The Real Issue

Discussion in 'Calvinism/Arminianism Debate' started by The Biblicist, Nov 27, 2013.

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  1. The Biblicist

    The Biblicist
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    The real issue is found in the source that communicates "the word of God." There is a distinct difference between the word of God spoken in Genesis 1:3 which Paul parallels with how the word of God must be spoken in the salvation of the elect (2 Cor. 4:6), versus the word of God found in ink on paper and/or spoken by a finite source (men) to men. The "power" is not found in finite souces but only in the infinite source.

    There can be no possible misunderstanding of the direct analogy between Genesis 1:3 and Paul's direct application in 2 Cor. 4:6 to the salvation of God's elect as there were no INSTRUMENTAL MEANS in Genesis 1:3 just as there can be no instrumental means operating WITHIN the heart of men of which Paul speaks of in that text.

    Arminians do not make this distinction although the Scripture clearly distinguish between the two. Only by denying this distinction does Arminism exists.
     
  2. Yeshua1

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    paul stated that while the law of Godd is perfect, we are unable to keep it due to our sin natures, in same fashion, while the Gospel is indeed good news and truth, we cannot accept it in our fallen natures unaided, as the fault lies within ourselves!
     
  3. BobRyan

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    No wait... let me guess.. you are trying to bend 2Cor 4:6 to "fit" Calvinism.

    Won't work.

    2Cor 4:6
    6 For God, who said, “Light shall shine out of darkness,” is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.

    John 1
    . 3 All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. 4 In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. 5 The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.6 There came a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 He came as a witness, to testify about the Light, so that all might believe through him. 8 He was not the Light, but he came to testify about the Light.
    9 There was the true Light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man.10 He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him.

    11 He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him.

    John 3
    18 He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. 21 But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God.”

    The NT doctrine on Christ and the light of the world is - Arminian and cannot be "bent" to Calvinism.

    in Christ,

    Bob
     
  4. The Biblicist

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    Why is it that you never deal with scripture according to the contextual evidence but always redirect the argument against a type of theology? Is it because you are incapable of simply dealing with the contextual evidences?

    For example, you imagine by simply quoting the text it supports your argument?!? Everyone on this forum is familiar with the text that Paul is referring to in Genesis and everyone knows God did not merely speak words but spoke as a COMMAND so that light was created out of darkness. They also know there were no INSTRUMENTAL MEANS used. So who are you attepmting to fool by merely quoting it?? Paul is clearly teaching that gospel salvation (2 Cor. 4:2-5,7) occurs by divine fiat IN THE HEART where God "GIVES" light as he did in Genesis 1:3 without any instrumental means working IN THE HEART. These are the undenible facts of the context. So deal with it.

    2Cor 4:6
    6 For God, who said, “Light shall shine out of darkness,” is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.

    In him was what? ANSWER: "life"
    What was that LIFE in regard to men? ANSWER: LIGHT
    What kind of "LIGHT" does the Creator then put in man AS THEY ARE COMING INTO THIS WORLD? ANSWER: "life" - physical life.




    Again, what does John say the "LIGHT" is? ANSWER: the "LIFE" of men
    What kind of Light is Christ then? ANSWER: "the LIFE of men"
    What kind of LIFE does Christ give upon entrance into this world? ANSWER - PHYSICAL LIFE.

    What kind of "light" or "LIFE" does Christ give men who already have physical life but in addition need to believe in him? ANSWER: SPIRITUAL life/light.


    What kind of LIGHT/LIFE do men hate and resist? ANSWER: SPIRITUAL light/life

    What kind of LIGHT/LIFE will men not come unto? ANSWER: Spiritual LIGHT/LIFE

    Man is spiritually dead and therefore has no SPIRITUAL LIFE/LIGHT. If any man comes to SPIRITUAL LIGHT/LIFE it is only because it has been wrought in him by God to come.
     
  5. Skandelon

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    Very good point! It is always good hermeneutics to allow scripture to interpret scripture and it is OBVIOUS from this passage that:

    1. The light cannot be comprehended by darkness without HELP...a witness, a testimony, a revelation, an enlightening. (where does that come from?)

    2. John is sent as a witness to "testify about the Light, so that all might believe." (did he just mean so that "the elect might believe?" If so, why not say it? Has has the choice to use those words, but he choose to say it this way...why?)

