help for a confused Calvinist

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by christianyouth, Oct 9, 2006.

  1. christianyouth

    christianyouth
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    Ok, here is the truth, I my mind has been over-loaded by the Calvinist theological viewpoint.. As I set out and study scripture, from the Reformed theolgoical paradime unfortunatley, I keep running into verses that exalt free-will and human responsibility.. I am about to start a new trend in my Bible, verses with Calvinistic leanings marking in red, and ones with Arminiast leanings in green, and I am one confused Christian.

    I am convinced that God's sovreignty is clearly taught in the Scripture, but how far does His sovreignty extend?

    I am convinced that free-will is taught, how can I reconcile these two?

    I have been such an adamant Calvinist since discovering the great teachings of R.C. Sproul and John MacArthur, but I am beginning to rethink my position. I am limited in money, but I can probably spend 15 dollars on a good book if it will clear this up for me.

    God Bless,
    Andy

    P.S. One short contradiction could be John 6:44 "No man can come to me, except the father which sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day." and that one verse in James that says "Draw nigh unto God, AND he will draw nigh unto you."

    Notice the and, it almost indicates, THEN. That we have to draw nigh unto God, seems to be obviously implied in that verse, then in John it says " We cant draw nigh to him."

    Is Calvinism just too high to understand?
     
  2. menageriekeeper

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    How about Calvinist are only partially right? Of course, that attitude immediately makes you not a Calvinist. :D

    Okay how about this interpretation (my personal fav, btw): It takes the drawing of the Holy Spirit and the free choice of man both in order for salvation to occur. What???

    The Bible says "lest ANY man should perish", "whosoever believeth" and your example "draw nigh". It also talks about being drawn by the Father. Personally I think that both drawing by God and saying yes by man are required. (course I also think that God draws all men regardless of His knowledge of the answer, except those He "turns over to a reprobate mind", which is another whole subject.)
     
  3. dan e.

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    Systematic theologies are extremely helpful. They really help us in understanding God, and make some sense of how He may do some things. However, they can be dangerous as well. This is one of those issues where it still may not make complete sense. Unfortunately, the danger comes when some require you believe the totality of the formula, or else it shows spiritual inferiority, or immaturity. Read your Bible and pray for guidance and understanding. I think one important thing is not to get too caught up in the terminology that isn't necessarily Biblical, such as "Calvinism". Scripture clearly teaches much of the truths of the man made system known as Calvinism, but lets stick to how the Bible names and defines things. I think it helps, and keeps us from demanding allegance to the TULIP (a little sarcasm). Some of it may make sense, some of it may not. However, the Bible will not contradict itself, and this is one of those truths that we can take comfort in. I know I'm not giving an exegetical presentation here, but I wanted to just give some encouragement. I know some of these other guys will give you some Scripture to chew on and think about, but I just want you to be encouraged and to continue reading your Bible, the Holy Spirit is a great teacher.
     
  4. El_Guero

    El_Guero
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    Andy

    You could repent . . .

    Wayne
    PS - just kidding . . .

     
  5. webdog

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    I would visit www.faithalone.org

    They do a good job of explaining calvinism, arminianism and the Free Grace positions.
     
  6. El_Guero

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    I too do not recommend many systematic books - they tend to emphasize human illogic over the sovereignty of God . . . and that is dangerous.

    Andy,

    I would recommend that you take your time. Let God guide you over 2 to 5 years of Bible study.

    Read Ezekiel, Jeremiah, Isaiah, and of course the Gospels. Realize that God is trying to lead us to the Kingdom and not to a theology.

    Remember that He is Sovereign enough to do what He wills that He will do . . .

    IMHO.



     
  7. EdSutton

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    Not necessarily, but I believe there is a Scripture where God says "My ways are not your ways", and another place it says, "His ways are past finding out." I just quoted these from memory, and checked no versions, so I could have misquoted, but the gist is there.

    And may I suggest not trying to fit "green vs. red" verses together, until you understand what you are really doing, there. R.C. Sproul, John MacArthur, and Joe Blow may certainly all be good teachers, but any or all are no substitute for ones called the Holy Spirit and your own self (II Tim. 2:15; 3:16; Heb. 4:12). And, BTW, I'll give you a suggestion that'll save you fifteen greenbacks, as well. Be a Berean! Search the Scriptures daily to see if the things that were said were so.

    Ed
     
  8. donnA

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    When does it say we have freewill, the will to choose right from wrong? Before or after salvation? It does say we are dead in our sin, no choices there, it says we are slaves to sin, no choices there. It appears to me we have the choices of doing right and worng after salvation, not before, otherwise we wouldn't be dead.
     
  9. webdog

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    Isaiah 1:18 debunks everything you just said...

    Isa 1:18 "Come now, let us reason together, says the LORD: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.
     
  10. whatever

    whatever
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    James is speaking to those who have already been drawn by God, i.e., to believers. Jesus was speaking mostly to unbelievers who began to leave Him when He started talking this way. The first question is always "who is speaking", and second is "to whom is he speaking".

    I'm curious to know where you see free will being taught in the Bible.

    Calvinism is not too high to understand.
     
  11. webdog

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    You can't be serious. Has your doctrine blinded you that much? At least the OP is a calvinist who sees this!
     
  12. Brother Bob

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    To the OP;
    If Calvinism is true and you are one of the chosen then you don't have a thing to worry about for it has already been all fixed up for you. It may leave out your children though but you will just have to accept that for it goes with the Calvinist doctrine.
    Now, If you are not one of the chosen then you are in trouble and nothing you can do about it at all.

    But, if the Calvinist are wrong and the Scripture is true that Christ died for all that will "believe", then you want to be up and about your Father's business. You first need to take heed to the low still voice within you trying to get you to believe in Jesus and repent and be "born again". You need to open the door of your heart and let Christ come in. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God are the "sons of God.

    Go to a church that preaches that both you and your child can be saved. Read the scriptures and pray with a sincere heart that Jesus will hear your cries and save your dying soul. God bless,
     
  13. Joseph_Botwinick

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    Andy,

    Check out Sproul's Chosen by God. It is really good.

    Joseph Botwinick
     
  14. webdog

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    Andy, do you have children?

    Do you see that handsome little man up in the corner smiling? That's my son. I love that little guy to death. He means everything to me, and I would give my life for him.

    If calvinism is true, there is a chance (a good chance at that) that my son was created for the sole purpose of destruction...God hates him. These are the so called "doctrines of grace". How can I potentially love my son more than God does? Why would I follow a god that hates my son?
     
  15. 2BHizown

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    Calvinist have the same concern for their children that any other christian has, that they will come to faith in Christ and serve only HIm!

    Calvinist love scripture and their whole being is concerned with knowing Christ and His word and teaching their children to do the same and to come to see that they were born in sin and must come to know Christ personally and live for Him to gain eternity with Him.
     
  16. webdog

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    ...so how can they come if they were created for destruction?
     
  17. Jim1999

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    Andy, I second Joseph's recommended book, and if you can't afford it, get in touch with me and I will pay for it.

    Secondly, don't let emotion develop your theological thought. I suggest drawing two lists. The first including all the verses that delineate the nature of God. The second, showing the nature of man. Then determine who is sovereign and where the so-called will of man is oriented.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  18. Brother Bob

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  19. webdog

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    God is Love. Sound's pretty emotional to me, at least it makes me emotional knowing how much He loves me.
     
  20. webdog

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    The OP states he studied Sproul. It seems obvious he's beginning to listen to the Holy Spirit instead the false doctrines of man.
     

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