Whom He Will He Hardeneth

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by J.D., Feb 26, 2010.

  1. J.D.

    J.D.
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    For the record, I do not believe in "active reprobation". This is the doctrine that God actively prevents people from believing that would otherwise believe. I am not offended by that doctrine, but I do not find it fully supported by scripture.

    So let's talk about what the Bible actually means when it says that God hardens people's hearts.

    Most reformed/calvinistic people such as myself believe that the way the God hardens is by simply allowing sinners to go on in their sinful ways, adding sin to sin in their rebellious hearts. I think even non-calvinistic people can agree to that definition.

    Now, if we can all agree that, in fact, God hardens hearts, then can we all agree that conversly God softens hearts. And if God softens hearts, why does he not soften all hearts?
     
  2. Revmitchell

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    And this is where we disagree. God does soften all hearts. The reformed say if He did then all would be saved. Non-reformed say that God can soften hearts and He can also allow them to reject Him. He has the power and authority to do that and it is his way.

    Those hearts he hardens as you so aptly defined; are done so after much rejection. Example Israel was hardened after they rejected Him.

    But we also have a responsibility in the hardening of our hearts (Hebrews 3:8-12).

    God opens our hearts to believe but we also have a responsibility in our believing. This does not negate that God opens our hearts toward Him (John 1:11-12).

    The credit for salvation is given to Him who has the power and authority to give it and no one else regardless of the responsibility on our part (John 1:13).
     
  3. J.D.

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    Can you provide a proof text? Also, since the Romans 9 passage is based on the Moses/Pharaoh scenario, can you find any indication that God ever softened Pharaoh's heart?
     
  4. Skandelon

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    Unusual as it may seem, but I, as the non-Calvinist, disagree with you on this point. God does in fact blind people from the truth to keep them from believing. Here is the biblical support for this:

    Mk 4:10 When he was alone, the Twelve and the others around him asked him about the parables. 11 He told them, "The secret of the kingdom of God has been given to you. But to those on the outside everything is said in parables 12 so that, " 'they may be ever seeing but never perceiving, and ever hearing but never understanding; otherwise they might turn and be forgiven!' "

    If Jesus didn't hide the truth in parables they "might turn and be forgiven."

    Jn 12:39 For this reason they could not believe, because, as Isaiah says elsewhere: 40 "He has blinded their eyes and deadened their hearts, so they can neither see with their eyes, nor understand with their hearts, nor turn--and I would heal them."

    Why couldn't they believe? Because they were being blinded...not because they were born Totally Depraved.

    There are many more, but this should suffice for now.

    I discuss the way in which God blinds people from the truth HERE. So, I don't only believe God is letting them go on in their sinful ways, as you stated, but more than that, he also is actively blinding them from the truth which might convince them to repent. God might not want them to repent for a time in order to accomplish a greater purpose through their rebellion (i.e. Pharaoh, Israel, Judas etc)

    There are several issues here.

    1. Calvinism assumes that men are born in a "hardened" condition...i.e. "unable to see, hear, understand and believe the gospel truth"

    But, scripture teaches that men GROW hardened, or BECOME hardened over a period of active rebellion against the clear revelation of God.

    2. Because of their view of Totally Depravity (#1); Calvinism assumes that men's heart must be "soften" or "regenerated", in order for man to see, hear, understand and repent when confronted by the Gospel truth.

    But, scripture teaches that the gospel IS the power of God unto salvation, it is the message of reconciliation, it is the life giving truth that can set man free. It IS the means of "softening" ones heart, though it is not "irresistible." In that sense, God does "soften" all hearts because he send the message to all peoples. He draws all people to himself.
     
    #4 Skandelon, Feb 26, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 26, 2010
  5. Revmitchell

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    wooow...don't just cut out a small snipet of what I said. Address the points I made. It will address even this question. Then we can move to this if you still like.
     
  6. Skandelon

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    What "softens" the heart? Being able to clearly see the truth. The plagues are clearly demonstrating the truth that Moses was sent by God to free Israel. Pharaoh can't see that obvious truth because (1) he doesn't want to let his slave labor go (self hardening...or stubbornness) and (2) because God is blinding him. Surely a few of those plagues could have convinced a stubborn man's desire to keep his slaves, but God didn't want Pharaoh to let the people go too soon. God wanted to make his power known and he wanted to teach the world through the foreshadowing of the Passover. So, what did He do? He blinded Pharaoh so that he could not see the obvious truth.

    So, to answer your question. How does God "soften" the heart? He just lets him see the truth. He just stops blinding him from what the plagues are already revealing. That would convince anyone!
     
  7. kyredneck

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    Agreed! Although it would have been feigned obedience on their part.

    4 Thus said Jehovah my God: Feed the flock of slaughter;
    7 So I fed the flock of slaughter......
    12 .....So they weighed for my hire thirty pieces of silver. Zech 11

    "That generation' was the 'flock of slaughter', and parables is what He fed them.
     
  8. Skandelon

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    If their obedience wouldn't be genuine, as you presume upon this text, then explain why he says that he would forgive them?
     
  9. Winman

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    I agree with this statement, God only hardens the most rebellious types after he gives them every opportunity to believe. Look at Pharaoh, probably the most obstinate and proud man in history. Look how many tremendous miracles and plagues he witnessed with his own eyes over many weeks or months and still continued to rebel. These are the type that God allows to be deceived and believe a lie.

    Rom 1:28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;

    2 Thess 2:11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:
    12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.


    God is very loving, merciful, and ready to forgive. But at some point a man can cross the line and God will allow them to be deceived or blinded. He is actually giving the man exactly what he wants.

