Can Calvinists explain this verse?

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by Skandelon, Aug 1, 2004.

  1. Skandelon

    Skandelon
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    Acts 28:27: THE HEART OF THIS PEOPLE HAS BECOME DULL, AND WITH THEIR EARS THEY SCARCELY HEAR, AND THEY HAVE CLOSED THEIR EYES; OTHERWISE THEY MIGHT SEE WITH THEIR EYES, AND HEAR WITH THEIR EARS, AND UNDERSTAND WITH THEIR HEART AND RETURN, AND I WOULD HEAL THEM."'

    Notice that they BECOME hardened, not that they are born hardened. And also notice the word OTHERWISE which indicates their abilities had they not BECOME hardened. This is why the scripture warns us not to let our hearts grow hard. (Heb. 3)

    Please explain how this verse (and others like it) don't completely undermine and disprove the doctrine of Total Depravity (More specifically the belief that all men are born so depraved that they could never see, hear, understand and respond in faith to God's revelation.)

    Thank you for your help on this.
     
  2. dianetavegia

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    They'll just come back with Acts 16:31 a, b & C

    Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and agree with John Calvin, and thou wilt be saved..... :rolleyes:
     
  3. Gina B

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    Diane, where has any Calvinist on this board said to believe on Calvin as a part of salvation?
    That's a serious accusation.
    Gina
     
  4. pinoybaptist

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    Skandleon said:
    Because the Bible also says that the natural (unregenerate) man, like some people on this board are,:

    1. cannot cannot hear God's words

    and the natural man doth not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for to him they are foolishness, and he is not able to know [them], because spiritually they are discerned.
    1 Corinthians 2:14.Young's Literal Translation.

    2. cannot understand the Gospel message:

    he who is of God, the sayings of God he doth hear; because of this ye do not hear, because of God ye are not.
    John 8:47. Young's Literal Translation.

    3. cannot believe the Gospel message:

    but ye do not believe, for ye are not of my sheep,[/b[

    John 10:26. Young's Literal Translation.

    Why all these cannots ?

    1. Because the unregenerate man is under the power of the god of this world:

    and if also our good news is vailed, in those perishing it is vailed,

    in whom the god of this age did blind the minds of the unbelieving, that there doth not shine forth to them the enlightening of the good news of the glory of the Christ, who is the image of God;


    2 Cor. 4:3-4. Young's Literal Translation.

    Sorry. But, if you're not one of the elect, all God has to do is not intervene and your heart will be made harder.
     
  5. Skandelon

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    PB,

    I will be glad to explain, yet again, how all the verses that you posted don't say what you need them to say in order to draw your conclusion, but first I must insist that you provide an explaination for the text I provided and then we can go from there. You listed a bunch of proof texts but neglected to first deal with the text I provided. I would like to hear how you deal with that first.

    Thanks.
     
  6. Me2

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    Act 28:24 And some believed the things which were spoken, and some believed not.

    meaning some received the spirit of Christ within them by the father and some didnt. those with the spirit had the ears and eyes to hear and see the spiritual message.
    while others there didnt receive the spirit which the father intentionally witheld from them and therefore didnt have the spiritual ears and eyes to hear and see the spiritual message.

    believing the message begins with having the right spirit that has within itself the right faith.

    carnal man doesnt possess the right faith nor ever will nor can. for it only exists within the spirit of Christ.

    Act 28:25 And when they agreed not among themselves, they departed, after that Paul had spoken one word, Well spake the Holy Ghost by Esaias the prophet unto our fathers,
    Act 28:26 Saying, Go unto this people, and say, Hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and not perceive:
    Act 28:27 For the heart of this people is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes have they closed; lest they should see with [their] eyes, and hear with [their] ears, and understand with [their] heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.


    these under the guidance of the Holy Spirit can hear a verbal message with their carnal spirits capabilities. which is delivered via the law.
    via carnal literal spoken words. yet they cannot understand by seeing the spiritual message of its truth.

    wisdom plus understanding equals knowledge. one can hear wisdom as truth yet not perceive it as spiritual truth without evidence of understanding..without proof the message is worthless.

    the proof is understood by the evidence of the spirit within. for it is the spirit that has died and been resurrected. it is the power of the spirit that verifies the love of the father.. not in word only but in power.

