How to Call for a Gospel Response Like a Calvinist

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by 12strings, Dec 1, 2011.

  1. 12strings

    12strings
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2004
    Messages:
    2,743
    Likes Received:
    0
    I was recently directed to this article from the Gospel Coalition. I thought it was helpful, though I'm sure it has some things people may take issue with. For the non-cals, it can at least show what one Cal thinks is a way to approach this.

     
    #1 12strings, Dec 1, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 1, 2011
  2. mandym

    mandym
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2011
    Messages:
    4,991
    Likes Received:
    0
    If that is true it discredits the entire system.
     
  3. 12strings

    12strings
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2004
    Messages:
    2,743
    Likes Received:
    0
    This author goes on to argue that it is NOT true.
     
  4. InTheLight

    InTheLight
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2010
    Messages:
    16,204
    Likes Received:
    611
    Thanks for posting the article. Though I'm not a Calvinist it is good to understand where they are coming from.

    The answer to the question is no. Because Paul doesn't think God elects only certain people.

    Acts 26
    27 King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know that you do believe.”
    28 Then Agrippa said to Paul, “You almost persuade me to become a Christian.”
    29 And Paul said, “I would to God that not only you, but also all who hear me today, might become both almost and altogether such as I am, except for these chains.”
     
  5. humblethinker

    humblethinker
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2011
    Messages:
    1,285
    Likes Received:
    0
    The article instructed, "Pray that God would save people through the inherent power of the gospel."

    Why? What is there to the idea that we are morally obligated to do so? Is it only for the sake of obedience that we should pray?
     
  6. webdog

    webdog
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2005
    Messages:
    24,691
    Likes Received:
    0
    Nothing here is different than what I believe, so it is not calvinism that contains the power, it is the Gospel. The fact that it has been stated calvinism has any kind of power reeks of piety and arrogance.
     
  7. 12strings

    12strings
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2004
    Messages:
    2,743
    Likes Received:
    0
    does this verse teach that paul fully expected all who heard him would respond, or only that he desired it to be so?
     
  8. webdog

    webdog
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2005
    Messages:
    24,691
    Likes Received:
    0
    Does it matter? Why would he desire for something if it were unexpectant?
     
  9. 12strings

    12strings
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2004
    Messages:
    2,743
    Likes Received:
    0
    I agree that statement was unnecessary. He should have simply said the gospel has the power. However I think his point is that through his calvinistic understanding of the Gospel, He sees the Holy Spirit's power working though his calls for a response.

    Even Spurgeon once said "Calvinism is the Gospel" Which I now think was not a very wise thing to say, but it has been quoted too often by calvinists seeking to make a point. Was Spurgeon arrogant to say this, or simply unwise? maybe both.
     
  10. 12strings

    12strings
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2004
    Messages:
    2,743
    Likes Received:
    0
    We are told to pray to the Lord of the Harvest to send out laborors...Surely God knows where laborors are needed, yet he tells us to pray, and later in scriptures says that such prayers are "effectual" and "avail much."
     
  11. 12strings

    12strings
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2004
    Messages:
    2,743
    Likes Received:
    0
    I desire lots of things that I don't expect to actually happen.
     
  12. webdog

    webdog
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2005
    Messages:
    24,691
    Likes Received:
    0
    Pertaining to spiritual matters? Is God not powerful enough?
     
  13. 12strings

    12strings
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2004
    Messages:
    2,743
    Likes Received:
    0
    Sorry, can we back up? I'm not sure exactly what we are debating.

    Yes, God is powerful enough. Yes, we should pray expecting God to answer, but realizing his plan may be different than ours.

    I'm simply saying that in this case, all Paul says is he "would" that all who hear would be like him. I take that to mean he desires it. Does he also expect it to happen...esp. to ALL? He doesn't say. I would think Paul is a realist to know that some who hear would respond, and some would not.
     
  14. Jerome

    Jerome
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2006
    Messages:
    5,617
    Likes Received:
    44
    Refreshing candor from the head of the so-called "Founders" faction, Tom Ascol:

    Florida Baptist Witness
     
  15. The Archangel

    The Archangel
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2003
    Messages:
    2,444
    Likes Received:
    0
    As 12strings pointed out, your understanding of this verse is incorrect. Paul does not expect all in his hearing to be converted, though he does wish that it would happen.

    It matters greatly because of the text. The word translated "would" is in the optative mood. In Greek the optative is not dealing with fact or actual occurrence. Rather, it is the mood of "wishing," for lack of a better term.

    So, in the text, we see Paul preaching indiscriminately (not just to persons he might consider "elect"). He is hoping the people are converted through his preaching of the Gospel. But, it is clear he doesn't expect that to happen.

    The Archangel
     
  16. humblethinker

    humblethinker
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2011
    Messages:
    1,285
    Likes Received:
    0
    That answer sounds like you are agreeing that it is only for the sake of obedience.

    In what way would prayers be effectual and avail much besides a "just because the Bible says so" answer? Are they "effectual" and "avail much" in making a difference in that "God would save people through the inherent power of the gospel"?
     
  17. webdog

    webdog
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2005
    Messages:
    24,691
    Likes Received:
    0
    where do you get Paul didn't expect it to happen? Why would he desire something if there was no chance of it happening, or more imporantly that would be in opposition to God's desire? I don't desire to fly by flapping my arms because I know its not possible. I also do not desire to win a million dollars via the lottery as its impossible since I don't play the lottery.
     
  18. The Archangel

    The Archangel
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2003
    Messages:
    2,444
    Likes Received:
    0
    The use of the optative mood.

