middle ground

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by menageriekeeper, Aug 25, 2007.

  1. menageriekeeper

    menageriekeeper
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    I've been learning quite a bit from the various, continuous arguements between the various factions that make up the BB. One question I have yet to see adequately answered:

    Why does there appear to be no middle ground between the Calvinists and the Arminians?

    While I don't hold to election in the way a Calvinist would view, neither do I hold to the idea of "falling from grace" as an Arminian would seem to hold to it (I admit to knowing less about Arminianism perhap because the proponets of this are not as loud as the Calvinists).

    So what are we who don't seem to agree with either side? Do we really have to choose sides?
     
  2. Rippon

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    Choose the Bible side ( that would be the Calvinistic view ) . The so-called Middleground position is Amyraldism -- named after Moses Amyraut . They would be esentially 4-point Calvinists . Their trouble spot with T-U-L-I-P is the "L" . Richard Baxter came close to that perspective . But it doesn't wash with me biblically .

    Arminius ( real name Hermandzoon ) , if my memory serves me correctly probably believed in the 5th point of the TULIP . He died in 1609 . The Synod of Dort ( 1618-1619 ) in response to the propositions of the Remonstrants fudged on the last point . They couldn't really make up their minds on it . Then , at the last minute it was decided that someone in grace may yet fall from it .

    I really am amused when Semi-Pelagians , Synergists , Free-willers , Non-Cals , Biblicists or whatever say they are not Arminians because that don't hold to the last Remonstrant point . They really hold much more in common with Arminianism overall , not Calvinism . They don't want to be identified with either label but ... Dave Hunt and Norm Geisler are not the least Calvinistic . Geisler is not a Modified Calvinist -- he's much more along the lines of a not-much-modified Arminian .

    I hear non-Cals say that they belive in Total Depravity just as much as the Calvinist does . But the logical structure starts there . They do not in actuality maintain a Calvinistic understanding of T.D. If they did the other points would fall into their logical order with no problem .
     
    #2 Rippon, Aug 25, 2007
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  3. lbaker

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    Probably because each (all) the sides are more interested in shooting the other side down and defending turf. There is no doubt a lot that all the sides agree on, that just doesn't get the same publicity. We just get carried away emotionally and go to calling names and stuff and that tends to interfere with using our reason and intellect to hash things out.

    Les
     
  4. Accountable

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    You have calvinists, (By the way there are many different levels of beliefs on election)
    You have arminians (There again, different levels
    And you have those "in the middle" as you say called Biblicists!
    Calvinists and Arminians alike call us crazy!:laugh: :laugh:
     
  5. Lazarus

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    I never even knew what a Calvinist was until I came across this forum. I guess I've led a very sheltered life:laugh: When I learned of Calvinism, I went and checked it out and found that all 5 points lined up exactly with my beliefs from my own studies and faith.

    You are what you believe. Putting a name to it doesn't change anything except which side of the fence your on.
     
  6. Rippon

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    Accountable : MK did not say she was a Biblicist in her post . She may come out and say that later though . Those who call themselves that term think that they occupy the high ground . An Arminian ( whether they would call themself that or not ) who tries to be as faithful to the Word of God as they can be is a true biblicist . And likewise a true Calvinist ( whose blood is bibline ) would maintain the same . Both parties come down on rather different topographies as you well know . Anyone who thinks they sit in a sweet spot between the two divergent camps is under a false impression .
     
  7. russell55

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    Because there really is no middle ground. Either election to salvation is unconditional, or it is not unconditional. What would the middle ground between those two things be?

    If you believe election is unconditional, then you come down on the calvinist side of the fence, whether you actually call yourself a calvinist or not. If you believe election is not unconditional, then you come down on the noncalvinist (or arminian) side of the fence, whether you call yourself a noncalvinist (or arminian) or not.

    The only middle ground, really, is undecided about the issue. But once someone has taken a stance on the unconditional (or not) election issue, the've staked their claim on one side of the fence or the other.
     
    #7 russell55, Aug 25, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 25, 2007
  8. ReformedBaptist

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    A pastor friend of mine, an IFB preacher once told me he was a 4.5 point calvinist. I finally figured out what that meant....It's a five-point calvinist afraid to admit it...
     
  9. Pastor_Bob

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    The middle ground would be an understanding that salvation is both unconditional and conditional. It is unconditional in that "whosoever will may come;" it is conditional in that "whosoever will may come."
     
  10. skypair

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    Menagerie --- let's get this party started!! I been trying to do this for SO long!

    Middle ground is this: We must hear - believe - repent and then we receive (like Calvinists say) regeneration, faith, eternal life, grace, etc.

    Now the reason this IS middle ground is that Calvinists do not see belief and faith as separate things --- BUT THEY ARE! Belief is "hoping but no evidence." "Faith is the substance of things hoped for (belief) and the evidence of things unseen (spiritual things)." Heb 11:1 The "evidence" that causes faith is the indwelling of the Holy Spirit which happens IMMEDIATELY after one trusts Christ!

