Fatalism, Irresistible Grace and Misunderstanding

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Martin, May 1, 2007.

  1. Martin

    Martin
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2005
    Messages:
    5,228
    Likes Received:
    0
    This post is a response to one of Lou Martuneac's replies in the Lordship Salvation thread. However since this has nothing to do with Lordship Salvation, and since that thread is on its 12th page, I thought it best to start a new thread for this.

    ==I am always amazed when non-Calvinists charge Calvinists with fatalism. Why? Because it either represents a massive misunderstanding of Calvinism or it reflects a deep distrust of God on the part of the non-Calvinist who makes this charge. Calvinists believe that God has elected certain individuals to salvation based on His love, His grace, His will, and His plan (Eph 1:3-14). The only way the Calvinistic position can be correctly labeled as fatalism is if God's plan (etc) is fatalistic. Since I believe in a Holy, loving, and gracious God, I can't believe His plan could ever be fatalistic. Therefore I reject the accusation that Calvinism is fatalism.

    ==That is untrue. Calvinism is based on the teachings of Scripture that mortal, sinful man cannot take any credit for his salvation. Salvation is of the Lord and not of man.

    ==No, it does not. Your whole post/reply on irresistible grace misunderstands and thus misses the whole point. Of course the non-elect resist God's grace. Irresistible grace teaches, as Jesus did, that those the Father gives to Jesus WILL come to Jesus (Jn 6:37, 10:27). You can't "answer" irresistible grace until you figure out that it refers only to the elect and not to the non-elect.

    ==Nobody who believes in irresistible grace believes that the elect "must" come to Christ the first time they hear the Gospel. Therefore the above argument is a strawman that reflects a serious misunderstanding of the Calvinisitic position.

    The Scriptures teach that the elect "WILL" come to Christ. It never states, or implies, that they "must" come the first time they hear the Gospel.

    Passages like Genesis 6:3, Prov 1:24-26, 29:1, Jn 5:40 etc, do not deal with the elect who "WILL" come to Christ. The very fact that Lou Martuneac uses these verses, while trying to address the doctrine of irresistible grace, shows that he has a misunderstanding of the doctrine. Of course the non-elect resist the grace of God. Nobody denies that. The doctrine of irresistible grace deals with the elect and the fact that they will come to Christ.
     
  2. Brandon C. Jones

    Brandon C. Jones
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2005
    Messages:
    598
    Likes Received:
    0
    Martin, don't worry about it. Your theological "opponents" are never defeated and only multiplied.

    I didn't pay much attention to that other thread because it seems that the real quibble is over the definitions of faith and repentance. Until you get that sorted out, the labels LS and EB are meaningless in the discussion. Faith and repentance are not new requirements on the gospel, but it is helpful to meditate what one means by those terms. It's not much of a surprise to me that someone with a substantively different understanding of faith and repentance than Reformed orthodoxy also has a different understanding of "fatalism" and irresistable grace.

    Don't worry, be happy

    BJ
     
  3. skypair

    skypair
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2006
    Messages:
    4,657
    Likes Received:
    0
    For the simple reason that Calvinists insist they have no control, neither over their salvation nor over choices/decisions. Fatalism IS lack of control/sovereignty/responsibility.

     
  4. JDale

    JDale
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2006
    Messages:
    494
    Likes Received:
    0
    I don't generally hear "non-Calvinists" refer to Calvinism as "fatalism," though quite clearly in its extreme expressions it is.

    Most often Calvinism is spiritual determinism -- to deny that is to deny the very basis of the system -- God's sovereignty choice of "the elect" without regard to the active decision of the "elect" individual acted upon (monergism).

    It doesn't matter how one slices and parses it, that IS determinism. The question then becomes, which concept of God is greater -- the concept of a God who decrees EVERY single detail and decision in all spheres of life and existence because He is "Sovereign," or the concept of a God who allows his creation free moral agency and the ability to choose, yet He still KNOWS all things and is Sovereign in the whole process...?

    In short, freedom of will is no threat to -- nor is it a denial of -- the Sovereignty of God.

    JDale
     
  5. Brandon C. Jones

    Brandon C. Jones
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2005
    Messages:
    598
    Likes Received:
    0
    JDale, it is certainly arguable that Reformed orthodoxy even held to what is known as compatibilism let alone "spiritual determinism." I can't speak for the evangelical "calvinists" like Feinberg and White, and populizers like Sproul and Piper, but scholars would certainly balk at your claims.

    I've posted this on another thread when I recommend reading some work by Paul Helm on this matter. He's graciously included on his blog some pieces for publication (not at vanity presses either), one of which is the historical calvinistic understanding of God's sovereignty. Helm's not perfect, but he'll steer you in the right direction if you desire to understand the real view of Reformed orthodoxy.

    Scroll down here to his post on 12/29/06: http://paulhelmsdeep.blogspot.com/
     
  6. Rippon

    Rippon
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2005
    Messages:
    17,404
    Likes Received:
    328
    Please give your definition of "free will" JDALE . The Non-Cal postion ( in its various flavors) is so weak in upholding the many passages of Scripture which teach the exact opposite of the FW stance .
     
  7. webdog

    webdog
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2005
    Messages:
    24,691
    Likes Received:
    0
    I disagree. I believe it is the non cal who uses proper hermeneutics in exegeting Scripture...and the calvinist eisegetes Scripture to coincide with their theology.
     
  8. Rippon

    Rippon
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2005
    Messages:
    17,404
    Likes Received:
    328
    Have at it WEBDOG . Show how a spiritually dead person exercises their FW .
     
