Election

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by Heavenly Pilgrim, Mar 6, 2010.

  1. Heavenly Pilgrim

    Heavenly Pilgrim
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    DHK has raised the issue of election, and acted as if though I have skirted this issue. Not to disappoint him I am introducing this thread to address that issue directly.

    To my knowledge there are only two positions to take on election, but I am open to any other views that might be presented. One comes from a clearly Calvinistic notion that sits handily in the lap of necessity, i.e., God is presented as the first and only cause of the salvation of the elect, salvation being said to be “all of God.” The other opposes the necessity of the Calvinistic system and defines election within parameters inclusive of true freedom of the will, viewing election via the foreknowledge of God as opposed to His will being the actual 'cause.'

    Just so I am not accused of misrepresenting the Calvinistic notion of election, would there be a Calvinist on board that would define election from that perspective for the list? How about JA. Now there is an unashamed Calvinist I would believe. I may not agree with him but it would be hard for anyone to misrepresent his views. Would you, or someone else with Calvinistic credibility, be so kind as to define election from the Calvinistic viewpoint for us? Thanks.
     
  2. billwald

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    Your two statements will do. (Good enough for government work)

    The third option is that God either does not know or declines to know the future.

    Personally, I think that God declines to know for the sake of the game.
     
  3. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    Bill, I believe you may well be correct here. I almost forgot about those who would say God only knows the knowable, free acts of men being outside of that realm. (As I recall speaking to some holding such a view some time ago.) Don’t they go by the name of ‘Open’ theology or something to that effect? It certainly does not appear to me as taking off in the Church world as some of those holding to such beliefs believed or hoped it would.

    For the sake of this discussion, it would be best to forget the ‘open view’ for now. If someone so desires, that might be a topic for a new thread.
     
  4. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    Bill, maybe we are going about this wrong. Possibly we should simply discuss the ramifications of God's foreknowledge even prior to a discussion concerning election.
     
  5. steaver

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    What I would like to see is an exegsis of the passages in question. Lay them out and show us why you conclude they are speaking of your particular pov. Which ever one that might be.

    :jesus:
     
  6. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    HP: The problem with that approach is that we are dealing with a clearly philosophical question concerning foreknowledge and the parameters of it. Deny it if you will, but no one, not you or myself, can approach any text dealing with foreknowledge without revealing ones philosophy. The simple truth is that Scripture does not define foreknowledge, nor necessarily set the parameters of it. I fully believe God has given to man knowledge that indeed can and should affect ones conclusions on this issue. Every individual approaches the texts surrounding the foreknowledge of God from a philosophical position, either implied or fully understood.

    I would say that foreknowledge delves clearly into the arena of intellectual philosophy, and that Scripture is not the best source of truth to plumb the depths of foreknowledge. As I have stated before, Scripture in no wise defines God’s foreknowledge, either from a Calvinistic approach leading to determinism, or from the approach I personally would take.

    Having said that, I am open for anyone to disagree, and to prove me wrong by showing us where Scripture defines God’s foreknowledge in explicit terms.
     
  7. DHK

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    This is a stunning statement.
    Your philosophy is a better source that the Bible for understanding foreknowledge or election.
    Every Baptist has the Bible as their final authority in all areas of faith and doctrine, not philosophy.
     
  8. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    HP: Yes, I can understand why you would consider it as such. Show us your definition of God's foreknowledge from Scripture and set for us the parameters of it.
     
  9. steaver

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    Why not just take what it says for what it says? Words such as elect, predestined and foreknowledge have meanings. Quotes such as "before the foundation of the world" are crystal clear. Why would God need to further expound on these truths with additional scriptures for man to understand? Obviously He does not see any need for man's philosophy to aid His given word.

    God gave us this word, do you believe God expects man's philosophy to determine what He has plainly written?

    :jesus:
     
  10. Jedi Knight

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    #10 Jedi Knight, Mar 6, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 6, 2010
  11. DHK

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    HP, at any given day of the year, you can go to the Baptist Theology forum and read one or more threads on Calvinism or election. You have no excuse. You don't need to have someone come and start this discussion for you. You don't need me to start it for you.

    Step up to the plate, define election via your own philosophy (over and above that of the Bible as you believe), and start the thread. That is what others do. They initiate the discussion not await in the bushes like a coward.
    Now what are YOUR views on election. Starting with the Bible instead of philosophy would be a good idea. But that is a suggestion. You now have the floor.
     
