Either .... Or

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Skandelon, Mar 20, 2012.

  1. Skandelon

    Skandelon
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    Listen, I hear a several Calvinists attempt to maintain that men do make a choice, but this seems to just be some kind of subtle attempt to maintain some form of human culpability.


    EITHER God makes the choice as to what individuals will certainly be saved,

    OR...

    God chose to permit men to freely respond to his appeal for reconciliation.

    I do not see how one can claim both of these are true as some attempt to do. If the former is true then what is the point in even pretending the latter is true? What is accomplished in affirming the latter if you hold to the former?
     
  2. 12strings

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    I'm not sure all Cals would try to agree with both of these. They may state your second option differently so that it says something they agree with...we'll have to wait on the others for that.

    I'll just say this. The primary issue for me is that I see in scriptures that we are "chosen" and "predestined." I have not heard a convincing argument for either corporate election or fore-seen faith election, and so I am left with the conclusion that I came to Christ BECAUSE God chose me. Not that I came to Christ, and by doing so, BECAME chosen. That doesn't make sense to me.
    Of course, The Bible also says I must choose Christ.

    I see your first option as inescapable in Scriptures.

    I see your second option as the one that may not be exactly true in fitting the scriptures, unless you end it by stating, "BUT NO ONE SEEKS GOD". and "you are dead in your trespasses and sins" and therefore..."no one can come to me unless the father draws him," But..."All whom the father gives me WILL come to me."

    So I will not try to hold to both of your statements as stated. I believe the second is incomplete.
     
  3. Skandelon

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    No, that doesn't make sense to me either. Back when I was a Calvinist that is exactly what I thought too. I thought the fore-seen faith view of election was ridiculous...I still do. I honestly thought that was the only viable option to Calvinism, which is why I was a Calvinists.

    I had heard of the the so-called 'corporate' view and I thought I understood it, but my pat answer to those who started down that road was "well, corporations are still made up of individuals" and I left it at that. I didn't fully understand this perspective and so I rejected it without giving it a full hearing and an objective look.

    Since then I've learned that the corporate view DOES NOT negate dealing with individuals, as I once believed. I would encourage you to fully vet that view before dismissing it completely. I'd be happy to hash it out with you if you want and even if you still didn't accept it at least you would fully understand its claims.

    True. Which is troublesome for those who believe "its all God" and ''nothing of man." And the reason I believe Cals try to affirm both statements of the OP despite the issues created.

    Well lets take each of those one at a time:

    1. God chose to permit men to freely respond to his appeal for reconciliation BUT NO ONE SEEKS GOD"

    We are not talking about man's ability or willingness to seek God, we are talking about his ability to willing respond to a God actively seeking him. So, while you may be able to prove with scripture that man would never 'pick up the phone and call on God' (so to speak), that doesn't in any way prove that man is unable to answer the phone when God calls. Make sense?

    2. God chose to permit men to freely respond to his appeal for reconciliation but you are dead in your trespasses and sins

    What better answer to that problem than a powerful Holy Spirit wrought life-giving message of reconciliation? After all, the 'truth will set you free.' Think about this for a second, why send a appeal for reconciliation to those not enabled to willingly respond to it? Why only send an APPEAL to those who are already made new by the work of regeneration? They don't need to be appealed, they just need to be told.

    3. God chose to permit men to freely respond to his appeal for reconciliation but no one can come to me unless the father draws him.

    What means does God use to draw, invite, appeal, enable men to come to Christ? The gospel.

    Consider the fact that the gospel appeal wasn't sent until Christ was lifted up and the Holy Spirit was sent down at Pentecost. Prior to that point the mysteries of the kingdom were being hidden in parables, and kept secret from 'those on the outside.' Why? "...lest they repent and be saved." God knew the gospel would enable those who heard it to be reconciled and He didn't want them to be reconciled UNTIL after they crucified Christ. Make sense?
     
  4. Forest

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    God made the choice of who will be sasved eternally before he formed the world because by his foreknowledge he looked down from heaven to see if there were any that would seek him and saw that none did seek him, no, not one. Ps 53:2-3. I believe that God does give all mankind freedom to make choices, but our choices are influenced either by the flesh or by the Spirit. It's just plain and simple that the natural man will not choose to serve a spiritual God, 1 Cor 2:14. The only way that any of us will choose to serve God is after God has quickened us to a spiritual life while we were still dead (spiritually dead) in sins, Eph 2:5.
     
