The question Calvinists can't seem to answer

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by Skandelon, Jun 19, 2004.

  1. Skandelon

    Skandelon
    Expand Collapse
    <b>Moderator</b>
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2003
    Messages:
    9,638
    Likes Received:
    0
    Jesus while speaking to the apostles tells them that the mystery of the kingdom was being given to them, but not to those who are on the outside.

    Now, Calvinists would assume that those on the outside are non-elect reprobates but look at what the verse goes on to say. "...otherwise they might return and be forgiven."

    This passage is clearly teaching that those on the outside might be forgiven if Christ didn't choose to keep his message hidden from them in parables.

    Calvinists,

    Please explain to us how a non-elect man might be forgiven if Christ chose not to speak in parables? If a natural man is born Total Depraved why does Christ need to speak in parables to prevent him from understanding and repenting unto forgiveness?
     
  2. Major B

    Major B
    Expand Collapse
    <img src=/6069.jpg>

    Joined:
    May 6, 2003
    Messages:
    2,294
    Likes Received:
    0
    You are missing the whole point. The apostles not only heard the plain truth, they had been made able to understand ig (cf Mat 16:17). To them outside it was not given to understand. to the disciples, it was (Jn 6:63-70, Luke 16:30-31, etc)

    Now let me return the favor. If Christ wants to save everyone, why would He say anything like this?
     
  3. Skandelon

    Skandelon
    Expand Collapse
    <b>Moderator</b>
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2003
    Messages:
    9,638
    Likes Received:
    0
    No, I haven't missed the point. The point is that Christ was hiding the message from some people and not others. You assume that he is hiding it from them because they are not elect, but that makes no sense because if they are not elect they couldn't have repented regardless of Christ's parables.

    I'll answer this one but then you have to answer my original question. Deal?

    Christ doesn't want to save everyone.

    ***gasp*** :eek:

    Think about what would have happened if everyone, or even many, people would have believed unto salvation while Christ was here on earth. Would they have crucified a man they believed in? God needed them to remain in their unbelief until He had accomplished his purpose through them. That is why they are being temporarily hardened. It is this concept that Calvinists have missed and because of this they misinterpret many texts. Romans 9 is a perfect example.

    He has mercy on who he wishes and He hardens who he wishes. What does that mean?

    Calvinists interpretation: God saves the elect and hardens the reprobates.

    The correct interpretation: God offers mercy even to the dirty Gentiles and he hardens even the chosen Jews.

    How do I know this is the correct interpretation? Read on. The rest of the chapter compares the Jews and Gentiles and in chapter 11 Paul shows us that even those who are hardened might be saved (Romans 11:14). Tell me, how can the hardened reprobate be saved?
     
  4. Southern

    Southern
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2003
    Messages:
    397
    Likes Received:
    0
    Skandelon,
    You mentioned Pauls use of "might" in Romans 11:14. From a Calvinist perspective, you do understand that Paul does not know who the elect are. So everytime he preaches or does anything, it is that people "might" be saved. Am I wrong on this?
    The "might" being not a lack of certainty on God's part but rather Pauls "purpose" which the hina clause can denote (your a seminary student, help me out please!), if indeed this is one. I have not got anything here to check with.
    In other words: Pauls doing something so somebody might be saved actually has no bearing from God's perspective.
    Hope this sheds a little light atleast for further discussion.
     
  5. Skandelon

    Skandelon
    Expand Collapse
    <b>Moderator</b>
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2003
    Messages:
    9,638
    Likes Received:
    0
    Southern,

    I understand your question but that is really not the point. The fact that Paul believes that some of those he refered to earlier as the hardened Jews MIGHT be saved PROVES that he doesn't think that hardened means non-elect reprobates. Do you see my point?

    In Romans 9 Calvinists equate those being shown mercy with the elect and those being hardened with the non-elect. Well, if that is true then the hardened ones would have no opportunity for salvation, right? Paul obviously doesn't believe that sense he expects some of them to be provoked to envy and saved. Does that make more sense?

    Let me illustrate it this way:

    Calvinists believe:

    Hardened = non-elect reprobates who cannot be saved

    Paul believes:

    Hardened ones might be provoked to jealousy and get saved.

    Therefore, Paul cannot be a Calvinist.
     
