Please Explain the "I" in TULIP

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by preacher4truth, Aug 11, 2011.

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  1. preacher4truth

    preacher4truth
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    OK, I've not looked into "Irresistible Grace" much at all to my recollection. Contrary to assumption, I don't have a stack of reformed books.

    Perhaps some who are more knowledgable about irresistible grace could expound upon:

    1. What "Calvin" and calvinists meant/mean by this, and what it doesn't mean, or how it is miscontrued by non-cals and otherwise.

    2. What is its extent.

    3. Scriptural support/proof.

    4. Passages that seem to refute this explained.

    5. Other helpful thoughts and explanations on this.

    - Peace
     
  2. Earth Wind and Fire

    Earth Wind and Fire
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    I dont think Im the one to explain this in detail (there are other brothers much more skilled) but you will find this book very constructive.

    http://www.amazon.com/dp/1433511282/?tag=baptis04-20

    He(James Montgomery Boice) will explain to you how he feels the term Irresistible Grace is misleading .... preferring:thumbsup: "Efficacious Grace"
     
  3. mandym

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    Either way it is wrong
     
  4. Earth Wind and Fire

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    Opinions Opinions....:p
     
  5. preacher4truth

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    So you don't know what it means, nor do you have Scriptures to back it up?
     
  6. Earth Wind and Fire

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    Sure I do but there are also people on this board much better prepared to answer you.....you sure you want an answer from a guy 16 months in?
     
  7. Van

    Van
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    IRRESISTIBLE GRACE?

    Lets review some of the scriptures purported to support the doctrine of irresistible grace.

    John 6:65 says, “And He was saying, “For this reason I have said to you that no one can come to Me, unless it has been granted him from the Father.”

    This verse has nothing to do with an inner call granted by the Father. The reason Jesus said believers couldn’t come to Him unless it has been granted him from the Father is that Jesus was sent by the Father. If the Father had not so loved the world that He sent His Son, no one could come to the Son. The disciples that did not accept that Jesus was the Son of God, walked away. Jesus asked if the twelve wanted to walk away and Peter said, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” Then Jesus explained that one of them, chosen by Jesus, could not come to Jesus because He was destined to betray Jesus. So rather than teaching that God only grants access to Jesus to select individuals, the verse actually teaches that God hardened the heart of some so that God’s predestined plan of salvation to the lost would be brought to fruition! Many of those who walked, who could not accept that Jesus was the Son of God, probably repented after the Son “ascended” and that was brought about in part by Judas’ betrayal. Those that did repent and believe were baptized into the body of Christ by the Holy Spirit and the Father gracefully granted forgiveness of sins based on the propitiation provided by Christ’s sacrifice. So what did the Father grant? Salvation! Does this passage support irresistible grace? Not at all.

    Acts 13:48 says, “And when the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord; and as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed.” The use of the word “appointed” seems to indicate God selected or appointed or ordained the individual via irresistible grace. However, the Greek word translated appointed refers to an arrangement by mutual consent. Thus those that took Paul’s direction (you must believe in Christ) believed. Note that this verse is in contrast to Acts 13:46 where it is clear that the involved individual chooses to reject the gospel indicating individual receptivity and not selection is in view. In light of this, the verse actually supports the idea of placing ones faith in Christ as the key to salvation, just as John 3:16 says! Since this verse could be translated “as many as accepted Paul’s direction to eternal life believed”, this verse offers no support for the mistaken idea of irresistible grace.

    1 Corinthians 4:7 says, “For who regards you as superior? And what do you have that you did not receive? But if you did receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it.” Paul is preaching against arrogance, against holding views in behalf of one brother against another. He points out that we are the sum of our life experience, all that we know we learned from others, everything we have we received from others and so on. But does this passage say we cannot act upon what we hear? No. We who came from Christian homes were cultivated to receive the gospel, and the gospel was brought to us by the power of the Holy Spirit, but to take this passage further and say that it teaches we received the gift of faith (the inner call directly by the Holy Spirit) is an unnecessary and unsupported extrapolation. Because this passage is so general, it should not be used to support irresistible grace.

    Romans 11:35-36 says, “Or who has first given to Him that if might be paid back to him again? For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen.” God is sovereign, and we are His creation. Everything we are is from God. The rub is men can invented actions and then attribute them to God because He “could” do them, rather then because scripture says He does them; and such is the invention of irresistible grace.

