Are You A Calvinist?

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by Major B, Jun 29, 2003.

?

Are you saved?

  1. Yes

    97.8%
  2. Maybe

    2.2%
  3. I hope so

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  4. You can't know until the judgment

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. Major B

    Major B
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    Questions to ponder.
     
  2. Frogman

    Frogman
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    Major B,
    I did vote in the poll, I just did not post afterward.

    God Bless
    Bro.Dallas Eaton
    Matt. 26.6-16
     
  3. Jim1999

    Jim1999
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    If I weren't a Calvinist, I would be in a philosophical quagmire, without hope and still struggling to find my own salvation. Thank God He doeth all things well.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  4. Pete

    Pete
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    Answer to Q1: Yes

    Qs2-5: I'll get back to you...one day... [​IMG]

    Pete
     
  5. Major B

    Major B
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    For the people who voted in this poll, if you answered "yes" to questions 1-3 and 5, you are a Calvinist whether you accept it or not.
     
  6. dianetavegia

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    Major B., 3 and 5 were not yes or no questions.

    Diane
     
  7. Xenos

    Xenos
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    I prefer to be called a Bible Believer. Anyone that will just believe the Bible will answer yes to questions 1-3 & 5.

    Calvin's infant baptism and being a Protestant pushes me away from wanting to be called a Calvinist.

    I am a Historical Bible Believing Baptist not a Calvinist. [​IMG]


    Happy Valley Baptist Bible College
     
  8. Major B

    Major B
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    I prefer to be called a Bible Believer. Anyone that will just believe the Bible will answer yes to questions 1-3 & 5.

    Calvin's infant baptism and being a Protestant pushes me away from wanting to be called a Calvinist.

    I am a Historical Bible Believing Baptist not a Calvinist. [​IMG]


    Happy Valley Baptist Bible College
    </font>[/QUOTE]Diane, you are right...duh, old age creeping in...what were we talking about?


    Xenos, true on all points. However, it is just like the Baptists did not originally refer to themselves as Baptist (their enemies did), they finally gave in and accepted the tag others but on them. I don't like the term Calvinist either, for the same reasons as you--but if you are a believer in Sovereign Grace, you will be tagged a Calvinist, and I gave up trying to explain it. When we who are Baptist use "calvinism," we mean Sovereign Grace.
     
  9. Major B

    Major B
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    For Diane and the others I succeeded in confusing, a correction.

    If you answered the FIRST OPTION for 1, 2, 3, and 5 you are a Calvinist, whether you realize it or not.

    If you answered the first option for 1, 2, and 3, and something else for five, you are contradicting yourself.
     
  10. dianetavegia

    dianetavegia
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    Well the poll is flawed because it doesn't mention free will or give enough choices for those of us who are believers in Free Will to answer more completely.

    Diane
     
  11. Major B

    Major B
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    Actually, that is the point. Those who believe they contribute to their own salvation with a free AND EFFECTIVE will would have to answer something other than the first choice on 2, 3, and 5, if they are consistent. (Calvinists believe in free will, we just understand that man is free to will to do only what he is able to do.)
     
  12. Salty

    Salty
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    A poll is only as good as the question and the possible answers. There were not enough good answers.
     
  13. Dr. Lance T. Ketchum

    Dr. Lance T. Ketchum
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    If the person who developed this poll thinks the questions asked in the poll are in any way reflective of Calvinism, he/she is very ignorant of what Calvinism really is.
     
  14. Jim1999

    Jim1999
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    The term Calvinism does not refer to church polity and practice, it is essentially how we view the decrees of God, that and no more, and in this sense we are either Calvinist or not.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  15. Dr. Lance T. Ketchum

    Dr. Lance T. Ketchum
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    I was once asked by a Pentacostal Pastor if I was a Calvinist or an Arminian, to which I replied, "Are those my only two choices?"

    I believe in the Corporate view of elective grace. See my book Models Of Ministry, Chapter Two. http://www.disciplemakerministries.org
     
  16. Major B

    Major B
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    In the words of John Reisinger (if you don't know who he is, you don't know very much about contemporary calvinism among Baptists), "comments like that are laughable, I have nothing to prove." I was saved through a sovereign grace ministry over 27 years ago, and cut my teeth on the Bible, Berkhof, Calvin, Boyce (JP), Hodge, Gill, Spurgeon, et.al. To paraphrase Barbara Mandrell, "I was calvinist when calvinist wasn't cool." I graduated from a fairly Arminian seminary, so I had to defend it in an unfriendly environment.


