Question for Calvinists

Discussion in 'Calvinism/Arminianism Debate' started by Skandelon, Aug 1, 2014.

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  1. Skandelon

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    I realize this author is not supportive of Calvinism, but would Calvinists here agree with him that this is a correct summary of our contention?

    Evangelical leaders, such as John Piper, Mark Driscoll, Matt Chandler, Tim Keller and many other influential teachers are all promoting John Calvin’s so-called “doctrines of grace.” In short, these doctrines teach that God has long ago decided who will and will not be saved. Accordingly, the chosen ones, a preselect number of people referred to as “the elect,” will most certainly be saved, while the rest are left without any hope. Of course, there is much more explanation and various approaches of interpretation given by Calvinistic teachers that may serve to somewhat soften the blow of this harsh claim. Nonetheless, the idea that God has predetermined to save a particular number of people to the neglect of all others is the primary point of dispute regarding this dogma.
     
  2. kyredneck

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    See Aaron's quote in my signature for the correct summary of your contention.
     
  3. tyndale1946

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    I personally believe in Election as do some other brethren on here but I believe your interpretation of how you understand it is in error. There is also mentioned in Matthew of a very elect who were or are they?
     
    #3 tyndale1946, Aug 1, 2014
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  4. Rippon

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    No, not "John Calvin's doctrines of grace." The doctrine(s) of grace have their source in the Word of God.

    "Soften the blow of this harsh doctrine." Really? For God to demonstrate His grace on those of His choosing is a harsh doctrine?! The author is in effect saying :"How dare God do this! I know better! I say it is completely unjust. I admit I'm a sinner and that God is in charge, but this election stuff is too much for me to swallow. I am more merciful than the Lord. I wish He could be as fair as I am --after all, everybody deserves a chance."
     
  5. JonC

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    I would think that Calvinists would take exception to the idea that God predetermines to save a some to the neglect of all others. The notion that Calvinistic doctrine equates to divine neglect highlights a core misunderstanding of Calvinism (regardless of one's theological leaning on the topic).
     
  6. pinoybaptist

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    thank you.
     
  7. steaver

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    Neglect is a good description take away of the theology from an objective pov. Face it, God caused the condition of humanity. It is God's plan and God determined to set Adam up to fail that he would gain the knowledge of good and evil, to teach man the proper relationship between himself and God, so man would not follow the path of Satan and attempt to place himself above God.

    Now this would sound like an evil plan, except for the fact that God did not leave all of mankind to this death and destruction without an option to escape the condition he finds himself in. Without the freewill to choose, it would certainly be observed as neglect on God's part to cherry pick a few to make worshipping robots out of and leave the rest to destruction. He could have done that from the get go without all of this drama. But praise Jesus, God has made the way for whosoever will to come to Him and be saved. Praise Him!!!! :godisgood:
     
  8. JonC

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    The problem is the word “neglect.” It no more fits in the Calvinistic understanding of election than “man saving himself” fits into Arminianism. Each are either deliberately derogatory characterizations or genuine misunderstandings of the other’s theology.

    Webster: Neglect: 1. to give little attention or respect, to disregard. Obviously this does not fit Calvinistic theology as they don’t claim that God gives little attention or respect to the lost…nor does God disregard the lost (God is attentive to the lost and exercises justice). 2. To leave undone or unattended, especially through carelessness. Again, this is far from understanding the Calvinistic view of election as they find a divine purpose for those who don’t believe.

    Neglect hints at obligation. Even if you believe that God was morally or otherwise obligated to save all men, or to offer salvation to all men, you cannot apply this to Calvinism because it quite simply does not apply.

    In other words, it is a fair statement for you to say you believe Calvinism ultimately presents God as neglecting some people in election because all men deserve the offer of salvation...or because God is obligated to offer salvation to all…but in the context of the OP - asking if Calvinists would agree - you would be misunderstanding Calvinism, failing to engage their doctrine by imposing a twist to their theology that does not exist, and speaking past the issue. When examining opposing theologies we need to be honest in our critique (I take it from other statements in your post, however, that honesty in discourse on this topic is not your intent).
     
    #8 JonC, Aug 1, 2014
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  9. steaver

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    I believe the OP is qualifying the "neglect" as a neglect to consider for salvation. Could be as you say though that neglect is not a good way to describe God's attitude towards the non-elect, for He does make sure they get thrown into hell to suffer eternity for what they were born into by no choosing of their own. Maybe a better way to describe it is as another Calvinist brother put it......

