I thought this quote from Wesley...

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by skypair, Aug 28, 2008.

  1. skypair

    skypair
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    ...might be worth everyone's consideration.

    Just last night I was reading Lutzer (Calvinist, Doctrines That Divide) on the Whitefield-Wesley split. Whitefield was the consumate "revivalist" of the time. But Wesley, while Whitefield was in America, "sow[ed] division over the matter of election" among his congregants. His point was that "by the decree of God, the greater part of humanity abides in death without any possibility of redemption; no one can save this vast multitude but God and He will not save them. ... Then he concluded that this would make all preaching vain. 'It is needless to them who are elected ... and it is useless to them who are not.'"

    "Wesley called predestination a doctrine 'full of blaspemy.' It represents our Lord as 'a hypocrite, a deceiver of the people, a man void of common sincerity.'"

    "Wesley still wasn't finished. He then turned to address the devil:

    Thou fool. Why dost thou roar about any longer? Your lying in wait for souls is as needless and useless as our preaching. Heardest thou not that God has taken thy work out of thy hands; and the He doeth it more effectually? ..." (p202-203)


    I would like to discover what Calvinists comments might be on these accusations especially as it concerns evangelism and missions.

    skypair
     
    #1 skypair, Aug 28, 2008
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  2. Tom Butler

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    Wesley was consistent in his non-Calvinist theology. He loved Whitefield but hated his Calvinism.

    Whitefield certainly didn't fit the image non-Cs often try to portray him. He was, as you said, the consumate revivalist. Calvinists are revivalists? Calvinists have a passion for souls?

    We are in debt to both Wesley and Whitefield, neither of whom were Baptists.

    May God give us all their kind of passion.
     
  3. Allan

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    One thing Sky, Wesley wasn't saying that Calvinists don't believe in preaching or missions but was elaborating on what 'he' perceived as a contradictions in their views.

    His good friend Whitefield was a staunch Calvinist who, as you stated, was a 'revivalist' among others.
     
  4. Jarthur001

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    Hello Sky,

    I will help start things out. :)

    was said...
    This shows poor understanding of the Bible. When one truth is held above the other it will always lead to error. Being that I do not know the context, I can only take them as they stand. Wesley error's in focusing on man rather then God. Wesley wants to save as many as he can, to the point he denies the Bible. Election is well supported in the Bible and because he does not understand it, he is willing to give it up in order to reach his own goal. The fact is, that Election is by God only and at the same time God has chosen to use the church to get the gospel out.

    However, to say that to hold to election as clearly seen in the Bible means the sharing of the gospel is pointless , shows poor understanding of the Bible. God choses the sinner to be saved, and God has also chosen the church to share the gospel.

    Please read Eph 3...
    *********

    Was said..
    It is clear that Wesley is playing the fool here. Again it seems to be because he places focus on man rather then the clear teaching of the Word of God.

    Election is the very foundation for us to share the gospel. If we had to depend upon the natural disposition or will of a dead sinner, who hates God, to respond to our gospel, it will never happen. But when we realize that it is the Spirit that quickeneth, we can go forth with the gospel of the grace of God in the hope that God will cause some to believe it. Election does not determine the extent of how we share the gospel, but election determines the results of it. We are to preach to every creature because God has commanded, and because it pleases Him to save sinners by the foolishness of preaching. God did not choose to save sinners apart from the gospel ministry.

    Election recognizes that sinners "believe through grace" (Acts 18:27) and that while Paul may plant and Apollos may water, God gives the increase. Arminianism is man-powered, and robs God of his power. Its all about numbers to the free willers as seen in Wesley's own words. If you focus on man, this is bound to happen.


    John 6:37 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.

     
    #4 Jarthur001, Aug 28, 2008
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  5. skypair

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    EXACTLY what I hoped everyone would get out of this! It is a contradictory "model" unless you define "election" and "reprobation" in a way not found in scripture.

    I don't get it.

    skypair
     
    #5 skypair, Aug 28, 2008
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  6. skypair

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    This is, indeed THE crucial element of the whole discussion -- What really does "election" mean. Wesley and Calvin can both be very scriptural in speaking about election in their own minds but there is only one scriptural definition of "election" and they are not both talking about the same definition. To say that Wesley doesn't understand" (how many times have I heard that myself? :laugh: ) is merely to dismiss his definition in favor of Calvin's.

    And you have used it as it ought to be understood in this sentence. You said that God elects the church to preach the gospel -- and that is quite true. God alone elects purpose unto believers.

    There's a disconnect in your argument, I believe. What is the point of "sharing the gospel" then if "God chooses the sinner to be saved?" Isn't that person going to be saved even without the gospel? How are they "chosen in Christ" if they don't hear the gospel, as Paul might well ask? Isn't it rather just as Wesley said -- needless to share the gospel with the elect and pointless to share it with the lost?

    I don't think so.

    So it goes like this: God elects some whom He gives the Spirit to so they can respond to the gospel? How does He impart that Spirit to them? Isn't it through the preaching of the gospel rather than through "election?"

    I think you are trying to give us God's perspective without really knowing what it is, BTW. Calvinist RC Sproul will tell you that no one knows how God chooses whom He does to salvation so to suggest the Wesley looks at man's perspective where you look to God's is just a little disingenuous, isn't it?

