"Effectual Call"

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by skypair, Feb 26, 2007.

  1. skypair

    skypair
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    ...

    Quote:Westminister Confession:
    Larry -- this is fatally flawed!

    First, it says God gives them spiritual vision by hearing the word and Spirit. Problem is, it is circuitous logic. They, according as I read it, can't hear the Word and Spirit until they are enlightened and they can't be enlightened until they hear. The missing, unidentified link is BELIEF. Hear -- believe -- enlightened. (IF He calls by His Word and Spirit that they can't hear, how can they be enlightened by the Word and Spirit??).

    Second, there's your New Covenant (underlined) right there in the Confession! "Physician, heal thyself!"

    Next -- faith before repentance. That's good! Faith received passively -- then the "will" to obey. That's "unconditional" alright! Wish we all could be that "lucky!" Saved before obedience. Just imagine!

    "Elect infants?!" Be still! IOW, it is granted by the church on God's behalf to declare this?! How gracious of the church! Understand, Larry, the doctrine of "unconditional election" is sustained only by the notion of "elect," saved infants who did NOTHING for their own salvation. It's just Calvinist's answer to a very troubling question they foisted upon themselves: "where do dead infants go according to the (also flawed) doctrine of total depravity and sin guilt in Adam?" "Hoisted on their own petard," as they say!

    And we can just leave the heathen alone, I guess. Like free will has always averred of Calvinism -- if they're "elect," why go? Paul's words in Rom 10:13-15 notwithstanding, God'll manage to draw them somehow. The Confession says so, right?

    Larry, I almost hate you offer this up. I'd rather you hadn't. It was a primitive response to a confession offered up by the Armenians (that was probably just as flawed, BTW). They were both reflective of the doctrines of men, "striving over words to no profit."

    skypair
     
  2. pinoybaptist

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    And what makes you so sure that Paul is speaking of eternal salvation of the soul unto glory in Romans 10:15 ?
     
  3. skypair

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    This is the nub of Westminister Confession -- this "Word and Spirit" by which the "effectual call" comes. It appears to me a similar paradigm as Catholics have for infants being baptized for original sin, their sin guilt of Adam. It could very well be that Calvinists baptize their "elect" infants with this same thought in mind. When the priest reads the Word over the infant (who obvously cannot comprehend a thing), Catholics believe that the Spirit takes away their "original sin."

    That is the "passive role" the WC seems to describe for the "elect" during the "effectual call." Saved and regenerated as if by magic. Then that "elect," "discovering" that he/she is being "called," joins the church and begins his/her journey of sanctification therein.

    Since such an one is "elect" already, there is no need of praying for salvation. Same as it is hard for a Baptist to admit he/she has gone to a Baptist church for years but was never saved in the manner God called for, it is near impossible for a Reform/Calvinist member to do so seeing the thinking there is that we do nothing in salvation -- we are passive in our own salvation.

    Is that a decent rendering of "effectual calling?" Without hearing, the "elect" are mystically "renewed" unto discernment of the Word and Spirit?

    skypair
     
  4. russell55

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    I have no idea what you're asking, really. Calvinist Baptists don't baptize infants in the first place.

    Not by magic. By the work of the Spirit together with the message of the gospel.

    No, then the elect, understanding the true value of the gospel because of the enlightening work of the Spirit, places his or her trust in Christ as he is set forth in the gospel.

    Being elect is not the same thing as being saved. The elect have to believe in order to be saved, and they are not saved until they believe. God works his plan to save them through means, and one of those means is us praying for their salvation.

    Except we don't believe we are passive in our own salvation. This has been explained to you previously, and above as well. We believe. We trust Christ. We embrace the gospel. It's just that we do that in response to the work of the Spirit. The Spirit initiates, we respond. It's only in the initiating work of the Spirit that we are passive.

    No.

    We hear because the Spirit initiates. God does his work, and we respond.
     
    #4 russell55, Feb 26, 2007
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  5. dwmoeller1

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    No it doesn't say that. We 'hear' the Word, not the Spirit. The Spirit's action enables us to hear.

    If that were they case, it would circuitous. Thats not the logic being used though. The underlined part is not present in the text you quoted. Thus, the circuity you claim doesn't exist.

    Because with the effectual calling comes the action of the Spirit which cures their 'spiritual deafness'.

    No there is no salvation before obedience. Nor does the text you quote support such a statement. Look at section II and you will notice how it points out that man must still embrace the grace offered.

    Nope and neither does the text make this claim.

    God is omniscient, agreed? And thus He knows if I Bob will accept Him or not, correct? So why should I both witnessing to Bob - God already knows whether He will be saved or not?

    Same answer as for the Cist view. That is, we witness because we might be/are the means by which God has chosen to save Bob.