    3. Jesus is the TRUE LIGHT who, "enlightens every man." (maybe he just meant the "elect men?" So, why didn't he say that?) And why are they 'enlightened?' Is it so they can be condemned? Or "so that all might believe." (why not say, "so that a few would certainly believe" if that is the truth? Are those not words available to the author who wrote this? If the author believed Calvinistically, why NOT say it this way?)
     
  6. psalms109:31

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    There is power in a Holy Spirit filled believer.

    We are the temple of the Holy Spirit. We will do greater things than Jesus. He as one man could not reach everyone, but we as many members of His body can reach to the ends of the earth.

    We can not force anyone to listen and learn from the words of Jesus which is Spirit and life.

    If they don't have His word they have no Spirit and life and we are the messengers of His words.

    The truth of the matter is that maybe only a tenth of the people we reach will listen, maybe not learn but listen.

    To many get disappointed at the results and turn away from the truth to a lie.

    Instead we should want to be sent out even if the results is not what we want.

    Jeremiah 23:
    20The anger of the Lord will not turn back
    until he fully accomplishes
    the purposes of his heart.
    In days to come
    you will understand it clearly.
    21 I did not send these prophets,
    yet they have run with their message;
    I did not speak to them,
    yet they have prophesied.
    22 But if they had stood in my council,
    they would have proclaimed my words to my people
    and would have turned them from their evil ways
    and from their evil deeds.
     
    #6 psalms109:31, Nov 28, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 28, 2013
  7. Jordan Kurecki

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    Why do Calvinists always assume that God does not aid sinful man to a position to where he can choose? Yes we understand that sinful man CANNOT be regenerated or come to God unless God in his grace chooses to aid him or allow him, but no where in scripture can you prove that God does not give all the opportunity. The only thing that fits scripture is that there is Grace AND Will involved.
     
  8. Skandelon

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    Exactly! And they often accuse us of 'saving ourselves' as if we could be saved apart from all his Gracious provisions. And since when does a gift have to be irresistibly applied for the giver to get full credit for giving the gift?
     
  9. agedman

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    I agree that there are some hard line Calvinists that take that position, and it is also found in the non-cal extremists, too.

    Then you have some who ascribe to some kind of prevenient (preceding) grace thinking, because they know that without the direct and purposed work of God no sinful man can of their own volition choose Christ.

    I reject that sort of "grace;" it is not found in clear teaching of the Scriptures.


    More to the point of your post:

    There is no doubt that John clearly states in the opening of the Gospel that Christ enlightens "ALL men."

    John places the discussion of "light" in the context of the genesis of this world - and as such brings two issues. One - no man will stand before God and claim they were not given light. Two - no man will stand before God and claim they had no opportunity to be reconciled to the light.

    John doesn't place the light as being rejected, but as not being received. "He came to His own and His own received Him not." Some would read that as "His own rejected Him" but I am not certain that is what what John meant.

    It is (in my opinion) a matter of reconciliation.

    Genesis expresses that the darkness consumed all, and God spoke light. The darkness wasn't gone, but relegated to a place of not comprehending (see John 1). The darkness can not receive (be reconciled) with light because it cannot comprehend light.

    The Scriptures state: 1) That humankind love darkness rather than light. 2) That they cannot comprehend the light. 3) That they actually desire the darkness.

    But those that do receive (are reconciled) "were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God."

    As it applies to your post, I have found that most Calvinists and non- cals actually state that, without God's working, NO man would or even could be saved.

    The exact opposite of your opening statement: "Why do Calvinists always assume that God does not aid sinful man to a position to where he can choose?"

    Of course you assume that a person has to be "taken to a position" of neutrality to choose. This assumption is (imo, at the crux of) the difference in the two views.

    The Calvinistic thinker knows that the person is already in darkness, they don't comprehend the light, and desire darkness rather than light. That person, by their very nature, is set against God, Godliness, and all manifestations of light - assigning it as incomprehensible, nonsense.

    The Calvinistic thinker holds that God doesn't take a person to a place of neutrality in which the person can choose, rather God says to those in darkness "come be reconciled."

    I would allude to the "null-hypothesis" which science uses as the base line for scientific analysis of, for instance, a new drug. Rejection - interpreted as no improvement - is already assumed. Folks do not have to "reject" God -that has already happened - "for all have sinned." The world (humankind in particular) does not comprehend the light.

