Dealing with ONE of many misconceptions of Non-Calvinistic Theology

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Skandelon, Jun 2, 2011.

  1. Skandelon

    Skandelon
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    Many here point to situations in scripture where God has sovereignly intervened to effectually bring about a specific purpose as a proof text to show God must always work "deterministically" in this manner.

    What many don't seem to understand is that there is nothing within a Non-Calvinistic framework that prevents us from recognizing that there are special cases (e.g., divine inspiration of scripture; various answers to prayer or road to damascus experiences) in which God overwhelmingly intervenes in influencing the human will and thus "determines" human choice in order to accomplish a divine purpose.

    In these cases the means by which God determines human choice may well include decisive conditioning of human choices by way of God's directly intervening in both the person's external and internal (mental) environment so as to bring about the divinely desired outcome, in a way similar to that envisioned by compatibilists.

    What must be recongized however is that these are unique and often miraclous occasions. This is what sets Paul apart as being a person of divine authority, is it not? If we were all saved in the same miraclous/irresistable manner then there wouldn't be anything special about Paul and thus he would have no authority on which to rest his apostleship. The apostles saw him, but "blessed are we who don't see and still believe." (Jesus)

    These cases of divine intervention only go to prove a Non-Calvinistic view...why?

    Look at the divine inspiration of scripture as an example. Does God divinely intervene in the writing of all Christian material in this way? According to the more deterministic view point God has decreed and thus determined the writing of our scripture, but what is unique about that??? He has decreed and thus determined the writing of all things...so what? What makes it divine? What makes it special? It is special BECAUSE God ACTIVELY intervened and casually determined it to be what he wanted it to be. We accept that God can and does intervene, but just not in EVERY instance of human choice...only when it is necessary to bring about His ultimate purposes. The calling of his divinely appointed apostles was one of those instances in which God inteverened in a supernatural manner. It does nothing but strengthen our position and in no way provides conclusive proof that God deterministically works in all human choices as described by compatiblists.
     
  2. JesusFan

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    Well...

    Since anyone getting saved is a Miracle in essense, as one dead in sin is now made alive by God in Christ...

    Paul would be a very dramatic experience of hgrace of God in operation, but isn't God overriding will of Paul in order to have Him receive the Christ he thought was a false messiah essentially what God has to do with ALL of us, sincce there is NO ONE good, no not one, and our hearts ARE deceitful wicked above all things!
     
  3. Skandelon

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    But in my view his will wasn't "overridden," as it would have been if some inward supernatural awakening had miraculously changed his heart and thus his desires (as posed by the concept of pre-regeneration). His will was simply convinced by outward signs. He was persuaded by "normative" means, not some inward regenerative or effectual working of the Spirit.

    In the same way that Jonah was convinced to preach to Nineveh. God used circumstances, not some inward regenerative work to make his nature and thus his desires change.
    Yep, and if we humble ourselves and admit that fact he is faithful and just to forgive us of all unrighteousness and save our sorry souls.

    That is what the bible says, "Humble yourselves and you will be exalted."
     
  4. Earth Wind and Fire

    Earth Wind and Fire
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    The humility that I think I'm in does not begin to touch the humility that the Lord is siting.....you can only get that through the Holy Spirit & I assure you, it is regenerative
     
  5. Skandelon

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    I think humility as well as conviction can come through the law as the Holy Spirit makes God's Glory known. Like when the prodical son finds himself in the pig stye the circumstances of his life brought him to the end of himself. He had to humbly return to his father for help. He could have remained there because of pride and grew more and more hardened and never returned home.
     
  6. Allan

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    Paul wasn't some pagan though hell-bent on sin and unrighteousness though, either. Paul love God and zealous (overly so) for Him and believed that he was doing right in what he was doing. Yet Christ had to step in and put 2 and 2 together for him so he could see, what in his natural state was unable to grasp. If not for Christ, Paul would have never made the connection to the truth on his own.

    Do you believe Paul COULD have rejected the vision? Of course he 'could' but honestly who would if Jesus stood before you in full glory and reprimanded you :praying: That is the point. Paul was seeking to do the will of God and he did not grasp that Christ WAS the will of God and as such Paul submitted to the revealed truth, of God. As Skan stated though.. this is a special event and not even close to the norm. Could Paul have rejected?.. most likely.. but did he.. no. He humbled himself, and was exalted in due time - as says the scripture for any and all who believe.
     
