Can a non-Calvinist explain the doctrine Irresistable Grace to me?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by jcjordan, Aug 20, 2008.

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  1. jcjordan

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    I'm wondering if any non-calvinists can actually fully explain in their own words what the calvinist doctrine of Irresistable Grace teaches. I'm not intersted in hearing why it is wrong. Just tell me what the doctrine teaches.
     
    #1 jcjordan, Aug 20, 2008
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  2. JDale

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    I suppose I qualify.

    Irresistible Grace, or what Calvinists prefer to label "effectual calling," is the belief that God extends grace to all the elect and because it is God's grace and ii is effectual, it cannot be resisted. Thus, the one whom God has chosen by God, through this faith will believe and cannot do otherwise, according to the decree of God.


    JDale
     
  3. jcjordan

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    Very good, although I think there needs to be a few clarifications. However, this is much better than what I expected.
     
  4. JDale

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    JCJ:

    Were you just baiting us? Do you (a Calvinist I assume) believe that Arminians are just ignorant of what Calvinists believe?

    What exactly was your reason for asking this question of "Non-Calvinists?"


    Blessings,

    JDale
     
  5. Allan

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    I would presume so, evidenced by his post back to your answer.

    In your answer though you left out the point that man must first be regenerate, given faith, and given repentence 'before' the call (effectual call) is given. Otherwise you they will not respond savingly to His grace in calling them to Himself but will still resist His grace in calling without the addition of afore said things.
     
    #5 Allan, Aug 20, 2008
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  6. EdSutton

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    As Mr. Spock would say, "Curious!"

    I am a Non- Calvinist; I am also a Non- Arminian; and I am a Non- 'whole bunches of other stuff', as well.

    That said, does not the theological doctrine of "irresistible grace" say that a human being cannot actually 'resist' the workings of the Holy Spirit, considering the Holy Spirit is one person in the triune Godhead?

    Or at least that is how I understand it. Am I correct in this?

    Ed
     
    #6 EdSutton, Aug 20, 2008
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  7. jcjordan

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    Baiting you for what? I thought you gave a really good answer. I've just seen several comments in other threads that made me wonder if anyone here who is not a calvinist actually has a clue to what that particular doctrine teaches. Honestly, your reply was very good.
     
  8. Allan

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    I just noticed MB's comment regarding 'irresistable grace' in another thread which I 'assume' was one of those comments which brought about this thread.

    I think however that what MB was speaking of was not specifically the doctrine but what he percieves as a flaw in that doctrine. That 'if' God's grace is irresistable in salvation because of all the things that God has both given and done then why does it not continue to irrestable throughout the believers life. But not so much that what he was speaking of 'is' the true understanding of irresistable.

    I probably should have posted it the other thread but this one is specifically about that topic and about misunderstanding by some people, I went ahead and wrote it here.
     
    #8 Allan, Aug 20, 2008
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  9. jcjordan

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    Just answer my question for yourself. No fair having JDale helping you!:laugh:
     
  10. Allan

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    I would have written almost exactly the same thing with the exception of what I added in my previous post about regeneration, faith, and repentence needed before God can or will effectually call them. However he does write better than I do :)
     
  11. jcjordan

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    As a calvinist (speaking for myself), this is not what I believe or understand calvinism to teach regarding IG.
     
  12. sag38

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    It means that one cannot come to God unless called and if called he or she has no cholce but to respond.

    However, I've always wondered how the unpardonable sin fits into this scenario?
     
  13. Allan

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    Then are you one of the few Calvinists (like Pastor Larry) who believe that regeneration comes after a person believes?

    Otherwise it would be quite puzzeling as to what you believe since Mainline Calvinism does in fact teach regeneration, and the addition of faith and repentence to a person before or just during the gospel calling and and their believing take place (albeit some hold to an almost simultanious action though with regeneration first as a the logical argument). And that it is because of these investments into man that calling to that person is irrestiable. The ultimate implication is that because these investments or changes made to the person they will now see, understand and be at one with the truth therefore without any hinderance yeilding in a positive manner to it, in fact being unable to resist it.

