Who Is A Moderate Calvinist?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by TCGreek, Jul 17, 2007.

  1. TCGreek

    TCGreek
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    On another thread someone quipped that he was a moderate calvinist.

    I know Dr. Norm Geisler makes the same claim. But what he really is is a confused Arminian. Read his Chosen But Free in light of classic Arminianism and you will see that my evaluation is not to be malicious at all.

    It's like a pastor friend of mine who said he was an Arminian/Calvinist. Now that is being rather creative!
     
    #1 TCGreek, Jul 17, 2007
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  2. pinoybaptist

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    A less-than-5-points Calvinist ?
     
  3. Allan

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    I think they are just trying to be honest about their positions. They do not completely hold to the full Calvinistic paradigm but at the same time are not specifically in line with the Arminians.

    I think they (like myself) see BOTH the Soveriegnty of God regarding Calvinism AND the Responsiblity of Man infrenced by Arminianism, but we see neither adequately address the full counsil of God regarding His Word. Each theology is more preferential to ones view of how they percieve scritpure.

    Spurgeon stated that even 'he' sees in part the "Soveriegnty" and in another "mans freedom" but doesn't believe (nor do I) that any man can bring them into proper biblical harmony this side of Heaven. They have always been because that is what God has desired to be so. But why? IMO - it is because they are counter balances, in which the free-will doesn't allow for God to be the author of sin nor does Sovereignty allow man any righteous measure to himself. Unless we see both at once we will give a lopsided view of God.

    IMO - Both views help us keep a proper visage of God from the scripture while at the same time challenging us to grow more in our maturity of Christ by having another equal and opposite iron by which to sharpen ourselves. I'm not saying BOTH are right or that only one is abosutely right, but I feel they both have great truths that must be hammered out in our own spiritual walk and accountablility before God.
     
  4. Allan

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    I agree one is hard pressed to truly call themselves a Calvinist if they do not hold to all 5 points.

    However, if Calvinism is just a 'nickname' then the term 'moderate' can be added to identify that they hold the concepts of Calvinism with only slight devation that does not undermine it's core principles.
     
  5. TCGreek

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    I will honestly have to say that this is the best post that I have ever read from you, Allan.:thumbs:

    I too am quite aware of the tensions of Scripture.

    One of the commentators and NT scholars I enjoy reading is Douglas Moo. He is always careful to stress what the Scriptures say. And though he is a Calvinist, he is aware of the tensions of Scripture.

    I too see a need for a balance between the Sovereignty of God and the responsibility of man. But as far as salvation is concern, there is no doubt in my mind that it is wholly of God, the monoergistic.
     
  6. christianyouth

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    That has often bothered me. I do not understand how God's sovreignty and human responsibility exist concomitantly as they do in the Scriptures. However, we have to believe that God would not leave us a book that was ambigious. So, if this is true, that there are many verses supporting Free Will and Calvinism, then we might as well join the emerging Church and start subscribing to Biblical Relativism.
     
  7. 2 Timothy2:1-4

    2 Timothy2:1-4
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    I have never seen an arminian on this board. I am curious who such would be.
     
  8. Humblesmith

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    Who is a moderate Calvinist? While I make no claims to be expert on anything, I would say the following would be in the vein of moderate Calvinist:

    "...an agent may be determined with inevitable certainty as to his acts, and yet those acts remain free..." (Charles Hodge, Systematic Theology)

    "The sinner is free in accepting or rejecting the invitations of the gospel. If the accepts them, he does so freely under the actuation of the Holy Spirit." (W. G. T. Shedd, Dogmatic Theology)

    "Though actuated by the Holy Spirit, the will is nevertheless a self-moving and uncompelled faculty. Holy inclination is the will's right self-motion because of the Divine actuation, or 'God's working in the will to will.'" (W. G. T. Shedd, Dogmatic Theology)

    “The call will include the response of saving faith, which in its experimental exercise will be to each individual as the unaided action of his own free will. Having thus decreed human free will as a necessary step in the fulfilling of all His eternal purpose, it becomes as essential in the sight of God as any other link in the chain.” (L. S. Chafer, Systematic Theology)

    "While the unaided human will cannot believe unto salvation, nonetheless, all who are willing to receive God's gift of salvation are aided by His grace to this end. He not only wants all to be saved, but He provides the ability for all who desire it (Phil.2:13). Our free choice does not initiate (1 John 3:19) and cannot attain (John 1:13) the unmerited gift of salvation, but by God's grace (Eph. 2-8-9) our will can receive it (John 1:12; 3:16-18). (Norman Geisler, Systematic Theology)

    I don't pretend that these brief quotes are an exhaustive presentation of these men's views. There is much more to their presentations. But I think it does show that there is a tradition of "moderate Calvinism," which I"ve been told that some writers have denied ever existed.


    And guys, I'm sorry, but I find the back-and-forth on this issue to be rather tiring. I don't plan on debating it endlessly.
     
    #8 Humblesmith, Jul 17, 2007
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  9. TCGreek

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    1. One doesn't have to veer off into biblical relativism because of the tensions of Scripture.

    2. I encourage to take a more balanced view of the Scriptures. When you see the sovereignty of God, preach that, and when you see the responsibility of man, preach that.

