I am just a regular Christian.

Discussion in 'Forum for Polls' started by Salty, Apr 8, 2012.

  1. Salty

    Salty
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    I am not a Calvinist, and I am not an Arminian, I am just a regular Christian.

    A poster has this above statement at the bottom of his posts
    Reminds me when I was in the second grade. We were learning about the different kinds of trees. The teacher asked me what kind of tree we had in our front yard. I responded "Just a plain tree" You see, I did not understand the difference in the species of trees.
    Likewise it appearers the BB members does not understand the difference between Calvinism and Arminianism.
    There are differences and as responsible Christians we need to understand. But to deliberately believe there is no difference is simply being ignorant. That is not a PE, but a statement of fact.
    I am not suggesting we need to be a theologian in the C vs A - but we should have a general knowledge of where we stand.
    Even an answer of "I do not know" is much better than the opening sentence of this post.
     
  2. seekingthetruth

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    Salty, it is you that doesnt understand.

    I have studied the doctrines of Calvinism and Arminianism and understand the differences very well.

    That is why I am neither. My label of "regular Christian" is simply to point out that not everyone falls under the labels of Calvinist or Arminian.

    Both doctrines are flawed.

    John
     
  3. seekingthetruth

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    But thanks for starting a whole new thread and trying to expose me as ignorant.

    I am glad i got your attention. Maybe through this you will see the error of assuming that Calvinism and Arminianism are the only choices.

    John
     
  4. mandym

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    So you believe there are only two choices and everyone must fall under one label or another? To not be a Calvinist does not mean you are automatically an Arminian.
     
  5. seekingthetruth

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    I love it when someone trys to ridicule another by publically calling them "ignorant', only to have it backfire on them and make them look ignorant their own self. :laugh::laugh::laugh:

    John
     
  6. seekingthetruth

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    What Salty?

    You start a thread to ridicule me, and then when you find out your assumption about me was wrong you just run and hide?

    How about an apology? Or at least remove the derogatory thread?

    John
     
  7. billwald

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    I suspect that many people who argue for or against Calvin have never read his "Institutes."
     
  8. seekingthetruth

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    I actually have a copy of "Institutes of Christian Religion" on my hard drive and have read it, and even refer to it when discussing Calvinism.

    Having read it is the main reason I reject Calvinism.

    John
     
  9. JonC

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    I agree. There are many “Calvinists” on this board that seem to reject a large portion of Institutes only to hold on to Calvinistic soteriology. One cannot read even a minor portion of the work and come away with Calvinism as expressed solely in terms of its soteriology.

    “We set down as incontrovertible, that none of the elect is called away from the present life without previously being sanctified and regenerated by the Spirit of God . . . We deny . . . the power of God cannot regenerate infants. This is as possible and easy for Him to do, as it is wondrous and incomprehensible to us. It was dangerous to deny that the Lord is able to furnish them with the knowledge of Himself in any way He pleases.” Institutes IV:16:18

    An understanding of Calvin’s covenant theology is also necessary. Calvinistic covenant theology should by necessity include infant baptism. - “We baptize infants . . . God, under the Old Testament, in order to show Himself [to be] the Father of infants, was pleased that the promise of salvation should be engraven on their bodies by a visible sign” Catechism of the Church of Geneva: of the Sacraments, 1545, in Tracts and Treatises.

    I know that here “Calvinism” is presented only in terms of its soteriology. But it is not honest to extract only a portion and trash the rest – it is a wonderfully constructed system (as a whole). Maybe those who do not accept the Institutes or Calvinism in its entirety should call themselves semi-Calvinists.

     
    #9 JonC, Apr 9, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 9, 2012
  10. seekingthetruth

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    Frankly, your point here is one of the reasons I reject Calvinism. I hear doctrine spouted from Cals, but when I go to the "Institutes" I read just the opposite.

