God's Eternal Decree

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Rippon, Mar 1, 2006.

  1. Rippon

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    The following is from R.A. Finlayson's book : " Reformed Theological Writings " . ( page 259 ) .

    The following terms , having a bearing on God's decree , are used in the New Testament .

    Boule : plan or counsel based on deliberate wisdom .

    Thelema : will as such ; in God the principle of all things , a principle precedent to everything .

    Eudokia : goodwill , expressive of divine favour and pleasure .

    Prophesis : deliberate purpose ; the opposite of arbitrariness .

    Ekloge : choosing out , signifying selection and the operation of choice .

    Prognosis and progignosko : foreknowledge , generally of persons rather than of things , indicates intimate relationship to persons involving knowledge of them rather than about them .

    Proorismos : to bind beforehand , and so , forordination generally embrasing means used to bring the forknown ones to their appointed destiny . The Vulgate translates it praedestino from which the A.V. gets predestination .


    All these terms indicate that there is a purpose of God that precedes the facts of history , history being the medium through which the already existing purpose finds expression ... there is a distinct aversion to the use of the word decree . But the Old Testament has many express statements signifying that God has decreed . This is variously expressed as ' established ', ' appointed ' , ' determined ' ,and so on . In the New Testament it is spoken of as the prophesis of God , ... ' the dei of the divine decree ' a necessity that flows from it .
     
  2. Rippon

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    Or errors that need to be dispelled . Haven't seen any posts of mine on other subjects ? And anyway , what is your opinion ? I don't think you responded to anything until now -- a kind of non-response .
     
  3. reformedbeliever

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    Thank you Rippon, all wonderful examples of God's sovereign nature... exactly what makes Him God and not us.
     
  4. Helen

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    Rippon, I can see that the Bible tells us that God has decreed HOW salvation will be accomplished, why it would be accomplished, and what would happen to those who were saved, but I find no place where it indicates that God chose ahead of time WHO would be saved. Yes, He knew, but He knew who would choose what. He allowed that choice to us.

    Jane Hawkings (the divorced Christian wife of Stephen Hawkings) put it well:
    from http://www.creationontheweb.com/content/view/4093/
     
  5. AresMan

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    What I posted were a list of topics you started. I didn't look for everything you ever posted, but sometimes I would notice complaints that this forum was becoming another C/A forum, and I noticed that many of the topics you were starting one after another.

    I really am still trying to figure out what my opinion is. I am never a closed person; I like to be challenged. I guess I consider myself right now some form of "Free Grace" person, but I don't believe everything that often gets associated with the title.

    On the five points of Calvinism as I am trying to understand:

    Total Inability
    Of course we would all agree that without the death and resurrection of Christ there would be no way anyone could be saved. The controversy seems to be in where does one get the knowledge of the Cross and the understanding of what it implies. Given that some Scripture passages seem to be diverse enough where two people can get justifiable conflicting ideas of what they mean, it is difficult to me to define just how "total" the "inability" is supposed to be.
    From a philisophical point of view, decisions for Christ can often seem just like decisions in other aspects of life, which could lead one to think that given the diversity of personalities and interests in the world, each person must possess some kind of "free will". Of course that begs the question: "free" from what? There is one question that I have seen asked that I cannot come up with a good non-Calvinist answer: If two lost individuals are presented with the same Gospel message and one accepts it while the other rejects, what is the cause of this? Now, you could say "free will", but this term still begs the question. "Free will" could be the what happened but not the why it happened.
    Now, I still don't buy the "faith is a gift of God" inference coming from Ephesians 2:8. I think that is "Greek digging" especially for this particular verse just to push the system.

    Unconditional election
    If God is electing something, of course it is unconditional. However, I don't see that "election" in the Bible always has to do with individual salvation. Sometimes it refers to Israel, to the church, to individuals, or to Jesus Christ. I think we should always be careful about reading a system into every occurrence of an otherwise simple word just because some theological dictionaries will have a long constructed defintion of the same word. On the other hand, I don't like it when some Christians are afraid to use a word that is found many times in their own Bible ;)

    Limited Atonement
    This point seems to me the least defensible point in the system. It doesn't seem to me to have much backing from Scripture, but is mainly a logical conclusion from the second point. Calvinists seem to defend it through reason of law ("double jeopardy") and overdefining simple pronouns (we, us, me, etc.) when the pronouns can be inclusive or exclusive by interpretation. Also, the gymnastics with the word "world" seem to me often to be interpreted because of the system without considering the plain reading of the context. Yes, I agree that the word "world" does have different points of reference in different contexts, but I would think that in some contexts the word "world" can mean "all humans".
    I see nothing wrong with the statement "the death of Christ was sufficient for all, but efficient only for those who believe." That is technically true whether Calvinist or not.

    Irresistible Grace
    I really can't make an argument one way or another on this. It depends on how one defines "grace"--whether the act of Christ dying on the Cross, or the actual event of an individual conversion. This is kind of a moot point in my feeble understanding and seems to be simply hinged upon Unconditional Election and Limited Atonement.

    Perseverance of the Saints
    The point seems to me to be open for much interpretation. What is the defintion, scope, and measure of "perseverance"? Is it perseverance in faith? Perseverance in works? How much stumbling is allowed within this perseverance? Does this imply that if one has "unconfessed sin" at the moment of death that one has not "persevered"? If that is the case, then what happens if death is the natural consequence of a certain sin, such as speeding on the highway? How does "perseverance" affect assurance of salvation in the present and for the future? I see the problem with saying that one can be saved and show no fruit at all, but how far can you go with "perseverance" without making Pharisees judging the salvation of others by their own standards? I am permissive of the term "preservation of the saints".

