Calvin's Amillennialism and Infant Baptism

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by DrJamesAch, May 23, 2013.

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  1. DrJamesAch

    DrJamesAch
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    Most of the debating I have seen between Calvinists and Non Calvinists on here has been about TULIP, and one thread on Calvin's treatment of Servetus among others. Yet there are other reasons why Non Calvinists reject John Calvin's teaching, and 2 of the other contentions with Calvin that I have that I want to address is:

    1. Amillennialism
    2. Infant Baptism

    The question I had for Calvinists that went unanswered was that if salvation is only for the elect, and can not be resisted being preordained, then would it not follow that a saved person's belief system would also be preordained and covered under election? Surely, if God controls all things, then there should be no disagreement among Calvinists (but there are).

    If God elects, ordains, and saves against the will and controls all things according to the Calvinistic interpretation, then how can there be a disagreement among Calvinists about amillennialism and infant baptism? How could God preordain Calvin's theology regarding TULIP, but not the Biblical view of the 1000 year reign and infant baptism?

    The Bible is clear that there will be a coming great tribulation followed by Christ's visible return to the earth in which Christ and the saints will rule and reign with Him for 1000 years. Rev 20:4. Regardless of what view many take concerning the rapture, (pre trib, mid trib, post trib) most agree that Christ is coming back after a 7 year period of tribulation. Even most Preterists do not deny this (they merely contend that Revelation 1-19 was fulfilled in AD 70, but still allow for a 1000 year reign).

    The Bible is also clear that Baptism is only for those who have been saved. Acts 8:37, and is an answer of a good conscience toward God. 1 Peter 3:21. Yet Calvin continued the Roman Catholic practice of baptizing infants.

    Are Calvinists willing to defend John Calvin's view of eschatology and baptism?
     
  2. Greektim

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    I'm willing to defend Amillennialism, since I disagree that "the Bible is clear that there will be a coming great tribulation." Also, I don't know of many preterists who are still chiliasts as you assert. Most preterist do not talk about a future 7 year tribulation. Amills for the most part don't believe there is a gap between Daniel's 69th and 70th heptad (the only way you can interpret a period of 7 years yet to come). Dispies have a hard time thinking outside of their own system however. They often lack a coherent understanding of redemption history and thus isolate eschatology in a bubble neglecting the protology of the story and how it should relate to eschatology. Not to mention that fact that the NT is clear that eschatology began with Jesus' death and resurrection and with the church. We are the eschatological people of God. So in a real sense, we are living in the last days and have been doing so for the last 2k years.
     
  3. DrJamesAch

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    I am not saying the Preterists or partial Preterists believe in a tribulation, but they do believe in a 1000 year reign preceded by Christs visible return to earth first. Some not all believe that. Hank Hanneggraff, and RC Sproul for example, still holds to that view even though they deny the rapture. (Hank Hanneggraff's "Apocalypse Code").

    Daniel 9:24-27 show that there is a gap between the 69th and 70th week (Unless you confuse the "prince that shall come" as being Christ instead of Satan-Daniel 11:22, John 12:41) But I'll wait for you explanation as to why there is no gap there before I elaborate as to why there is.

    So if eschatology began with Jesus' death, then is the Olivet Discourse in Matthew 24 not eschatology? Nevertheless, where eschatology begins does not provide an explanation to where it ends, nor what events occur in the interim. You still have not explained why there will be no 1000 year reign or tribulation, just a broad sweeping generalization that dispensationalists are wrong about it.

    If there is no tribulation, then you have to explain when all of the events in Revelation came to pass.

    And, if you are defending Calvin, there is still the matter of the infant baptism.
     
  4. Greektim

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    Actually, not really. Not in a literal sense of an actual 1k years. We believe that the kingdom of God has begun in Jesus.

    Says dispies engrossed in the system. Ask a Hebrew grammarian and he'll tell you that such a view borders on the fringe of ridiculousness.



    I only generalized b/c that is all you did in the OP. We can go at it at length if you like. But it will come down to one issue: hermeneutics. I don't think you can provide a Biblical reference that says to advocate a literal hermeneutic whereas I can prove that the apostles used something else along with the grammatical/historical.

    Not if I am an idealist. I don't think Rev is a code to be unfolded. It is not history pre-written or past encoded. It is giving broad sweeping ideas. Again, you are so entrenched in your system that you can't begin to consider other views. The most widely accepted view of Rev is the idealistic approach.

    I don't care about Calvin. He did not invent the DoG. You asked for someone to defend Amillism and I am doing that.
     
  5. jonathanD

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    Those two statements are not equivalent. Even if #1 follows, #2 would not.

    The bolded part is not affirmed in Calvinism. No one claims that there are those who are dragged kicking and screaming into the kingdom...OR that there are those who are scratching and clawing to repent and believe in Christ, but are not able because they are not elect.

