Cannot believe?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Winman, Apr 1, 2012.

  1. Winman

    Winman
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    The foundation of Calvinist/Reformed theology is the doctrine of Total Depravity or Total Inability that states the unregenerated man cannot receive or understand spiritual matters and therefore cannot believe on Christ. The text proof for this is 1 Cor 2:14. But is this what the scriptures really teach? Consider 1 Cor 14;

    1 Cor 14:23 If therefore the whole church be come together into one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in those that are unlearned, or unbelievers, will they not say that ye are mad?
    24 But if all prophesy, and there come in one that believeth not, or one unlearned, he is convinced of all, he is judged of all:
    25 And thus are the secrets of his heart made manifest; and so falling down on his face he will worship God, and report that God is in you of a truth.

    In this chapter, Paul is rebuking these Corinthians for their abuse of the spiritual gift of tongues, and showing the advantage of speaking in words easily to be understood.

    Note that Paul says if an unbeliever comes in and hears all the church speaking in unknown (to him) tongues, he will think all the members of the church are insane.

    But if he hears words that are easy to be understood, he will be CONVINCED by all, and convicted (secrets of his heart made manifest) and he will fall on his face and WORSHIP GOD.

    So, we see here that an unbeliever can be taught, convinced, and convicted to believe in Christ. There is no mention of a supernatural regeneration here, it says the man will be CONVINCED.

    This agrees with Christ's statement in John 6:45 where he says those who have heard, been taught, and learned from the Father shall come to him.

    Jhn 6:45 It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.

    No man can come unto Jesus unless he has been taught by the Father. This is the very point Paul is making in 1 Corinthians 14, that the church should teach in words and language that are easy to be understood. Paul also shows that unbelievers can be convinced and convicted by this simple preaching resulting in that they will fall down and worship God.

    So, the scriptures do not teach that unbelievers cannot understand the preaching of the gospel.
     
  2. saturneptune

    saturneptune
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    Both sides believe that no one can come to Jesus without the Father, as is evidenced with Peter's confession, and the Lord said it was revealed to him from heaven. Also, faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God.

    You know what, maybe a radical concept to those who start thread after thread with either a free will or Calvin agenda, but maybe we would all learn more if we went into threads and discussed common ground instead of starting off with a chip on our shoulder.

    Romans 1 makes it clear that we all have an internal ability to know there is a God. From that point, faith, comes by hearing.......... Now, it is the free willers who accuse Calvinists of making the contention that your thread is named after. That is not what Calvinists believe. You picture their theology as God up in heaven with a magic want zapping the elect with a regneration lightning bolt. That is not true. It merely puts a false divide between the two camps. Faith comes by hearing regardless of your theological opinion. If you talk to someone about the Lord, he or she will either respond then or later depending on the Lord.

    This is where both sides are brain dead. You and Calvinists have no idea how the Holy Spirit is working along with the individual after hearing the Word of God. Welcome to the new third position.
     
    #2 saturneptune, Apr 1, 2012
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  3. Winman

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    The problem is that both sides disagree, and both views cannot be correct.

    Wouldn't you want to know the correct view? How can you know the correct view if you are only presented one view?

    If you don't like the controversy, then why do you participate in a DEBATE forum? No one forces you to read these posts.
     
  4. saturneptune

    saturneptune
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    First, you need to quote my whole post. Yes, everyone wants to know the correct view. However, if you and the other side would quit hammering year after year your differences, and would focus on the common elements you know are Scriptural, then the rest might become clearer. In other words, the goal is to learn, not argue. Some debate is ok, but it is not the main purpose. All the two sides have done to date is give opinion based on isolated verses and out of context ideas.
     
  5. Winman

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    Again, this is a debate forum, and it is expected for people to present arguments to support their view. That is what I have done. If you do not wish to address the OP, that is fine, there are other forums here you can post on.

    But why do you deflect away from the issue? My guess is that you cannot refute my argument, so you try to deflect away from it. You don't like the scripture I have presented that refutes your view, and you do not want others to see it.
     
  6. saturneptune

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    You have presented opinions of Scripture. There is no rule that says a debate can only have two sides.
     
  7. Forest

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    You will never understand the grace of God until you can understand the depravity of man. Many of God's elect children do not understand the doctrine of Christ, the gospel. They have been born again and are babes in Christ but do not have a knowledge of the truth. Believing is not a requirment to be eternally saved. Just as you have to understand the depravity of man, you must also understand that all salvation scriptures are not talking about eternal salvation, but most of them are talking about deliverances (the meaning of salvation is "a deliverance"). God's elect receive many deliverances as they live here in this world. The scriptures that you have quoted are not talking about "the natural man" that is refered to in 1 Cor 2:14, but born again children of God.
     
  8. Forest

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    Romans 1 does not say that the natural man (1Cor2:14) has the ability to know there is a God. Paul wrote this letter to the church at Rome, verse 6, the called of Jesus Christ, and if you are called, then you are predestinated, justified and glorified.Rom 8:30. God only calls his elect from a death in sins to a life in Christ.
     
  9. Skandelon

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    True. There are many nuanced views on all sides of this debate and whether or not you are willing to acknowledge it even your view (whatever it may be) is going to get tagged with some 'label' and then attacked. If you don't want to defend it, fine, then don't. But if you do, as you have with Winman here, then that is called 'debate,' the very thing you are engaging now while at the same time looking down you noses at the rest of us as if your opinion is something unique and not needing a defense.

    Now, don't you have a lost person to go witness to? Or do you have some more specks to pluck out of other's eyes?
     
  10. Winman

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    First, thank you for addressing the subject. :thumbsup:

    But I do not agree with you. Paul is absolutely speaking of unbelievers in this passage. He says that if words are used that are easy to understand, the unbeliever will be convinced and convicted, and will fall on his face and worship God.