  12. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    I have been forthright in presenting my position on both election and foreknowledge. I do not hold to election from a Calvinistic position as it being “all of God” (sound familiar?) I reject the Calvinistic notion that God is the sole cause of those that are saved, for obvious reasons. If it is all of God and He alone is the sole cause of ones salvation, there is no other conclusion to be drawn than the one clearly admitted to by Calvin himself, double predestination rules. One cannot paint a more horrible blight upon the character of a Holy and Just God than that. To think that a Holy and Just God would punish those in eternity for failure to escape their necessitated end, something God could not do Himself, is wickedly absurd. Mark it down in indelible ink. I reject the Calvinistic notion of election. It is a false notion and unfounded in Scripture or reason. I trust I have made myself clear.

    My direct position on election ( as related to salvation) would be consistent with God choosing those that He knew would respond to His stated conditions. Again, His election does not force or coerce any man to respond, but rather is completely compatible with free moral agency. He elects those to salvation that He knows will in fact fulfill the conditions He has mandated.

    I have clearly stated more times than I can count that salvation has clear conditions, without which no one shall be saved. DHK, you deny any and all conditions, in lockstep with the system you feign to distance yourself from, accepting the very statement that every consistent Calvinist would make, i.e., “there are no conditions to salvation.” By doing so you are accepting by default the Calvinistic position of election, like it or not, unless you can show otherwise. When will you stand up and state plainly your views on election? If in fact you believe differently than a Calvinist, please tell us about it and clear up this issue once for all.


    On the foreknowledge of God, I have been entirely forthright in that I have stated on numerous occasions that God’s foreknowledge clearly exceeds the foreknowledge we possess. Our foreknowledge is limited to things of necessity alone. I clearly believe God possesses foreknowledge far above our foreknowledge (God’s ways are indeed higher than our ways are they not?) and can and does foreknow matters of perfect choice. Where the Calvinistic system of necessity reasons from is from their own limited finite perspective of foreknowledge, i.e., if God foreknows something it of necessity must come to pass with God as ‘the sole Cause.’ Make no mistake, such a position limits God’s foreknowledge to the realm of mere finite beings. It is simply wrong to limit an Omniscient God in such a manner when Scripture does no such thing.
    The floor is yours.
     
    #12 Heavenly Pilgrim, Mar 7, 2010
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  13. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    HP: Should we be reminded that Jesus was speaking to the twelve disciples, Judas Iscariot being among them?

    Should we be reminded of the clear teaching right before the previous verse? Joh 15:4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.
    5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
    6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.
    7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.
     
    #13 Heavenly Pilgrim, Mar 7, 2010
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  14. billwald

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    > Possibly we should simply discuss the ramifications of God's foreknowledge even prior to a discussion concerning election.

    OK. Compare foreknowledge with watching re-runs on TV. Is that not a sort of foreknowledge? Anyone else suspicious of the mental state of one who can watch the same thing over and over and over and over . . . .
     
  15. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    HP: Bill, you give a good example of the limitations of our finite foreknowledge. IF there is absolutely no other possibility that exists other than for something to happen as it will, we can foreknow that it will come to pass. Take the principle of gravity. I can foreknow the outcome if I jump off of the table, in that I will directly hit the floor. There again that is an example of our limited foreknowledge, foreknowing only things of necessity.

    I see God’s foreknowledge far greater than our limited ability to foreknow. I believe God can foreknow matters of perfect choice as well as things of necesasity. Therefore, God can foreknow without being the sole cause, releasing Him from being the cause of all evil and sin.

    God clearly created responsible moral beings with the capacity to be the sole cause of their intents, either in obedience and love, or selfishness and sin. God is not an could not be the ‘cause’ of either or man is reduced to a robot far from moral in nature. No morality, no moral responsibility. Moral responsibility, man must be the cause of his formed moral intents.

    These truths must be reconciled or harmonized. Morality and man being a responsible creature, and God’s foreknowledge/election. Calvinism, in its particular view of sovereign election, destroys accountability and responsibility. It of necessity, as John Calvin admitted to, results in double predestination, a notion I believe at direct antipodes with Scripture and reason.
     
  16. Jedi Knight

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    Jeremiah 1:5 "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations." Whom God foreknew is not just talking foresight "foreseen faith" but of intimacy.
     
    #16 Jedi Knight, Mar 7, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 7, 2010
  17. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    I have apologized to DHK for the first paragraph of post#12. I did not need to say anything there that I did and was wrong in doing so. Please forgive me. I have asked DHK to edit that paragraph out for me.
     
