Frustration over debate about Calvinism

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by luggae, Jul 9, 2009.

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  1. luggae

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    I have been a Christian for over 40 years and realize that there is nothing that I did or could have ever done to merit salvation. I know my Savior called me and I give Him the glory and praise. I must admit, however that I am not a well educated on some of the doctrines and other areas Theology such as the Dispensations and in particular what some mean by the "Sovereignty of God". Please understand, I don't presume to suggest that just because I don't understand something, doesn't mean that God is limited by my understanding or my viewpoint. But I very much want to understand the truths about this debate about Calvinism in the Southern Baptist Conference. I do not hold the Conference above my Lord and Savior, yet the concept or reality that God chose specific people for Hell and others for Heaven is a teaching that I have never heard from the pulpit. I have always understood Election to mean God before the beginning of time fore new who would receive Christ’s call and who would reject Him. But to say He simply won’t call some; is difficult for me to reconcile with so many other scriptures. My Bible study group of senior men from our Baptist church has been given a CD by John MacArthur on the Sovereignty of God. As I understood the CD (and I listened to it several times) MacArthur states specifically that God predestined some to Hell. Of course since Hell exist, some will occupy it, but I have always been taught that it was the ones who refused the call of Christ to Salvation. We had so many of the men in the study that were floored at this interpretation that the Pastor came to explain and clarify (Apparently he is a Calvinist) He says the Bible makes it clear but I am having trouble agreeing it is that clear. I do not hold myself up as someone who is a Biblical academic but if within the SBC only around 10% of the pastors are Calvinist, are the other 90% simply ignorant and we are talking about some who have committed themselves their whole life to the study of God's word. I accept the God is not a respecter of persons but I do need help understanding why I have never heard Election presented from a Calvinist perspective and I have been a member of over 15 SB Churches and AB Churches. Please don't take offense at my questioning but I am really torn up about this. I continue to pray. I just ordered Warren Wiersbe's "Classic Sermons on the Sovereignty of God". Please pray for my understanding and I would appreciate any counsel.
     
  2. Jarthur001

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    Hello luggae, and welcome to the board.


    :thumbsup:

    "Education" as in schooling does help, but in time if you study scripture, you will know all that God wants you to know. Just keep in the word.

    The Sovereignty of God is one of God's essentials. If God is not Sovereign he is not God. What good is Gods love, if God has no power to use it?


    ok


    Please don't limit your studies to the SBC. Its a good place to start, but use all resources.


    But that does not mean it is not true. Nor, because your pastor or even John Mac..said it...does it mean it is true.

    While this is true, it answers nothing. We all believe this. But when did God know what He knows? Calvinist say he knows because He made it happen, because it was his choice. Others say God learned by looking ahead. What does the Bible say?

    He calls all.

    Calvinist say he calls all...


    good

    Some see it this way...others do not. Some say election is only toward the elect.

    .
    So do Calvinist. The call is refused by ALL of mankind. None seek after Christ. Therefore God elects.

    Because they have not heard this before does not mean its not in the Bible. What does the Bible say?

    Indeed it is clear. Your past teaching is keeping you from seeing it. If you set what you "have always held" aside, and just go with scripture....it is clear. :)

    Poor logic. Its like me saying ..."the SBC use to be Calvinist...was founded by Calvinist....so when they changed it was wrong". Well...it was founded by Calvinist, but that don't mean Calvinist should carry the day. What matters is what does the Bible say?


    Miss-used statement. God is a respecter of persons. He chooses!!!

    The phrase is quoted in passages that speak of judgement. God will indeed judge all men.


    NP...:)

    I have other books too. Pink is a MUST...when it comes to this subect. Everyone quotes Pink. The book is called...Sovereignty of God...and can be read online...or downloaded in MP3 files, where someone reads it to you.
     
  3. Grasshopper

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    May I recommend this book: http://www.aomin.org/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=54

    This will give you an excellent view of what Reformed Theology teaches. It's the best I've read so far on the subject. It should give you a good understanding of what and why Calvinists believe what they believe then you can decide for yourself.
     
  4. jcjordan

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    This is a good book, but if you're in a little more of a hurry this article did it for me:
    http://www.desiringgod.org/Resource...e_Believe_About_the_Five_Points_of_Calvinism/

    There's also all kinds of things at this website that handles all of the objections in a very scholarly yet pastoral way.
     
