Question About Cals/Non Cals

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Arbo, Mar 4, 2012.

  1. Arbo

    Arbo
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    I know that there is such thing as a stupid question, but bear with me for asking.

    Am I correct in understanding that the most basic difference between Calvinists and Non-Calvinists on this board has to do with the question of predestination vs. free will?

    I understand the two concepts but until I spent much time here, I neither was exposed to nor thought about them in the terms used.

    Thanks.

    Ps- I'm not trolling.:wavey:
     
  2. glfredrick

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    No, that is often the point raised and debated, but the discussion actually runs much deeper than that.

    The main point of contention between Calvinists and non-Calvinists on the board is whether or not people are actually born-again-from-above or merely religiously zealous. THAT is what is actually being fought about, but it is seldom couched in those terms, for to actually insinuate that one is not really a Spirit-filled believer and that they may have trusted their own works to become a "Christian" is tantamount to drawing a sword, and so the argument continues around side issues with barbs tossed both ways.

    In FACT, the reason there are two points of view is because BOTH are found in Scripture, which means that there IS some resolution between the two camps if only people would stop using logic as a weapon instead of just exegeting what the Scriptures actually say in context, as is a proper hermeneutic.

    We have no real need to reconcile God's sovereignty and man's free moral agency because they both exist and to cite Spurgeon, friends do not need to be reconciled. IF the battle were not about the core of salvation, it would not be a battle at all, but because each side RIGHTLY understands that the other side is calling them apostate, the battle rages on. Sad, really, for God would have us believe otherwise and so have said the experts on the Scriptures since the inception of the church. Virtually every true biblical scholar has made some statement at one time or another to the effect that God's providence includes both His exhaustive knowlege of EVERYTHING before it happens AND His provisions to bring about His will, AND that we have yet human free moral agency. I can cite virtually every major scholar of the church to this effect, and yet their work is un-heeded for the most part.

    Rather, the Manichian, Pelagian, Socinian, and other heretical teachers with heterodox doctrines are often the ones cited -- or their positions held, or used as "Strawman" arguments by the opposing group. What about a positive statement that is biblical and that reconciles for once... High time we get about a SOLUTION instead of doing the devil's work and ripping each other up constantly!
     
  3. Michael Wrenn

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    Well, that's a good post. I'm kind of surprised, but pleased. :)
     
  4. Don

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    :thumbs: :thumbs:
     
  5. Aaron

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    It touches on every point of doctrine.

    The basic question is the work and person of Christ.
     
  6. jonathan.borland

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    And how would you say that irresistible grace and limited atonement are essential to the person and work of Christ? Some would say that LA and IG impugn his work!

    Matt. 23:37 ¶ “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing!
     
  7. 12strings

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    To the OP:

    I would say the primary difference is between what ULTIMATELY determines whether someone comes to Christ or not. Cals will say that no one seeks God, and so God chooses some unconditionally and grants them the faith they need to trust him. Non-cals will say that God gave each man & woman the ability to choose, and the ultimate decision is up to each person.

    Cals, because of their beliefs about election, will always be questioned as to why our choices matter, even though most cals will say that they really do.

    Non-cals, because of their committment to individual free-will, will always be questioned as to how God is soverignly in control, even though most will say that he is.
     
  8. matt wade

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    The difference is that we're right and they're wrong! :laugh:
     
  9. convicted1

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    Another thing that we differ on is in regards to regeneration.


    A vast majority of the reformed state that the lost are regenerated(spiritually alive, but not saved yet), and in this alive state, they are able to hear the gospel and be saved, and then placed in Christ.
     
  10. Tom Butler

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    Let me point out that while there are differences, both Cals and non-Cal Baptists believe that the scriptures plainly teach election. Both believe that whom God chooses will be saved, and there is no possibility that they will not be saved.

    Both sides also believe strongly in salvation by grace through faith. Both sides agree that no one will be saved against his will. Both sides believe that the gospel is the power of God to salvation.

