Decisionism

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Rippon, Mar 31, 2006.

  1. Rippon

    Rippon
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    I was mulling around for a subject heading that captured what I am about to discuss . " Decisionism " will have to do .

    I think that it is common in some quarters to think that people have kind of a door-knob inside their fallen wills . Then when Jesus knocks on that evil heart , pleading to come in , the sinner sits in the driver's seat -- he decides if God will be allowed to come in . Afterall , the actual knob is on the sinner's inside door .

    Have you heard messages ( or given them ? ) which it is said that " Jesus can't save you unless you let him . But if you don't let him in He will send you to hell " ? Doesn't the sinner seem to get all the power in this kind of presentation ? Salvation is in the hands of sinners , and damnation is in the Hands of God .
     
  2. Rippon

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    In another thread I had mentioned Alan Sell's book : Theology In Turmoil . The subtitle is : The Roots , Course And Significance Of The Conservative-Liberal Debate In modern Theology .

    On page 127 he says that the view of some liberals is " oddly enough [akin to] some fundamentalist evangelists , to the effect that ' God will save you if you let Him '. What does that imply concerning God's sovereignty ? The danger is that we pass from saying that God is , strictly , pitiful , to saying that he is pitiable -- because he would save , but cannot ."

    " The error amounts to the view that the individual's action in making a faith commitment is the truly decisive thing . Hence such appeals as , ' Only believe ...' , ' God wishes to save you -- will you let him ? ' ' Why not decide for Christ now ? ' These all fail to state ... the priority of God's regenerative work ; they make it appear that man holds the key to his salvation ; and at their worst they present the pitiable , rather than the sovereign God who cannot make a move without the sinner's permission . " ( 141 )
     
  3. Petrel

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    How is "God could save you but he doesn't feel like it" any better?
     
  4. whatever

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    Who preaches that? I've never heard that preached before. I have heard pleas to "let God have His way".
     
  5. Helen

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    Whatever, Petrel expressed Calvinism very neatly in once sentence there.
     
  6. Andy T.

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    Whatever, Petrel expressed Calvinism very neatly in once sentence there. </font>[/QUOTE]That same charge (though flippant and misguided) could apply to the non-Calvinist who holds to the perfect omniscience of God. An Open Theist is the only one who could escape such a charge.
     
  7. Helen

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    Andy, as I have mentioned before, I can KNOW this post I am writing right now will be read, but I have done nothing to cause it. Foreknowledge and foreordination are not necessarily holding hands...
     
  8. Calvibaptist

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    But, Helen, if you believe in any way that God is omnipotent, then He has the ability to save everyone. The fact that He created people that He is not going to save is true in both your set of beliefs and ours. That is the point that Andy was trying to make.

    My point is that people need to stop throwing this accusation at Calvinists because the same accusation can be made of those people. The only people who are off the hook are the universalists and the Open Theists who say that God doesn't really even have foreknowledge.
     
  9. Andy T.

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    Yes, Calvi clarified my point. God's omnipotence is more at issue here, although His omniscience will come into play, too. And I also forgot about the universalists being off the hook, too.
     
  10. Helen

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    If God, in His omniscience and omnipotence and HIS freedom of choice chose to give us the freedom of choice where He is concerned, it does not matter whether we can wrap our minds around it or not, that is the way it is. And that is the way the Bible says it is. The Bible is written to people who have the freedom to choose EITHER way, and the wherewithal to choose either way.

    If we cannot choose to respond to Him or not, then just about the entire Bible is nonsense, for it is predicated upon the fact that God is CHOOSING to respond to us and our choices. Did He have to? No. He could do anything He wants/wanted. But, according to the Bible, He chose to give us the freedom to choose.
     
  11. J.D.

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    How is "God could save you but he doesn't feel like it" any better?

    We're being distracted from the real issue. It's not a matter of whether God "feels like" saving anyone, it's a matter of whether God has an obligation to save anyone. And if not, then why does he save anyone?
     
  12. Helen

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    For God so LOVED the world that He gave His only Son....

    That gives the reason.
     
  13. Andy T.

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    As soon as God purposed to create the world, He knew people would be going to hell. So apparently God is more concerned about giving people freedom of choice than about people going to hell. Ergo, God could save those people but he doesn't feel like it, since he would rather give them freedom of choice and see them burn in hell.

    (Note that I do not buy this line of thinking one bit - I'm just demonstrating how it applies to both the Calvinist and non-Calvinist.)
     
  14. Dave

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    Interestingly, that's exactly what the Bible says God's truth is to an unbelieving world. [​IMG]

    Seriously, a dead sinner reading the Bible will not understand a whole lot of it without some light being shed by the Holy Spirit. Even with that light, Christians have a hard time understanding parts of it.
     
  15. webdog

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    How can someone dead read? I don't think a dead person can understand much of anything, let alone the Bible! [​IMG]
     
  16. Johnv

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    I think this is a good example of "compartmentalism". Meaning, taking the truth expressed in a particular passage, and applying it in a manner to dismiss the rest of scripture. In this case, we can look to Jesus' words in Rev 3:20, where he says he stands at the door and knocks; if anyone hears, opens the door, and lets him in... well, you get the idea. Rev 3:20 supports the idea that the sinner must open the door, etc etc etc. However, that doesn't mean that, by expressing that view, one is espousing a works-based salvation, or hyperarminianism, or any other implication. On the contrary.
     
  17. Calvibaptist

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    One minor problem...Revelation 3:20 is written to "the church of Laodicia."
     
  18. Johnv

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    I don't think that changes the context to with and to which I was referring.

    Besides, what you claim is incorrect. Rev 1:4 says that the words of revelation were intended for "the seven churches which are in Asia".
     
  19. whatever

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    Whatever, Petrel expressed Calvinism very neatly in once sentence there. </font>[/QUOTE]Please point me to a Calvinist expressing that sentiment. If you cannot do that then please stop bearing false witness.
     
  20. Dave

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    How can someone dead read? I don't think a dead person can understand much of anything, let alone the Bible! [​IMG] </font>[/QUOTE]I was referring to "dead in sins and transgressions"
     

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