Pauls Conversion: Could it have been resisted?

Discussion in '2005 Archive' started by whetstone, Mar 26, 2005.

  1. whetstone

    whetstone
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    Arminians (or 'anti-Calvinists') say that saving grace is resistable and God can be thwarted in His desire to make someone willing to accept the gospel. What do you make of Paul's conversion?

    Acts 9:15 But the Lord said unto him (Ananias), Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel.

    Paul was a chosen vessel to bring the gospel to the Gentiles. No question about that. Perhaps the Arminian might say that God chose Paul after He converted him, but I must ask: Could Paul have thwarted God's plan to have him pen much of the New Testament?

    Let's imagine a scenario. Let's imaging Paul was struck down with blindness and a voice from heaven, but continued to reject Christ. Let's pretend Paul never got converted. He wouldn't have written much of the NT writings then: someone else would have. This means that the Bible wasn't eternal in heaven, but alterable by man's will. Is this possible?

    John 1 says that the word was in the beginning. This means that Paul's words were in the beginning (even though Paul wasn't). Since God inspired the words through Paul as an instrument, God's plan was for Paul to be converted and write the epistles.

    My question for anti-Calvinists: Could Paul have rejected Christ on the road to Damascus and rewritten the Bible?

    In Christ,

    Daniel Allen
    www.pre-evangelism.com
     
  2. ILUVLIGHT

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    Hi Whetstone;
    Paul believed in God long before his conversion. Even before the crucifixion. So what you're implying is that the appearance of Christ to paul was his regeneration My! My! a Calvinist that will admit that belief in God comes before regeneration what wonders will never cease?
    May Christ Shine His Light On Us all;
    Mike :D
     
  3. whetstone

    whetstone
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    Thanks mike but you didn't answer my question.

    Calvinists don't deny that a person may believe in God. We simply believe that no man seeks God on His terms unless drawn by the Holy Spirit. It's easy to poke at a strawman if you get the mind to. Anyways, I await an answer to my question: Could Paul have resisted and ultimately thwarted his conversion on the road to damascus?

    In Christ,

    Daniel Allen
    www.pre-evangelism.com
     
  4. Wes Outwest

    Wes Outwest
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    No, Paul would not have written his letters in the first place if he had rejected Jesus' indefinable invitation.

    But that doesn't answer your intent. You think if Paul hadn't written all those letters that they would not have gotten written...Right? Well you raise Paul to the level of God!

    Besides if Paul hadn't written the God breathed "word of God", there were plenty of people living at the time that could have, and would have.
     
  5. whetstone

    whetstone
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    So Paul was irresistably called to salvation? *wink wink! :D
     
  6. Wes Outwest

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    Is that the question you wanted an answer to?

    OK!

    The recruitment of Paul by Jesus is the only one of it's kind ever in recorded history, and you want to use it as an example of the typical?

    Not a very good way to win souls in the Kingdom of God!
     
  7. whetstone

    whetstone
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    if you are a Calvinist, Pauls conversion is EXACTLY the same as everyone else's conversion (minus voice and light of course! lol). If you are an Arminian, Pauls conversion is an anomoly. I must admit I was baffled by his conversion when I wan an Arminian. So...

    about the answer to my question... :D
     
  8. ILUVLIGHT

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    Hi Whetstone;
    Yes He could have but ("would") he might be a better question. My point is that Paul was not converted or regenerarted by what he seen. He recognized the Lord because of what He had seen but believed in God before it happened. I believe Paul was a member of the Sanhedrim. I know that you may claim that this is paul being regenerated because I've heard the same theory before. Irresistible Grace doesn't exist anywhere in scripture if you'd care to make a defense for it I will debate it with you.

