What is True Calvinism?

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by JSM17, Jun 1, 2009.

  1. JSM17

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    It seems that there are many different views of what calvinism is.

    In light of the man himself, how much of Calvism today is really what John Calvin believed?

    How does the "reformed church" play into Calvinism? Are all reformed churches Calvinistic?

    Do all Calvinist argree on what Calvin believed?
     
  2. steaver

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    Many try to pigion hole others into Calvinism by breaking it down into "3 point Calvanist" or "four point Calvinist" etc. Calvin believed Jesus is the Son of God and so do I, this then would make me a Calvinist in some's pov.

    A true Calvinist must hold to all five points of TULIP. If any one point is not adhered to then that person is not a Calvinist. Basically, a true Calvinist believes no one invites Jesus to save them. Jesus saves whom He will and passes over whom He will. There is no choice or decision for the human.

    :jesus:
     
  3. EdSutton

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    John Calvin was not a 'Calvinist' by definition. (Neither was James Arminius an 'Arminian' by definition, as both definitions were applied to the alleged teachings of both individuals after their deaths by some of their 'fans' at that time.)

    What passes for 'Calvinism' today, is actually predominately 'Dordt'ianism, based on the Synod of Dordt. While this may well be a fairly accurate understanding and representation of the positions of John Calvin in many cases, it is simply not so, in all instances.

    FTR, I fully agree with no points of either the so-called Five Points of 'Calvinism' or the so-called Five Points of 'Arminianism' in toto, as stated, coming closest to Total Depravity (but not Total Inability, as defined by some 'strong' 'Calvinists', and 'Unlimited Atonement' (albeit, not exactly as 'read' by some 'Arminians'.). My strongest disagreement is with the teaching of an undefined 'Perseverance', on which there is little difference with either group, thus making no effective difference in 'Calvinism' and 'Arminianism' in the final analysis, as both groups invariably rely on some undefined 'works' to determine the salvation of someone.

    As I have put it, most theological systems have no real place for the Biblical "saint of saints" (one of only 10 individuals in Scripture described as righteous/just; one of three to whom this description is applied 3 or more times, with the other two being Noah and Abel; and the only individual specifically identified in Scripture as being among "the godly") in their systems, that being "Hizzoner", the Mayor of Sodom, namely "righteous Lot".

    Ed
     
    #3 EdSutton, Jun 2, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 2, 2009
  4. drfuss

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    drfuss: A good post, Ed. You and I agree on many things. From a practical perspective, the only differences between most Calvinists and most Arminians are definitions, terminology and a play on words.
     
  5. Rippon

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    No there are not merely differences in terminology. There is a big chasm between key doctrines. There is a significant difference between Total Depravity and Partial Depravity. There is an important difference between Unconditional Election and Conditional Election to name just a few. One can't just try to smooth over the vast and contradictory views of both parties as if nothing of substance mattered between their opposite teachings.
     
  6. Tom Butler

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    Non-Calvinists who try to define Calvinism should at least try to get it right. I know of no Calvinist who believes human volition is not involved.
    Otherwise the exhortations to repent and believe are meaningless.
     
    #6 Tom Butler, Jun 2, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 2, 2009
  7. drfuss

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    drfuss: I said "From a practical perspective", not a theological or doctrinal perspective. The practical perspective is really what counts unless you just want to debate.
     
  8. EdSutton

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    Personally, I don't find it contradictory, at all.

    Both 'camps' believe and teach 'Perseverance' which is of course not defined except to say that the saints 'persevere', you see, and both Calvinism and Arminianism, as systems, demand the 'right' to decide for themselves whether or not someone is 'saved' depending on whether or not some, again undefined 'standard' of someone's 'Lordship' is met by another, as seen in their 'works'. Both systems seek to bring in "works" as the final determining point, albeit it is somewhat easier to discern with Arminianism.

    Both systems are seem to embrace what is known as "Lordship Salvation" and both are in opposition to what is inaccurately known as "free grace" teachings.

    Some of the 'code words' and 'straw man' phrases include (and I've seen them several times on the BB, BTW) "we don't believe in any 'easy-believism' " (I guess they believe in some 'hard-believism' whatever that may mean.); "really (or truly or genuinely) saved" (or even worse, "really and truly saved") (Uh - where does Scripture ever speak of "falsely saved"?); or its double first cousin "really and truly believe" (Correct me if I'm wrong, here, but I believe Scripture only speaks of two categories, in this - "believe" and "believe not" in Jacobean English. I simply find no Scripture to suggest one can "partly believe", but admit I could have missed it, so help me out, here, if I am in error, on this.); "'head' belief"; "heart belief"; "fire insurance"; and on and on the "canonized rhetoric" goes.

    If this alleged standard is not met, for the Calvinist, obviously the individual is not and has never been saved in the first place, because they obviously "don't have it" because they never really had it. At least the Arminian gives two alternatives here- either they "had it" and lost it, or they never really had it in the first place, because now, at least, they "don't have it".

    What is the objective difference between "don't have it" and "don't have it" pray tell?

    I admit, I have a very difficult time telling the difference, here, between these two end points.

    Ed
     
    #8 EdSutton, Jun 2, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 2, 2009
  9. billwald

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  10. Tom Butler

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    Am I missing something? They are very nice websites, but I couldn't find anything which outlines the differences between Dutch and Presbyterian Calvinism. And you really have my curiosity stirred.
     
  11. Jim1999

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    The essence of calvinism is the absolute sovereignty of God and the order of the decrees. All theological doctrines must agree with this absolute sovereignty or it is not officially calvinism.

    Under this absolute sovereignty is the permissive will of God, and this permissive will is where the so-called "free will" exists and has its being.

    The five points are the answers to the five points of arminianism. Whilst they clearly delineate calvinism they are not the writings of Calvin.

    The Free University has always been calvinistic and its theologians the stalwarts of calvinistic theology.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  12. drfuss

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    Jim writes:
    "The essence of calvinism is the absolute sovereignty of God"

    drfuss: The essence of Arminianism is also the absolute sovereignty of God. In most cases, it is only some of the terminology and definitions that are different.
     
  13. Jim1999

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    Arminianism cannot use the word "absolute". It removes the absolute when it gives man equal power with God in so-called free will. If man has "free will" and can thwart the plan of God, How can God be absolute?

    Nothing to do with interpretation, and everything to do with definition.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  14. billwald

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    The PRACTICAL implication of Calvinism is we know that there are God's elect out there in the world who don't know it yet that they are elect. All we gots to do is tell them the good news and the Holy Spirit will do the rest. We don't need 47 verses of "Just As I Am." to convince someone to respond so that we can all go home.

    How do we know that there are these elect out there in the world? Because we are still here and Jesus has not returned. If there were no more unchurched elect then why would Jesus not return?

    On the other hand, if every person must accept or reject Jesus then Jesus can never return. because there will always be people younger than the age of responsibility or whatever and Jesus can't return until they have decided. The sign of the end would be no live births of humans for several years.
     
  15. drfuss

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    drfuss: Arminianism does not remove "absolute" from the sovereignity of God. At no time does Arminianim even suggest the man has equal power with God. Calvinists making such claims does not change the truth.

    Perhaps you could quote an Arminian that says that man has equal power with God. Obviously, the fact that the absolute sovereign God has given man some freewill does not even suggest man to be equal with God.
     
  16. Doubting Thomas

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    Good point.
     

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