Adam's Fall = Total Depravity? ; Hardened = Non-Elect?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Skandelon, Feb 12, 2010.

  1. Skandelon

    Skandelon
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    God does have a right to do anything he wants with us. This, however, is not about what God could do, its about what He promises to do and about how He has revealed Himself.

    Calvinists assume the premise that all men have been born with a nature incapable of willingly believing in God's revelation of himself due to the Fall of Adam. When Adam Fell it never speaks of such a condemnation. It speaks of labor pains and working the ground and a their knowing both good and evil, but never is this pronouncement of their Total Depravity ever mentioned. I affirm the doctrine of Original Sin, but the idea that men are born incapable to respond to God's message of reconciliation is unfounded.

    When you come to Romans 9 with that false premise you read into the text that those God is showing mercy must be the Elect ones while those he is hardening must be the Non-Elect Reprobates, but that is never supported in the text. Yes, if they continue in their unbelief they will be destroyed (as Rm 11 also explains), but there is NOTHING in the chapter that even suggests that the hardened ones must be Reprobates who will certainly die, in fact, Paul clearly shows in Romans 11:14 and following that those being "cut off" and "hardened" might be saved...an impossibility for a "non-elect reprobate."

    In fact, why would he refer to the "reprobate" vessels as those for "common use?" That doesn't sound like its a choice between being saved or condemned, but a choice between being used for a noble purpose or for a common one....i.e. the Jew being hardened, verses Paul being chosen as an apostle.

    Additionally, if we look at other texts where Paul uses the analogy of a vessel I think we can more clearly see his intent:

    2 Timothy 2:

    20 Now in a large house there are not only gold and silver vessels, but also vessels of wood and of earthenware, and some to honor and some to dishonor. 21 Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from these things, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work.

    So, its clear from this passage that Paul does believe that men, as vessels, can move from being one of "dishonor" to one of honor. How? "Cleanse Himself." How? "Repent and Believe" in the One who lived a perfect life.
     
  2. David Michael Harris

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    That passage in Timothy is dealing with Christians in my thoughts. Some do better. Sower parable comes to mind.

    Is not the Bible fascinating.
     
  3. OldRegular

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    Well I don't know, but Scripture tells us in John 6:44. No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.

    So whether you call it Total Depravity or not there is obviously something wrong with man that he will not turn to GOD of his own free will [much touted by you and others on this Forum].
     
  4. David Michael Harris

    David Michael Harris
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    The man who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is not worthy of the kingdom of heaven.

    The double minded man should not think that he will receive anything from the Lord.

    No guarantees there.
     
  5. Jarthur001

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    You know, you have been trying for months to defeat Calvinism. Maybe it's about time to admit you can't.

    :thumbs:
     
  6. David Michael Harris

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    Question is will he turn when convicted enough :)
     
  7. pinoybaptist

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    We have to hand it to him, though.
    He's really trying hard.:thumbs:
     
  8. kyredneck

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    .......I'd give him an 'A' for effort......... :)
     
  9. Skandelon

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    Yes, there is something wrong with man, which is the reason God sent the message of reconciliation.

    At the time John 6 was was happening Christ wasn't drawing all mankind to himself. In fact, John 12:39-41 tells us exactly why those in his audience could not believe in him. They were being judicially hardened/blinded in their rebellion. In other words, the means that God uses to draw men, the gospel message, was being blinded from their eyes. Only the remnant of Israel was being revealed the truth at that time, the rest were being hardened. It was ONLY after Christ had been raised up that he sent the gospel into all the world to be preached to EVERY CREATURE thus drawing all men to himself.

    I'm not sure how it could be more clear.
     
  10. Skandelon

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    Calvinists,

    I want you to just imagine if God appeared to you and revealed to you that you were wrong. I know, I know, that would NEVER happen, because you're convinced you are right, but I'm just asking you to suppose that it happened. Suppose God revealed to you true doctrine and revealed to you your mistakes. What would you do?

    Would you want to correct those who used to think like you once did, or would you just keep it to yourself? Would you do everything you could to reveal what you had learned and correct the errors of well meaning believers all around you? I think most of you would.

    Now, I'm not claiming that God has visually appeared to me in some supernatural way, but I am convinced with everything in me that He, by His Spirit, showed me the errors of my Calvinistic beliefs. I won't bore you with all the details of how it happened, because most of you wouldn't believe me anyway, but I can't explain it any other way than God. I feel compelled to reveal what I've learned. In the process I have lead many away from adopting Calvinism and others to leave Calvinistic dogma, some even here on this board (however this is the least effective forum).

