Foreknowledge/election and honest invitation

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by canadyjd, Jul 5, 2012.

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  1. canadyjd

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    Arminians argue that the foreknowledge/election of God that is mentioned in scripture refers to God looking through time (Since God exists outside of time) and seeing who will believe the gospel message and God then responds to that choice of man by choosing them to be His elect.

    If this argument is true, it raises Questions:

    1. Since God has already seen, before the foundation of the world, who will believe and who will not, how can any arminian preacher honestly say that salvation is open to all people?

    God has seen those who will not believe. None of those whom God has already seen reject the gospel is capable of accepting the gospel since God has already seen the rejection. It has become a determined fact...a reality. Therefore, the arminian claiming that salvation is open to all is not giving an honest invitation.

    2. How can the arminian preacher claim a man must make a choice, to accept or reject God according to their "free-will"? Since God has already seen, before the foundation of the world, those who would believe the gospel, they are incapable of rejecting the gospel. God has already seen the acceptance, therefore it is a reality that cannot change. They are not capable of exercising their "free-will" to reject the gospel.

    peace to you:praying:
     
  2. OldRegular

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    The above demonstrates the shallowness of the doctrine of some Arminians, the five Remonstrances!

    1. The decree of salvation applies to all, and that one must believe to make it effectual for oneself.
    2. Christ died for all men without exception.
    3. The Holy Spirit helps sinners do what they should (such as having faith in Christ). However, men must work it out themselves.
    4. God's saving grace is resistible.
    5. It is possible for those who are Christians to fall from grace.
     
  3. quantumfaith

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    OR, just for clarity sake, here is what the Articles of the Remonstrants state:

    Article 1.

    [Conditional Election - corresponds to the second of TULIP’s five points, Unconditional Election]

    That God, by an eternal and unchangeable purpose in Jesus Christ his Son before the foundation of the world, has determined that out of the fallen, sinful race of men, to save in Christ, for Christ’s sake, and through Christ, those who through the grace of the Holy Spirit shall believe on this his son Jesus, and shall persevere in this faith and obedience of faith, through this grace, even to the end; and, on the other hand, to leave the incorrigible and unbelieving in sin and under wrath and to condemn them as alienated from Christ, according to the word of the Gospel in John 3:36: “He that believes on the Son has everlasting life: and he that does not believe the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abides on him,” and according to other passages of Scripture also.

    Article 2.

    [Unlimited Atonement - corresponds to the third of TULIP’s five points, Limited Atonement]

    That, accordingly, Jesus Christ the Savior of the world, died for all men and for every man, so that he has obtained for them all, by his death on the cross, redemption and the forgiveness of sins; yet that no one actually enjoys this forgiveness of sins except the believer, according to the word of the Gospel of John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” And in the First Epistle of John 2:2: “And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.”

    Article 3.

    [Deprivation - corresponds to the first of TULIP’s five points, Total Depravity]

    That man does not posses saving grace of himself, nor of the energy of his free will, inasmuch as in his state of apostasy and sin he can of and by himself neither think, will, nor do any thing that is truly good (such as saving Faith eminently is); but that it is necessary that he be born again of God in Christ, through his Holy Spirit, and renewed in understanding, inclination, and will, and all his faculties, in order that he may rightly understand, think, will, and effect what is truly good, according to the Word of Christ, John 15:5, “Without me you can do nothing.”

    Article 4.

    [Resistible Grace - corresponds to the fourth of TULIP’s five points, Irresistible Grace]

    That this grace of God is the beginning, continuance, and accomplishment of all good, even to the extent that the regenerate man himself, without prevenient or assisting, awakening, following and cooperative grace, can neither think, will, nor do good, nor withstand any temptations to evil; so that all good deeds or movements that can be conceived must be ascribed to the grace of God in Christ. But with respect to the mode of the operation of this grace, it is not irresistible, since it is written concerning many, that they have resisted the Holy Spirit (Acts 7, and elsewhere in many places).

    Article 5.

    [Assurance and Security - corresponds to the fifth of TULIP’s five points, Perseverance of the Saints]

    That those who are incorporated into Christ by true faith, and have thereby become partakers of his life-giving Spirit, as a result have full power to strive against Satan, sin, the world, and their own flesh, and to win the victory; it being well understood that it is ever through the assisting grace of the Holy Spirit; and that Jesus Christ assists them through his Spirit in all temptations, extends to them his hand, and if only they are ready for the conflict, desire his help, and are not inactive, keeps them from falling, so that they, by no deceit or power of Satan, can be misled nor plucked out of Christ’s hands, according to the Word of Christ, John 10:28: “Neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.” But whether they are capable, through negligence, of forsaking again the first beginning of their life in Christ, of again returning to this present evil world, of turning away from the holy doctrine which was delivered them, of losing a good conscience, of neglecting grace, that must be more particularly determined out of the Holy Scripture, before we ourselves can teach it with the full confidence of our mind.

