Wrong conclusions

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by Pioneer, Dec 12, 2001.

  1. Pioneer

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    It is wrong to conclude that if one is not a Calvinist then he/she must be an Arminian.

    It is wrong to conclude that if one is not an Arminian then he/she must be a Calvinist.

    John 3:16 is the most well known verse in the Bible. "For God so the loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whosever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life."

    Here are some right conclusions:

    #1 - Christ died for the sins of the whole world
    #2 - God wants the whole world to be saved.
    #3 - Salvation comes to whosoever believeth in Christ.
    #4 - God has provided salvation in Christ, man must accept that salvation in order to have everlasting life.
     
  2. Chick Daniels

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    When you flip a coin, you get either heads or tails. Relative to the five points of Calvinism, you either accept them or reject them. There isn't a middle ground with a warm fuzzy label like "Biblicist." Such an attempt is usually the result of gross over-simplification of the issue, as you have done using John 3:16. What about these verses:
    2 Thess. 2:13 "...because God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through the sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth."
    Ephesians 1:4-5 "...He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will"

    Here are some right conclusions:

    #1. God chose us by His will before we were born.
    #2. This choice was His choice for our salvation.
    #3. His predetermined will made us adopted as His Sons.
    #4. This was accomplished by means of Jesus Christ, and by means of the sanctifying work of the Spirit, causing faith on the part of the sinner.

    Chick
     
  3. Pastor Larry

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    I think the issue is an either/or situation: Either you believe God is sovereign or you believe that he isn't. If God is sovereign, then he works all things after the counsel of his own will. How many things can you leave out of "all things" and still have "all things"? None. Therefore, even salvation must be worked out by God according to the counsel of his own will. Chick is right that there is no legitimate middle ground. However, some have tried to forge it and end up being inconsistent.

    The other issue is depravity. If you believe that man's sin has affected every area of his being so that he cannot do anything that would merit redemption or standing with God, it must of necessity affect his will. Many verses make it clear that man is dead in trespasses and sins and does not seek after God. Scripture is also clear that whoseover will may come. These two are not contradictory because whosoever will may come. The truth is that the desire of the will is brought about by God himself.

    Right conclusions:

    1. God is sovereign.
    2. Man is depraved.
     
  4. DocCas

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    To say that one must be either a Calvinist or an Arminian is to over simplify the issue. To suggest Soteriology is similar to flipping a coin is a false analogy. While a coin may only have two sides (well, actually it has at least three, all 3 dimensional objects do, it is just that the 3rd dimension is so small that its landing on that side is highly unlikely, almost as unlikely as Calvinists not calling people who disagree with them names! [​IMG]), if you use another illustration of, say, rolling a die, you would then have one of six sides to fall on. In Logic this is called the Inductive Fallacy of the False Analogy. To try to compare the wonderfully complex doctrine of Soteriology to a simple two sided coin (or even a six sided die) is to compare dissimilar events. [​IMG]

    Commonly, most people don't understand what either Calvinism or Arminianism really is! There are even more variants to Arminianism than there are to Calvinism.

    Personally I accept some (if not most) aspects of all of the Five Heads of Doctrine of the Canons of the Synod of Dort, which have been condensed down to the overly simplistic "5 Points" or "TULIP." But, bear in mind, each of the Five Heads has several subsections. The First Head, "Of Divine Predestination" has 18 subsections! The Second Head, "Of the Death of Christ, and the Redemption of Men thereby" has 9 subsections. The Third and Fourth Heads, "Of the Corruption of Man, His Conversion to God, and the Manner thereof" has 17 subsections! And the Fifth Head, "Of the Perseverance of the Saints" has 15 subsections! To try to condense the great Biblical doctrine of Soteriology into 5 simple sentences is to do a grave injustice to the Gospel and to the command to study to show ourselves approved.

    If we would actually talk to one another instead of throwing insults, ad hominem, and floods of bible verses and other quotes around, perhaps we could all come to see the other persons point of view, and even see that we may not be as far apart as we make ourselves appear to be by our invective. [​IMG]

    But, for some odd reason (I suspect it is the sin nature) we would rather argue and attack than discuss and seek consensus. "Come now, let us reason together, saith the Lord."
     
  5. Chick Daniels

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    And yet if you go back and look at what I wrote, Thomas, you would see that I was not reducing Soteriology as a whole to a coin-flip. I was saying that each point of TULIP is either accepted or rejected. You have indicated that you have accepted "some (if not most) aspects" articulated in the 5 points. Furthermore, I agree with you that there should be no throwing of insults, ad hominem, etc., but I will plead guilty for using verses as there is all too often on this board a lack of Scripture used ;)

    Best wishes in Christian love with no invective and no hard feelings and full desire to love each other in Christ as we discuss these issues,

    Chick

    :D
     
  6. DocCas

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    Now, on the other side of the coin, I wonder how many have read the "Articuli Arminiani sive Remonstrantia" or, "The Five Arminian Articles of Remonstrance" of 1610?

    Article I states: That God, by an eternal and unchangeable purpose in Jesus Christ His Son, before the foundation of the world, hath determined, out of the fallen, sinful race of men, to save in Christ, for Christ's sake and through Christ, those who through the grace of the Holy Spirit, shall believe on this His Son and shall persevere in this faith and obedience of faith, through this grace, even to the end; and on the other hand to leave the incorrigible and unbelieving in sin and under wrath, and to condemn them as alienate from Christ, according to the word of the Gospel in John 3:36: "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God adideth on him", and according to other passages of Scripture also.

