Ten Effects of Believing in the Five Points of Calvinism

Discussion in 'Free-For-All Archives' started by Monergist, May 31, 2002.

  1. Monergist

    Monergist
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    http://www.desiringgod.org/Online_Library/OnlineArticles/Subjects/DoctrinesGra ce/ten_effects.htm

    [ May 31, 2002, 09:47 PM: Message edited by: TimothyW ]
     
  2. Chris Temple

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    Beautiful. :D
     
  3. Robert J Hutton

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    Warm Christian greetings!

    I fully agree with the brother who extols the virtues of Calvinistic theology, especially as he outlines (in point 9) the importance of evangelism.

    As an evangelist with the Open Air Mission in England I regularly go to Canterbury and often find people as hard as nails when it comes to the truths of the Gospel. So, why do I bother? Apart from the obvious answer that Christ has commanded us to evangelise, I firmly believe that God has an elect, and nothing will stop Him drawing that elect people to Himself. Or, as Calvin said "The wickedness of man will not thwart the sovereignty of God".

    Kind regards,

    Robert J Hutton
     
  4. Nelson

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    Observation:

    1. The effects are very subjective depending on a person's total character.

    2. The effect, assuming the Reformed/Calvinsit position, can be applied only to those whom God has chosen to save and ordained that such effects be applied.

    Conclusion: Because of character, these effects are not guaranteed. Because of presuppositions, these effects are only assumptions.
     
  5. Monergist

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    Carry on, brother, Sounds like you're doing a good job! [​IMG]
     
  6. Monergist

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    I’ll concede that there are presuppositions that not only may, but of necessity will, lead to a Reformed or Calvinistic understanding. I can recognize two, and only two, of these:

    1. That scripture is truth: The Bible is the written Word of God, without error; that it is the direct revelation of God to man. When the revealed Word of an infinite God is at odds or in disagreement with the thoughts and opinions of finite man, the Word of God stands supreme and crushes these objections to nothing.
    2. That the God of the Bible exists and that He is exactly as the written Word reveals Him, as the sovereign creator and sustainer of all things.

    Beyond these two presuppositions there are no others necessary to cause one to embrace Calvinistic doctrine.

    These will of necessity cause one to examine the whole of scripture in his attempt to gain an understanding of God. One who seeks understanding based on these presuppositions will not allow himself to “cherry-pick” certain passages that suit his fancy or seem to support his views, while rejecting or ignoring other passages that seem to contradict. Rather he will attempt to form his views based on a careful and thorough examination of all that scripture has to say. For such a person, a proven contradiction in God’s Word would destroy entirely the credibility of scripture. Altogether! So in recognizing that no contradiction exists, as God could not be both truth and self-contradicting, he accepts what is explicitly stated in scripture. While he may reason and form opinions of those things which may be implied from scripture or of those things which are to some degree unclear, he will not allow his opinions to stand when he sees that his views directly contradict what scripture explicitly states!

    Here lies the problem with Arminianism (or any other form of noncalvinism). The noncalvinist view requires that other presuppositions be held to support that view. For example, the noncalvinist may affirm that God is sovereign; yet supporting his view requires the assumption that God has somehow chosen to limit His sovereignty in order to allow man to have free choice. That assumption is not explicitly stated in scripture; not only that, it is contrary to what scripture does clearly state, namely that God has predestined us “according to His purpose” and that He “works all things after the counsel of His will” (Eph. 1:11). Furthermore, the noncalvinist may affirm that man is depraved and is unable on his own initiative to come to God for forgiveness, in which case is required the additional assumption that God dispenses to all who hear some sort of special grace that enables man to accept or reject His offer, yet by itself is insufficient to save. Would someone please show where that is explicitly stated in scripture? What does God make plain? That He “made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions” (Eph. 2:5): that God saved us “according to His mercy” that was not according to “works of righteousness which we have done” (Titus 3:5). Again the Arminian is forced to assume things that scripture doesn’t clearly state and quite clearly contradicts.

    All of us who confess Christ have an obligation to seek an understanding of God that is based on truth; not on our ideas of what God should be, but of who God has revealed Himself to be. For the honest and sincere seeker of God’s truth, the deathblow to Arminianism comes when he recognizes that a defense of Arminianism presupposes, or assumes, the necessity to make interpretations that clearly contradict what God has made plain. Do these “10 effects” then come from assumptions that are based on presuppositions? Indeed they do. Absolutely! They are gloriously God-centered assumptions based on the presuppositions that God’s Word is true and that God is who He says He is.
     
  7. ScottEmerson

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  8. connieman

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    Nelson...

    The only thing character is good for is the approval of one's fellow man, who judges only by the outward appearance. As good as one's character may be, God is still not impressed. He demands perfection...just 70 percent won't do. Not even 99 and 44/100ths percent pure; it is still corrupt in the sight of God! Only Christ is Absolutely Righteous... Only To be "in Him" by God-given faith is eternal life.

