What is God's theology?Calvinist/arminean

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by Plain Old Bill, Mar 21, 2004.

  1. Plain Old Bill

    Plain Old Bill
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    Or something altogether different?Can anybody recommend a best theology study?Have we learned anything about God in the last 50 years that would cause someone to write a more accurate theolgy?
     
  2. Helen

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    Read the Bible. Try biblical theology! It's not Calvinist. It's not Arminian.

    It's God's.
     
  3. Pastor Larry

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    God's theology can only be known through the accurate exegesis of his word. If you want a full blown theology, Millard Erickson's Christian Theology is still probably the best, most balanced available. It is a thorough theology with accurate discussions of all sides of the various issues. It runs some 1200 or more pages (I can't remember exactly).

    Calvinism and Arminianism have both "evolved" over the years. Those names are labels for general systems of belief particularly regarding soteriology. Over the years both have been developed more and more.
     
  4. Daniel David

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    What Helen is saying is that God does not agree with either system.

    It is better to say that the system agrees with God. From that perspective, only calvinism comes close to the God of Scripture and reality. Anything else is a warped view and twisting of his word. I don't think anyone should do that. Do you?
     
  5. Plain Old Bill

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    Personally I think Helen hit the nail on the head.
     
  6. Dr. Bob

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    Daniel - Spoken like a true Calvinist!

    Bill - these divisions and following strong teachers (who all teach the TRUTH, but with different slants on it) have been in the church since early days.

    So in First Baptist Church of Corinth in 54CE, they had folks following</font>
    • Paul</font>
    • Apollos</font>
    • Peter</font>
    • and some pious toads saying they were following Jesus" (implying the others weren't)</font>
    so am not surprised when folks today say they are following Calvin, Luther, Knox, or Ruckman, Joseph Smith, Mary Baker Eddy
     
  7. KimS

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    Good response Helen. I agree 100%

    Kim
     
  8. Askjo

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    [message off topic - snipped]

    [ March 21, 2004, 11:45 PM: Message edited by: Dr. Bob Griffin ]
     
  9. Askjo

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    I do not talk about Bible versions, but I talk about theology.
     
  10. Daniel David

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    This is a thread about calvinism/arminianism. What does that have to do with the TR or the ET?

    If you are saying that KJVO=arminian, then that would be enough to be calvinist all by itself.
     
  11. Askjo

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    Hey, Dr. Bob Griffin! Why did you edit my post? You misunderstand what I mean. I do not refer my post to bible versions, but to a theology.

    I have many, many books for my Bible study. They are conservative and liberal. I have some conservative books, however I studied them and found awesome facts.

    I have a theological book about 1 and 2 Timothy. It is conservative. This is a TR theology!

    I have a theological book about Philippians. It is conservative. This is a W/H theology!
    That's what I post that YOU edited. Why?
     
  12. Dr. Bob

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    I understood what you were aiming at, but not allowing the versions skirmish into this forum.

    BTW, there is no "TR theology" v W/H Theology" battle except in the minds of onlies. We have conservative/liberal views, but they are not tied to translations per se.
     
  13. Askjo

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    How would you say, "there is NO W/H Calvinism v TR Calvinism battle"? James White is a W/H Calvinist. Van Kleeck is a TR Calvinist.
     
  14. Johnv

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    Good observation! The original question serves no purpose. Kind of like asking if God is a democrat or a republican. Calvinism and Arminianism are simply human concepts to explain a person's theological views.
     
  15. Askjo

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    That's very interesting. Helen, I would like to ask you question on one verse. Please use your biblical theology on this verse.

    Revelation 19:8 (KJV) -- "...for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints."

    What does this verse mean?
     
  16. Helen

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    That's a fascinating verse, because it is the ONLY time the KJV translates that particular word as 'righteousness'! The word is dikaioma. It means an action -- technically 'an equitable deed.' The word usually translated 'righteousness' is a similar word, dikaiosune. This word refers to the characteristic of righteousness. It is because of this difference that a number of modern versions translate Revelation 19:8 as "the righteous acts of the saints."

    Either way, however, our righteousness is in Christ (Jeremiah 23:6, 33:16, 2 Cor 5:21, Phil. 1:11 etc.) and because of Him. God is so incredibly loving and merciful that even believing on Christ is considered an act of righteousness!

    Thus, in Rev. 19:8, we are dressed as Christ has dressed us: in righteousness from Him and of Him.

    This is the point of the wedding parable, by the way...the bridegroom provided wedding clothes for the guests, so if one did not have the given clothes on, one was either not an invited guest or had spurned the clothes provided by the host. In either case, the person was shown the exit.
     