    Rev 2:20 Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols.
    21 And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not.
    22 Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds.

    God gave Jezebel space to repent but she would not. So I believe God gives every man a chance to repent, but at some point a man crosses the line.
     
    #9 Winman, Feb 26, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 26, 2010
  10. kyredneck

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    5 They have dealt corruptly with him, they are not his children, it is their blemish; They are a perverse and crooked generation.
    20 And he said, I will hide my face from them, I will see what their end shall be: For they are a very perverse generation, Children in whom is no faithfulness. Dt 32

    39 But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given it but the sign of Jonah the prophet:
    41 The men of Nineveh shall stand up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and behold, a greater than Jonah is here.
    42 The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and behold, a greater than Solomon is here.
    45 Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more evil than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man becometh worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this evil generation. Mt 12

    40 And with many other words he testified, and exhorted them, saying, Save yourselves from this crooked generation. Acts 2
     
  11. Skandelon

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    How does that answer the question, "If their obedience wouldn't be genuine, as you presume upon this text, then explain why he says that he would forgive them?"
     
  12. J.D.

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    While it is correct that God hardened Pharaoh for historical purposes, nevertheless Pharaoh died unrepentent as far as we know. There's no indication that God ever softened Pharaoh's heart. And you admit that God was able to soften his heart, but He didn't. Didn't God want to save Pharaoh?

    If God is able to soften hearts, then why doesn't he soften all hearts? If He is trying to save everyone, then why would he harden their hearts?
     
  13. Skandelon

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    Does God want to effectually/irresistibly save Pharaoh? No, otherwise He would have done it. God wants all men to repent and come to faith by their own choice.

    If Pharaoh rejects God's revelations of himself again and again, is God unjust to blind him from further revelations of himself so as to accomplish a greater purpose of redemption for the world? I say no. So does Paul in Romans 9. This also goes for God's hardening of the Israelites in Paul's day.


    Because God doesn't want a heavenly host of robots. He is not "trying" to save everyone and failing. He is providing reconciliation for the world and desires for all in the world to be reconciled. If they resist and refuse to believe they will suffer the consequences.
     
  14. kyredneck

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    IMO, 'forgiving' them in the passage you're referring too is alluding to NOT destroying them; not unlike the reasoning with the destruction of Sodom, to which that generation is compared to more than once in the scriptures:

    23 And Abraham drew near, and said, Wilt thou consume the righteous with the wicked?
    24 Peradventure there are fifty righteous within the city: wilt thou consume and not spare the place for the fifty righteous that are therein?
    25 That be far from thee to do after this manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked, that so the righteous should be as the wicked; that be far from thee: shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?
    26 And Jehovah said, If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare all the place for their sake.
    27 And Abraham answered and said, Behold now, I have taken upon me to speak unto the Lord, who am but dust and ashes:
    28 peradventure there shall lack five of the fifty righteous: wilt thou destroy all the city for lack of five? And he said, I will not destroy it, if I find there forty and five.
    29 And he spake unto him yet again, and said, Peradventure there shall be forty found there. And he said, I will not do it for the forty`s sake.
    30 And he said, Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak: peradventure there shall thirty be found there. And he said, I will not do it, if I find thirty there.
    31 And he said, Behold now, I have taken upon me to speak unto the Lord: peradventure there shall be twenty found there. And he said, I will not destroy it for the twenty`s sake.
    32 And he said, Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak yet but this once: peradventure ten shall be found there. And he said, I will not destroy it for the ten`s sake. Gen 18
     
  15. Skandelon

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    On what basis do you make this comparison? Is there something in the text itself that refers to this? Is there a commentary that makes this argument so I can study it further?
     
  16. kyredneck

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    And their dead bodies lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also their Lord was crucified. Rev 11:8
     
  17. Skandelon

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    I have the feeling you are just picking random verses and quoting them to avoid the subject. I've asked very specific and concise questions, if you don't want to respond just say so...or don't respond. Again, is their a commentary you can recommend that teaches this about Mark 4 regarding the parables or are you making this up as you go along to annoy me? ;-)
     
  18. kyredneck

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    You've totally lost me. This is the first you've mentioned of Mark 4; I thought we were discussing the hardening of 'that generation' through parables and comparing it to scriptures in the OT. I deeply resent your accusations that I am trying to avoid the subject and making this up as I go and trying to annoy you. I was actually enjoying it until now. I have answered your questions. But I'll do it no more.

    End of dialog.
     
  19. Skandelon

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    Mark 4:10 was quoted in my 4th post and it talks about the parables, which is the subject of our discussion.

    It concludes by saying, "...otherwise they might turn and be forgiven!'" To which you said you agreed but that they would just be pretending to obey and then you quoted Zech 11.

    I asked, "If their obedience wouldn't be genuine, as you presume upon this text, then explain why he says that he would forgive them?"

    You responded by quoting from 3 texts (Dt, Mt, Acts), none of which appeared to me to address this question.

    So I asked for clarity and you said that "forgiveness" in this passage meant to "not destroy," and you quoted another passage which again appear to be completely unrelated. I asked how the passages were connected and for any commentary on Mark 4 that argues your point so I could study it further sense you were not making the connection for me.

    You quoted, without any explanation a verse from Rev, that once again didn't in any way seem to address my questions.

    With regard to you "making things up as you go along," I put a winking smiling after that to indicate I was joking. I was just trying to say, "Where are you getting this? What view are you arguing? Who else argues this?" Understand?
     
  20. kyredneck

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    You asked:

    [between Sodom and 'that generation' (I presumed)] To which I responded:

    Then you began to make your accusations to which I have zilch tolerance for.
     

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