to receive.

    as alike in both camps of calvinism and arminianism. they both espouse that some men are ultimately seperated from Gods presence.

    Gods Glory is to bring all of creation into a mature understanding of the image he designed them to become.

    1Co 15:22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.
    </font>[/QUOTE]Dear Me2,
    What is a worker of iniquity?

    Bro. Dallas
     
  18. Me2

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    Frogman,

    Ask Job...His friends came to comfort him, Yet all denied the sovereign design of God in Gods will to be fully manifested.

    they accused Job of sinning, not favoring Gods mercy, or not acting according to their doctrines of their rightness....thus deserving Gods wrath.

    a worker of iniquity is one who is witnessing falsehood about the character of God as well as teaching it to others.
     
  19. Ray Berrian

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    People who think and believe similar to me are startled by the topic: "A Theatre of God's Glory--Calvinism and Creation". The usually mistaken idea is stated like this. Calvinism best reflects the complete glory of God via this system of theology.

    In the light of God's attributes of love and justice, we find God who picks and chooses His elect and non-elect compromises not only the theological study of the Attributes of God, but also the written manuscript that we call the Bible meaning God's Word to humankind.

    The Bible teaches that this holy God has offered salvation [John 3:16] and eternal life [I John 5:13] to all sinners by His atonement on the Cross. [I John 2:2]

    While those who believe will be saved and those who neglect Jesus will be damned, nevertheless, God has included in His eternal plan the final punishment of the non-elect in Hell. It is a stretch for me to say that God finds glory in the destruction of His lost souls in Hell, in the light of II Peter 3:9 which says, '(He) is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.'

    On the other hand, I am also reminded of the verse in the Bible that says,

    'The Lord hath made all things for Himself, even the wicked for the day of evil.' [Proverbs 16:4]

    Heaven is bliss and Hell is torment [Matthew 5:22,29, and 30, and God has created these places for human beings. Human beings are going to one of these two destinations.

    God's glory is not determined by what we do with our lives; He very nature is filled with His own glory and praise.

    Berrian, Th.D.
     
  20. Daniel Dunivan

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    I think the major problem with the understanding of creation as a theatre of God's glory is at least two fold:

    </font>
    • God is left on the hook for the creation (if not carrying out of evil).</font>
    • The distinction between God and creation becomes blurred (pantheism or panentheism).</font>
    Can a creature act as other in praise to God or are my words simply God's words to himself? If God is the only actor in this drama, then he has done some pretty terrible things. Of course analogies like this break down. They both show us how the figure and the referent are similar and different. The question is can we describe Arminianism through a similar figure (without being cute or dogmatic).

    My intention in starting this thread, and what I have argued for is simply to describe and critique this particular model (btw, Calvin is here using a theological analogy) of creation. I never intended to question whether the systems of Calvinism or Arminianism are correct, but trying to get at what they say. When I first starting coming to the BB, I was enthusiastic about being able to discuss theological and historical issues with my brothers and sisters in Christ; however, I have long ago become resigned to simply talking to myself. Some individuals are very good at articulating their positions, but completely incompetent listeners. [​IMG] They would do well to listen to their neighbor at least as much as they do themselves.

    Grace and Peace, Danny [​IMG]
     

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