  6. Major B

    Major B
    Expand Collapse
    <img src=/6069.jpg>

    Joined:
    May 6, 2003
    Messages:
    2,294
    Likes Received:
    0
    Skan,

    I can see that you are going to twist this anyway you want to get to where you want by (a) building a straw man for calvinistic beliefs and (b) by not understanding much yourself. I answered your original question; you don't like the answer, but I answered it.
     
  7. Skandelon

    Skandelon
    Expand Collapse
    <b>Moderator</b>
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2003
    Messages:
    9,638
    Likes Received:
    0
    Twist what? What are you talking about????

    You never answered my question at all. I asked, "If a natural man is born Total Depraved why does Christ need to speak in parables to prevent him from understanding and repenting unto forgiveness?" And all you did was make a statement that I agree with which had to do with the fact that only the apostles had been given the ability to understand the truth.

    You answered nothing and now you are avoiding the issue by accusing me of "twisting, building staw men and not really understanding much myself."

    1. Can you show me what I've twisted specifically?
    2. Can you show me what straw man I built?
    3. Can you help me understand whatever it is you think I don't understand?

    Thanks
     
  8. Major B

    Major B
    Expand Collapse
    <img src=/6069.jpg>

    Joined:
    May 6, 2003
    Messages:
    2,294
    Likes Received:
    0
    Once again, slowly.

    I answered your question; you don't like the answer.

    The Bible does not say that Christ NEEDED to speak in parables or else they would understand it. It was His choice to do so. When He spoke plainly they did not believe, and as it says in Luke 16:31, they would not (and did not) believe even when someone was raised from the dead.

    The issue for you is this: when there are literally dozens of scriptures that teach that the lost do not AND cannot AND will not believe unless they are made alive, why do you want to fuss around about this more murky passage? The answer is that you can't deal with the plain ones!

    This is why I don't deal with arminians on this forum or the KJVO on that one.

    Bottom line: God saves sinners. You contribute ZERO. If any part of the process belongs to you and depends on you, it becomes works salvation.

    Well, I have a couple of sermons to preach...

    Outta here.
     
  9. Skandelon

    Skandelon
    Expand Collapse
    <b>Moderator</b>
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2003
    Messages:
    9,638
    Likes Received:
    0
    No you didn't. You never gave an answer to this point.

    It does say "OTHERWISE they might return and be forgiven." In otherwords had Christ not chosen to speak in parables then they MIGHT have been saved at that time and Christ didn't want that to happen which is why he chose to speak in parables.

    That right. Why????? Read John 12:39-40 and Romans 10 where it says they were sent a "spirit of stupor" so they could see and understand. And then go on to read chapter 11 and you will see that this hardening was TEMPORARY. The not being able to understand and believe was not a result of being born TOTALLY DEPRAVED it was a result of being judicially hardened and you refuse to deal with that fact of scripture.

    Can you point to that plain passage that teaches the gospel message is not powerful enough to bring a dead man to life? Thanks.
     
  10. Southern

    Southern
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2003
    Messages:
    397
    Likes Received:
    0
    Skandelon,

    I am not quite sure I am understanding you. In Rom. 9 Paul did speak of the Jews being hardened, but he give himself as an example of a Jew that was an exception. So this was not true as a whole.

    So saying the Jews are hardened does not mean “each and every Jew without distinction”.
    So when Paul says so that they “might” be saved, could he not be referring to the same type of people who “might” be saved just the way he was saved?

    Again, let me restate, If I am not getting the point (which would not surprise me!) let me know.
     
  11. Skandelon

    Skandelon
    Expand Collapse
    <b>Moderator</b>
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2003
    Messages:
    9,638
    Likes Received:
    0
    Southern,

    First, allow me to thank you for you sincereity and willingness to seek to understand my position before dismissing it. I really respect that!! [​IMG]

    Let me try to explain it from another perspective. I'll try to be as brief as possible and take it one point at a time:

    1. All Jews were being hardened EXCEPT for the remnant of Israel. These included the apostles, or the "firstfruits of the faith," or those chosen and reserved by God to bring the message of redemption to the world. These are the first flock that Christ was sent to bring into the fold, the second flock was to be brought in by faith in the message of the first flock.

    2. The remnant were individually chosen, given to the Son by the Father, inspired and supernaturally gifted. They were chosen for noble purposes, not merely common use as Paul refers to in Romans 9. Like Jacob and his Fathers God used them for noble purposes, Esau was not chosen for such noble things.