    Now, you can ignore me, debate me, ridicule me or whatever you want...I really don't care. But has it ever even crossed your mind that maybe, just maybe you could learn something from someone else? I am always searching for truth and willing to learn because I realized how wrong I have been in the past. I was so closed minded to anything other than my own views. I don't ever want to make that mistake again. I beg you to just be objective. Be willing to back away from the competition of the "debate" and just entertain the possibility that you might be wrong. Ask God to teach you and be willing to learn from others. I will do the same.
     
  11. David Michael Harris

    David Michael Harris
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    I will never ridicule you mate.
     
  12. OldRegular

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    You are reading something into Scripture that is not there. It does not say that GOD uses the gospel message to draw men to Jesus Christ. Furthermore Scripture tells us in John 6:65. And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father.

    It seems obvious that GOD must over ride the free will of man before he comes to Jesus Christ. Rather than talk of "irresistible grace" I believe that through regeneration or the new birth GOD changes the disposition of man.

    I realize that some free will Bible scholars on this forum are offended by the following but I believe that John Dagg describes the change that occurs in regeneration as well as can be described. Dagg notes [Manual of Theology, pages 277ff]: “So great is the change produced, that the subject of it is called a new creature as if proceeding, like Adam, directly from the creating hand of God; and he is said to be renewed, as being restored to the image of God, in which man was originally formed”

    2 Corinthians 5:17, KJV
    17. Therefore if any man [be] in Christ, [he is] a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.


    Dagg further notes:

    “The change is moral. The body is unchanged; and the identity of the mind is not destroyed. The individual is conscious of being the same person that he was before; but a new direction is given to the active powers of the mind, and new affections are brought into exercise. The love of God is shed abroad in the heart by the Holy Ghost. No love to God had previously existed there; for the carnal heart is enmity against God. Love is the fulfilling of the law, the principle of all holy obedience; and when love is produced in the heart, the law of God is written there. As a new principle of action, inciting to a new mode of life, it renders the man a new creature. The production of love in the heart by the Holy Spirit, is the regeneration, or the new birth; for he that loveth, is born of God.”

    “The mode in which the Holy Spirit effects this change, is beyond our understanding. All God's ways are unsearchable; and we might as well attempt to explain how he created the world, as how he new-creates the soul. With reference to this subject, the Saviour said, [/COLOR][/b]
    The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.[/COLOR][/b][/i][John 3:8, KJV] We know, from the Holy Scriptures, that God employs his truth in the regeneration of the soul. [/COLOR][/b][/i]Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.[/COLOR][/b][/i][James 1:18, KJV] Love to God necessarily implies knowledge of God, and this knowledge it is the province of truth to impart. But knowledge is not always connected with love. The devils know, but do not love; and wicked men delight not to retain the knowledge of God, because their knowledge of him is not connected with love. The mere presentation of the truth to the mind, is not all that is needed, in producing love to God in the heart.”
     
  13. pinoybaptist

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    I'm not a Calvinist, but I guess I can also answer this question.
    First, God doesn't have to appear to me at anytime because if He does then it means I am no longer on earth. Second, if He does, then I will be with scores of other of His children who come from different theological and soteriological persuasions which is a FACT OF LIFE in this fallen world.
    Third, if He does, it won't matter anymore whether I'm a Calvinist or not, a DoG, plain dawg, or no dawg at all. Doctrines are for earth, not Heaven.
    Fourth, faith does not dwell in IF's.
    Fifth. You are as convinced you are right as you are convinced we are wrong, and vice-versa.

    I would want to correct them, but converting them is not mine to do, that is the job of the Holy Spirit, which they can resist as much as they want to. My confidence is that once the Holy Spirit does work on them to do and to will of His good pleasure, THEY CANNOT AND WILL NOT RESIST.

    I would, but there's a limit. After all, it is Christ's work that redeemed them, and Christ's blood that washed them, not correct or erroneous doctrine.
    I will PAY ATTENTION TO MY OWN GROWTH IN THE DOCTRINE, because once everything is said and done, my relationship with my Savior is individual and personal.

    Good for you and go for it, grow in your doctrine and honor your God as best you could in accordance with your beliefs.
    Isn't that what being a Baptist is all about ?

    Thank you.

    Then rest on your laurels and expect a very pompous welcome in heaven for Skandelon the hero of God.


