John Calvin’s errant views

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Van, Apr 2, 2011.

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  1. Van

    Van
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    In book three, chapters 21, 22 and 24 of John Calvin’s “Institutes of Christian Religion” Calvin presents doctrine now known as Calvinism. It is underwhelming rather than compelling. But lets go through it, point by point and see what we shall see. The words in italics are partial quotes and paraphrases from his writings.

    Not everyone hears the gospel. (True.) Not everyone responds in the same way to the gospel. (True) The apparent injustice is acceptable because God’s election for His purpose aligns the seeming injustice with justice. (False premise. The actual premise from scripture is that everyone deserves destruction, and so granting mercy to some does not undercut the justice encountered by all others.)

    Election is a puzzling subject because it is hard to understand why some people are predestined to destruction and others mercy. (False premise, individual election before creation is the fundamental error of the doctrine.) God not giving grace to all, but only to some illustrates God’s grace. (Gibberish. Grace is not grace if based on works but God granting salvation by grace through faith rather than by works illustrates the unmerited favor of grace.) Not understanding this prevents true humility. (Ad hominem of no merit.)

    Paul teaches that grace can only be understood if works are set aside, and it is recognized that grace is given only to predestined and foreseen individuals. (False premise, grace can be understood as God granting mercy to those who deserve justice. Also, in His sovereignty He chose to grant grace to those who call upon the name of the Lord because He is opposed to the proud (Habakkuk 2:4). What is not right within Calvinism, is arrogantly replacing “saved by grace through faith” with “saved by election through irresistible grace.”)

    Calvin next begins his assertion concerning eternal security. To make us invulnerable to the discouragement of life and its hardships, God promises safety to all He has taken into his care. (True) Therefore those that argue against eternal security do a disservice to salvation. (False premise. All those that stay in God’s kindness, in their faith in God and His Christ, can be confident of their security in Christ. God wants us to live in fear of Him, but in fear of nothing else.) Security lies in the lap of predestination. (False premise. Security lies not in knowing that whoever is saved is predestined to eternal life, but in having confidence we are saved -wheat not tares - based on unwavering faith as protected by God Almighty, made stronger by acts worthy of repentance.)

    Calvin closes part one of Chapter 21 with an appeal to stick with the truths revealed in the word, and not invent answers to mysteries, but rather accept and worship Him cloaked in part in mystery. (True)

    Calvin opens part two with the statement that our first aim must be to know only the doctrine of predestination as set out in scripture. (True) Calvin closes part two with the statement we should rightly be alarmed about presumption, which could plunge us into ruin. (Amen.)

    In part 7 of Chapter 21, Calvin asserts that whom God dooms to destruction are shut off from eternal life, by God’s perfect but incomprehensible judgment. (False. God’s Word explains that all deserve destruction, we are doomed from conception because of Adam, and we also appoint ourselves to destruction by our deeds including, if given the opportunity, when we reject Christ. Those that never had an opportunity of accept the gospel will receive perfect justice, being judged based on the Law written on their heart (Romans 1:20; 2:12-16).

    In Chapter 22, Calvin continues his argument as follows: “People” imagine that God makes election according to merit, from foreknowledge he grants adoption as sons to the worthy, and condemns evil-doers. (False premise if applied to all people. Some people study God’s Word and conclude that God makes election based crediting our worthless faith as righteousness never merit.)

    Next, his argument, as least as I understand the translation, drifts toward incoherency. Calvin rightly points out that the truth of God is clear and cannot be shaken by human authorities. But then he says that his “experience” proves his assertion that God makes His election unconditionally (False and incoherent. God does as He pleases, but if He pleases to grant salvation to whoever believes in His Son, He can do it without a blindfold.)

    Calvin reveals the human logic that drove his doctrine as follows: If election precedes justification, (which it does) what does God see in our depraved dirty rags to persuade Him to elect us? (He sees through all our worthless works and finds in our depraved heart: belief, faith, love and commitment to Christ Jesus, our Lord and our God. He chooses us while we are yet sinners.) The underlying false premise of his doctrine is individual pre-selection for salvation; this drives everything else.

