Good Debate 2

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Luke2427, Sep 4, 2012.

  1. Luke2427

    Luke2427
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    Skandelon and I have been having a very congenial debate which I would like to continue.

    This simply is not true.

    The light of the Gospel is BOTH the cure for blind eyes AND that which enables cured eyes to see. We've discussed some of the passages that demonstrate this. I'm sure we will discuss them further in this thread if the Lord wills. But allow me a crude attempt to illustrate this truth:

    Today many eye maladies are cured by laser surgery. Laser consists of LIGHT.

    Once a blind eye has been cured by light it still requires something in order to be able to see. Do you know what that is? Light.

    Light is both the CURE to the blindness AND it is that which enables cured eyes to see.

    So why would God veil the blind from the light of the Gospel? I think we ALL agree that he does veil some eyes from the Gospel in Scripture. Some say he only ever does this temporarily while others say he does it both temporarily at times AND permanently at other times. Which ever you believe is irrelevant as far as this particular point goes.

    The point is this: The light of the Gospel CURES BLINDNESS. God has made it that way. I don't fully know why, but it is apparent in Scripture that God's Spirit typically accompanies the proclamation of the Gospel and this Spirit charged Gospel has the power to save ANYONE. It COULD save EVERYONE if God did not take means to keep it from curing totally blind eyes.

    It is clear in Scripture that God does just that. He does this numerous ways (for example by speaking in parables).

    Here's where my brother is missing the issue: he is determined (not a word that usually goes with one who leans openness :thumbs:) to state that God veiling blinded eyes is illogical.

    It is not. Nothing could be more logical. The fact that the light of the Gospel is the CURE to blindness does not at ALL- AT ALL- contradict the fact that men are born blind. It is not JUST that they have the ability to see and all they need is light- it is that they BOTH have NOT the ability to see and on top of that they are in darkness. They are blind men in a thoroughly dark cave.

    When the Gospel hits their blinded eyes it CAN cure them. It almost always WOULD cure them like laser surgery almost always cures some eye diseases today. So a veil is placed over the already blind eyes "that they may remain in darkness," (Calvin).

    Jesus wished for some of the Pharisees to remain in darkness- to STAY blind (at least temporarily). So Jesus hid the cure for their total blindness in parables.

    But the Gospel has the power ( when charged with the Holy Spirit as it almost always is) to save ANYONE.
     
  2. Skandelon

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    You must add a caveat to that part of the statement....remember, you used it before, "if the Holy Spirit effectuates it," or as you say later in this post, "when charged with the Holy Spirit." Its not a cure for anything UNLESS the HS does something more (which Calvinists typically refer to as 'regeneration.') Do you agree that this 'effectuating' or 'charge' that you speak of is the effectual work of regeneration? If not, what is it and where do other Calvinists speak of it? Because it sounds like the more Arminian view of Prevenient grace by which men are enabled to come, but they may not (for whatever reason...free choice, or in your case; divine prevention). Please expound.

    So, one is not enabled unless he is cured and one is not cured unless he is regenerated, right? How does this answer the logical problem I've presented?

    So, to stick with this analogy the laser light is regeneration and the general light is the gospel message which is proclaimed, right? If so, why would I need to blind you from the general light if you haven't had lazer surgery? Again, I'm not seeing how this explains your logical dilemma.

    I don't agree that this point is irrelevant...for reasons I've already enumerated.
     
    #2 Skandelon, Sep 5, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 5, 2012
  3. Luke2427

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    Yes.

    It is the essence of Gospel regeneration which MOST Calvinists embrace.


    Regeneration IS the cure.


    No. The Gospel is both. It is the means whereby men are regenerated (through the work of the Spirit) AND it is that which enables cured eyes to see Christ and trust him.
     
  4. Skandelon

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    Walk us through it:

    Joe, a non-elect man, hears the gospel proclaimed (WITHOUT parables or extra preventive means), the Holy Spirit doesn't regenerate him because he isn't elect, so he naturally rejects the Gospel's appeal and moves on. Right?

    Or are you saying God MUST NECESSARILY use preventative means to prevent Joe's regeneration?
     
  5. Luke2427

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    If the Holy Spirit does not regenerate, one is not saved period. However, it seems apparent that God, for whatever reason, has chosen to typically infuse the proclamation of the Gospel with the work of the Holy Spirit.

