The APPEAL to be reconciled to God

Discussion in 'Calvinism/Arminianism Debate' started by Skandelon, Nov 24, 2013.

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  1. Skandelon

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    In another thread which has been closed Biblicist (and other Calvinists) argued that the gospel call to reconciliation with God was NOT an appeal, but a command. I quoted this text, which clearly references the appeal (made by God through his ministers) to the world, "be reconciled to God."

    2 Cor. 5:11 Since, then, we know what it is to fear the Lord, we try to persuade men. What we are is plain to God, and I hope it is also plain to your conscience. 12 We are not trying to commend ourselves to you again, but are giving you an opportunity to take pride in us, so that you can answer those who take pride in what is seen rather than in what is in the heart. 13 If we are out of our mind, it is for the sake of God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you. 14 For Christ's love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. 15 And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again. 16 So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!

    18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20 We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God. 21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.​

    What is the believers ministry of reconciliation according to this text? What are the ministers of reconciliation to do?

    Answer:
    "He has committed to us (believers) the message of reconciliation. We (the believers) are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God.
     
  2. Skandelon

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    Hyper Calvinism

    Many Calvinistic scholars believe this is a tendency of the young neo-Calvinism that is on the rise today and tends toward the heresy of "Hyper-Calvinism," which is actually a denial of historical reformed teaching...

    It is that school of supralapsarian 'five-point' Calvinism [n.b.—a school of supralapsarianism, not supralapsarianism in general] which so stresses the sovereignty of God by over-emphasizing the secret over the revealed will of God and eternity over time, that it minimizes the responsibility of sinners, notably with respect to the denial of the use of the word "offer" in relation to the preaching of the gospel; thus it undermines the universal duty of sinners to believe savingly in the Lord Jesus with the assurance that Christ actually died for them; and it encourages introspection in the search to know whether or not one is elect. [Peter Toon, "Hyper-Calvinism," New Dictionary of Theology (Leicester: IVP, 1988), 324.]​

    ...take note of the stress the above definition places on hyper-Calvinists' "denial of the use of the word 'offer' (or appeal) in relation to the preaching of the gospel." This is virtually the epitome of the hyper-Calvinist spirit: it is a denial that the gospel message includes any sincere proposal of divine mercy to sinners in general.

    A hyper-Calvinist is someone who either:
    • Denies that the gospel call applies to all who hear, OR
    • Denies that faith is the duty of every sinner, OR
    • Denies that the gospel makes any "offer" of Christ, salvation, or mercy to the non-elect (or denies that the offer of divine mercy is free and universal), OR
    • Denies that there is such a thing as "common grace," OR
    • Denies that God has any sort of love for the non-elect.

    All five varieties of hyper-Calvinism undermine evangelism or twist the gospel message.
     
  3. Reformed

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    Skan,

    It is possible you are conflating God's command with man's appeal? It is God's command that all people everywhere are to repent (Acts 17:30). Keep in mind that God has perfect knowledge. It is part of His omniscience. Whether man can or cannot respond to God's command is immaterial. God's command is that all people everywhere are to repent.

    Compare God's command to man's appeal. When Paul wrote 2 Corinthians 5 he did so without perfect knowledge. His appeal to be reconciled to God was a personal plea. But Paul did not know who was elect and who was not. All he could do was preach the Word and call on people to believe. That is all any preacher can do. When I preach the Gospel I make a general call to repent and believe. Be reconciled to God! Call it an appeal if you will. But it is not lost on me that God is commanding all people everywhere to believe.

    There is another facet of 2 Corinthians 5 that deserves to be mentioned. Paul was writing to the church at Corinth, not the unbelievers at Corinth. It is quite possible that there was dual purpose for his appeal. On the one hand it was evangelistic. On the other hand it was a call to sanctified living. Look at verse 17 where Paul writes, "if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things have passed away; behold, new things have come." Being reconciled may have as much to do with living like a new creature is supposed to live.
     
  4. Skandelon

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    Does it have to be either/or? Can it be both/and?

