Conditional Election

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Van, Mar 27, 2011.

  1. Van

    Van
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    Calvinists deny the validity of conditional election on these grounds:
    (1) Because of the Calvinist’s acceptance of their doctrine of Total Spiritual Inability, they say man is incapable of the faith needed for God to use it as satisfying His conditional for election to salvation.
    (2) Saving faith, faith satisfying God’s supposed conditional, is a gift God gives to the previously chosen person.
    (3) Faith is a work and therefore cannot be a conditional for a salvation not of works.

    But let’s see if there is any merit whatsoever in any of these so-called problems with conditional election.

    Total Spiritual Inability is demonstrated to be false doctrine by Matthew 13:20-22, where unregenerate men, in their natural fallen state, receive the gospel with joy. This demonstrates they have some spiritual ability, and therefore the doctrine of total spiritual inability is unbiblical. Further, what level of faith is required? Only a faith that God accepts and credits as righteousness, it need not have any merit of or by itself. Paul teaches that our faith in Christ provides our access to the grace in which we stand, Romans 5:2, clearly supporting that we are saved by grace through faith, and not of works.

    Ephesians 2:8-9 does not say nor suggest that faith is a gift; the idea is that salvation is the gift. We are saved by grace through faith, and that not of ourselves, it is a gift and not of works. The pronoun “that” is not in the same gender as faith, so according to Greek grammar, “that” does not point to faith or grace, but to the resultant salvation.

    And while it is true that placing ones faith in Christ is a “work” it is not “works” whereby salvation is earned by doing works over time. Jesus makes this distinction between works and the work of believing in Christ, in John 6:29. The meaning of the phrase, “work of God” is not something God does, but rather something God requires, because Jesus is answering the question, what “work” shall we do.

    Bottom line, the so-called problems are based on misunderstanding selected verses, rather than anything of merit.

    Now the Arminians assert that God’s election unto salvation occurred before the foundation of the world, based on Ephesians 1:4, with God foreseeing individuals who would trust in Christ. But this puts election (whether Calvinist’s unconditional view, or the Arminian conditional election view) before anyone has lived without mercy. And since 1 Peter 2:9-10 puts our election after we live without mercy, our individual election must occur during our physical lives. And this is precisely what James 2:5 says, God chooses the poor of the world, rich in faith, and heirs to the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him. Consider 2 Thessalonians 2:13, which says, we are chosen for salvation through…faith in the truth. The phrase “for salvation” describes the purpose of the choice, and the phrases “through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth” describes “how” we were chosen so it is an adverbial clause modifying the verb chose and not the noun “salvation.”

    Matthew 13:20-22 provides insight into this faith or trust in Christ; the conviction must be firm, heart-felt, and not rootless such that it is abandoned when difficulties arise. And the faith and devotion to Christ cannot be “half-hearted” with other worldly treasures, either possessions or relationships, sharing a place in our heart’s devotion. We are to love God and our Lord Jesus with all our heart, all our mind and all our understanding. Or as a modern phrase from Texas Hold-em would say, we must go “all in” with all our chips for Christ.
     
  2. jbh28

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    Well, I would agree with your firs two, but not the third. Faith isn't a work.

    Well, unless you think this is a saved person that loses his salvation, then this fits perfectly with total inability.

    I say it points to all of it including faith. It's ALL a gift of God.

    I Peter doesn't mention the timing of the election.

    "But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God's people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy."
    (1 Peter 2:9-10)

    It says they are "chosen" but doesn't say when this choosing took place. They were not a people(unsaved) and now are God's people(saved). There was a time when they had not received mercy(unsaved) and now have received mercy(saved).

    It doesn't say that he chose them BECAUSE they are poor. The passage is about us giving all the good stuff to the rich and treating the poor badly. God says that He has chosen even these poor people.
    No need to go here again, but you cannot use this passage to say we are chosen when we are saved. And it could be and clause modifying the proposition "for salvation."

    agree
     
  3. Van

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    "Well, unless you think this is a saved person that loses his salvation, then this fits perfectly with total inability."
    What about if the person is cultivated, planted and watered, does this not demonstrate the ability to understand the gospel and reluctance to fully embrace it? I say yes.