    Therefore, God typically chooses to employ means to prevent that Gospel from regenerating both the elect at certain times and the non-elect throughout their lives.
     
  6. Skandelon

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    This idea of God "typically infusing the proclamation of the Gospel" with effectual regeneration, is new to me and I've been reading, studying and writing on this subject for 23 years. I've also run it by a few much more intelligent and studied individuals than myself and they also have not heard of this position.

    Also the idea of God taking an active role to keep the Gospel from effectually regenerating the non-elect, because the proclamation of the gospel is 'typically infused' with regenerative powers, is likewise new to us.

    I know you believe that one small phrase of Calvin supports this system of thought, but I have shown you where many modern day Calvinistic scholars don't interpret Calvin nor the scriptures in that light, so I'm still attempting to place this view of yours. Its clearly different and I've yet to find a name for it or even a scholar who expounds on it.
     
  7. Luke2427

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    Ok.

    This is not an argument so I cannot offer a counter point.
     
  8. Yeshua1

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    To those dead in their sinful state, the Gospel of the Cross is offensive and causes them to go further into darkness, while to those elected and chosen by God, the holy Sprit takes the good news and enables them to receive the Lord jesus and become children of the Light!
     
  9. Luke2427

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    I agree with this BUT it is does not answer the problem Skan and I are discussing.

    Why speak in parables to people who would not be converted anyway and state that the reason you are speaking in parables is to keep these people from being converted (Matthew 13)?
     
  10. Skandelon

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    Well, it serves three purposes.

    (1) To remind you that I still would like to read scholars who specifically expound on this point. I don't qualify a 5 word phrase from Calvin (which as been taken different ways by different scholars) as a thorough exposition of a doctrinal point of view.

    (2) To prove that what you are arguing isn't mainstream and thus worthy of greater scrutiny. It should at least cause one to question why other scholars, who I greatly admire, haven't taken this approach to answer this dilemma.

    (3) To reveal I'm really left with no other argument since you have arbitrarily dismissed the major point of contention as 'silly' and 'emotive;' thus unworthy of response. I still don't agree, obviously, but what else can I say?
     
  11. Luke2427

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    Let me translate that to the way it reads to me.

    1- I want to focus on sources and authorities rather than the substance of the argument.

    2- I want to focus on sources and authorities rather than the substance of the argument.

    3- I don't want to talk about WHAT the text says but rather WHY it would say what you say it says.
     
  12. Winman

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    Luke, you made the statement several months ago that you personally believe a person can be regenerated for "some time" before they are saved. You did not say how long "some time" is.

    Now, when you said they are regenerated, did you mean they are cured of their blindness, but have not yet been exposed to that light that will save them?

    And what exactly is the difference between being regenerated and being saved in your view?

    One last question, how long is this "some time" a person can be regenerated before they are saved?

    I have been following you and Skan's debates, these questions will help me understand your view better.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  13. Skandelon

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    We can both play this game. ;)

    Let me translate the way your translation reads to me:

    1. I don't want to talk about documenting Calvinistic scholars who support my point of view because I cannot find any.

    2. I don't want to talk about documenting Calvinistic scholars who support my point of view because I cannot find any.

    3. We've already agreed on WHAT the text says (i.e. God uses preventative means to keep the gospel from converting the hearers), but I'll just keep deflecting any questions about the logic of that text, as it relates to my view of Total Depravity, as being 'silly' and 'emotive.'​

    Luke, there is nothing unusual about asking for scholarly support. You criticize 'no-namers' all the time because they apparently don't hold to a well established theological position. It APPEARS to me (and I admit I could be wrong) that what you're arguing is not a mainstream Reformed view. If I'm wrong, it should be relatively easy to prove that. But, even if its a smaller branch of Reformed thinking, I'd like to read up on it.

    If it would help I can present the typical answers I have read from Calvinists on this point and we can compare them to your view?
     
  14. Luke2427

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    Still deflecting from the substance of the argument to the requirement for support.

    Let me explain one last time, as I have done a few times now, why I am not bothering to provide any more quotes.

    It has no effect on you. You spin it to suit you as you did the Edwards quote and some of the Hodge quotes a while back.