    These Articles, thus set forth and taught, the Remonstrants deem agreeable to the Word of God, tending to edification, and, as regards this argument, sufficient for salvation, so that it is not necessary or edifying to rise higher or to descend deeper.
     
  4. Winman

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    Knowing who will believe and who will not does not determine who will believe. Astronomers could tell you right now every eclipse that will happen for thousands of years in the future (if the world lasts that long), that does not mean they caused these eclipses. So, the Calvinist or Reformed argument against foreknowledge is easy demonstrated to be a false argument.
     
  5. Luke2427

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    If the astronomers were the ones who designed the cosmos knowing fell well that if they built it that way then these things would happen- then yes, the astronomers would have been the ultimate cause of every eclipse that ever happens.

    God's foreknowledge is connected to God's power.

    There is nothing but God.

    Then God makes everything. But before he makes everything, there was a plan which the making of everything would eventually bring to pass.

    If there is something that God is totally unwilling to happen in the creation which he makes, then he can make creation in a way that that which he is totally unwilling to happen will NOT happen.

    Therefore, God has a purpose for EVERYTHING that EVER happens- good and bad. If he did not have a purpose for it then he would not have built the universe the way he did knowing that it would come to pass before he built it.

    That is enough to establish the fact of God's ordination of all that ever comes to pass.

    But there is more.

    ALL THINGS are upheld by his power. Not only were they designed to come to pass in the past- God is actively BRINGING them to pass in the present.

    The only counter-argument to these facts is to water down the omniscience and omnipotence of God.
     
  6. Winman

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    My point is that one can foreknow what he did not cause. God, because he is omniscient, can know who will believe and who will not.

    Jhn 6:64 But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him.

    Jesus knew from the beginning that Judas would not believe, and that Judas would betray him. In your view, God caused Judas to sin by unbelief and by betraying Jesus. But the scriptures say God does not tempt any man to sin.

    My view is scriptural, yours is not.
     
  7. Luke2427

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    If God knew EVERY SINGLE outcome of the the universe that he would build BEFORE he built it, then he could have tweaked his building plans to prevent certain outcomes that he was totally unwilling to come to pass.

    Since things DO come to pass in this universe which God built knowing full well that they would come to pass if he built it the way he planned to build it- then we conclude that God planned it all. He has a purpose for it all.

    The only way to get around this logic is to declare that God's omniscience does not REALLY mean that God has always known all there is to ever know about everything past, present and future.
     
  8. mandym

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    Has anyone ever heard the phrase "beating a dead horse"? Well this thread qualifies.
     
  9. HeirofSalvation

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    Canady: I am sorry, but the OP is simply flawed on a couple of levels, this logic does not work. There is a category mistake.

    Certain flavors of Arminians do, but there are more flavours than that. You are considering only the "simple foreknowledge" view...there are others though. But provided this view alone per your OP:

    It is "open" in the sense that:
    1.) provision is actually made for their salvation, unlike Calvinism
    and
    2.)that God honestly desires the salvation of all who would repent and believe.

    This is flawed logic though...they are indeed "capable", but God is simply "aware" of the ultimate choice they will, in fact, make. It simply does not follow that God's knowledge of creaturely free choices negates their reality. This is a non-sequitor. This OP rests upon this mistake. Some put it this way..."the choice is free, the chooser simply can't escape being seen making it."

    No.

    see above

    This entire line of argumentation rests upon your one mistake, I think, of confusing God's "foreknowledge" of an event with his "determining" an event.
     
    #9 HeirofSalvation, Jul 6, 2012
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  10. HeirofSalvation

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  11. Luke2427

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    Determinism is the fact out-flowing from the reality that God's omnipotence and omniscience are connected.




    Right.

    Thou art not far from getting it. This is EXACTLY right. I could not agree more.

    And here is where the rubber meets the road. Is that his great purpose? Is libertarian free will of creatures God's great purpose of the universe?

    No. His glory is his great purpose.

    God the Father wanted to glorify his Son. God the Son wanted to glorify his Father. God the Spirit wanted to glorify them both. That is the purpose of the universe.

    Creatures are a means to this most glorious of ends. Creatures are not the ends themselves.