    Nope. You reason from a demostratably false basis and, naturally enough, your conclusion are false.
     
  6. skypair

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    Hey all, :wavey:

    Can we do "start overs?" :laugh:

    Apparently I didn't make this simple enough (what with having to study the Westminister Covenant which itself is quite confusing). Let's reduce the script down to the pertinent words -- "effectually to call, by his Word and Spirit, out of that state of sin and death in which they are by nature, to grace and salvation by Jesus Christ: enlightening their minds, spiritually and savingly, to understand the things of God."

    "Effectual call" is defined here as

    1) being called

    2) by the Word and Spirit (which one cannot hear yet)

    3) to grace and to salvation by Christ

    4) which grace and salvation then enlightens, regenerates, our minds to understand, spiritually and savingly, the things of God. Don't miss the point -- the WC says that grace and salvation enlighted the mind to hear in the Calvinist understanding of the word "hear." Grace and salvation precede hearing.

    I'm just taking what the WC says in the order it says and discovering, just like 1Cor 2:14 says, that at the time of my "effectual call" I cannot "understand spiritual things" yet but I CAN be given grace and salvation by which I will be able to understand them.

    So to me, this sounds like the Word and Spirit "with my name on it" :D is preached -- saves me without anything "done" on my part -- then, for the first time, I am enabled to understand spiritual things because I am regenerated, born again.

    It wouldn't be so disturbing to me if I didn't think this is what Reform actually teaches. That is, IF you can hear the "Word and Spirit," THEN you are, in fact, already saved/elect. What would be the point of repenting and receiving?

    My observation is that most Reform church members DO assume that they are "elect"/saved because they can "hear" spiritual things. This proves, in their minds, that they are regenerated, born again, else they wouldn't understand spiritual things, right? If you are saved already, do you need to be saved again?

    Some of you have formulated the WC as you believe it to be -- not as it is stated in the text IMO. That's actually good but you shouldn't be debating with me unless you can show me that the "elect but uncalled" can hear before they are actually regenerated/enlightened/saved.

    skypair
     
    #6 skypair, Feb 27, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 27, 2007
  7. russell55

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    It's the Westminster Confession, and it's confusing because it's an old document. The language is different that we're used to.
    Yes
    Yes, to by the Word and Spirit. No the the "which one cannot hear yet. The call by the Spirit enables one to hear[/quote]

    Yes


    Notice there's a colon before enlightening the mind. That means that everything after the colon is a list of what the call itself accomplishes. These are the things that the call to grace and salvation accomplishes in the person being called. It's not a list of the order of salvation, but a list of the things that occure with the call to salvation. Salvation itself would occur as a result of those things.


    But you can't ignore the punctuation. It isn't a list of the order of salvation, so you can't read it that way.

    You would be interpreting it wrongly.

    Because you must repent and believe in order to be saved.

    How many reformed people do you know? Have you asked any of them how they know they are saved? What did they say? Why don't you start a thread here asking reformed people how they know they are saved and see what they say?

    Personally, I've never heard a single person in my whole life say they know they are saved because they can hear spiritual things.

    Uhm...being enlightened/called/ears opened, etc. are all different words to describe the same thing. And the result of that is salvation.
     
  8. dwmoeller1

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    Point 4 is where you misunderstand. It may be due to the fact that you have a semicolon there instead of a semicolon.

    So, with the proper punctuation, we can see that the WC does not say that 'salvation and grace' enlightened the mind. Instead, it is is merely the second step in the process. The enlightening is not being causally linked to grace and salvation. Instead, the calling (which is to grace and salvation) and the enlightening are both from God.

    No. Instead it simply says that God enlightens, not grace and salvation. I am really mystified as to how you got that causal link.

    Actually the WC specifically states that man must respond to the enlightening. The WC makes is very clear that its not a totally passive process.

    You misunderstand. The WC does not teach that the ability to hear and understand is a sign of salvation. It is merely the sign of having an effectual calling. One still had to respond by repentence and belief.

    I am not seeing the problem with this as long as they don't use it as an excuse for sin or failing to repent. The WC clearly deals with that misuse of the concepts.

    I am sorry but you very clearly misinterpreted the text of the WC. The question is who are what is 'enlightening'. The semicolom makes is clear that the subject of the whole sentence is the one 'enlightening'. The subject of the sentence God. God is please to call, God enlightens, God renews, God draws, etc.
     
  9. dwmoeller1

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    Curious, which edition has a colon. All the editions I am finding have semicolons. Either, it is clearly grammatically impossible that 'enlightening' could have as its subject 'grace and salvation'.
     