    Calvinists just as the honest non-cal understand that there must be some measure of "enlightenment, awakening, quickening," that only God can do through His word and work of the Holy Spirit in which the person can then be reconciled to God.

    Therefore -

    The BIG difference between the Cal and Non-Cal then comes down to not IF God enlightens, but: 1) Is the natural man in innate possession of a will that by itself with no interference is capable of being reconciled to God (taken to a neutral position) 2) Is the natural man innately capable or taken to a neutral intellectual position that without interference able to comprehend the things of God.

    The answer to the first is, no. Even the typical non-cal who is honest understands that it is impossible for a person to be placed in a neutral position and much less that the natural "will" can even seek much less desire be reconciled to God. Hence the conviction that every believer experiences.

    The answer to the second is, no. Even the typical non-cal who is honest knows that the Scriptures clearly state, "the darkness comprehended it not."

    Your post should perhaps be seen as expressing a level of frustration, and not of expressing a doctrinal view.
     
    #9 agedman, Nov 28, 2013
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  10. Skandelon

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    agedman,

    What do you mean by a neutral position? Is that your way of saying 'free' or 'undetermined by God?'

    Being ENABLED to respond doesn't mean being neutral, IMO. Its just simply means able. People who haven't been invited, and who haven't heard the good news, haven't been enabled to come. But once they have been invited and told of God's gracious provision they have to decide what to do with that information. They can trade that truth in for lies, ignore it and move on, OR they can admit their weakness in humiliation and trust Christ to rescue them....by believing they receive life.

    "How can they believe in someone they have not heard about?" They can't. They aren't ABLE. Faith comes by hearing, so if there is no hearing there cannot be any faith. But if they do hear their is nothing preventing them from responding to the CLEAR and POWERFUL truth.
     
  11. Winman

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    Exactly. In Romans 10:14 Paul does not mention any other obstacle or hindrance to faith except ignorance. No man can believe what he has not heard and does not know.

    Paul does not say one word about the necessity of being regenerated to have the ability to hear or believe here, or anywhere else in scripture. That is HUGE.

    Calvinists must convince people of a doctrine that is NEVER mentioned in scripture, NOT ONCE.

    It is up to Calvinism to prove that scripture insists men must be regenerated before they have the ability to believe. They need to step up and show the scripture that teaches this.

    Folks have been waiting for this scripture from Calvinists for over 400 years.
     
  12. Iconoclast

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    Yes....it is so clear they have to run for the hills to try and escape the clear teaching...not one addressed the text:thumbsup::thumbsup:
     
  13. Skandelon

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    I beg to differ. BobRyan used scripture to interpret scripture and very clearly showed Reformed's error:

    If you think quoting scripture to provide clarity and understanding is equal to 'running for the hills' then your interpretation of our posts are about as good as your interpretation of the text.
     
  14. agedman

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    Free and undetermined as to any influence from any source. That absolutely no influence, one way or the other, is impressed, rather the person is absolutely free of all natural proclivities and any convincing by the heavenly or that of hell.

    This is the sort of thinking, that has been read on the BB as the state a person has when speaking of free and innate volition, is written by some who oppose a view and bolster that humankind have total freedom of choice/will.

    Such do not recognize that the lost are held and have no desire for that of the Light, nor that the lost possessing any true comprehension of the Light.

    Yet, some continue in pages endorsing such a freedom of will/choice.

    As you who are wise in the Scriptures can attest, such thinking of such a freedom is actually irrational and certainly unscriptural.

    This would seem correct, and I tend to agree - however what of the Scripture statements using the "ALL."

    For instance, in the opening of John - light is given to "all." Later, "I will draw all", and even, "all (every man) will bow the knee."

    Therefore, according to those who want to hold the extreme of "all" then it follows that even the "People who haven't been invited and who haven't heard the good news" are still responsible and enabled to come.

    But, you and I would both understand that "all" is not the all inclusive that we would desire, but is rather used as none excluded. That is, the gospel is powerful to save all - despite the station in life, the sin that abounds, or any other human condition. And, that God saves the "all" to the uttermost - He leaves none nor looses any.