    3. Don't make the mistake of confusing freewill with human responsibility. There is really no such thing as freewill. That freewill is a misnomer.
     
  10. StefanM

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    I would consider myself generally to be an Arminian. I do believe in perseverance, so perhaps on that one point I am "Calvinistic." The remonstrants, though, weren't even certain on possibility of the loss of salvation.

    Basically, I reject the ULI of TULIP, and I deny the Calvinistic application of T. I believe in prevenient grace instead.

    I know that it's common to hear "I'm neither!" or "I'm a moderate Calvinist." I think this positions aren't helpful.

    The question to answer is simple: do you affirm the concept of individual, unconditional election?

    If yes, you are a Calvinist of some stripe. If not, you are probably an Arminian (or possibly Pelagian, if you go to far).
     
  11. drfuss

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    drfuss: Another question is "What is an Arminian"? Is it someone who is not a Calvinist? There are many different beliefs that come under what some call Arminian. This atempt to lump them all together has led to many misunderstandings.

    IMO, to be considered a Calvinist, one must believe in TUIP which are the basic tenets of Calvinism. A so called "One Point Calvinist" should consider himself an OSAS Christian and not any type of Calvinist or Arminian.
     
  12. christianyouth

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    You're always helpful :thumbs:
     
  13. StefanM

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    The Remonstants themselves weren't sure about the loss of salvation. Later Arminians were the ones who came down on the side believing in the potential loss of salvation. Someone who denies the basic tenets of Calvinism while believing in perseverance is pretty similar to a classic Arminian.
     
  14. npetreley

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    Can you be a no-point Calvinist?
     
  15. Jkdbuck76

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    You get a star by your name, Allan.
     
  16. IfbReformer

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    I would call myself a moderate Calvinist - but I more prefer the term soverign grace believer. I don't want to get in the business of defending everything Calvin believed as I disagree with a great deal that he wrote. In fact if I had to take sides between Luther and Calvin and would more often side with Luther than Calvin.(although on a few things I agree with Calvin more than Luther).

    I believe unconditional election is the true issue - do we believe in that or not? The other 4 points people will disagree on. Any true Arminian I have ever met does not believe in unconditional election.

    Total Depravity - Does this mean an unbeliever can never do anything good or righteous? It is often misunderstood that way. It just means an unbeliever is incapable of accepting the true God and the true faith without the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit and the infusion of faith from God.

    Unconditional Election - As I pointed out earlier I believe this is the heart of Calvinism or Soverign Grace teaching as I like to call it. We are choosen before the foundations of time not because God saw us believe in the future but just because he choose us - After his choice he caused us to believe. God could have left all us all to die in our sin, but he graciously choose to save his elect.

    Limited Atontement - This one makes sense to me logically but I have a hard time supporting it Biblically and this one can be a difficult one to preach on as it can be easily misunderstood.

    Irresistable Grace - This makes complete sense Biblically as no man stop the plan of God. Yes we can grieve the Holy Spirit after salvation, but if God wants us to be his we will be his. Every man that the father has drawn will come to the Son.

    Perseverance of the Saints - This is one that I disagree with, especially when defined by classic Calvinists as well as some modern ones like MacArther and Piper. My contention is that while we may persevere in belief(I believe we can never loose that belief no matter how far we may stray) - we will not always perservere holiness and godliness. In fact we may fall into a backslidden state and never recover before we meet our death. It is an unfortunate reality of the Christian walk.

    When I hear the arguments like this "Is not God capable of bringing all his elect to practical righteousness in the here and now?" - I say Amen he can do anything!

    Its not what he can do, it is what he does do, and what he allows to happen.

    Yes God will complete the good work he has begun in all his elect as the scriptures say. But it does not say he will always complete it (practical sanctification) on this side of eternity. Sadly some of his elect do grieve the Spirit with their lives and do not live up to full potential they could have been for him.

    IFBReformer
     
    #16 IfbReformer, Jul 18, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 18, 2007
  17. drfuss

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    drfuss: My understanding is that the Romonstants added to Arminius beliefs that a Christian could forfeit (not lose) his salvation by deciding to stop trusting in Christ. No one knows what Arminius actually believed concerning forfeiting one's salvation because his writings do not address the issue.

    It was John Wesley who, by his Wesleyian Arminian magazine, promulgated the belief that a Christian could lose his salvation while still believing in Christ.
     
  18. IfbReformer

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    I agree that too many people are often labeled as Arminians. The heart of Arminian teaching is the rejection of unconditional election in favor of conditional election, and likewise the heart of Calvinism is the belief in unconditional election. Thats it! The other 4 points in each system grow out of support for either unconditional election or conditional election election.

    It is true that many Arminians(those who reject unconditional election) do believe in eternal security(thus rejecting the possible loss of salvation) of some Arminians. But the heart of the matter still revolves around one's position on election.

    IFBReformer
     
  19. StefanM

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    They weren't completely certain on the forfeiting, but you are correct in your general assessment of the issue of the loss of salvation.


    Source: http://www.apuritansmind.com/Creeds/ArminianArticles.htm

    (not a friendly source!)




     
  20. saturneptune

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    Moderate Calvinist? That is kind of like being a little pregnant. But wait, I was a 4point Calvinist before I wasn't a 5. Thats why I voted for Kerry.
     

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