Calvinism's circular contradictions

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by Skandelon, Jun 6, 2004.

  1. Skandelon

    Skandelon
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    Here it is nice and simple:

    Calvinist: Man cannot be saved on his own.
    Arminian: I agree. That is why God sent the Word.
    Calvinist: The Word is not enough because men are born dead in their sin.
    Arminian: I agree that men are born dead in their sin but where does it say the word is not enough to revive the dead? Where does it say man can't respond in faith to God's life giving means, the power of His salvation--the gospel message?
    Calvinist: Romans 3:10
    Arminian: Nope. It says we can't seek him, understand him or obey him on our own. We've already covered this. We are not on our own anymore, the word has come. Now where is the verse that says we can't respond to the word?
    Calvinists: Romans 8:7-8
    Arminian: Nope. That says man cannot subject himself to the law of God, we are talking about responding in faith to the one who fulfilled the law for us. It also says that while we remain in flesh we cannot please God, but it says nothing about man's ability or lack thereof to leave the flesh and walk in faith.
    Calvinists: 1 Cor. 2:14
    Arminian: Nope. That says the natural man cannot recieve the "deep things of God" (vs. 10). And its clear that from the following verses that the brothers in Corith were also not able to recieve these "things" to which Paul was refering. Plus, if you read Romans 1 you can see the natural man can "understand and clearly see the divine attributes and eternal nature of our God." In fact, that is why they stand condemned and without excuse on the day of judgement. The natural man can understand and recieve what God chooses to reveal of himself to the world through natural revelation and the gospel message. They can't understand what the Holy Spirit teaches to those who who do know Him personally, the "deep things of God."
    Calvinist: John 6
    Arminian: The Jews of the 1st century couldn't believe and come to Jesus because they had been sent a spirit of stupor (Romans 10) and the gospel was being hidden from them in parables (Matt. 13) because they were being hardened (John 12:39-40) but that hardening was not unto certain condemnation (Romans 11:14) but it was temporary (Rom. 11:25) and purposeful (Acts 28:21-28).
    Calvinists: What does hardening have to do with this discussion?
    Arminian: You mean what does God blinding the eyes, deafening the ears and hardening the hearts of his elect people have to do with a discussion about the nature of man and his ability to respond to the gospel's calling? Are you kidding?
    Calvinist: See, hardening proves God doesn't want some people saved. If he wanted them saved why would he hardened them.
    Arminian: They weren't born hardened. God held out his hands to them (Rom. 10:21) and desired to gather them under his saving wings (Matt. 23:37) but they were unwilling. He hardened them to accomplish his purposes of redemption which included Jesus' death on the cross, carried out by hardened Jews, and the ingrafting of the Gentiles into the covenant, also made possible through the temporary hardening of the Jews. In addition, this ingrafting was meant to provoke the stubborn Jews to salvation. (Romans 11:14)
    Calvinists: Well, isn't that "unfair" by your standards? Doesn't God violate the Jew's free will?
    Arminian: Now THAT is the question Paul is answering in Romans 9!!! He is not answering the objection of an Arminian, he is answering the objection of a hardened Jew. Read it again with that in mind and it will make more sense to you. And chapter 10 and 11 will also make more sense too.
    Calvinists: But men cannot be saved on his own
    Arminian: Arrrrrgggg!!!
     
  2. massdak

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    why did Jesus say this&gt;&gt;Jhn 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.

    why would Jesus say this if these men were going to be drawn also?

    you have a very flawed doctrine
     
  3. Eric B

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    Pretty good dialogue, except:
    I wouldn't say that. Man doesn't on his own "leave the flesh", or even "walk in faith". What we are arguing about regarding "ability" is initial beliving or faith. Once that is done, then God regenerates, and leads the person to a turning from the flesh and walking in faith.
    Not getting this right is what helps the Calvinists think we are teaching that man can do things that in his carnal state he cannot do.
     
  4. Skandelon

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    Good point Eric!
     
  5. Skandelon

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    Tell me what you really think? [​IMG]

    Jesus teaches us that when He is raised up that he will draw all men to himself, but the Father had only enabled a select number of Jews to come and learn from Christ while he was on this earth. They were individually selected for a unique purpose. The Jews as a nation were being hardened because of their continued rebellion in the face of God's mercy and revelations to them. He hardened them except for the remnant who were chosen for a divine purpose....look on into the chapter and you will see that Christ even points out the fact that he chose the 12.
     