    There are too many contradictions between people who call themselves Calvinists and the teachings of Calvin himself. I would come closer to believing Calvin's original teachings than I would believing what Calvinism has morphed into today.

    John
     
  11. JonC

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    I suppose I am closer to Calvin than “Calvinism” in terms of soteriology, and I do like Calvin’s works on prayer. I do see Salty’s point to an extent. I am not an Arminian, nor am I a Calvinist, but to provide reference to my soteriology, I could define my position as Amyraldianism (although it may not be precise regarding what I believe, it does provide somewhat of a reference to what I reject).

    What amazes me is that so many seem to present Christianity as being either Calvinism or Arminianism. Oddly enough, I do not feel overly theologically indebted to the Reformation (Luther, Zwingli, Calvin, Bullinger, or Beza) much less James Arminius (although I don’t dismiss their work). I find Grebel’s differences regarding the nature of the Church to surpass the theological implications of the Reformation in regards to importance within Baptist theology.

    But you are absolutely correct. When I disagree with “Calvinism” on some issue I know it will not be long before someone asks “have you even read Calvin’s Institutions or commentaries?” Yet these same people reject the greater portion of Calvinism (and Calvin’s Institutions and commentaries) and tell me that today it means only Calvinistic soteriology. It’s “doublespeak” in that terms are redefined to suit one’s position, and it results in a vagueness that has little meaning outside of individual sects.
     
    #11 JonC, Apr 10, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 10, 2012
  12. seekingthetruth

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    Cals are the ones usually putting labels on people, and declaring that if one is not a Cal then they have to be Arminian.

    I have never seen a true Arminian declare that all non-Arms are Cals.....

    People that don't ascribe to either doctrine really couldn't care less about labels and just follow the Bible.

    But again, my point of calling myself a "regular Christian" is to point out that there are other options besides Cal and Arm.

    Everyone does not fit under those labels.

    John
     
  13. seekingthetruth

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    Another thing I have noticed about Cals is that they believe it is every Christian's obligation to educate themselves about Calvinism. And that if you dont explore the teachings of Calvinism then you are wrong.

    Why is that? Calvinism is not addressed in the Bible.

    I, myself have read the "Institutes" and have a copy, but I don't agree with them enough to be a Calvinist. And even if i did, are there any Reformed churches that truely follow the teachings of the "Institutes"?

    I see many commandments and instructions in the Bible but I have never read that a Christian must study Calvinism to be worthy.

    There is no such thing as the book of John Calvin in the Bible.

    And to be fair, there is also no such thing as the book of Jacobus Arminius either.

    John
     
  14. billwald

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    I read "Institutes" twice before joining with a "reformed" church. Calvin wrote the most internally consistent systematic theology I have read. But the only "reformed" people I knew were OPC fanatics. I thought Presbyterians were the only "reformed" believers.

    Then I moved 5 blocks from a Christian Reformed Church (denomination) and discovered that the OLD Dutch Reformed theologians took a different slant on Calvin than did the Presbyterians. Been going there for 15 years and never heard a sermon on TULIP.

    Sad to say, the CRC is being contaminated by dispensationalism and generic Christianity. The old writings are hard to find and harder to understand.

    google dooyeweerd

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herman_Dooyeweerd for example

