Do you really know what you are debating against?

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

  1. Skandelon

    Skandelon
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    You would never guess that Jacobus Arminius wrote this based upon the way Arminians talk today. It is sad that most Arminians don't really understand Calvinism, but its even more sad that most Arminians don't really understand Arminianism. Because of this most Calvinists develop a since of superiority and think they have really dealt with the issues when indeed they are just as ignorant as most of those they debate.

    Ignorance abounds on both sides.
     
  2. BobRyan

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    Total depravity is not denied by Arminians (like myself) -- rather we claim (as do many Calvinists) that the John 12:32 DRAWING of God supernaturally ENABLES that which total depravity disables in "choice". Its just that WE believe God "Draws ALL mankind unto Him" John 12:32.

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  3. Skandelon

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    Bob,

    I guess that is one way to approach it. I agree with the doctrine of Original Sin, but the part of Total Depravity which teaches men can't respond in faith to the gospel is unfounded scripturally. Your approach would be pretty much the same in that the gospel was sent following his being raised up and thus his "drawing all men to himself." Therefore, those who hear the gospel are being are "able to respond" to it.

    The problem I would have with your approach is concerning those saved prior to Christ's coming. How was Abraham or other believers saved before Christ's coming and "drawing" all men?
     
  4. BobRyan

    BobRyan
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    The positive of John 12:32 is true - the negative is not. Christ is not saying that He was not supernaturally drawing all mankind since the fall of Adam.

    In Fact in John 3 Christ claims that the supernatural work of the Holy Spirit on the heart to produce the new birth - was "already fact". Indeed he claimed that Nicodemus should already know this since he was a student (a teacher in fact) of the Bible.

    One Gospel in both NT and OT according to Gal 1:6-11. By grace through faith - a gift of God - purely the supernatural work of God the Holy Spirit in working on the heart of man - and that is how we got the Heb 11 list of giants of faith from the OT - held up as "Examples" for NT saints.

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  5. Skandelon

    Skandelon
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    That is pretty much the same thing I've been saying but I've been approaching it as the gospel or the word is the means that Christ draws all men. Nicodemus should have known because he was fimiliar with the means God has chosen to draw all people. Tha makes since.
     
  6. Ray Berrian

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    Many Christian laity and some pastors are not fully informed and do not understand Calvinism or Arminianism. This is because many inhale only what they are told and accept it as truth because they have trusted their lay elder or pastor.

    I hate to say it this way, but professionals who have been trained in a seminary have been taught the various views of theological thinking. We have taken time to study the truth of the Bible and some of us have a full grasp of Almighty God's truth.

    Someone said, ' It is sad that most Arminians don't really understand Calvinism, but its even more sad that most Arminians don't really understand Arminianism.'

    This Arminian, for one, fully understands that Calvinism portrays God as being partial and an unjust Lord God. This is totally contrary to the very nature of our God of Divine justice. [I Timothy 2:5-6] Its like a Chief Justice protecting the rights of the minorities and all human beings during the daylight hours, while at night he dresses up in white KKK attire to harrass the innocent.

    The Lord's character does not change. He is the God of justice and does not portray Himself in another way in the Bible. Calvinism 'broad-brushes' the Lord as being prejudicial toward His elect while wilfully and consciously damning the rest of His created beings.

    Dr. Berrian
     
  7. npetreley

    npetreley
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    Your mistake is that you continue to equate justice with equal opportunity. You start with the assumption that salvation is by choice, and then conclude that if it is not offered to EVERYONE (equal opportunity), then that would be unfair. But your logic starts with the conclusion that it is a choice.

    The fact is, nobody deserves any such thing. Nobody deserves an opportunity to be saved, and nobody deserves to be saved by God's arbitrary choice. It would be perfectly just for God to condemn all men and save none. So it does not in any way violate His justice to save some and not others, regardless of the method God chooses. I happen to believe the Bible clearly teaches election, and you believe free will. But this whole "Divine justice" argument you've been using is circular reasoning (because it starts with the conclusion of free will) and irrelevant to the issue.

    Prejudicial, by the way, means pre-judging. That tells me you assume Calvinism believes that God elects some according to some pre-judged criteria about the elect. Calvinism teaches nothing of the sort. It does not even attempt to answer the question of why God chooses some and not others. It is fully within God's right to do so, and to do so (as pointed out above) does not in any way violate God's justice.
     
  8. Pastor Larry

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    Most people confuse Pelagianism with Arminianism. Arminianism affirms total depravity but alleges an overcoming prevenient grace. Pelagianism is what denies total depravity.
     
