Open View of Salvation vs. Predetermination

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Baptist_Pastor/Theologian, Aug 6, 2006.

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  1. Baptist_Pastor/Theologian

    Baptist_Pastor/Theologian
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    A very prolific poster on this board in an another thread entitled Predestination: Meaning and Application noticeably avoided some of the more problematic Scriptures for his position?

    I sincerely believe the position I hold to is the closest to an overall biblical worldview that is available. Sure you will not get 100% agreement among all reformed theologians on everything, but we agree on the major issues and more importantly our agreement is with Scripture. We do not gloss over difficult passages because we have no stomach for them. We have taken the Bible at face value and allowed it to shape our views. Even so, I will admit, as I have here that I am sympathetic to those who find my views troubling. That means I can appreciate the difficulty in coming to a reformed view or high view of the sovereignty of God. Despite the constant arguing, I have repeatedly stated that I believe that faith is essential for salvation and have offered that general revelation goes out to all people. However, having said that I believe the gospel is indispensable or essential in coming to faith in Christ.

    Some on the other hand have argued pointedly that everyone is free to chose, and that God gives the gospel to all people. So the notion of God creating some who are not elect completely discredits this view. Freewillers do not have a sound explanation for the following, leaving off the ones that have been disputed on the other thread these still remain. We are not just talking about one Scripture taken in isolation. These are from OT and NT and with various authors. The evidence or witness of Scripture does not favor a freewill (mis)interpretation.

    “Jehovah hath made everything for its own end; Yea, even the wicked for the day of evil,” Prov. 16:4.

    “For God did put in their heart to do His mind, and to come to one mind, and to give their kingdom unto the beast, until the word of God should be accomplished,” Rev. 17:17.


    We also see “vessels of wrath” which by the Lord were “fitted unto destruction,” were “endured with much long suffering” in order that He might “show His wrath, and make His power known”; and with these are contrasted the “vessels of mercy, which He afore prepared unto glory” in order “that He might make known the riches of His glory” upon them (Rom. 9:22, 23).

    “Behold, ye despisers, and wonder, and perish; For I work a work in your days, A work which ye shall in no wise believe, if one declare it unto you,” Acts 13:41.

    “For this cause they could not believe, for that Isaiah said again, He hath blinded their eyes, and He hardened their heart; Lest they should see with their eyes, and perceive with their heart, And should turn, And I should heal them,” John 12:39, 40.

    “For judgment came I into this world, that they that see not may see; and that they that see may become blind,” John
    9:39
    .

    “I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou didst hide these things from the wise and understanding, and didst reveal them unto babes,” Matt. 11:25.

    “But Sihon king of Heshbon would not let you pass by him; for Jehovah thy God hardened his spirit, and made his heart obstinate, that He might deliver him into thy hand, as at this day,” Deut. 2:30.

    “For it was of Jehovah to harden their hearts, to come against
    Israel
    in battle, that He might utterly destroy them, as Jehovah commanded Moses.” Joshua 11:20.

    “For the Scripture saith unto Pharaoh, For this very purpose did I raise thee up, that I might show in thee my power, and that my name might be published abroad in all the earth,” Rom. 9:17 (see also Ex. 9:16)


    I would respect you so much more if you could just admit that these passages are difficult for your position, because they clearly give your position a great challenge. A challenge that you either will address or be found guilty of wanting to avoid altogether.

    One last warning, and this goes for both Calvinist and Freewillers, be careful that you do not love a theological system more than your Savior. If I could be found, along with the hundreds of historic figures whose intellect and faith far surpass my own, unfaithful to a biblical world view, I would want to correct and fall in line with Scripture. Simply put that has not happened in my extensive studies of theology nor has it happened since I recently came to BB. I am not wanting to offend anyone here but I believe my view of predestination to be biblical. It is the truth that I am after. Anyone care to address these passages? Feel free… (slight pun intended :>)

    NOTE TO THE POWERS THAT BE, i.e. WHO EVER LOCKED THE OTHER THREAD.

