MacArthur's Calvinism

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by Bugman, Jul 29, 2003.

  1. Bugman

    Bugman
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    http://www.biblebb.com/files/macqa/1301-J-13.htm

    It's John MacArthur's direct responce to the question of what he believes on Calvinism (It was just posted on the site recently). To the other Calvinists on the board I'm wondering what you think of his statment. Here's a bit of it:

    "Let’s go back over it. Number one: Man is totally depraved, no question. Number two: God does choose us to be saved, “Chosen in Him before the foundation of the world.” Right? But Calvin got a little bit far out at this point with his logic. Jesus also said, “Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” “Him that cometh unto me I will in no wise cast out.” Calvin couldn’t fit that too well into his logical system. But that’s just the point. That’s a tension, isn’t it? Those are two contradictory terms: God saves us, and yet we have to be involved. But we’re awful sinners, vile. We have no good thing in us. How can we be involved? That’s the marvelous paradox, the mystery of redemption. But Calvin was too hard, you see? He wanted to push too far. Third thing he said was, therefore if only some are elect, Christ only died for the elect. But the problem with that is, it says in I John 2, that “He died not for our sins only, but for the sins of the whole world.” And then he came up with irresistible grace. And Jesus even says, “You will not come to me that you might have life.” They resisted, in a sense, didn’t they? And in Romans 11, He says, “All day long have I stretched out my arms to a stiff-necked and disobedient people.” "


    Bryan
    SDG
     
  2. Yelsew

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    Good post Bugman!

    There are Calvinists and there are scripture expositors. McArthur is not a Calvinist as much as he is a scripture expositor!
     
  3. EPH 1:4

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    Calvinist and Arminians are like Democrats and Republicans..........not much difference between the two :confused:
     
  4. swaimj

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    Thanks for the post, Bugman. I appreciate what McArthur said & it sums up my view on these matters very well.
     
  5. William C

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    Well, it looks like we've solved this debate finally.


    shew.....good, I was getting tired. [​IMG]
     
  6. Jacob

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    I'd like to hear what the Calvinists on this board have to say about these comments. Is he one of your's?

    Jacob.
     
  7. tnelson

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    MacArthur rightly divides the Word of Truth.

    God is Sovereign and man is a sinner.

    They call him a Hyper-calvinist in my area. But he just preaches the Word of God.


    a so called calvinist
    mike ;)
     
  8. Bugman

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    Personally I think he's a bit weak in the area of the Limited Atonement.

    Bryan
    SDG
     
  9. TomMann

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    Sure, I'd be happy to reply. And I see no inconsistency or contradiction between the terms you offer. Yes, man is totally depraved. Yes, man is unable to come to Jesus unless God so designs. Yes, chosen from/before the foundations of the world.

    Now for the second part where you seem to have trouble. "Come unto me.....".

    Firstly, this is not heard spiritually by and is not given to those who are not chosen. You must have ears to hear. Those who do not hear, do not hear because they are not his sheep...... "My sheep hear my voice."

    Secondly, this is not an invitation, it is a command. God's word creates the thing spoken in the thing spoken to. Those who are enabled to hear this with spiritual ears, will respond in "His" time.
     
  10. Yelsew

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    You left out something. "Faith, the key ingredient to human salvation by God, cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God".

    So, whosoever hears, and believes (that is, has faith) shall not perish but have everlasting life.

    As the Forerunner of the Christ, John the baptist said, (John 3:35,36) The Father loves the Son and has entrusted everything to his hands. Anyone who believes in the Son has eternal life, but anyone who refuses to believe in the Son will never see life: God's retribution hangs over him."

    Not just "the elect" but ANYONE, out of ALL, who believes in the Son has Eternal life.

    That is, by the way, Consistant with what Jesus told Nicodemus.
     
  11. JGrayhound

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    Ah, yes...but the "anyone" who respond are those who were previously elected by God before time began. It's the same group of people.
     
  12. William C

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    Tom,

    Your getting this idea from passages that are speaking of Israel who were UNABLE to hear or see because they were being judicially hardened by God (John 12:37-41, etc) but you must understand that the world universally in not hardened in the same way, in fact the scripture says that Israel cannot hear but the Gentiles can and will (Acts 28:28).

    The mistake you are making is taking passages out of their historical context and appling them universally to the soteriology of all mankind. Not everyone has been hardened as Calvinism's doctrine suggests.
     
  13. Pastor Larry

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    This is very confusing to me. You took me and others to task for this very position. How can you now say it sums up your position?? Have you changed??
     
