Calvinism Critiqued by a Former Calvinist

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by mandym, Sep 22, 2011.

  1. mandym

    mandym
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    With the bombardment of all the Calvinist threads I thought this would be a good article to post.

    http://www.auburn.edu/~allenkc/openhse/calvinism.html
     
    #1 mandym, Sep 22, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 22, 2011
  2. webdog

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    Sounds like the same path many have taken in leaving. When you stop viewing everything through predestination / election and start viewing them through God's attributes (love, justice, holiness, etc), the house of cards begins to fall...quick.
     
  3. StefanM

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    I agree that the system hinges on Total Depravity, as Calvinists understand it.

    If depravity is understood differently, then the system is not as logically tight.
     
  4. mandym

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    Also from the article:

     
  5. StefanM

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  6. Van

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    It was nice to see the actual topic of Calvinism discussed in the Keathley article, but alas you cannot shore up the house of Cards.

    Changing "Irresistible Grace" to "Overcoming Grace" simply adopts the Arminian Prevenient Grace position. Trading one unbiblical view for another unbiblical view does not put anyone in the center of God's teachings.

    I did like the discussion of Romans 4:4-5, which accepted that putting faith in Christ does not make salvation synergistic, since it is God who credits that faith as righteousness. Thus we do not "earn" our salvation by being "wise" rather than foolish. Paul says we have nothing we have not received, so being wise simply means we have received God's revelation perhaps over time, as various members of the body of Christ helped us learn from God.
     
    #6 Van, Sep 22, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 22, 2011
  7. StefanM

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    I would argue that there is a distinction. Prevenient grace is usually used in a more general sense.
     
  8. Skandelon

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    This article could have been written by me because it is so reflective of my own experience. Thanks for posting it.
     
  9. JesusFan

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  10. JesusFan

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    [
    [/QUOTE]

    Main problem here on BB is that the Arms/Non cals tend to create cal 'straw men" and beat those down, ignoring what Cals really mean by the terms we use!

    per depravity...

    Non cals tend to see us saying that man is rotten/wicked sinners, cannot do ANY good works/deeds, basically that ALL peiople are always acting badly, cannot even do good things in regards to as God sees good works...

    We are saying that man is born into fall of Adam, are sinners, are spiritually blinded by that state/condition to being able to know God in a saving fashion UNLESS God intiates and allows his Grace come upon that person...

    CAN still do good works, be "nice people" even be religious, its just that unless God allows for 'special revealtion:" to occur unto them, their wills will stay against God, and will chose to stay in their sin, as that is their 'natural natures"
     
  11. Alive in Christ

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    I too had a "calvinism period" in the early years after my new birth

    I thank and praise God for His correction, through the scriptures of course, which enabled me to see the serious errors of calvinisn, and guide me to the more correct position.

    Praise God.
     
  12. seekingthetruth

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    Kepping it simple

    I have posted my thoughts on Calvinism in very simple terms. I don't see the false doctrine of Calvinism as being all that academic or complex. I do find that most Calvinists consider themselves to be the elite in Christian theology and intellect. They see themselves as the smartest of the smart. The rest of us are ignorant and cannot comprehend the Bible in depth as they do. Yes, I have read alot of academic articles on the subject, I took a course in Calvinism in Bible College, and I can post the verses used by Calvinists to support their beliefs. I do even understand how they justify total depravity and unconditional election, but their justification does not equal biblical doctrine. None of their well thought out complex discussions explain the simple Bible truths that they try to explain away. For me, it's not that hard.

    Mandym posted this from an article:

    For those unfamiliar with the five points, I will here briefly define them:

    I. Total Inability. Man has sunk so far through the Fall that he is no longer capable of believing the gospel. He can no more repent and believe than a dead man can rise up and walk. This is all the result of the sin of Adam, who communicated th is absolute inability, this loss of free will, to all his posterity.

    If we are unable to repent, then why does God command us to? Freewill? From Genesis to Revelation man is given free will, and the choice whether to follow God or not. If I have the free will to sin, then surely I have the free will to repent. I believe that the Bible teaches that all men can repent. The Bible says that we must be drawn by the Holy Spirit, and I believe that, but I do absolutely believe that the Holy Spirit will draw any man that seeks the Lord and is repentive.


    II. Unconditional Election. God has, before the creation of the world, selected a portion of humanity to be saved. This election is irrespective of any foreseen merits or faith. It is only according to the good pleasure of His will.

    This is the one I have a real problem with. The Bible plainly says that God wants ALL men to be saved. I understand the fact that God is already in our future, He already knows what decision we will make, but I refuse to believe that a God that says He wants All men to be saved would create any human with the intent of sending him to a burning hell. Again, I do believe that God knows our fate before we are born, but it only because He knows what we will choose of our own free will, not because He has his favorites. Even though God knows what we are going to decide, it is still our free will to decide it, not God's predestined sentence to hell.

    III. Particular Redemption. Jesus on Calvary bore the full punishment due his elect, ensuring their final salvation. He did not die for the non-elect, who are excluded and hopelessly reprobated.