    He cannot create a world in which he does not truly know exactly what will happen as a result of the creation of it. He cannot do this because he cannot be less than God. To diminish his omniscience is to cease to be God. He cannot do that.

    I could not agree more.

    The Calvinist embraces BOTH words. God does not like sin. But he purposed a universe in which he intended sin to come to pass so that by it Christ might show forth the love and grace of the Father and the Father might show forth the greatness of the Son.


    OH!! OH, dear brother. No, no, no, no, no! Dear HEAVENS, no. That CANNOT ever be an ultimate end for God.

    God must be God's ultimate end or God is an idolator putting something above God. Then God ceases to be God and existence ceases to exist.
     
  12. HeirofSalvation

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  13. Luke2427

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    No sir. I mean that God creates by his omnipotent power exactly what his all knowing mind wants.


    It is a flaw, in my opinion, to think there is really any benefit at all to LFW.

    I think it is a myth, to be honest. But even if it existed SOMEWHERE it produces no benefit as far as I can tell.

    It seems the benefit in the mind of the Arminian is that love and service from a being that is as perfectly free to choose NOT to love and serve as he is to CHOOSE to love and serve is some great thing.

    But since that is not the kind of love and service that the Son gave the Father and it is not the kind of love that the Father gives the Son- that cannot be the case.

    The Son cannot choose NOT to love and serve the Father. It is his very nature to do so. If he could ever choose NOT to love and serve the Father then God would cease to be God and existence would cease to exist.

    The Persons of the Triune Godhead do not even have this libertarian free will.

    So I cannot see the benefit of it whatsoever even if it did exist.

    If it did exist it would SURELY be infinitely inferior to the kind of love that is NOT free to choose to not love.

    Furthermore, if LFW were within a country mile of God's primary purposes for the creation of the universe, it seems that it would have some longevity. It does not, if it exists at all.

    In heaven people will not be free to choose to serve or choose NOT to serve. They will serve God and glorify him forever without even the slightest ability to choose to do otherwise.

    LWF will last only a few thousand years and then disappear when eternity swallows the temporal forever. This LWF cannot be that great seeing as how it is so temporary.

    Is the eternal love we will have for God and God will have for us inferior to the extremely temporal love that emanates from this LFW??

    I trow not.


    One most like his Son. That is the kind of creature best able to satisfy the conditions of God's ends. A creature most like his Son who does not have this, what I consider to be, mythical LFW.

    And this is what the Bible teaches that God is doing with us. Making us into the image of His Son.



    But without sin there is no grace. Without sin there is no Lamb of God dying for the sins of the world receiving forever and ever the praises of a multitude which no man can number of the redeemed.

    Sin, though God hates it as a thing in itself, is part of the purposes of God- a vital part.


    No. It cannot. Then God would be an idolator and God would thus cease to be God and existence would cease to exist.

    Do you exist? Then God cannot have LFW or anything but himself as his ultimate end.

    It cannot go beyond himself or God becomes an idolator.

    I concur, my brother.
     
    #13 Luke2427, Jul 6, 2012
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  14. Winman

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    Luke, suppose you were infected with a fatal disease. A doctor comes and cures you of that disease. Would that be praiseworthy? Yes.

    But suppose you found out it was the doctor himself who infected you with this fatal disease so that he could later cure you, would that be praiseworthy? No, most people would believe this to be criminal.

    God does not cause people to sin so that he can later cure them to receive praise.

    And I do not agree with you that God's only purpose is to glorify himself, that would be an utterly selfish desire, and love is not selfish. The scriptures tell us that God is love, and that love does not seek it's own.

    1 Cor 13:4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,
    5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;

    I would absolutely disagree with you that God's greatest purpose is to glorify himself. Love does not vaunt itself, and does not seek it's own.

    God gave us free will so that we could choose to freely love him, but this free will necessitates that sin is possible. God knowing we would all choose to sin gave his Son to die for our sins that we might be reconciled to him. This was God loving and thinking of us, not himself.

    Our concepts of God are very different.
     
    #14 Winman, Jul 6, 2012
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  15. Luke2427

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    Your illustration is impotent to reveal anything about God.

    This doctor is not the Creator of me. He is not the Creator of the universe in which I reside. This doctor's ways are not past finding out; they are not as high above my ways as the heavens are above the earth.

    The illustration does not work.