  9. webdog

    webdog
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2005
    Messages:
    24,691
    Likes Received:
    0
    Quite simple when you properly understand what being spiritually "dead" means...not what it HAS to mean to calvinism. Spiritual death is separation from God. Period. Not a spiritually unconscious corpse. If it were, Hell is pointless. Does the corpse that's cremated feel the fire?
     
  10. npetreley

    npetreley
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2002
    Messages:
    7,359
    Likes Received:
    0
    Mixed metaphor. One moment you're talking about spiritual "unconsciousness". The next moment you're talking about a body with nerves to feel fire.
     
  11. webdog

    webdog
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2005
    Messages:
    24,691
    Likes Received:
    0
    ...but that's exactly what your camp does...equate physical death and spiritual death as both being corpses.
     
  12. Martin

    Martin
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2005
    Messages:
    5,228
    Likes Received:
    0
    ==Ok for arguments sake I am not going to challenge anything you have said here, I am just going to ask you a series of questions.

    Based on what you have said above, you believe it is better for you to be in your own sinful, fallen hands then in the hands of God? You believe that you know better than God? That your plans (etc) are better than God's?

     
  13. EdSutton

    EdSutton
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2006
    Messages:
    8,755
    Likes Received:
    0
    Outta' curiousity, how can one not resist grace (irresistable grace), whatever that means, :rolleyes: but somehow resist God, and the ordinances of God? (Since ordinance is another Biblical word for the precepts (written word) of God.) This makes no sense, to say the least.
    Naw, I suggest Lou M. has it right, completely, here.

    Ed
     
    #13 EdSutton, May 1, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: May 1, 2007
  14. Martin

    Martin
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2005
    Messages:
    5,228
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well, Acts. 7:51 is not talking about the elect and Rom. 13:1-2 is not talking about salvation. Irresistable grace is a soteriological doctrine that refers only to the elect.
     
  15. JDale

    JDale
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2006
    Messages:
    494
    Likes Received:
    0

    Rip:

    We've trod this ground before in the "Prevenient Grace" thread, the "Forfeiting Salvation vs. Losing Salvation" thread, and several others. No need to re-hash disagreements you and I have had before. I've thoroughly answered all the questions you pose here (as have others) on prior threads. Go back, re-read and even re-post them here if you like.

    JDale
     
  16. JDale

    JDale
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2006
    Messages:
    494
    Likes Received:
    0
    LOL

    It's called an ALLEGORY -- it's used to give and example to EXPLAIN a principle or idea. And his allegorical explanation works here.

    JDale
     
  17. skypair

    skypair
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2006
    Messages:
    4,657
    Likes Received:
    0
    How would you draw that conclusion?? What I am asserting is that I can see that God's hands are better than ours, even as a lost person.

    No, that's a miscalculation on your part. First you would have to assume that God "planned" the lives of the lost as well, right? That even in their sin, God was in control of their lives.

    I don't do that. I believe that God "predestines"/plans only the steps of the saved!

    True, BUT the "work of God" in their heart is NOT making the decision to believe for them. And unless they beleive, they can't be saved. Do you see that? The mental process, "knowledge," comes before the spiritual conversion can occur? IOW, the "change of heart" comes via man's own spirit being changed by the Holy Spirit.

    This is looking at it from a different perspective, martin. The process is drawn, come, given/elected if you want to put it in those terms.

    No, my point is that they are "given" only after they are drawn and come.

    You are misquoting there. Jesus said all who come are drawn and will be raised -- NOT all who are drawn will be raised. Same with 6:40 -- all who "see" and "believe"/come will be raised up...

    Good! We must be making progress then! :D


    skypair
     
    #17 skypair, May 1, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: May 1, 2007
  18. Martin

    Martin
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2005
    Messages:
    5,228
    Likes Received:
    0
    ==Since I believe that God is sovereign over all things (Is 46:8-11) I believe that all things are in His plan. That does not mean He approves of all things, or that He causes all things, but it does mean nothing happens outside of His plan. Those God elects come to Him (Jn 6:37), those who are not elect continue in their sin and rejection and end up in hell (Rom 9:18,21, etc). That is known as the doctrine of preterition.

    ==So you think the lost world, lost men, are outside of God's sovereign control?

    ==No it does not "make" them but it is the cause/reason.

    ==All the Father gives to Jesus will come to Jesus (Jn 6:37) and will recieve eternal life (Jn 17:2). The elect will believe.

    ==Is that the order or are you just listed the events in no particular order?


    ==That is not what Scripture says though. The Scripture says "All that the Father gives Me will come to Me". The giving causes, or is before, the coming (see also Rom 8:29-30).

    ==Jesus said, "No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day" (Jn 6:44). What does the term "and I" (kago) refer to? It refers to those who are drawn. Nobody can come to Christ unless they are drawn and those who are drawn Christ will raise up on the last day. Who will Christ raise up on the last day? Those who are drawn. So I did not misquote the verse.



    skypair[/quote]
     
  19. EdSutton

    EdSutton
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2006
    Messages:
    8,755
    Likes Received:
    0
    So how come these words like a lot of other so-called teachings are never to be found in Scripture? Surely something of this importance would be crystal clear, like the over 200 times that faith/believe is used in the NT, and the clear statements that one is saved by faith/believing, instead of having to construct this doctrine based on implication, wouldn't you say?

    Ed
     
  20. Rippon

    Rippon
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2005
    Messages:
    17,404
    Likes Received:
    328
    JDALE , in post #15 you indicated that we've gone around the barn a few times about the issue of "free will " . I assure you -- I'm only a prepubescent on the BB , and you are a virtual infant . You can go back a lot further on the subject here than your more recent offerings . You haven't settled matters here on the subject -- just as you feel that we haven't on the other side of the aisle .
     

Share This Page

Loading...