  6. Kiffin

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    Flawed illustration and dialogue.

    As far as John 6:44 is concerned you are making a major presumption that it ONLY applies to the Jews. Jesus is making a general statement in that passage. Certaintly it applied to the Jews, in that was his primary audience but he did not LIMIT it to the Jews. Taking your logic we must assume that vs. 47 which states "Most assuredly I say he who believes in Me has ever lasting life." applies only to Jews. :eek: In other words the Arminian logic results in teaching their own form of Limited Atonement - For Jews Only!
     
  7. Skandelon

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    Kiffin,

    I never said it ONLY applied to the Jews. I merely pointed to the context of that day. He was speaking to Jews and they were being hardened. No one in the world at that time or any time for that matter could have come to Jesus, the incarnate word, God in flesh and learned from him except those God had given to be his apostles. Everyone else: you, me, your aunt, your dog, and everyother person wasn't being drawn by the Father at that time. That applies to everyone! BUT, Jesus tell us later in chapter 12 that once he is raised up that he will then draw ALL men to himself. His work of redemption will be accomplished and then the message will go to the world. At that point it was being hidden in parables.

    Just because Jesus is speaking to a particlar audience at a particular time in a particular context doesn't mean that everything he says about them or their circumstance cannot relate or apply to us. That is just silly. If a teacher says to a class of students, "You are a rough group of teenagers and as long as you have this attitude we won't get along, you have to do the work to make the grade." Then 10 years later she has a good class and they hear about her statement. Now, think about it. Do you think that they would assume, as you have here, that because she was talking to a bad group about their particular situation that they wouldn't need to do their work to make the grade? The part about them having a bad attitude doesn't apply so maybe they should assume that the part about doing the work doesn't apply either. That is just non-sense. No one would make that leap unless that had an theological axe to grind.
     
  8. Kiffin

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    Skandelon,

    I have no axe to grind against you my friend. [​IMG]

    You said,

    :confused: Jesus is making a general statement that applies to us. No one (The Jews of his day) and us of our day cannot come to Him unless drawn. (BTW Actually Jesus did have more disciples than the apostles)

    I don't think anyone will disagree that. Christ was lifted up and He will draw all men (more accurately "all peoples" (NKJV)to Himself). That of course does not mean every single individual that ever lives is drawn to Him in that many die without hearing the Gospel. The meaning is the Universal scope of the calling of the Gospel in the coming New Testament age (Acts 2:39, Mt. 8:11-12). That however still means that No one (The Jews of His day) and us of our day cannot come to Him unless drawn. The Church however unlike Israel would not be limited to just the Jews but would include a massive number from all nations, races that cannot be counted is the meaning(Rev. 7:9-17).

    Peter makes it clear to the Jews on the day of Pentecost

    Acts 2:39 For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call."

    The Gospel is for those Jews living then, for their Children and for the Gentiles, as many as the Lord our God will call unto Himself. They cannot however come unless called.


    Luke coments why the Gentiles believed in Acts 13
    Acts 13:48 Now when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and glorified the word of the Lord. And as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed.


    Skandelon, to be honest with you I don't have the slightest idea what you are talking about except you are using a class illustration to relate to Scripture that does not apply.
     
  9. Skandelon

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    I am speaking about coming to Jesus, in the flesh, while on earth, at that time. We use the term today, "coming to Jesus" but that takes on a whole other connotation when he is standing there in the flesh, especially when he has a specific purpose to accomplish which included most of the Jews hating and rejecting him.

    Coming to Jesus in that day meant believing his actual words, following him individually and being discipled directly by him. Today it means believing in his message passed down to us, and following his example with the encouragement and guidance of the Holy Spirit.

    Only the remnant of Israel were given to come and learn from the Christ while here on earth. They were the firstfruits.

