What role could envy play in the salvation process?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Skandelon, Mar 7, 2011.

  1. Skandelon

    Skandelon
    Expand Collapse
    <b>Moderator</b>
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2003
    Messages:
    9,638
    Likes Received:
    0
    In Romans 11, Paul teaches, " I am talking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch as I am the apostle to the Gentiles, I make much of my ministry in the hope that I may somehow arouse my own people to envy and save some of them.

    If indeed human will doesn't play an active role in the salvation process why would Paul expect those Jews who have been hardened during his time to possibly be aroused by envy and turn to God for salvation?

    Clearly Paul believes his ministry to the Gentile people could make some Jews start thinking, "Hey, look how those unclean Gentiles have changed, they are now living well and loving others, I want what they have."

    So, I have two questions for consideration:

    1. Aren't these the same hardened Jews Paul talked about in Romans 9, in which Calvinists interpret to mean non-elect without hope of salvation? So, how could he think they might be saved later if He believed as Calvinists do?

    2. If Paul believes in an effectual calling, why would he even mention something like envy which is clearly meant to provoke man's will? What role could envy play if man's will can only be altered by effectual regeneration?
     
  2. Van

    Van
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2011
    Messages:
    9,515
    Likes Received:
    49
    Another question might be why did God harden those who did not initially believe. If they were the so-called non-elect, being without any spiritual ability, there would be no need to harden them, they would never come around and be healed.
     
  3. Skandelon

    Skandelon
    Expand Collapse
    <b>Moderator</b>
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2003
    Messages:
    9,638
    Likes Received:
    0
    Very true. It's the same question that arises when reading Mark 4 regarding Christs need to hide the gospel in parables lest they believe and repent. He doesn't want them to repent at that time because then they wouldn't crucify Him. Why would that be necessary if they were born Totally Depraved?

    But I didn't expect much Calvinistic interaction with this thread. After all, the strongest points of one's argument are not typically reflected in the portion that his opponents address, but in the portions ignored.
     
  4. webdog

    webdog
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2005
    Messages:
    24,691
    Likes Received:
    0
    <Jeopardy them continues to play>
     
  5. Andy T.

    Andy T.
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2005
    Messages:
    3,147
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have to take exception with the bolded part above. I think the human will does play an active part in salvation. Of course, you and I disagree on how that all works, but a man is not completely passive in the salvation process; he does exercise faith.

    That's certainly one interpretation to Romans 9, but not the only interpretation, now is it?

    This can be answered in the same way that critics of Calvinism often raise of "Why evangelize if the elect are going to be saved anyway?" Quite possibly, God will use envy to bring some of His elect to salvation; it is a means that God uses in saving His people (along with preaching of the Gospel, of course).
     
    #5 Andy T., Mar 9, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 9, 2011
  6. glfredrick

    glfredrick
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2010
    Messages:
    4,996
    Likes Received:
    0
    Straw man argument, Skandelon...

    You constantly harp on LFW issues and work so hard to find them, largely by bringing a stereotype of Calvinism that is not true to bear on your supposed "problem."

    Calvinism does not present a deterministic God. It holds to every part of human free will that the Scriptures share -- nothing less and nothing more -- all within the bounds that God has set on the exercise of that will, and nothing that will ultimately over-ride God's divine will.

    As long as you continue to suggest that you "know" or "understand" Calvinism, yet bring straw man arguments based on a faulty explanation of Calvinism, you mainly argue against yourself and the stereotype that you have chose to campaign. I think that you are brighter than that and should know better, but whatever is sticking in your craw about Calvinism over-rides your better judgment almost all the time. Your "ax to grind" is stuck in a stump where all can see.
     
  7. Van

    Van
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2011
    Messages:
    9,515
    Likes Received:
    49
    Strawman argument?

    Many and most threads where Calvinist defend their views you find the claim the opponent does not understand Calvinism. That behavior is more than a strawman, it is a whole bale of hay.
     
  8. Skandelon

    Skandelon
    Expand Collapse
    <b>Moderator</b>
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2003
    Messages:
    9,638
    Likes Received:
    0
    The whole point of the monergistic theology is as defined:

    –noun Theology .
    "the doctrine that the Holy Ghost acts independently of the human will in the work of regeneration."

    Of course, we all understand that the effectual calling (regeneration) in your system, will irresistibly change the will of man, but we are talking about the role of envy prior to regeneration (which I thought would be a given).

    No, its just the best, most consistent and most understandable one. :)

    But, the gospel in Calvinism is used to inform the regenerate elect and call them to be reconciled through faith, what is the purpose of envy if it's not meant to provoke man's will? I mean, if the effectual work of regeneration is all that can and ultimately will convince the will to change, what purpose could envy serve? The gospel could still serve a purpose in your system, I concede that point, but I don't see any possible purpose for envy.
     
