Calvin, Arminius and Popery...

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by Bartholomew, Jun 20, 2003.

  1. Bartholomew

    Bartholomew
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    Hello!

    I know the "guilt by association" argument isn't as compelling as many would like it to be, but I keep wondering about the conections between Calvinism, Arminianism, and Roman Catholicism. I have heard the following "facts" from different sides of the debate, and wondered if any of you might be able to tell me which of these is true?

    1. The Reformation was (in many respects) a return to the theology of Augustine, who taught what we would now call "Calvinism". ALL the reformers were "Calvinists".

    2. Augustine did indeed teach "Calvinism", but he persecuted baptists and laid the foundations of the Roman Catholic system (e.g. he believed in praying to saints and the healing properties of holy relics). The Roman Catholics originally accepted his "Calvinism".

    3. Roman Catholicism teaches "Arminianism", and the pre-Reformation Christians during the Roman Catholic era taught "Calvinism".

    4. Arminius advocated his "Arminianism" in order to try to bring about a re-unification of the Reformed Church with the Roman Catholic Church.

    I am interested to know whether these are true or not. If an idea was invented by Roman Catholicism, I think we should be very wary of it (although I know it doesn't make it wrong). Thanks!
     
  2. Harald

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    Bartholomew. It seems to me that your #1 is quite correct. Yet Luther was more toward popery than the non Lutheran "Reformers". He clearly believed in unlimited redemption, and believed in the possibility of "final apostasy". During the 16th century I think the limitedness of the atonement of Christ was not so much discussed by the majority of Reformers. It has been said that Beza was one of the first Reformers to have clearly held to "limited atonement". Myself does not so much like this term, but prefer particular redemption. This was what the old Particular Baptists used. As for #2 it seems indeed Augustine was a persecutor of such bodies that practised immersion. He was most probably a part in laying the foundation for the papal harlot church. And I would assume most of the Roman Catholics adopted his views on original sin, election etc., which are close to Calvin's. But even if he may have been scriptural on these points he manifested his wolfishness by persecuting dissenting bodies and individuals.

    # 3. Roman Catholicism of today is quite akin to Arminianism, and has been so for many centuries now. The pre-Reformation Christians were not Calvinists, but followers of Christ. They were biblicists, and being so means they believed in original sin, unconditional sovereign and particular election, irresistible or efficacious grace, preservation and perseverance of the saints, and most probably also particular redemption, although it may be difficult to find confessions of theirs touching upon the scope of the atonement. In addition they believed in justification before God by the Person and finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ, His atoning blood and imputed righteousness. Also they believed in immediate and sovereign Holy Spirit regeneration apart from means. Many more glorious doctrines they held to I am sure.

    As for point 4 I do not recall having heard such a claim.

    Harald
     
  3. BobRyan

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    The Catholic church is closely linked to doctrines such as the Trinity and free will (or Arminianism) - it is true.

    And of course - Catholics would consider Augustine to be one of the key "fathers" that they quote for other purposes as well.

    The argument "Augustine was Baptist not Catholic" would be an interesting one to see put forward.

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  4. Pastor Larry

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    Has anyone put this forward?? I haven't seen it? What difference would it make??
     
  5. BobRyan

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    Possibly a few Catholics might want to lay some claim to "Calvinism"?

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  6. John Gilmore

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    Luther in his Bondage of the Will attacks the arminianism of the Roman church. Luther preached that the will is not free either to do good or to do evil but is in total bondage to Satan. His thinking was clearly similar to Calvin and his book is available on line at several Reform websites.

    Whether or not Luther believed in double predestination is open to debate. Clearly, toward end of the 16th century, Lutheran theologians had rejected predestination of the lost. Christ died for all. Although there is no freedom of will, the damned are lost by their own fault.

    Luther's believe in infant Baptist is consistent with his believe in total depravity and bondage of the will. Children are sinful and Satan's slaves. Baptist is a means by which the Holy Spirit creates faith through the Word and thus saves children and adults. Luther never taught that Baptist was the only means of grace even for children: the word of God is the greatest, most necessary, and most sublime part in Christendom--for the sacraments cannot exist without the word, but indeed the word can exist without the sacraments, and in an emergency one could be saved without the sacraments (as for example, those who die before receiving the desired baptism) but not without the word.

    [ June 21, 2003, 02:15 PM: Message edited by: John Gilmore ]
     
  7. Yelsew

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    Has anyone put this forward?? I haven't seen it? What difference would it make?? </font>[/QUOTE]The better question is did he baptise anyone? That Catholics baptise, why aren't they called Baptists?
     
  8. Pastor Larry

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    Has anyone put this forward?? I haven't seen it? What difference would it make?? </font>[/QUOTE]The better question is did he baptise anyone? That Catholics baptise, why aren't they called Baptists? </font>[/QUOTE]Perhaps the best question is, Why is this being talked about? It seems really irrelevant.
     