  5. Forest

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    You have an incorrect view of the capability of the natural man. The natural man will not respond to the gospel no matter who tries to preach it to him, he thinks it is foolishness. You do not understand that it is not the responsability of a preacher of the gospel to save souls eternally. Christ took care of all the souls that were to be saved eternally while he was upon the cross, John 6:37-41, and he said that he would not lose one of them that he died for, but raise them up at the last day. You claim to be a preacher of the gospel and your main objective is to try to help God save souls. Your purpose according to God is to "feed his sheep". Only his sheep will hear him and recognise his voice. God's children need to be fed spiritual food from the gospel to stay strong and active in serving him. His sheep's purpose here on this earth is to love God with all their heart and love their neighbor as themselves. The good news of the gospel is not to tell us how to GET saved, but to tell us that Christ has already saved us eternally and promised us that we will live with him in heaven, now, that's good news. To me, a preacher who preaches hell and damnation if you don't follow his directions is not preaching the good news.
     
  6. Earth Wind and Fire

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    correct...now how many times do you think we have gone down this road...puts index finger on nose. LOL
     
  7. jbh28

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    God chose to permit men to freely respond to his appeal for reconciliation. No man responded, so God makes the choice as to what individuals will certainly be saved.
     
  8. Amy.G

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    :laugh: I read that too fast and thought you said you put your finger IN your nose! :laugh:
    [​IMG]
     
  9. Skandelon

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    Where does scripture ever say that, and what scholars have held to this view?
     
  10. jbh28

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    Ever heard of Calvinism? God doesn't "not permit" anyone to come to him. He has called people to repent and believe the gospel. Men reject. They seek their own way. God chooses people to save. God knew that people would be sinners and would reject him. He knew that no one would seek him.
     
  11. Skandelon

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    Can you quote me a Calvinists who says, "God chose to permit men to freely respond to his appeal for reconciliation. No man responded, so God makes the choice as to what individuals will certainly be saved."

    But, then you change it a bit by saying..

    Is it that he tried free will and when it didn't work he went to using irresistible grace, as your first post seemed to indicate, or is it that God simply foreknew that no man WOULD freely come so he use irresistible grace?

    And if he wanted them to act freely and come but they wouldn't, did God fail in creating a creature who could freely choose to do what he wanted? And didn't he say that if man didn't choose to worship that the rocks would cry out?
     
  12. jbh28

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    God didn't have to wait to see. Of course he foreknew.
    No, God didn't fail. It's all part of God's plan and purpose.
    and?

    God chooses us because we wouldn't choose him.
     
  13. Skandelon

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    So, let me see if I have this straight. God knew that if he gave men free will that none of them would choose to come even if invited by a powerful life-giving Holy Spirit wrought gospel appeal...SOOO based on that foreknowledge (of something that never actually happen, but just his knowledge of what could happen if that is what he did) He decided to irresistibly draw a preselected number to save? Is that right?
     
  14. Skandelon

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    Oh, and on the 'rocks crying out' question. You said that God foreknew no one would chose to worship, yet the bible says if that were to happen the very stones would have cried out. Why would it say the stones would be made to cry out, if the real plan was to make the people cry out?
     
  15. jbh28

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    1. The Bible teaches that man will never come to Christ. He has no desire to come to Christ. He doesn't seek. He rejects the gospel.
    2. The Bible teaches that God has chosen certain people to saved.
     
  16. jbh28

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    What passage are you referring to?
     
  17. Skandelon

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    Luke 19:40
     
  18. jbh28

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    Explain what you are talking about.
     
  19. Skandelon

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    No, it teaches that if they were to be left to themselves they will never seek God, or attain righteousness through the law. It says nothing of their inability to respond to a God actively seeking reconciliation, or to attain righteousness by grace through faith.

    Calvinists seem to think that scriptural proof showing that mankind can't attain righteousness through the law = mankind can't attain righteousness through faith. And mankind won't seek God = mankind can't respond to God even when He sends his Son, messengers, scriptures, church, the Holy Spirit which all proclaim the powerful life-giving gospel appeal, which comes to call all men to reconciliation. We are NOT left on our own anymore!!!

    Calvinists also make the error of over individualizing the biblical concept of election, which historically is a corporate concept. (i.e. God chose Israel to bring redemption into this world.) That doesn't mean individuals aren't involved. God had to pick out his prophets, priests, kings and latter his apostles so that God purpose in choosing Israel would stand. God then chose to ingraft the Gentiles (individuals without a nation). How? Through faith.

    "What then shall we say? That the Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained it, a righteousness that is by faith; 31 but Israel, who pursued a law of righteousness, has not attained it. 32 Why not? Because they pursued it not by faith but as if it were by works. They stumbled over the "stumbling stone."
     
  20. Skandelon

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    Here I'll let Wesley explain it:

    Indeed, if man were not free, he could not be accountable either for his thoughts, word, or actions. If he were not free, he would not be capable either of reward or punishment; he would be incapable either of virtue or vice, of being either morally good or bad. If he had no more freedom than the sun, the moon, or the stars, he would be no more accountable than them. On supposition that he had no more freedom than them, the stones of the earth would be as capable of reward, and as liable to punishment, as man: One would be as accountable as the other. Yea, and it would be as absurd to ascribe either virtue or vice to him as to ascribe it to the stock of a tree.
     

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