    Acts 5:31 says, “He is the one whom God exalted to His right hand as a Prince and a Savior, to grant repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.” As with all verses where God “grants” something, the doctrine of irresistible grace can be “read” into the text. But if the mechanism for God “granting” something is other than irresistible grace, the truth of scripture still stands, but the false doctrine falls away. In this passage, it is clear that when God raised up Jesus, the first born from the dead, God supplied a powerful gospel to convict Israel, for it is Peter preaching to Jews in the passage, and therefore this is the actual mechanism for “granting” repentance.

    Acts 11:18 says, “And when they heard this, they quieted down, and glorified God, saying, “Well then, God has granted to the Gentiles also the repentance to life.” Here again, Peter preaches the gospel and after they had believed in the Lord Jesus Christ they were baptized with the Holy Spirit. God again granted repentance by the effect of hearing the gospel, believing and turning to Christ and not necessarily by any additional action not mentioned or implied in the text.

    Acts 14:27 says, “And when they had arrived and gathered the church together, they began to report all things that God had done with them and how He had opened a door of faith to the Gentiles.” Here we see that God is given the credit for an opportunity to spread the Gospel. This is as it should be, giving thanks to God for all things. However, to infer that God opened the door by a supernatural action, the inner call, is unnecessary. Paul preached to the Gentiles that God had not left Himself without a witness, general revelation, and even though such witness might seem faint, Paul had difficulty in restraining the crowds. Jews interfered and stoned Paul, but by the power of God, Paul got up and went to Derbe and made many disciples. Bottom line, the narrative demonstrates how God opened the door of faith without mentioning an inner call.

    Continued in next post
     
  8. Van

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    Acts 16:14 says, “One of those listening was a women named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth from the city of Thyatira, who was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul’s message.” How did God “open her heart”? The answer from the text is that because she was a worshiper of God, having listened to God and learned from God through the words of the prophets and having accepted the One who sent Him, she had the prerequisite beliefs (i.e. belief in God’s promised Messiah) to accept Jesus. Simply put, if you reject God and His word, your heart will not be open to Jesus. Paul explains this in 2 Timothy 3:15 which says, “and that from childhood you have known the sacred writing which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.” God opens all believers’ hearts by His word, His gospel and His witness Jesus Christ. Does this passage support irresistible grace? Not at all.

    Acts 18:27 says, “…and when He (Apollos) arrived, he helped greatly those who had believed through grace.” God gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him shall have eternal life. This act of grace is the gift of the gospel through the life, death and resurrection of God’s one of a kind Son, and granting eternal life to believers who place their faith in His Son does not need to include irresistible grace. The inference that the grace in view is irresistible grace rather than the gospel, which is the power of God to salvation, is unnecessary and so this passage does not support irresistible grace.

    Philippians 1:29 says, “For to you it has been granted for Christ’s sake, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake.” Christ commanded that we make disciples; that we carry the gospel to the ends of the world. As servants of Christ, believers are to carry their cross and follow Christ no matter the cost. God gave us His Son granting us the opportunity to believe, but also if we believe, the opportunity to suffer with Christ and all other believers, so that for the sake of Christ we can carry the gospel to a lost world. This passage again uses “granted” and Calvinists read “irresistible grace” into this grace, when no such inference is even remotely suggested.

    Romans 9:16 says, “So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy.” Clearly Paul is teaching that salvation does not depend on our works, no matter how much effort (a man that wills) is put into it. This verse actually provides a powerful proof that irresistible grace is false doctrine. For it teaches an unregenerate man is able to will to be saved, rather than needing to be transformed by irresistible grace in order to will to be saved. But our willing and running does not result in salvation, for all our works are filthy rags. It is God alone who credits our worthless faith as righteousness and based on that sets us apart in Christ for salvation.


    Romans 9:19 says, “You will say to me then, “Why does He still find fault? For who resists His will.” The answer of course is that nobody can resist His will, unless God has granted the capability to choose God or go our own way. Note that in Acts 7:51 the unsaved are resisting the will of the Holy Spirit and therefore the capacity to resist or accept God’s will that all men be saved in indicated. In context, some are complaining that since God hardens some hearts to accomplish His purpose and plan, God should not find fault. Paul responds that we, the creation should not judge the creator. Note that the complaint is lame, for all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Therefore, anyone that God hardens is justly condemned already. God just did not extend or grant them mercy in order to bring is plan to fruition. This passage does not support the need for irresistible grace.