    Read back in the posts on this board and you'll be in for a surprise. Most of the antagonistic, ridiculing, insulting posts do not come from Calvinists or dawgs, especially during these last times.

    I've said it once and will say it again.
    I've learned so much much more from country preachers in nondescript, wood, or wood and brick, church buildings where the auditorium is totally bare and devoid of any decorations, and where the singing is way below the standards of today's choirs, and where the preaching sometimes goes the hillbilly, Appalachian singsong, than I have EVER learned from Baptist churches led by pastors using the title of reverend, and with Doctor this or Doctor that before their name.
    Some of those country preachers never got past the fifth grade, work five days a week, receive no fixed salaries, travel miles to other churches of like order to preach the gospel, never expecting compensation, and, best of all, don't read from well-prepared notes.
    So, thank you.
    I will stick with my old, country preachers.

    Well, I can say the same thing myself.
    The seminary I graduated from struck my name off their roster because I embraced the doctrine of grace. I sent them back their diploma. I wrote the church I started and pastored and apologized to them and told them in no uncertain terms that the doctrines I have been teaching were errors and begged their forgiveness which they very graciously granted, and by God's workings, without my proddings, their pastor is now a strong preacher of the doctrine of grace himself, though not as I understand it as a Primitive Baptist.

    So do I.

    No.
    If being wrong is to ALWAYS keep man where he should be, down and low at the Savior's feet, and to ALWAYS keep Christ where He should be, way above all, then I'd like to stay wrong.
     
  14. Jarthur001

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    You see Skandelon, this is your problem.
    And this is what I hear Skandelon ……

    Now, the above was just a joke, so don't get mad. But this is how you come across....aways...day after day attacking Calvinism. And...some of these are so strange that some of the non-Calvinist will not join you.

    Lets try this. Forget about all these silly ones you post. Pull out the best one NOW. Show us what you have. If you have something good...lets see it.

    Prove Calvinism is wrong
     
  15. Skandelon

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    Nor does it ever say he uses an effectual/irresistible calling, that is something you read into the text. At least I have many other texts that actually talk about the gospel being "the power of God unto salvation" and the means of faith and salvation. There are dozens of texts which speak of the universal call of the gospel's invitation which certainly appears to be the means God has selected to draw all men to himself. You read something into the scripture that is never even mentioned, where as I read into the scripture which is talked about countless times. Which of us has a better ground to stand upon?

    Don't you know enough about what we believe to know that we don't disagree with that?!? It was NOT being given to ANYONE to come to Christ except the Remnant of Israel at that point in time. Do you agree or disagree with that historical fact? If not, explain why not.

    I understand your position, though different Calvinists approach and explain it differently. I just don't see support for the idea that a man can be born again (regenerated) before even being given the right to become a child of God. "12 Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God"

    Speaking of Calvinists who explain their views differently, I think this quote from John Dagg is a perfect example:

    "Faith is necessary to the Christian character; and must therefore precede regeneration, when this is understood in its widest sense. Even in the restricted sense, in which it denotes the beginning of the spiritual life, faith, in the sense in which James uses the term, may precede." -John Dagg
     
  16. Skandelon

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    What is really "silly" about this Jarthur is if you were here in my home in person this dialogue would be completely different. I know because I often talk with Calvinistic friends in person and we respect each other. Yes, maybe the medium of a online debate forum tends to make people come across more arrogantly, more aggressively or whatever, but I know my intent and I know my heart...as does God. I suppose if we knew each other better we would probably like each other and show each other the mutual respect and brotherly love scripture requires. But, this is not a "real world" in many people's minds. They can say and do things to others they would never do in "real life."

    I assure you, the arguments I make here on this forum are not new or "silly." Much more intelligent scholars than you or I have grappled with these points for centuries and the very fact that you don't recognize that should be a red flag to you and those reading this thread. People who don't have a full understanding of their "opponents" stance cannot be trusted to make sound arguments against it. I know, I know, you all don't think I have a full understanding of Calvinism, but you have to admit there are a dozen different "sects" of the "Reformed/Calvinistic" tradition just on this forum alone.