  9. Johnv

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    I think it wuld help to define ttal depravity. There are too many people who define it as "the inability of the person to do anything good". That is neither a Calvinistic view, nor is it a scriptural view. The Calvinistic view of total depravity is "man's inability to do anything perfectly in accordance with God's plan".
     
  10. Skandelon

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    Larry,

    Actually it depends upon how far you take Total Depravity. For example I could live with this Calvinistic defination of TD:

    Article 3: Total Inability
    Therefore, all people are conceived in sin and are born children of wrath, unfit for any saving good, inclined to evil, dead in their sins, and slaves to sin; without the grace of the regenerating Holy Spirit they are neither willing nor able to return to God, to reform their distorted nature, or even to dispose themselves to such reform.

    -Synod of Dort

    I know that the authors of this article intended this to mean that the Holy Spirit must irresistably and inwardly regenerate the man before he can "return to God." But they don't say that. Arminians agree that it takes the grace of the Holy Spirit for regeneration to occur and we affirm that the Holy Spirit's means to regeneration is through the word and not some secret inward means that scripture never expounds upon.
     
  11. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
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    That is the Calvinistic definition of TD. In fact, I have been saying that very thing for a long time. [​IMG] ... that is what Calvinists mean when they say "Total Depravity." I know of no other definition.
     
  12. Ray Berrian

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    You said, 'I happen to believe the Bible clearly teaches election,

    Ray: So do I believe in Divine election, but Almighty God has elected people on the basis of their reliance on His work accomplished on the Cross.'

    You said, ' . . . and you believe free will.'

    Ray: God is the Divine Prognostigator as to what every human, sinner will have done with His Gospel truth, as to salvation. The Lord is not a {and I say it reverentially} Divine Puppeteer.

    You said, 'But this whole "Divine justice" argument you've been using is circular reasoning (because it starts with the conclusion of free will) and irrelevant to the issue.

    Ray: Study the attributes of God and you will find that the Godhead is fair and just in all that He has done, is doing, and will do in the affairs of human beings. If we cannot trust the justice of God then we cannot trust anything that He has said in His Word. It is not in His nature to overlook any sinner or saint; He sees all things and will bring each one of us before the judgment bar of God. No sinner will ever be able to say, "But, God you did not choose me."

    You said, 'Prejudicial, by the way, means pre-judging.'

    Ray: I'm not at all sure you are correct here either. One of the definitions of 'Prejudicial' in Webster . . . is 'an unwarranted opinion.' All of God's thoughts are perfect and pure; He would not even consider electing some and damning the majority of human life without offering His free grace to everyone.' [I John 2:2]

    I find that Calvinists most times just repeat the diatribe while ignoring our texts and especially not offering their interpretation of said verses. I will explain all of your verses contextually and explain the word meanings of all of them.

    You said, 'That tells me you assume Calvinism believes that God elects some according to some pre-judged criteria about the elect.'

    Ray: No, I have studied and know that both in Sublapsarianism and Superlapsarianism you gentlemen and women believe that God in His selection/election never considered or considers any 'good' that He might see in His created beings that would influence Him to pick one sinner over another. In my view there is no good that He can find in any sinner. The Old Testament says, 'That {even} the plowing of the wicked is sin.' This tells me that when He looks at the unsaved, there is nothing in them that He finds good.'

    You said, 'Calvinism teaches nothing of the sort. It does not even attempt to answer the question of why God chooses some and not others.'

    Ray: Of course not, because the Lord does not role the 'dice' as to who He is going to save and those who He is going to select for Hell.'

    You said, 'It is fully within God's right to do so, and to do so (as pointed out above) does not in any way violate God's justice.'

    Ray: You are right that God cannot violate His own nature. His Being is perfect in all of His attributes. Without doubt, all Calvinists need to study each of the Divine attributes and then they would not accuse God of preferring one sinner above other ones.

    After you not only ingest but digest the Divine attributes then you will be prepared to begin to study the Bible in matters like election and so on. But, make sure that people use Scripture in explaining the attributes of this one God.

    The Divine Justice of God, as to His attribute, is not 'circular reasoning,' but rather a Christian's understanding as to the nature of this God of perfection. The Lord does not play favorites. [Acts 2:21] God speaking through the Apostle Paul says, 'There is no respecter of persons with God.' [Romans 2:11]

    Deuteronomy 10:17 says, that the Lord 'is mighty and terrible, One Who regardeth not persons, nor does He take reward.' You may wish to 'white out' the writings of the Apostle Paul and Moses but I believe even these verses are words coming from the living Lord.