  7. Allan

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    On a side note, and not really having to do with thread but in answer to a previous question you and I have discussed...
    I think the above spells out a distinction that you equate with the inner working, and MAYBE think that is what I'm speaking to.

    I do not believe the inner working is regenerating or giving of new desires because of being given a new nature. I'm not sure if that was part of what you were getting at before but I do not ascribe to that view.

    I will attempt to make my view more plain by just explaining it normally without typing every scripture verse that applies to it.. of course you know that if you want or require some.. just let me know :)

    Mine is that the inner working is the Spirit of God is the revealing or making known, those spiritual truths that man would not grasp by his own intellect or normal process of obtaining and evaluating information. Basically as I stated regarding Paul.. Christ had to put 2 and 2 together so he could see what it was he did not see for himself. This is the work of God upon man, revealing to him what the natural man can not perceive/see.

    Now a good question is why can the natural man not perceive these things?
    It is due to our sin nature. Everything man does is filtered through this and as such man is decidedly 'bent' toward sin (thus we will sin). This nature distorts everything, much like a pencil in a glass of water. All information, through the varied ways we perceive and understand the world around us (5 senses +1, intellect) are filtered through that nature and thus always, to some extent or another, distorted.

    IOW - (1) man, with his sin nature is not able to do or know anything that is not distorted through his own power or intellect. However as the scriptures attest to the scriptural principle - with man it is impossible, but...with God all things are possible.
    Thus (2) when God reveals His truth, He does so through a 2 fold process:
    .... (a) through normative means (external) which gives man information but not in and of itself yielding to man a spiritual understanding due to his nature through which the truth is filtered. (this does not mean that God would not work immediately with it.. but #b elaborates on this)
    .... (b) it is through the revealing/guiding work (internal) of the Spirit of God regarding that information given to man whereby said man comes to see and comprehend that which has been revealed to him (ie. bringing 2 and 2 together). This He does according to His will and timing, whether immediately or later or progressively.

    If we as believers need the guidance of the Spirit of God in order to know much less be 'lead into all truth', and that we need him to 'open the eyes of our understanding' as Paul says.. how much more so does the ungodly who do not have the Spirit of God in them. IOW - we of our own capacity can not know the things of God (spiritual things) unless God opens them up before us (like a teacher) using normative means to bring the truth both to light and life.

    When we speak of the natural unsaved man - A mans normal or natural means of obtaining information is filtered through the sin nature and such distorts and perverts all information and thought done and/or obtained by man himself. Yet is it the Spirit of God Himself which reveals these spiritual truths to the heart of man, and for once man can not and is not able to see or hear anything but the straight and unabridged truth God gives him.

    What is revealed is undistorted and absolute since it is from God and given in spiritual form and power, yet what man does with that truth is mans responsibility. Depravity is absolute, yes. But God bypasses our depravity that we may see the light of Christ and the Truths of God in an undistorted and/or unperverted knowledge. Man is naturally UNABLE because the natural man has no choices of an eternal nature - why - because there is no information he can acquire on his own that his sin nature does not distort, keeping him in darkness. His nature will always distort any and all information to some degree from which he has obtained it himself through his natural facilities.

    That is why God must reveal it so they may KNOW as it is given spiritually which bypasses the distorting effects of the natural man but also confronts him. Just like Adam and Eve could not sin until Satan's deception entered in and gave them choice, so to the natural man can not understand the things of God until, by divine intervention, man is revealed undistorted truth which he can not acquire for himself. This is that which enables man or allows man to choose. For without the knowledge of undistorted truth man can not reject or stand in unbelief in anything, not even God for he knows not God. But when man KNOWS, Man is responsible and judged according to what he did with the truth revealed to him.


    Anyway.. maybe that makes my position more clear.. maybe not.. but in either case.. there it is. (sorry, as I know it will derail you thread.. maybe just shoot me a mail and we can do it that way if you wish)
     
  8. glfredrick

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    I was going to make the same point...