    Both sides believe that God is able to keep those who have committed to him, and will lose none of them.

    Both sides believe the Holy Spirit convicts and illuminates and draws those who are saved.

    Both sides can fellowship around those common beliefs.

    There are differences, of course.

    One is the basis for election. Cals hold that election is God's choice based solely on his purpose and good pleasure. Non-Cals believe election is based on the foreseen faith of the believer. That is, God looks down the corridors of time, sees the faith of an individual, and elects him on that basis.

    Both sides believe that election is from eternity. That is, whom God chooses, he has chosen from eternity.

    But there is disagreement over the extent of the atonement. Cals hold that Jesus died only for the elect. Non-Cals hold that Jesus died for every man without exception, and those who are not saved are those who did not appropriate the benefit of the atonement by repentance and faith.

    We can argue here on the BB over our differences. But i believe we share enough in common that our differences should not hinder our fellowship with each other.
     
    #10 Tom Butler, Mar 4, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 4, 2012
  11. Michael Wrenn

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    (See part I bolded). I beg to differ; General Baptists and Free Will Baptists do not believe that, and neither do I.
     
  12. Tom Butler

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    Yes, you are correct. I painted with too broad a brush. I'd appreciate if you'd tell us exactly what Generals and Free Wills believe about apostasy and the extent of the atonement, as opposed to the majority of Baptists I was referring to.
     
  13. Michael Wrenn

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    They believe that Jesus died for every human being and that the atonement extends to all.

    About apsotasy, this is from the General Baptist "Statements of Faith":

    V. ASSURANCE AND ENDURANCE
    We believe that those who abide in Christ have the assurance of salvation. However, we believe that the Christian retains his freedom of choice; therefore, it is possible for him to turn away from God and be finally lost.


    And here is the Free Will Baptist statement:

    Perseverance – We believe that there are strong grounds to hope that the saved will persevere unto the end and be saved because of the power of divine grace pledged for their support. We believe that any saved person who has sinned (whether we call him a backslider or sinner), but has a desire to repent, may do so and be restored to God’s favor and fellowship. Since man, however, continues to have free choice, it is possible because of temptations and the weakness of human flesh for him to fall into the practice of sin and to make shipwreck of his faith and be lost.
     
    #13 Michael Wrenn, Mar 5, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 5, 2012
  14. jonathan.borland

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    How then do they see verses like Eph 1:13 and 4:30, which speak of believers being sealed? Why not just say, like John, that those were with us but not of us, they were at the wedding but without the right garments, looked like wheat but were tares, were among the sheep but were actually goats, etc. etc.?
     
  15. Michael Wrenn

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    Because they believe that freedom is essential to God's character, that He bestowed freedom on man and all his sentient beings, and never removed that freedom. They believe that man has free will before and after conversion. God compels no one to come to Him, and compels no one to stay once they have come to Him.
     
  16. Aaron

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    It defines His mission and the will of the Father, and it defines the human condition. There is no point of doctrine unaffected.
     
  17. glfredrick

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    Are you suggesting that the verse you cited is God's PRESCRIPTION or God's DESCRIPTION of what transpired in Jerusalem BEFORE the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ?

    That is what is meant by a proper hermeneutic IN CONTEXT.
     
  18. jonathan.borland

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    I would say that verse is descriptive of God's interactions with his highest earthly creation in general. I don't think we are limited to post resurrection verses to ascertain God's character in this area.
     
  19. jonathan.borland

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    Problem is that Christ bought even those who deny him and this in itself nullifies both limited atonement and irresistible grace in one fell swoop.
     
  20. AresMan

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    No, I would say that regeneration (the new birth), faith, and justification are chronologically simultaneous. The issue is in the logical (causal) order. Think of firing a gun. The trigger is regeneration and the projectile is faith and repentance as the basis for justification.
     

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