    At the close of Chapter 22, Calvin seeks to support unconditional individual pre-selection by extrapolating the selection by Jesus of His apostles whom had been given Him by the Father. This is also a false premise. God does select individuals, in order to further his purpose and plan. He hardens hearts and causes calamities and otherwise supernaturally alters the natural course of events to bring His predestined plan to fruition. But, since His plan included choosing believers based on granting grace through faith, extrapolation of God’s choices not conditioned on faith, runs counter to the evidence presented in His Word. Scripture can and does support both corporate selection of the kind of people – believers - and individual selection. God did not choose Abraham for unknown reasons; but scripture says He found him a man of faith. Many times, God appears to include His evaluation of the human heart in His selections. When God chose Christ, Christ existed as the Word (John 1:1) Therefore, when God chose us in Him before the foundation of the world He chose us corporately -believers in Christ as the target group of His redemption plan, and then subsequently during our lifetime He chose us individually by putting us in Christ, choosing people whose faith He credited as righteousness, according to His redemption plan.

    In Chapter 24, Calvin makes many solid points without muddling his exposition of God’s Word with false premises. He points out that hearing the gospel and responding sincerely are strong evidences of election. Faith and communion with Christ also should give us confidence. And if we have confidence, based on our past persistent faith, we should have confidence in our future security, for nothing can pluck us out of His hand. He correctly addresses the issue of those who sincerely thought they had responded to the call of the gospel, but subsequently went out from us because they never were of us. Salvation comes when God chooses us, not when we think we have chosen God.

    In summary, the false premise of unconditional election of individuals before creation, rather than accepting the view of God’s corporate election of His target group - believers in Christ – before creation, followed by our individual election based on God choosing us through faith in the truth, is what drove Calvin into error.
     
    #1 Van, Apr 2, 2011
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  2. Earth Wind and Fire

    Earth Wind and Fire
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    Have you studied the full of the institutes or just 3 chapters in Book 3?
     
  3. Jarthur001

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    :)

    The only thing that is clear, is that non-Calvinist will go to the ends of the earth to lie about John Calvin.

    But search his books….it cannot be found.

    http://www.ccel.org/search/fulltext...h+justice." bookID:institutes authorID:calvin

    YOU SAID CALVIN SAID..

    Again…where?

    http://www.ccel.org/search/fulltext...thers+mercy bookID:institutes authorID:calvin
    Again…where???
    http://www.ccel.org/search/fulltext...od’s+grace" bookID:institutes authorID:calvin


    Now you can find these quotes if you google them. Take any of the quotes above and placed them in google with quote marks like this…..

    "God not giving grace to all, but only to some illustrates God’s grace"

    ……….make sure you use the quote marks….."…"….and you will get one hit (TODAY).
    It was posted in 2004.

    In the next few days google will give you two hits as it pulls this into its index…..this thread and the other one from 2004.

    The same person says both. I can't find where Calvin said them.
     
  4. Van

    Van
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    The first response is to ask about what I have studied, i.e. my qualifications, not my position. The second response is to say I have lied about John Calvin. So again the effort is to shift the discussion from Baptist Theology and Bible Study to my qualifications and character. That is all they have, slander and disparagement.

    Now, without saying I lied about John Calvin, would it be fair to ask where I derived my "partial quotes and paraphrases?" Yes. But rather than seek the truth, they seek to shift the subject.

    My copy of the Institutes is certainly an abridged copy, so I have not studied the entire work. The cover of my copy says "John Calvin on the top two lines, and is underlined. Then it reads, "The Institutes of Christian Religion, Edited by Tony Lane and Hilary Osborne. It was reprinted in 1987 by Baker Book House from the edition copyrighted in 1986 by Robert Backhouse. The Library of Congress number is ISBN 0-8010-2524-9.

    You can Google the number and find out if I am making anything up or lying about my source.

    Now if you look at the index, you will see Part XII of Book 2 is titled "God's election and Man's destiny. Chapter 21, starts on page 213.

    Here is my paraphrase from page 213: Election is a puzzling subject because it is hard to understand why some people are predestined to destruction and others mercy.

    Here is the exact, word for word quote from the page: "This is a puzzling subject to many, because it is hard to square the thought of some men being predestined to salvation and others to destruction."

    So I did not lie about John Calvin, for what victory can be won with lies, slander, deception, malice, and outright wickedness? None.

    Here is another "quote or paraphrase" "God not giving grace to all, but only to some illustrates God’s grace."

    And here is the exact word for work quote from page 213: "God's grace is illustrated by the fact He does not give away salvation indiscriminately, but gives to some what He denies to others."