    1Th 1:5 For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake.

    the assurance is in the understanding. in the spirit that is within the true believer.

    total depravity exists until God himself give his free gift to man. giving them the capability to see, hear and understand with proof the message from God.

    without the free gift of the spirit of Christ. man cannot understand nor have any proof. man would have no evidence of truth, nor righteous faith that only comes from the resurrected spirit itself.
     
  7. Southern

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    Skan,
    Haven't read through the other posts but heres what some input on your first.
    I personally do not see what is supposed to be difficult for the Calvinist here. Man is not 'totally depraved' to the point he cannot get any worse, nor in the sense that he is incapacitated so that he could not see if he would properly use his faculties. It is not the faculties that are incapacitated, but it is his perverse will. Perversity of will and the extent of sins committed by men varies from person to person, depending on many influences. So I really don't see how this has any bearing on the issue.

    In Christ
     
  8. Skandelon

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    First, where are you getting this? Is this just you opinion?

    Second, read the context and you will see that Paul is speaking of "persuading" them, not making sure the Spirit indwells them so they can believe. That is not biblical at all, the Spirit indwells following faith (I can list several verses to show that).


    Act 28:25 And when they agreed not among themselves, they departed, after that Paul had spoken one word, Well spake the Holy Ghost by Esaias the prophet unto our fathers,
    Act 28:26 Saying, Go unto this people, and say, Hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and not perceive:
    Act 28:27 For the heart of this people is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes have they closed; lest they should see with [their] eyes, and hear with [their] ears, and understand with [their] heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.


    This doesn't explain why the passage says they BECOME hardened and they weren't born hardened, nor does is it explain that had they not been hardened they might have repented.
     
  9. Skandelon

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    Let me ask you a question:

    Can lost men see, hear, understand and believe the gospel message?
     
  10. Me2

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    me2 posts
    Skandelon posts
    there are only two kinds of spirits. is is not a gradual exchange. it is instantaneously. it is the understanding of what happened which takes a while to comprehend.

    1Jo 4:2 Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:
    1Jo 4:3 And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that [spirit] of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.

    this is a profession that the spirit of Christ is within the believers body. not a subjective agreement that a man called Jesus existed 2000 years ago in his own flesh.

    you either have the witness of the spirit OF CHRIST within you, or you dont. and please dont think you can lie. the elect know if you are telling the truth or lying!

    faith is an acknowledgement of truth. either you are in agreement or not. wisdom is faith in agreement in word. understanding is faith in agreement with evidence. both are required to make faith reality.

    the carnal spirit of man cannot have faith in things inwhich it cannot comprehend nor prove.
    which the things of God are spiritually discerned.

    man must aquire the spirit of God before he can see or hear the wisdom or understanding of Gods spiritual message.

    man doesnt become hardened naturally. This is an action of God towards the individually independent of any outside cause and effect. this is an independent choice of God to harden or quicken the spirit in man. it is based on the fulfillment of his plans. whom he hardens or quickens in this age denotes the use of the individual towards the education of others.
    wether to teach error or to teach truth. both are necessary in the bringing of individuals to the full knowledge of good and evil in Gods kingdom.

    Me2
     
  11. qwerty

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    skandelon,
    It might be that the verse you are quoting applies to those here you are trying to reach.
     
  12. Southern

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    Skan,
    You asked:
    Can lost men see, hear, understand and believe the gospel message?

    This will depend on how you define all these terms. No man naturally of His own goodness or will apart from divine power can do any of these things.

    In Christ
     
  13. UMP

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    Scandelon,
    Having a form of Godliness does not lesson ones total depravity.

