What is the purpose of Calvinism?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by doulous, Nov 8, 2008.

  1. doulous

    doulous
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    Messages:
    278
    Likes Received:
    0
    Calvinism and Arminianism are debated all the time. The SBC is grappling with it like never before. The recent John 3:16 conference proves that the growing Founders Movement is a threat to the majority SBC churches. But what's the real purpose of Calvinism? Does anyone think that Calvinists seek to divide and sow discord?

    Calvinism is rooted in the biblical doctrine of predestination. Arminians and Calvinists alike agree the bible teaches predestination. The schism is over what predestination means. Calvinism seeks to recognize God's holiness and His sovereignty over all things, including those whom He predestines for eternal life. Calvinists do not know who the elect are, and any attempt to claim that they do is heretical hyper-Calvinism. Only God knows the number of sand on the seashore. He knows them because He put them there. The Calvinist believe that only God knows who the elect are because He personally chose them by His will of decree.

    The Calvinist also believes that God has ordained the means by which the elect are called: the preaching of the gospel. Each and every Calvinist pastor and evangelist should proclaim the gospel in power knowing that it is the means by which God will convict His elect of sin and bring them to repentance and faith in Christ for salvation. It is for this reason that Calvinists generally avoid modern methods of evangelism that began with Charles Finney and are alive and well today in the seeker sensitive movement.

    The Calvinist understands the danger of elitism that comes with an unbalanced view of predestination. It is for that reason that the Calvinist needs to remind Himself that he was saved by grace alone from the vile mire of sin in which he was formerly trapped. This is what Paul reminded the Ephesians of in Ephesians 2:1 when he told them, "Therefore, you were once dead in your trespasses and sin."

    Lastly the Calvinist Baptist understands that he will never have full and complete unity with the general Baptist population. He will attempt to persuade from the peronderance of scripture, but he must remember that the same God who who works repentance and faith in the heart of the sinner is the same God who gives understanding of the scriptures. And lest the Calvinist become proud, He must remember that there is much He does not know. Predestination is still a mystery. God does not reveal why He chooses one over the other. We know it is in order to glorify Himself, but He doesn't reveal His reason for electing a specific individual. In the end we must trust in His goodness and perfect will.

    What would I like my non-Calvinist brethren to understand about Calvinists? I would like them to understand that we love the Lord Jesus Christ and desire to see His kingdom expanded through more sinners being converted and discipled into mature believers. Our differences are real and they may prevent us from ministering together, but we are not enemies of the cross.
     
    #1 doulous, Nov 8, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 8, 2008
  2. OldRegular

    OldRegular
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2004
    Messages:
    22,678
    Likes Received:
    53
    Have you heard the discussion between Mohler and Patterson on Election. Very interesting.
     
  3. doulous

    doulous
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    Messages:
    278
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yes, I have heard the debate between these two fine men. I'm not SBC myself. My Baptist background was CBA. My acceptance of the doctrines of grace was in the mid 90's. At that time there were scant voices on the national Baptist scene. James White, Al Mohler, John Piper, Rich Barcellos and Tom Ascol are changing that.
     
  4. skypair

    skypair
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2006
    Messages:
    4,657
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm just going to pick on this part to "destroy." :laugh:

    Look around you. If God is "sovereign over all things," then He predestines people the sins they commit and He, not they, is responsible.

    But if He is not "sovereign over all things," then we would expect pretty much what we see --- mankind sovereign over their own sinful lives with some of them actually submitting to God as they comprehend Him. Calvinism just seems to comprehend God in a different way and then to be able to reconcile their view with scripture.

    skypair
     
  5. MB

    MB
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2006
    Messages:
    2,554
    Likes Received:
    13
    The bolded and underlined of your post is the reason of my reply.

    To begin with Calvinism in it's entirity is not biblical and especially particular election. There is not any thing in the Bible that even suggest such a thing is true. You might take scripture out of text to prove your point but I would encourage you to read and go by scripture as a whole. Anyone can take sentences out of a book to make them say most anything.
    You may love Jesus Christ you may be saved. Even being saved doesn't mean you can't be deceived. Jn. 3:16 says "For God so Loved the world" It doesn't say God only loved a fortunate few. The choosing of a people isn't the same as the choosing for Salvation.
    Christ said;
    Joh 12:32 And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.
    There is no reason to draw all men unless He intended that all men might have Salvation.
    John wrote;
    1Jn 2:2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.
    Why die for the sins of the whole world if it wasn't His intention that the whole world might be saved.
    Christ also said;
    Joh 3:17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

    The world not a particular few
    I'm a Baptist that holds to scripture not some confession of faith that is surely nonbiblical.
    MB
     
  6. Reformer

    Reformer
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2008
    Messages:
    236
    Likes Received:
    0


    What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? Certainly not! For He says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whomever I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whomever I will have compassion.”So then it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy. For the Scripture says to the Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in all the earth.” Therefore He has mercy on whom He wills, and whom He wills He hardens.
    You will say to me then, “Why does He still find fault? For who has resisted His will?” But indeed, O man, who are you to reply against God? Will the thing formed say to him who formed it, “Why have you made me like this?” Does not the potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel for honor and another for dishonor?
    What if God, wanting to show His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, and that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had prepared beforehand for glory, even us whom He called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?
     
  7. Jim1999

    Jim1999
    Expand Collapse
    <img src =/Jim1999.jpg>

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2002
    Messages:
    15,460
    Likes Received:
    0
    Systematic theology is the organized garden of Bible study. Calvinism is just one form of systematic theology rooted in the sovereignty of God, and soteriology in light of that sovereignty. No more; no less.

