Mature Christians can settle differences!!!

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by evangelist6589, May 18, 2014.

  1. evangelist6589

    evangelist6589
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    Mature Christians can work through differences in gentleness and respect (1 Pt 3:15). For example a older man in my church "Gary" came from a Weslyian background and attended such a seminary. However he left and has moved to Dispensationalism but not Calvinism. Me and this brother do not agree on several issues however we can have a conversation about theology (as we did today) and he is open to reading Reformed authors. RC Sproul mailed me two copies of his new book Everyones's a Theologian and I plan to give this brother the extra copy and he wants to read it. This brother is a mature Christian, yet Arminian we can agree on the essentials of the faith. I am also welcome and open to reading books by Arminian as I already have.

    However immature Arminian dislike Calvinist and cannot welcome the differences. The same can be said of Calvinist whom attack good solid Arminian.
     
    #1 evangelist6589, May 18, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: May 18, 2014
  2. JamesL

    JamesL
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    John, I'm proud of you. Stay your course in that church, considering God in every move you contemplate. Lean not to your own understanding, but in all your ways acknowledge Him. And He will direct your path.

    Don't try to come with wise words, speaking in the power of slick philosophical arguments. There are many good Christian men and women on each side of every debatable issue in Christendom.

    I really believe God has you there for a purpose, one of which would be to learn how to interact properly in disagreement.


    Keep in mind, too, that the Calvinist/Arminian debate is very much akin to cutting up a bible into single verses, then scattering them on the floor. Each one takes a turn picking one bible verse at a time, until each one has half the scriptures

    Then the scripture verses are attached to darts and thrown across the room from one toward the other


    For every bible verse you loft at an Arminian, he has one to loft back. And you're having a scripture fight, throwing scripture at scripture - Oh, yeah? Well this verse says this. Well, this other verse refutes that

    I've actually heard people on both sides say "This verse refutes that verse"

    That's probably the most sickening part, that believers would dice up the scriptures and throw them at each other, pitting scripture against scripture.


    Keep in mind also that concerning the fate of men, both systems assign the same fate to every person - no matter what scenario you paint.

    Man believes the gospel and makes an accurate profession in that regard? Both accept him as a brother.

    Man falls away after 20 years, and never returns? Both say he's doomed to hell.

    Honestly - think of one hundred different scenarios of someone who either came to faith or didn't, and whether or not the one who did come to faith endures to the end. It matters not the scenario, both systems will assign the same exact fate for each and every person/scenario considered.


    BTW, you seem to classify people as "moderate" Calvinists, and others as Arminians, who really don't fit. An Arminian isn't simply someone who believes Free Will. The Arminian and Calvinist positions are full systems. Labeling someone a Calvinist who believes in Free Will or Unlimited Atonement is inaccurate. And labeling someone as an Arminian who believes in arbitrary election or Perseverance of the Saints is not accurate, either.


    Consider this article from Arminians:

    http://evangelicalarminians.org/survey-are-you-an-arminian-and-dont-even-know-it-2/

    Arminianism is a system, not just one doctrine. And so goes it for Calvinists


    So consider that when you are arguing for your preferred system, you are placing everyone in the same heaven or hell that your opponent does. You agree without realizing it. Just food for thought
     
  3. Winman

    Winman
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    No, what they mean is that a verse can refute someone's erroneous interpretation of a proof text.

    For instance we have a regular poster here that claims Isaiah 7:14 teaches that Jesus was born of a virgin to escape a sin nature inherited from a human father.

    Isa 7:14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

    This scripture does not say that Jesus had to be born of a virgin to escape a sin nature, but it is POSSIBLE it could be implying that if this verse is isolated from all other scripture.

    Romans 1:3 refutes this erroneous interpretation, because it says Jesus was "made of the seed of David according to the flesh".