    This is where I see the most arrogance in the Calvinist doctrine. Who are they to claim the Blood of Jesus for their own and say that everyone was not included? How pompous can you be? Jesus died for every human that has ever lived, it is up to us to accept His Grace or reject it, but it is NOT reserved for a few people that if they were honest, would have to admit that they are just dirty rotten sinners like the rest of us. The only difference between a Christian and the most evil person that ever walked the Earth is that the Christian is forgiven. It has nothing to do with predestination, or conditional love? That's right conditional love, Calvinist doctrine implies that God only loves some people, and that Jesus only died for some people. That is a false doctrine! God loves all people and Jesus died for all people......but it is our free will choice to accept that love and salvation. God created all men with the intention for them to serve Him. It is thier decision to make, if a man doesn't love God then it is that man's choice, not God's fault.

    IV. Efficacious Grace. God moves upon the helpless sinner before he has a single thought of responding to the good news. Grace renews the spiritually dead will, imparts a new nature and infallibly draws the sinner to Christ. Regeneration, or the new birth, occurs before belief in Christ. Faith, in fact, is a gift imparted to the sinner, who is entirely passive in this act.

    This is so false that I won't even give it much attention. Regeneration before repentence? The sinner is passive during regeneration? Where does faith come in? This whole point is ridiculous

    V. Final Perseverance. Everyone regenerated by God's grace will persevere and be finally saved. No one who truly begins the life of faith will ever fall away and perish.

    I do believe in eternal security, however I believe it is brought about by the faith of the believer and the Grace of God, and paid for by the sacrifice of Jesus......and in no way is it predestined or gauranteed before birth for any certain people

    Finally, let me say that although Calvinists think that I am Armenian in belief, they are wrong. There is more than just Calvinists and Armenians.

    John
     
  13. Winman

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    I am on a phone, so I can't copy and paste a link, but for another very interesting article google;

    Brenda's Testimony: Her 14 years in Calvinism

    Perhaps someone here can post the link.

    This lady tells her story of how she was introduced to Calvinism, embraced it for years, but how it eventually led to despair.
     
  14. quantumfaith

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    I like Keathley, have his book. Also I might add as a corollary to the idea that the structure of Calvinism (as a theology) relies on "total inablility", another cornerstone is how one answers the question (or I should say attempts to) as to "Why" did God create? (Out of Glory or Love) (or both).
     
  15. Alive in Christ

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    Winman.....

    Here is the link...(at the bottom)

    Brendas testimony.....

    I find this particularly interesting....








    http://www.carylmatrisciana.com/site/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=67:brendas-testimony-her-14-years-in-calvinism&catid=39:calvinism&Itemid=58
     
    #15 Alive in Christ, Sep 22, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 22, 2011
  16. Winman

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    I suppose one could search and find a testimony like this no matter what denomination or creed one holds to. I did not search for this article, but happened upon it by chance several months ago.

    But this woman's experience showed what I had always believed is the Achilles heel of Calvinism. That is, a person cannot truly know they are elect. How can you know
    that? The only way you can hope to have assurance of this is by works. You must needs prove to yourself you are the elect. This is where salvation turns from joy to misery as Brenda relates from her own experience.

    This is especially so because a person is taught they cannot believe without regeneration, and that there is false faith called "evanescent grace".

    It is only natural that teaching like this will lead to doubt. How can I know if I have real saving faith, or this false evanescent faith? The only way you can know this is if you know for certain you are elect. But how do you know you are elect?

    Thus, we see an endless and vicious cycle of doubt. It cannot be avoided by those who are seriously concerned about their salvation.
     
    #16 Winman, Sep 22, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 22, 2011
  17. Earth Wind and Fire

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    Main problem here on BB is that the Arms/Non cals tend to create cal 'straw men" and beat those down, ignoring what Cals really mean by the terms we use!

    [/QUOTE]

    :laugh:Ya think......Have you noticed that......ah, LOL never mind....not worth the time.:smilewinkgrin:
     
  18. preacher4truth

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    !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


    :thumbsup: You are correct!

    Why fight proof-texters and their theologies that exalt sinful man? :applause:
     
  19. seekingthetruth

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    The real straw man is building a theology out of unrelated scriptures and then using them to tell everyone else that doesnt agree with you that they are the "unelect"

    Anybody can take scripture out of context, put it all together, and justify anything they chose.

    In this case, Calvinists take scripture out of context, use it to prove their percieved superior intelligence, and belittle other believers.

    Be honest, Calvinism is a religion in itself where the believers think that they are somehow superior to other believers. The Calvinists are the chosen ones of God and we are lost, stupid, hell bound sinners.

    But the good news is this......It's not our fault we are hellbound sinners, God chose us for hell.

    What? God chose us for hell? Well, if God chose Calvinists for heaven, then He must have chose us for hell.

    John
     
  20. Winman

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    John, I would agree with you except on one point. Calvinism is not just "put together". Calvinism is actually extremely consistent with itself, this is it's strength and the major reason people believe it. Those who arranged this doctrine did a masterful job of patching verses together.

    That said, there are many hundreds of verses that refute it that Calvinists either ignore, or redefine terms to fit their doctrine.

    But it is not slapped together, is is amazingly well organized and consistent within itself.

    Problem is, it is not what the scriptures really teach.
     
    #20 Winman, Sep 22, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 22, 2011

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