J.I. (Calvinist) Packer's "Knowing God"

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by skypair, Jul 18, 2007.

  1. skypair

    skypair
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    Here's the explanation of regeneration as presented by a Calvinist that I have been seeking on my other thread. Pay attention. Even Packer can't get around it.

    "It is not for us to imagine that we can prove the truth of Christianity by our own arguments: nobody can prove the truth of Christianity except the Holy Spirit, by His own almighty work of renewing the blinded heart. It is the sovereign prerogative of Christ's Spirit to CONVINCE men's consciences of the truth of the gospel and Christ's human witnesses must learn to ground their hopes of success not on clever presentation of the truth by man, but on powerful demonstration of the truth by the Spirit." p. 71 pp. 2

    There it is --- what I believe as well. Blinded heart renewed by CONVINCING man's conscience of the truth through the presentation/preaching of the gospel! None of this "flim flam" stuff about "elect." None of this idea of regeneration before one can even "hear." Instead, hearing and convincing is a prerequisite for regeneration and faith.

    Again: "It is surely clear that, once a person is CONVINCED that his state and need are as described [sinner in need of a Savior], the New Testament gospel of grace cannot but sweep him off his feet with wonder and joy. ... Grace and salvation belong together as cause and effect." p. 132 pp. 2-3

    YES! The offer of grace leads to the reception of salvation through the CONVINCING of the Spirit. There IS a part for the "blinded heart" to play. It is NOT just a passive role we play but a pensive one -- and a decisive one!

    Are you getting this, brothers?

    skypair
     
    #1 skypair, Jul 18, 2007
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  2. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
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    I do not know of any Calvinist who disagrees with that. My bet is you don't either.
     
  3. skypair

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    That'd be great!!

    So regeneration is NOT monergistic. We actually have to know and believe something BEFORE we receive regeneration and faith! Wonderful!

    And we don't have to be regenerated to "hear." Everyone "hears" the gospel! Everyone can consider the "salvation offer" for him/herself and receive it. Man! You don't know how long I have been hoping to come to this intersection of our "knowledge and faith of Christ!"

    TCGreek almost acknowledged this -- then took it back when his Calvinist dogma overcame his scriptural scruples.


    skypair
     
  4. russell55

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    What Packer is describing is exactly monergistic regeneration, but apparently you don't recognize it. See?:



    The Holy Spirit, by his own work (MONERGISM) renews the blinded heart (REGENERATION). It is the sovereign prerogative (God is the one who makes the choice of whom, when, and where) of Christ's Spirit to convince men's consciences of the truth of the gospel (REGENERATION).


    The Holy Spirit convinces (REGENERATION), and so the gospel cannot but sweep him off his feet (THE CALL IS EFFECTUAL). Grace (THE MONERGISTIC WORK OF THE SPIRIT) and salvation belong together as cause and effect.

    In other words, God's grace is the cause and our salvation is the effect. This is a clear statement that our salvation is a monergistic work of God's grace, or that God's grace is the whole cause of our salvation.
     
  5. Jkdbuck76

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    Russell,

    Are you allowed to put your own words in parantheses when quoting someone else?
     
  6. Pastor Larry

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    As I suspected, you don't understand what Packer is saying and what Calvinism believes. In other words, same song, 49 millionth verse.

    Some things never change.
     
  7. Jkdbuck76

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    Pastor Larry,

    I think the confusing thing is that everybody is using English
    but their own dictionary....or jargon.
     
  8. TCGreek

    TCGreek
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    As has been clearly demonstrated, the quote from Dr. Packer you are looking to for refuge that faith or something else of man's part precedes regeneration, has somehow not cut it for you.

    It was not my Calvinistic dogma but my understanding of Scripture that the dead must be regenerated (1Pet.1:3).
     
  9. J.D.

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    Glad to have you on board brother.
     
  10. J.D.

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    Never mind. The exit is that way.
     
  11. TCGreek

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    I thought I would give you a quote from Dr. J.I. Packer's Concise Theology:

     
    #11 TCGreek, Jul 18, 2007
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  12. russell55

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    Well, usually, when you are putting your own words into quotes, you use brackets, not parenthesis.

    But FYI, the exact quotes don't include any of my own words at all. The slight paraphrases below the actual quotes do have explanations of Packer's words given in caps in parenthesis. Since you clearly understood they were not Packer's own words, but set apart from Packer's own word, why are you complaining?
     
  13. skypair

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    You got that right!! I am not seeing how unbelievers ("blind") see without knowing it.

    The "renewing work" (you call "monergism") is explained in the next sentence. It is by "CONVINCING men's consciences." Do you see that sentence?

    NO. CONVINCING is NOT monergism nor is it regeneration until there is a change in the heart. That change is effectuated by the person who is CONVINCED -- who hears, believes and receives. Convincing involves "reasoning together" --- as in "Come let us reason together. Though your sins be as scarlet..." And so the "gospel" is NOT always an "effectual call," is it.

    Again, you are supporting a dogma you do not even understand. You don't understand it because you can't "connect the dots" between unbelief and regeneration with any rational explanation of what happens to change the heart.

    skypair
     
    #13 skypair, Jul 18, 2007
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  14. skypair

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    Pulease, Larry. Don't "spoil the moment." :laugh:

    How can you accuse me of not understanding Packer and give NO reasons or explanation why. How can you say you don't hink any Calvinists would disagree in one post and come back and deny your own words the next?? Were you lying to me? Were you, like TCGreek, unaware that Calvinism doesn't make any sense? Explain yourself, pls.

    skypair
     
  15. skypair

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    I apologize. I didn't give you credit for your scriptural wisdom.