    Rom 1:3 Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh;

    If a sin nature was inherited from the males' seed as many believe, then Jesus would have been a sinner, because he was actually made from David's seed according to the flesh. We know this is not true, so this person's interpretation of Isa 7:14 must be error.

    So, it might all seem like a stupid food fight to you, but it is important to examine all scripture on a given subject. Only then can we determine the truth.
     
    #3 Winman, May 18, 2014
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  4. JamesL

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    Brother, and I mean that, I think you missed the entire thrust of what I was getting at. I'm not talking about refuting a false Christ. I've argued against the view you mentioned because it cuts to the very core of the Christian faith to think that Jesus was not made like us. But.....

    Calvinism and Arminianism as complete systems. Not hybrids, where one embraces 3 or 4 tenets of one or the other. Those people are neither Calvinist or Arminian. They're trying to embrace both a theology based on philosophy and a philosophy based on theology They're just as conflicted, but neither Calvinist or Arminian.


    When both WHOLE systems are embraced, it is very much a cutting up of scripture into halves.

    Both take election out of context, then argue whether a bicycle has three wheels or four

    Both choose a side, either Sovereignty at the expense of Free Will, or Free Will at the expense of Sovereignty. Some say God chooses you, nothing you can do about it and quote six verses of scripture. The other says you choose God and quotes 9 verses of scripture. Ask a Calvinist about those verses which seem to support the notion of free will, and his end doctrine leaves them out. The other side can have them

    One says you can lose your salvation and quotes 14 verses, while the other says you will endure to the end and quotes 15 verses. Ask an Arminian what he thinks about those verses which say explicitly that we have eternal life and shall never come into condemnation, and his end doctrine leaves them out. The other side can have them


    And all the while, each view is embraced based on half of scripture, while refusing to include the other side's "proof" verses.

    And I'm specifically talking about those Calvinists and Arminians who argue vehemently with each other. The polarized types, who ARE throwing scripture darts at each other.

    Many of them are so ignorant of church history that they don't even know of any factions other than Cal/Arm/RCC. Their paradigm only allows for these three groups, and anyone who's not in their camp MUST be in one of the other two.

    I've seen it in debates, where Calvinists have accused Jehovah's Witnesses of being Arminian - because of works and free will.

    I've seen Arminians accuse someone of being Calvinist because he teaches unconditional eternal security - hardly a Calvinist doctrine

    I saw a debate in which an Orthodox believer was asked what part of the Reformation his church came out of.

    And all the while, these polarized nitwits are condemning each other based on half of scripture - not knowing that BOTH systems as a whole fail the test of scripture


    You seem to have no problem associating with the Arminian brand, and I think it's just so that you don't have to call yourself a Calvinist. But you also referenced a Chiliast website not too far back. If you're really a 1st/2nd century Chiliast, then your doctrine would predate the reformation by over a millennium. You should reject both camps and their labels


    Like I told Evan, there's no such thing as a "moderate" Calvinist, or a "Two point" Arminian

    Those are complete systems. And trying to associate with one camp or another just because of a similarity on two or three points doesn't cut it.

    Those are two systematic treatises, with each standing as a whole. Both of them are connect-the-dot philosophies that appeal to certain select scriptures


    And I will tell you what I've told Evan in the past - your arguing doesn't win any converts. I've asked many a Calvinist and Arminian - Are you trying to convince me, or yourself?

    When you realize he's only trying to convince himself, you are in a much better position to let him be. Besides, it is not man who converts a man. It is the Holy Spirit who converts the heart

    And I think that's why John is at this church. I see in him what I had in me for years. Trying to convince myself with my own arguments. And I looked for every opportunity to inject my two cents, never considering the turmoil I was creating everywhere I went

    God had to work on me in a way that had nothing to do with doctrine. And it took me being at a church I didn't agree with, then me being run through the ringer by hypocrisy

    Only then was I desperate for true fellowship with a body of believers, regardless of what doctrinal difference I had with them.