    But for the sake of argument, lets turn to Matthew 23:13 where folks who were in the process of entering heaven were blocked by false teaching. Since they were entering heaven, they had all the spiritual ability they needed, thus total spiritual inability is false doctrine. Or if you say there were entering because of Irresistible Grace, then the grace was not irresistible because they were blocked. Neither Total Spiritual Inability nor Irresistible Grace are biblical doctrines, but rather the invention of men who misunderstood passages of scripture.

    Faith is not works but is it a work? I believe in John 6:29 Jesus refers to placing our faith in Christ as a work, but that of course does not save us. Only when God credits our faith as righteousness, does that filthy rag of worthless faith because the basis of our salvation. Now Calvinists attempt to say "the work of God" is something done by God rather than something God requires us to do. But that is simply ends driven, because Jesus is answering the question "what shall we do" and if the Calvinist view was correct Jesus would have answered, you can do nothing, God does it all. Not in the text.

    I do not think faith being a gift is in view at all? The gift is salvation by grace, through our faith in Christ (Romans 5:2) and that (salvation) is not of ourselves, but it is a gift.
    A salvation by grace is not of works.

    Now it is fair to say God created us with the capacity to autonomously choose to trust in Christ in response to the gospel, so in a sense that is a gift, and of course the gospel is a gift, the work product of the Holy Spirit, and then of course God so loved the world He gave is one of a kind Son. What I am saying is this verse does not say God instills supernaturally via irresistible grace, the "gift of faith." That view ignores the grammar which points away from faith because of the gender difference.

    "It says they are "chosen" but doesn't say when this choosing took place. They were not a people(unsaved) and now are God's people(saved). There was a time when they had not received mercy(unsaved) and now have received mercy(saved)."

    To the contrary, it says they were chosen, they became a people, after they were not a people. You cannot take chosen out and insert saved. It is not in the text. I am not saying they were chosen when they were saved, I am saying when they were chosen they were living without mercy, they were condemned sinners, they were alive but not part of God's chosen people. But when they were chosen they became part of God's chosen people, so they were saved when they were chosen and spiritually placed in Christ, 2 Thessalonians 2:13. To say through faith in the truth modifies "for salvation" is not correct. Through faith in the truth describes how we were chosen. You were saved by grace through faith says faith provides the access to the grace of salvation. When God credits our faith as righteousness, He saves us. Romans 4.

    Why does election for salvation and salvation have to occur together, one after the other? Because that view is required by Romans 8:33, where no charge can be brought against God's elect. Recall how Paul said the believers were once sinners. If they had been chosen before creation, then Paul would be bringing a charge against God's elect.
    Since Paul was inspired to write both passages, one must conclude they were not elect except right before salvation with no time to bring a charge.

    James 2:5 does not say God chose them because they were poor, but it says they were poor when they were chosen, so they were alive and living in poor circumstances when they were chosen. Thus God does not show partiality to the rich according to the world's standards. But note this, the double accusitive grammar construction where poor is the direct object of chosen, and rich in faith is the compliment, thus they were both poor in the world's eyes and rich in faith in God's eyes when they were chosen.
     
    #3 Van, Mar 28, 2011
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  4. jbh28

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    Non of this refutes total inability nor irresistible grace.
    Of course it says it's "a work of God"
    No Calvinist denies the responsibility of man to repent and believe. (ok...hypers do...)
    Faith is included. No reason to exclude it. Of course there are other passage the refer to faith as a gift.

    It points to the whole thing which includes faith.
    It doesn't say they became a people when they were chosen.
    To the contrary, I'm not taking chosen out, I'm just not moving it to the other portion of the text. What you are doing is eisegesis. It says that they were "a chosen people."
    But the text doesn't say that at all. There is no mention in the text that says that there was a time when they were not chosen.
    How so? All you do is just remove the "for salvation" without any thought of what the next phrase modifies. And the fact that it would contradict the timing of election that is clearly laid out in Ephesians 1.
     
  5. Van

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    Matthew 23:13 (NASB) Woe to you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you shut off the kingdom of heaven from people; for you do not enter in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in.

    Jbh28 said this does not refute total inability nor irresistible grace. No explanation for the assertion was offered.

    Lets see. People were entering heaven so they had spiritual ability in order to be entering. So lets assume they had been regenerated by irresistible grace. So far so good. But now false teachers do not allow them to enter heaven. So their problem is not a lack of ability. And since they were blocked, they were not under the compulsion of "irresistible" grace. So since the grace was resistible, that blows that premise of Calvinism out of the water, and since they had not been "regenerated with irresistible grace" they had sufficient spiritual ability to enter heaven without being regenerated. It is a lock. Calvinism cannot be supported with any scripture, contextually considered.