    The poll was inspired by a set of questions that Spurgeon asked the audience at Primitive Methodist camp meeting where he was invited to speak. Spurgeon said, "I have come in my text to a consideration of the doctrine of election." The arminian crowd drew in a breath, to a man. Spurgeon just smiled as he said, "Are you saved?" The audience roared back, "amen, brother, hallelujah!" Spurgeon said, "Who saved you?" The PMs replied variously, "God! Jesus! The Lord!" Spurgeon then asked them, "Who gets 100% of the credit for your salvation?" The crowd roard back, "Jesus!" Spurgeon, with a twinkle in his eye, said, "I was misinformed about your theology, you are all Calvinists after all, so I will move on to my next point."

    The point I was trying to make is the one J.I.Packer made in his "Introduction to John Owen's Death of Death," that is, that Calvinism can be reduced to "God Saves Sinners," with each word taken to its fullest extent. That, I believe is also the point Spurgeon was making. I believe every true Christian has the heart attitude of total trust in God's Sovereignty, even if they can't handle the doctrine of God's Sovereignty. So, I used Spurgeon's little test.

    But then maybe Spurgeon did not know much about Calvinism...

    SDG

    [ July 04, 2003, 11:29 PM: Message edited by: Major B ]
     
  17. Dr. Lance T. Ketchum

    Dr. Lance T. Ketchum
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    Charles Spurgeon was a great man of God. However, his so called Calvinism was nothing like the Calvinism of Theodore Besa.

    The following is an excerpt from my book Models of Ministry
    http://www.disciplemakerministries.org

    “. . . knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God” (I Thessalonians 1:4).

    Trying to understand what God means by the word “election” has brought much confusion. Much of that confusion is the result of the teachings of a Frenchman by the name of Jean Caulvin (John Calvin, 1509-1564). Calvin came on the scene about 25 years after Luther and Zwingli. His writings embodied and systemized the theology of the Reformation. Although he professed to have had a conversion, he continued to hold to the doctrines of baptismal regeneration and consubstantiation throughout his life.
    Although Calvin developed a complete systematic theology published as The Institution of the Christian Religion (better known as just the Institutes, the first edition was published when he was 26), he was most famous for his teachings on predestination and elective grace. Calvin’s writings were, in most part, simply a re-statement of Augustine’s writings (354-430 A.D.), especially his discourses with the Pelagians where he discusses his doctrines of Predestination, Irresistible Grace and Final Perseverance. Therefore, those who call themselves “Calvinists” would be more accurate if they called themselves “Augustinians.”
    Calvin’s teachings regarding these matters came to be known as the five points of Calvinism (although these five points as articulated below should probably be credited to Theodore Besa, a student and contemporary of Calvin). They are as follows:

    1. TOTAL DEPRAVITY: Man is totally unable to deliver himself from the bondage of sin, even to the extent of believing. Man in his natural state is incapable of doing anything or desiring anything pleasing to God, until he is “born again.”
    2. UNCONDITIONAL ELECTION: Election is based upon the Divine Plan of God and according to His purpose, and not on the act of faith as a condition to salvation. Election is unconditional in that man can do nothing to merit it.
    3. LIMITED ATONEMENT: Christ died for the elect only, not for all men equally.
    4. IRRESISTIBLE GRACE: Since salvation is based upon the free will of God, and since God is omnipotent, His grace cannot be resisted.
    5. PERSEVERANCE: The Elect can never be lost since their salvation is by the will of the unchanging, omnipotent God.
    An attempt to refute the arguments of Calvin was later made by the Dutch theologian, Jacob Harmensen (Jacobus Arminius, 1560-1609).
    On January 14th, 1610 forty-six ministers of the Dutch Reformed Church met privately in Gouda, Holland. From that meeting came The Remonstrance (protest against Calvinism) consisting of five statements that came to be known as the Five Points of Arminianism. Those “five points” are as follows:

    1. FREE WILL: The fall of man was not total. There was enough good left in man for him to will to accept Christ for salvation.
    2. CONDITIONAL ELECTION: Election is based upon the foreknowledge of God as to who would believe. Man’s act of faith is the condition that God acts upon to elect him to eternal life.
    3. UNIVERSAL ATONEMENT: The sacrifice of Christ provided the grounds for God to save all men who will exercise free will in accepting Christ.
    4. OBSTRUCTABLE GRACE: Since man has a “free will,” he is able to resist God’s will for his life, in that man exercises his own free will and as a result is “born again.”
    5. FALLING FROM GRACE: Since man cannot be saved by God unless it is man’s will to be saved, then man cannot continue in salvation unless he continues to will to be saved.

