Are we beating a dead horse?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Jkdbuck76, Jan 9, 2007.

  1. Jkdbuck76

    Jkdbuck76
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    Good morning all.

    I've watched this board for a long time and I wish to ask a question about the usefulness (or otherwise) of the whole Free Will vs Predistination debate. Others think of it in terms of Calvanism v Armininism. It has gone on for hundreds of years.

    At the end of the day, so what or "then what" or "what now"? What is the implication? What purpose does it serve? If the 5 points in TULIP are correct, what then? Or, what if they aren't, what then?

    For instance, I study martial arts. And in that particular field, people have argued for decades about whether or not you train barefooted. And after listening to people argue about it ad naseum, I ask "so what?" or "then what?" or "what now?"

    So I'm just trying to understand the eventual practicality of this debate.

    EDIT: where does it leave us? If you are right, what are you going to do about it?

    Please help.


    Jkdbuck76
     
  2. Brother Bob

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    We are doing something about it. We preach repentance to all and if they miss Heaven it will be at their own hands and not God's fault.
     
  3. drfuss

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    I have found this board to be quite educational for three reasons:

    1. While my basic beliefs have changed very little, it has forced me to fine tune my beliefs and examine the scriptures that support my beliefs.

    2. I have learned what others believe and their reasons for believing what they do.

    3. When I have specific questions about scriptures, people on BB have been very helpful in interpreting and understanding those scriptures.

    To me, BB has been very useful.
     
  4. Jkdbuck76

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    Great. And I just want everyone to understand this: I'm not saying that our discussions/debates are useless. I'm asking "What is the final result of the debate?" "What action will be taken?" "If X = true, then what needs to happen?"
     
  5. Allan

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    Frist, prove that 'X' is true... :wavey:

    After that we shall see...
     
  6. Deacon

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    They tried to end with the debates by closing the Calvanism/Armininism forum but the arguments popped out everywhere else.
    That didn't surprise me.

    ....I could have told them that it was foreordained to happen; there's no way to change it. :rolleyes:

    Rob
     
  7. pinoybaptist

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    I presume you've gone to school, and have heard of debating teams ?
    So, in the end, some team wins and goes home with the cup, and next year they'll have another "given" to debate about, and what about the results of last year's debates ?
    Did it change society ? Did it change the very school they attended ?
    None of the above.
    But the debaters sharpened their skills, gained more insight on how to present their arguments, and how to listen to the other side and see how the other side matches up, and after college, those skill are put to good use, right ?
    I don't think 100% of the Calvinists or Arminians here hope to convert the other, a small percentage of them do, yes, but the big majority here are learning the same way college debaters do, I believe.
    Only the Holy Spirit can convert the Arminian, really.
    (Pinoy the roadrunner is going beep-beep whing zoom before the Arminians get to their rifle stacks !!:wavey::thumbs: )
     
  8. Jim1999

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    I am getting too old to trouble with debates anymore. Sometimes it is interesting to hear how others feel about certain doctrines.

    What I have found is that quite a few have a weird understanding of what the various doctrines are and just how they fit into Baptist doctrine.

    I may not be the dead horse one is flogging, but rather muleish I might say.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  9. npetreley

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    1. Since predestination is true, it is just as worth defending as all truths

    2. Election glorifies God, free will glorifies man, therefore it is worth preaching predestination since it is to the Glory of God

    Obviously, people will disagree with me on one or both points, but that's the nature of the debate, isn't it?
     
  10. Martin

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    ==I think there does come a point at which people would be better off just slamming their heads against a brick wall. That is the point when a person must "learn", and it is learned, when to just leave it alone. That goes for discussion boards and real life.

    Now, what is accomplished?

    Before I directly answer that I want to make a very important point. In fact if someone does not understand this he/she will get very frustrated on a board like this. Most of us who come to these boards "do not" come here to have our minds changed. In fact I can only recall maybe one person who did change their mind on an issue (eternal security) thanks to a discussion I was having with them on a board (not this board). I don't think I have ever changed my mind due to a discussion on these boards.

    So, what is accomplished? Why do we come here? There are probably different reasons. For me it is educational. I can write a post that contains my ideas (etc) and respond to those who disagree or read those who agree. Sometimes those discussions result in me doing further research, other times I learn what arguments work and what arguments simply don't work. I have also become very educated on the views of those who disagree with me (through this board and through books written by scholars/pastors with whom I disagree). For example I could argue against eternal security just as well as I can argue for it. I know every verse and every argument that is put up by conditional security advocates. How does this help me? It helps me avoid creating strawmen for one, it also helps me understand where they are coming from, what points they are trying to make, and to be able to better craft a meaningful reply (given the time).

