Why should I...?

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by mindsleeve, Jun 15, 2010.

  1. mindsleeve

    mindsleeve
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    This question is not intended to start any kind of debate or argument. This is merely an attempt to help satisfy my own personal interest and understanding.

    Q: Why should I be a Calvinist? (there's actually two more questions, which follow at the end of this post)

    If the only response you have is- "You shouldn't be!", or some other snide remark- please, don't even bother posting in this thread. If you're not going to add or contribute to the conversation FOR Calvinism, then you're only going to be detracting and distracting ME from the information I am seeking. I would certainly hope that none of you hi-jack this thread, and run it into the ground with irrelevant and useless information (as some of you seem to do so often... [I've been lurking for a while, and I've seen what some of you are capable of...]).

    Again, I am looking for honest, Biblically backed and oriented reasons(in context!), arguing for Calvinism.

    Basically, this question is for the Calvinist to answer. I've heard plenty of people argue against Calvinism, and I've heard some very nasty things be said about Calvinists in general. I'm tired of hearing the unintelligible mumblings from "the other side" against Calvinist. Often people speaking against it seem to have very little, if any, idea of what Calvinism truly is.

    So please, inform me- what is the truth about Calvinism? What is the "argument" or proof for Calvinism? And why should I (or perhaps, why would I want to be) a Calvinist?

    Even thought I'm not a Calvinist, and may never be one, I would at least like to have a sound understanding of the Calvinist thought, theology, and reasoning for their beliefs.
     
  2. Ruiz

    Ruiz
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    For a Biblical and Philosophical understanding, I would highly recommend Lorraine Boetner's book "Reformed Doctrine of Predestination." As much as we could write in these forums, I believe most reformed minded people would say this is an accurate portrayal of our beliefs.

    I would be glad to exegete some of the texts involved, but today I am trying to get to a conference. As well, I do think Boetner's book does convey better the doctrine than I could write.
     
  3. blackbird

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    I don't have anything against the study of calvinism---just need to remind ourselves when we do(study calvin) we are studying something that is just a little bit less than infallable and something that falls short of inerrant

    We were reminded in seminary that there was more to the morning newspaper than just the sports section----IOW---we need to remind ourselves that there is more theology out there than beckons to be studied other than calvin

    :smilewinkgrin:
     
  4. Rippon

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    Calvinism doesn't = studying Calvin. No matter how often you're told that you seemingly have forgotten.

    Here you are just repeating your same old error.

    As an Arminian --does that you mean you study the works of Arminius?
     
  5. Ruiz

    Ruiz
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    Blackbird,

    I agree with the previous post by Rippon in that we do not study Calvin, but Calvin (and others) articulated doctrine which we believe to be Biblical. While our final and innerant authority is the Word of God, every theology has proponents who have written well on the subject to garner our attention. Dispensationalists have Scolfield, Ryrie, and Pentecost. Innerancy had B.B. Warfield, the authors of the Chicago Statement, and John MacArthur. The Trinity had a slew of authors throughout history in her defense to include Calvin.

    I see no contradiction on reading great authors who espouse doctrines so you can learn what a person says but still maintaining the Innerancy of Scripture. If I did see a contradiction, I would leave this forum as I would have no need for the interaction on the board with people who disagreed with my position.
     
  6. ReformedBaptist

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    Why should I be a Calvinist?

    I think the first and primary reason should be for the love of the truth of God's Word. We could answer this question by saying, "Well, I don't want to be a Calvinist per se, but I want to believe and obey all the Word of God and if that means the doctrine of Scripture accords with what is called Calvinism, then I want to be a Calvinist."

    All true Christians/bible-believers want to believe and obey every Word of God. Not all are going to understand election the same, or the other areas of doctrine that the subject of Calvinism deals with. But those who hold a very high regard of Holy Scripture and seek to allow the doctrines of the Word tell them their theology, are more 'calvinist' than not.

    So, it is for the love the truth that we should be a Calvinist.
     