    Article III, "That man has not saving grace of himself, nor of the energy of his free will, inasmuch as he, in the state of apostasy and sin, can of and by himself neither think, will, nor do any thing that is truly good (such as saving Faith eminently is); but that it is needful that he be born again of God in Christ, through His Holy Spirit, and renewed in understanding, inclination, or will, and all his powers, in order that he may rightly understand, think, will, and effect what is truly good, according to the Word of Christ, John 15:5 "Without me ye can do nothing."

    Do these two articles make all believers "Two Point Arminians?" [​IMG]
     
  7. Michael Wrenn

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    Thomas,

    That is one of the most sensible posts I have ever read. Thanks! [​IMG]
     
  8. Michael Wrenn

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    ThomaS,

    I was referring to the 12:49 p.m. post; I hadn't read the second one when I replied. ;)
     
  9. DocCas

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    Well, the second one was sensible too! :D
     
  10. Chris Temple

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Thomas Cassidy:
    Now, on the other side of the coin, I wonder how many have read the "Articuli Arminiani sive Remonstrantia" or, "The Five Arminian Articles of Remonstrance" of 1610?
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    The articles of remonstrance merely affirm soteriological synergism, which is exactly the position modern anti-Calvinists affirm, justifying the name Arminian.
     
  11. rlvaughn

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    Thomas, you have made some very sensible observations that ought to be considered. It is just too narrow and simplistic to say that one is either a Calvinist or an Arminian. The facts of people's theology (regardless of whether they are right or wrong) just prove this is not so! For some reason it generally seems to be those of the Calvinistic persuasion that usually say if you're not a Calvinist you are an Arminian. I wonder why that is? Anyone have any ideas on this? Finally, I have always been of the opinion that "true" Arminianism is much more "Calvinistic" than what is generally referred to as Arminianism today. Anyone else have any feeling about this?
     
  12. DocCas

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Chris Temple:The articles of remonstrance merely affirm soteriological synergism, which is exactly the position modern anti-Calvinists affirm, justifying the name Arminian.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>Which is why I only posted Articles 1 & 3. It is 2, 4 & 5 which deal with man's supposed ability to assist God in salvation. But the two articles I posted do point out how close the differing views are, if looked at individually. It is only when you add the synergism of Articles 2, 4, & 5 that the differences become multiplied. [​IMG]
    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by rlvaughn:
    For some reason it generally seems to be those of the Calvinistic persuasion that usually say if you're not a Calvinist you are an Arminian. . . . Finally, I have always been of the opinion that "true" Arminianism is much more "Calvinistic" than what is generally referred to as Arminianism today.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>I agree, which is why I posted the two articles which are worded so closely to the Canons of Dort. What is commonly called "Arminianism" today bears little relationship to the articles of remonstrance. But then, most of what Calvinists say is not contained in the Canons of Dort either, but are philosophical outcroppings of those soteriological truths. [​IMG]
     
  13. Pastor Larry

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    For me, it is a philosophical impossibility to have a true middle ground. I realize some have tried, very creatively at times, and I will not run them out of orthodoxy over that. I realize that RL said earlier that some have tried to carve out a middle ground. I have been around many of them. It just seems that they are very inconsistent.

    However, for me the issue is simply this: Is God sovereign or not? If he is, then you must be a monergist (or inconsistent); if he is not, then you can be a synergist. I guess we can debate about what we think about the individual points. But the basic principle lies in the issue of sovereignty.

    I have seen no convincing explanation for how Arminianism is compatible with sovereignty. One or the other must be redefined it seems to me.

    And Thomas is right that both are a long ways from where they started to be sure.
     
  14. rlvaughn

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    Pastor Larry, I don't think we have that much of a disagreement, but let me go back and build a little foundation for what I am trying to say. I may be wrong, but I believe the generally accepted view in the US today would be that a "Calvinist" holds the 5 points of TULIP and that an "Arminian" holds a general atonement, falling from grace, and probably some kind of "general" idea of depravity. Based on that foundation, I believe it is unfair to refer to "middle-grounders" as Arminians. They may be Arminians as far as some are concerned, but this misrepresents their actual beliefs. A person's "middle-ground" position may be illfounded, illogical, and inconsistent, but they deserve to be judged on the basis of those beliefs (no matter how inconsistent) rather than on the basis of a label that, more than likely, does not carry the meaning of their actual theology. That's all I'm saying.
     
  15. Chris Temple

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by rlvaughn:
    an "Arminian" holds a general atonement, falling from grace, and probably some kind of "general" idea of depravity. Based on that foundation, I believe it is unfair to refer to "middle-grounders" as Arminians. They may be Arminians as far as some are concerned, but this misrepresents their actual beliefs. A person's "middle-ground" position may be illfounded, illogical, and inconsistent, but they deserve to be judged on the basis of those beliefs (no matter how inconsistent) rather than on the basis of a label that, more than likely, does not carry the meaning of their actual theology. That's all I'm saying.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Your point is valid. In fact, the type of peson you describe - one who holds to less than total depravity, conditional election, general atonement, resistible grace, and (illogically) preservation of the saints - could probably better be described as Evangelical in general and Fundamentalist in particular. :eek:
     
  16. Pastor Larry

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Chris Temple:
    In fact, the type of peson you describe - one who holds to less than total depravity, conditional election, general atonement, resistible grace, and (illogically) preservation of the saints - could probably better be described as Evangelical in general and Fundamentalist in particular. :eek:<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Easy now ... don't put those guys in our camp. We don't want them. [​IMG]
     

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