  14. Yelsew

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    Ah yes, but now you negate completely all the work and prayers of the beloved people who prayed for me, and who taught me God's Word, councelled me, by telling me I was destined to be saved anyway. You are quite simply WRONG! You completely negate the Great Commission by saying you are going to be saved anyway! [Personal remark deleted]

    I would not have been saved if not for MY HEARING THE WORD OF GOD AND BELIEVING! I would not have wanted to be saved except for what I saw Christianity doing in the lives of others. I would not have believed if I had not been "forced" to attend church and Sunday School as a youth and not been exposed to the Christian Way. If I had not been influenced by the changes I witnessed in others who became believers I would not have believed! I would not have gone to Christian camp if I did not have lust in my heart for a certain girl who was going to that camp, I would not have been convicted in my heart if I had not heard the gospel presented clearly and plainly, no mealy mouthed feel good bible stories, but plainly stated accusation against me that made me think and caused my ability to reason to kick into high gear. It was such human delivered conviction by which I came to have the faith in God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, that I do today.

    Once I believed, that Jesus did truly come for me, my battle against him was over. My belief enabled the Holy Spirit to work in me, conforming me to my wonderful savior, Jesus. Destiny? I don't think so! Divine Providence? Absolutely!

    I was not saved in accordance with Calvinism!
    I am saved under God's Grace through my faith in Him! My faith came by Hearing God's word and believing in Jesus, The Son of God, the Messiah!

    [ July 30, 2003, 02:01 PM: Message edited by: Pastor Larry ]
     
  15. Kiffin

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    I think MacArthur shows that Calvinism is not a monolithic group. I do think he misinterprets Calvin just slightly but he is correct that Calvinists sometimes do not present TULIP in a compassionate way. Some have said that MacArthur is a 4.5 point Calvinist or better known as as Amyraut Calvinist( Calvinists and Amyrauts phrase limited atonement differantly). That may or may not be true since the Amyraut view differs only slightly from the Classical Calvinist position and it might be right to say they both hold to TULIP though both camps would disagree with me on that. :D

    The MacArthur Study Bible (despite it's dispensationalism) is probably the best Calvinist Study Bible on the market. The New Geneva/Reformation Study Bible is excellent but lacks the user friendliness of the MacArthur Study Bible that explains Calvinism without the heavy theological jargon. MacArthur is a great theologian and we Calvinists can learn much from him on presenting forth thedoctrines of grace. I think he is wrong on Calvin holding an extreme position however.
     
  16. swaimj

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    I am shocked to learn that you agree with MacArthur's statement. Can you cite a thread in which you stated your position the way MacArthur stated his? Sincerely, I am completely surprised that you are voicing agreement with what MacArthur said.

    No.
     
  17. Primitive Baptist

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    Brethren,

    For some reason, MacArthur seems to think the doctrine of Unconditional Election somehow contradicts, "Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden..." and "...him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out." I suppose I need enlightened because I do not see the obvious contradiction. Yes, MacArthur seems to be very weak concerning the doctrine of Limited Atonement. Apparantly holding to the same view on the atonement as MacArthur, Loraine Boettner wrote,

    "While the value of the atonement was sufficient to save all mankind, it was efficient to save only the elect. It is indifferently as well adapted to the salvation of one man as to that of another, thus making the salvation of every man objectively possible; yet because of subjective difficulties, arising on account of the sinner’s own inability either to see or appreciate the things of God, only those are saved who are regenerated and sanctified by the Holy Spirit."

    That is not Limited Atonement. Jesus did not die to make the salvation of any possible, but actually obtained eternal redemption for His people and satisfied the wrath of God on their behalves. When it pleases God, He will call and save all His people by His grace. He will draw them to the blood-stained cross of Calvary! He shall save His people from their sins (Matthew 1:21)!

    In Hope of Eternal Life...
     
  18. Pastor Larry

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    What would you expect me, or any othe calvinist to disagree in that?? He states it in a pretty basic form, presumably for his audience. It is not a technical nor full presentation. And while I wouldn't agree with his wording on the atonement, he merely says what most calvinists say, that it was sufficient for all and efficient for the elect. Perhaps you are seeing something in there that I am not.
     
  19. Pastor Larry

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    What you have just done is deny the infinitude of Christ's atonement and thereby you have denied the infinitude of Christ. Because of his perfect righteousness, his death had to make salvation objectively possible (to use of the words of boettner) for all men. If you disagree, then you say that there are some sins that Christ's death could not have saved from. That is simply wrong. Christ died one time for all sin. That does not mean that his death was intended to save all. The limited atonement position is exactly what Boetnner said.
     
  20. All about Grace

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    IMO, what Johnny Mac is doing is stating what appears to be the overall paradigm of Scripture on these matters. His logic is simple: Bible first -- logical system (which Calvinism is) an extremely distant second. His approach seems to be the right one in confronting this topic.

    I agree with what he said on another occasion: at times when I am preaching on certain texts, I will sound Arminian. At times when I am preaching on certain texts, I will sound very Calvinistic. Thus is the balance of Scripture.

    Such honesty reflects the ongoing mystery of Scripture on how sovereignty and freedom co-exist w/o contradicting one another.

    Perhaps if more of us took MacArthur's approach, we would be less dogmatic on an issue where the Scripture is less than clear.

    But then again, if we took such an approach there would be less internet boards to engage this subject for endless hours without making a dent on what has already confounded scholars for centuries on end. [​IMG]
     

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