    I just hope John doesn't have to go through what I went through to reach the point of brotherly fellowship in the midst of disagreement
     
  5. evangelist6589

    evangelist6589
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    You are smart. What books do you read on Church History?

    I had eyeballed this one that may help me better understand the differences between the various denominations and Church History.


    This is a reference book. A good buy?

    When I mean moderate Calvinist I am talking about someone like Erwin Lutzer whom I believe holds to the 5-Points of Calvinism but also denies Lordship salvation, uses the sinners prayer sometimes, and also alter calls. He is a rare calvinist to hold these views and so he is a moderate Calvinist. He may believe like Mac in the five points, but Mac is a stronger Calvinist and certainly far more dogmatic.

    I also hope I do not have to go through a bad experience at the church. However I have not harassed anyone, nor said anything inappropriate to any ladies. However that is not the issue as the issue is more a doctrine one.

     
  6. JamesL

    JamesL
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    I'm not familiar with the book, but Rhodes is pretty solid on stuff like that. He has a pretty good way with words, too. And for $12.00 I'd say you probably can't beat it.


    Much of what I've read has been off-the-shelf type general reader stuff, but not all. Here's some:

    A dictionary of Early Christian Biography - http://www.abebooks.com/book-search/isbn/1565634608/page-1/

    Reading Scripture with the Fathers - http://books.google.com/books?id=Al...6AEwBg#v=onepage&q=isbn 0-8308-1500-7&f=false

    Augustine to Constantine: the emergence of Christianity in the Roman world - http://www.amazon.com/dp/0664227724/?tag=baptis04-20
    (I think this is the same book but my subtitle doesn't match Amazon's book subtitle)

    Handbook of Denominations in the United States - http://www.abebooks.com/Handbook-Denominations-United-States-Mead-Frank/11992505106/bd

    Torch of the Testimony - http://www.amazon.com/dp/094023212X/?tag=baptis04-20

    Not Ashamed - http://www.abebooks.com/book-search/isbn/1576736024/page-1/

    Systematic Theology (Assembly of God) - http://www.abebooks.com/book-search/isbn/0882433199/hard-cover/page-1/

    Catechism of the Catholic Church

    All of the above listed books I still have, and I would send them to you for free if you PM me.

    Others that I don't still have are:
    Church History in Plain Language - Bruce L. Shelley

    Eusebius: THe Church History

    Nelson's New Illustrated Bible Commentary - Earl Radmacher and others
    Lots of good stuff in here. VERY well worth the money. Give both views Cal/Arm on many passages

    I can't remember all the titles for relevant stuff like the Charismatic movement, the Stone-Campbell movement (Church of Christ), Millerites (Adventism), Russellites (Jehovah's Witenesses), Mormonism and such
     
  7. JamesL

    JamesL
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    I'm not so sure that Lutzer is a 5-point Calvinist. I became a believer by reading his book - How You can be Sure You'll Spend Eternity With God

    He dispelled plenty of notions about works, and I'm pretty sure he doesn't hold to the Reformed position of the Perseverance of the Saints, as in persevering in good works as the final evidence of conversion.

    I could be wrong, though. it's been 15 years since I read that book, and I really am not familiar with much of his stuff other than that. A few sermons I've heard and such


    I also hope you don't have to go thru what I went thru. But you know, it ended up being for the good. It gave me a better perspective on what matters
     
  8. evangelist6589

    evangelist6589
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    I thought Lutzer was a Calvinist.


     
  9. evangelist6589

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    Thank you James

    Thank you James. I do not exactly want to take your books, and I think it may be wiser to start slower on a Rhodes book. However I do not plan to pay $12 but plan to buy it USED which saves me a lot of money. But let me think more about it. Are all the books below academic books and lots of pages? The Rhodes book or most of his books in general are not exactly academic which makes for an easier read.
     