    Divine Election comes down to who will believe unto life. [John 5:24]

    Berrian, Th.D.
     
  13. npetreley

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    You're contradicting yourself. Earlier in the message, you admitted "we gentlement and women" do not believe God prefers one person over another.

    Or, as you put it in another thread...

    And again, I say, if you responded of your own free will, then you have no need to thank the LORD that you responded. You can thank the LORD for other things, like "offering", if that's what you believe. But the final decision was left to you, and you have only yourself to credit for that.

    Or, put another way, if the sinner who fails to respond of his own free will has only himself to blame for rejecting the Gospel, then the sinner who responds of his own free to accept the Gospel will has only himself to credit for doing so.

    So praise Ray that Ray responded, and the rest of the Glory belongs to the LORD.
     
  14. Skandelon

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    I understand that Larry.

    My point was that even definations can be understood differently. Someone could say that they believe in Total Depravity but not really believe in Total Depravity as it was intended by the author of the defination.

    This defination is a perfect example. Its states, "without the grace of the regenerating Holy Spirit they are neither willing nor able to return to God." I agree with this statement in the since that the Holy Spirit must work to bring regeneration, which I believe He does through the means of the gospel, not the means of some secret irresistable calling. So I guess someone might say my real problem would be with irresistable grace. Yes, I do have a problem with Irresistable Grace but that is not the extent of the problem. The part of TD that I have a problem with is the part that there is ANOTHER means, a secret inward means of grace necessary to work in the heart of man to give him the ability to respond to the means of the gospel. That is NO WHERE to be found in the text of scripture. The ONLY means of grace the Holy Spirit uses is the WORD! If you can show me where another means is taught in the text I'd be glad to look at it, but I haven't seen it yet.
     
  15. Skandelon

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    That is just nonsense! I certainly can thank the Lord for my response. Who is the one who sent me the message so I could respond? He did.

    Plus, don't you see the the contradiction of your beliefs? Why do you have a "better" understanding of salvation than I do? Did God give you a better understanding? If so, why didn't he give most believers that same understanding? Can't you boast in your surperior knowledge of the scripture? :rolleyes:
     
  16. Ray Berrian

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    Someone said, 'So praise Ray that Ray responded, and the rest of the Glory belongs to the
    LORD.'

    Ray: John 1:12 sure sounds like the Lord is asking us for a response to His call to Himself and His grace. If we do not receive Christ then then He will not give us the power/authority to become the children of God.

    The benefits of the Cross, too many to include here, including His grace is a free gift. [Ephesians 2] Faith is our response to His call to and into everlasting life. Probably if we did not have a mind, so that the Spirit of God could convict us of sins, then perhaps God would have to autocratically instate us into His grace.

    God receives all the glory and praise for our salvation, unquestionably. Without faith there is no salvation. Read: Hebrews 11:6. According to your view we should not ' . . . diligently seek the Lord.

    Adam and Eve, the fallen angels made their own choices and we included are making either a decision to receive Jesus or shun His unspeakable and wonderful gift of His imputed grace. [Romans 4:6 & Romans 5:1]

    Dr. Berrian
     
  17. npetreley

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    If you believe of your own free will, then the above is a contradiction. If "without faith there is no salvation", then you deserve at least part of the praise for choosing to believe, because if you had chosen otherwise, you would not have received salvation.

    So praise Ray that Ray chose to believe, and the rest of the glory belongs to the LORD.
     
  18. Skandelon

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    Paul quoted: "ABRAHAM BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS CREDITED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS."

    Paul didn't have a problem crediting a man for his belief, why do you?
     
  19. BobRyan

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    Agreed - the "Word became flesh and dwelt among us" but before that - the "Word" still existed. He was "God our Savior" long before 2000 years ago and as Christ said to Nicodemus pre-cross -- God was working upon the hearts of mankind pre-cross to bring about the pre-cross new birth.

    It is God's supernatural act -- drawing ALL for "God so Loved the World" -- from day one.

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  20. BobRyan

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    Indeed - both Arminian and Calvinist positions affirm that the John 12:32 "Drawing" -- supernatural Drawing by God Himself - is sufficient to enable that choice that total depravity disables.

    The "difference" is that the Arminian view is that "all mankind" is drawn by that supernatural and sovereign act of God.

    In Christ,

    Bob
     

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