    Could God appeal for the lost to obey a command? Can God 'long to gather' rebellious men? Can God 'hold out his hands' with long-suffering to those who are unwilling to obey?

    I disagree. It speaks to human response-ability, for how does one rightly hold another responsible if they are not response-able?

    Ok, and for that they are held responsible. But this is also an appeal to reconciliation, for it is by obeying this command that one is reconciled to God, right?

    I get that, but the text actually says that God is making his appeal through the ministers, so it would not be incorrect to suggest that it is God's appeal, not just mans. Also, the concept of foreknowledge of man's response is another much more complex topic, but I do not feel it is appropriate to put God on the linear timeline to suggest that at some point in time he looked through the corridors of time to see how one would respond and thus makes decisions based upon that foresight. I think that is a very finite and limited view of divine knowledge...but much more could be said on that topic.
     
  5. The Biblicist

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    Now, look at the pronouns "we" and "us" verus "you" in the above verses. Is he speaking of the saved versus the lost? No! Both pronouns refer to the saved. "We" and "us" refers to Paul and his ministerial party. "You" refers to the saved baptized believers at Corinth. Now follow these same pronouns down into the remainng passage:

    Now, look at verse 19 and we see additional third party nouns and pronouns added "world" "men" "them" in addition to the contnuation of the same previous pronouns "we" or "us" and "you". The "we" and "us" is the same "we" and "us" found in verses 11-17 as in verses 18-20. The same "you" in verses 11-15 is the same "you" addressed in verse 20.

    Verse 20 is addressing saved persons who in the current divided condition cannot fulfil their role of the ministry of reconciliaton to lost "men" as they have no witness and they need to be reconciled to each other and to God in regard to their condition described in both letters.
     
  6. kyredneck

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    Good post Doc... :)
     
  7. Skandelon

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    And as ministers of reconciliation to lost men what would be their task? God would make His appeal THROUGH them: Be reconciled to God.

    You know, I was thinking about this the other day and for the determinist, an appeal from God NEVER makes much sense whether its an appeal toward the lost to be reconciled to God or an appeal for a believer to be reconciled with his brethren, because in both cases God, not the man, is RESPONSE-ABLE for the man's nature/desires and thus choices. It's not as if the bickering man has control over his desires or nature. God has to effectually change that for them to be reconciled in EITHER case, so even if I were to concede your point is doesn't help your case.

    Oh, and did you see my thread on Hyperism, because your approach certainly seems to be heading that way by removing the 'offer' or 'appeal' aspects of God's calling to the world.
     
    #7 Skandelon, Nov 25, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 25, 2013
  8. kyredneck

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    'Hyper' applies in more than just one direction.

    What does this mean, and how does it apply to us today?:

    Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast your pearls before the swine, lest haply they trample them under their feet, and turn and rend you. Mt 7:6
     
    #8 kyredneck, Nov 25, 2013
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  9. BobRyan

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    He has given US the ministry of reconciliation - 'us' being the church.

    And the Church says to the World - "Be reconciled to God".

    For "God was in Christ reconciling the WORLD unto Himself"

    in this way "we BEG you on behalf of Christ BE Reconciled to God".

    Romans 11

    13 But I am speaking to you who are Gentiles. Inasmuch then as I am an apostle of Gentiles, I magnify my ministry, 14 if somehow I might move to jealousy my fellow countrymen (lost jews) and save some of them. 15 For if their rejection is the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance

    in Christ,

    Bob
     
  10. Yeshua1

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    You have just thrown not just hyper cal, but ALL cals under the bus here!

    You confuse the necessity of God MUST save all sinners, that He actually intends to save all, that he makes equally claim to save all etc...

    God can offer salvation freely to all, but is it his fault they will naturally jreject that offer anyways?
     
  11. BobRyan

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    Indeed. Better living through better programming/zapping or else an "appeal".

    Biblicist is right about one thing - Calvinism has no place for an Appeal - Bible or not.

    in Christ,

    Bob
     
  12. The Biblicist

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    You were presented with the contextual and grammatical facts and you have no response to those facts??? I would say your silence is deafening and a clear verdict that your intepretation is in error because your interpretation is contrary to exegetical based facts of the context.
     