    3. Jesus, while on earth, was actively hiding the message in parables and telling his followers (the apostles) to keep quite about his miracles and teachings. At the time of his assention he sent them to take the message to the world. When he was raised up he drew all men to himself, but while he was still on earth He only enabled a few to come to him and believe upon him. Why? He had to accomplish His purposes through their unbelief. They would not kill a man they believed in and they certainly wouldn't have allowed the Gentiles into their churches if there were many of them, but in their unbelief they crucified the Christ and made room for the ingrafting of the Gentiles into the church. That was God's plan all along.

    4. Romans 9 is Paul's explaination of why it was just of God to hardened his chosen people (Jews) while showing mercy to the unclean Gentiles. But he is sure to explain that their hardening was not to certain condemnation. They were not without hope. Romans 11 is clear on that subject. The fact that they do have hope PROVES that they can't be the non-elect reprobates of the Calvinistic system.

    Does that make more sense now?

    Paul was speaking as a Jew, who was called for a noble purpose as an apostle to the Gentiles, about the hardened Jews. If he thought of those being hardened as being the non-elect reprobates of the Calvinistic system, like Calvinist do, then he wouldn't have left the possiblity of salvation for those who were currently being hardened.

    In other words, it IS possible for those who are hardened to be saved; therefore, those being hardened in Romans 9 cannot be the non-elect reprobates of the Calvinistic system, instead they are the Jews who have been temporarily hardened for a specific purpose.

    Now what are the implications of that? If Romans 9 is not about elect and the non-elect individuals, that means Calvinists can't use it as a proof text to support their dogma.
     
  12. The Chief

    The Chief
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2004
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Skan,
    Do you really think that Paul was determining who was and who was not elect? That is left to God. Paul was preaching the good news of the gospel. He does not know who's blind eyes the Holy Spirit has opened and who might be receptive to the gospel, so he is preaching to all who can hear and see so that those who have opened eyes and ears will see and hear and thus receive Jesus.
    Also, you said that those who have been hardened for GOd's purposes can be saved. As I read Isa, I see that God uses nations to bring forth His divine purpose, but I do not see those nations (neither as a whole nor as a remnant) come to believe and have faith in God.
    However, one has to say that all of our hearts were heardened and they will remain so until God chooses to give us a heart with HIs law on it. THat is the intent of Rom 9:14-18.
    If you have a problem with election, then you have a problem with most of the Bible.
    Can you read John 6 without coming to the conclusion that God chooses?
     
  13. Skandelon

    Skandelon
    Expand Collapse
    <b>Moderator</b>
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2003
    Messages:
    9,638
    Likes Received:
    0
    That wasn't my point. Please go back and reread it. I'm not trying to say Paul knew who the elect were. I'm saying that he didn't equate those who are being hardened with those who are the non-elect, which is the interpretation Calvinists bring to Romans 9.

    Some do and some don't. Its clear here in these passages that it was God's intent to provoke some of the Jews to envy so that they too might believe.

    I disagree. My heart has never been hardened.

    You need to understand something. We are not born hardened. We become hardened. How? By rejecting God's revelations continually and living in the sinful ways of this world. I was spared from becoming hardened because I was raised in a Godly home and recieved Christ as savior at an early age. Don't get me wrong. We are all sinners, but we are not all hardened. Calvinists can't seem to make that distinction which is the at the heart of their error in interpretation.

    Plus, there is a difference between self hardening and judicial hardening. Please study that difference. It is key to understanding Paul's teaching in this passage.

    I have no problem with election. When properly understood from the biblical perspective it is a beautiful doctrine. And I have no problem with John 6 but I understand it within its context which is also revealed in John 12 (verses 39-40).
     
  14. Ian Major

    Ian Major
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2002
    Messages:
    329
    Likes Received:
    0
    Skandelon said
    That right. Why????? Read John 12:39-40 and Romans 10 where it says they were sent a "spirit of stupor" so they could see and understand. And then go on to read chapter 11 and you will see that this hardening was TEMPORARY. The not being able to understand and believe was not a result of being born TOTALLY DEPRAVED it was a result of being judicially hardened and you refuse to deal with that fact of scripture.

