I Think We Need to Study "Conversion"

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by skypair, Sep 24, 2007.

  1. skypair

    skypair
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    Awfully lot of Calvinists are avoiding the issue that CONVERSION comes before regeneration. Some are saying that the word is not even in scripture. So I offer first Mt 18:3 that shows the "born again"/regeneration experience very clearly.

    "And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven." You MUST be converted and become as babes/reborn else you will not enter into the kingdom of heaven (cf: John 3)!

    There are likely many more such passages which put the onous on MAN to convert -- to choose God -- before he/she is saved or regenerated.

    skypair
     
  2. ReformedBaptist

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    Tell you what, I will engage this topic with you to any length and depth required...IF you can first demonstrate you understand the Calvinist position on regeneration, conversion, justification, sanctification and glorification.

    And no, your ideas of what you think it is won't fly. I would like to see you do some real research. Use some real classic calvinist sources. Use calvinist systematic theologies, creeds, or their works on the subject.
     
  3. Pastor Larry

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    I won't spend long here due to the past lack of progress. I think Reformed Baptist has taken a good tack to require a demonstration of proper understanding. Which is the point of this post. Where do you see regeneration in Matth 18:3? The kingdom of heaven is not regeneration. Christ is saying if you are not converted, you can't enter heaven.

    Notice how you changed the passage: the passage says "be converted" (passive -- something done to you) and you say "convert" (active).

    You see, you can't even make your argument without changing the Scripture.
     
  4. skypair

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    Such invectives are not worthy of you, PL.

    Secondly, you have not dealt with any passage that uses the term convert to disprove my contention. You have not even attempted to show us what conversion means. It simply means "turned again." That is, you must repent to receive salvation and you must repent continually thereafter to enjoy the kingdom of heaven.

    Lockyer cites 5 instances in the OT (Psa 19:7, 51:13, Isa 1:27, 6:10, and 60:5). The NT instances are Mt 13:15, 18:3, Mark 4:12, Luke 22:32, John 12:40, Acts 3:19, 15:3, 28:27, Jas, 5:19-20. Perhaps you would like to study these along with the rest of us rather than grouse about my raising the issue.

    "Two ideas underlie the employment of the term, namely --

    1. The act of turning to God
    2. The act is a human one, rather than a divine act." (All the Doctrines of the Bible p. 177)


    This only shows that you don't know what the KoH is. It is the spiritual kingdom that BELIEVERS SEE and ENTER when they are born again. Have you not seen it? Are you not in Christ's kingdom now?

    Jesus gave 10 parables in Mt 13 alone to show it to us.

    You must think very little of my case and intelligence to try to dismiss this issue so weakly. No -- the KoH is NOT heaven itself. Don't be silly.

    skypair
     
    #4 skypair, Sep 24, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 24, 2007
  5. skypair

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    It is very simple really -- Calvinists believe that they repent AFTER they are "elect"/"regenerated." That is true so far as sanctification is concerned. But what makes Calvinism unscriptural is that they do NOT see repentance unto salvation/justification. Remember, anything YOU do defeats the doctrines of grace alone.

    Well, that comment answers to YOUR sources anyway. "Real research" equals "classic Calvinist sources?" Does scripture play a role in this research? Or are we left by God with only "calvinist systematic theologies, creeds, or their works on the subject?"

    Today "Love Worth Finding" presented Dr. Roger's sermon on Mt 13:32. I particularly liked his comments on the "birds" that have gathered into the branches of the mustard tree -- how really like Christianity they are even claiming to use the Bible but it really does come down to Calvinist dogma to you, doesn't it?

    skypair
     
  6. ReformedBaptist

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    With all due respect, this is so nonsensical that I cannot make sense of it, hence, I cannot reply.

    You, sir, have come out to attack calvinism yet again, ad nauseam. Therefore, I expect you to honestly and accurately represent historic, calvinist belief. That is the system which you have made yourself an oppenent. I expect you to represent it accurately. You have yet to do so.

    Prove it. Show that what Calvinists teach regarding the doctrines of grace are unbiblical or no. To do this with integrity you must first state the calvinist position. State their doctrine and reasoning. Then show by Scripture and plain reason why the doctrine is not in accord with Scripture.

    I have yet to see you do this skypair. And the reason I demand a proper calvinist is because I am not going to debate for hyper-calvinism. So please use a proper calvinist explaination of the doctrines of grace, or a particular doctrine, state it their words and reason, and then proceed from there.

    Until then you have proved nothing.
     
  7. skypair

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    Conversion means repentance. Do Calvinists DO or BELIEVE anything before they are regenerated??

    And you, sir, admit to never having read the main work of the theologian that you defend ad nauseum so don't accuse me of misrepresenting Calvinism. How would you know?

    Answer the first question in my post and you will have the answer to whether Calvinism is biblical.

    BTW, do you care to engage in the scriptures I gave to PL or are you too just going to grouse?

    skypair
     
  8. Pastor Larry

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    Either you or I need a dictionary because my understanding of "invective" is found nowhere in my post.