    Yes, and its interesting you bring that up because here in chapter 6 of John you'll see that most of them (except the 12) are leaving him. He even turns to the 12 and asks them if they are leaving too. Then he reminds them that he had chosen them, the 12. They are his remnant who he had reserved for himself to carry out his plan to bring redemption to the world. Others may have believed, but Jesus didn't entrust himself to them as John 2 explains. Why? Do you think the crucifixion would have happened if Jesus had a huge group of supporters? Of course not. Only those God had given to Jesus were to be entrusted with the full message of hope and the rest were being kept in the dark. Why else would Christ tell his disciples to keep things quite because it wasn't the right time?

    Peter makes it clear to the Jews on the day of Pentecost

    Exactly which is why we need to have a urgency to preach the word in all the world. For how will they hear the call without a preacher? The only call spoken of in scripture that the Lord has chosen as a means to bring people from death to life is the call of the gospel which has been placed in the hands of the church. That is our duty!

    How did people know the Gentiles were chosen by God? How did all those objecting Jews come to believe that the Gentiles were appointed to eternal life like they were? By their response. That is all Luke is pointing out in this passage. As many [kinds of people] who had been appointed to eternal life believed. In other words, all the non-Jewish nationalities who God had appointed to be apart of this new covenant were proving that by their faith in the message.

    Whatever, its not worth it.

    Please just do me a favor and look at the context. That has to do with what is going on AT THAT TIME. That makes a difference in the intent of the author when writing.
     
  10. BrotherJoe

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    Brother Skandelon:


    Arminian: I agree that men are born dead in their sin but where does it say the word is not enough to revive the dead? Where does it say man can't respond in faith to God's life giving means, the power of His salvation--the gospel message?

    ME: 1 Cor 1:18 "For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which ARE saved it is the power of God." This verse states that those that receive the gospel as the power of God are those that ARE CURRENTLY saved. The verse also states that those that are CURRENTLY perishing (this would be any unregenerated person without Christ) take the preaching of the cross as foolishness.

    Take care and God bless,

    Brother Joe
     
  11. Skandelon

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    The questions that are unanswered concerning 1 Cor. 1:18 are:

    Are they perishing because they have determined by their own choice that the message of the cross is foolish.

    OR

    Are they perishing because God did not choose them?

    Are those who are saved, saved before they hear the message of the cross??? Most Calvinists don't even believe that! Look at Cornelious who feared God but wasn't saved until he heard the message brought to him by Peter. The gospel is the power of God unto Salvation.

    This verse is simply saying that those who have chose to believe the message and have been saved through its revelation deem it as the power of God.
     
  12. Southern

    Southern
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    Skandelon,
    I just caught the last post. From the two choices that you give to answer your question, I have to ask if you are familiar with what is commonly called "Compatibilism" (I think I spelled that right! [​IMG] )


    Here is a quote from Spurgeon:
    Spurgeon wrote in the following paragraph about the will:
    The system of truth revealed in the Scriptures is not simply one straight line, but two; and no man will ever get a right view of the gospel until he knows how to look at the two lines at once. For instance, I read in one Book of the Bible, The Spirit and the bride say, Come . And let him who hears say, Come. And let him who is athirst come. And whoever will, let him take the water of life freely [REV 22:17]. Yet I am taught, in another part of the same inspired Word, that it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God Who shows mercy [ROM 9:16]. I see, in one place, God in providence presiding over all, and yet I see, and I cannot help seeing, that man acts as he pleases, and that God has left his actions, in a great measure, to his own free-will. Now, if I were to declare that man was so free to act that there was no control of God over his actions, I should be driven very near to atheism; and if, on the other hand, I should declare that God so over-rules all things that man is not free enough to be responsible, I should be driven at once into Antinomianism or fatalism. That God predestines, and yet that man is responsible, are two facts that few can see clearly. They are believed to be inconsistent and contradictory, but they are not. The fault is in our weak judgment. Two truths cannot be contradictory to each other. If, then, I find taught in one part of the Bible that everything is fore-ordained, that is true; and if I find, in another Scripture, that man is responsible for all his actions, that is true; and it is only my folly that leads me to imagine that these two truths can ever contradict each other [Charles H. Spurgeon. Autobiography Vol. 1: The Early Years. pp. 173, 174].

    I thought this might give you an idea of how man can choose what they want, while it is also true that God did not choose them.

    Again let me state, I read none of the above posts, if this is irelevant, just forget about it!

