God's View of Unbelievers

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Martin Marprelate, Oct 6, 2011.

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  1. Martin Marprelate

    Martin Marprelate
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  2. Tom Bryant

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    Not being Reformed, I am probably one of those who you would think would hate this. I question a few parts of this, but I think he successfully transmits the tension between the reformed view of election and the Gospel message of whosoever will may come.

    I find in this a real clear desire for an unsaved man to repent and turn to Christ, that I sometimes feel is lacking from people on both sides of the "great divide"

    I remember Dr. Kennedy in his remarks about EE telling of a time he was preaching a revival and went with the pastor of the host church to see a members unsaved husband. Dr. Kennedy talked with the man for a while and got nowhere with him. Dr. Kennedy says that the thought came to him that this man was not one of the elect. The host pastor took over the conversation and within a few moments the man trusted Christ as Savior.

    Thanks for posting this.
     
  3. Skandelon

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    Steve,

    Thank you for posting this article. I attempted to post a similar article written by John MacArthur confronting this issue and it was not received well. When I was a Calvinist I would have agreed with this article which is why I believe some Calvinists here have accused me of falsely misrepresenting their views and why some don't understand my approach.

    I want to draw attention to this particular part:

    If I were debating Walter I'd address this point specifically because I believe it gets to the root of the problem. Notice that he presumes that Christ is comfortable with the claims of Calvinism when he writes: "He rejoiced that God finally determines who will be saved by hiding things necessary for salvation from some and revealing them to others." He based this off Christ words in Matthew 11:25: ‘I thank thee, 0 Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes. Even so Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight.’

    But, I submit that this passage does NOT support Calvinism's claims. Instead it supports the doctrine regarding the judicial hardening of Israel. This is the process by which God seals or blinds rebellious men into their rebellious condition so as to accomplish a greater redemptive purpose through their rebellion. In order for the Jews to crucify Jesus they couldn't come to faith in Him UNTIL he had be raised up, thus God blinded them so they couldn't repent before the right time.

    This is why Jesus spoke in parables "lest they repent and be healed." This wouldn't be possible if they were born totally depraved and in need of regeneration in order to believe and repent. He has to keep them in the dark temporarily and that is what is SIDE by SIDE in Jesus' statements.
     
    #3 Skandelon, Oct 6, 2011
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  4. JesusFan

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  5. Martin Marprelate

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    I am aware of your views on this subject. Basically you are taking a text out of Romans 11:25 and making a whole theology out of it. But Matt 11 does not support you. The contrast is not between Jew and Gentile, but between the wise and 'babes.' The same teaching comes up in 1Cor 1 and it applies to Jew and Gentile alike (vs 22-23).
    Matt 13:13. 'Therefore I speak to them in parables because seeing they do not see and hearing they do not hear nor do they understand.' The Lord Jesus spoke in parables not so that they would not understand but because they had hardened their hearts. It was a judicial act against the Jewish leaders who opposed His ministry at every turn.

    Steve
     
  6. quantumfaith

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  7. Winman

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    That article is a false argument if Calvinism is true. I call attention to this statement;

    This statement is false. According to Calvinism, all men are born with a sin nature and are enslaved to it through no choice of their own. They are imprisoned within their own sinful nature and have no power to escape it.

    But God has the power to free the man from this sinful nature. God could regenerate the man giving him the ability to repent and believe in Christ.

    Just as a jailer places a man in a jail cell, and has the power to open the cell and release a man, God has placed every man in a jail cell at birth, his sinful nature. Adam did not do this, Adam did not have the power or ability to alter man's nature, only God has this ability. All Calvinists hold man does not have the power or ability to change his nature. Can a leopard change his spots? many Calvinists argue. But who gave the leopard his spots?

    So, there is indeed an outside force holding you in your sin in Calvinism. You were born in sin through no choice of your own, and God alone prevents you from being freed of it.

    In Calvinism, God is a jailer who locked you in a cell at birth, and if you are not elect, he refuses to release you.
     
  8. Skandelon

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    If you were aware of my views on this subject you would never conclude that my whole theology was based out of Romans 11:25.

    That's true. Because the gospel hasn't even been sent to the Gentiles yet. That doesn't happen until Paul is called and Peter has his "white sheet" dream. Matt 11 is about God hardening Israel and choosing (reserving) a remnant of Jews to be his messengers to the rest of the world. He is choosing fishermen and tax collectors (laypeople) rather than the "preachers" and religious leaders of the day, for this 'noble purpose' of being the foundation of His church. That is the issue being addressed in Christ's comment about the wise and learned versus the babes.
     