    Skandelon's error is in not distinguishing between the individuals and the nation. For the hardened individuals, their state was permanent. For the nation it is not - one day God will cause the nation as a whole to repent.

    Being 'broken off' for unbelief, is not the same as being hardened. All unbelieving Jews were broken off. Not all were hardened. The elect were not hardened, the rest were. Down through the ages, the elect have come out of their unbelief. The reprobates, the hardened, have not.

    The hardening of the nation, and the individuals in it, is to last until the 'fulness of the Gentiles has come in'. For all of those generations, the hardening was permanent. Only in the last days will the nation's hardness be removed.

    As to the hardening of Israel and Total Depravity, both are true. The former makes the latter permanent for Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles has come in. All Jews begin life in TD, as do the Gentiles. But the nation (the majority of it) are also specially hardened, given over to their unbelief, in a way that is not true for the Gentiles.

    In Him

    Ian
     
  15. Skandelon

    Skandelon
    Expand Collapse
    <b>Moderator</b>
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2003
    Messages:
    9,638
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ironic you see it that way because I see you making this error. You take passages that are refering to national election and national hardening and apply them to individual election and individual hardening of all individuals without regard to man's response. Instead you make man's response merely an effect of that hardening or election. Its clear from scripture that hardening is a result of willful rebellion, not God's lack of desire to save. In fact it seems to be inspite of God's desire to save as seen in the last verse of Romans 10 and Matt. 23:37.

    You say, "in a way that is not true for Gentiles." What exactly is the difference? And what is the point of that?
     
  16. Ian Major

    Ian Major
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2002
    Messages:
    329
    Likes Received:
    0
    Skandelon said
    Its clear from scripture that hardening is a result of willful rebellion, not God's lack of desire to save. In fact it seems to be inspite of God's desire to save as seen in the last verse of Romans 10 and Matt. 23:37.

    God's desire for His creatures to repent does not mean He is not free to let them continue in rebellion if He choses. Likewise, He is free to save any whom He wishes. We agree, hardening is the result of willful rebellion. But He doesn't harden all willful rebels, just whom He pleases. On the rest He has mercy.

    Regarding the hardening of Israel, you said:
    You say, "in a way that is not true for Gentiles." What exactly is the difference? And what is the point of that?
    Israel is being shut off from repentance, until the fulness of the Gentiles has been saved. Not the whole nation, for God has reserved a remnant for Himself in every generation. The difference between Israel and the Nations is this: God has promised to save ALL Israel, so one would have expected the nation to be saved at the preaching of the apostles. God had promised to save MANY Gentiles, and that was happening. So what about His promise to Israel? Was it going to fail? No, for all Israel will be saved,11:26. But not yet, not until the all the elect Gentiles are saved.

    Why? Rom.11: 33Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out! must restrain our reasoning. However, something can be grasped in the context: 11: 32For God has committed them all to disobedience, that He might have mercy on all. That salvation will be clearly seen to be of His grace, not of blood. His mercy is the reason for the salvation of the Jews as well as the Gentiles, for 'all'.

    To summarize, if God had treated Israel as He did the Gentiles, that is, fulfilling His promise to them immediately, then ALL Israel would have been saved in the apostles time. His goodness and severity, His sovereign salvation would not have been clearly vindicated.

    In Him

    Ian
     
  17. Skandelon

    Skandelon
    Expand Collapse
    <b>Moderator</b>
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2003
    Messages:
    9,638
    Likes Received:
    0
    I agree.
    But you assume that God's display of mercy must be equal to salvation. Is it not merciful for God to even offer the gift of grace? The scripture says that he shows mercy to all men. Shoot, even hardening is merciful. By the Jews being hardened God brough redemption to the world and ingrafted the Gentiles which inturn provoked the hardened Jews to envy which apparently could lead some of them to be saved. Your mistake is that you think judicially hardening is equivelant to certain condemnation and that God showing mercy is equivelant to certain salvation. You seem to miss the fact that hardened people can leave their unbelief and be saved and those being shown mercy can rebell and be damned.

    I'm trying to understand your position before I debate it. Are you saying that every Jew will be saved regardless of their faith in Christ? Or are you saying Israel is representative of all the elect from every nation?
     