    I have also learned when to hit the back button and not even bother responding. In general I will not reply to someone who I think is just after an argument. I hold that policy on this board and in day to day life. If someone just wants to argue about election (etc) then I am not interested in anything they have to say. So if I take the time to reply "generally" it is because I believe that there is good point to be made or a good discussion to get involved in (sometimes I am wrong).

    So these boards, and discussions on Calvinism, are very helpful. People learn or are encouraged to learn more about the subject, improve their debate/discussion skills, learn when to walk away, and when not to bother. Also if most people are like me, I really don't know that many people who take different views than I do. Sure I have friends who are Arminian or popular evangelical. However most of them are simply not well enough informed to have a good discussion with on these issues. There are a few who are, but very few. I don't like getting into a debate/discussion with someone who does not know what they are talking about. I either feel like I am wasting my time or I just feel like a big bully.

    ==It has to do with the most important subject: Salvation. Is salvation of God, is it an agreement between God and man, or is it of man? That is the question that this debate seeks to answer. Calvinists, like myself, say that salvation is totally of God. What God commands (faith, repentence, etc) He provides to those He has chosen. The rest are left to their own way. Arminians do not believe that. They believe that man has some say in salvation. That, to some degree, God waits on people to turn to Him. In my opinion that is dangerous because it makes God dependent upon man.

    Will this issue be solved on Baptistboard? Probably not, but, you never really know :thumbs: .
     
  11. npetreley

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    I believe it has been solved on BB a thousand times over. Just because people continue to disagree about it doesn't make the issue questionable or the truth impossible to determine from scripture. To cite a more extreme example, there are people in the world who believe Jesus never existed and will gladly argue their view ad nauseum. That doesn't mean the existence of Jesus is an unsolvable problem.
     
  12. psalms109:31

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    Glorifies God

    Actually God not given man a chance does not glorify God or man.

    God given man a chance throgh Jesus Christ does not glorify man at all, but greatly glorifiews God, and shows that God ios no respector of man.

    God has not loved one man over another, but has gioiven each man an opportunity to be saved and made us a messenger.
     
  13. Tom Butler

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    Would you define "giving man a chance" to be saved?
    Is it necessary to hear the gospel for man to have a chance?
    For those who haven't heard the gospel, is there another way to have a chance?
     
  14. psalms109:31

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    Do not hear

    When people go out and see the creation they are without excuse. God has revealed Himself through what He has made as He also reveals Himself through us.

    That is why Jesus sent out the disciple's to reach the world with the Gospel.

    Jesus sent them out to make other disciple's so they can continue to spead the word.

    We can either wrestle with God and go the opposite direction He is sending us or we can go and tell.

    Romans 10:14
    How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?

    Ezekiel 3:18
    When I say to a wicked man, 'You will surely die,' and you do not warn him or speak out to dissuade him from his evil ways in order to save his life, that wicked man will die for his sin, and I will hold you accountable for his blood.

    James 5:20
    remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save him from death and cover over a multitude of sins.

    All men have a chance of being saved through Jesus, because whosoever believes shall be saved.

    We are a messengers of good news.

    Under the law we die under the Law, Jesus is the only salvation from the Law,Jesus is the only way to be saved.

    Those of us who believe the message know that is what Jesus has done that saved us.

    Acceppting a free gift, you do not praise the receiver, but the giver.
     
    #14 psalms109:31, Jan 10, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 10, 2007
  15. skypair

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    Jdbuck,

    It boils down to this, Jd -- Is salvation by fate or free will??

    If there are no choices to make -- Calvin was right. It's all fate. It was all planned from eternity past and God didn't ask your opinoin, thank you very much!

    If free will is right -- WE are responsible for our destiny, heaven or hell. And God does care what every man and woman chooses/believes.

    Now "what then" - "what now?" First off, Calvinists must be dissuaded from unscriptural foolishness. There IS predestination but it is not to salvation -- it is to SANCTIFICATION (which distinction apparently alludes them).