    When the discussion does not meet with your approval try offering direction or censorship, but locking down a thread that had over 500 replies and more posts than any other thread on the Baptist Board seems a bit self defeating, not to mention it punishes the people who are not violating any rules. Just because some on this board do follow the rules does not justify nor warrant silencing what was otherwise a very usual exercise. Tell you what, give me moderator powers and I will make people tote the line without locking down a thread. I would ban violators and repeat offenders or simply remove posts that were in violation. One other thing is that in going back and reading through the posts on Theology, the only other thread that got locked was also on predestination. Bibleboy who is a moderator did not come out in favor of the views of the person who started the thread. One is left to imagine, without knowing, that Baptist Board is anti-Calvinistic if you keep locking down threads that deal with predestination. I hope not but the solution is not to lock thread but do the work of moderating them. In my humble opinion for what it is worth etc. etc.
     
  2. webdog

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    There's a 20 page limit here. The moderators were more than generous in letting it go to 50.

     
  3. MadFingerPainter

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    was Jesus predestined for the cross?
     
  4. Baptist_Pastor/Theologian

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    The answer to that question is more lengthy than you might imagine. On the one hand there is the issue of the prophetic witness that foretells his death, e.g. Isaiah 53, Psalm 22, Genesis 3:15 etc. On the other hand there is the notion that his death was allowed for prior to creation, see Rev. 13:8.

    In respect to both issues, Acts 4:27-28 seems to indicate it was predestined on both accounts.

    "4:27 for truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, 28 to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place."
     
  5. AresMan

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    Jesus predestined for the cross?

    Does this count?
    Here are some other things "before the foundation of the world" (KJV 1611):
     
  6. LeBuick

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    I don't recall the method being foretold but his death certianly was.
     
  7. MadFingerPainter

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    thank you for your replies.
    my next question is this...
    if we are not predestined...then what does it mean in some of the verses in the bible where there is mention of the "elect"?
     
  8. DeaconDean

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    Hi Sis, you know me so I offer this explanation:

    “Him being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain” (Acts 2:23).

    Many years ago, Jonathan Edwards preached a sermon entitled, “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.” Today, with the widespread low view of God, many think of God in the hands of angry sinners. God, to many, is a very little ‘God’ indeed, who is being hindered and limited by the wicked hands of men. One man thinks he can hold God off at arm’s length and say unto Him, “I will not!”; or that he can, if he chooses, open his heart to the Saviour and let Him in. What a burlesque caricature of the “Almighty God, whose power no creature is able to resist!”

    Our text does not say that Christ was delivered up to death on the Cross by man’s wicked hands, but by the determinate counsel and foreknowlege of God. Yet, we hear the Cross of Jesus being spoken of as an emergency measure on the part of God. As one writer put it: “Emergencies change all habits of action, divine and human . . . The greatest event on earth, the Cross, was an emergency action” (S. D. Gordon, Quiet Talks on Prayer, p. 55). What a horrible travesty of the truth! God is never put into an emergency. He is the Creator of circumstances; and no circumstance is ever any problem to Him. God is never put into a predicament; and the Cross was no afterthought, suddenly brought in to cope with an unforeseen difficulty. Nor was the death of Christ a calamity which calls for man’s sympathy and pity. Neither was His death a mere experiment, uncertain in its results. It was not a mere trial which God put into operation to see what good could be accomplished; it was the eternal purpose and counsel of the sovereign God. “For of a truth against Thy holy child Jesus, whom Thou hast anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the people of Israel, were gathered together, to do whatsoever Thy hand and Thy counsel determined before to be done” (Acts 4:27,28). Hear the whole purpose of the Cross from the lips of incarnate Truth: “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth (on the Cross), will draw ALL unto Me” (John 12:32); and “ALL that the Father giveth Me shall come unto Me” (6:37). I delight in this truth and love to proclaim it, that the counsel of the Lord shall stand, and He shall do all His pleasure. Therefore, of all that the Father giveth to Christ, He shall lose nothing. By His predetermined death, they are eternally saved, and they shall never perish (John 10:28). Every part of His crucifixion was ‘according to the eternal purpose of God which He purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Eph. 3:11).

