Persuading non-Calvinists

Discussion in 'History Forum' started by Ignazio_er, Dec 30, 2003.

  1. Ignazio_er

    Ignazio_er
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    Larry asked me to post this here rather than CvA. The basic question is how can we persuade people of the truth of Calvinism? The following quote shows one of Calvin's techniques.

    From http://ic.net/~erasmus/RAZ247.HTM (textual references available on this site)

    A google search of james gruet calvin turned up this http://www.skeptical-christian.net/lectures/heretics_heresies.html

     
  2. KenH

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    Even worse than Saddam Hussein's government?

    Is this author being quoted saying that the God's ordained theocracy in the Old Testament was the most detestable government that ever existed? I don't think many people on this board will cotton much to quotes from Robert G. Ingersoll.
     
  3. Ignazio_er

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    Ingersoll died in 1899, so it's highly doubtful that he knew of Saddam's government, or Hitler's, or Stalin's, or Tojo's, or dubya's. As to the second question, I really don't know the answer. Maybe he was talking about Romanism.
     
  4. KenH

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    You do know that fella was a world famous atheist, don't you?
     
  5. Conservative Christian

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    I'm not a Calvinist, but the above statement is ludicrous.
     
  6. Ignazio_er

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    Yes. And a world famous political commentator (like Bill O. to the 10th power). That's why I value his political statements but not his religious.
     
  7. Ignazio_er

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    Well he did found a theocracy, and James Gruet probably wouldn't find it ludicrous.
     
  8. Major B

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    1. Ingersoll was one of the worst atheists in history.

    2. Historical people, movements, and governments must be judged in the light of their times and context. Calvin's Geneva was the most enlightened government of its day.
     
  9. KenH

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    Who is Bill O.?
     
  10. Conservative Christian

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    It should be obvious to most here that I was objecting to the part about it being the "most destestable" government ever, and Ingersoll's vicious swipe at Old Testament Jews.

    Ingersoll was apparently an anti-Semite.

    Anybody literate in history knows there were MANY regimes worse than Calvin's, the name Genghis Khan comes quickly to mind.
     
  11. Major B

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    Again, let's point out the importance of context.

    1. Historically, until 1776, what we know today as a republican democracy with a constitution and guaranteed rights did not exist ANY WHERE. Before that time, the British were the closest, with the English Bill of Rights of 1689. Other than these, we can look at a time 200 years AFTER Calvin and find NO enlightened governments. We cannot justly fault Calvin for not having a modern, human-rights oriented (unless you are a fetus) democracy when it was over 200 years later before ANYONE had such a thing. In fact, Calvin's Geneva was as good as it got in 1546!

    2. In fact, the majority of people in the world today live under some form of despotism worse than Geneva circa 1546.

    3. Robert Ingersoll hated Jews, Christians, Zoroastrians, Muslims, etc.--anyone who believed in any God.
     
  12. skanwmatos

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    The Icelandic Althing (Parliament) dates from the year 930. The Althing was set aside in 1430 when Iceland voted to become part of Denmark. In 1845 the Icelandic Parliament was restored. [​IMG]
     
  13. gb93433

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    To declare myself a Calvinist menas that I am publically saying that I am a follower of Calvin. So how does one state that he is a Christian and a Calvinist. I cannot serve two masters. Calvin started the Presbyterian Church which believes in infant baptism also. How can I adhere to Calvin if I am to adhere God. If I study scripture within its historical context I will not always get what Calvin declared. But I do agre with Calvin in most things though. In his Institutes he states that if taken too far you will end up in a bad situation. He even realized the limits of his theology.

    But nobody can deny God's sovereignty. I am convinced that when one studies the Bible and its underlying context we will see something very different than what is so often preached. I can remember tranlsating passages when I was taking Greek and many of us would leave the class talking about how we were shocked and some of the nonsense we heard preached from those passages.

    I think the following illustration illustrates well God's sovereignty.

    From Encyclopedia of 15,000 Illustrations

    2839. Destruction Of Port Royal
    Port Royal once situated on the island of Jamaica has been called “the richest and wickedest city in the world.”
    It was the natural rendezvous for most of the pirates and buccaneers of the day. Liquor, gambling, women, dope—every vice thrived in Port Royal “in greater extravagance than anywhere else in the world.” Perpetual brawls raged in the streets and the blood of murdered men flowed endlessly. Rape and theft were commonplace.
    Then on June 7, 1962, two terrific earthquakes struck. With the second, the sea was driven back half a mile. The city was split open in a dozen places and into the crevasses toppled scores of screaming men, women and children. Choking sulfur fumes sifted through openings in the earth. Then as the sea returned, a great wall of water swept into Port Royal, smashing ships, washing buildings from their foundations. Suddenly, and with a sullen roar, the whole city slipped slowly into the sea with most of its population.
    To this day one can go down to the site and look down through several fathoms of clear water and see some of the coral-crusted remains of Port Royal—“The wickedest city in the world.”
    —Christian Victory
     
  14. Major B

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    The Icelandic Althing (Parliament) dates from the year 930. The Althing was set aside in 1430 when Iceland voted to become part of Denmark. In 1845 the Icelandic Parliament was restored. [​IMG] </font>[/QUOTE]I stand corrected, if the franchise for the Althing was broader than the nobility. There was also a parliament of sorts in Poland, but it was limited to the nobility. Was the Icelandic parliament for all, or only representing a very select group?
     