    I'm not going to tell you that I know all there is to know about scripture because I simply don't, but then I'm not stupid either. I have studied scripture most of my life
    So be gentile please. :D
    May Christ Shine His Light On Us all;
    Mike [​IMG]
     
  9. whetstone

    whetstone
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    Of course I'll be gentle Mike [​IMG]

    Ok, fair enough. Now I want you to think about this: If it was POSSIBLE that Paul could not be converted, there was uncertainty to the authorship of the Bible. In other words it wasn't 100% definite until Paul converted. The problem is that John 1:1 says the word was already with God in the beginning. You see the problem with just a possibility? The word was in the beginning meaning that all events to follow (in the Bible) were preordained to happen (including Pauls conversion). Pauls salvation was as final the moment he believed as it was before the earth was formed. That's the point I'm trying to make. Paul not only wouldn't have rejected salvation- but he COULDN'T because God had ordained Pauls ministry and writings and called Paul by the power of the Holy Spirit to make him willing. He didn't force Paul's will, but He made him willing in the day of His power.

    Just because Paul was a religious leader doesn't mean he had been converted. Whenever Paul gave his testimony in Acts, he always pointed back to the road to Damascus. That was when he was converted. The Holy Spirit had to work in his heart up until that time (undoubtedly through the words and testimony of those Christians he killed). I WOULD like to make an argument for irresistable grace because if God's ultimate will in salvation can be thwarted He is not God. The events in Revelation are just as preordained as who will accept Christ. Why is one acceptable and the other unaccaptable?

    I appreciate this Mike and it's a bit different than the tone you've had earlier. We're are all just here to learn and grow. No sense in dragging people (especially those of the household of faith) through the mud while we learn. You will have respect from me in everything we discuss whether I agree with you or not [​IMG]

    In Christ,

    Daniel Allen
    www.pre-evangelism.com
     
  10. Wes Outwest

    Wes Outwest
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    There is nothing baffling about Paul's conversion. However it is the only of its kind in recorded history and therefore cannot be an example of "normal human acceptance of Christ -- Christian conversion.

    You should have checked your question before you posted it. If God had not chosen Paul and recruited him in a totally unique manner, would the NEW TESTAMENT scriptures we have been written?

    You seem to be saying that Paul wrote the bible, and without him we would not be priveleged to have the Holy Word of God. My gracious, I wonder if Matthew Mark Luke and John along with Peter and James might feel a bit slighted by your overwhelming indorsement of Paul? Actually, I think there were many well qualified men during the time that could have written the God breathed word of God! It did not have to be Paul. So why are you so concerned about the writing of God Breathed scripture?

    The truth about Paul is that he was persecuting the believers in Jesus in a very zealous manner, God saw the ferver with which Paul operated, Liked the energy level, and recruited Paul for His service. But Paul needed the solitude of blindness for a few days in order to refocus. Blind people are generally more compliant, and listen more carefully.

    Paul is not the issue here. The writing of the bible is not at issue here either. Election is the issue, but the only recorded even of its kind is not an example of the election you want everyone to accept as truth.
     
  11. Wes Outwest

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    Wise words Whetstone, WE EXPECT THE SAME FROM YOU!
     