    For instance, do you even know what 1Pet 1:3 means??? We are born again to the hope/belief that we will be resurrected because that resurrection is promised and, thus, is NOT something we have seen and can have faith in. See -- things that we believe (like the gospel) AND have evidence of (like regeneration by the Holy Spirit indwelling) -- those things we can have FAITH in. So BELIEF had to come before regeneration if that paradigm (the one Packer is talking about) is true -- belief - regeneration - faith.

    skypair
     
  16. skypair

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    See, J.D., what Packer says makes perfect scriptural sense -- until it is compared with Calvinist dogma!! Both you and Pastor Larry thought Packer made perfect sense. It wasn't until you realized that he espoused that man has a part in the regeneration -- he had to be CONVINCED first -- that you both "fled the flock" and grabbed for dogma neither of you have figured out.

    Please reconsider. "Let us reason together." Does it make sense to you that there is ABSOLUTELY NO reason for your being regenerated?? No cause and never a sicernable moment when, in your mind, it happened?

    skypair
     
  17. TCGreek

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    I give up! You are the expert on the doctrine of regeneration. Please, reread Packer's qoute from his Concise Theology. There's no way you can up away with the idea that faith precedes faith by reading Packer. He counters that idea.

    But what does the Scriptures teach? Does faith precede regeneration? I firmly believe that the Bible teaches that regeneration precedes faith (1John 5:1).
     
  18. skypair

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    Thank you, TC. I was expecting some backpedalling in the book but I never found it. No doubt that is why it got so many endorsements (21 under the front cover alone!) -- because he DIDN'T retract any of his words even in the 1993 reprinting (20 years later) of his original work.

    I still see no retraction. How do you think a "new principle" is "implanted" in the heart? You wouldn't explain it to me before. Do you have an explanation now??

    EXACTLY, TC!! But you know what? Ezek 36:25-27 speaks of the resurrection -- the REBIRTH -- of Israel into the MK. They will be resurrected, reborn out of the ground, and given this "new heart!" Same with Ezek 37:12-14! You're looking at the PERFECT parallel to what happens to JUSTIFIED, repentant, receiving believers as soon as they receive Christ! They are "regenerated" and receive the "sight" of faith!! Are you with me??

    Fantastic observation, TC!!

    No -- even OT faith required repentance and faith in God. And there was no "new birth" for OT saints -- not then and not while Christ hadn't made the requisite Sacrifice for sin. That is a lesson for you -- there was NO regeneration in the OT. Their "regeneration" comes into the MK, a resurrection by the Spirit to "new life in Messiah!" Do you see that? This is good stuff, TC. I hope you are taking notes.

    Look, it's either one or the other, TC. either no conversion without new birth or no new birth without conversion. Otherwise yours is a "chicken and egg" conundrum.

    John the Baptist was NOT born again, TC. He couldn't be because, again, the Sacrifice hadn't been made. When he died, he went to sheol, not to heaven, until that sacrifice was made at the cross. What you are reading about John the B is that he was "filled with the Spirit" -- a temporary circumstance for OT saints (and NT ones) in which all of one's thoughts, emotions, and will (such as they are) are focused on God. John's were purely reflexive.

    O I couldn't agree more! That IS the work of the Holy Spirit. He CONVINCES the blind, the unbeliever.

    As described by Calvinists, "regeneration" is ALWAYS the RESULT of effectual calling.

    That is Calvinist dogma -- not the reasoning of scripture. Packer says regeneration is the result of the Spirit's CONVINCING of the blind. CONVINCING requires participation by the one being "drawn" -- being called.

    OK, if it doesn't occur like Packer says (and like I agree), how does that work in your opinion?

    Transition??? I would suggest that you are talking now about SANCTIFICATION which occurs over one's total life on earth. And no, that would not be a "rebirth" as Jesus spoke of. Even for the OT saints whose resurrection will have a specific date, rebirth is instantaneous.

    I agree. BELIEF, being CONVINCED, is the cause of regeneration. Being CONVINCED is a personal decision, TC. It is evidenced by repentance and trusting in Christ. You are merely trying to stick as closely as you can to what you have been taught and not even "reasoning" with God's word.

    Oh, I'm a liar now? C'mon, TC. Go read it before you salaciously accuse me! I gave you page and paragraph.

    skypair
     
    #18 skypair, Jul 18, 2007
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  19. Jkdbuck76

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    I'm not complaining at all. You're interjecting words like "regeneration". I made a comment later about how we all use English, but it seems like we have our own dictionaries.

    Might I ask, what are the definitions of the words that you had in parentheses? I mean, when you say "regeneration", does Skypair mean it the same way you do?

    I'm asking for help. That's all.

    Edit: And what does Packer mean by "convincing"? Does it mean He is trying, or He is proving something?
     
    #19 Jkdbuck76, Jul 18, 2007
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  20. TCGreek

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    I wish not to take this discussion in a contentious direction. Never once did I call you a liar or implied that you are.

    I personally do not like the tone this discussion is taking; so I am discontinuing my participation in this thread.
     

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