  9. Skandelon

    Skandelon
    Expand Collapse
    <b>Moderator</b>
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2003
    Messages:
    9,638
    Likes Received:
    0
    Fredrick, you are very much like the type of Calvinist I was. I really didn't get into the philosophical aspects of the debate much (compatiblism/indeterminism/LFW etc). I can tell you don't care much for that side of the debate, and honestly I'm fine with that, but I assure you that what I'm representing is consistent with what many "compatibistic" type Calvinists believe. There are many different brands of reformed faith and if something I argue doesn't fit your brand then feel free to make that case, otherwise consistently accusing me of straw man arguments is only going to reveal your lack of understanding for some of those other more philosophical views consistent with the reformed views.

    I bet you were pretty proud of that quip, huh? Do you know what I hear when I read things like this? Someone who would rather label and dismiss me rather than deal with the legitimate question of the OP. If envy does play a role in the conversion of man, then make that case. In doing so you might learn something more about what you and I believe on the subject and walk away better informed of different aspects of this discussion. That would be a win/win.
     
  10. glfredrick

    glfredrick
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2010
    Messages:
    4,996
    Likes Received:
    0
    Unless the argument is indeed a straw man based on a stereotype of Calvinism, such as "How can God elect people and they are still not saved right now?"
     
  11. Andy T.

    Andy T.
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2005
    Messages:
    3,147
    Likes Received:
    0
    Maybe that envy is part of the regenerative process - God's convicting power working on the heart of man. I don't for minute think that God regenerates (or effectually calls) people in the same way or same manner every time - he uses our circumstances, etc. to work in different ways. He's creative like that.

    Like I said, God works in different ways with each individual. For some, he might provoke envy to bring the sinner to repentance. For others, he might work in a different way. And actually, that would be consistent with typical Arminian theology too (not yours though) - because they (most of them) believe God works on the heart of man, and I assume they too see the different ways and methods God imparts his prevenient grace to sinners.
     
  12. glfredrick

    glfredrick
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2010
    Messages:
    4,996
    Likes Received:
    0

    Now Skandelon... To be fair, I've engaged you at high levels in this quest of yours. I'm not afraid of the argument, not afraid of the philosophy, and certainly not afraid of a rebellious anthropologically-centered argument that seeks always to diminish God's sovereignty instead of magnify it. But, I call your arguments as I see them based on some understanding of your true motive, and that is seldom anything other than your stated mission of disavowing Calvinism. Making public an assumption about me, such as "you are very much like the type of Calvinist I was. I really didn't get into the philosophical aspects of the debate much (compatiblism/indeterminism/LFW etc). I can tell you don't care much for that side of the debate..." when I've proven otherwise any number of times is just BAIT to draw me and others in - -as if we really have nothing to say or no response to your, ever-so-reasoned theological point. Rrriiiiiggghht... :wavey:

    I've also gave you kudos before for being good in the debate -- you are -- but being "good" and being accurate are two different things. I find you sneaking one little term into a debate -- intentionally, for you are GOOD at debate -- in order to trap people that jump in not realizing just what you've said. They graft onto your attempt to find "common ground" which is in and of itself nothing more than an additional debate tactic that you play very well, for you are not seeking common ground at all -- you are seeking to defeat Calvinism -- and then you hammer the one who did not see your trap with another line of reasoning, often with complex questions, assumptions, straw man, and slippery slope arguments, all designed to win the debate. Good for you, but I sometimes chose to not play and to let others know what you are doing.
     
  13. Skandelon

    Skandelon
    Expand Collapse
    <b>Moderator</b>
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2003
    Messages:
    9,638
    Likes Received:
    0
    Again, it begs the question to presume your view more magnifies God. The right view more magnifies God.

    And just how do you suppose you can play the role of God by presuming what my motive is? Why make this personal? Just stick to the issue and stop speculating as to my intentions. My motive is quite clear. To debate soteriology on a Baptist Debate Forum. So, you can either engage in that debate or move on...

    I'm just calling it the way I see it. ;) Don't feel so good to have me speculating as to your intent, does it?

    I have an idea. Let's both stop with the personal discussion and talk about the question of the OP, okay?

    First, you are giving me wayyyy to much credit as a debater.

    Second, what is there to fear if you have truth?

    Third, why not engage someone who can defend the other side of this discussion with skill and veracity, maybe we will both learn something? Beats talking to the namby mamby easy believism manipulative number seeking non-Calvinists who only know how to recite John 3:16 and 2 Peter 3:9 over and over, doesn't it? Or maybe it doesn't, some don't like to venture far beyond where their pat answers can carry them.
     