    If this doctor were the source of all that is; if he were the one who flutters the wings of the sparrows and opens the roses against the morning sun. If he were the one whose desire was to honor his Son who eternally generates from himself- then this doctor can create a world which he knows and intends for sin to exist and destroy that sin forever by his Son so that his Son might receive honor forever as the Lamb which redeemed by his own blood a people from every tribe, nation, kindred and tongue, a multitude which no man can number.

    If this doctor is all of THAT- then only a FOOL accuses him of sin.

    I used that same silly argument when I was a thoroughly Arminian teenager.

    God MUST be selfish or God is an idolator.

    It is not love for US to be selfish because we are not the highest. Self worship is wrong for EVERYONE who is not the Highest and truly worthy of worship.

    I Corinthians 13 was not written to God. It was written to His Creatures.

    You can't have even read your Bible and not know that God is doing everything for his own name's sake and for his own glory.

    You just can't have ever even READ your Bible.

    Have you?

    It's own every PAGE!!



    I'll tell you what. You're not ready for this kind of depth that I am talking about above. So let me put it down on the bottom shelf where you can get it.

    Think of it this way. God the Father's primary motive in the design of the universe is to glorify God the Son. God the Son's primary motivation in the creation and sustaining of the universe is the glory of God the Father. God the Spirit's motivation for moving in this world upon the hearts of men is to glorify them both.

    That is not self love in that sense.

    But what you cannot have is ANY PERSON of the Godhead making a CREATURE his primary aim. God cannot put the highest value on that which is NOT the highest value any more than God can lie.

    God must worship that which is highest or God becomes an idolator himself.

    Free will is totally unnecessary for love. The greatest love is that which has no ability to do anything other THAN love.

    Your concept of God and MOST thoughtful Christian's concept of God are very different.
     
  16. quantumfaith

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    #16 quantumfaith, Jul 6, 2012
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  17. Bro. James

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    Freedom of the will

    Adam and Eve had trouble with their free wills. Eve was beguiled into disobedience. Adam disobeyed willfully.

    Mankind has a free will from God through Adam. We also inherited a total depravity from Adam. This depravity enslaves our free wills such that we are not able to choose wisely regarding salvation. We seem to think that somehow our free wills are sovereign. We forget that God only is sovereign and will do according to His Will and good pleasure.

    There are nearly 7 billion souls on this planet. Most of them are not born again from above. A similar observation can be made all the way back to Gen. 3:15. To say that all these lost souls had an opportunity to accept/reject Jesus is ludicrous.

    "No one comes to the Father unless The Spirit draws him."

    This Arminius/Calvin thing is the never ending battle between salvation by grace alone and grace and works. This battle has been raging since Cain and Abel.

    "A little leaven leavens the whole lump."

    "Even so come Lord Jesus.

    Bro. James
     
  18. saturneptune

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    We know what we read in the Bible. We do not know the inner thoughts of God. We do know that His motives are pure. He is due all the praise and honor for everything, because since He, being the Creator, put all that there is here.

    I do not often say much about Calvin Arminian debates for several reasons, the main one being they evoke such strong emotions. One thing that irks me is the name Calvin given to doctrines of sovereignty and grace, since the life lead is not worthy of the honor.

    Anyway, the one point I did want to make was about decision making and free will. Our ability to choose before the Lord touches our lives is very limited. If one compared this to a report card from school, the choice would be a choice of an F-, F, or an F+ before the Lord touches our lives. There is no ability to choose an A, B, C, or D until after.

    Another fact that seems to escape many is that not one element of life or salvation comes from us. Even the saving faith is a gift of the Lord. Our every breath is a gift of the Lord, as is the number of spoons in our kitchen drawer. There are no chance happenings, luck, or coincidences, especially for the Christian.

    I do agree with Quantum on this point. Number four is the hardest to believe. At invitation time, all of us have observed people not reponding. This is not a debate about invitations, but just an illustration. The point is, they may not respond at that time, but will at some point if God has ordained it.

    I think Luke, Winman, Herald and Quantum make some excellent points.
     
  19. Skandelon

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    Non-Calvinistic Baptist scholars such as Hobbs, Rodgers, Mullens and those who helped to write the Baptist Faith and Message did not support the foresight faith view of election, nor do I or most non-Calvinistic scholars I know. I used to think the foresight faith view was the only alternative to Calvinism, which is why I was a Calvinist for a decade of my life, but there are other views.

    I'd suggest you look into what is known as the Corporate View of election, as it predates the foresight view, it is much more prominent among non-Calvinistic scholars, and it is consistent both logically and biblically.

    I think the foresight faith view is a joke, personally.
     
  20. Alive in Christ

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    I know what you mean. Reminds me of the old saying...

     
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