    So, I still really don't know what I can consider myself. Maybe I am a "2.5-point Calvinist". Or a "5-point Biblicist" as I have seen this term used here.
     
  6. Dr. Bob

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    Really don't care what part of the Bible you choose to believe or not, ares. This thread is about the eternal decrees of God not the 5 points. Let's focus.

    And to say, as Helen did, that God does NOT choose "WHO" flies in the face of a hundred scriptures. It is used to try to put MAN IN THE PLACE OF GOD - man chooses (not God) and then God, like a doddering old codger, just "knows" who will choose.

    Right. Who then is "god"? The one making the decision or the doddering old codger?

    Ephesians 1 tells me that God chose ME - Bob - to be His own. HIS choice. HIS decree. HIS will be done.

    Not Bob's.
     
  7. Brother James

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    from http://www.creationontheweb.com/content/view/4093/ </font>[/QUOTE]Exactly Helen. Since the fall did not affect our will and our spirit is not really dead we can save ourselves by the simple act of bringing faith from our non-dead spirits and our will which is not really at enmity with God.
    :rolleyes:
     
  8. Dr. Bob

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    Sarcasm Alert! Sarcasm Alert! [​IMG]
     
  9. StraightAndNarrow

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    For every scripture you can post that supports Calvin's philosophy I can provide one that rejects it. But you can choose what part of the Bible YOU choose to ignore.
     
  10. Calvibaptist

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    I would respond, but I'm too busy rolling on the floor laughing! [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  11. Calvibaptist

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    See, here is the problem. I became a calvinist before I ever read any other Calvinist (unless you include Paul!) I read the Scripture. I was a convinced Arminian (minus loosing your salvation) when I was smacked in the face with Romans 8-11. I believe every scripture that has been posted here, but interpret it in the context of the other Scriptures as well. Before I just ignored those other Scriptures, like you all seem to do.
     
  12. bjonson

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    Helen,

    It is truly remarkable that you have been corrected on what "foreknowledge" means over and over and over and yet still try to maintain the nonsense that says "God saw what WE would choose and therefore ELECTED us BASED ON our choice, not His."

    That is illogical in almost every way.

    God chose before we did anything.

    "So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy." (Romans 9:16, ESV)

    "But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God." (John 1:12-13, ESV)

    "though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad—in order that God’s purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of his call—" (Romans 9:11, ESV)
     
  13. Rippon

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    Some extracts follow from Gordon Clark's book on " What Do Presbyterians Believe " . Though I am not a Presbyterian I certainly agree with much of that Confession because it summarizes Bible doctrine so well . Anyway , Clark's comments on The Decree ...

    The wording and the meaning of Romans [ 9 ] is too clear . Verses 13, 18 , 19 , 22 can be misunderstood only by means of the greatest perversity . [ Check out the verses yourselves , but don't get angry at God when as a Bible believer -- you need to believe His Word-- Rippon ]

    Somehow it must be made clear to ministers who profess to believe God's Word that a refusal to preach that Word is sinful .

    Aside from the fact that God has commanded his servants to preach all his revelation , one great reason for preaching on the eternal decree is that a knowledge of sovereignty , election , and predestination is necessary in order to understand many other doctrines .

    This doctrine of the eternal decree underlies not only the doctrine of the perseverance of the saints , but also that of effectual calling , the necessity and nature of regeneration , the gifts of saving faith , and in short the whole gospel .
     
  14. Helen

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    I'll tell you what, Rippon and co., you keep on telling people how salvation is impossible for them because they were not chosen to be saved and I'll just spend my time in my own little corner of the world telling people of God's love for them and that they can be saved because of His love and sacrifice, and that there is a meaning to their lives and a love they have always been longing for.

    I won't spend my time feeling proud that I was chosen and others weren't. I'll spend my time humbly thanking God for allowing me the choice and the opportunity to show others that choice and what a 'yes' will do in their lives by letting Christ work through mine.

    You are preaching a god of hate. I worship the God of love. I worship the one who tells people to seek Him, to reason with Him, to respond to Him. A dead spirit is not an unconscious spirit, it is a spirit separated from God, a spirit that is dreadfully sick and needs the healing touch of our Lord. I will do everything I can to touch the lives of these people around me with the message of Christ, KNOWING they have an honest and real choice to make in this life regarding their final and eternal destiny.

    So you go on preaching how they can't be saved. I'll go on preaching how God loves them enough that they can.
     
  15. Rippon

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    How you can distort my post of Clark's words so adeptly demonstrates how you can do even greater harm to the Bible's teachings . Helen , for shame .
     
  16. Helen

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    I'm not distorting a thing. I have watched what you Calvinists post. Your god pre-selected some to be saved. To hell with the rest of them! That is not the God I worship. That is not the God of the Bible whom I tell others about.
     
  17. billreber

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    Has anybody considered that possibly God "chose" everyone, but allowed them the chance to decide to believe in Christ? Logically, this makes more sense than the idea that God chose only "some" for salvation. If God is truly "good", then He cannot choose some for destruction, which is the logical correlation of His choosing "some" for salvation!

    AND, if He chose only some for salvation, WE ARE NOT GOD, and then must witness to everyone, in order that those who ARE chosen hear the Word. We are God's tools to tell those "chosen" ones, since only by being told can they come to the salvation to which they were chosen.

    Let's quit trying to decide WHO IS CHOSEN, and rather spend more time TELLING THOSE WHO MIGHT BE CHOSEN.

    Bill
     
  18. webdog

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    I love how "IN CHRIST" is always left off! This phrase is represented near a dozen times in the first half of chapter 1 alone
     
  19. Helen

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    That's the only way they can get support for Calvinistic doctrines, webdog: cut verses in half and ignore context.
     

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