     
  10. Winman

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    Calvinism doesn't teach that God neglects to save some people, Calvinism teaches that God purposely "passes by" the non-elect because it pleases him according to the unsearchable counsel of his own will. These non-elect he has ordained to dishonor and wrath to the praise of his glorious justice.

    You see, God could not demonstrate his justice if he did not have someone to punish, and this is why God passes by most of mankind. God needs sinners to punish to demonstrate how great he is according to Calvinism.

    It has nothing to do with sin, because God made his choice before you were ever born and had done good or evil (Rom 9:11). Sin is just the justification to punish you to glorify God. And God ordained that man would fall so that all men would have a sin nature to bring this plan to pass.

    There is absolutely no neglect whatsoever, it is a very carefully devised plan.
     
  11. steaver

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    I thought the bible says God laid on Jesus Christ the punishment for us, and not only us, but for the sins of the whole world! Well, maybe they missed that scripture......
     
  12. Winman

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    The point is, Skandelon made an error in the OP and the Calvinists here correctly pointed it out. The non-elect are not passed by because God has neglected them, the non-elect are purposely passed by and appointed to wrath to the praise of God's glorious justice.
     
  13. JonC

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    You may be right and I may be attributing to “neglect” what is not intended. Calling some and leaving the rest in their fallen state is closer to what I understand of Calvinism… I may be reading too much in “neglect.” But then again, the comment “by no choosing of their own” is also not Calvinism (the Calvinist that I am aware of believe that man does actively choose to rebel against God).

    My understanding of Calvinism may also be wrong. Here is what I have come to understand regarding their doctrine: All men sin, all men choose to disobey God, and all men stand in rightful condemnation. God chooses a people out of fallen men. If this is correct, then condemnation is of men’s own choosing.
    Likewise…my answer to the OP is that the statement is most likely problematic to the Calvinist as it is, IMHO and my interpretation of “neglect,” foreign to their doctrine.

    He is the propitiation (the atoning sacrifice that turns away God’s wrath) for our sins, and not only ours but also for the whole world. I also don’t get how they change “whole world” to mean “the elect”…but I also don’t get how you shifted the subject from Christ to our sins.

    I’m the one that pointed out that “neglect” is questionable in an attempt to address the OP…“the Calvinists” have been oddly silent. I answered because the post was just sitting there with that big ole "neglect" and no comments....and I had nothing else to do.
     
  14. Winman

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    You were absolutely correct, in Calvinism God does not neglect the non-elect. God purposely and deliberately passes by the non-elect. God has ordained them to dishonor and wrath for their sin, to the praise of his glorious justice. (WCF).

    In Calvinism, before any person was ever born, and before they had done any good or evil, God had ordained that certain persons would be passed by and condemned for their sin. Therefore, sin must also be ordained to give righteous justification for this damnation that was ordained before these persons were born or ever committed sin.

    Simple logic.
     
    #14 Winman, Aug 1, 2014
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  15. steaver

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    Yeah, they twist the "choosing" part. All men choose to sin and choose to obey God's commands, this is true choice, they can do either. But when it comes to choosing Jesus Christ they say man cannot unless God makes them choose, which of course is not choosing at all.
     
  16. JonC

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    Isn't that also Picirilli's view of "Reformation (Classic) Arminianism"?
     
  17. steaver

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    This is what both Cal and Non-Cal believe.

    I don't think it is accurate, even from conception man is condemned, even before they have a chance to choose.
     
  18. Winman

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    Calvinists are wrong when they teach that a person who is a servant of sin cannot obey the gospel. Paul directly tells us that the Romans who were servants of sin obeyed the gospel from the heart, and the moment they did they were made free from sin and became servants of righteousness.

    Rom 6:17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.
    18 Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.

    Plain as day.
     
  19. JonC

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    If so, I guess that is where I differ with Calvinism. I don’t think that God works to save people despite their wills but through their will (no one is saved while they are kicking and screaming for Hell).

    Anyway…sorry Skandelon for straying off topic.

     
  20. Winman

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    Calvinism does not teach that God saves a person by dragging them kicking and screaming;

    God could make ALL men freely willing by his grace, but he has ordained that the non-elect would be passed by and condemned for their sin.

    There is no neglect, it is all deliberate.
     
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