  7. HankD

    HankD
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    Since this is a public forum, I'll give you my answer which you have already predicted.

    You should not be a "calvinist" as such.

    However I won't hijack the thread by not giving an explanation.

    Here is my explanantion:

    We are told not to identify ourselves in a competitive way with teachers of the word, by the word, pitting one against the other and/or elevating them to some kind of lofty spiritual position.

    In fact we are told that to do so is carnal behavior.

    Having said that, you should examine carefully the teachings and interpretations of the scriptures which Calvin presents and make up your own mind. Examine opposing views: e.g. Arminianism.

    Many take a position of another human being and adopt it as their own without thinking it through because somehow they think it makes them spiritual to associate themselves with a name. Not just calvinist either BTW.

    Examine the elements of calvinism and debate them (pro or con) from your own conviction and understanding and try not to be a "paul-parrot" or should I say a "calvin-parrot".

    You will find quite a few here at the BB who have done their homework .

    However, to be honest, it troubles me to see calvin vs arminius kinds of debates (but this is a debate forum after all).

    My advice FWIW is to minimizes use of his name in a debate (if possible) but debate the fundamental points e.g. Perseverance of the saints from your own scriptural study.

    You can't possibly agree with everything another man (uninspired) says, if you do, IMO you are not using any original thought and are being led of a man and not the living Spirit.

    For instance, I take a dispensational view of Scripture but I don't call my self a fan/follower (choose appropriate word) of scofield or darby or walvoord or the myriad other writers of this view. 1) Because I can't find complete agreement with any one of them and 2) it paves the way for divisivness.

    It seems to be a law of fallen human nature to "choose sides" and put to the sword those who can't repeat our pet shibboleths.

    At the bema seat I doubt that we will be given a "calvin" quiz or a "darby" quiz, but we will be examined for the "deeds done in the body
    whether they be good or bad".​

    Certainly the divisiveness caused by over zealous allegiances to dead theologians will not qualify as "good".​

    However contending for the faith (in the prescribed manner) probably will.​

    So by all means study with diligence the proposititions of calvin, arminius, wesley, spurgeon, jonathan edwards, walvoord, etc. etc... but through the lens of the word of God and try to avoid using their name in every sentence.​

    None of these men will be there at your side to defend you at the Bema seat.​

    Finally, take hold of this promise:

    James 1
    5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
    6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.
    7 For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.​

    HankD
     
  8. annsni

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    Be a student of Scripture and follow what Scripture says. That's all you need to do. The doctrines will come from Scripture.
     
  9. pinoybaptist

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    Being a Calvinist, Arminian, Reformed, or Primitive Baptist doesn't make you any more, or less, a child of God than God intends you to be.

    I am a Primitive Baptist because I agree with their doctrines and theology (though not with all their practices and views), and I believe that soteriologically their doctrine is closest to Scripture than anyone else's, Calvinists included.
     
  10. Ruiz

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    There is a standard theme that as long as you are a child of God, these other beliefs are not really that important. I disagree. If theology is unimportant then life is unimportant. A theologian once said to me, "If you do not see how practical a theology is then you do not truly understand the theology."

    Theology is important. While there exists essential theology and non-essential, theology still holds an importance.
     
  11. Winman

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    You've already made up your mind, why do you need anyone else's opinions? You have made it clear you are not interested in any opinion that does not support Calvinism.

    Would you call that open minded?
     
  12. Ruiz

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    He has not made up his mind, in fact he seemed to imply that he was not a Calvinist. I can understand his viewpoint. There have been many times that I focused my studies on something that I disagreed but only wanted to read from people who actually believed it even though I didn't. When I study atheism, I often read their scholars (not their wannabe scholars like Hitchens or Dawkins). Why? Unfortunately, many Christians seem to mis-characterize their view. While I am a proud Christian, such research helps me to truly talk to people who read them rather than focusing my attention on what my people say they say.
     