    2 Timothy 3: 2-5 "For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
    Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,
    Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away."
     
  14. Monergist

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    Skandelon,

    You've failed to quote the text above in its wider context. Most quality references Bibles put verse 27 in Italics to show that it is a quote of another Bible passage, but it any case that point should not be hard to miss because v.25 tells us that he is quoting Isaiah.

    What does Isaiah say? ISA 6:9 And He said, "Go, and tell this people: `Keep on listening, but do not perceive; Keep on looking, but do not understand.' ISA 6:10 "Render the hearts of this people insensitive, Their ears dull, And their eyes dim, Lest they see with their eyes, Hear with their ears, Understand with their hearts, And return and be healed."

    Are there any other passages that quote this same scripture? Here, again in John 12 the same passage is quoted and again attributed to Isaiah .

    JN 12:37 But though He had performed so many signs before them, yet they were not believing in Him; JN 12:38 that the word of Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spoke, "LORD, WHO HAS BELIEVED OUR REPORT? AND TO WHOM HAS THE ARM OF THE LORD BEEN REVEALED?" JN 12:39 For this cause they could not believe, for Isaiah said again, JN 12:40 "HE HAS BLINDED THEIR EYES, AND HE HARDENED THEIR HEART; LEST THEY SEE WITH THEIR EYES, AND PERCEIVE WITH THEIR HEART, AND BE CONVERTED, AND I HEAL THEM." JN 12:41 These things Isaiah said, because he saw His glory, and he spoke of Him.

    Read again your quote
    What does the scripture say?

    Who blinded them? HE HAS BLINDED THEIR EYES,

    Who hardened them? HE HARDENED THEIR HEART

    This passage affirms the fulfillment of Isaiah's prophecy, a procephy which, when fulfilled, shows clearly God's gracious act enlighting those whom he chooses to believe Christ unto salvation, and withholding salvation from others.
     
  15. BobRyan

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    Matt 23 points out how othis happens. HE SENDS them His ministers, prophets and apostles and in rejecting them - the seal their fate.

    A far cry from - trying to further harden the totally depraved.

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  16. Eutychus

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    Please excuse my intrusion, but it's interesting to find this discussion right off the bat. I was a dyed-in-the wool Arminian-leaning Baptist the 1st 34 years of my life until 1986 (FWB).

    I always believed in Total Depravity.

    Besides partial depravity not being a tenet of the group, I just couldn't find any evidence that the unregenerate would come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ apart from God's intervention. TD, IMO, was one of the views of Calvin that always seemed to line up with scripture in my understanding of grace and redemption.

    Kind of a strange first post on the board, but it just takes my breath away to find a non-Arminian challenge Total Depravity...
     
  17. pinoybaptist

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    by Eutychus:

    And that's what makes this board addictive, interesting, challenging, infuriating, etc., etc.

    Welcome to the Board, Eutychus.
     
  18. npetreley

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    What did I miss? Did a non-Arminian challenge total depravity somewhere?
     
  19. pinoybaptist

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    Well, I always accept a new member's input at face value as true until proven false, but, he's probably referring to Southern's post in page 1.

    Southern:

     
  20. Eutychus

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    When I joined an SBC church back in '86, I was SO naive that I thought all of them pretty much held the same views on most things (since I never really found a dime's worth of difference between any FWBs). [​IMG]

    It's only been in the past year that I learned there are Reformed SBC churches, even one in my own city that I didn't know about. It took a little while before I understood that there's a serious difference between Hypers and 5 Pointers. (Apparently still not understood throughout the SBC, even among some who should know better). Once I got past that misconception, I've been able to appreciate my Reformed brethren & sistren a lot more. ;)

    IOW, the past 18 years has been a most interesting part of my journey, most of it beneficial. [​IMG]

    But I have assumed that T & P were commonly held by all SBC churches. I did, however, get the impression from post one I had found someone who disagreed with T.

    Sorry for rambling...
     

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