    That would seem correct, but as John shows, the darkness does not comprehend nor can it comprehend the light. The darkness withdraws from the light and lurks ready to push out the light when the source of the light is removed. It is not a matter of the person "deciding what to do."

    One does not "trade" in the sense of having possession of the truth and giving it away. One cannot trade what they do not hold in ownership. Romans 1:25 (the only place I recall in which such an exchange is mentioned - though I may be wrong) is not speaking as one who posses the truth and exchanges it, but rather one who is content in the darkness, and prefers or embraces the darkness. In doing so, they CHANGE (the more literal rendering) or pervert the truth of God - the same of what Satan did in Eden and during the temptation of Christ.

    Remember the parable of seed/sower?

    Each of the first three seed preferred the world and changed the truth of the Word into a lie of the darkness.
    14 The sower sows the word. 15 These are the ones who are beside the road where the word is sown; and when they hear, immediately Satan comes and takes away the word which has been sown in them. 16 In a similar way these are the ones on whom seed was sown on the rocky places, who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with joy; 17 and they have no firm root in themselves, but are only temporary; then, when affliction or persecution arises because of the word, immediately they fall away. 18 And others are the ones on whom seed was sown among the thorns; these are the ones who have heard the word, 19 but the worries of the world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.​
    See the work of Satan in the darkness?

    See how he and therefore the lost changed the truth into a lie?

    It really isn't a matter of the person having the ability to decide or not what to do with God's provision.

    The parable makes no such distinction - look at the cunning of the evil one involved in the first three seeds.


    I don't disagree.

    You and I both know that historically the Calvinistic thinking folks have been at the work of evangelism and missions and historically have not been particularly slack about it.

    There is a problem with the "hearing" that is very important.

    There have been those saved when "hearing" occurred when they read the Scriptures. For a long time, I was involved in the dissemination of the Scriptures into the USSR. The results were astounding.

    I admit the preaching and preacher is extremely important - the oral dissemination of the Word is to be highly esteemed.

    It is the Word that is powerful, and whether the word is given orally or written down, when it is presented it will bear fruit - in a sense leaving a tract where one might pick it up and read is preaching (spreading) the Word.

    I know this is a long post, and I hope that I didn't leave out a vital part - was distracted through much of the writing on this Thanksgiving day.

    :)
     
  15. quantumfaith

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    I really do not mind being called a synergist. I think it is the default position. :)
     
  16. Iconoclast

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    You can beg to differ as much as you would like....but the verses Bob Ryan offers did not address Biblicists post at all.
    Bob lists out of context verses over and over and then rails against Calvinism.
    Out of context verses do not get it done. he actually does not respond in any detail.

    2cor 4...is God given interpretation and it trumps Bob's ideas.....
     
  17. Iconoclast

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    His quotes which he repeats and reposts......you have seen the list dozens of times....the list which pulls 2 pet 3 out of context...cannot be taken seriously or said to be quoted scripture...it is a mis-quoting of scripture as Biblicist has pointed out that is going on.
     
  18. Skandelon

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    Awww, so its danged if you do, danged if you don't? If one happens not to reference scripture you dismiss them as not appealing to the text and if they do quote scripture you dismiss them as 'misquoting' it. How about just admit you really don't want to engage in a debate and leave it at that?

    BobRyan, quoted a text which gave a much fuller commentary on the light in the world and it coming to 'enlighten every man' so that 'all may believe.' Now, we like what the text ACTUALLY SAYS, but for it to fit YOUR SYSTEM you all have to adapt it to say, "enlighten every elect man" so that "all the elect will certainly believe." Now, I guess the author just couldn't have said it that way if that is what he actually meant, huh? Good thing Calvinists came along to straighten this out. ;)
     
  19. Iconoclast

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    You are still avoiding 2 cor 4.....because the text is clear.......there is no honest attempt at debate by him or you as this pattern has been exposed openly.creation was supernatural. ..new creation is supernatural.
     
  20. Skandelon

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    Why would we avoid, "For God, who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ."

    It's not as if it says, "For God, who said, "Let light shine out of darkness onto his elect alone," made his light shine in his preselected elect one's hearts to irresistibly draw them to accept and follow the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ, but not any one else." The passage BobRyan quoted show this quite convincingly...he sent his light to "enlighten all men" so that "all might believe." Sorry, but the only thing here that supports your assertions are found in your own imaginations.
     
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