    In Christ
     
  13. BrotherJoe

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    Brother Skan:

    YOU: The questions that are unanswered concerning 1 Cor. 1:18 are:

    Are they perishing because they have determined by their own choice that the message of the cross is foolish.

    OR

    Are they perishing because God did not choose them?

    ME: Arent ALL people currently perishing who if they dont have Christ in them?

    YOU: Are those who are saved, saved before they hear the message of the cross???

    ME: Doesnt one first have to be made alive before they CAN act and believe? Life must PRECEDE action.

    There are children of God who through the Holy Spirit have regenerated hearts and who love God, but may have NEVER heard the gospel preached by man. "11 For there is no respect of persons with God...*********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;)""************


    YOU: Look at Cornelious who feared God but wasn't saved until he heard the message brought to him by Peter

    ME:Cornellious was saved prior to hearing the gospel. You are correct in stating Cornellious did fear God for that is what the Bible stated BEFORE Peter arrived. And Peter himself decares, "Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:
    35 But in every nation he that FEARETH him, and worketh righteousness, IS (PRESENT TENSE) ACCEPTED with him" (Acts 10:34-35)

    Acts 10:2 states that Cornellious feared God, was devout, gave himself to prayer always, and did works of righteousness such as giving of Alms. These are signs of a regenerated person. Further, Acts 10:3 states that his prayers came before God as a memorial and he had a vision. This all BEFORE the preacher even arrived.

    YOU: The gospel is the power of God unto Salvation.

    ME: I agree, however the salvation involved isnt an eternal salvation, but rather a salvation from this "toward generation." Christ is the author and finisher of eternal salvation.

    Saved by grace,

    Brother Joe
     
  14. Skandelon

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    Yes, but why? Because they refused the light. They are judged by the word that they have heard. Its not because God didn't want to save them as you suggest.

    No, new life comes through faith in God's words as seen in the texts.

    1Peter 1:23 having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever

    John 6:63 It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.

    Notice that life come through the word, life doesn't come before the word as you suggest.

    Acts 15: 7"Men and brethren, you know that a good while ago God chose among us, that by my mouth the Gentiles should hear the word of the gospel and believe. 8 So God, who knows the heart, acknowledged them by giving them the Holy Spirit, just as He did to us, 9 and made no distinction between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.

    Our hearts are purified by faith yet you suggest that our heart is made new so that we can have faith and that is not biblically based at all.

    Really?

    Then why does the text say: "13 And he told us how he had seen an angel standing in his house, who said to him, 'Send men to Joppa, and call for Simon whose surname is Peter, 14 who will tell you words by which you and all your household will be saved.'

    BTW, where are the Calvinists on this board to dispute this man who is misrepresenting you? This is not what true Calvinists believe. In fact, this is far from orthadox.
     
  15. BrotherJoe

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    Brother Skandelon:

    YOU: BTW, where are the Calvinists on this board to dispute this man who is misrepresenting you? This is not what true Calvinists believe. In fact, this is far from orthadox.

    ME: I am not a calvinist and never claimed to represent one, did I? I am a Primitive Baptist. If you desire to take this debate any further I ask that you read the following two articles so that you can better understand my perspective. The links are http://www.sovgrace.net/born.htm and http://www.sovgrace.net/TimeSalvation.pdf

    I must also point out that you are incorrect if you believe that many calvinists do not take the stance that regeneration PRECEDES faith in the gospel. For proof I refer you to the following link by Presbyterian and calvninist scholar R.C. Sproul. The article is entitled "Regeneration Precedes Faith"- http://www.monergism.com/thethreshold/articles/onsite/sproul01.html

    Also, here are quotes from leading calvinists supporting my position that most take the position of regeneration preceding responsive faith in the gospel:

    "Regeneration is the spiritual change wrought in the heart of man by the Holy Spirit in which his/her inherently sinful nature is changed so that he/she CAN RESPOND to God in Faith" Regeneration by J.I. Packer
    http://www.monergism.com/thethreshold/articles/onsite/packer_regen.html


    "...Only when God shines in us by the Holy Spirit is there any profit from the Word. Thus the inward calling, which alone is effectual and peculiar to the elect, is distinguished from the outward voice of men.