  5. Grasshopper

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  6. Allan

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    Rather go round-robin with 'read this book' or got to 'this site' and that's not the truth this is - type of goofyness (which will most likely soon start appearing :) ). I would encourage you to go to your pastor and ask him first. Talk with him, listen and maybe even get some study time with just you and him on the subject. He is after all the main conveyer of your churches theological stance. You might find him of a different theological view than your bible study leader and then again maybe not. But in either case, he will be able to help you understand, from the churches theological position, why it believes what it does on the subject. -THEN- study BOTH sides/perspectives of the issues you are looking at. There are many books on calvinism and many books on refuting calvinism, just as there are books on non-calvinism and refutations of non-calvinism. Come to your own truth through study of the scriptures and godly counsil, and so it is important to speak with you pastor.

    As a Non-cal I believer there are many sound and good truths in Calvinism even if I don't biblically agree with all of it. You are correct however that it is not as clear some may want others to think and it is for that very reason (not being clear) there has always been various theological views.

    By The Way - Welcome to the BB :thumbs:
     
    #6 Allan, Jul 9, 2009
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  7. Grasshopper

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  8. Jarthur001

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  9. Allan

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    Don't be so quick to 'shoot to kill' your brother. The 'gooftyness' statement is qualified by "which will most likely soon start appearing". Therefore that comment in no way refered to what has previously been posted.

    Did you not read the whole post? I said talk to you pastor AND study.

    That is an assumption on your part. I know quite a few people that have spent decades in a particular view and could never really explain their view bibilcally because they had not studied it for themselves. Therefore the first place to start, is what does he truely believes and understands and what his church believes and teaches. Once he understands this perspective it is much easier to compare the views against scripture.

    This proves the point on which I was speaking. This is vitally important for himself to have place to begin. And since he is a member of this church it is just as vital to know and understand not only what it believes but also 'why' it believes it.

    Not true. The Non-Cal view holds to the same immutable truths that Calvinism hold to, the only distinction is the mechanics in how they operate - with respect to soterology/salvation. However they are virtually the same in other areas of the Christian life. What he seems to be behind on (though this is speculation from what he appears to be saying) is understanding even his own beliefs. It is in understanding these that many of the concepts of calvinism will not take him off guard or as something new because he will find those same aspects are in his own theological system just seen working differently with respect to soterology/salvation. The soveriegnty of God is taught in Non-Cal as well. The distinction however is only in the fact that God allows men to choose and that even with and in this all things work according to God's plan and purpose for His good pleasure.
     
    #9 Allan, Jul 9, 2009
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  10. Jarthur001

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  11. Allan

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    I already stated that it was speculation on my part, in the very post you took this from. However where my speculation is derived from is here:
    This was a general statement and not specific to the Calvinism but his own views. Therefore if he doesn't understand this it is important that he does so.


    I have always stated both. The understanding we have of how God chooses men affects how we understand the choice of man. Yet even within Calvinism man must choose God of his own free-will in order that he might be saved.
     
  12. Grasshopper

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  13. Allan

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    No brother because all that was given prior to that comment was exclueded. You know as well as I, that soon there will be contention over this discussion (C/A) and websites will be given, books offered, and greater theological commentators quoted. This is what I was refering to as "soon start appearing" because it had not yet begun.

    Yes, and that is why I advised him to get with his pastor so he can ask the 'why' questions.

    The immutable truths we all agree upon.
    Depravity
    Election
    Atonement
    Grace
    Perseverance/Preserverance of the saints.

    The qualifiers that go before each of these immutable truths as descriptors of the mechanics of each view.

    Actually brother they do or maybe better - the vast majority. They all agree that God will fulfill His purpose and Plan even in the midst of mans will and therefore able to bring about all things in a way that is pleasing to Him.

    If they don't then I'm not sure what bible they are reading :)
     
    #13 Allan, Jul 9, 2009
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  14. OldRegular

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    The Prophet Isaiah describes the plight of man as follows:

    Isaiah 64:6 But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.

    The Apostle Paul states in a similar vein:

    Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

    All mankind stands condemned before Holy God. If it were not for the Grace of God displayed in His election of some to salvation no one would be saved. Thankfully He has chosen some to salvation. The rest he leaves in their fallen state.

    John Dagg, a southern Baptist leader of the 19th Century in his book manual of Theology [page 322] comments on sinful man’s inability regarding salvation, as follows:

    “Every proposed method of salvation that leaves the issue dependent on human volition is defective. It has always been found that men will not come to Christ for life. The Gospel is preached to every creature; but all, with one consent, ask to be excused. The will of man must be changed; and this change the will cannot itself effect. Divine grace must here interpose. Unless God works in the sinner to will and to do, salvation is impossible.”
     
  15. Rippon

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    What kind of Calvinist believes that -- a Norm Geisler type?! No such animal exists. Please document where a true Calvinist has ever said such an Arminian/Semi-Pelagian thing.
     