  10. JamesL

    JamesL
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    If you read Rhodes, then these books won't be any problem. You can click the link to each one and check them out. The one I mentioned "Church History in Plain Language" is a really easy read. I think it's online for about $2.00

    I would have sworn I still have it, but it's possible that I've given it away already


    Honestly, I've been giving my books away for a few years. I've offered them to pastors and youth pastors, and have given a few to some churches. I've thought a hundred times about selling them because I really don't use them anymore

    About the only books I use now are my bibles, lexicons, and concordances
     
  11. JamesL

    JamesL
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    The book of denominations is very easy. It was first written decades ago, so doesn't include modern movements and such. And it's merely a brief presentation of base position to give an at-a-glance difference between sects. Doesn't have to be read cover to cover, as each denomination is treated separately. Only a page or two devoted to each denomination.

    Reading Scripture with the Fathers is a treatment of only a few East and West theologians and how they responded to early heretics. Not too bad overall....i was disappointed with it because the title led me to believe there would be a broader treatment of their doctrines. But good historical info, not a big book. Hardly a graduate level read.

    I guess it all depends on how much you can digest at once, and whether you want to progress from earlier to later, or backtrack from present day

    If you want bite-sized chunks, Wikipedia might be the best place to start. You can get a short bit about a denomination that way, or the history of doctrines. It's not quite the joke that many like to think it is. Good info doesn't have to give you all the nuts and bolts at once
     
  12. Earth Wind and Fire

    Earth Wind and Fire
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    Ohhhhh......dont tell that to the hour long sermon givers. That wont compute. :smilewinkgrin:
     
  13. thisnumbersdisconnected

    thisnumbersdisconnected
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    [​IMG]

    Thank you. After my last client, I needed a laugh. :thumbsup:
     
  14. salzer mtn

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    My wife and I used to listen to Lutzer on the radio on the way to church and I have heard him make Calvinistic statements as well as Arminian. He is not consistent enough to pin him down.
     
  15. evangelist6589

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    Yeah its hard with him. While in his book Doctrines that Divide he affirms Calvinism, however his other books he does not always. In one book he writes and defends the same things Charles Stanley does in Eternal Security and Stanley is Arminian.
     
  16. JamesL

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    I think you may be trying to pin Luther and Stanley into Calvinist and Arminian camps based on a similarity of one or two points. But I don't think either would be in those camps

    If I'm not mistaken, Lutzer got his Masters at Dallas Theological Seminary. I don't know about Stanley.

    But out of DTS and other like-minded schools came a whole host of preachers that you'll hear on the radio, like David Jeremiah, Chuck Swindoll and Tony Evans, as well as a bunch of Bible Churches (could probably call it a movement)

    I used to attend Sherwood Bible Church in K.C.'s Northland, and the pastor there has his Doctorate from DTS and was in school there with Swindoll

    Sherwood Bible Church used to be called Central Bible Church, and sprung Calvary Bible College and Theological Seminary here in the K.C. area.

    Not sure if you're familiar with GotQuestions.org but Michael Houdmann (CEO) got his Masters at Calvary

    While some of those who come from this Bible College/Church tradition might consider themselves Calvinist (as does Houdmann, considering himself a 4-pointer), I think most would embrace what is known as Free Grace - not Calvinism or Arminianism.

    Free Grace is a position that was espoused by Zane Hodges when he and MacArthur went round and round over the Lordship Salvation controversy, when Mac wrote The Gospel According to Jesus about the same time Hodges wrote some Free Grace books

    Grace Evangelical Society was, about a decade ago, the leading voice for the Free Grace position. But they have run completely off the rails into heresy, as far as I'm concerned.

    One of the best treatments of Free Grace, seeking a mediating position between Calvinism and Arminianism, is Reign of the Servant Kings by Joseph Dillow, written about 20 years ago.

    I have a copy I'd send you if you'd read it. I can't say I agree with every point, but it is well worth reading.
     

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