  17. Askjo

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    What about good work? Or not?
     
  18. Helen

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    Ok, I think I see what you are asking here.

    First of all, if we read Romans 8:8, we can see clearly in that one verse (as well as more extended portions throughout the Bible) that there is nothing an unsaved person (someone who is not indwelt by the Holy Spirit) can do to please God. So it is primary to recognize that the only works considered good by God, and thus contributing to righteousness as defined in the passage under consideration, are those works done by born-again Christians.

    If we go into 1 Corinthians 3:10-15, Paul explains that there are two basic types of works, or that which is built on the foundation of one's life in Christ: those works built with 'wood, hay, or straw,' those works count for nothing and will be burned up, although "he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames." The works that are not burned up, but which count for something, are those using 'gold, silver, costly stones.' These cannot be burned.

    If you look at those two groups of 'building materials' something becomes evident: those which are burned are grown from the earth itself. But the metals and costly stones are part of the original creation -- they were formed by God Himself.

    If there is a lesson to be learned from this warning of Paul's, it very well may be to build only on the materials God supplies in your life. Remember the verse
    I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now life in the flesh I live by faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
    Gal 2:20

    And remember Christ's words in John 14:
    If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come until him, and make our abode with him.

    We know from Romans 8:9 that if any man belongs to Christ, that man is indwelt by the Holy Spirit.

    In view of these passages as well as so many others, I think it is fair to say that anything any of us do that is considered good by God (and therefore part of the white linen clothing) is that which God Himself does through us, as we obey Him in love. For "I am not my own," but am a slave to righteousness -- Christ Himself. Therefore anything good I do is because of Him, and because of Him through me. My good is not my own. I know that for sure!

    So when I am clothed in white linen later, it will be entirely because of Him, and the use He has made of these hands, these feet, this mind and heart.
     
  19. dr396

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    Helen,

    I think the point he was making by that was that you cannot do Biblical theology without bringing in some resources. We are not islands unto ourselves. We cannot teach ourselves theology in a vaccuum without some help. We need Greek, Hebrew, Aramaic, and even Latin and German. We need people to bounce our ideas off of, otherwise we may fall into error. Holding to views of Calvin, Augustine, or Joseph Arminius are not wrong in and of themselves. We have a "great cloud of witnesses" and we have a gospel that has been passed down through the ages. The thing about Calvin, Luther and the Reformers is that they were students of the Patristics. And today we are still students of theirs. You cannot do exegetic/theological work without some teacher assisting you. No one can pick up a Bible, read it by themselves, come to Christ, and have perfect theology afterward. Why do I say this? Because God has called us to live in community and to grow in grace through fellowship. Cyprian was right in saying, "No man can have God as His Father, who does not have the Church as His Mother." I don't agree with what the Catholics have done with that statement, but it is true nonetheless. We must be involved and learn from a local body. And we got something from that local body -- some teaching, some understanding, some hermeneutics, and some system by which we understand the whole. That is why Paul and James both warn teachers regarding what they teach and why Jesus pronounced so much condemnation on the Pharisees. They all knew that it was the design of God for people to be instructed by apostles, elders, and pastors.

    So I am guessing that is why he asked you that question Helen -- to prove that you need some commentary, some Greek, a concordance, a theology text, or something that is extrabiblical to answer that question. No man (or woman) is a theological/exegetical island unto himself or herself. That is why when it comes to doctrine, I will admit that I see things like Augustine, Luther, Calvin, Zwingli and I believe Paul and Jesus, who all held to unconditional election.

    D.R.
     
  20. Helen

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    D.R., thank you. We differ. We have found that with a few good translations (including the Alexandrian LXX) and a couple of good Concordances, the Bible is remarkably clear. Why depend on men's minds when you have God's mind to depend on? We have all kinds of expositions and commentaries here, but they are not nearly as helpful as Josephus, "Everyman's Talmud", and some books on Middle East history and culture so that we can understand more of the setting in which things happened.

    Arminianism and Calvinism are both, to my husband's and my mind, inventions of men -- men desiring to fit God into something they can fully understand or 'cope' with. We have found both fall far short of basic Bible and both depend on snipping verses for support, not paying attention to context and intended meaning.

    I do admit that one of our close friends is Dr. Bernard Northrup, longtime scholar and retired professor of Greek and Hebrew and consultant for a number of translators of the Bible into other languages around the world. We have enjoyed being able to pick up the phone and check meanings with him and possible implications at times.

    There IS a Biblical theology that is put forth rather clearly and cleanly in the Bible. It does not tell us everything we may want to know, but it certainly tells us everything we need to know.
     

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