    You can see, then, that the principle cause of Christ’s death was no accident of chance, but the sovereign counsel and eternal foreknowledge of God. It was God who planned it, who ordered it, and who disposed all things concerning it. This in no case implies that the murderers of Christ were forced into their evil act. They acted freely, and did unto Him whatsoever they listed. Yet, they are accountable to God for their sin; and are not excused on the ground that it was all the work of God’s determinate counsel. Their malice, cruelty and wicked hands God was pleased to use as instruments to accomplish His own holy purpose.


    Yes, Jesus was predestinated for the cross.

    God Bless

    Till all are one.
     
  9. Rippon

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    On the matter of --was Jesus predestined to die on the cross -- don't forget Acts 2:23 .

    Though He was delivered up according to God's determined plan and foreknowledge , you used lawless people to nail Him to a cross and kill Him . ( HCS -- or CSB as I like to say with Brother Ed ) .
     
  10. LeBuick

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    Hey Deacon, don't overlook the fact that the Cross was the instrument of public execution at that time. I'm not making this a fact, but in later times it could have been tha gallows, gas chamber or even the electric chair. However, that would have made the rest of the prophesy hard to fulfill (pierced side, no broken bones etc...)
     
  11. LeBuick

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    Welcome in case I did not welcome you before. Are you a Calvinist coming out of the closet or was this just a curious and innocent question?

    PS... Most Calvinist limit their posting to the humor section...


    Welcome...
     
  12. DeaconDean

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    So the way I take your statement, Calvinists here are targets also?

    Oh well, I'll take comfort in Christs words:

    "Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also."-John 15:20

    If they persectued Calvin, they'll persecute me also, just as they persecuted Jesus.
     
  13. Brother Bob

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    It would be curtains for all Free-Willers and nothing but Calvinist left. Just one big dull happy family. You always have to give Calvin the credit. (They persecuted Calvin as they did Jesus). Never knew Jesus to go around killing people. I will take the rest of your Scriptures on when I get time.
     
    #13 Brother Bob, Aug 7, 2006
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  14. J. Jump

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    Christ was not persecuted for being Calvinists or preaching Calvinist doctrines. He was persecuted for the kingdom message that He preached, and the fact that He was the King of the kingdom that He preached.

    If we are too suffer as Christ suffered then we are going to have to preach the same message and that was a message of the kingdom. And that message is hard to find in pulpits across this globe these days.
     
  15. Blammo

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    But Calvin is the one that had someone burned at the stake. Try real hard not to compare Calvin to the Lord Jesus Christ.
     
  16. bound

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    Grace and Peace Baptist_Pastor/Theologian,

    There is not doubt in my mind that a case can and has been made for Calvinism. Frankly I don't believe I or anyone else here disputes this claim. What I would say is that I personally find such an exegesis fails to do so without doing great harm to the dignity of man who is created in the image of God Himself and more so without doing great harm to what we know of the Divine Nature of our Creator.

    Upon reflection regarding the general foundation of Calvinism I simply find myself in dispute as to how one articulates the Almighty who is love as an arbitrary tyrant. Now I don't say that to demean Calvinists but it stands to reason that one who imposes one's own will without consent is a tyrant and one who does so ultimately by one's own whim is arbitrary. Both suggestions are inconsistent with what Christianity professes as the nature of God, namely that He is Love and that He is immutable. To argue Calvinism force me to do great harm to both of these Divine Characteristics and I find myself unable to recognize the God that would be represented by such doctrine.

    The foundation of my gospel is that God "desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth".