    That said, Calvinists would believe that YOUR belief system is preordained as well. Being preordained doesn't mean infallible.
     
  6. webdog

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    More of that pride seeping through, I see.
     
  7. webdog

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    explain how.



    This is a non sequitur. What is the definition of irresistible? Can one of the 'elect' resist?
     
  8. jonathanD

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    1. The statements are simply different. I don't know how to explain that further. Preordination does not mean uniformity.

    2. Another way to term it is effectual. Once the grace is applied it will be effective (all who the Father gives me...). The resisting saint or the striving sinner are posited by those apposed to calvinism...not by calvinists themselves.
     
  9. Greektim

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    I can say this b/c I know from first hand experience. I was an uber dispie. I am even published in the Journal of Dispensational theology. I know of what I speak.

    Maybe it was a generalization. But the vast majority of people fall into that generalization. I apologize if you are a freeer thinker than I give credit.
     
  10. webdog

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    So God would ordain one Calvinist to believe something false and not another?

    So the person has no choice in the matter, exactly what was outlined in the OP.
     
  11. DrJamesAch

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    And yet the Calvinist believe that their belief against Non Calvinsts are uniformly correct, and that all Non Calvinist beliefs are uniformally wrong, but when it comes to the uniformity among themselves uniformity does not apply. Go figure!
     
  12. Iconoclast

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    Ach

    The elect are picked out of the multitudes who were born dead in Adam.
    They are called unto salvation to be conformed into the image of Jesus.
    To word this question in the way you have ...if.....Do you mean that in any way non elect,guilty and condemned sinners can be saved somehow?
    Salvation is for ...NON ELECT.....persons?

    God's grace is resisted by all men...even those who are elect.In the case of the elect however...............it is not ultimately resisted.....it is always effectual because God has purposed it to happen that way.God has in His providence ordered all the means necessary to effect salvation.

    1._____ Those whom God hath predestinated unto life, he is pleased in his appointed, and accepted time, effectually to call, by his Word and Spirit, out of that state of sin and death in which they are by nature, to grace and salvation by Jesus Christ; enlightening their minds spiritually and savingly to understand the things of God; taking away their heart of stone, and giving unto them a heart of flesh; renewing their wills, and by his almighty power determining them to that which is good, and effectually drawing them to Jesus Christ; yet so as they come most freely, being made willing by his grace.
    ( Romans 8:30; Romans 11:7; Ephesians 1:10, 11; 2 Thessalonians 2:13, 14; Ephesians 2:1-6; Acts 26:18; Ephesians 1:17, 18; Ezekiel 36:26; Deuteronomy 30:6; Ezekiel 36:27; Ephesians 1:19; Psalm 110:3; Song of Solomon 1:4 )


    Your first two premises are not accurate, so what follows as a question here is already in trouble.

    yes it is as God reveals or conceals truth.

    There is no "if"......there is no "accident"coincidence"luck"

    Almost everytime you make an if -then statement...it is off.Why should there not be many areas of disagreement?
    Each person has different levels of growth and maturity.Some have studied much.God does not reveal all the truth to all the men at the same time.
    God has designed it the way he has most likely to keep us diligent in study.
    the fact that we are given many directives in scripture demonstrates how God in wisdom has designed it so.

    All the commands to hear, to listen, pray, read, speak with each other....

    what if someone neglects these commands sinfully? Is God obligated to give more understanding to the dis-obedient?
    what if someone gets puffed up with knowledge and forgets that it is God who blesses like here in
    Deut8:
    10 When thou hast eaten and art full, then thou shalt bless the Lord thy God for the good land which he hath given thee.

    11 Beware that thou forget not the Lord thy God, in not keeping his commandments, and his judgments, and his statutes, which I command thee this day:

    12 Lest when thou hast eaten and art full, and hast built goodly houses, and dwelt therein;

    13 And when thy herds and thy flocks multiply, and thy silver and thy gold is multiplied, and all that thou hast is multiplied;

    14 Then thine heart be lifted up, and thou forget the Lord thy God, which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage;

    Again here: How can you say.....IF GOD ELECTS
    God has already elected before the world was

    and then you say....AGAINST THE WILL

    none of us believes that.millions have and do believe the confession of faith as written, so you need to address the confession...which is taken from the bible.If you want to contend with it that you think it is not accurate , go for it.

    if however you continually start with the false premises no one will take you as credible.

    There are many verses to consider,and many have approached it from different ways.

    As nothing is outside of God's control, error and falsehood, evil,and sin are operational.

    His view was His view....he does own the doctrine.The doctrine is God's.

    It is better perhaps to understand each view and why people hold to the view they hold.....then if you understand the view accurately, then you can explain why you do not hold what they do.
     
    #12 Iconoclast, May 23, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: May 23, 2013
  13. preachinjesus

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    I'm no Calvinist nor Reformed...

