Question for all arminians

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Christos doulos, Feb 7, 2012.

  1. Christos doulos

    Christos doulos
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    http://evangelicalarminians.org/?q=Are_You_an_Arminian_and_Dont_Even_Know_It

    Survey: Are You an Arminian and Don't Even Know It?

    3. Do you believe that a person can resist the convicting power of God’s grace?

    • If you answered yes, then again you affirm another one of the central tenets of Arminianism, as reflected in Jesus’ words, “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, how often I have longed to gather your children together…but you were not willing” (Matt 23:37)
    • Calvinists argue that God has determined which individuals will believe; to make their faith possible, he calls them to salvation in such a way that their own wills are overpowered so that they cannot possibly resist the call to salvation
    • Arminians believe that God truly wants every one to believe; but when God enables a person to believe, he does so in such a way that the individual still can resist the convicting power of the Spirit--faith is not a necessary outcome of God's enabling grace



    I am not here to argue nor debate, only understand.
    I am not saying this isn't true, but isn't it a stretch from that one verse? I do not see this in the bible anywhere. That God enables a person to believe in such a way that the individual can still resist the "convincing" power of the Spirit?

    Let's say, it's true. What makes believers or unbelievers unique from one another in that one can and the other can't resist the power of the Spirit?

    Thank you my friends :love2:
     
    #1 Christos doulos, Feb 7, 2012
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  2. Skandelon

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    Depends.

    Do you believe the gospel is powerful enough to bring conviction?
    Do you believe the gospel appeal is gracious?
    Do you believe the Holy Spirit inspired, preserved and carries the gospel through Holy Spirit indwelled messengers?

    If you answered "yes" to these questions then you have affirmed that a person can indeed 'resist the convicting power of God's grace,' because people hear and reject the gospel appeal regularly.

    To tell you 'what is different' about that free moral agent from that free moral agent in such a manner as to define what 'determined' their choice is a game of question begging because it assumes a deterministic response is necessary. The chooser determines his choice, period. If we told you what determined the chooser to choose then we would be conceding determinism is true, now wouldn't we?
     
  3. Christos doulos

    Christos doulos
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    My friend. Thank you for your response, but I am a simpleton. I have not a clue what you are talking about. Can you dumb it down for me?
     
    #3 Christos doulos, Feb 7, 2012
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  4. Skandelon

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    My answer is quite simple. You asked, "Do you believe that a person can resist the convicting power of God’s grace?" I simply showed you that the gospel is powerful, gracious and brings conviction, but not irresistibly so, thus proving the answer is 'Yes.'

    Secondly, I simply showed that your last question was a fallacy called "Begging the Question," and therefore cannot be answered unless we concede the premise that is up for debate. You can google the term if you are interested. I hope that helps.
     
  5. Christos doulos

    Christos doulos
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    Ooook. I think I get you. You really don't know why people resist and others don't. It just is, but aren't you determining that determinism is not necessary? So isn't determinism back on the table?

    I still couldn't connect the dots with the three you gave. It's a leap for me
     
    #5 Christos doulos, Feb 7, 2012
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  6. Don

    Don
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    Because, believe it or not, I can see the calvinist viewpoint, I have to agree with you that Matt 23:37 is hard to understand from the calvinist viewpoint.

    I would focus your attention on the last part of the verse (which, by the way, is also stated in Luke 13:34): "how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!"

    The statement, taken from the point of the hen, is that the hen attempts to gather her chicks under her wings; but they resist her attempt, and scatter here and there.

    The calvinist viewpoint (arguably, perhaps the "hyper-calvinist viewpoint") would be that they resist because they aren't elect, aren't saved, have no hope of being saved. However, there is no denying that they are resisting.

    To answer your question (What makes believers or unbelievers unique from one another in that one can and the other can't resist the power of the Spirit?), I also draw your attention to Titus 2:11 (For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men); Hebrews 6:4-6 (For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.); and Hebrews 10:38-39 (Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.).

    These verses all identify people who "drew back." For me, the simple answer to your question (What makes believers or unbelievers unique from one another in that one can and the other can't resist the power of the Spirit?) is: Love of the world/works of darkness as opposed to love of God/truth/works of the spirit.
     
  7. Christos doulos

    Christos doulos
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    My friend. Thank you. This I can understand, but not the convincing answer I was looking for. I just can't get past how people more loving than I, sensitive than I, caring than I, less judgmental than I would embrace darkness whereas as I somehow "enlightened" would embrace God?
     
    #7 Christos doulos, Feb 7, 2012
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  8. Skandelon

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    No more so than a Calvinists knows why God freely chose to save them and not someone else instead. Choosers make choices. They are self-determined. To ask why one chose A instead of B presumes something outside themselves did the choosing. There may be influential factors from the outside but what makes a chooser a chooser is that he makes choices.
     
  9. Don

    Don
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    I can't give you a clearer answer. Some baptist pastors that I've known would tell you that they were never saved to begin with, didn't have a salvational belief, but one that was more like what is described in James (i.e., even the devils believe). Scripture identifies those that gave the appearance of being true believers, but "drew back."

    I would love to hear the calvinist answer to what you've posted above, because the same question can be applied to the calvinist viewpoint that there are those that are more loving than we are, more sensitive, more caring, less judgmental...but God chose you and I instead of them.
     
  10. Don

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    Pardon me for rabbit-trailing here ... but isn't that what Luke was alluding to with his latest line of "persuasion" discussions?

    Back to this thread....
     
  11. quantumfaith

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    Since when does the "reformational" side of the aisle take the appeal to mystery off the table?
     
  12. Earth Wind and Fire

    Earth Wind and Fire
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    OK Don, whats the difference from a hyper cal viewpoint & a more moderate Cal viewpoint ....& then why would you superimpose this stance on a Hypercalvinist vs a Moderate Calvinist.....I really would like to know.
     
  13. Earth Wind and Fire

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    Clarify for me, who said that? :confused:
     
  14. Don

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    The hyper-calvinist believes spreading the word is of little value, as God has chosen whom He will choose, and therefore any actions by man are unnecessary.

    Most calvinists fall under your category of "moderate." I don't think of you, or Luke, or P4T, as "hyper." I'm not sure that any calvinists on BB would be classified as hyper, although many non-cals, in their response to the calvinists, tend to lump them towards "hyper."
     
  15. Earth Wind and Fire

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  16. Don

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    How does that help answer the OP?
     
  17. Earth Wind and Fire

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    Who said anything about helping it...LOL ..... but to answer the OP.....compare it against Arminian beliefs.
     
    #17 Earth Wind and Fire, Feb 7, 2012
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  18. Winman

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    Jesus himself told us why some will not come to him and believe in him.

    Jhn 3:19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
    20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.
    21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.

    Jesus said men love darkness because it covers their deeds. They do not want to be reproved. The word reproved means to be corrected, convicted, refuted, shamed...

    Men love their sin and do not want anyone to correct them. They do not want to give up sin, they love it.

    Why would men love sin? It gives pleasure, it is enjoyable, at least at first. Why do men commit fornication? It gives pleasure. Why do men take drugs? It gives pleasure. Men want to do these things even though they know they are wrong because they enjoy them.
     
  19. Don

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    I believe that's what he's trying to do. But why would you give him a calvinist-authored resource to compare against arminian beliefs? Why wouldn't you do as he did, and reference an arminian site, or even Arminius' works?

    Don't forget; Christos has identified himself as a calvinist, and is seeking understanding into the arminian position.
     
  20. Aaron

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    In other words, the chooser is his own reason for being. This is idolatry, pure and simple. Scandal is all for determinism, the determiner is that with which he takes issue.
     

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