    "That which is highly esteemed among men is abomination to God."

    connieman

    [ June 06, 2002, 12:21 AM: Message edited by: connieman ]
     
  9. connieman

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    "Calvinism" has never saved anyone. Neither has Fundamentalism, nor Arminianism, Pietism, Premillinialism, Arminianism, Bible-Believism. Only the Grace (unmerited favor) of God can save, and that before the world was, and before we were born, before we had done anything, either good or evil.

    Yet, I believe that all who have been "taught of God" do believe in salvation only sccording to the principles of scripture and Sovereign Grace, as taught (not invented) by Calvin and many others. Those principles are summed up by the acrostic TULIP. These principles do not save, but the confession of them simply tells other Christians those who appear truly to have been "born again" and saved. "For out of the heart the mouth speaketh."

    What a man believes does not save him; Only God saves. What a man professes to believe only evidences his salvation, or lack thereof.

    connieman

    [ June 06, 2002, 12:31 AM: Message edited by: connieman ]
     
  10. justGina

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    Excellent post, brother Timothy. [​IMG]
     
  11. Primitive Baptist

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    Arminianism is too humanistic. It is nothing more than a man-centered doctrine. Salvation is of God from beginning to ending. Salvation is in no way according to the will of man. Paul wrote in his epistle to the Romans, "So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy." (Romans 9:16) Paul also wrote in this epistle, "Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth." (Romans 9:18) God does not save according to opportunity, but purpose. Paul wrote in his second epistle to Timothy, "Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began," (II Timothy 1:9) God said to Job, "Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding." (Job 38:4) Paul wrote in his epistle to the Ephesians, "According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:" (Ephesians 1:4) Job nor any other man was with God to give Him counsel in His work of election. The only choice made concerning eternal salvation was that of God before the foundation of the world. Let God be true but every man a liar.
     
  12. Nelson

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    As far as I can tell, there is no way these two suppositions "necessarily" lead specifically to the "Reformed or Calvinistic understanding." I believe the Bible is true and God is Creator and Sovereign, but there is no way I want to embrace certain Calvinistic traditions.

    I respectfully submit that only - and please realize this is my personal view and no insult towards anyone is intended - a prejudicial hindsight can suggest such a thing.

    My only point was that a Christian of another doctrinal persuasion may also obtain these effects and a Calvinist may yet lack in some effects and, possibly, never fully obtain some.

    For example, my beliefs that I hold as truth moves me to "stand in awe of God and lead me into the depth of true [Christ]-centered worship."

    [ June 06, 2002, 08:50 AM: Message edited by: Nelson ]
     
  13. Nelson

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    A personal observation: I think it would have been much better to assert that God's purposes are holy rather than sovereign. God accomplishes His purposes by His power but the source and character of His purposes are in His holiness: "God's holy purposes."

    That sounds more in line with the Bible, don't you think?
     
  14. Monergist

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    Again, can you please show where scripture explicitly states what you have affirmed?
     
  15. Monergist

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    I spent over thirty years in a strictly Armininian environment. While I respect your view toward a prejudicial hindsight, it is unneccessary and in this case unapplicable. My acceptance of Calvinism came out of a deep conviction that Arminianan views were wrong; that conviction came out of reading the Bible with a sincere desire to learn the truth. Initially I had no exposure to calvinism; I only had prejudices against "predestination" that I had a vague awareness that Presbyterians and Primitive Baptists believed. Coming to see the truth in what's called calvinism has been liberating-- seeing the truth, being strengthened by the truth, and being set free from unbiblical prejudices.

    Not wanting to accept certain aspects of calvinism may itself be a prejudice, if those aspects (or traditions) are in fact taught by scripture. Knowing this principle applies to me also, I would also reject it altogether and embrace Arminianism if it could be shown that Bible the explicitly states the tenets of Arminianism; but until that's shown, I'll assume that the fight against calvinism is grounded in presuppostions and assumptions that go beyond what scripture explicitly states.

    [ June 06, 2002, 09:24 AM: Message edited by: TimothyW ]
     
  16. TomVols

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    Excellent post Timothy. I've had the same experiences Dr. Piper has. Well said and worth saying.
     
  17. Nelson

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    A paradox.

    I was raised in a Calvinstic atmosphere and embraced it tightly. However, I can also say that my rejection of Calvinism "came out of a deep conviction that" that their "views were wrong; that conviction came out of reading the Bible with a sincere desire to learn the truth."

    I would guess the assumption that my disagreement with Calvinism is "grounded in presuppostions and assumptions that go beyond what scripture explicitly states" is as much erred as the application of any "prejudicial hindsight" would be to your disagreement with my position.
     

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