    Next Jbh28 denied that the grammar of Ephesians 2:8-9 precludes the gift of faith. What I am saying is this verse does not say God instills supernaturally via irresistible grace, the "gift of faith." That view ignores the grammar which points away from faith because of the gender difference.

    Next Jbh28 says a chosen people do not become a people when they are chosen. Who knew. :)

    Next Jbh28 says, "But the text doesn't say that at all. There is no mention in the text that says that there was a time when they were not chosen." Lets see now they are a chosen people but once were not a people. Contextually, this says once they were not a [chosen] people. What is being attempted is to change the context by inserting they are a chosen people but once they were not a saved people. If this seem sound to you, there is nothing I can say.

    And the fact that it would contradict the timing of election that is clearly laid out in Ephesians 1. Yes 2 Thessalonians 2:13 clearly contradicts your interpretation of the meaning of Ephesians 1. Therefore, rather than nullifying what 2 Thessalonians 2:13, James 2:5, say 1 Corinthians 1:26-30, how about accepting that your view of individual election before creation of foreseen individuals before they were created, may be off the mark. The words He chose us in Him, versus you were chosen clearly suggest a corporate election in Ephesians 1:4 and an individual election in 2 Thessalonians 2:13.

    We know election and salvation occur right together, otherwise a charge could be brought against an elect but unforgiven person. Romans 8:33 is crystal.

    It doesn't say that they were poor when they were chosen. Another example of you reading something into the text. Really. God chose the poor of this world does not say God chose the poor of this world. No it says God choose folks before they were poor and they became poor during their lifetime. This view ignores James argument that God did not favor the rich, but chose the poor of this world. To try and rewrite the verse destroyed James whole argument.
     
    #5 Van, Mar 28, 2011
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  6. jbh28

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    they were not regenerate. They didn't enter.
    It's obvious that you are making up your own definition of "irresistible grace" here. Irresistible grace doesn't teach that God cannot be resisted(all would be saved) nor does it teach that the elect cannot resist(all elect would be saved the first time they hear the gospel). So as I said, has nothing to do with the 2 doctrines.
    You are in no position to talk about grammar.
    Correct. You are chosen in eternity past and become "in Christ" when you are saved.

    Nice adding a word...
    Like you added "chosen"? And seeing as the next phrase has speaks about mercy, we see salvation is in the context. My view fits perfectly and doesn't contradict Ephesians 1.

    already refuted this
    even more clearly refuted this one.
    works with the same refutation of James
    Sorry, but it's not. Ephesians is clear. you read something into the other passages.
    If I remember correctly, you admitted the other day that Ephesians was individual. Individuals are saved, not groups.

    Already refuted this, but you ignored it.
    So do re-write it then. You are the one saying that he chose them because they were poor(if not, then you are agreeing with me). That would be against what he is saying. We should not treat somebody special because of them being poor or rich. In James example, it was people treating rich people nicely and poor people badly. James says that even these poor people have been chosen. You seem to be making the same mistake just reversed.
     
  7. Van

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    From my side of the street what we have here is simple denial. Folks can be entering yet not be regenerate and be suffering from total spiritual inability.

    Next a denial of the meaning of irresistible grace.

    Next evasion of the truth that the differing gender points away from faith being a gift not toward it.

    Next individuals are chosen to be God's people but are not God's chosen people.

    Next a denial of the apparent meaning of not being a people referring to not being a chosen people. Context demands that reading in my opinion.

    Next a claim something has been refuted but no refutation.

    Next claiming the many verses that clearly say God chooses individuals while living with conditions such as being rich in faith, being chosen through faith in the truth, being the poor of this world, and on and on.

    Next, the requirement that being chosen and being saved must occur together, claiming it had been refuted, is evaded. Romans 8:33 requires that no charge can be brought against the elect, but Paul charges those who have been saved as being sinners, so they cannot have been elect. It is a lock.

    Then the misrepresentation starts with claims I said God chose them because they were poor. I said God chose the poor when they were the poor of this world, clearly putting election during our lifetime. So then it is claimed I said God chose them because they were poor, which is fiction.
     