    When visiting my Grandmother years ago, her Pentecostal Pastor dropped by for a visit. She introduced us and informed him I was a preacher too. His first statement to me was to ask if I was a Calvinist or Arminian. To which I asked if those were my only two choices.
    I do not (and cannot) ascribe any kind of loyalty to either of these two forms of “theology.” In fact, I believe both spring forth from a common error and a faulty methodology (Aristotelian Syllogism or the Deductive Method). Therefore, they both are more philosophical in their arguments than they are theological. Both introduce preconceived and extra-biblical conclusions and definitions that drive their interpretations of Scripture. (Therefore, they are, like the majority of Reformed Theology, eisegetical rather than exegetical.)
    Simply because a person believes in the depravity of man, that the Bible teaches election and that the believer is eternally secure in his salvation, does not make that person a “Three-point Calvinist.” Neither does a belief that man has a free will, that Jesus died for all sinners and that man is able to resist God’s will for his life make that person a “Three-Point Arminian.”

    Many of the points made in both these positions are irreconcilable with Scripture.

    Both of these positions are based upon the presumption that election refers to salvation. There are two separate callings in Scripture. There is the general call to salvation extended to “whosover will.” There is the specific call to service extended to specific and select saved individuals for specific areas of service. This latter is what is referred to by the word “election” in I Thessalonians 1:4 and the word “chosen” in Ephesians 1:4.
    The word “election” is from the Greek word ekloge (pronounced ek-log-ay'). It refers to the act of picking out or choosing something. The word “chosen” is the Greek word eklegomai (pronounced, ek-leg'-om-ahee). It means to pick out or choose for one’s self in the sense of choosing one out of many, such as Jesus choosing his disciples. It means to choose someone for an office or position. In the case of both words, we should not presume they refer to salvation.
    In Romans 1:1 the word “called” is from the Greek word kletos. It is an adjective referring to Paul’s election (calling or appointment) to “apostleship.” In Romans 1:7 the meaning is saints by calling.

    The application here is that the calling (election) is vocational, not salvational. That vocation is the Priesthood of the believer.

    This vocational calling presupposes salvation. This understanding is further supported by the statement of Ephesians 4:1. “I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called.”
    Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words (page 165, B. noun, klesis) states the following regarding the difference between the use of kletos (the adjective) from klesis (the noun):

    “Klesis. . . is always used in the New Testament of that calling the origin, nature and destiny of which are heavenly (the idea of invitation is implied); it is used especially of God’s invitation to man to accept the benefits of salvation.” (underline mine)

    Kletos can be used to refer to the general call to salvation or a specific call to service. In the later sense the word is a nomenclature or vocational calling. It means to call by name or to name. In the passive voice it means to call by name, to bear a name such as saints, apostle, pastor, evangelist or deacon.
    I believe election refers to an appointment or calling to a specific position of service in the local church. Election does not refer to salvation, but a vocation. There are numerous instances in Scripture where eklegomai is used in this context.

    “And when it was day, he called unto him his disciples: and of them he chose twelve, whom also he named apostles” (Luke 6:13).

    “But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel” (Acts 9:15).
    “27 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; 28 And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are” (I Corinthians 1:27-28).

    Since God foreknows those who will accept His general call to salvation, He begins from the point of their conception to prepare them for the ministry to which He has ordained them.

    “Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied” (1 Peter 1:2).

    This verse contains the doctrine of predestination in a nut shell. All the following verses are examples of predestination based upon God’s foreknowledge of a person’s salvation. It refers to the vocational Priesthood of the believer and their future glorification in being “conformed to the image of His Son” (Romans 8:29; 1 John 3:2).

    “For, lo, thou shalt conceive, and bear a son; and no razor shall come on his head: for the child shall be a Nazarite unto God from the womb: and he shall begin to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines” (Judges 13:5).

    “Listen, O isles, unto me; and hearken, ye people, from far; The LORD hath called me from the womb; from the bowels of my mother hath he made mention of my name” (Isaiah 49:1).