    If Calvinists have experienced this, they will tell you the same thing. Once they trusted Christ, they were filled with the Holy Spirit just like in Acts. But it wasn't until they believed.

    That is, Joe schmuck can go hear an evangelist. He and Joe Calvin are both totally depraved. On this day, Joe Schmuck BELIEVES and repents and Joe Calvinist doesn't. Who was "elect" and who wasn't? Nobody knows but now Joe Schmuck knows he is and Joe Calvin still doesn't!

    There are many other issues upon which we can agree through scripture -- "the knowledge and faith of Christ," Eph 4:13 -- OSAS, predestination, etc. We just need to "upgrade" our Christianity to "Calvinism 7.5!"

    skypair
     
  11. skypair

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    You're just being divisive, rip! This thread is for talking about COMMON GROUND! You needn't come here and "cubbyhole" everyone else.

    And as for Total Depravity -- the Calvinist foundation for that is a total misunderstanding of "sin nature." In fact, it follows the Catholic understanding of "infant guilt" so as to justify "infant baptism!" There is NO inherited guilt, Ezek 18:20 -- NONE! Your church, like the Catholics, just wants to make the promises that sustain denominational fealty that its harlot mother, Thyatira, did.

    skypair
     
  12. Pastor Larry

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    There is no middle ground because God either unconditionally elects or he does not. If you believe that God unconditionally elects, you are a Calvinist. If you believe that God does not unconditionally elect, you are arminian.
     
  13. skypair

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    PL!! I been wonderin' where you bean! Welcome back!! I was going to start a thread asking where you were but my prayer is answered!! I'm glad you're here --- though that first post is a bit divisive, bro.

    There is "middle ground," Lar. It's not your view of the elephant -- it's not mine -- it's the WHOLE elephant, the TRUTH! It INCLUDES your side and mine. :smilewinkgrin:

    God "unconditionally elects" those whom He "conditionally chooses!" Do you get that? God has a plan for the life of those who believe and that they could not even remotely prepare themselves for!

    So man, don't go "drawing lines in the sand." We're brothers! Are we so blinded by men we can't find one truth together? Did we have to believe Calvin or Arminius to be saved?

    skypair
     
  14. menageriekeeper

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    Sorry I had to leave the party. I'm having unexpected problems that I suspect originate in allergies and got to dizzy to sit at the computer.

    So which is the defining point: Total Depravity or Unconditional/Conditional Election?

    I believe I understand Total Depravity, but where is the line drawn betweem conditional election and unconditional?

    The problem with calling non Calvinists, Arminians, is that many like myself don't believe in a fall from grace. That is, once one accepts Christ it is impossible to lose or forsake one's salvation.



    That's all right Accountable, they call me a universalist at times. Crazy is mild! :laugh:

    Rippon, the whole point of this is to find exactly what I might be, considering there are points of both views that I don't agree with! If Biblicist is the best description, I can't say I have a problem with it. I also can't believe that everyone must fall in one camp or the other.

    Pastor Bob, I agree with your explanation. So which side of the fence are we on? Or are we the fence?
     
    #14 menageriekeeper, Aug 26, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 26, 2007
  15. Lazarus

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    I don't see where any line can be drawn. God is sovereign in all things. God is the creator of all things. Everyone is justly condemned to hell by their own actions. "For all have sinned". God chooses the elect according to HIS will and so nobody has any right to complain since the penalty of sin is death.
     
  16. TCGreek

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    This is a hard saying, but it is what myself and most Calvinists believe.
     
  17. menageriekeeper

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    So Lazarus, you like believe that if God elects you, you are then drafted without any choice or action on your part? Like, no repentance.

    Can a gift be a gift if it is forced upon a person?
     
  18. russell55

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    But the point I think you're making is one both Calvinists and Arminians (or nonCalvinists) agree on. Both sides affirm that anyone may come, if they will. So how can that be middle ground between the two sides if both sides affirm it?

    The question is whether election, not salvation, is unconditional. One side says it is unconditional, and the other says it is not unconditional. Where is the middle ground between unconditonal and not unconditional election?
     
  19. Lazarus

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    I think the better question would be "Is a gift a gift if everyone is entitled to it? Does is not become an entitlement?

    The reason it's a gift is because it's given to someone who God has chosen and does not deserve it. Would anyone who understood the true value of a gift really refuse it? I don't think so, and as far a repentance goes, anyone who ever stood in the presence of God fell to their knees and even their face's. When God's touches a heart that person knows the holiness of God and they know their own sinfulness. This contrast is so strong that they need God to forgive them. Eventually, everyone who is called falls to their knees, not because it's not a choice but because the choice not to is not an option.
     
  20. npetreley

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    Yeah, I was drafted without any choice in the same way I might have been forced to enjoy a free all-expenses paid no-limits vacation on a tropical island with a Shania Twain look-alike. Oh, how cruel a God to force me to endure such a thing as salvation!!!
     

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