Regeneratoin

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Benefactor, Nov 17, 2009.

  1. Benefactor

    Benefactor
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    This topic is not stranger to this board. However, and in all fairness Calvinist have to admit they cannot prove from Scripture their position in and of Scripture that regeneration precedes faith. We do, on the other hand, have proof that the opposite it true if we simply accept what Scripture teaches.

    Is there a Calvinist who is willing to admit this and acknowledge that they approach it from an “other than” Scripture view to support the noting they posit?
     
  2. Allan

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    In all fairness, not all Calvinists/Reformed believe regeneration precedes faith.
    Granted a good many do but I think that gap is 'slowly' narrowing, but that is just my opinion.
     
  3. Benefactor

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    Perhaps I was to narrow in what I said. I think I remember reading or hearing that John MacArthur sees regeneration following faith. Do you know if this is the case or not?
     
  4. Allan

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    I don't believe he does... and after searching the web for about 20 minutes I still can't find anything that states such.

    Many others do and have however with a few notable names such as Chafer, and Millard Erickson (both have written books on theology that are used in Christian colleges and seminaries). John Dagg is noted for stating the faith must precede regeneration in his "Manual of Theology":
    Emphasis mine.

    But if I remember correctly he believes regeneration is a process and not a single act, thus faith would of necessity come before total regeneration in his view. It is a little different he still maintains/ed that faith must precede regeneration.

    Dr. B.H.Carrol is another (Founder of SouthWestern Baptist theological seminary in Fort Worth) who denied and refuted regeneration preceding faith. Here is a snippet from his work "Interpretations of the English Bible:
    I did find it interesting that his point against it is the very same thing I have been saying here and other places, even though he wasCalvinst and I am not. To be fair though he a better label might be a 'modified Calvinist' though many contended (like Founders) he was a a mainstream Calvinist. In either case here is what he stated that I to have been saying and this is from the same work but was written prior to what I have already quoted above:
    and biblically improbable.
     
    #4 Allan, Nov 17, 2009
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  5. OldRegular

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    The above quotation from Dagg is misleading. He says that faith must precede regeneration when this is understood in its widest sense, that is when regeneration is understood as Salvation. It has been stated over and over on this Forum that faith is an essential and necessary part of Salvation but some choose to ignore that assertion.

    On the same page, 279, and prior to the above quote Dagg states:


    Dagg further notes, Section IV, Regeneration. page 277:
    So you see Allan Dagg does not maintain that faith precedes regeneration.
     
  6. Winman

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    That is easily shown false. Cornelius is a great example that contradicts this.

    Acts 10:1 There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of the band called the Italian band,
    2 A devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God alway.
    3 He saw in a vision evidently about the ninth hour of the day an angel of God coming in to him, and saying unto him, Cornelius.
    4 And when he looked on him, he was afraid, and said, What is it, Lord? And he said unto him, Thy prayers and thine alms are come up for a memorial before God.
    5 And now send men to Joppa, and call for one Simon, whose surname is Peter:
    6 He lodgeth with one Simon a tanner, whose house is by the sea side: he shall tell thee what thou oughtest to do.


    Cornelius wasn't saved here. Yet he was very devout and feared God. He gave alms and prayed to God always. But he was not saved and did not receive the Holy Spirit until Peter came and preached to him.

    Acts 10:30 And Cornelius said, Four days ago I was fasting until this hour; and at the ninth hour I prayed in my house, and, behold, a man stood before me in bright clothing,
    31 And said, Cornelius, thy prayer is heard, and thine alms are had in remembrance in the sight of God.
    32 Send therefore to Joppa, and call hither Simon, whose surname is Peter; he is lodged in the house of one Simon a tanner by the sea side: who, when he cometh, shall speak unto thee.
    33 Immediately therefore I sent to thee; and thou hast well done that thou art come. Now therefore are we all here present before God, to hear all things that are commanded thee of God.
    34 Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:
    35 But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.
    36 The word which God sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (he is Lord of all: )
    37 That word, I say, ye know, which was published throughout all Judaea, and began from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached;
    38 How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.
    39 And we are witnesses of all things which he did both in the land of the Jews, and in Jerusalem; whom they slew and hanged on a tree:
    40 Him God raised up the third day, and shewed him openly;
    41 Not to all the people, but unto witnesses chosen before of God, even to us, who did eat and drink with him after he rose from the dead.
    42 And he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead.
    43 To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.
    44 While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word.
    45 And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost.
    46 For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter,
    47 Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?
    48 And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days.


    Cornelius wasn't saved, yet he was very devout and sought God. And Peter in verse 35 says that all men everywhere who fear God and work righteousness are accepted with God.

    So there you go right there, this shows the unsaved man is not a slave to sin, and can indeed do good works. They are not all in rebellion to God.