    Support of the concept of irresistible grace is sometimes sought in Titus 3:5 which says, “He saved us not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit,”

    The assertion is that regeneration precedes faith or, in other words, that the regeneration mentioned here, is irresistible grace. But if you look at the verse you see plainly that the steps of salvation are in view, first the selection for salvation is based on mercy, and not any works of righteousness, then the sinner who is the object of God’s mercy is washed in the process of rebirth whereby the body of sin is removed in the circumcision done without hands in the baptism into the death of Christ and then we arise a new creature with a new heart and a good conscious, and then we are indwelt with the Holy Spirit. This view, regeneration means being born again, mirrors the similar thoughts to this passage (Titus 3:5-7) found in 1 Peter 1:3. But backing up, since the first step mentioned is salvation according to God’s mercy, a sinner in a sinful state is in view, someone who needs mercy because justice would result in continued condemnation. So we are saved by grace (God granting mercy) through our faith in Christ. In summary the steps are God sent His Son. We believe in our heart in His Son, we call upon the name of His Son, and then God accepts our faith and grants salvation by grace through faith. Therefore, while God’s grace (embodied in the gospel of His Son) precedes our faith, our faith precedes God’s salvation by the process of being born again from above and being indwelt. Acts 16:30-31 says it well in answer to the question, “What must I do to be saved?” Believe in the Lord Jesus which is action of a sinner seeking mercy through faith, rather than making a works based claim of righteousness, because faith is our introduction into the grace of salvation (Romans 5:2).

    In summary, while scripture can be found to support the concept of irresistible grace by inference, (i.e. Calvinists have read it into the text) even though it is unnecessary to a straightforward understanding of the text, there is no text or combination of texts that logically demonstrate the inferred action by God. Irresistible grace is a false doctrine. Because of our slavery to sin which pulls us away from God and toward darkness, scripture teaches that God evaluates our faith, as flawed and “depraved” as it might be, and then, based on His mercy credits it as righteousness and, by His grace, chooses to set us apart and by the power of the Holy Spirit baptizes us into the body of Christ.
     
  9. Crabtownboy

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    It is a false belief first introduced by the Gnostics, picked up by St. Augustine when he was a Gnostic and he incorporated it into his belief system. Calvin was greatly influenced by Augustine and he brought it into his theology. Too bad that he did.
     
  10. preacher4truth

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    Provide documentation for this.
     
  11. Earth Wind and Fire

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    Oye veh....now look who your dealing with? Will pray for you...LOL
     
  12. preacher4truth

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    Although I appreciate all your work here, I don't really see irresistible grace dismantled, you kind of come at it sideways and tie it into other issues, such as regeneration, but never hit it head on, and I believe you feel you've proven it to be erroneous. I think you missed the mark by miles. Saying much is sometimes too much, and that is the factor in your post and response.

    The intepretations of some of your texts are very strained to support your theory that irresistible grace is incorrect. They stand as interpreted through your theology, and not freely interpreted via context.

    Especially in Acts 16:14 you completely challenge Gods Spirit as the sole One responsible in opening Lydias heart to give it a more man-centric, effort, and merited flavor via religious practice. That is unscriptural to say the least. God opened her heart (Lydias) and I certainly wouldn't attempt to discredit that, ever, as you have attempted. Your interpretations are purely eisegetical, and this is especially seen here. And no, Calvinists haven't "read it into the text", but rather, they've employed exegetical analysis.

    There are, of course, other passages which support the truth that it is God, and He alone, not mans efforts, not previous religious worship, who opens and changes hearts; Deutoronomy 29:4; 30:6; Jeremiah 13:23.

    This is simply an opponent (you) going to any means to discredit a theology that one simply does not understand.

    Also, you have the order of salvation backwards in your ending comment, which is quite contrary to that of 1 Peter 1:1-2.

    - Peace
     
    #12 preacher4truth, Aug 11, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 11, 2011
  13. preacher4truth

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    lol... :applause: :thumbsup: :love2:
     
  14. Van

    Van
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    Listen to the Calvinist rebutal:

    "You come at it sideways"

    "You address other issues like regeneration." Calvinism refers to irresisitible grace as quickening or "regeneration before faith."