  10. russell55

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    I was just taking the version Skypair has at face value. But as you say, either way, it's not meant to be read through as an order of salvation. You know, this happens, and then this happens, etc. Either way, gramatically, it's the call to salvation that enlightens the mind, takes away hearts of stone, renews wills, etc.; and the result of all those things is salvation.
     
    #10 russell55, Feb 27, 2007
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  11. MB

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    Since Grace is through faith I'd like to know how it can be otherwise?
    MB
     
  12. skypair

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    But it appears it "saves" first from the context.

    Even granting that, it 1) grants enlightenment, 2) salvation, 3) ability to "hear" or the text says "understand." Even that order is flawed. One would apparently be saved before one could hear!

    I tried not to, don't you think?

    I agree with that but I don't believe the WC does -- at least so far.

    I've offered the question up, believe me. And I get answers that make sense -- all except that they can't really say there was a day.

    skypair
     
  13. dwmoeller1

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    Just so I know we are talking about the same thing, what verse(s) says grace is through faith?
     
  14. dwmoeller1

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    No. Where are you getting that from? Maybe you are imposing your concept of 'saved' onto the WC?

    First of all, no where does the text say that the call grants salvation. The call is *to* salvation. The call is not salvation nor does it 'grant' salvation. The call merely *results* in salvation at some point.

    Secondly, even if the text *did* say that, it still doesn't give an order of events and you put forth. Your logic of 'having to be saved before being able to hear' simply is not present either explicitly or implicitly in the text of the WC. Again, where are you getting this from? Please explain your reasoning in detail and we can walk through it step by step.
     
  15. skypair

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    dw,

    This is where I get the Calvinist's notion that man is passive in salvation -- next paragraph

    Man passive -- God quickens and renews (same as "saved," right?) -- man enabled to "hear."

    Where do I get the notion that Calvinists believe they are saved passively - without the repentant response that Baptists have?

    They never have invitations to salvation neither in church. Their doctrine says man is passive -- nothing he CAN do. Boice, Sproul, and others claim that even belief is "works." No works can be done unto salvation -- ergo, Calvinists don't know how of their own volition to be saved.

    skypair
     
  16. skypair

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    See, I agree with the way you state it there. But the WC makes the error twice if you read my reply to the "semicolon" argument. AND I merely cut and pasted the text from the website on WC so it's likely authentic.

    Look at para. II. Do you see the same thing there? Man is "passive" and then suddenly born again/renewed? That's what Baptists call renewed - born again/saved.

    In these, I tracked the numbers or letters of the chronological order that I see. Here's what those terms mean to me as a Baptist:

    1) (a) "call" -- gospel
    2) (b) "to grace and salvation" OR "enlightening them ... savingly" -- born again/regenerated/ saved
    3) (c) "enable them to answer" OR "to understand things of God" - direct from 1Cor 2:14 -- already saved "spiritual man"
    4) (d) "to that which is good," "drawing to Christ," "come freely" and "to enbrace grace" -- sanctification (a term Calvin could not distinguish from justification, BTW). It means growing in grace, the Christian walk

    Look, I don't want you and brutus and PL and whoever to think that I am not willing to look at it from YOUR texts and show you what I see. You may not define the terms the same as I do, especially if you don't agree that one must be saved to be "regenerated." But I really can't see someone being born again/enlightened/regenerated/renewed as not being saved. That is just contrary to John 3 totally!

    skypair
     
    #16 skypair, Feb 28, 2007
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  17. dwmoeller1

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    Ahhh, there is your mistake - quickening and renewing are not seen as the same as salvation in the WC.

    Invitations as found in today's churches are a product of the mid-19th century. If we are going to accurate, we should point out that invitations arise out of the semi-pelegian teachings and practices of Finney. To associate the lack of them with belief in passive salvation is fallacious. It would be more accurate to say that lack of invitations is based, at least partly, on the belief that belief and salvation are a response to God, not a response to man.

    Well I am sure that some do say that...just as some non-Cists would hold that man is saved by his own effort. Its not an accurate reflection of Cism as a whole though.

    More accurately, no works can be done to *earn* or *merit* salvation. That is not the same thing as teaching total passivity of man in salvation.

    As I have said before and will say again, your attacks against Cism are largely based on basic misundertandings of their teachings. Thats understandable at first, but eventually they become simply strawmen when you have been told clearly where you err in your understanding. If you wish to disagree with Cism thats fine, but please stop with the strawmen
     
  18. MB

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    Eph 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
    Eph 2:9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
    MB
     
  19. Andy T.

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    MB, are you trying to say the only way we can receive grace is for us to reach out to God first?
     
  20. Blammo

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    Andy,

    This is a great question, but, it ignores the fact that there must be something to have faith in. "faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God". Without the word of God, there would be nothing to have faith in. (Except for maybe a chair, an airline pilot, a bridge, etc., but those things can't save you.)
     

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