    Dooyeweerd attempted to provide a philosophy which accounted for not only the differences in non-human reality, but also, between one thinker and another. Following Abraham Kuyper, and other, earlier Neo-Calvinists, Dooyeweerd attempted to describe reality as a creation of God, which has its meaning from God. This God-given meaning is displayed in all of the aspects of temporal reality - which has implications for science.
    For example, even though a lawyer and a biologist might study the same things (say, fingerprints), they are interested in different aspects. They are looking at the meaning of a thing with different focus, though equally concerned with what is real. Perceptions of reality through this kind of scientific attitude, selecting one aspect as distinct from others for study, will necessarily be governed by fundamental assumptions about how these various kinds of meaning are related to one another in a coherent whole, belonging within the total range of all experiences. Dooyeweerd argued that this showed the need for a consistent and radically Christian philosophy which he sought to provide. Furthermore, he attempted to show that even the imaginations of men are part of that same created reality, and even where misguided they cannot escape being subject to the rule of God exposed by the Christian revelation.
    Dooyeweerd self-consciously allowed his Christian perspective to guide his understanding, but in a philosophical rather than a theological mode of thought. He believed that this permitted the philosopher to gain insight into the principle by which diversity of meaning is held together as a unity, as he directs his thought toward the origin of things, which is God, and God's purpose for making things, which is found in Christ. This basic religious orientation should affect the way that the Christian understands things. In contrast to a dualistic type of religious ground motive, Dooyeweerd suggested that the Christian's basic orientation to the world ought to be derived not from human speculation, but from God's revealed purposes: Creation, the Fall into sin, and Redemption in Christ. This Christian religious ground motive is a fundamentally different posture toward things, compared to say, the "Form/Matter" scheme of the Greeks, the "Nature/Grace" synthesis of Medieval Christianity, or the "Nature/Freedom" approach of the Enlightenment, all of which are orientations divided against themselves by their reliance upon two contradictory principles. While the Christian religious view of things as Created, Fallen and being Redeemed has often been blended with speculative and dualistic schemes, it has never really become fully identified with them, so that there is historical continuity in Christian thought despite the fact that it has undergone numerous significant shifts, in Dooyeweerd's view. But the fact that they are capable of being blended convincingly exposes the transcendental rules to which both false and true theories are subject.
    A religious ground motive is a spiritual driving force that impels each thinker to interpret reality under its influence. Dooyeweerd wrote that, in the case of thinkers who presume that human thought is autonomous, who operate by the dictum that it does not matter whether God exists or not, such a thinker's basic commitment to autonomous thought forces him to pick out some aspect of the creation as the origin of all meaning. In doing so, the supposedly autonomous thinker is made captive to a kind of idol of his own making, which bends his understanding to conform to its dictates, according to Dooyeweerd.
    Although he self-consciously exposes the religious nature of his philosophy, Dooyeweerd suggests that in fact, all thought is inescapably religious in character. This religious stamp is disguised when the supposed origin of meaning, toward which various thinkers direct their thought, is not called God, but is rather said to be some aspect of creation. This, he suggests, explains why humanistic science will produce bitterly conflicting ideologies. It helps to locate the "antithesis", the source of irreducible differences, between various perspectives. The "antithesis" must be accounted for as a foundational issue, in any complete philosophy, and this antithesis is religious in nature, according to Dooyeweerd.
     
  15. JonC

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    Sad to say, I think that most are having issues with "generic Christianity."

    Wasn't Berkhof CRC?
     
  16. seekingthetruth

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    Intersting article. What I get from it basically is that each person's interpretation of salvation depends on what they are looking for in salvation. This of course leads to widely different theologies.

    Sharing different theologies can at times broaden one's understanding of God, and at other times can divide God's people so bitterly that they see each other as enemies and not brothers. And it is a thin line between the two.

    Maybe we should concentrate on the subject at hand, salvation, and not argue so much as to how we attain it.

    John

    John
     
  17. billwald

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    >People that don't ascribe to either doctrine really couldn't care less about labels and just follow the Bible.

    How do you decide which parts to follow? For example, if your brother died without leaving any children would you sleep with his wife until she became pregnant?
     
  18. seekingthetruth

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    If I was a Jew and lived under the Law before the birth of Jesus I would.:thumbs:

    John
     
  19. DiamondLady

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    For what it's worth, John. I happen to agree with you. I'm just a regular, following Jesus Christian. There are other "groups" of believers besides Calvinists and Arminians. I don't believe God wanted us to follow ANY man's set ideas and beliefs, but to follow HIS Word only.
     
  20. billwald

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    OK, as long as to pay your taxes without complaining and love your neighbors as you love yourself.
     

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