    I doubt I will convince someone who is as entrenched and hardened into a system of belief as you are, but it has been my experience that many people "on the fence" read through these threads and send me questions because they are still searching (I'm sure you get those too). These people are still objective and willing to openly examine the intent of the scripture's authors. These people are able to be taught. I am here for them, not you. Like Paul when talking to the Hardened Jews, I wish you would be convinced, but eventually you just have to leave them to their own opinions and move on. "I will go the Gentiles, they will listen." (Acts 28:28)

    Now, as for proving Calvinism is wrong. Though I don't agree with every thing on these, I will post several sites for those who are actually willing to really study this issue objectively:

    Adam Clarke is a great scholar and his commentary is wonderful:
    http://www.godrules.net/library/clarke/clarke.htm

    A commentary that is easier to read would be this one:
    http://www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/peoples-new-testament/

    Another former Calvinist who created this site:
    http://www.auburn.edu/~allenkc/openhse/calvinism.html

    My blog on this subject:
    http://www.critiquingcalvinism.blogspot.com/

    There, that should do it. :)
     
  17. Jarthur001

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    Skandelon...

    Why do you think I have never read Clark? I read Clark about once a month over some matter. He is very smart and gifted with words, but is WRONG in many many areas.

    I just now read a few lines from your Auburn site. I seen nothing new that I have not seen before, but I will read all f it to see if he makes a point.

    The last site...a blog...is a joke. I hope you have better stuff than this.

    Again...pull your best argument. Pull it from any of those sites...or...make up your own.

    Come now...out with it!!
     
  18. Jarthur001

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    I know they are not NEW...but they are silly.

    Well, I have to agree with you in part here. I do not debate to change your mind..."entrenched and hardened into a system of belief as you are". I post for the readers that never post, and are just thinking about it.

    What have these readers seen?

    They have seen you day in and day out FAIL as you try to defeat Calvinism. Nearly on the very 1st post after you make your OP...it falls. You hate Calvinism so much, you can't see the real world.

    Now let me ask you...after all these failed attacks, do you feel maybe its time to step back and LEARN? I'm not asking you to hold to Calvinism. But it is clear you have not made a case.

    That is not to say that the subject cannot be debated. There are somethings we must debate...and always will. But these strange arguments...twisted scripture....I mean come on.

    I feel you do more harm to your cause than advancing it.
     
  19. Jarthur001

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    Hello Skandelon,

    I would like for you to consider one of your own post from your blog.

    Why all the Parables?


    You gave this quote..
    Then you agree..
    That is hogwash.

    This is not Reformed Theology. You have just agreed to hyper-Calvinism. The gospel is to ALL men. Please read Mark 4 and understand the meaning of the text.
     
  20. Skandelon

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    Silly has been defined as, "airheaded: lacking seriousness; given to frivolity." What specific argument have I made is frivolous or lacks seriousness? Do you really believe men like Adam Clarke, Arminius, Olsen, John Wesley, CS Lewis and the like are "air-headed?" Is that really a fair and objective assessment, or are you revealing to any readers who may be following this thread your bias and lack of impartiality with regard to our discussion?

    Well, in that case, it will serve your purpose well to treat me with respect and brotherly love because "they will know us by our love for each other." Calling my arguments "silly" is not going to convince anyone of anything except for your lack of objectivity.

    Oh, the standard of "failure" has been established on this forum? I was not aware. Or, are you defining "failure" based upon your own standards? I wish I knew that was an option back in my High School debate days. I could have just said, "Judge, my opponent has failed," and the debate would be over. I win. Now, that is "silly," don't you think?

    Or, how about I make the claim that you (and the rest of the Calvinists) have failed to answer most of my arguments on this forum. Do I need to go through a list all the thread without answers to my scripturally based arguments? (Archangel is one of the few who has engaged with me on this forum and I'm still waiting on his response with regard to Romans 11)

    That is not true. Two of my best friends in the world are Calvinistic. I love them dearly and respect them greatly. I like listening to Piper and other Calvinists and respect much of what they teach. You have interpreted my passion for truth as hatred for the common errors of Calvinism. That is not my intent.

    Clear by whose standards exactly? I have had several private messages from those who don't agree with you, but if that is what you need to tell yourself so you can ignore the OP, that is fine. I think the objective readers can see through that.

    I am willing to learn. I admit I'm wrong or that I'm studying on a subject that I don't have a full grasp on quite often. Like I said, this medium of the written word makes it difficult to hear the true intent and desire of those you engage sometimes.

    Again, you speak of my arguments as if you have never heard them before, or as if they are some "strange" new argument that I'm just now bringing to the debate. I thought you knew the historical content of this debate? Are you suggesting that my arguments are not worthy of response because they are new or "strange" to you? Could it just be that you have yet to deal with them?

    Why don't we try a little experiment. Why don't you restate my views in your own words and just see how much you really understand, then explain to us what is so "silly, strange and twisted" about it. Thanks
     

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