    “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations” (Jeremiah 1:5).

    “For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb.” (Luke 1:15).

    “But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by his grace” (Galatians 1:15).

    “28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. 29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified” (Romans 8:28-30).
    There are some serious theological aberrations that come out of Calvinism (as well as Arminianism).

    The Calvinist’s doctrine of Total Depravity has come to be defined as Total Inability. Their argument is that since man is dead in trespasses and sin, he is incapable (inability) of faith (dead men cannot do anything). The extreme of this position teaches that God must regenerate a person before he can believe. Of course, that is not what the Bible teaches. That is a pre-drawn conclusion based on human rationalism. Fallen man is totally blind, corrupt and completely lost in the darkness of sin. However, God has not left him alone in the darkness.

    “19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. 20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse” (Romans 1:19-20).

    The word “manifest” in Romans 1:19 is from the Greek word phaneros (fan-er-os’). It refers to making something apparent or evident, i.e., to be plainly recognized or known. This “knowledge” of God was “in them” (i.e., lost mankind). “It was in their hearts and consciences” (Robertson’s NT Word Pictures).
    This means much more than the truth that God’s existence was revealed to mankind in the depository of human history and philosophical knowledge (see Barnes New Testament notes on Romans 1:19; although Barnes does make the following accurate statement on this verse).

    “God hath shewed it unto them. Comp. Joh 1:9. He had endowed them with reason and conscience, (Ro 2:14,15;) he had made them capable of seeing and investigating his works; he had spread before them the proofs of his wisdom, and goodness, and power, and had thus given them the means of learning his perfections and will. “

    The meaning of the words “manifest in them” of Romans 1:19 is further expanded on in Romans 2:14-15 and John 1:9.

    “14 For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: 15 Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;)” (Romans 2:14-15).

    “That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world” (John 1:9).

    A second extreme of Calvinism is the doctrine of Double Predestination. Double Predestination is the teaching that God has providentially decreed (caused, predestined or predetermined) all those who will be saved (single; the “elect”) and all those who will be eternally lost (double, the “reprobate”).
    This teaching comes to us in two forms, supralapsarianism and infralapsarianism. Supra means before, and infra means after. Supralapsarianism means God decreed all of this “before the Fall” and infralapsarianism means God decreed all of this “after the Fall.” This means that only those God has “chosen” to be saved (the “elect’) can be saved and will be saved. According to the Calvinist, the balance of mankind (the non-elect) are pre-temporally “reprobate” (pre = before and temporal = time; before time).
    Scripturally, condemnation is not the same as reprobation. The condemned person can be saved. The “reprobate” person cannot be saved.
    The word “reprobate” is used three times in the New Testament (Romans 1:28; 2 Timothy 3:8 and Titus 1:16). It is translated from the Greek word adokimos (ad-ok’-ee-mos) and means to be castaway or rejected. Reprobation is not equal to condemnation. The reprobate is the person who has rejected the gospel and the pre-salvation work of the Holy Spirit in drawing a person to Christ, giving an understanding of sin and its consequences and an understanding of the Cross work of Jesus Christ (John 16:8) and that person is, therefore, rejected of God. Scripturally, reprobation is a digression by degrees (Romans 1:19-32; Hebrews 6:1-6). No one is born “reprobate” (i.e., rejected of God).
    These two previous philosophies (Total Depravity and Double Predestination) are the driving impetus of the Calvinist’s concepts of Unconditional Election and Irresistible Grace. Unconditional Election is the idea that a person’s salvation is based solely upon God’s choice (God’s will) and not upon the personal choice of a person (man’s will). Irresistible Grace is the idea that the “elect” will not be able to resist God’s will.
    The Scriptures clearly teach that God’s will, regarding man’s salvation, is that He wants all men to be saved. It is also clear that God’s will is not always done by man.

    “The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe” (John 1:7).

    “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me” (John 12:32).

    “And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent” (Acts 17:30).

    “1 I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; 2 For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. 3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; 4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:1-4).
    The Calvinist’s doctrine of Limited Atonement teaches that Christ’s blood was not wasted on the predetermined reprobates of mankind. Christ’s substitutionary death was intended only for that predetermined group called the “elect.” Again, the Scriptures clearly teach universal propitiation (satisfaction of God’s wrath upon sin) through the Cross-work of Jesus Christ.

    “And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world” (1 John 2:2).