  13. BobRyan

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    Because the "grammatical facts" do not support Calvinism quite the way you had imagined.
     
  14. The Biblicist

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    I presented the exegetical based evidence and no one has addressed that evidence except by assertions based upon NOTHING. You think that making your assertion is evidential proof that the pronouns do not say what they say?

    This is how Arminians deal with exegetical grammatical facts that expose their doctrine as false. They simply breath out HOT AIR assertions without any factual basis.

    1. No one can deal with the exegetical based exposition of Romans 8:7-8. The state of being verbs, the nouns that characterize the fallen nature, the absolute denials of ability.

    2. No one can deal withe exegetical based use of the pronouns in 2 Cor. 5:20. The pronoun "you" in verse 20 refers to the same "you" of the preceding 2 Cor. 5:13-17. The same "we" of verse 20 refers to the same "we" in 2 Cor. 5:13-17. The lost people needing reconciling through Christ to God are "the world" and "them" in verse 19 not "we" or "us" or "you" in 2 Cor. 5:13-20. The "you" of verse 20 is in a divided state of conflict with each other as both epistles clearly teach and need reconciliation with each other and with God, as you cannot be reconciled with God in regard to fellowship if you are out of fellowship with your brethren.
     
  15. Skandelon

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    Just because we are not convincing you with our replies doesn't mean it hasn't been 'dealt' with my friend.

    No one is denying the inability of man if left alone...but we aren't left alone and you've yet to address the enabling power of the Word of God. You merely presume it isn't powerful enough apart from the 'irresistible calling' to enable a response. So, why would we waste time attempting to denounce inability, when we affirm it? Instead, I've attempted for the up-tenth time to refocus our debate on an actual point of contention...the enabling power of God's Word.

    You know what, I feel for you on this one... appeals don't work for your system so you think you have to do whatever you can to explain them away, I get it. But as we already showed, regardless of who the appeal is being made by and to, it is an 'appeal' of the Lord and that simply doesn't fit your model.
     
  16. The Biblicist

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    WHAT REPLY??????

    You have given NO REPLY at all except PERSONAL OPINIONS based upon not one shred of God's Word.


    You are totally ignoring what the Bible defines as the fallen nature of man and what it "is"! You are fabricating from your fertile imagination some kind of fallen human being that simply has no existence in or outside of the Scripture! You are preverting, ignoring and repudiating the plain sense of God's Word in Romans 8:7-8.

    Your responses have been purely PHILSOPHICAL without a shred of Biblical support as is the totality of the response you are makining in this very post.
     
  17. Skandelon

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    Good point.

    I guess, according to this particular argument, God "zaps" his enemies to make them reconcile to Him, but once we become reconciled with God He then just appeals to us to make us reconcile with each other? And I'm still confused as to why He would appeal "be reconciled to God" when he really is just appealing for them to be reconciled to each other? Either way, He isn't zapping them anymore, he just appealing to them. Funny...God is willing to zap them the first time, but not the second. I guess He has to work in human responsibility somewhere? :laugh:
     
  18. Skandelon

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    Last time then you go on my "ignore list" as one not willing to engage in honest discussions...

    We are all expressing our PERSONAL OPINIONS about what God's Word is saying. My views are a much based on what I believe the scripture is teaching as yours are. To suggest otherwise is fruitless and divisive in nature. I've explained to you countless times that we do not deny your specific claims regarding the inability of man IF LEFT TO HIMSELF. Now, if you'd like to make a case for how God's Word, His Gospel, is not powerful enough to enable that fallen nature to respond, I'll be glad to address that.
     
  19. Rippon

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    Come off it Skan. You're being absurd.
     
  20. Skandelon

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    Actually I think it is absurd to keep saying that we aren't responding when we are...and even more absurd to accuse US of resorting to our "personal opinions" as if his replies are the sacred texts, or something?
     
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