    Well this is a question we can ask, however for most Calvinists, they would point out that determination has only to do with the nature of salvation and doesn't inherently flow over to all aspects of life. That said, from reading Calvin's Institutes it is clear that he was a double determinist.

    No, the Bible isn't clear about these issues.

    My big question for most Calvinists concerns whether they have read The Institutes of Christian Religion. Since this is the principal document which defines the doctrines of their theological position, one would think it should be required reading. However, I've found that most Calvinists haven't read it nor have they read much of Calvin's other works.

    Your bottomline question is a good one. Particularly when it comes to infant baptism. I have no clue how someone can read the text of the NT and come to the conclusion that infant baptism is necessary, meritted, or biblical. I get the argument about baptism being the new circumcision, but the implication from Paul isn't about salvific efficacy but it is about new identification. Those who baptize infants have zero NT support.
     
  14. jonathanD

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    I did not, necessarily, deal with the content of the claims, just the equivocation of the statements. They are not to be equivocated.

    No, the OP states that there are those who are saved AGAINST their will. That is something different than being elect. Election entails a changing of the will. Therefore, no one is saved against their will and, conversely, no one is damned against their will.
     
  15. Iconoclast

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    PJ,

    That is because they take it from the OT root,and believes it carries over...that there is a covenant continuity.They have a biblical position....I do not believe it is the correct biblical position however.
     
  16. DrJamesAch

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  17. DrJamesAch

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    But if everything God does is perfect, then how can you claim that anything that He preordains can be fallable? That is the logical conclusion of your statement. If anything about God's preordination can not be considered infallable, then neither is your preordained election. So you don't have a perfect salvation.
     
  18. jonathanD

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    The plan is infallible. The people are not. No Calvinists hold that they are perfect or that their knowledge of the Word is complete and absolute.

    I think you are, again, dealing with a hypothetical calvinist that doesn't actually exist.
     
  19. jonathanD

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    As an example...

    The Assyrians were used perfectly in God's plan. That doesn't mean that what they believed was right or in accord with the truth. Yet, they carried out their purpose in God's plan.
     
  20. DrJamesAch

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    Once again, you are cherry-picking certain parts of my statements out of context: I'm not debating election in that statement: the rest of that sentence is "then would it not follow that a saved person's belief system would also be preordained and covered under election". I will debate election when election itself is the issue.


    That is an extraordinary contradiction in terms. All men resist God's grace, even the elect, but the elect don't not ultimately reject it? If it is not ultimately rejected, then it was never resisted at all. God's grace could only be rejected when given the opportunity to reject it. But in Calvinism, when that opportunity arises, it can not be rejected.

    So then at what point did any elect or non elect resist? That statement is a total contradiction.


    Even if God's grace is not ultimatelyresisted, it is still not resisted when time for it not be resisted counts, according to your logic. The only thing you have done by explaining election is reaffirm that anyone elect can not resist grace, which still reaffirms my thesis. That only delays the inevitable preordained belief system in that if grace is merely ultimately not rejected, then any belief system would ultimately be uniform since you have dogmatically asserted that God controls all things.

    This is not a hypothetical *if*, it is rhetorical towards the argument as posited by Calvinism.



    I see "if" because I am arguing against someone elses point of view that I am not in agreement with. It's like saying "IF you are right". You expect me to eliminate the if and just say you're right. "If" allows there to be a different argument and that's all the "if" means for purposes of those statements.

    By your reasoning, although believers grow at different paces, God ordains one may be a heresy say during the first month of conversion, but he will eventually "catch up" to a more educated Calvinist later on. Yet since God is in control of everything, the limited amount of knowledge that the new convert has should still not be in conflict with a more educated believer on the fundamental matters.

    In making the argument for maturity, you are arguing for the amount of knowledge someone has, not the quality of the knowledge they have.



    All the commands to hear, to listen, pray, read, speak with each other....

    Did you not just make a claim against "IF" statements? Please tell me how you arbitrarily choose when to decide certain grammatical usages are permissible.



    There it is again
    If grace can not be resisted, then it IS AGAINST THE WILL no matter how many ways you try to spin it. I don't care what the "Confessions" say. I am not a creedal Christian. The Bible is my final authority, not a creed. The verses on the Creed are only descriptive that are not instructional, there is nothing on them that explains how they believe those verses fit their statements.


    What you couldn't find a creed to cut and paste with verses on it or don't know any by heart?:) Don't tease me with scripture:smilewinkgrin:


    And yet it was not known to the rest of the church until Augustine. That's a very simplistic way to excuse what he taught because any cult member can (and has) said that. But then you are also vouching for his views on amillennialism and infant baptism which is primarily what this thread is about. Calvinists want to defend TULIP but want to distance themselves from Calvin's other heresies.

    I understand the views perfectly, you simply disagree. But what happens is you cut and paste and statement from a confession and then in explaining walk right back into the explanation that I said it means in the first place.

    Now back to the amillennialism and infant baptism!
     
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