    It was only after Peter preached to Cornelius of Christ that the Holy Spirit fell upon him in verse 44. Notice it says "which heard the word". So, as always in scripture, this shows you first hear the word of God, then believe, then receive the Holy Spirit (vs 47). And what exactly did Cornelius hear? Read verse 43, that if he were to believe on Christ he would receive remission or forgiveness of sins.

    There is not one word of Cornelius being regenerated to believe here. He was a very devout man who feared God. He did not receive the Holy Spirit until he first heard and believed the gospel from Peter.

    The doctrine of Total Depravity as held by Calvinists is error and easily shown so by much scripture.
     
    #6 Winman, Nov 17, 2009
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  7. OldRegular

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    Romans 8:7. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
     
  8. Winman

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    That is a good answer.

    But what do the next verses say?

    Rom 8:7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
    8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.
    9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.


    Did Cornelius have the Holy Spirit dwelling in him before Peter came and preached to him Christ? If so, why do the scriptures say he received the Holy Spirit in Acts 10:47?

    But if Cornelius already had the Spirit of Christ dwelling in him, why did he need to hear the gospel?
     
  9. annsni

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    However, you are completely contradicting Scripture saying that the natural man IS inclined to God. Yes, he can do good things but it comes from a heart that is not good and thus, as we see in Matthew 6, it is sin. Anything that does not proceed from faith is sin (Romans 14:23). Romans 3 is really clear IMO:

    Ephesians 2 tells us:

    I think Scripture is clear to show where life comes from - and it's not from a dead man.
     
  10. annsni

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    You are arguing the "ordo salutis". Here's an explanation of this from Monergism:

     
  11. OldRegular

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    When did Peter receive the Holy Spirit?
     
  12. Winman

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    This is well put, and I agree it is the difference between Calvinists, and non-Cals (I think of myself as a Bible believer- I do not study the teachings of men).

    Cornelius had faith, that is obvious. The scriptures imply that he had worshipped God for a long period, it says he prayed always.

    But he did not receive the Holy Spirit until after the heard and believed the gospel.

    What I am trying to show is that a man has the ability to have faith. And I think that is shown here.

    Gotta go to work.
     
  13. The Archangel

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    You have a false assumption here. It is clearly stated that Cornelius "feared God" (v. 2). This means that he, even though a Gentile, worshiped the God of the Israelites.

    Cornelius was in no way, shape, or form a "regular" gentile. He was a God-fearer, meaning he already had a relationship of sorts with God (Yahweh).

    Your statement is based on a false premise which is based on an improper understanding of the text.

    You have neglected some 24 verses, either intentionally or unintentionally...probably the latter, that clearly shows God Himself intervening in the life of Cornelius to bring him into contact with Peter so that Peter would share the Gospel with him.

    Blessings,

    The Archangel
     
  14. Benefactor

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    My Chafer books are well guarded and hard to get to at this point. Erickson, after reviewing again, state that on pages 931 and 933,
    "Christian Theology". I need to stop buying books and just re-read the ones I have.

    Do you feel the resurgence of Calvinism among the young and restless gravitate more to the belief that regeneration is prior to faith? It seems to be this is the case.
     
  15. OldRegular

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    Spurgeon on Regeneration, the New Birth

    Neither is a man regenerated, we say, in the next place, by his own exertions. A man may reform himself very much, and that is well and good; let all do that. A man may cast away many vices, forsake many lusts in which he indulged, and conquer evil habits; but no man in the world can make himself to be born in God; though he should struggle never so much, he could never accomplish what is beyond his power. And, mark you, if he could make himself to be born again still he would not enter heaven, because there is another point in the condition which he would have violated—"unless a man be born of the Spirit, he can not see the kingdom of God." So that the best exertions of the flesh do not reach this high point, the being born again of the Spirit of God.

    And now we must say, that regeneration consists in this. God the Holy Spirit, in a supernatural manner—mark, by the word supernatural I mean just what it strictly means; supernatural, more than natural—works upon the hearts of men, and they by the operations of the divine Spirit become regenerate men; but without the Spirit they never can be regenerated. And unless God the Holy Spirit, who "worketh in us to will and to do," should operate upon the will and the conscience, regeneration is an absolute impossibility, and therefore so is salvation. "What!" says one, "do you mean to say that God absolutely interposes in the salvation of every man to make him regenerate?" I do indeed; in the salvation of every person there is an actual putting forth of the divine power, whereby the dead sinner is quickened, the unwilling sinner is made willing, the desperately hard sinner has his conscience made tender; and he who rejected God and despised Christ, is brought to cast himself down at the feet of Jesus. This is called fanatical doctrine, mayhap; that we can not help; it is scriptural doctrine, that is enough for us. "Except a man be born of the Spirit he can not see the kingdom of God; that which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit." If you like it not, quarrel with my Master, not with me; I do but simply declare his own revelation, that there must be in your heart something more than you can ever work there. There must be a divine operation; call it a miraculous operation, if you please; it is in some sense so. There must be a divine interposition, a divine working, a divine influence, or else, do what you may, without that you perish, and are undone; "for except a man be born again, be can not see the kingdom of God." The change is radical; it gives us new natures, makes us love what we hated and hate what we loved, sets us in a new road; makes our habits different, our thoughts different, makes us different in private, and different in public. So that being in Christ it is fulfilled: "If any man be in Christ he is a new creature; old things are passed away, behold all things are become new."


