Is the "foresight of faith" view to only viable "Arminian" explanation?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Skandelon, Sep 24, 2011.

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  1. Skandelon

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    The foresight of faith view is what many see as the Arminian explanation of biblical predestination. They teach that God looks down the corridors of time to see who will have faith and then predestines them to have faith.

    Honestly, if I believed that is what Arminians really believed I'd reject it to. It is NOT just about God's foresight of man's faith, and this statement oversimplifies our views to make them seem absurd.

    We affirm that God has predestined us (believers) to be conformed to the image of Christ and adopted as his sons, just as scripture teaches. We just don't presume that to mean God also has predestined who would and would not believe in Christ, as do Calvinists. So, we don't believe Paul is attempting to say God is looking through time to see who will believe and then predestining them to believe. Instead, Paul is simply showing what God has predetermined to accomplish in the lives of all who come to faith.

    Here is an analogy I used back in the day which should provide some clarity:

     
  2. JesusFan

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    #2 JesusFan, Sep 24, 2011
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  3. Skandelon

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    JF, until you bring me some direct quotes from these so-called "classical Arminians" for us to objectively view in their context, such comments will be dismissed as being "uninformed." I don't mean to be disrespectful, but you came to this board asking a lot of questions under the admission that you were not aware of the issues surrounding this debate. So, either you have been studying the wrong material or you have yet to really grasp what has been taught.
     
  4. JesusFan

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    Free-Will or Human Ability

    Although human nature was seriously affected by the fall, man has not been left in a state of total spiritual helplessness. God graciously enables every sinner to repent and believe, but He does not interfere with man's freedom. Each sinner possesses a free will, and his eternal destiny depends on how he uses it. Man's freedom consists of his ability to choose good over evil in spiritual matters; his will is not enslaved to his sinful nature. The sinner has the power to either cooperate with God's Spirit and be regenerated or resist God's grace and perish. The lost sinner needs the Spirit's assistance, but he does not have to be regenerated by the Spirit before he can believe, for faith is man's act and precedes the new birth. Faith is the sinner's gift to God; it is man's contribution to salvation.


    Conditional Election

    God's choice of certain individuals unto salvation before the foundation of the world was based upon His foreseeing that they would respond to His call. He selected only those whom He knew would of themselves freely believe the gospel. Election therefore was determined by or conditioned upon what man would do. The faith which God foresaw and upon which He based His choice was not given to the sinner by God (it was not created by the regenerating power of the Holy Spirit) but resulted solely from man's will. It was left entirely up to man as to who would believe and therefore as to who would be elected unto salvation. God chose those whom He knew would, of their own free will, choose Christ. Thus the sinner's choice of Christ, not God's choice of the sinner, is the ultimate cause of salvation.

    lets see here

    God lives it up to each individual person to decide, exercise his "free will" to believe in jesus, and THAT act is the basis of Gods election...

    What part of "classical" Arminianism was I "uniformed" on/about?
     
  5. Skandelon

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    Surprise, Surprise, a quote from the "reformed-theology.org" web site. Yeah, they aren't biased.

    This is exactly what I've been talking about. No wonder so many go over to Calvinism, they think the foresight faith view is the only alternative. Sad!!! :(

    That is like an Arminian thinking Hyperism is the only Calvinistic alternative or even that only Supra-Cal was an option...it is misrepresentative. That is why I asked for a quote FROM a so-called "classical Arminian." I need to see a direct quote from the horse's mouth!
     
    #5 Skandelon, Sep 24, 2011
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  6. seekingthetruth

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    Predestinate?

    Rom 8:29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
    Rom 8:30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.

    Foreknowing and predestinaing are two different things. God saw into the future and knew who would love Him. But the only thing He "prediestinated" in this passage was that those who love Him would be conformed to the image of Jesus. Just because God sees the future doesn't mean He has decreed it, we still have a choice, but God already knows what choice we'll make.

    In verse 30, the ones who love Him are also called. We are called by the teaching of the gospel. 2Th 2:14 Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. Many are called but few respond. Mat 20:16 So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen. The "chosen" here are not the "predestined", they are simply the ones that accept the gospel. And those that accept are justified and glorified.


    I don't see what is so hard about understanding that. But many men have dissected it to pieces and created a whole theology that is based more on their writings than it is on the Bible.


    Eph 1:10 That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:
    Eph 1:11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:

    God here is gathering "together in one all things in Christ". "In whom also we have obtained a great inheritance". The "we" is speaking of the believing Jews and the Christian gentiles. The Jews inherited the predestined promise of the land of Isreal, and the gentiles inherited salvation. God brought them together for His purpose, which was to create His church, composed of all people of all races.

    This passage is addressing the establishment of the Church, not individual eternal salvation.
     
  7. DHK

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    In the OT called out a nation to himself--Israel. Election is corporate. God called out a corporate body unto himself--an entire nation, the nation of Israel. He allowed others to entire--by faith: Ruth, the Moabitess; Rahab the harlot. There were other proselytes that came by faith including Cornelius.