  18. Ian Major

    Ian Major
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2002
    Messages:
    329
    Likes Received:
    0
    Skandelon said
    But you assume that God's display of mercy must be equal to salvation. Is it not merciful for God to even offer the gift of grace? The scripture says that he shows mercy to all men. Shoot, even hardening is merciful. By the Jews being hardened God brough redemption to the world and ingrafted the Gentiles which inturn provoked the hardened Jews to envy which apparently could lead some of them to be saved. Your mistake is that you think judicially hardening is equivelant to certain condemnation and that God showing mercy is equivelant to certain salvation. You seem to miss the fact that hardened people can leave their unbelief and be saved and those being shown mercy can rebell and be damned.

    But that is not Paul's defination of mercy/hardening. The mercy he speaks about in Romans is saving mercy: Rom.9: and that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had prepared beforehand for glory, 24even us whom He called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles? 'Even us whom He called' - the saints.

    The fact that there are false professors among the Gentiles as well as among the Jews does not make them 'vessels of mercy'. They will reveal themselves as to their part in the root of Israel.

    I'm trying to understand your position before I debate it. Are you saying that every Jew will be saved regardless of their faith in Christ? Or are you saying Israel is representative of all the elect from every nation?

    No. All Jews at a particular moment in time - the last generation - will be saved, saved by faith in Christ, just as we are. God will give them a new heart, as He did us, and they will then gladly accept the gospel.

    In Him

    Ian
     
  19. npetreley

    npetreley
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2002
    Messages:
    7,359
    Likes Received:
    0
    I can't say that as confidently as you do. I think what you say is a possibility. I also speculate that when Paul refers to (and I paraphrase) "all Israel shall be saved", he is referring to that point in the future when Jesus returns.

    Revelation shows that when the Day of the Lord occurs, 144,000 Jews -- 12,000 from EACH TRIBE, are sealed for protection during the outpouring of wrath. I speculate (and it is speculation only) that this is what it means that all Israel will be saved -- that some from every tribe will be saved. And while Revelation only talks of these people being specially "marked" to be spared the outpouring of wrath on earth, I would assume they will also be saved in the spritual sense, too.
     
  20. npetreley

    npetreley
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2002
    Messages:
    7,359
    Likes Received:
    0
    I can't help but be reminded of this section of Bondage of the Will, where Luther answer many (if not all and more) of the same free will arguments raised here repeatedly. This section addresses the notion that God's longsuffering is what leads to men hardening their own hearts, and God has mercy by afflicting the sinner in order to lead him to repentence.

    And that also of Paul, "He hath mercy on whom He will have mercy, and whom He will He hardeneth, "(Rom. ix. 18,) is plausibly interpreted thus:—that is, God hardens when He does not immediately punish the sinner; and he has mercy when He immediately invites to repentance by afflictions.—But how is this interpretation proved? [...]

    In a word: this liberty of interpretation, by a new and unheard-of kind of grammar, goes to confound all things. So that, when God saith, "I will harden the heart of Pharaoh," you are to change the persons and understand it thus:—Pharaoh hardens himself by My long-suffering. God hardeneth our hearts;—that is, we harden ourselves by God's deferring the punishment. Thou, O Lord, has made us to err;—that is, we have made ourselves to err by Thy not punishing us. So also, God's having mercy, no longer signifies His giving grace, or showing mercy, or forgiving sin, or justifying, or delivering from evil, but, on the contrary, signifies bringing on evil and punishing.


    In fact, by these tropes matters will come to this:—you may say, that God had mercy upon the children of Israel when He sent them into Assyria and to Babylon; because, He there punished the sinners, and there invited them, by afflictions, to repentance: and that, on the other hand, when He delivered them and brought them back, He had not then mercy upon them, but hardened them; that is, by His long-suffering and mercy He gave them an occasion of becoming hardened. And also, God's sending the Saviour Christ into the world, will not be said to be the mercy, but the hardening of God; because, by this mercy, He gave men an occasion of hardening themselves. On the other hand, His destroying Jerusalem, and scattering the Jews even unto this day, is His having mercy on them; because, He punishes the sinners and invites them to repentance. Moreover, His carrying the saints away into heaven at the day of judgment, will not be in mercy, but in hardening; because, by His long-suffering, He will give them an occasion of abusing it. But His thrusting the wicked down to hell, will be His mercy; because, He punishes the sinners.—Who, I pray you, ever heard of such examples of the mercy and wrath of God as these?


    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     

Share This Page

Loading...