  14. Skandelon

    Skandelon
    Expand Collapse
    <b>Moderator</b>
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2003
    Messages:
    9,638
    Likes Received:
    0
    So, the effectual calling itself (that secret irresistible awakening or new birth in your heart), isn't sufficient? God needs other means such as envy, signs and wonders etc? I'm just asking because I'm still not seeing what purpose they would serve.

    And where does the effectual call (regeneration) play into that? Please expound

    But arminians don't believe in a IRRESISTIBLE inward means, so envy may or may not be effective to provoke someone to change their mind...same with sign and wonders. Jesus affirms this:

    Matthew 11:21
    Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works had been done in Tyre and Sidon which were done in you, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.

    He affirms that sign and wonders, which provoke mans will to change, would have brought these ancient cities to repentance. This would have been IMPOSSIBLE if only the effectual working of regeneration has that power.
     
  15. Skandelon

    Skandelon
    Expand Collapse
    <b>Moderator</b>
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2003
    Messages:
    9,638
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ok, now that is an argument based upon the topic. Good. That is all I'm asking for.

    You are suggesting that my argument is presuming that the elect must be saved immediately, or that the elect can't go through part of their life before finally coming to the point they are regenerated.

    But, that is not what I'm presuming. I understand that Calvinist affirm the use of means and that some elect will be saved later in life.

    My question had to do with (1) Paul's intent in his discussion about those of Israel who are being temporarily hardened and (2) Paul's expectation for those hardened individuals to possibly be provoked to change their minds and be saved. While the gospel still serves a purpose in the Calvinistic system (inviting the elect, who the messengers can't pick out just by looking at them), I don't see any purpose that envy would play in the conversion of the elect at ANYTIME throughout their lives. That does not in any way presume that the elect MUST be saved immediately or that God doesn't still use purposeful means to bring the elect to salvation.
     
  16. Andy T.

    Andy T.
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2005
    Messages:
    3,147
    Likes Received:
    0
    God doesn't need anything. He could choose to save us any which way, all the same way, or not at all. For some he might use envy, for others some other means. It's all his prerogative on how to work in someone's heart. I really don't see the problem here.
     
  17. Andy T.

    Andy T.
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2005
    Messages:
    3,147
    Likes Received:
    0
    Re: Bolded statement above - that begs the question, why didn't God send any signs and wonders to the people of Tyre and Sidon so they could've repented? If that's all they needed were some miracles, why didn't God love them enough to send those miracles so they would've been saved?
     
  18. Skandelon

    Skandelon
    Expand Collapse
    <b>Moderator</b>
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2003
    Messages:
    9,638
    Likes Received:
    0
    Andy, that's not question begging. I didn't presume any point up for debate.

    If God really just wanted convince everyone through outward signs and wonders, couldn't He do that?

    Sure, he could. He could do like he did with Thomas and physically reveal himself to every doubter, or blind every anti-Christian on a road, or have every rebellious believer swallowed by a fish, or do whatever outward sign that would remove all doubt from every unbeliever. But clearly God is pleased by faith and has chosen that to be the means through which salvation is applied. "Blessed are they who don't see and still believe."

    Even those of us who affirm Libertarian Freewill acknowledge that God has in the past and may in the future intervene with circumstances (signs and wonders or whatever) to ensure a specific outcome...(i.e. inspiration of scripture, crucifixion, etc)...but to suggest that EVERY circumstance, outcome, thought, evil intent, heinous crime and sinful act is likewise determined by God only serves to (1) undermine the unique and divine attributes of those acts which SHOULD be attributed to God and (2) impugns God's Holy and sinless nature by making him appear culpable for originating sin.
     
  19. Skandelon

    Skandelon
    Expand Collapse
    <b>Moderator</b>
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2003
    Messages:
    9,638
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm honestly just trying to understand your view here. Are you arguing that God effectually draws some people through envy and other means? Is the inward secret grace of the effectual calling through regeneration not always employed to ensure this change of will? Please expound.
     
  20. Andy T.

    Andy T.
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2005
    Messages:
    3,147
    Likes Received:
    0
    You presumed that the only missing element that kept Tyre and Sidon from repenting were signs and wonders, so I was just wondering why God didn't provide that missing element?

    Was God not please with Thomas' faith?

    What about Jonah after the fish - not pleased with his faith, either?

    So why didn't God send miracles to Tyre and Sidon and likewise be pleased with their eventual faith?

    Maybe that verse needs more consideration on your part before you try to use it as a proof-text against Calvinism.
     

Share This Page

Loading...