    #7 Van, Mar 28, 2011
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  8. jbh28

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    They never got saved. Your point is moot.
    Yes, you used a straw man.
    I said the whole things...next...
    I didn't say that. They were not God's people(in Christ having mercy) yet. They were chosen, but not yet saved.
    I already showed context for mine. You offer no rebuttle.
    Was in previous post.
    None of them say that.
    Already refuted, but you keep ignoring that. "elect" is always spoken about people that we know are elect(saved).
    But it doesn't say that. It never says that they were poor when they were chosen. Another example of you reading something into the text. Classic eisegesis. And I also put a disclaimer about you saying "because they were poor" but you ignored that as well.

    More denial. You have no argument. You used straw man(irresistible grace, total inibility) arguments. You read stuff into passages. You ignored my rebuttals of your points. Then you just restated what you had said. Ephesians is about individuals(nations and groups are not saved; individuals are saved) and says that God chose before the foundation of the world, not during our lifetime.
     
  9. Van

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    The men in Matthew 23:13 were entering, that means they could not be suffering from total spiritual inabiltiy. QED

    Irresistible grace is irresistible according to DoG, but they were prevented from going in.

    Both doctrines are false. That is an fact. Anyone can muddy waters, say it taint so, and misrepresent an opponents position. But that does not alter the plain truth.

    Anyone who says that Ephesians 2:8-9 indicates faith is a gift is ignoring the grammar and simply overwriting scripture with the doctrine of men. Next

    Next, it was asserted that James 2:5 does not say God has chosen the poor of this world. Lord knows what it does say, but it sure doesn't say what it says, because that would mean Calvinism is false doctrine. Who knew.

    Next we have the fact that only saved people are referred to as elect, and so a person can be chosen and not be elect. No kidding that is the argument.

    Then the absurdity is again posted James 2:5 does not say God chose poor people!

    Ephesians 1:4 does not say whoever the "us" refers to, individually or corporately, were saved. It says He chose us in Him.

    Folks, behold the defense: Charges that I read stuff into passages like God has chosen the poor of this world in James 2:5. My side would say the Calvinists read stuff out of verses that demonstrate their doctrines are mistaken. Next, I am charged with using strawman arguments when it was the Calvinist who raised up the position that irresistible grace means everyone is saved, attributed that thinking to me, then said I was mistaken.
     
  10. jbh28

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    there is no need to converse with you if you are going to use a straw man argument. It isn't ALWAYS irresistible.

    You are in no position to talk about grammar.
    I didn't say that. I said that it doesn't say that the choosing was while they are poor. Again, if you are going to change my words around to avoid the issue, then there is no need to converse with you.
    No, a chosen person is elect. Nice way to twist things around again.
    I didn't say that.
    He saves individuals. Individuals in the plural are referred as an "us."
    You are using straw man arguments. (straw man is two words btw). It's obvious that you have no argument and have resorted to straw man and twisting my words around.
     
  11. Van

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    Folks, behold the absurdity of Calvinisms defense, now irresistible grace is not always irresistible. Nice flip/flop but no sale. The doctrine does not include that escape clause
    No word is safe from the Calvinists, now irresistible is not always irresistible. LOL

    The grammar of Ephesians 2:8-9 points away from faith being a gift. If you doubt it, then you Sir are unqualified in Greek grammar.

    Next the absurdity that God chose the poor of this world, but not while they were poor. And this supports the argument that God does not show partiality to who are rich in the eyes of the world? Of course God chose the poor while they were poor, that is the whole point!

    Next an outright dance. First I say being chosen and being saved have to occur right together or a charge would be made against the elect before they were saved. Paul says no charge can be brought against the elect. So when Paul says those who have been saved were once sinners, he would be bringing a charge against the elect. So what is said. They were chosen but were not elect.

    A corporately elected target group would be referred to as us, once we entered that group. Thus He chose us in Him [corporately] before the foundation of the world.
    This view does not require to rewrite James 2:5, 1 Peter 2:9-10, 1 Corinthians 1:26-30 and so forth.
     