    Second, free will must help Calvinists find there way out of a dark deception -- "dragging them out of the fire hating even the garment [even though it be a saved one] soiled by the flesh." Jude 1:23

    "What purpose does [division] serve?" Paul said in 1Cor 11:19 -- "For there must be also heresies [sects] among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you." That is, yes. There are divisions over God's truth. They are there as part of God showing us what is true! We often call them "premises" -- not theology -- when they first appear. Calvinism was a "grand premise" made by a "new-born" Christian (only 2 years old in Christ when he first published his Insitutes. How idealistic and naive were YOU at that tender Christian age?)

    We all have Bibles now -- we all can check, like Bereans, into Calvin's work. It was an early paradigm but like Lutheranism, didn't remove itself far enough away from Catholicism. It again thought to make a church-state (kingdom of God on earth) which is why they can't see national and religious Israel's future in prophecy. It again baptized infants and improperly put "phyical" Christ into the elements of the Eucharist. It again built up a class of Nicolaitans (rulers of the laity) and its own dogma (tenets to be believed without proof -- like TULIP).

    If Calvinism is wrong, then many will come to the door of heaven and not open it because that decision is in God's hands (so they teach). Instead, they will try to "prove" their salvation in the only way a Calvinist knows how (quoting J, Montgomery Boice) -- "No one can know they are saved unless they live a holy life." (re: Commentary on 1Cor). Calvin simply turned salvation = works + faith of Catholicism into faith = salvation + works.

    There are some interesting permutations that come from those equations:

    Catholicism: salvation - faith = works which is all most of them really have. :cry:

    Reform: faith - works = salvation or faith = works - salvation.

    Faith = Salvation! Open that door, Mr. Calvin!!

    If free will is correct, then we can offer salvation through Christ to anyone we meet!! And by their profession, we can know their spiritual status.

    I'm gonna try to help Calvinists, many of whom say that Calvinism is the gospel, to become more effective Christians.

    Let me just add one caveat: Many believers, Baptists especially, only THINK they are Calvinists but are not. They love the orderly explanations ("Systematic Theology," originally titled "Reform Dogma" which became offensive to some) because they haven't studied enough themselves. They like the idea that "God is in control" though they haven't sorted out what that means to them practically speaking.

    skypair
     
    #15 skypair, Jan 10, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 10, 2007
  16. HankD

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    In all of these Calvin/Arminius debate threads there is a common theme on both sides and it involves the word "if" or the phrase "what if":

    If God did this then... or
    What if God had or had not done this, done that ... then

    He is or isn't or He would or would not be fair, righteous, holy, glorified, etc, etc...

    What we are doing IMO is trying to second-guess God.
    If it were so very clear then there wouldn't be this constant dunnybrook.

    He is what He is, He does what He does.

    To me the following verses satisfies my own personal curiosity concerning His character, what He does, what He expects...

    Psalm 115:3 But our God is in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased.​

    Psalm 46:10 Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.​

    Genesis 18:25c ... Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?​

    2 Timothy 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.​

    1 Corinthians 3:7 So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.​

    HankD​
     
  17. Brother Bob

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    It involves words like whole world, all, whosoever will, all ye ends of the earth, except ye believe etc and either using the definitions of these words for coming up with different definitions.

    I agree, the truth has been told many many times on BB for all who will receive it.
     
  18. npetreley

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    Your wording stacks the emotional deck with the implication of fatalism.

    It boils down to this: Does God choose, or does God make salvation available and leave it up to man to choose?
     
  19. psalms109:31

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    please God

    Hebrews 11:6
    And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

    Romans 10:17
    Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.
     
  20. DarrylB

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    lurking - related article

    Please forgive me -- I have been lurking for the past few weeks on the various threads relating to these issues, and recalled an article I read in November that resonated with me. Please understand that I am not a theologian, have never attended seminary, and have much to learn on these issues. As a layperson, however, I appreciate and agree with Pastor Curtis' comments (especially in the last three paragraphs).

    These boards are a great method of discussing theology, and I have learned quite a bit -- thanks for sharing. In my humble opinion, these discussions can be helpful in creating an understanding of various viewpoints. However, do the conficts over these issues distract the (universal) church from our primary purposes, and how can that be pleasing to God?

    If this article has been shared before, please forgive me. In full disclosure, Pastor Curtis is the senior pastor of the church I attend.

    http://www.baptistcourier.com/1009.article

    Peace,

    Darryl
     

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