Two ways to look at Romans 1:18-21 to show Paul was no Calvinist

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Skandelon, Jun 4, 2011.

  1. Skandelon

    Skandelon
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    Let's go line by line:

    "The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness,"

    Calvinistic: Everyone suppresses the truth from birth (Total Depravity), so this is just God revealing his wrath against all fallen humanity.

    Non-Calvinistic: God is revealing his wrath against people who actually suppress the truth.​



    "since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities--his eternal power and divine nature--have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse."

    Calvinistic: All men are dead, blind, and deaf to the things of God from birth and thus cannot clearly see or understand God's revelation of himself, but they are still held accountable ("without excuse') because Adam represented them in the Fall.

    Non-Calvinistic: God's revelation is clearly seen and understood, so all men are without excuse.​



    "For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him,"

    Calvinistic: The natural man cannot know God.

    Non-Calvinistic: The natural man can know God and understand his revelation, but choose to refuse to acknowledge him as God despite that clear revelation​



    "but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened."

    Calvinistic: Their thinking has been futile from the womb and their foolish hearts were darkened from birth due to the Fall.

    Non-Calvinistic: After rejecting the clearly revealed truth and rebelling against the revelation they obviously understood, their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.​


    Based on this alone, I think it can be correctly argued that Paul was not a Calvinist.
     
    #1 Skandelon, Jun 4, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 4, 2011
  2. Iconoclast

    Iconoclast
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    Sorry.....you totally miss the passage....
     
  3. Skandelon

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    Sorry...you totally miss the purpose of a debate forum. :wavey:
     
  4. convicted1

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    There is no debate in this from me. Debate means to gives reasons why the other side is wrong, correct? I think you're spot on Bro. Skan!! :thumbs::thumbs::thumbs:
     
  5. Cypress

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    Skan, just so you don't feel alone in your error, I totally miss the meaning too!
    Iconoclast, please let us in on what we are missing when time allows.:love2:
     
  6. Winman

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    How can you suppress something you don't know? Calvinism teaches the unregenerate man can know nothing of the truth of God.
    If men are born totally dead, without the ability to know God or understand his word, they have a perfect excuse.
    Must be speaking of regenerate men if Calvinism is true, because Calvinism teaches the unregenerate cannot know God.

    How can your thoughts become futile when you were born with futile thoughts? It might be said your thoughts remained futile, but not "became" futile. The same would apply to the heart, how can it be said that men born with black hearts "were" darkened?

    Of course, I am a little more extreme than most here, it was verses like these and many, many others that caused me to question Original Sin. I do believe men are born with a "temptation nature" not a "sin nature" inherited from Adam and Eve when they ate of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, but I do not believe men are born dead in sin, or depraved, but I do believe ALL men quickly do sin and "become" depraved.
     
    #6 Winman, Jun 5, 2011
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  7. MB

    MB
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    Hi Skanlan;
    I like the way you broke this down in a plain comparason of the differences between Calvinism and Non Calvinism. Any Calvinist ought to be able to see the truth from it.
    Amen
    MB
     
  8. quantumfaith

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    I agree....spot on in the analysis. :thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup:
     
  9. Martin Marprelate

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    The case of the missing comma

    Should Rom 1:18 read (Sorry! I prefer the NKJV to the NIV)

    "The wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness ,"

    or

    "The wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness"?

    The comma is important. Is God's wrath only revealed against those who suppress the truth in their unrighteousness, or Is it revealed against all men outside of Christ just because they suppress the truth etc? In other words, are there two types of people, the saved and the unsaved, or are their three types: the saved, unsaved and unsaved folk who don't supress the truth in unrighteousness?

    Here's a hint:-

    Eph 2:3. 'Among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh........and were by nature the children of wrath, just as the others.

    All of us are the heirs of God's wrath until we trust in Christ. Therefore we all suppress the truth in our unrighteousness unless or until God opens our hearts to receive His word of salvation. See also Isaiah 12:1 and Titus 3:3-6.

    Yup! That's exactly right! :thumbsup:

    Steve
     
  10. Skandelon

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    I think you are missing the point. We all agree that there are only two groups (saved and lost), we just disagree as to why they are in the group they are in. I believe the unsaved suppressors of truth are in that group despite God's revealed truth and desire to see them be reconcile; and thus are truly "without excuse." You believe they are in that group according to God's predetermined will to blind all non-elect from birth till death so they can't see, hear and really understand that revealed truth, which is clearly not Paul's intent in this passage, or any passage for that matter.
     
  11. JesusFan

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    Just curious which calvinist would believe that God actively blinds and hardens all of the unsaved from birht, that he double predestines mankind from birth?