    Cheers,

    Jim

    By the way, God does not predestine some to heaven and some to hell. The elect of God enjoy life with Him and the rest are passed by to their own sin and penalty. No double predestination at all.
     
  8. skypair

    skypair
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2006
    Messages:
    4,657
    Likes Received:
    0
    If I understand you argument here, God does what He wants to do. That is correct. However, one thing that He never wants to do is overthrow man's ability to think and to act for himself.

    So if anyone claims that God wouldn't have shown mercy on Pharoah if he had "let His people go," such a person would be "reading God's mind" wrongly!

    And if anyone says that it is God's fault that someone resisted His will, that too would be "wrong-headed." God was good to Ishamel and good to Esau but thier descendants still resisted like some clay.

    skypair
     
  9. MB

    MB
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2006
    Messages:
    2,554
    Likes Received:
    13
    Every word is true above though often misinterpreted. You see it is my contention that those vessels of mercy are the vessels of wrath spoken of here. Other wise why endure the vessels of wrath? Patience of God is why. Not to mention that we are all still lumps of clay in God's hands. Other wise His work in us would never be finished.
    MB
     
  10. doulous

    doulous
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    Messages:
    278
    Likes Received:
    0
    You obviously are unacquainted with confessionalism. The confessions are man made documents. No one doubts that. The worth of the confessions is based on their accuracy to scripture. Individual interpretation is a dangerous thing. Ask fifty Christians how they interpret a particular text and you may wind up with 20 or 30 different interpretations. The confessions were written to provide unity in biblical interpretation. Are they infallible? No. They deserve to be poked, prodded, and exmained in light of scripture. But if they are proven to be accurate then they provide a faithful commentary on major scriptural doctrines.
     
  11. doulous

    doulous
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    Messages:
    278
    Likes Received:
    0
    Jim,

    Even in Calvinism there are different schools of thought on predestination. Did God predestine some for glory and some for perdition, or did He predestine his elect and just pass over the others; leaving them to their own devices? In the end it doesn't change the eternal disposition of both groups. The elect go to glory and those who are not elect don't.
     
  12. Jim1999

    Jim1999
    Expand Collapse
    <img src =/Jim1999.jpg>

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2002
    Messages:
    15,460
    Likes Received:
    0
    Indeed, I am well aware of those variations, but then there are many who out-Calvin Calvin and presume their results to be Calvinism. Often the opponents of Calvinism. This is where the importance of the decrees come into play and their proper order.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  13. Reformer

    Reformer
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2008
    Messages:
    236
    Likes Received:
    0
    So then it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy
    .
    .
    .
    You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit
     
  14. gb93433

    gb93433
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2003
    Messages:
    15,496
    Likes Received:
    6
    No confession encompasses the totality of teaching in scripture.

    If one goes back a few hundred years they would find many things that were preached then who few would agree with today.
     
  15. gb93433

    gb93433
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2003
    Messages:
    15,496
    Likes Received:
    6
    Over the years I have found many who claim to be Calvinists but have not read any of Calvin's writings. Isn't that a case of follow the leader like a puppy dog rather than following Christ and studying scripture?

    I do not find Calvin mentioned in my Bible.

    I do not find Calvin's name mentioned in 2 Timothy 3:16,17.
     
  16. Plain Old Bill

    Plain Old Bill
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2003
    Messages:
    3,657
    Likes Received:
    0
    Amen GB. I have read much of Calvin and I agree with a lot of what he has to say. Yet I am not a Calvinist in the TULIP sense of the word ,but I do respect and admire much of his writings.
     
  17. Rippon

    Rippon
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2005
    Messages:
    17,407
    Likes Received:
    328
    If some Calvinists have read nothing of Calvin's writings -- how does it make them into puppy dogs?Their leader is Christ;not John Calvin.They follow the Scriptures probably more than a lot of Calvinism bashers.

    You have over 10,000 posts yet you spill such drivel?
     
  18. Rippon

    Rippon
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2005
    Messages:
    17,407
    Likes Received:
    328
    Everything in this post of yours made sense except your brief opening sentence:"Amen GB." The rest of what you said counters his foolishness.So there doesn't seem to be the kind of agreement which usually follows when one says 'Amen' to the remarks of another poster.
     
  19. gb93433

    gb93433
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2003
    Messages:
    15,496
    Likes Received:
    6
    Are you saying ignorance is okay?


    Am I to assume that you are not of Apollos, nor of Paul but of Calvin and Jesus?

    I know that I am getting older by the day and cannot see as well as when I was much younger, but could you just give one verse from the Bible illustrating how one can be a Calvinist and follow Christ. With the sight I have I am unable to find Calvin anywhere in my Bible.

    When I read my Bible in 1 Cor. I notice that Paul addressed the issue of following servants of God. In light of what Paul wrote could you give one explanation about how one can claim to be a genuine Calvinist and be a genuine Christian and only follow Christ. No man can serve masters.

    Can you explain how one can make a claim of being a follower of the theology of a person and know nothing of what they purport?

    If a person blindly follows a person or ideal is that not being stupid enough to follow just like a puppy dog (or perhaps sheep) instead?

    Maybe your Bible is missing some verses, but my Bible commends those who search the scriptures to see if those things are so. If I spend that much time studying scripture then why would I even care what Calvin wrote?

    Are you aware that Calvin even wrote about the shortcomings of his own theology in the Institutes?

    Just so I know where you are coming from, could you state what works of Calvin you have personally read?
     
  20. gb93433

    gb93433
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2003
    Messages:
    15,496
    Likes Received:
    6
    2 Calvin 3:16 and 17, "All writings in the Institutes are inspired by Calvin and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of Calvin may be adequate, equipped for every good work (JCV).
     

Share This Page

Loading...