    I can't speak for anyone else but I believe to the deepest core of my being that this verse speaks to the 'desires' of the Good God whom I worship. A God whom desires 'all' men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. This verse tells me that it is not only within the desires of My God that all men will be saved or it would be so for my God is Almighty. For me this means that someone else's desires are also at play in the Providence of this Good God. My guess is that the other desires would be mine for surely if it rested solely of the shoulders of God's desires then surely He would have what He desires for again my God is Almighty.

    Now to the one who works, his wage is not reckoned as a favor, but as what is due. But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is reckoned as righteousness . . . - Roman 4:4-5

    So I conclude that when Scripture speaks concerning our salvation by Grace through Faith I assume an influence and response relationship with a Good God who desires that all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth not through works but by faith (our faith).

    God's Grace is an invitation for an encounter with the Divine Nature and He awaits our response in Faith. Now, I have never assumed that I am 'learned' as to Scripture but I do have my convictions and I have absolutely no confidence that Hyper-Calvinism (i.e. Hard Determinism) articulates the Salvific Work of my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. That is my opinion and I'm willing to stand by that opinion not because there is no other way to interpret Scripture, I'm old enough to know that many traditions have presented reasonable interpretations, but because such interpretations don't reflect the Divine Nature of the God in Whom I praise, offer up thanksgiving and glorify.

    Peace and God Bless.
     
  17. J.D.

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    Hello Bound, you said this:

    "the dignity of man"

    That's near the heart of the issue. How can sinful man stand before a Holy God? Can he stand there with his "dignity"?
     
  18. J.D.

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    The divine nature of our Creator is omnipotence and holiness. He will do that which he has purposed to do, and none can stay His hand. Who hath resisted His Will? Or who hath been His counselor? God "works all thing according to His Will".

    Who has harmed the Nature of God? The Pelagian, the semi-pelagian, and the Arminian have accused God of inability to accomplish that which He has purposed to do. The Arminian says that God "wants" to save every person, and yet He is an utter failure at that, the most significant of all things which God may will to do. The arminian says that God is frustrated, hand-cuffed, weeping and crying while those whome He loves burn in Hell. The Arminian God can not actually save anyone, but merely wishes that they would be saved. The Arminian God is totally dependent upon the fallen nature of man to accomplish His desires. The Arminian Christ has not secured anyone's forgiveness, but has merely made it possible contingent upon man's fallen will.

    The Calvinist God is not an arbitrary tyrant, but rather, He is mercifull beyond our knowledge, offering salvation to a people that deserve hell.

    And what if He were arbitrary? And what if He were a tyrant? What does man have to say about that? He is God, and there is none other. For who has first given to Him, and shall receive anything back from God by obligation? Of Him, and through Him, and to Him, are all things. As His Spirit dwells in me, this is the God I serve and I shall serve no other.
     
  19. Brother Bob

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    And we might add, what if He is a loving God who in His Soverneignty made man where he could choose or deny Him. What does man have to say about that? He is God, and there is none other, not even John Calvin. What if His Spirit strives with all men to repent. If He so desires, who is there to stop him. The Calvinist? I think not.

    This it the God I serve and I feel good coming to the pulpit and telling everyone they can go to Heaven but they must believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God from the heart and repent and be born again.
     
    #19 Brother Bob, Aug 7, 2006
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  20. Jarthur001

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    :flower: :flower: :flower:

    Lets pass out the daisy chains and hold hands...

    As ricky would say on I LOVE lucy...aw yaw yaw yaw yaaaaaw.

    I would have to dig into this one, if i had the time. I may leave this to others. I'll just start it out...hehe

    Bound..you seem like a nice guy, But you do have a very closed minded view of God, I'm afraid as they said in a movie.."You can't handly the truth". :)

    God is love..Yes He is. Does Gods love have bounds in which He can not love?

    Are you sure you want to take this up brother?
    For starters... Being that God is love, then we should be able to see the very nature of God in 1 Cor 13..the love chapter. So...go run and see if there is anything God will not love and get back with us. Others can take it from hear..as we show the wrath of God....and many other things.


    Key factor you overlooked. 1st and foremost God is a Holy God.
     
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