  18. DHK

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    If salvation is not "all of God," then it is not salvation at all. Non-cals hold to this position as well. It is almost universal among the evangelical camp. It has nothing to do with Calvinism.
    He is the sole cause of my salvation. He is the only one who would and could take away my sins.
    Nonsense. That shows a misunderstanding of what the Bible teaches on salvation. In fact predestination hasn't even been addressed yet. So far we have only addressed the topic that salvation is of God or not. Predestination hasn't even entered into this discussion yet.
    In this discussion the only one who made that statement is you. No one else did. Why would you say that? I don't believe it. Do you?
    I don't agree with the Calvinistic view of election either, and nothing you have said presents your view of election. You have not presented your view, neither have you presented the Calvinistic view fairly. At least I don't think you have. You should invite one who is a Calvinist to see if you are correct in your assessment.
    What you have done is made some serious erroneous statements concerning the doctrine of soteriology.

    That depends what you mean by conditions. In referencing your other posts, you don't believe in an unconditional salvation. If fact you believe works are involved. Thus your statement on election is based on a false premise, and therefore it also is going to be false.
    Again, "conditions" need to be defined.

    That has nothing to do with Calvinism. Most non-Cals believe the same thing. Almost every evangelical believes this very orthodox doctrine of salvation. I will tell you again. If salvation is not all of God, then salvation is not of God at all.
    This is not exclusive to Calvinists.
    Like it or not "election" and its related words are used hundreds of times in the Bible. Yes I believe in election. It is taught in the Scriptures. I don't deny it. But I am not a Calvinist. You can't see the difference can you?
    My views on Calvinism won't clear up the Cal/Arm. debate. You are the one that keeps slandering the Calvinists and slandering others. You tell me and others that we are Calvinists when we are not. That is the only argument you can come up (slanderous accusations) when you have nothing from the Bible to say. It goes on and on. I have purposely stayed away and try to stay away from Calvinism. If I want to discuss this topic I can do so in much detail on any given day in the theology forum. But I tire from it. So I don't. I find it refreshing to come to a forum where almost every thread is not inundated with Calvinistic topics. You haven't heard my views because I don't want to debate them.

    We are not gods as the Mormons are deceived into thinking. We do not possess the attribute of foreknowledge. Only God does.
    God alone has foreknowledge.
    1. You say that the Calvinist has "a limited perspective of foreknowledge," implying that your knowledge is unlimited?? Now that is arrogance!
    2. You say that the Calvinist believes "that if God foreknows something it of necessity must comes to pass."
    a. Either the Calvinist is right and the statement is right. Or,
    b. You are greater than God and are able to force the hand of God to do whatever you want your God to do. God is your genie. You rub the bottle and he comes out to obey you, heed to your every wish. God is just a genie.

    I am not a Calvinist, but God does know the events of the future. And there is nothing you can do to change them.
     
  19. ccrobinson

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    No. Why would one be suspicious of such an activity? I've watched the same movie several times. I've watched the same episode of a favorite television show several times. I know all kinds of people who have done the same thing. Would you like to pretend that you've never done these things?

    Have you ever read the same book over and over and over?
     
  20. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    HP: I believe you presume your remark in error. It has everything to do with Calvinism. It is the Calvinist, those leaning hard towards Calvinism, and of course yourself, that would offer the remark “it is all of God.” I know of no other system of theology that would make such a remark, unless they were speaking directly to the grounds of salvation as opposed to the conditions of salvation.



    HP: Christ is indeed the only one that can take away sins, but if you make God the ‘sole cause’ of ones salvation you have just entered the arena of election precisely from a Calvinistic perspective whether or not you desire to be seen in that camp or not. Calvinism has been around a lot longer than you or I have been around and has been saying precisely what you are saying long before you ever graced this earth with your presence. Call yourself whatever you so desire, but you will never shake the connection between your views and the age old system of Calvinism if you say the same things as that system has been purporting for hundreds of years. It is not name calling to simply point out clear comparisons between ones thoughts and a well known system of thought, but rather mere reasonable association with such a well known and well recognized system of thought. I do not believe there is one other system of thought that eliminates all conditions to salvation other than Calvinism or a system of thought leaning hard towards that system.
    Quote:
    HP: If it is all of God and He alone is the sole cause of ones salvation, there is no other conclusion to be drawn than the one clearly admitted to by Calvin himself, double predestination rules.





    HP: DHK, when you say that it is “all of God” and that the is the “sole cause” of salvation, you have just stated the very essence of the Calvinistic notion of predestination. Double predestination is nothing more than the absolute and unavoidable logical deduction of God being the sole cause of salvation. To deny double predestination is to deny that God is the sole cause, which you say He is.

    Every position concerning ones theological beliefs has logical ends that cannot be avoided. If you despise the logical ends of Calvinism, at some point in time you are going to have to change the way you word your positions if you do not desire to be compared or associated with that system of thought.
     
    #20 Heavenly Pilgrim, Mar 10, 2010
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