  9. Yelsew

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    Has anyone put this forward?? I haven't seen it? What difference would it make?? </font>[/QUOTE]The better question is did he baptise anyone? That Catholics baptise, why aren't they called Baptists? </font>[/QUOTE]Perhaps the best question is, Why is this being talked about? It seems really irrelevant. </font>[/QUOTE]The point is all who baptise should be called Baptists!
     
  10. Pastor Larry

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    First, I disagree. Being "Baptis" is about more than baptizing. It is never about less, but there are other baptist distinctives without which one would not be a baptist.

    Second, this is about Calvin, Arminius, and Popery, not about who baptized or sprinkled. Let's get back on track here.
     
  11. John Gilmore

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    Here is a link to the The Down Grade by Robert Shindler, a Baptist pastor, for the March 1887 Sword and the Trowel. Pastor Shindler writes of the 1662 British Act of Uniformity,

    Pastor Shindler states that many of the churches begun by these Calvinism ministers went "on the down grade" almost immediately from puritanism toward unitarianism and other heresies. He attributes this to their departure from the strict Calvinist teachings and catechism training of their founders.

    The 1662 departure of Calvinists from the Church of England may also explain its "down grade" toward popish/arminian doctrine.

    [ June 22, 2003, 01:25 PM: Message edited by: John Gilmore ]
     
  12. Harald

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    The adjective "unregenerated Calvinists" explains it all in much fewer words.

    Harald
     
  13. John Gilmore

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    Do non-Baptist Calvinists make a confession of faith after coming of age? If not, I can see how the church could quickly fill up with unitarians and other heretics.
     
  14. Yelsew

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    Is it possible to be "Unregenerated Calvinist" or "Unregenerated Arminian"? The Unregenerated are unbelievers! If one is not a believer, what interest do they have in either Calvin or Arminius?
     
  15. Bartholomew

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    Thanks everyone who's tried to answer my points so far! [​IMG] It seems that the Catholics certainly ARE Arminians, and that the Reformers WERE Calvinists (to some degree). So does anyone know:

    A Were there ANY Arminian Reformers?

    B When did the Catholics become Arminian?

    C What of the baptists? If they WERE Calvinistic before the Reformation (as Harald suggested), when did any of them become Arminian?

    Also, does anyone know:

    D Was Arminius trying to take the Reformers back to Rome?

    Thanks for your help!

    P.S. I would prefer it if you didn't make this an argument about Calvinism in the same way as the other threads are; but by all means argue about the implications of the Reformed/Catholic connotations of Calvinism/Arminianism.
     
  16. John Gilmore

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    CANON V.-If any one saith, that, since Adam's sin, the free will of man is lost and extinguished; or, that it is a thing with only a name, yea a name without a reality, a figment, in fine, introduced into the Church by Satan; let him be anathema. Council of Trent, On Justification, 1547
     
  17. John Gilmore

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    Toplady believed so according to this article.
     
  18. Bartholomew

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    Thanks John! I noticed these quotes on that website:
    This certinaly DOES imply that Arminius was trying to bring the reformers closer to Rome. But it ALSO implies that he was trying to bring them closer to the Baptists! It appears that by Arminius' day at least, both the Baptists AND Papists were "Arminian". However, the above quote seems confusing: I thought Luther had taught something very similar to "Calvinism"? Why then does Arminius say that the Lutherans were against the doctrine of election?
    Does this tell us that Rome only accepted "Arminianism" with the advent of the Jesuits? I have heard this alleged by an Arminian once before. This would explain that quotation from the Council of Trent, since that Council was (I believe) heavily influenced by the Jesuits.
     
  19. John Gilmore

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    There were similarities but there were also differences. The non-confessional writings of Luther and the early Lutherans were not consistent regarding the doctrine of election. In 1580, the (new) Lutherans affirmed election to grace but rejected election to damnation. This is, of course, humanly speaking, inconsistent but consistent according to their view of scripture. From the Formula of Concord, Epitome, Art. XI:

    The Lutherans continued to approve of total depravity and unconditional grace but they rejected limited atonement, irresistible grace, and preseverence of the saints. So, after 1580, they were not really in either the Calvinist or Arminian camp.

    [ June 24, 2003, 11:04 AM: Message edited by: John Gilmore ]
     
  20. Bartholomew

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    What is the Lutheran view of scripture that makes this idea OK? (And what's the difference between "new" Lutherans and "old" ones?)
    So am I right in thinking they believed that God chose certian people to be saved, but that they never-the-less had the option of rejecting that salvation, or losing it? It seems to me that the simplistic "Calvinism = Protestant, Arminianism = Catholic" equation told to me by Calvinists should be consigned to the rubbish bin!
     

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