    In the NT God is still calling out a nation unto himself--a corporate body. They that enter into it must enter by faith. That is the only gate into this corporate body that is being called out by God. It is a holy nation that God is calling out for himself. Individuals enter into it by faith.

    God elected these bodies (these two nations) from before the foundation of the earth. They are to be to the praise of His glory. Entrance is gained by faith. Even in "believing Israel," there were some that did not "believe."
     
  8. The Archangel

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    Wrong. Paul is not only listing the things God has done for those who love Him. This is a reading of the text that leaves out the other (and more important) aspect: Those who are called.

    Actually, Paul is adeptly bringing up both the action of God and the response of man. Paul is bringing up calling, and it is an effectual calling (a "call" that produces something, in this case salvation). The effectual call is seen in the following verse where it is God who calls and justifies (among other things).

    Paul is, however, saying that the result of God's calling (those called according to His purpose) are those that love Him.

    So, we do have man's response--loving God. But that response is just that, a response. Man loving God does not bring God's call. Rather, God's call (an obvious effectual call) brings about man loving Him.

    It is unfortunate that someone of your stature should leave out a clause so important.

    By leaving out the aforementioned clause of Romans 8:28, it is easy to see how that omission has led you down an errant path. You are making assumptions of the text based on what you leave out rather than what is actually there.

    The Archangel
     
  9. kyredneck

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    ???????

    29 For whom he foreknew, he also foreordained to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren:
    30 and whom he foreordained, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. Ro 8
     
  10. Skandelon

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    Hi Archangel, good to see you again. Miss you around here! :)
    Scripture teaches, "Many are called, but few are chosen," thus proving that all called are not necessarily chosen.

    Even real Calvinists affirms the universal nature of the gospel's call. So, the question at hand is whether the "call" Paul is speaking of (in Romans 8) is the so-called "effectual calling" of the Calvinistic system (which is NEVER expounded upon in scripture), or if he is simply speaking of the gospel call (which is extensively taught about) by which those who do respond are justified, sanctified and glorified. In the list Paul gives, the faith response is not included, it is assumed, thus to insist this text supports the Calvinistic rendering is presumptuous...and really an argument from silence.

    I agree. I just don't believe the call which results in man's loving him is irresistibly applied, as you presume on this text.

    I agree. What have I said that makes you think I would disagree with this? I just think its a free response, remember?

    I agree that God's call initiates the relationship, but what about any verse makes you beg the question by presuming it is "an obvious effectual call?"
     
    #10 Skandelon, Sep 24, 2011
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  11. freeatlast

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    Setting aside beliefs is a difficult thing to do once we have been convinced even if the belief is incorrect and pointed out clearly to be wrong. We just seem to resist thinking we are wrong. We all have that failure to some extent. It is something that I diligently wrestle against and I pray all do as well.

    So let me ask a question here. There is no doubt that this issue has been long and deeply debated. If one looks at scripture it is clear that both sides have legitimate arguments even if we do not like to admit it. I actually hold both views although without perfect understanding. Why is it not plausible that both sides of the debate are working together to get the final results?

    Scripture actually teaches both so instead of picking one side or the other and digging in our heals why not both even though they seem to be contradictory? If all things are possible with God then why could God not predestine a person without looking ahead of time to see who would accept while He remains sovereign and still not violate a persons volition?

    So my point is that based on scripture I see that God predestines people.That is impossible to reject if I am open to His word. He alone chooses from eternity past. I also see that everyone is given the choice without any violation of their will. That would include that their will is not predetermined by God's election. That too is scriptural as we are commanded to repent and believe.

    I admit I cannot get the two to work out in perfect harmony, but that is not unusual if we believe the bible as there are many things about God that seem to contradict and yet they are true. I think our problem is we are missing a big piece of the puzzle which brings these seemingly contradictory teaching together. So we must rely on faith to hold it together until one day we see clearly. God's sovereign predetermined election and free will to choose the offer (volition) Why not both working together, neither overriding the other, to save some?
     
    #11 freeatlast, Sep 24, 2011
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  12. Skandelon

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    I understand and appreciate the effort to provide a "middle ground" compromise which acknowledges and accepts both premises of this debate, however I must disagree.

    The bible does NOT teach that God predestines certain people to be saved. That is something you just assume based upon a gross misinterpretation of Ephesians 1. What Paul says is that God has predestined to adopt believers as sons. It does NOT say God has predestined some to become believers. It only tells us what God has PRE-determined will happen to his Bride, the church. It says nothing of his predetermining what individuals will or will not be in his church.
     
  13. freeatlast

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    You are incorrect if you think I am seeking compromise. I NEVER compromise where truth is involved. It is one reason I would not make it as a politician.
    I do not base what I said on a single passage. There are many. Jesus said that all the Father give me will come to me. We are chosen by the Father as a gift to the Son to be saved. The Father alone gives those who will be saved. Yet we are commanded to repent and believe. Both are at work. Of the disciples Jesus said you have not chosen me, but I have chosen you. Of Judas it is written he was predetermined to do as he did yet it was his choice. To reject that both are at work in the economy of God is to reject what is written.
    I would be interested in your explanation of Judas if God does not do predeterminations of peoples destiny yet we clearly have a choice.
     