    How about "The apparent injustice is acceptable because God’s election for His purpose aligns the seeming injustice with justice" which is the last "quote or paraphrase" cited where I was charged with lying.

    Here is the exact word for word quote from page 213, "The Gospel is not preached to everyone, and among those to whom it is preached does not always meet with the same response. This difference demonstrates the unsearchable depths of divine judgment, and is subordinate to God's purpose of election."

    Calvinism is defended with the propaganda tools of the world. Only when they address the biblical view being expressed, and not the poster's character or qualification, should their viewpoint be viewed as anything but a logical fallacy.
     
    #4 Van, Apr 2, 2011
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  5. Earth Wind and Fire

    Earth Wind and Fire
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    Im just asking you your qualifications & your getting all paranoid. There are 4 books in the Institutes & people have spent years studying it & dissecting it. I just want to know if your an expert in it .....but seeing your confident & positive demeanor tells me a boatload. I think I will pass on this discussion.....not worth it.

    Ciao / Or perhaps Guten abend ?
     
    #5 Earth Wind and Fire, Apr 2, 2011
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  6. Van

    Van
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    Thanks EW&F, you probably didn't realise you shifting the subject away from the topic to my flawed character. The deal is, if my views are valid, then my behavior and qualifications do not matter.
     
  7. Havensdad

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    First, placing something in italics and quoting book and page, does come off a bit dishonest if you are really "paraphrasing." It sounded like you were stating what Calvin actually said, when in fact you not only failed to quote him, you failed to capture his meaning as well.

    The concept that God's judgment is subordinate to His election, is a fact that every single Christian must, necessarily, confirm (Unless you believe that Christians are going to be judged and go to Hell). This is completely different than the paraphrase that you attempted. Do you have experience with interpreting older writings? I am just curious, because without it, MANY things will be misconstrued.

    Second, don't you attend Pacific Coast Church?
     
  8. Earth Wind and Fire

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    How like a Calvinist your behaving right now Brother Haven...:smilewinkgrin:
     
  9. Van

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    Any one can you "you failed to capture his meaning" but without evidence, it is simply yet another charge against my qualifications to read with understanding. A logical fallacy yet again.

    Was I being "a bit dishonest" when I said, "The words in italics are partial quotes and paraphrases from his writings." This clearly allowed someone to question the accuracy of my paraphrases. So the charge of being dishonest, is simply another slander by another Calvinist.

    And finally, was God's judgment of the lost in view? No, it was that God's judgment was just, and was subordinate to God's purpose of election. And I said this was a false premise, that "The actual premise from scripture is that everyone deserves destruction, and so granting mercy to some does not undercut the justice encountered by all others.)
     
    #9 Van, Apr 2, 2011
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  10. Jarthur001

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    Your so called "partial quotes and paraphrases" only words Calvin's words as you wish them to be. Why not just let the man speak for himself???

    You seem driven by hate. You hate Calvinism. It is clear your hate cause you to do silly things, and misquote people.

    Do you feel like just because you have study something, that others that do not agree with you have not studied it? Every Calvinist I know has study the issue over and over...has looked at the same handful of verses that non-calvinist keep giving as proof they are wrong.

    You show your hate when 50% or better of the threads you start are your proofs to dis-credit Calvinism, but you use tactics as seen above.

    Do you really think a Calvinist does not read the Bible? You think its only propaganda...and Calvinist are just to "blind to see" (YES I HAVE BEEN TOLD THIS BEFORE)? Are they just programed...in a trance from a book....or by a preacher of Calvinism...and have never checked it out on their own?

    Sad
     
    #10 Jarthur001, Apr 2, 2011
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  11. Van

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    And now we here from the person that said I lied about John Calvin without a shed of evidence. Now he says I misrepresented his views, but does not present any examples. Then he says I am driven by hate, addressing my character and not my views. Then he lies again and says I misquote people." No examples will be forthcoming.

    The he insinuates I would assume those who disagree with me have not studied the topic being discussed. Yet another false charge without any evidence, just assigning guilt.

    I do hate false doctrine, Do you think we are to "tolerate" false doctrine so as to not hurt the feelings of the misguided? What does the Bible say on the topic?

    Then another lie, insinuating I do not think folks like Rippon and Archangel read the bible.
    I know a smear compaign when I see it. The question is will the Calvinists with integrety weigh in?
     