    I can't find anything that disputes what I or Jdale has said regarding the Calvinistic understanding of 'Irresistable Grace'.

    So what is 'your' understanding of "Irresistable Grace"?
     
  14. jcjordan

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    I had no problem with what JDale said. I don't believe that IG follows repentance or regeneration and I don't believe Calvinism teaches that. Although, it is late and it's been a long day, so I'll have to think this through very carefully and respond tomorow when my head is a little more clear. I think this kind of discussion can be very helpful and I hope it will be to both of us without either of us being a jerk to the other. I know I can quickly be that way, and I'll try my best not to get frustrated.
     
  15. Allan

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    I agree but I'm wondering if maybe we are talking around each other on this.

    Now let me clarify if I may. I agree that the basic definition of "Irresistable" or "Effectual" grace does not typically include the operation of regeneration in it's wording because it is conveying the action transpiring and denotes a distinct typy of call 'effectaul' verses the 'General' call.

    However it is in the mechanics of that which is transpiring which give rise to operation necessary (in the Calvinistic view) for man to receive this calling and that is men needing to become regenerate. Thus a more full bodied definition is that the effectual call is really the complete work from reneration to salvation, with an emphisis on the distinction between the inward and outer callings. Though the inward call is what is emphasized it is really a summary of the process of salvation.

    However most will seperate the inward call itself and the act of reneration not as seperate but as the catalyst for the positive reception of gospel conveyed.

    I would like to set forth a couple of works by known and respected Calvinists which speak to what I am saying.

    Here is an article from John Murry on this very topic. He was professor of systematic theology at Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

    Here are some excerts:
    "This article was taken from Soli Deo Gloria: Essays in Reformed Theology, ed. R.C. Sproul, published by Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing, 1976."

    J.I Packer stated in his Introductory Essay to John Owen work "The death of death in the death of Christ" in Section II subsection (iii):
    Here J.I Packer, speaking from John Owen' work states, the Irresistible Call (effectual calling) is bound up in man's regeneration for without it man would still have a heart of stone and not flesh, still be at enmity with God and denying any spiritual truth given him.

    Or in J.I. Packers "Concise Theology" under the heading "God Revealed As Lord of Grace"; subheading "Effectual Calling", he states of the Westminister Confession regarding Chapter "X":
     
    #15 Allan, Aug 20, 2008
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  16. Allan

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    Question:

    Do you hold that 'irresistible grace' is that the inward call is that which regenerates?

    If so then it can be said (without my disagreement per-sey) that according to Calvinism, they would be virutally a synonomous act but that a presumed logical order of call/regeneration can be asserted.

    However, the inward calling of itself is not irresistible unless man is regenerate and thus the calling itself is noted as effectual but only in because of the regeneration othewise it is resistable or non-effectual.
     
    #16 Allan, Aug 20, 2008
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  17. Allan

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    When I was speaking of 'before' it is in reference to culmination of answering the call. That was my mistake/fault and was the intent of my saying 'before' as seen in the next sentence of "Otherwise you they will not respond savingly..."

    Does that clear things up somewhat ??
     
  18. jcjordan

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    Allan, I'm quite impressed. In your previous posts, it seems you've realized where I took issue with your original response. It appears you understand the calvinist position on this. I appreciate your integrity in actually trying to get understand the position clearly instead of developing straw men to attack. Plus, you can't go wrong with quoting Owen and Murray on the issue.
     
  19. Goldie

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    The Cavinistic doctrine of Grace states that God intends only a limited number of persons to be saved and that Christ died on the cross only for them. It's also known as the doctrine of "Limited Atonement". "Irresistible Grace" means that those "predestined for salvation" simply cannot resist the Grace of God, nor can they reject Jesus and so their salvation is certain and this is the reason in general why Calvinists on the whole aren't concerned with preaching the Gospel (so others can be saved), because they reckon God's grace is "irresistible".
     
  20. jcjordan

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    well, o.k. I'm not even sure how to reply to this.
     
    #20 jcjordan, Aug 21, 2008
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