    I thought I'd give it a shot with Calvin and you did it again. So I said to myself, "I am not going to be distracted from the substance of this argument to debate quotes with Skandelon as every debate I have ever had with him spirals downward into."

    And I'm not.

    I provided Calvin HIMSELF saying on the PRIMARY PASSAGE that addresses this subject IN HIS OWN COMMENTARY ON THAT PASSAGE where he said in NO UNCERTAIN TERMS that the reason God "veils the blind" is "that they may remain in darkness."

    That is not just CLOSE to what I am contending- it is EXACTLY, THROUGH and THROUGH what I am contending.

    This was not good enough for you and neither will any other quotes I provide.


    Now don't get mad with me, Bro. Just pass me another brewski and that spinner bait and let's discuss the substance of it. :thumbs:

    I am not going to debate quotes with you any more. I will gladly continue to debate the ISSUE which is the subject of the OP which is what you are SUPPOSED to be doing.
     
  15. Skandelon

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    What else can I do when you dismiss any question as 'silly' or 'emotive' that you don't have an answer for? The substance of this argument is in the apparent contradiction with your affirmation of Total Depravity and your affirmation that Gospel is regenerative unless God prevents that through additional means. You refuse to answer that question thus avoiding the substance of this debate.

    1. Edwards, not me, claimed his statement was consistent with the Arminians, so your issue is with Edwards.

    2. Hodge is KNOWN to be in the camp with the other Princeton Theologians, such as Shedd, Dabney, AA Hodge and the like (a more moderate brand of Calvinism). They themselves acknowledge their different take on the view of the atonement than some 'higher' Calvinistic camps.

    These are just the FACTS of the matter that even notable scholars acknowledge and regularly discuss. I can document those if needed. Don't shoot the messenger.

    So far you quoted me five word quote which basically restates the biblical text in question. You don't think that phrase can be interpreted by different Calvinists differently? I've already quoted you several Calvinists who do explain this differently than you do (including 12strings in the last thread). And even that 5 word quote doesn't say all that you have said about God taking an active role to keep the Gospel from effectually regenerating the non-elect, because the proclamation of the gospel is 'typically infused' with regenerative powers.

    That seems to be a pretty significant and well laid out system, so its hard to imagine it not being more fully expounded upon by other Calvinistic scholars in like manner.

    Yes, which for SOME Calvinists doesn't necessarily mean that the non-regenerate, non-elect, totally depraved individual somehow COULD have come out of his darkness by hearing the 'sometimes infused Gospel' proclaimed. But instead they might say...

    "The word 'may' doesn't connote the idea of ability, as if a reprobate could be converted apart from an effectual work of regeneration, but 'may' connotes the idea of 'permission,' in that the active use of divine means, such as parables, are revealing that God has not given permission for this soul to come. Thus, God is making manifest his original design for this already condemned soul. So, this passage should not be interpreted to mean that a unregenerate soul could be converted if parables had not been employed, but instead that God was revealing, through outward means, his intent all along."​

    Does that help explain what I mean about different Calvinists taking this SAME text two different ways? Your way is new to me is all I'm saying.


    :thumbsup:
    I'm not at all upset. I'll PM you if I get upset about something but it usually takes a lot to upset me. Don't mistaken my stubbornness and tenacity as anger. :)
     
    #15 Skandelon, Sep 6, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 6, 2012
  16. Luke2427

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    Obviously I still think it is clear that you have thoroughly misrepresented Edwards and are still spinning like a top the quote from Calvin.

    And I am still not going to bother providing any more quotes since it would not matter if John Calvin, Theodore Beza, the Hodges, Louis Berkhof and all the Puritans rose from their graves and said "Skandelon, what luke is saying is exactly what we have contended."

    Before they made it back to their sarcophagi you would be saying, "What they actually meant was that Jacobus Arminius was 100 percent correct."

    I might offer some more quotes once we have debated the substance of this position a while, but it would be stupid to spend another single post at this juncture arguing quotes instead of the position.

    You wanted to know why Christ would speak in parables to totally depraved souls. I gave you an exegetically consistent possible explanation in the OP.

    I invite you to dismantle that explanation.

    Doing so will require more than you saying "Why would God...?" or the exact same question in what form stated thus : "What need would God have...?"