  13. mindsleeve

    mindsleeve
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    Perhaps I wasn't clear enough in my OP, so I will reiterrate for you-
    At this moment in time, within this specific thread, my focus is to hear from the Calvinist/Predestination mindset regarding said subject (Calvinist theology). I'm opening my mind, eyes, ears, and heart to them so that I can have a better understanding from people who live their Christian walk by such theology. I'm very interested in just about everyone's opinion, I simply don't want EVERYBODY's opinion regarding this subject, at this point in time, in this specific thread.

    Need I explain that more so to you?


    -------------------------------------


    Thank you Ruiz, for understanding where I'm coming from, and why.


    -------------------------------------



    HankD- Thank you for your opinion and your post. I appreciate your reply, commentary, and honest opinion. Frankly, I find myself in agreement with you, and have held the same/similar mindset since I became a Christian. And you were the opposite of what I predicted- I was aiming to avoid the pointless one-line remarks which only seem to reduce these types of conversations into bitter namecalling and proverbial feces throwing contests.
     
  14. Tom Butler

    Tom Butler
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    Many of my Calvinist friends and I would prefer another term besides Calvinist.

    However, it is a useful shorthand to describe what we believe about election and grace. It's not quite satisfactory to Baptists, since we disagree with him about baptism.

    The same with the term Reformed, because it is associated with Presbyterians, and often with covenant theology and elder-led church government. (I do recognize that some Baptists have adopted that ecclesiology, though)

    I describe myself as a Doctrine of Gracer, but somehow DOG-er doesn't quite fit either.

    Some have adopted the term Biblicist, but it does come across as a big smug. First, it suggests that those who disagree don't appeal to scripture, and we know that's not true. Those on this board make the strongest arguments for their position from the Bible.

    I think the best I can say is that I came to the same conclusions about the Five Points that Calvin did. Not from reading what he wrote, but by searching the scriptures.
     
  15. Peggy

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    I'm definitely not a Calvinist.

    Calvin was, as someone pointed out, neither inerrant nor infallible.

    The doctrine of predestination is really the sticking point with me.

    Joh 3:16 "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

    Mat 28:19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
    Mat 28:20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age."
     
  16. pinoybaptist

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    If you were replying to my comment, then let me state the following.

    Theology IS important, that is why I am a Primitive Baptist, instead of a Reformed Baptist, or any other Calvinist stripe, and that is also why I am not an Arminian.

    If theology were something I did not consider important, then I would not drive 80 miles back and forth to attend church with my brethren every Sunday, nor drive 100's of miles to attend union meetings with other of my fellow Primitive Baptists.

    However, if, and this is not entirely impossible, especially if someone does not realize the depth of God's mercy (which the OP, I know, does), it is theology that should be the measuring stick for the possession of eternal salvation, then that is not at all true.
     
  17. John Toppass

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    I am not sure why you ask a question and only want the answer you wish to hear. Maybe this should be moved to the "Other Denominations" part of this forum since you are not a Baptist and this is the Baptist only section.
    I hope you find the truth you are seeking.
     
  18. ReformedBaptist

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    First, Calvinism has nothing to do with John Calvin. If we can finally put that to rest, maybe we can understand each other.

    The doctrine of predestination and the doctrine of elect (to some they are the same) is a biblical doctrine. No one with a BIble, and who has read teh Bible, can with any honesty say that the Bible does not teach concerning election or does not teach concerning predestination.

    Now, it is obvious that men and women of good Christian character and filled with the Holy Spirit, differ in their understanding of these doctrines, but no Bible-believer can deny them without denying the Word of God.

    In response to the Scriptures you have posted, any bible-believer, and I am one, loves and agrees and does not question a single word of em. WHile I believe that John 3:16 is probably one of the most misunderstood verse of the Bible (since its one of the most well-known) there is a general agreement to it...namely that God the Father sent His Son into the world to save sinners.

    There is not a bible-beleiver on earth, calvinist or not, that would not agree with that statement or spill his or her life's blood for it. THis is what God teaches and says in His book...and I say it again, that God the Father sent Jesus Christ into the world to save sinners.