    Might be those in "real" calvinism, but my understanding from the Bible is that God does directly elects to salvation his own chosen people, calls them from eternity to be the redeemed, while those not selected are just "left to their own devices"...

    Sinners who will be w/o excuse due to the fact can know about God from general revelation, but he ONLY directly hardens those who serve a purpose like pharoah and reprobate Pharisees, both already by own will hardening their hearts against God?
     
  12. Van

    Van
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    Yet another nice thread, actually discussing biblical text, rather than the behavior of others.

    How is the truth suppressed?

    Lets back up and see if we can agree on what particular truth is in view? The gospel. And the gospel has two basic parts, the problem and the solution. So all mankind has a problem, and that is the truth being suppressed. Now the word suppressed actually has two related meanings. To keep something which is good, so to hold on to the gospel and not drift away is a common usage of the word. The other related meaning is to keep something from going where it should, and so is used in a bad sense, i.e to suppress or inhibit or restrain the truth. To make it more difficult for the gospel to be heard and understood.

    And who are the people who do this? Ungodly and unrighteous men who by their unrighteousness, make it more difficult for the gospel to be heard and understood. So I do not see how these men would face the wrath of God if God had suppressed the truth and made it impossible to hear and understand the gospel.

    How do men pile up and store wrath for the day of judgment? They hinder the gospel through disobedience. They know of God, but how have they been disobedient? Where would they have learned they should "honor God" and "give thanks to God?" Is not Paul validating God's word by saying God can be clearly seen in what He has made, and so they should accept and obey God's word? I think so.

    None of this makes sense if they have total spiritual inability. So, I agree neither Paul nor truth is on the side of Calvinism.
     
    #12 Van, Jun 6, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 6, 2011
  13. Skandelon

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    By choosing to make the result of Adam's fall the total depravity of all mankind, God has actively blinded and hardened all of the unsaved from birth. I see no way around that from the Calvinistic perspective regardless of the "camp" they are in.

    What are "their own devices" except the fallen nature in which they were born according to God's active decree?

    Adam sinned, but God is the one who decided the result of that sin. Either he decided that they would be Totally depraved from birth or He didn't.


    I see no distinction between the nature of one who has grown hardened and one in the Calvinistic system who is born Totally Depraved. Can you make that distinction?
     
  14. JesusFan

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    Are you stating here that God did not have the right/authority to decide just HOW he would handle His relationship with humanity after the fall of Adam?

    Both cals/Arms see man born depraived, sinners, unable to accept jesus unless God extends his grace towards us, enabling us to be able to accept jesus Christ

    Again, does God reserve the right to treat mankind the way that he chooses?
     
  15. Skandelon

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    Of course not. He is God and can do whatever he pleases. I'm only saying that if what Calvinism teaches is true then God DID actively choose to blind mankind from birth from seeing His appeal to be reconciled. That is not a passive thing.
     
  16. JesusFan

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    Did God choose to cause them to "be blind" by directly electing them to be lost, or does He insteed allowing them to stay as they are, dead in sins and inabllity to come to God by themselves?

    that he directly elects to save His own by enable them Grace to place faith in Christ, and allows the rest to stay in their state, due to being "hands off" to them?
     
  17. Skandelon

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    But who is the one who made them "as they are," if not God? God had to be the one who decided that the punishment for the Fall would be complete spiritual blindness from birth, even in regard to God's appeal to be reconciled, right?
     
  18. JesusFan

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    Whatever God did in this process, IF it was basedupon His divine atributes, can't we all agree that His ways are NOT our ways, His thoughts NOT our thoughts, and that IF He indeed decided to see us as being "in Adam" and spritual blind, can we stand in judgement on god and His ways?

    Also, remember that we are all sinners by birth who also chose to sin, and we all agree that regardless how God saves us, that we are all dependant of His grace in order for ANY to be saved?
     
  19. Skandelon

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    Of course not. I'm not disputing the fact that IF indeed God did choose to make all men totally depraved as a result of the fall that He had every "right" to do so. The point is that you are attempting to make His damnation of most of mankind from birth a passive thing, when that isn't possible considering the fact that He was the one who had to decide to condemn them to that fate.

    So, I could turn the question around to you. Can you stand in judgment on God and His ways if he decided not to condemn men to hopeless condemnation from birth, but instead decided to allow them to respond freely to His appeal to be reconciled? Either way, it is God's active decision and that is the only point I'm attempting to argue here. Understand?
     
  20. allinall

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    Sorry, but I believe that this arguement is a red hearing.

    Someone who has never heard the Gospel knows enough to be judged by God. That's why they are without excuse. The truth that is spoken of here is not the Gospel, a saving truth, but a truth manifested that should lead them to the Gospel, or a saving truth (OT). But instead, they supressed it. This is what the natural man does.

    No man is without excuse.

    Dave
     

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