    - John Calvin, Commentary on Romans and Thessalonians on Romans 10:16, p 232

    "When a man is converted to God, it is done in a moment. Regeneration is an instantaneous work. Conversion to God, the FRUIT of regeneration, occupies all our life, but regeneration itself is effected in an instant. A man hates God-- the Holy Spirit makes him love God. A man is opposed to Christ, he hates his gospel, does not understand it and will not receive it-- the Holy Spirit comes, puts light into his darkened understanding, takes the chain from his bondaged will, gives liberty to his conscience, gives life to his dead soul, so that the voice of conscience is heard, and the man becomes a new creature in Christ Jesus.And all this is done, mark you, by the instantaneous supernatural influence of God the Holy Spirit working as he wills among the sons of men.

    From C.H. Spurgeon's, "THE OUTPOURING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT


    Regeneration (from Easy Chairs, Hard Words) by Douglas Wilson
    You must be born again, in order to repent and believe to read article link is http://www.antithesis.com/conversations/easychairs_06.html


    There is an entire webpage filled with links of free articles by calvinist writers on this topic alone. If you desire to study further the link is
    http://www.monergism.com/thethreshold/articles/topic/regeneration.html
     
  16. Skandelon

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    I think Calvins quote shows my point. He says its an "instantaneous" work where as you indicated that one is saved before he even hears the gospel. That doesn't sound instantaneous to me.

    But that really is beside the point. The scriptures I presented shows that life is wrought THROUGH the word of God, not through some inward calling that comes prior to that word coming.
     
  17. BrotherJoe

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    Brother Skan:

    YOU: I think Calvins quote shows my point. He says its an "instantaneous" work where as you indicated that one is saved before he even hears the gospel. That doesn't sound instantaneous to me

    ME: The Holy Spirit quickens one instantaneously. This definition is from the article I asked you to read and accurately reflects my definition, ": Regeneration is immediate, i. e. without the use of means or media; consequently, regeneration precedes faith and conversion". http://www.sovgrace.net/born.htm

    Brother Joe
     
  18. ILUVLIGHT

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    Hi Massdak;
    Have you ever thought that this is stated, so that you'll be humbled by the awesome power of God, in knowing you couldn't have come to Him unless he wanted you to. Which He does.In fact, He wants all men to come to Him. The sad thing is, some men reject Him instead. Which makes perfect sense, because of there own rejection of Christ they desever to die.
    I would think that it was a flawed doctrine that teaches man is sent to hell with out ever having a chance to know and understand God. and not only that for no reason they could prevent.
    May God Bless You;
    Mike [​IMG]
     
  19. npetreley

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    As I have pointed out elsewhere, this is consequence of Arminianism, not Calvinism. If one must hear the Gospel in order to make a free-will decision to accept it in order to be saved, then those who -- for whatever reason -- do not hear the Gospel will never get the chance to be saved. You can blame this on men for not being willing to go to this or that country to preach the Gospel, but the fault ultimately lies with God for leaving the responsibility of spreading the Gospel in the hands of fallible men. Regardless, in the case of Arminianism, you have people who might have wanted to be saved but could not be saved because they were never given the chance.

    Calvinism asserts no such thing. Calvinism starts from the assumption that, given the "chance", NOBODY would be saved. So chance has nothing whatsoever to do with salvation. Only those who are regenerated and given faith will repent and be saved, and those people are chosen (elect) by God. And although God may work through fallible men to save some/many, nothing can or will stop God from calling and saving His elect, which means not a single person among the elect will remain lost.

    There's no "chance" in predestination and election. Jesus says, "All that the Father gives Me will come to Me". Not "may come to me". Not "will decide for themselves whether or not they will come to me". It says ALL that the Father gives Jesus WILL come to Him. Every single one. And there is no "chance" that those who come to Him will be unsaved, as the rest of the verse says, "and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out."
     
  20. Skandelon

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    But it appears to me that scripture better affords this accusation than the one brought against Calvinists. What about those passages that speak of the blood of men being on the hands of the messengers sent to them?

    What about the urgency of Paul's call, "How will they believe unless they hear and how will they hear unless someone tells them?"

    That seems to indicate that some might not hear because some choose not to tell.

    Plus, I think its very possible to argue that we are judged by the level of our revelation. Christ does say we are judged by the words we hear.
     

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