    #8 Skandelon, Oct 7, 2011
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  9. Aaron

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    Ezekiel 33:11 was preached to Israel, not to Babylon, Assyria, Sodom or Gomorrah.
     
  10. Martin Marprelate

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    This is a strange form of dispensationalism, even by dispy standards. The Lord Jesus was well aware that His mission was to all people and not just Jews (John 3:16; 12:32). Does, say Matt 5:5 only address Jews? Can we be as proud as we like if we are Gentiles? 'All Scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable ....that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works' (2Tim 3:16-17). We may not limit Christ's words to just the Jews.

    Moreover 1Cor 1:17-31 teaches just the same as Matt 11. 'But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to same the wise.....' etc.

    Steve
     
  11. Martin Marprelate

    Martin Marprelate
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    Not at all. Men choose sin and wickedness because of their wicked unregenerate hearts (John 3:19; 5:40 etc.). Man's inability is moral, not constitutional.

    Steve
     
  12. quantumfaith

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    Steve,


    I am not trying to be disageeable here at all, but you do realize how circular this sounds?
     
  13. Winman

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    Actually, he directly contradicts himself. He says men choose to sin because they have a wicked heart, but then says sin is not constitutional.

    Why do Calvinists say man is unable to be willing to hear or believe God? Because they claim men are born dead in sin with a sinful nature through no choice or action of their own, it is inherited from Adam. That is constitutional.
     
  14. quantumfaith

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    Winman,

    I am not calvinist, by any stretch, however I do understand that we have an innate nature bent on disobedience and rebellion (in reality for mostly selfish reasons). However, I also do not believe that the fall did not extinguish completely the imago dei in human kind. We are capable in any given circumstance to choose obedience or disobedience, but our selfishness more often than not wins the day. Even when we do "choose wisely", that too can be marred by selfish motivations.

    Scripture often reminds us that when we seek him and when we are obedient, good things happen. (not prosperity thinking)
     
  15. Iconoclast

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  16. Winman

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    I agree we are born flesh with lusts and desires that tempt us to sin. But we also have a conscience and at some point mature and know right from wrong. We have a free will that can choose to obey or disobey God.

    But this is not what Calvinists believe, they believe we are born with an enslaved will that is in bondage to the sin nature we are born with. So, it is constitutional in the Calvinist view.
     
  17. Martin Marprelate

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    Not at all disagreeable (except that you're disagreeing :tongue3:), and perhaps it does seem circular. Let me try to explain further.

    I have no ability to fly or to walk on the ceiling. That is not my fault; it's the way I was born. It would be unfair for anyone to blame me for that inability.

    However, one meets drunks, drug addicts, wife-beaters, homosexuals who will say, "I can't help it; it's just the way I am." But we do not (or should not) say to them, "Oh, fair enough then," and leave them to it. We tell them to repent and turn away from their sinful ways.

    So it is with all men. They are slaves to sin by their own fault and wickedness, but they will not repent and turn to Christ, not because God is preventing them, but because they are in love with their sin and do not want to change They prefer darkness to light.

    This is the understanding of Jonathan Edwards, Andrew Fuller, Spurgeon and others, and indeed, the Holy Spirit speaking through Paul (Romans 2:5). It's not something I made up.

    Steve
     
    #17 Martin Marprelate, Oct 9, 2011
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  18. Winman

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    But that is not what Calvinism teaches. Calvinism teaches that you are born with a sin nature that cannot be willing to believe God. You are born just as unable to be willing to believe God as you were born unable to walk on the ceiling. You did not choose this, and you did not have to commit actual sin to be a sinner, you were born this way.

    So, you are held captive beyond your control. Only God has the ability to alter nature in Calvinism, therefore it was God who gave you this sinful nature.
     
  19. Van

    Van
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    Same old, same old. Calvinism waxes on and on about the fallen "choosing to sin" and they avoid saying the fallen are unable to seek God and trust in Christ. The Bible says God sets before us the choice of life or death, not life only for some and death only for others, which is the Calvinistic perversion. Their God is a God of compulsion, but the God of the Bible is love and love does not demand its own way.

    That their doctrine is false is demonstrated by Matthew 23:13 where unregenerate men are "entering heaven" yet are turned aside by falsehood. Calvinism says they could not have actually been "entering heaven" if they were unregenerate, yet Calvinism also says they could not have been blocked because of "irresistible grace."
     
  20. jbh28

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    What he posted is exactly what Calvinism teaches. Please stop saying what we say we believe isn't what we believe. You notice how I accuse you of straw men, this is why. We say, we believe A, you say no, you believe B and argue against B. Why don't you just argue against what we say we believe instead of making stuff up about what we believe.
     
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