    The fact this verse says Christ died “for the sins of the whole world,” and that it means what it says, is supported by numerous Bible scholars.

    “Christ’s ‘advocacy’ is limited to believers (1Jo 2:1; 1Jo 1:7): His propitiation extends as widely as sin extends: see JFB on ‘2Pe 2:1’, ‘denying the Lord that bought them.’ ‘The whole world’ cannot be restricted to the believing portion of the world (compare 1Jo 4:14; and ‘the whole world,’ 1Jo 5:19)” (Jamison, Fausset Brown Commentary).

    “And not for our’s only. Not only for the sins of us who are Christians, for the apostle was writing to such. The idea which he intends to convey seems to be, that when we come before God we should take the most liberal and large views of the atonement; we should feel that the most ample provision has been made for our pardon, and that in no respect is there any limit as to the sufficiency of that work to remove all sin. It is sufficient for us; sufficient for all the world.

    But also for the sins of the whole world. The phrase ‘the sins of’ is not in the original, but is not improperly supplied, for the connexion demands it. This is one of the expressions occurring in the New Testament which demonstrate that the atonement was made for all men, and which cannot be reconciled with any other opinion, if he had died only for a part of the race, this language could not have been used. The phrase, ‘the whole world,’ is one which naturally embraces all men; is such as would be used if it be supposed that the apostle meant to teach that Christ died for all men; and is such as cannot be explained on any other supposition. If he died only for the elect, it is not true that he is the ‘propitiation for the sins of the whole world’ in any proper sense, nor would it be possible then to assign a sense in which it could be true. This passage, interpreted in its plain and obvious meaning, teaches the following things:

    (1.) That the atonement in its own nature is adapted to all men, or that it is as much fitted to one individual, or One class, as another;
    (2,) that it is sufficient in merit for all; that is, that if any more should be saved than actually will be, there would be no need of any additional suffering in order to save them;
    (3,) that it has no special adaptedness to one person or class more than another; that is, that in its own nature it did not render the salvation of one more easy than that of another. It so magnified the law, so honoured God, so fully expressed the Divine sense of the evil of sin in respect to all men, that the offer of salvation might be made as freely to one as to another, and that any and all might take shelter under it and be safe. Whether, however, God might not, for wise reasons, resolve that its benefits should be applied to a part only, is another question, and one which does not affect the inquiry about the intrinsic nature of the atonement. On the evidence that the atonement was made for all, See Barnes ‘2Co 5:14’, and See Barnes ‘Heb 2:9’ ” (Barnes New Testament Notes).

    “{For the whole world} (peri olou tou kosmou). It is possible to supply the ellipsis here of twn amartiwn (the sins of) as we have it in Heb 7:27, but a simpler way is just to regard ‘the whole world’ as a mass of sin (5:19). At any rate, the propitiation by Christ provides for salvation for all (Heb 2:9) if they will only be reconciled with God (2 Co 5:19-21)” (Robertson’s NT Word Pictures).

    When the Bible talks about the “elect,” it always refers to three specifics (four if you count “elect angels;” 1 Timothy 5:21).

    1. The Messiah (the New Federal Head of the New Creation “in Christ” (Isaiah 42:1-4; 1 Corinthians 15:45-49)
    2. The nation of Israel (Isaiah 45:4; 65:9; 65:22; Matthew 24:22-24, 31)
    3. The Redeemed “in Christ” who are predestined to glorification and blessed “with spiritual blessings in heavenly places” (Romans 8:29-33; Colossians 3:12; Ephesians 1:3-4)

    Obviously, salvation is not connected with three of the four specifics regarding “the elect.” Messiah did not need to be saved. He is God. Not everyone in the nation of Israel were saved (Romans 9:6, 10:1-3) even though the nation of Israel is referred to as the “elect. The “elect angels” did not need to be “saved.” These “angels” will be present and be part of the New Creation (Revelation 21:1-7).
    The central theological idea behind all of this is that “before the world was, before there was Jew or Gentile, God chose to have a people for himself, the whole church of Christ, a covenant people confined to no one earthly race” (People’s NT Notes). This refers to the whole of all the Redeemed who come to Christ by personal faith, are “born again” and become part of the New Creation in the last Adam, Christ Jesus.
    “45 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. 46 Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual. 47 The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven. 48 As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. 49 And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly” (1 Corinthians 15: 45-49).