  12. Havensdad

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    The meaning is there for all to see. Saying that (this is the proper way to quote someone)The apparent injustice is acceptable because God’s election for His purpose aligns the seeming injustice with justice....
    is wholly different from saying that God's justice is subordinate to his election. Calvin is speaking of believers here; in other words, judgment is foregone for the elect.



    Again, you are failing to see that you are saying the same thing as Calvin. Calvin affirms throughout the Institutes that man is wholly deserving of hell. "Granting mercy" is exactly what Calvin is talking about...God's judgment (just condemnation) being subordinate to His election (grace in salvation) for those who believe.
     
  13. Havensdad

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    Van,

    I noticed you did not answer my second question. Isn't this your church?

    http://www.pacificcoastchurch.org/Home.php

    I ask for a couple of reasons...

    Number one, both the Statement of Faith, and the Church government is decidedly reformed (Calvinistic).

    Number two, it is not a Baptist Church, which makes me wonder why you are posting in these forums.

    I know you are probably going to make some baseless accusation at this point, but I am genuinely curious.
     
  14. Jarthur001

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    Someone once said...
    Any argument one builds should be based on honesty. Other wise their epistemology will be called into deep scrutiny by readers and their character would indeed fall victim to their own falsehoods.

    You admit...
    This shows I was dead on with my claims. You hate Calvinism, because you see it as FALSE DOCTRINE. You see Calvinism as an attack on your God. You see it as an attack on your faith. This is why you spend hours starting threads with bogus claims. Your hate for Calvinism is what drives you.

    But there is good news in all of this. Now you must love all Calvinist.

    You said...
    So you think that Calvinist may...just may read the Bible, but use propaganda tools of the world to support it????????


    Sad..
     
    #14 Jarthur001, Apr 2, 2011
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  15. Jarthur001

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    Here are John Calvin's words in English ....not a paraphrase...

    found here...

    http://www.ccel.org/ccel/calvin/ins...s to some what he denies to others.#highlight
     
  16. Van

    Van
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    Havensdad,

    You can read my profile and see if you can answer your own off topic effort to attack my qualifications.

    You do not know what kind of church it is and whether it is affiliated with any Baptist organization. One thing is for certain, my views are mine, and do not reflect the views of those that serve there in Christ's ministry.

    What kind of charge against you do I need make, your posts speak for themselves.
     
  17. Van

    Van
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    Folks, pay no attention to what Jarthur001 posts about me, as they misrepresent my position. It is just one smear after another.

    Does not tolerating false teachings mean we should hate those who are mistaken? Of course not.

    Are my claims bogus. Note the absence of any rebuttal based on what the Bible says.
    2 Thessalonians 2:13 says what it says and not what the Calvinist rewrite says.

    Did I say either Rippon or Archangel lied? What I demonstrated was one of the Calvinists attacked me falsely, with slander.

    John Calvin's errant views have been exposed, and not too much has been put forth to defend his views.

    My love of Christ and His ministry drives me.
     
  18. Van

    Van
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    Not everyone hears the gospel. (True.) Not everyone responds in the same way to the gospel. (True) The apparent injustice is acceptable because God’s election for His purpose aligns the seeming injustice with justice. (False premise. The actual premise from scripture is that everyone deserves destruction, and so granting mercy to some does not undercut the justice encountered by all others.)

    Election is a puzzling subject because it is hard to understand why some people are predestined to destruction and others mercy. (False premise, individual election before creation is the fundamental error of the doctrine.) God not giving grace to all, but only to some illustrates God’s grace. (Gibberish. Grace is not grace if based on works but God granting salvation by grace through faith rather than by works illustrates the unmerited favor of grace.) Not understanding this prevents true humility. (Ad hominem of no merit.)
     
  19. Earth Wind and Fire

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    Van, I hope you know that Calvins exist is not that critical to a Calvinist....he was a man like you & I and while I consider him a genius in putting together Systematic Theology, I dont believe anyone pontificates to him or agree with him completely, if we did we wouldnt be Baptists. I would venture to say that there are many Calvinists walking around that have not even studied Institutes. Instead of making Calvin the issue Id prefer to concentrate on Christ & worshiping Him alone.
     
  20. Jerome

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    :confused:

    Two and a half weeks ago:

     
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