    "You never hit it on the head."

    "I think you missed the mark by miles."

    "You said too much."

    "Your interpretations are very strained."

    "Your views are not freely interpreted through context." Ah I was wondering when the magic context dust would be sprinkled over the response.

    "You are going through any means to discredit." Implication, unchristian means.

    "You do not understand Calvinism theology." Yet another oldie but dusty classic.

    But spotted among the avalanche of off the shelf bluster was this piece of original work:

    In Acts 16:14 you completely discredit Gods Spirit in opening Lydias heart to give it a more man-centric, effort, and merited flavor via religious practice. That is unscriptural to say the least. God opened her heart (Lydias) and I certainly wouldn't attempt to discredit that, ever, as you have done.

    But this is what I actually said:

    How did God “open her heart”? The answer from the text is that because she was a worshiper of God, having listened to God and learned from God through the words of the prophets and having accepted the One who sent Him, she had the prerequisite beliefs (i.e. belief in God’s promised Messiah) to accept Jesus. Simply put, if you reject God and His word, your heart will not be open to Jesus.

    Now does this "discredit the Holy Spirit?" Nope How did Lydia learn of God? The work of the Holy Spirit!! Is this a man-centric view? Nope, it is a God-centric view, you must believe in the One who sent Jesus before you can believe in His Christ. The Father gave the Son. And without a belief in the Father, there can be no belief in the Son.

    Thus a strawman argument, which again is all Calvinism has to offer.
     
  15. Van

    Van
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    Footnote for Bible students. If you study the gospel presentations in the book of Acts, you will see when the audience is Jews, the presentation starts with Jesus the Messiah, but when the audience is Gentiles, the presentation starts with God. Just a little Soteriology 101.
     
  16. thomas15

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    Not to change the subject but you have put into words what I have been thinking lately that some on this board either have unlimited hours to devote to their responding, actually to be more specific their debunking doctrine that they disagree with or they are very good at the cut N paste feature in windows.
     
  17. glfredrick

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    Actually, you have that exactly opposite! The Gnostics felt that powers only available to human initiates who knew what the masses did not know, could usher their novitiates into a salvific encounter with a higher power. That more resembles the Pelagian view in application than it does the biblical view, whereby God's grace is a prerequisite to ANY faith or belief.

    At that point, the mind is equipped to process the things of God and come to a reasonable faith in God.

    From a current Gnostic "Christian" site (http://www.gnosticchristianity.com/)

    From another Gnostic site (http://gnosticteachings.org/the-tea...oductory-information/12-what-is-gnosis.html):

    All in all, a VERY human-centered endeavor that requires experience and reason, but not God's supernatural effort...
     
  18. preacher4truth

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    Sorry to hit a nerve, but I contend that your reply failed. Thus, "my piece of work" (where you quote me above) nailed you in your glaring error.

    1) I admitted in the OP that I haven't studied out IG, neither now do I admit whether or not I accept it, let alone do I truly know what it means, thus this thread.

    2) Your huge reply failed to disprove it, and was murky at best, and filled with eisegetical interpretations. Especially below:

    3) Yes, I say you challenge the Spirit here as the One who opened her heart. You equate Lydias heart being opened by God by equating it, and attributing it to her past religious works. This is exactly what you have done here. It's plainly seen in your response, as you attribute it (God opening her heart) to her worshipping God (works) not to the Spirit of God Himself, which is plainly what text teaches, He and He alone. It's not by works, it's by His Spirit alone. If you have a problem with that, and want to challenge His Spirit as the sole One who did this, then no one can help you.

    Why is it that non-cals, such as yourself, are so hasty to challenge Gods working and doings, and attribute it to mans work, (as you've attributed Lydias to her worship) whether due to worship, religious effort, or what-not, as you have so cleary done here?

    BTW, what is irresistible grace?
     
    #18 preacher4truth, Aug 11, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 11, 2011
  19. kyredneck

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    Thank you for this good and helpful post!
     
  20. glfredrick

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    While your observations of biblical evangelism are *almost* correct, the inference that you draw from those encounters is not. You are not describing "soteriology." The point at which the gospel is shared is not soteriology but rather merely sharing the gospel in a contextual means. It says nothing at all of what happens after the Word is shared.
     
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