    You are reading into my comments and the passage. I never said there was "no chance." The text never said there was "no chance." In my comments and in the text "chance" is never discussed.

    I said Paul wishes the persons hearing him would believe. But he doesn't expect that they all will.

    More to the point I was making--Paul does not preach only to the elect. He preaches to everyone. This is not proof that Paul didn't believe in election as InTheLight stated.

    You are confusing desire with action. I would love to have a million dollars. That's desire. I take no action to procure that million dollars--lobbying philanthropists or playing the lottery. But, that does not diminish my desire to have the million dollars. One can desire without taking action (it happens all the time).

    However, Paul both desired (wished) that the persons be converted (mostly Agrippa) and took the action of preaching the Gospel to him (and those in his court). But, he didn't expect here--nor anywhere else in the New Testament that I'm aware of--that preaching the Gospel would, ipso facto, bring conversions. In fact, Paul was well acquainted with preaching the Gospel where not everyone was converted.

    Again, though, the issue is the text and its use of the optative mood.

    The Archangel
     
  19. 12strings

    12strings
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2004
    Messages:
    2,743
    Likes Received:
    0
    I am not saying it is only for the sake of obedience, though that should be enough.

    I don't really know how it works. God says he has a plan, and it "cannot be thrwarted" (a good word for any occasion, btw). God also says, "you have not because you ask not." Does that mean, "even if you don't ask, I'm going to give anyway cuz I have a plan."? I don't think so. [It doesn't mean the opposite of what it says!] This verse says there are things I don't have because I don't ask.

    Jesus said to pray to the Lord of harvest that he would send laborors. How do my prayers for the advance of the Gospel, which God says are "effective" and "avail much" rolled up into the sovereignty of God, who said "I will build my church"? I don't know.
     
  20. Winman

    Winman
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2009
    Messages:
    14,768
    Likes Received:
    0
    How is Calvinism logical if it's not practical? Why would God beg people to be reconciled to himself when he knows it is impossible to do so? This is not logical at all. It would be like me going out in my yard calling my dog when everyone on my street knows my dog died a year ago and cannot possibly respond and come to me. Would that make me appear logical?

    You should struggle with this, it makes no sense.

    I would disagree. You cannot reconcile "consistent" Calvinism with logic. It makes no sense for God to call people whom he knows cannot respond positively to him.

    It is "scriptural" to call people to respond with faith to the gospel, but it is only logical and practical if people have the ability to respond to it.

    Yes, it is scriptural to call people to believe in the gospel.

    Yes, and many would say Calvinists err in their interpretation of this verse, and that the gift referred to is "salvation", not faith.

    There is tension in the Ref/Cal view, there is NO tension in the Arm/Non-Cal view. Faith is a gift of God in that no man could believe in Jesus if God had not revealed him to us and called us by his Word and Spirit. The Arm/Non-Cal believes men have the ability to respond positively if they so choose.

    Actually, I would say that it is Calvinists who overemphasize the Arm/Non-Cal view that man is able to respond to God's calling. Cals love to say the Arm/Non-Cal view is man centered, when no Arm/Non-Cal feels this way.

    For example, last year my best friend called and invited me to a Super Bowl party at his house. He told me there would be all sorts of food and drink (non-alcoholic) and many other friends from church. I accepted his invitation.

    Now do you think I walked in and told my friend how lucky he was I came to his party, and that he should be thanking me for eating his free food and watching the game on his big screen TV?

    Now really, isn't that the silliest thing in the world? Nobody in their right mind would do such a thing in real practical life. In real practical life you would thank your friend for being so kind to invite you to his party, and you would bring along something to show your appreciation, which is exactly what I did.

    So, Calvinism presents a very unrealistic and illogical argument. Any person who realizes they are a sinner and worthy of death is not going to have this kind of attitude. They are going to be thankful and appreciative to God for sending his Son to die for our sins and calling us with his gospel.

    I disagree. If a Calvinist is truly "consistent" then it cannot "emphasize" both. It must emphasize the effectual call. It really does not make sense to urge someone to believe if there is a real possibility they cannot. It would make more sense to simply preach the gospel and sit back and watch who responds. Those who are regenerated will respond without any urging or persuasion on your part, those who are not elect cannot possibly respond if you begged them for a thousand years. So why put emphasis on the response?

    Only for the elect at a given time. Calvinists don't believe the gospel is powerful to the elect until a certain time, then at this certain point it is. This is non-sensical and illogical, as the scriptures call us to believe TODAY. If God wants you to believe TODAY, why would he wait years to regenerate you?

    And Calvinists NEVER believe the call is powerful toward the non-elect. This is illogical as well, as God does not speak meaningless idle words.

    Yes, this is how people will respond, because it is a logical and reasonable response.

    Only for the elect at a given time. Before that given time it was powerless. And for the unelect it is always meaningless and powerless.

    The paralytic had faith as did Lazarus. But even the spiritually dead have the ability to respond to Jesus, in John 5:25 Jesus said the dead shall hear his voice (notice he said they could hear), and those that hear (believe) shall live. The spiritual is not the same as the physical.

    Jn 5:25 Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.

    Only the elect at a given time. The rest of the time it is powerless.

    I would say Paul's prayer is illogical if Calvinism is true. If God has already determined who will be saved before the foundation of the world, how can prayer change anything? Again, this is illogical if Calvinism is true.

    YES, it does sound Arm/Non-Cal. It makes no sense if Ref/Cal is true. You recognize this yourself.

    I disagree, it is inconsistent with Calvinism. If God has already determined who will be saved, prayer is meaningless, it cannot change a thing.
     

Share This Page

Loading...