    Nor is there a bible-believer on earth that does not believe that mission of Christians is to evangelize the world, and that we ought to by God's grace and power go out preach the everlasting GOspel of Jesus Christ to every creature as God gives us strength to do so. THat we should baptize them, make disciples of them, teach them everything Jesus said, and be comforted in the knowledge that HE is with us, even to the end of the age.

    Nor should there be a bible-believer, and I know of none, who denies the following:

    Ephesians 1
    3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:

    4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:

    5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,

    6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.


    I recently began teaching theology to my older children, ages 12 and 10, and we have begun with these verses and with the doctrine of election and predestination.

    I have told them that election and predestination are the most hated doctrines of the Bible, or else the ones most Christians don't want to talk about or think about. But I asked them the following:

    1. Does the Bible talk about election? Yes.
    2. Does the Bible talk about predestination? Yes.
    3. Is the Bible man's ideas, or God-breathed Scripture, the very speaking of God Himself? (the last one daddy..) haha
    4. Should we then neglect to listen to God about election and predestination? No.
    5. Is God good and just and holy and perfect? Yes?
    6. Is our understanding? No.
    7. If God taught us concerning election and predestination in the Bible, then does He want us to understand it? Yes.


    And so on I encouraged them to be pre-disposed to a positive view of the doctrine of election and predestination. Why? Because there are too many ignorant, foolish, opnionated Christians out there that would get to them before I could and predispose them depise this doctrine, and this despise the Word of God.

    Notice I have made no mention of JOhn Calvin, Calvinism, or anything like it. Why not? Because the Bible's teaching concerning our election and predestination isn't about John Calvin, or Calvinism, it is about the Holy Triune God acting in salvation in Himself, for HIs glory.

    And that's how it should be. Now, eventually I will instruct them concerning the polemics of the subject...but NOT before they are able to see and apprehend the beauty and majesty of God in HIS doctrine of election and predestination. No, I will not rob them of that...that others have sought to rob me of in my walk with Jesus.
     
  19. righteousdude2

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    Why ?!?!? BECAUSE...

    ... I do not believe that my slavation can be lost, taken away, or removed.

    I've been adopted into the family of God through the blood of Jesus, and as His adopted child, I will, forever, have the right to call God, Father; and Jesus, Lord!!!

    Pastor Paul :type:
     
  20. mindsleeve

    mindsleeve
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    Is it not folly on your behalf to assume that I'm not a baptist, based solely on my forum account missing some information?

    And perhaps I'm failing to see something, but I do not understand what you mean by "only want the answer you wish to hear". Are you reading something between my lines that doesn't exist? If you are, please don't. I'm not looking for one answer. I'm not looking to tickle my ears, or to re-affirm any kind of previous belief or understanding. I'm looking for people who consider themselves "Calvinist" (as in the 5-points of TULIP) to help me further understand "Calvinism" as a whole. The Internet is an information rich resource on the subject, but I would much rather prefer the first-hand accounts and knowledge of people that I can speak with in an all-most-real-time environment.

    As I've stated previously, twice now, I am not a "Calvinist". I'm not looking to propagate or perpetuate "Calvinist" theology, doctrine, or ideas. I'm looking to expand my personal understanding and knowledge of the subject. And at this moment in time, the only source I wish to draw from is "Calvinist"s themselves. As time draws on, I will be looking into arguments and information against the subject at hand.

    I will not willy-nilly just accept something because one other person has told me, "This is the way it is." I am going to compare, contrast, and test everything that comes onto my plate; and I'm going to test those things against Scripture. I'm looking for biblical truth- in as much as I can find from peers and considerably more educated persons. If it's the truth, and myself with Scripture cannot find any grounds to dismiss it, then I'll cling to that truth until the day I die (or until proven otherwise). And if it's garbage, guess what? I'm going to throw it away, the same way I throw The Watchtower publication away every time a JW comes pounding on my door trying to "educate" me.
     

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