    That's where I think we are.
     
  17. Skandelon

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    With all due respect Luke, you didn't address the content of my last post where I provided a detailed alternative Calvinistic interpretation of the issue at hand. Could that not be what SOME Calvinists (including Calvin) think that passage means? Do you believe that yours is the only method ? And if your view is so wide spread and mainstream why not bury me in quotes proving me wrong?

    I took the preogative to gather some of the approaches taken by notable Calvinists:

    Gill says:

    and I should heal them;
    or, as in Mark, "and their sins should be forgiven them"; for healing of diseases, and forgiveness of sins, are, in Scripture language, one and the same thing

    He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart
    It is of no great moment, whether the he, who is said to blind and harden, be God or Christ, or whether the words be rendered, "it hath blinded" that is, malice or wickedness; or whether they be read impersonally, "their eyes are blinded" since God or Christ blind and harden not by any positive act, but by leaving and giving men up to the blindness and hardness of their hearts, and denying them the grace which could only cure them, and which they are not obliged to give; and which was the case of these Jews, so as never to be converted, or be turned even by external repentance and reformation, that they might be healed in a national way, and be preserved from national ruin​

    So, Gill seems to take the healing as meaning 'physical' rather than 'spiritual' and 'repentance' as meaning 'external' and 'national,' rather than true personal regeneration.

    Now, can you see that two Calvinists can take this same passage and interpret it differently? You seem to deny that Calvinists have the ability to disagree among themselves on this point. You made the same presumption in our atonement conversation with the Hodge quotes. You seem to want to make all the Calvinists agree with each other at all costs, even when they themselves acknowledge the differences. I purposely pull out quotes from Calvinists who disagree with some of the Calvinistic posters because I think they'd be more likely to listen to another Calvinists than to me, but instead of objectively listening to what they clearly say, they try to show how their views are the same. Why not just admit that Calvinists have various camps on various views and they even argue among themselves on many of these points? There is nothing wrong with that. I really don't care if there is dissension in the ranks, we have it in our ranks too. I'm only bothered when people try to pretend that dissent doesn't exist when clearly there are two different approaches being laid out. It's like they want so badly to win the point in the debate against me that they can't view any one that I quote objectively. That gets frustrating sometime because I want to have an objective and honest discussion about the various views, which is impossible when your opponent won't even acknowledge the well documented and clearly delineated differences within the Reformed tradition.
     
  18. Luke2427

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    I told you what and why. Repeating it is useless.

    The invitation to talk about the position is still open. I would be a fool to let you dictate that we only talk about what you want to talk about from the angle that you want to talk about it.

    If you want to talk about the POSITION- let me know.
     
    #18 Luke2427, Sep 6, 2012
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  19. Skandelon

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    Bro, most of my last two posts was about content of your POSITION. I provided TWO different Calvinistic approaches to this issue. How is that not dealing with content?

    You seem to think my request for quotes is just a gotcha game, but it is a quest for content. It's fine not to provide any quotes supporting your view, but why not talk to me about the way Gill and other Calvinists approach this issue of Judicial hardening? That is all about CONTENT and the differing POSITIONS a Reformed believer might take. Just because it happens to be content that is different from your approach doesn't mean it's not content.

    Plus, what more is there to say about your position except that you refuse to answer the major logical objection against it, dismissing it as 'emotive.' I've shown you the best I know how that it isn't emotive or silly, but I can't force you to respond. You also refuse to provide any documentation or scholarly support where I might find a scholars response to this apparent contradiction. So, what else is left? To deal with what other Calvinists, like Gill, say to reconcile this problem. He takes a bit different approach from yours and I'd be interested to know you feelings on that, but if you don't want to do that either, then I guess we are done....but please don't accuse me of not wanting to deal with the various positions or content of this issue. That is ALL I want to do. You are the one who is keeping that from happening (at least that is what it appears from my position)
     
    #19 Skandelon, Sep 6, 2012
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  20. Luke2427

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    This is more of the same.

    I am not going to acquiesce to your demand to drag this further into the quagmire of debating whether or not quotes support one view or the other.

    I am willing to discuss the OP.

    That's what we're SUPPOSED to do on here.

    So until you become willing to talk about the POSITIONS- we are at an impasse.

    God bless!
     

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