    I don't need to. I showed that the verse you used doesn't say what you said it says.

    Conversion, theologically, is turning to Christ in faith and repentance. I assumed you knew that.

    Half right.

    I did that study long ago. If you have specific questions, feel free to ask them.

    Incorrect. The KoH is Christ's reign on earth. It is not something believers enter now. We are not in Christ's kingdom. I recommend you read McClain's book on the kingdom called "The Greatness of the Kingdom" I think.

    The OT prophesies the kingdom and the NT doesn't change that. It is an earthly kingdom to come when Christ returns.

    Actually read Matt 13:11 and see that the parables are given to hide it, not to show it.

    I think less than little of your case, since you didn't actually make one. I don't think anything about your intelligence, meaning that it doesn't cross my mind.

    I didn't say it was heaven. I wasn't silly.
     
  9. Pastor Larry

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    This is wrong. You are confusing regeneration and election with salvation and justification. This is why I talk with you very little. You have been told so many times about these distinctions and yet you still don't get them.
     
  10. TCGreek

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    .....Ahhh!
     
  11. ReformedBaptist

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    I will answer this question after you have shown you have a proper understanding of calvinism.

    Correction. You are in error here. I have no recollection of defending John Calvin's works. If I have, please bear witness of it. I have nominally read his works and what I have read I have for the most part agreed with. But some of my reading had nothing to do with the 5 points of calvinism. My beliefs regarding the five points have been derived from Scripture. You still make the fatal error of equating Calvinism with John Calvin, and Calvinists as followers of him. You are the one coming out in attack of John Calvin and Calvinism. I expect you to have a proper understanding of it and demonstrate that here.

    When you have demonstrated you understand historic Calvinism I will engage you. But not until then.
     
  12. ReformedBaptist

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    I see that I might have chosen wisdom in my request that the challenger demonstrate some measure of compentancy his understanding of calvinist theology. We shall see if skypair can do this.
     
  13. skypair

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    I didn't accept it then and I don't accept it now. Mt 18:3 -- "...Except ye be converted, and become as little children..." "Be converted" does NOT tell by whom we must be converted -- God or self. But it is for sure that if WE ourselves don't change our "totally depraved" mind, it won't be changed. It will continue to be "totally depraved" until by preaching it makes sense to change it.

    Thank you. And when does the Calvinist repent? I assume the way that you explain it here it is after faith comes -- thus after regeneration comes -- hence incorrect.

    So I assume then that there is no mustard tree right now with birds filling its branches. That's "heaven" as you said first -- or is it the MK as you now say???

    You are sadly misinformed. Yes, there were OT prophecies of the kingdom come. But in the NT it was revealed that spiritually, it had been here all along. The "wheat and tares," for instance," were the Jews from Moses till Christ. The "guests" invited to the wedding (Mt 22) are OT Israel whereas the "10 virgins" are the church. Both make up different periods of the same KoH which is spiritually --- hence "hidden" --- on the earth.

    Well, if it is hidden from you, I can only say that you must be among those "to whom they are not given to know." Are you confessing to that?

    And here's your assertion that the KoH = heaven:

    skypair
     
  14. skypair

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    OK, let's check what I have been told by y'all:

    Regeneration is God monergistically giving the Spirit and faith simultaneously to the elect so that they can hear the gospel and respond.

    Election occurred before the foundations... It is God choosing who will be saved.

    Salvation comes after regeneration by faith.

    Justification is Christ's work being just in our place.

    Please correct my misconceptions so we can move forward in this discussion (re: RB).

    skypair
     
  15. ReformedBaptist

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    OK, let's check what I have been told by y'all:

    Monergism deals with man's actions and God's work in the act of the new birth, which we are calling regeneration. So your statement sounds correct to me. If the question is asked, "Is our new birth the unconditional work of God's grace and mercy or does man cooperate in some way with God to effect the new birth? The Calvinist answer is that it is the work of God alone.

    This is also true. God did indeed, before the creation of the world chose out of fallen mankind those He would redeem, bring to faith, justify, sanctify and glorify through Jesus Christ. This He did as an act of His soveriegn will and good pleasure, and not for any foreseen faith or anything else that could merit such a choice of God.

    Salvation is too broad a term to make this statement. Salvation encompasses the new birth, repentance and faith, justification, sanctification and glorification. It is more proper to say that repentence and faith are the result of the act of God to bring a man out of his condition of being dead in sin, or that is the result of the new birth.

    Justification is the judicial act of God to whereby he freely accepts sinners as righteous because He has accepted as a substitue for sinners Christ and His meritorious work. It is different from election in that God elects according to his good pleasure, whereas God justifies according to the merits of Christ.

    I am not sure if there were any real misconceptions in what you wrote, but statements that needed clarification.
     
    #15 ReformedBaptist, Sep 25, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2007
  16. ReformedBaptist

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    Skypair,

    Since it seems we are on the same page definitionally speaking, let's get to the OP which is CONVERSION.