    Also, no one's will is overridden. God's revelation causes us to truly understand our position and we will desperately want and need Him, but it is ALWAYS God who starts the process, even if it seems as if it is a choice made by us.

    Like Isaiah (ch. 6), when God reveals to us who we really are, we can only beg for mercy. We realize that we are undone. We really can't do anything else except fall on our face as dead men -- which we are -- and unless God accepts our plea (which He instigates by His revelation) and intervenes we are hopeless.
     
  9. JesusFan

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    So IF Arminians will be acceptable to paul and Jonah being "exceptions" cases to where God DID "override' their wills to get His Will done for his purposes...

    IF they will grant those 'exceptions"..

    My point is that paul case was more 'over the top/bog production number" as compared to all of us saved, but essentially SAME exact process involved...

    Sinners unable to come to God due to being born sinners, depraived, unable to make that faith connection with God thru accepting jesus Christ...

    God steps in, quickens us, allowing us to be able to now respond in faith to the message of Christ and the Cross, than turn and get saved...

    Work of God from start to finish, we "just" accept Jesus after he enables us to do such!
     
  10. webdog

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    ...we will view them in context...and understand they are just that, exceptions. If not, did Christ visibly appear to you on your way to work one day in your carpool, and throw you out of your moving car?
    Only if you start with the presupposition of the "process involved"
    ...this being the presupposition
     
  11. Allan

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    It seems to me that you are making the 'assumption' that Paul's case is like us all.
    And remember, Paul was not saved, and Jonah for all intents and purposes was. So the comparison of these two is limited by scope and degree to their relationship with and before God.

    Yet as an example to my point - we find in scripture that God gave one man 12 more years of life when he found out his number was up and prayed to God over it.. This is an exception, not the rule. Thus it is with Paul.

    Curious - what do you mean by 'quickens us'? as in regeneration?
    or to make alive?

    If you would be so kind (I know this is not part of the thread and I will respond back in a message to you) - to 'make alive' what exactly does this entail, and how does it do this?
     
  12. JesusFan

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    BOTH Cals/Arms affirm we are totally deparived, unless God granted us His grace and favor, we could Not place faith in Jesus Christ...

    What I wrote on this above...

    what was the "presuppostion?"
     
  13. webdog

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    The presupposition is

    Sinners unable to come to God due to being born sinners, depraived, unable to make that faith connection with God thru accepting jesus Christ...

    God steps in, quickens us, allowing us to be able to now respond in faith to the message of Christ and the Cross, than turn and get saved...
     
  14. JesusFan

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    Again, bOTH Cals/Arms affirm that to be the truth, so?
     
  15. webdog

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    Arminians do not adhere to total inability, pre-faith regeneration, and many do not hold to Augustinian original sin...so you presuppose both are true based on your doctrine.
     
  16. JesusFan

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    IF you gp on a reputable Arminian theology web site, they would agree that
    man is totally depraived, unable to save Himself period
    God sends forth grace sufficient that a person can have enough of a renewed heart/mind to be enabled to actually place their faith in Christ and get saved

    So all of us born depraived and sinnors, unless God sends His grace and provides mean/enable us to exercise faith in jesus. none will be saved

    Both agree on that!
     
  17. webdog

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    That is not the same thing as what you said about man's total inability.

    ...and I outlined what that grace was.
    Like I said, you are intermingling depravity and ability...and we agree that faith is required.
     
  18. Allan

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    Classical or Reformed Arminiansim does in fact hold to this.. however the pre-faith regeneration is a little different and is better described as previent grace.

    There is a distinction in 3 main Arminain groups - Classical / Wesleyan Armisnism / and modern Arminiamism (which many in this group, is really more akin to semi-pelagian, with a 'few' who hold to a Pelagain view point.
     
  19. webdog

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    Allan, Are you referring to total inability...or total depravity?
     
  20. JesusFan

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    Not Allen, but BOTH Cals/Arms would hold both are true, in that we can do nothing to receive jesus apart from God granting us the means thru his Grace...
    cals see it as being irrestable in its effectiveness... ALL he graces WILL turn to Christ and become saved
    arms see it as common grace God grants to all, enable 'whosoever wills' to come to jesus and get saved!
     

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