  12. ILUVLIGHT

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    Hi Whetstone;
    You're attempting to claim that Paul and his conversion was prophesized. Absolutely not supported by scripture
    You in the end of this Paragraph say
    How ever not one piece of scripture about Paul's encounter suggest that Paul was converted right there and then. Yes because of Paul being elect and being a believer in God recognize Christ as Deity. Right off the bat Paul called Him Lord. Why? Well if I had such an encounter with Pauls limited educated I would have responded the same way. This was not regeneration but a removal of the blindness inflicted on all Israel because of there rejection. It was still up to Paul to seek the teaching he no doubt got from Ananias and the disciples. It doesn't say How long He was with them exactly just says certain days.
    Yes and it says the Word was God. The Word talked about there is Jesus Christ not some predestined plan. The very living God.
    Then why don't you show that instead of just speculating about it. Your thoughts about it doesn't prove squat. It just shows you are reading into scripture what isn't there. You seem to be speculating your own doctrines
    You haven't shown proof for this speculation yet. The road to Damascus was when his blindness was removed. This isn't regeneration. What happened to Paul was a vision that caused Him Blindness physically for 3 days no doubt to give him some time to dwell on his experience and make up His mind. If what you claim is true then Paul wasn't saved by faith but by seeing Christ. Have you seen Christ? I mean if this is regeneration then you must have the same happen to you. Conversion may have begun there because the blinders were removed.
    Read Jeremiah 18:1-10 and ask your self if the actions of men determine there own destiny.
    If God planned for man to Love Him then He would have to allow for the fact that love cannot be provoked. Not only this if Your doctrine were so. Then God could not possibly Love man but only wishes to dominate man.
    Love doesn't seek it's own way, but a way for the beloved.
    1Co 13:5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;
    The one acceptable accepts the Word with all readiness of mind and perseveres. The ones who do not are condemned for not doing so.
    I always treat everyone with respect until they disrespect me. Even if they have shown disrespect before if they speak to me with respect I will to them forgetting everything before.
    I believe Christ is my Savior and I make myself and train up myself so that I may win the prize.
    May Christ Shine His Light On Us all;
    Mike [​IMG]
     
  13. whetstone

    whetstone
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    If the Bible was penned in the mind of God at the foundation of the world (John 1) then every event in the Bible WAS prophecyed. Pauls conversion was just as sure as Christ's prophecy of his own death, burial and resurrection.

    There are many arguments pro and against when EXACTLY Paul was saved. The point isn't so much when he was saved but whether he could have rejected the call of God to salvation. If he could have, God would have had to use someone else to pen the majority of the NT and Paul would have changed God's plan.

    It is talking about God AND His plan. To say that God didn't plan to allow or work the events of the Bible is foolishness. Revelation is just as sure to happen as the gospels were.

    You are courting open theism. God is immutable and while our actions have consequences, they will never stray outside of God's ultimate will. The Jeremiah passage is a good case for the imminance of God- but not to the sovereignty of free will. We are still limited by our nature and we are limited by God's ultimate will.

    No man will love God without God first loving Him. If you think you can prove otherwise scripturally, be my guest.

    Agreed. Do you say this to imply that I am condemned for believing God's will supercedes ours? Foolishness.

    My experience is that you disrespect those you disagree with regardless of what they've done to you.

    We'll see how strongly you believe this by the tone of your next post.

    Read this quote to yourself outloud. Those "I's" look pretty big don't they? Proverbs 16:18

    Dan
     
  14. ILUVLIGHT

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    Hi Whetstone;
    Your problem here is that you can't show what you claim is true. The Bible was not penned in the mind of God before the foundation of the world and you've shown no account of such a thing with scripture.
    There simply nothing but your own suggestion that this could be the case. Scripture just doesn't say that he could not resist.
    The Bible is two thirds prophecy and not one word have you proven was written before the foundation of the world.
    But you haven't proven what God's will is. I have and that is He will draw all men to Him even though all men will not accept His Grace.
    I wouldn't even try. Something we agree on. :D
    Will you put words in my mouth as well. Isimply said no such thing.

    I'm not surprized that you would accuse me of something regardless of how nice I am. It's in your nature to accuse of what you are most guilty of...
    So you will notice that you accussed me first :D
    So disrespectfull because your not adult enough for respect.
    May Christ Shine His Light On Us all;
    Mike [​IMG]
     
  15. whetstone

    whetstone
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    Mike. that was a little better (and nicer) than many of your previous posts. props.

    proof that the Bible is the eternal word of God:

    Ps 119:89 For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven.

    Ps 119:152 Concerning thy testimonies, I have known of old that thou hast founded them for ever.

    1 Pet 1:25 But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.

    If the word is in eternity future, it was in eternity past since technically there is no such thing as past or future in eternity. The Bible was just as concrete before the universe began as it will be forevermore. You wanted proof so I gave it. Next. :D

    Dan
     

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