  12. jbh28

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    It's not. Never has been. Terrible title, but not always irresistible. Anyone that doesn't know that isn't qualified to even discuss the issue.
    so says you who doesn't even understand English grammar.
    Of course. What's wrong with that?
    No, it had nothing to do with them being poor or rich. THAT is the point. Even those that are poor have been chosen. It had NOTHING to do with them being poor or rich, so they didn't have to be poor or rich while they were chosen before the foundation of the world.
    They were elect, but Paul never called someone elect until after they were saved. We don't know if a person is elect until they are saved.
    No, he chose us individually. Read the context.
    Actually, I showed you in another post(which you ignored) where you had to add something to all three verses.

    Unless you bring another argument or I have to correct a total misrepresentation, I'm not going to embarrass you any more.
     
  13. Van

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    "Irresistible Grace (or efficacious grace) is a doctrine in Christian theology particularly associated with Calvinism which teaches that the saving grace of God is effectually applied to those whom he has determined to save (the elect), whereby in God's timing, he overcomes their resistance to the call of the gospel and irresistibly brings them to a saving faith in Christ."

    Thus the poster who said Irresistible Grace is resistible presented a view not consistent with published statements concerning the I in the TULIP.

    Even Daniel B. Wallace had the integrety to publish that Ephesians 2:8-9 should not be used to support the concept of the gift of faith as a consequence of Irresistible grace.

    James 2:5 says God chose the poor to the world. That is what it says.

    Rewriting James 2:5 and saying God choose individuals unconditionally, then they became poor or rich in the eyes of the world, is without merit.

    The object of choose is "poor" and the compliment is "rich in faith.

    Our knowing or not knowing has nothing to do with it, if people had been chosen, there were elect at that time. And if they were not saved at the same time or right after without delay, then a charge could be brought, such as they are sinners. But no charge can be brought so they had to be saved at the same time or right after. Romans 8:33.

    The context supports Ephesians 1:4 referring to being chosen in Him, not individually but corporately. Everyone in view as having been chosen in Him before the foundation of the world has been saved, spiritually placed in Christ so they all have also been individually chosen, just as 2 Thessalonians 2:`13 says.
     
  14. jbh28

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    Why don't you publish a statement that was from a Calvinist. It's obvious by the statement of "associated with Calvinism" that this wasn't a Calvinist.

    the non-elect resist God their whole lives
    the elect resist God up to a point of which they no longer resist.

    So both the non-elect and the elect can resist God, only that the elect will not resist their entire lives.
     
  15. Van

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    More evasion, yet not one Calvinist on this board appears to have the integrety to admit to the doctrine of Irresistible Grace. I expect I could copy and post 4 or 5 more versions saying the same thing and not one Calvinist would admit to the doctrine they espouse.

    Folks, just Google Irresistible Grace, and read what it says.
     
  16. jbh28

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    I've told you what it means. I (a Calvinist) would know more about what I (Calvinist) believes than you (non-Calvinist) thinks that I(Calvinist) believes.

    It has nothing on my end to do about integrity. Go look up reformed statements. The elect can resist, but only up to a point. The non-elect resist their entire lives.

    http://www.oldtruth.com/calvinism/avoidingconfusion.html
     
    #16 jbh28, Apr 7, 2011
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  17. Van

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    The doctrine is Irresistible Grace, not Common Grace. Yes according to Calvinism, men can resist common grace, but that is beside the point. The issue is not resisting the Holy Spirit, it is resisting irresistible grace.

    "Irresistible Grace (or efficacious grace) is a doctrine in Christian theology particularly associated with Calvinism which teaches that the saving grace of God is effectually applied to those whom he has determined to save (the elect), whereby in God's timing, he overcomes their resistance to the call of the gospel and irresistibly brings them to a saving faith in Christ."
     
  18. Iconoclast

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    Hey van here is some spiritual eye salve for you;
    read and learn
     
  19. jbh28

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    quoting non-Calvinist sources lowers your credibility to be honest when dealing with a subject. If you are going to say what Calvinism believes, quote from a Calvinist.

    Also, please cite your sources, that helps your credibility out as well. It's not good to steal things.

    Oh, and don't post anything about you being treated badly. No one cares.
     
  20. JesusFan

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    Strange that the author of Hebrews saw it from the view that Jesus as the High priest can keep ETERNALLY those who draw nigh unto Him...
    Jude gave praise to God the ftaher and Jesus, who ARE to keep from stumbling , to keep forever, those of the faith..
    John recorded that jesus dsaid that he will keep and raise up at last day ALL those whom the Father had given him...

    Does this sound like "conditional Election?"
     

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