    #13 freeatlast, Sep 24, 2011
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  14. Skandelon

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    Jesus said that in the context where Israel was being hardened in their rebellion and the gospel, the means by which men are drawn, had yet to be sent to the world. The mysteries of the kingdom were only given to a select few Jews, who were pre-selected to be the messengers to take the gospel the the rest of the world, first to the Jew and then to the Gentile. This has nothing to do with God effectually calling a select number to be saved to the neglect of all others for all time. Jesus was hiding the truth for a time until he accomplished redemption on the cross. He had a select few that he trained, but the rest were left in their rebellion. The world is not drawn to him until He is lifted up. (see John 12)

    Read John 17 again. Jesus first speaks of his apostles who God had individually selected and given to him, but then in verse 17 he shifts to talk about 'those who believe in him through their message.' You make the mistake of confusing God special election of the remnant of Israel, as the 'first fruits of the faith' with the Calvinistic presumption that His plan is to do that with all mankind for salvation. The proof that God used effectual means to change Jonah's will to go preach in Nineveh is not proof that God effectually called select Ninevites to believe his message. God may divinely and sovereignly intervene to guarantee that His message is delivered, but that doesn't even imply that he likewise causes those who Here his message will receive it.

    Key phrase there is, "of the disciples."
     
  15. 12strings

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    1.

    I don't know if I have ever heard it stated this way, and so I'm not sure an arminian would agree this. I thought that their teaching was that God "foreknew" (saw their future faith), and then predestined them to be saved...Not necessarily that he predestined them to have faith because he saw their faith. I think they would see that as very circular reasoning (as I do).

    2. I think the hardest thing to get with the "corporate election" View is "How can God corporately elect a people without also individually electing them?
    a. Was God not in effect electing millions of individual Israelites for a relationship to himself at the expense of millions of other people?
    b. If I as a Christian, and I am one on whom God has willed to have mercy, not to harden, (Rom. 9:18), and one of God's "chosen ones" (Col. 3:12), Par of a chosen race (1 Peter 2:9)...How did I get be "chosen" if God did not really choose "ME"?

    Am I to explain it by the fact that God chose and predestined to do certain things with his people, and I by free choice turned to him in faith and became one of those people? If that is the case, can I even speak of Being "one of God's chosen ones?" Or should I say, since I chose God, He has chosen to give me certain blessings?
     
  16. freeatlast

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    Why can't it be both?
     
  17. freeatlast

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    Both are in scripture. It is not one sided.
     
  18. Skandelon

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    I'm not sure I see the distinction? If God has predestined to save someone hasn't he predestined them to believe?

    The distinction I'm drawing is regarding Paul's intent in writing these words. Was he trying to say that God has predetermined to save a select number to the neglect of all others, but because you don't know which ones are which you should preach to all? Or was he saying that God has chosen both Jews and Gentiles and God has predetermined to adopt all believers as his sons and conform all believers into the image of Christ, thus God shows no favoritism. He has selected not only Israel, but all other nations to receive this gospel truth, so go and preach to "every creature."

    I think it is clearly the latter rather than the former.

    I agree that when a nation is elected then individuals must also be involved. But let's take this statement to Romans 11 and see how it plays out, okay? There you have a nation of people who have stumbled, but not beyond recovery (vs 11). You have Jews hardened and "cut off", but if they "leave their unbelief" they may be grafted back in again. You have those individuals who God has hardened possibly being provoked to envy and saved. Yes, I agree, that which involves a nation also involves the individuals within that nation.

    God elected for other nations (besides Israel) to receive the appeal of the gospel, thus individuals within those nations are directly affected in that they now have the responsibility (response-able) to accept or reject God's special revelation...something reserved for Israel before.

    Paul addresses this issue in Romans 1. We can discuss it further if you'd like.

    Those "hardened" are the Jews who God had held out his hands to all day long (Rm. 10:21). And those hardened have not stumbled beyond recovery. They may be provoked to envy and saved. (Rm 11:11-14). He bound all men over to disobedience so that he might show mercy to all. (Rm. 11:32)

    These are all good questions. It would be my goal to make sure you fully understood the view you have rejected as being false. In other words, be able to fully explain the opponents answers to these question before rejecting them out of hand. Make sense?
     
  19. Skandelon

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    Oh, I was under the impression you wanted to have a discussion, but it is now evident you just want to blog. Type on... :type:
     
  20. Iconoclast

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    Wrong...the church is made up of living stones...built up together....
    [QUOTEChrist himself being the chief corner stone;

    21In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:

    22In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.
    ][/QUOTE]


    Your opposition to calvinism has led you off course.......
     
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