    Now, the moment he is convinced, then he no longer is an unbeliever. But the point is that Paul puts emphasis on the simplicity and directness of the message to convince and convict the unbeliever. Nowhere does he mention any sort of supernatural regeneration. In fact, Paul never mentions anywhere in scripture that a person MUST be regenerated in order to understand and believe the gospel. This is remarkable considering it is the very foundation of your doctriine. You believe as doctrine something never mentioned in scripture even once! That is astounding.

    As far as your different kinds of salvation, I do not see that in scripture, and neither do many of your fellow Reformed/Calvinists.

    I would absolutely disagree with your statement that it is not necessary to believe to be eternally saved. I do not understand how anybody can read the scriptures and not see how repeatedly Jesus and others said we must believe to be saved.

    As far as depravity, I believe what the scriptures say, that all men are sinners. But the scriptures clearly imply that man can believe. It would have been ridiculous for Paul to tell the Philipian jailer to believe if he were not able to do so. It is ridiculous for Jesus to say that Sodom would have repented in sackcloth if they had seen his miracles unless it were true.

    So, your doctrine is WAY OUT THERE to me.
     
  11. saturneptune

    saturneptune
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    Wrong again. There is a big difference between knowing there is a God and God's call to Jesus Christ. The book of Romans is addressed to the church at Rome. The subject of Chapter 1 is mankind as a sinful creature. That has nothing to do with who the book is addressed to.

    Have you ever read these verses?

    18 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.
    21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.

    24 Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25 They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.

    26 Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones.................

    Do those verses sound like the Roman Christians the book is addressed to?
     
    #11 saturneptune, Apr 1, 2012
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  12. saturneptune

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    It sure seems like you spend lots of time belittling witnessing. Maybe instead of a speck it is a beam.
     
  13. Winman

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    The part I have highlighted in red is exactly what Reformed/Calvinists believe. I have seen Calvinists call the unregenerate a "corpse" many times, saying unregenrate men are like a dead corpse that has no ability to desire, hear, or believe the gospel, and that a person must be supernaturally regenerated before he can have any ability to desire, hear, or believe the gospel. You can deny this all you want, but this comparison has been made by Calvinists many times.

    Here is how R.C. Sproul compares the concept that non-Cals have concerniing the unregenerate versus Cal/Ref concept;

    Can you see the difference here? Sproul says the Arminian view is that the unregenerate man can reach out his fingers and take hold of the life preserver thrown him, but the Reformed view is that man is utterly dead and unable to do anything. He cannot hear the gospel, much less understand it and believe it. He must be brought to life before he has these abilities.

    So, do not tell me I misrepresent Calvinism, I have quoted a very famous Calvinist author and theologian here.


     
    #13 Winman, Apr 1, 2012
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  14. saturneptune

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    I find it very revealing that you, and Forest, on opposite ends of the spectrum, are both hammering my posts. There seems to be Romans 1 being mixed up with hearing the Gospel. Romans 1 addresses man's ability to know there is a Creator. Hearing the Gospel leads to faith in Jesus Christ. I have said in post after post, that man's free will and God's sovereignty work in perfect harmony, and exactly how is a mystery.

    In fact, in one of John's letters, does he not state that before salvation, one must believe there is a God. Knowing there is a God is only the first step to knowing Jesus Christ. God created man, and gave him the inward ability to recognize his existence. Extending that to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ is quite a different matter. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. If one hears, he may or may not respond. The inner workings of how this comes about, the response, is a working of the Lord, and neither you, nor the other side, have any special knowledge on the matter.

    As far as your last statement, I will tell you anything I choose. As you said in an earlier post, this is a debate thread.
     
    #14 saturneptune, Apr 1, 2012
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  15. Skandelon

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    No, not witnessing, just those who pridefully and unknowingly assume they do more witnessing than others because they are 'too good' to debate historical soterilogical views...{while at the very same time having a higher post count and average of number of daily posts than a moderator he singles out to criticize for wasting time here.}

    My thoughts exactly.
     
  16. saturneptune

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    Seems odd, thread you created towards the top of the page where you are telling everyone not to accuse, call names such as heretic, etc, and turn right around and do the exact same thing. The beam is yours, my thoughts exactly.
     
  17. Winman

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    You said I do not understand and misrepresent the Cal/Ref view, and so I posted a quote from a very famous Calvinist to show that I am correctly representing the view of many Calvinists.

    A dead corspe cannot hear, therefore a corspe cannot have faith from hearing the word of God. Go to the graveyard and preach and see if you get any Amens!

    So, we do not believe the same thing whatsoever.
     
  18. Skandelon

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    You will need to provide the quote where I call people names, such as heretic, otherwise this is a baseless and false accusation.
     
  19. Forest

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    You are still not understanding how sinful that we can be even though we are the children of God. Take, for example, David, a man after God's own heart. David lusted after a woman and committed adultry, lied, and murdered her husband, does this sound like a christian? You will never understand the grace of God until you understand the depravity of man. Those talked about in Romans 1, were chastened by God. God does not chasten those that are not his. God says "if they have not the Spirit, they are none of mine". Job 21:9. Ps 73:5-neither are they plagued (divinly punished).
     
  20. Forest

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    Before the natural man is regenerated, he has no desire to know spiritual things, in fact, he cannot know spiritual things according to 1 Cor 2:14. Yes, there are many scriptures that if we believe we can be saved. Believing can save (deliver) us from many things of this world as we live here, but believing is not the cause of our eternal salvation. Salvation is a deliverance. Do you believe that when we pray to God to deliver us from a sickness that we have, and he does, thats a deliverance (salvation) we receive here in this world. If you apply all salvation sctiptures to eternal you will never understand the doctrine of Christ.
     

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