  16. Allan

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    Correction first.. It should have stated "..choose [to believe] God". However it does not really matter since both express a simlar idea in general.

    But since you ask, I will use you as a good example :)

    Do you contend that a person (who is regenerate first, in your view) believes God willingly or that God forces them to believe?

    Do you believe that a person (whi is unregenerate, in your view) will not believe God willingly or that God forces them not to believe?

    According to you, if you answer - willingly - then you, my dear brother, must either be an Arminian or Semi-Pelagian (they are not one and the same).
     
    #16 Allan, Jul 10, 2009
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  17. Me4Him

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    Joh 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son,

    17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him "MIGHT BE" saved.

    Ro 6:23 For the wages of sin is death;

    Mt 5:17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.

    Col 2:14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances (law) that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;

    1Jo 2:2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.

    2Pe 3:9 .....not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.




    Calvin(ist) believe Jesus took away sin instead of the law, this is why they believe in "limited Atonement", but as the scriptures plainly say,

    There was "NO LIMITATION" on the law blotted out for whole world that the whole world "MIGHT BE" saved,

    For our sins to be "blotted out" we have to follow in the same steps of Jesus, that is be "WILLING" to crucify the "body of sin", or drink of Jesus's cup. (conform to his image)

    Le 17:11 For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.

    "IF" we're willing to "shed the blood/life of the flesh", for the "SPIRIT", God will save us, if not, we're not saved,

    Heb 9:22 and without shedding of blood is no remission.

    Ro 6:6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed,

    Mr 8:35 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel's, the same shall save it.

    This is how/why God/Jesus provided a way that the "whole world"..."MIGHT BE" saved but is not.




    Ro 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

    1Jo 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

    "IF".."MIGHT BE" can not exist where sovereign will is being exercised
     
  18. Jarthur001

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    Lev 26:45 But I will for their sakes remember the covenant of their ancestors, whom I brought forth out of the land of Egypt in the sight of the heathen, that I might be their God: I [am] the LORD.

    The word MIGHT in the verse above. Does this mean that the Lord may if He wants to...remember the covenant???

    Or does MIGHT here mean that it is the means in which God WILL indeed be their God??

    Good verses that we all agree with. I fail to see your point in the debate.

    Rev 14:6 And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people,

    Rev 20:15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.


    NOT TRUE. We believe LA because it is found in the Bible. You place your trust in two or three verses that SEEM to say what you want them to say, and look over HUNDREDs of other verses

    MIGHT?? = Means or May?


    In other words...WORKS


    So says you. However, the Bible says...Jhn 1:13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.


    or drink of Jesus's cup. (conform to his image)

    You need to be conform to his image before you can be saved?

    KEY... I have given it to you
    Now I think you are getting it. Good job.

    Those hodge podge statement is based on your mind. While I agree that God will save all that are willing, the Bible says none are willing. The fact is that God goes out and SAVES even when we are not looking for God. While we were yet sinners...

    INDEED. And when was the blood shed? I say it was on the cross. I say that Christ blood has the power to save all whom he died for and is not LIMITED by mans will. Face it, mans will is not as powerful as Gods will.

    I love it. Ok...where we have your MIGHT word again.

    Does this MIGHT mean...MAY be destroyed.....or does it mean the MEANS in which it is destroyed???

    SAVE is life...WORKS.
    LOSE his life.....Born again in Christ.....John calls it born from above. Paul calls it In Christ. You are not your own. You had nothing to do with it.

    MIGHT....May or means?


    keep reading...

    Rom 10: 13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.


    Rom 10:14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?


    Rom 10:15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!

    1st....This is to the Believer

    If you understand the word MIGHT....NP
     
  19. Jarthur001

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    God forces them......if that is the words you wish to use.....

    Forces them to be regenerated. Therefore they believe.

    Paul did not believe before God move on him and brought him into the light of the truth. Paul was not WILLING just as all the other Jewish leaders. God made Paul willing to believe.

    Isa 43:10 Ye [are] my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I [am] he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.

    Just as it says in the NT...

    2Ti 2:3 Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.


    2Ti 2:4 No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of [this] life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.
     
  20. Allan

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    So you contend that these regenerate people are forced to believe and do not do so (beilieve) willingly? That's new!

    There isn't a non-cal alive who would disagree with you on the above. No man can be willing without God moving upon him, and thus it was God who made Paul willing to believe. You sound like a typical non-cal on this point. - your getting closer brother, just a little more and you will be here with the rest of us.

    Good verse.. And it doesn't dispute anything the non-cals hold as truth. Like I said.. you're almost here - keep coming.

    Agian, you're becoming more non-cal in views :) Nothing in the above contradicts 'anything' we hold to. Not one.
     
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