    http://www.spurgeon.org/sermons/0130.htm
     
  16. Allan

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    I disagree. He states in both it broadest sence and in it's restrictest sense, not JUST the broadest sense.

    Secondly, it seems to me you and John Daggs have 2 different views of regeneration (maybe not but I seem to remember you stating a person is regenerate and then believes). Thus I presume you believe it is at the point of being made alive and that it is prior to faith but he does not. He states on aspect of regeneration (the strictest sense) is that regeneration is "the production of love in the heart by the Holy Spirit, is the regeneration, or the new birth;.. "
    It seems to me that he also believes that regeneration is not always instant but can take some time at times:
    The very next thing he states concerning regeneration is that faith MUST precede the regeneration - what he was just discribing:
    I have not and I acknowledge your statement above as true.
    But Mr. Daggs view is that regeneration 'begins' when the moving of the heart (love toward God) but also that a person is not truly regenerate until after they have believed. IOW - regeneration is a process which is not complete without the excersizing of faith, even though it can be said to have begun the person is not yet regenerate till they have believed.
    Actually from what have read and discussed above it appears he does, and specifically states that 'faith must precede regeneration' both in the widest and in a restricted sense.But as I also said, his view of regeneration is somewhat different than most Cals/Reformed since he holds it in the main to be speaking of the process of salvation.
     
    #16 Allan, Nov 17, 2009
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  17. OldRegular

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    You are totally misrepresenting what John Dagg says. He is saying that faith must precede regeneration when regeneration is used in the more comprehensive understanding of salvation. Those who believe in the Sovereign Grace of God in Salvation have never denied that faith is not necessary in Salvation. That is what Dagg is saying above. Salvation includes election, regeneration, the gift of faith through which man responds to the Gospel and is justified, repentance, pardon, adoption, sanctification, union with Jesus Christ, and finally glorification.

    In the second sentence of the first quote above Dagg says: At other times it is used for the first production of divine love in the heart. In the latter sense, the work is instantaneous. There is a moment known only to God, when the first holy affection exists in the soul.

    That is the New Birth. I quoted what Dagg had to say about that in my initial response.

    So you see Allan Dagg does not maintain that faith precedes regeneration.

    Frankly I believe that you are being deliberately contentious.
     
  18. Allan

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    My how you pick and choose what you like to see and ignore the rest.
    However I'm not misrepresenting anything, I am quoting him and letting him speak for himself. He is not saying:
    He IS saying that regeneration is the process OF salvation and that without faith one is not yet fully or truly regenerate.
    I DO agree with him that faith can not come from someone who is not or has not been stirred by the power of the Holy Spirit in His revealing of the spiritual truths and the love and judgment of God toward us.

    Also, yes, he states in the broad sense meaning 'the proccess of salvation' but he ALSO STATES in the restricted sense as well. Please note:
    As I said, his view in teh main of regeneration is the process of salvation and that it could also be limited/restricted to a moment in time where it 'begins' but this aspect of regeneration is NOT complete in his view as far as I can see. IOW - His view differs from many Cals/Reformed on this issue but it is still similar in many respects.
     
    #18 Allan, Nov 18, 2009
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  19. kyredneck

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    Winman, you use an excellent example with Cornelius and inclination to holiness, but, he didn't have a carnal heart, he was a perfect scriptural example of one of these:

    (for when Gentiles that have not the law do by nature the things of the law, these, not having the law, are the law unto themselves; in that they show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness therewith, and their thoughts one with another accusing or else excusing them); Ro 2:14,15

    ........which is regeneration before belief.
     
  20. Allan

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    Sorry but this is wrong. The passage you cite has nothing to do with regeneration, but that even carnal men (nations) that did not receive the law like Israel, nor were close enough to hear or know of it still had with in the conscience a basic understanding of the law of God in their hearts. This is why they being a law unto themselves are judged according to these basic premises of the Law because they can't even keep the knock-off twisted version of it.

    Again, that passage has nothing to do with regeneration.
     

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