  15. mioque

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    "In fact, Calvin's Geneva was as good as it got in 1546!"
    I wouldn't quite go that far. He did get kicked out of the city at one point. Law enforcement actively chased down sinners in that city, meaning that a lot more was illegal than in other comparable places. Live in other independant Swiss and Italian towns was no doubt more pleasant, but not nearly as edifying.
     
  16. skanwmatos

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    There was no nobility in Iceland. The entire population was so small, and the island so small, the entire country could get together to discuss issues then instruct their representitives on how to vote. It was probably the worlds first pure democracy in the modern sense of the word. [​IMG]
     
  17. No Deceit

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    Where is the verse that proves Limited Atonement? I agree there are verses that teach for whom Christ died for, but where is the verse that states for whom Christ did not die for. Thanks.

    al
     
  18. russell55

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    Here's why I asked you for independent confirmation--and by independent, I guess I meant unbiased, neither pro-Calvin or anti-Calvin, and I'm not sure that source qualifies. It is a historical fact (meaning that there is the letter to back it up) that Calvin asked the city council of Geneva to execute Michael Servetus in a less brutal way than the burning at the stake that they had sentenced him to. The city council turned down Calvin's request. So I find it hard to fathom that someone who would plead for a more merciful death for one of his enemies would approve of the torture of another of his enemies. I suspect the story is at least embellished, if not an outright falsehood.

    And, if you will notice, the story says, "The judges put him to the rack twice a day, morning and evening, for a whole month . . . He was sentenced to death for blasphemy and beheaded on July 26, 1547 . . ." As we can see from the details of the execution of Servetus, the judges of Geneva were not Calvin's puppets. They did act independently of Calvin, as the Servetus sentence shows, so if things did happen exactly as the article says, it would still be difficult to say that it was Calvin's doing.

    Anyway, here are a couple of articles from a source that ought to be more or less unbiased. They might interest you.

    Servetus executed for heresy

    Glimpses of Calvin's life

    And here's another from a source that may not be unbiased (I don't know anything about the author), but is based on actual Geneva city archive documents.

    Stickelberger's article
     
  19. Major B

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    Again, we must view historical characters in the contexts of their times. Torture was S.O.P. for most nations of the day, and for some time after that. The first consitutional prohibition of it I'm aware of came in the US Constitution's Bill of Rights (8th amendment) passed by the First Congress under the Constitution and ratified in 1791. In fact, the majority of people in the world today live in a nation where torture is either legal or is accepted and practiced by the police and military establishments of their states.

    Calvin, in this regard, was no better nor any worse than any other official of his day. Only the Mennonites and other Anabaptists had the right idea here, and they were far ahead of their times.

    To make an erroneous ad hominem attack on an historical figure by ignoring the historical context, reveals that the actual arguments and beliefs of the figure are too strong to challenge, so one must go after the man, not the argument.
     
  20. mioque

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    "It is a historical fact (meaning that there is the letter to back it up) that Calvin asked the city council of Geneva to execute Michael Servetus in a less brutal way than the burning at the stake that they had sentenced him to. The city council turned down Calvin's request. So I find it hard to fathom that someone who would plead for a more merciful death for one of his enemies would approve of the torture of another of his enemies. I suspect the story is at least embellished, if not an outright falsehood."
    The irony of it all is that Calvin's letter interceding on behalf of Sevetus may have been a traditional hollow gesture that nobody at the time took seriously, least of all Calvin himself.
    The members of the Roman Catholic Inquisition often put in similar requests when they handed over heretics to the state to be punished.
    (I wanted to [​IMG] that I read several of those original inquisitors letters myself, but my Latin is so shoddy that it is correcter to say I've seen them). There is good reason to assume that nobody took the inquisitors letters serious and that sadly means that the Servetus letter is also somewhat suspect :( . Jean Calvin broke with a lot of RC tradition, but not with all of it.

    "Calvin, in this regard, was no better nor any worse than any other official of his day. "
    Absolutely and Calvin shouldn't be judged to harshly for simply being a normal bloke in certain respects.

    "Only the Mennonites and other Anabaptists had the right idea here, and they were far ahead of their times."
    And that certainly does not apply to all Anabaptists.
    The Anabaptists in Münster were one of the creepiest groups in worldhistory describing themselves as Christians.
     

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