    Notice the uses of the phrases “in Christ,” “in him,” “in the Beloved,” and “in whom” in Ephesians 1:3-14. Because God “foreknows” (precognition) before the foundation of the world (pre-temporal) all those who will trust in Christ, He has predestined those individuals to be “conformed to His image” (glorification) and to “spiritual blessings in heavenly places” (the New Creation; Revelation 21:1-7).

    “3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: 4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: 5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, 6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. 7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; 8 Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; 9 Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: 10 That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him: 11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: 12 That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. 13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, 14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory” (Ephesians 1:3-14).

    The “Elect” are all those “in Christ” who make up the “New Creation.” This “New Creation consists of all those “born again” (John 3:3) from the “whosoever will” (Romans 10:13). One becomes one of the “elect” by a personal choice as the “goodness of God” leads a person to repentance and faith (Romans 2:4). Repentance and faith are the result of personal choice.

    Sovereignty, as it is used of God by the Calvinists (Sovereign Grace), is a serious distortion of the use of this term in the Bible. The New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia on the WWW quotes Augustine in his definition of “Divine Providence’ (i.e., Sovereign Grace).

    “(Lat. fatum, from fari, to tell or predict). This word is almost redundant in the vocabulary of a Catholic as such, for its meaning as the prime cause of events is better expressed by the term Divine Providence, while, as a constant force at work in the physical universe, it is nothing more nor less than natural law. Hence St. Augustine says (De Civit. Dei, c. i): ‘If anyone calls the influence or the power of God by the name of Fate, let him keep his opinion, but mend his speech.’ ”

    In other words, a person should understand “Divine Providence” to mean the same as “Fate,” but he should use a different word. The words Calvinists have chosen to mean the same as Fate are Sovereign Grace.
    The dictionary definition of Fate “refers to the inevitability of a course of events as supposedly predetermined by a god or other agency beyond human control” (New World Dictionary of the American Language; Second Edition; Simon Schuster). The extreme application of this definition in the philosophy of Calvinism is that the destiny of all mankind is fixed or predetermined. No one can change, effect or impact their destiny by personal choices, decisions or even prayer. What will be, shall be.
    Of course this is ludicrous. This is nothing more than Fatalism. It is the ancient pagan idea that the destiny of every man is already “written in the stars.” Of course, their methodology to discover their “destiny” for any given day or year was through the pagan science (“falsely so called,” 1 Timothy 6:20) of Astrology. There are so many Scriptural examples teaching contrary to Fatalism and Predeterminism, I would not know where to begin.
    Sovereignty in the Bible is a judicial term and is not equal to predeterminism (fatalism) and God’s sovereignty does not mean He is the cause of all things. It simply means He is the final and ultimate authority in all things. He has established governments and kingdoms for the administration of both His justice and His judgment (Romans 13:1-6).
    The Sovereign God of the Bible is actively involved in the lives of all people, lost and saved. He is drawing all men unto himself (John 12:32). It is God’s “goodness and forbearance and longsuffering” (Romans 2:4) that is leading all men to “repentance.”

    “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).
     
  18. Major B

    Major B
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    So, what's new about this argument?

    Oh, I agree that 2 Pet 3:9 is important. See the context. He is talking to BELIEVERS, about BELIEVERS. This, along with Rev 3:20, is one of the most misquoted and misapplied verses in the Bible. (If anyone finds a reference to the human heart in Rev 3:14-20, I'll eat my Scofield).

    Oh, I get it. The best-known calvinistic baptist in history didn't understand calvinism. (I love scholastics, we had them in the Air Force. When we really had to do something, we locked them in a back room with a deck of cards and let them out when the mission was airborne.)

    Now, back to basics. God Saves Sinners.

    He does not save them with a teensy bit of help from them.

    He does not help them save themselves.

    He hasn't constructed a salvation machine that sinners operate themselves.

    God saves sinners. "Jesus paid it all, all to HIM I owe..."

    Or, as the calvinist John Newton said,

    "twas grace that taught my heart to fear and grace my fears relieved..."
     
  19. Rev. G

    Rev. G
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    How was Spurgeon's Calvinism different from that of Beza? You put out a bunch of general information that nearly everyone on this board already knows (John Calvin, the five points, Augustinianism, etc.). Care to add something new to the discussion?
     
  20. Rev. G

    Rev. G
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    Rehash of worn-out arguments attributing to Calvinists what they don't believe.

    :rolleyes:
     

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