    OK, that's good! Through the preaching of the gospel, the Spirit is imparted! Does one need to understand the gospel before the Spirit is imparted? does one have to believe the gospel before the Spirit is imparted? Does simply believing the gospel impart the Spirit or does one have to act upon it (repent, be baptized, and receive the Holy Spirit), too?

    I'm sure these assertions are true in some cases -- seeker friendly, for sure, IMO. But don't let your prejudices blind you to reason and truth.

    skypair






    John 6:37 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.[/QUOTE]
     
  7. Jarthur001

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    Election is not salvation. Election is a choice of who. The means is through the hear of the gospel that once a person believes, is salvation.

    Tis so. :)

    No. Election is not salvation. No man will come to God.(romans 3) God out of his only mercy opens the eyes of some and they believe. The new birth is when the spirit comes on man that opens the eyes. (John 3). And the Spirit comes on and gives birth to who the spirit wills. (John 3)

    You are right in that I do not know what God's perspective is, but you are wrong that I speak for Him. I go by his holy word alone.



    One cannot understand the gospel in order to believe unless the Spirit opens his eyes.







    John 6:37 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.[/QUOTE][/QUOTE]
     
  8. skypair

    skypair
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    I think this all might have gone better if you had answered my questions. Right now I am unsure as to how you are connecting your thoughts.

    skypair
     
    #8 skypair, Aug 28, 2008
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  9. Jarthur001

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    I did answer...

    1) God elects some whom He gives the Spirit to so they can respond to the gospel, right?

    YES

    2) How does He impart that Spirit to them?
    John 3...That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Do not marvel that I said to you, 'You must be born again.' 8 The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.

    3) Isn't it through the preaching of the gospel rather than through "election?"
    Election is not salvation. Many hear the gospel but will not respond. In fact no one will respond. The reason for this helplessness of natural man with regard to spiritual things is that the things of the Spirit are " spiritually discerned" (I Cor. 2:14).

    1 Cor. 2:14
    But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

    1 Cor. 2:14
    But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.


    Romans 9:16
    So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that showeth mercy.
     
  10. Grasshopper

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    That has been obvious for some time now.
     
  11. skypair

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    Ah. OK, so there is really no "change of mind" -- it is a chemical change in the brain? Or is it metaphysical that we can't understand how it happens?

    Ah yes, I have heard this verse. And the preaching of the gospel is "foolishness" to the Jews and Gentiles, too, isn't it. But to the "called," it is the "power of God" and the "wisdom of God," 1Cor 1:23. OK, I'll buy that. I say that just like I say, "I'll take that golf shot" (as if I had a choice :laugh:)

    But the passage also suggests that it is the power of God and wisdom of God only if it is heard via preaching, no? IOW, it doesn't become power or wisdom unless it is heard, understood, and believed, correct? And you are saying that there is some chemical or metaphysical explanation for some hearing, understanding, and believing?

    I'm especially curious about this because you remember in Acts when many people believed on Christ and were saved but NOT indwelt until Peter and John came to Antioch? How does that confirm or contradict what you are saying?

    skypair
     
    #11 skypair, Aug 28, 2008
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  12. Rippon

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    Wesley was a blasphemer,a liar,and worse.His doctrines (for the most part) were despicable.The only "revivalist" who could make him look a little better in comparison would be Charles Finney.
     
  13. ReformedBaptist

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    Have you read Whitefield's reponse to Wesley?
     
  14. Rippon

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    Yes I have.
     
  15. TCGreek

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    Then why did Whitefield praise Wesley?
     
  16. ReformedBaptist

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    Cool. I thought Whitefield's reply was awesome. I would be interesting to hear what others thought of it. What did you think of it?
     
  17. Allan

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    And don't forget Spurgoen's praise as well as others :)
     
  18. Rippon

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    Well,as you often say:"Spurgeon was wrong sometimes."

    C.H.S. despised the doctrines of John Wesley but said he lived far above mortal men (or words to that effect).But I beg to differ.A liar,deceiver,plagiarist,and theological heretic does not live far above mortals.

    George Whitefield made his letter to J.W. public.John Wesley and others in his congregation tore their copies up in a public display.

    In his letter Whitefield said that Wesley was a sophist.He said JW greatly erred.He said that "Infidels of all kinds are on your side of the question." (That is they arraign the sovereignty of God and uphold universal redemption.)GW said that Wesley dishonours God.

    He said in another place that the two of them preach two different gospels.

    Wesley was heretical and blasphemous.He's not the type of professing believer with which one should associate.
     
  19. Allan

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    In 'your' opinion. Yet God was pleased to use him for His glory and honor and blessed him greatly. Though I do not agree with everything Wesley said it does not take away from the fact that God used him and he walked as believer a believer should. He honored by both his friends and theological opponents alike for his godly walk.

    I think 'that' is gets your goat Rippon, but no matter how often or extreme you try to slander his name he will always be remembered as God-fearing man who loved the Lord and devoted himself to him by both Calvinists and Non's alike.

    He is as godly a man as Whitefield, Spurgeon, Edwards, and Toplady. :)

    But anything more on this will be completely wasted with you on it. So till another time..
     
    #19 Allan, Aug 29, 2008
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  20. Allan

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    I aslo noticed you left TCGreek's post alone, hmm ... wonder why?
     

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