    Let me make a few distinctions:

    1. Regeneration and conversion are two concepts so closely linked that it is nearly impossible to separate them. One is not coverted without regeneration, and one is not regenerated apart from conversion.

    2. Regeneration is the work of God (it cannot be biblicaly ascribed to man) according to His sovereign will.

    3. Conversion is the act of man turning to God in repentance and faith. It is the result of regeneration.
     
  17. Pastor Larry

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    Do you not understand what the "passive" tense is? It is something done to you. You don't do a passive to yourself. That would be a middle tense in Greek, or aspect for those Greekophiles out there. The active tense would communicate something you do.

    ACtually God changes our totally depraved mind.

    The Calvinist repents at the same time the non-Calvinist does. When God supernaturally enables him. The non-Calvinist simply doesn't submit his mind to the biblical teaching on the matter. For most Calvinists, faith and repentance follow regeneration.

    [quote[So I assume then that there is no mustard tree right now with birds filling its branches.[/quote]Yes, you assume correctly.

    [quote[ That's "heaven" as you said first -- or is it the MK as you now say???
     
  18. skypair

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    Yet one precedes the other as you yourself note. And one is given (regeneration) and one is the act of man (conversion). Agreed?

    Impossible! If one is regenerated, one is already "turned." If one is regenerated, we agree that man has no part to play and conversion is just another word for regeneration.

    Jesus used the illustration of the "brazen serpent" to show Nicodemus the order of "turning" vis a vis "healing" --- conversion vis a vis regeneration. The "bitten" unbeliever has to turn and look believing what he heard (the "good news of the brazen serpent") to Christ BEFORE he will be saved.

    This is simple gospel truth, RB. You did it yourself in your "bad ole Arminian days!" "Who hath bewitched you that you should not obey the truth?"

    skypair
     
  19. ReformedBaptist

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    Wrong. The one (regeneration) is the act of God, the other (conversion) is the result. I say wrong because I detect that you are implying that conversion is the act of man apart from the grace of God. That is false.

    Regeneration is impossible to men. But it is possible with God. God regenerates a man and he responds in repentance and faith.

    And what makes him turn and look? What makes the sinner turn and look to the Saviour?

    Skypair, I am going to use some strong language here. But what provoked you to make such a stupid comment? I am baffeled that a man of your understanding would so twist and use the language of Scripture in such a way as to apply the language of Galatians to calvinists.

    Go on further in your rhetoric. Am I also believing "another gospel" so I am anathema? I was in inconsistant "arminian" back in the day. I can never go back that abhorant garbage. The modern doctines of free-will and election ought to perish out of the earth, and they have been forever banished from my heart.

    The doctrines of God's free grace are the sweetest most beautiful doctrines to me today. I love the doctrine of election, of predestination, of Soveriegn grace. God has worked such good fruit and peace in my life from understanding the grace of God in truth I hope you could not torture me to recant it.

    I was beguiled. I was decieved. I was wrong. My understanding of free-will, election, predestination, free grace were skewed or in error. A careful study of Scripture changed my mind.
     
  20. skypair

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    I admit to not being a Greek scholar. I have always hated foreign languages and thought them unnecessary to my life, at least. If we cannot come to agreement on this passage, perhaps we should look at the others. It is obvious that one passage cannot theology make anyway.

    Tell me -- is that chemically? Is it by force -- irresistible? Are you saying that you had nothing to do with your changed mind? What is the normal process by which you change your mind and how do you perceive it was different in salvation?? Or are you just spouting Calvinist "boilerplate" rhetoric? Please explain yourself.

    That's an interesting proposal -- that non-Cals don't submit their minds to biblical teaching on the matter. Does that mean they aren't saved? Or is the "process" -- the biblical teaching on the matter -- superfluous? Is it important to realize that you are regenerate before you believe??

    Another interesting issue you raise is God's supernatural enabling. Are you calling it supernatural because you don't understand it or because you actually perceived it as such? Can you explain that?

    It's not, Lar. And I'm beginning to think that the meaning of the parables and mysteries really ARE hidden from you. That doesn't mean that you are not saved, thankfully. It does mean that you are not growing up into the measure Christ, 1Cor 2.

    Stop, Larry! Jesus spoke of the PHYSICAL kingdom as future. But His parables spoke of the spiritual kingdom. Do you have absolutely no idea what Jesus was talking about when He spoke the KoH parables?

    Well I know why you do. There is an emptiness in your doctrine that you can't fill even by working with the HS. Know why? Because you won't listen to Him.

    Thank you. I take it that they are not as weak as you make them out to be, but you cannot take them and discipher the truth from what you feel to be the false.

    You can say that after I distinguished the differences?? And after RB agreed with what I see as Calvinist perspective on them?? Space Cadets -- get out your decoder rings! What is Larry saying??

    skypair
     
    #20 skypair, Sep 25, 2007
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