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Featured 5 Reasons Why I'm a Calvinist

Discussion in 'Calvinism & Arminianism Debate' started by thatbrian, Mar 3, 2018.

  1. thatbrian

    thatbrian Well-Known Member
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    I was born into a Roman Catholic family, and then joined an Evangelical Free Church as a teenager, after the Lord graciously saved me, Spending 20 years there, there wan't much chance of me coming across a Calvinist, and although I was in the church every Wednesday, and twice on Sunday, not much church history was taught, so I remained ignorant of any ideas outside of the default Pelagian views of the average congregant and the semi-Pelagian views of the Pastor because no other views were offered or even named.

    Many things about the theology of the EFC bothered me, but I couldn't put my finger on exactly what the problems were. I felt the (implicit) legalism which is inevitable in these worldviews, and I felt the discomfort of a Christian life which didn't make much sense of the first 39 books of the Bible.

    I was thankful freed from my ignorance, and these are the 5 reasons I'm a Calvinist today.


    1) BECAUSE THESE IDEAS RUN THROUGHOUT THE BIBLE

    2) BECAUSE THIS IS THE ONLY WAY IN WHICH GOD GETS ALL THE GLORY

    3) BECAUSE IT EXPLAINS THE WORLD AND MANKIND PERFECTLY

    4) BECAUSE I KNOW THAT I WOULDN'T HAVE CHOSEN GOD

    5) BECAUSE THE DOCTRINES OF GRACE GRANT ME REST IN CHRIST THAT ALL ELSE COULD NOT


     
    #1 thatbrian, Mar 3, 2018
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  2. Rippon

    Rippon Well-Known Member
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    I didn't know Calvin attended an E.F. Church while he was a teen. ;-)
     
  3. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1 Well-Known Member
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    God Himself choose to save me, and since the Lord started and will finish my salvation fully, how could I not be a Calvinist than?
     
  4. thatbrian

    thatbrian Well-Known Member
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    He is the Author and perfecter of our faith. That alone should be enough to make everyone a "Calvinist".
     
  5. JonShaff

    JonShaff Fellow Servant
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    Except that Knowing Jesus our Lord is not about knowing a system. And before you respond, please meditate on that thought. Take a day or two.
     
  6. thatbrian

    thatbrian Well-Known Member
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    A few thoughts.

    Firstly, you've assumed that I am incapable of a thoughtful reply to your very simple statement without hours and days of "meditation". It's not that profound a statement. . .

    Secondly, you've presented a false dilemma. I ask you, how fully can one know (and love) Christ without knowing about Him and His work?

    I've heard countless times, from anti-intellectual types (I'm not saying that you are one) "I don't need doctrine. I just love Jesus". In reply, I immediately ask them, who is Jesus. Their answer is of course: doctrine. They might say, "He is the Son of God". To which I ask a followup question, what is the significance of that? And, I will keep at it until they come to understand what hopefully you do at this moment, which is you cannot know God without knowing about God.

    To further make my point, if you asked me, "when is your wife's birthday?", and I replied, I don't know. I just love her. The you ask further, "What's her favorite restaurant, book, desert? Where does she work?. . ." And I again reply, I don't know. I just love her. You would rightful doubt my words because to know is to love and to love is to know.

    Thirdly, did God reveal Himself in creation in ways that scientists could categorize and for frameworks of understanding His work? In the same way, God revealed Himself through His Word in such a way that theologians (all of us) could find connections of related ideas and see the framework on which truths regarding God, man, sin, redemption. . . rest. God works in "systems". That reveals something about Him: He is not a God of chaos.

    All men are theologians, Jon. Some are just poor ones, and we ought not make our aim to have a minimal knowledge of our Lord and His Word. We ought to aim for the fullest understanding of both.

    BTW, Calvin does a great job of explaining the knowledge of God and self in the beginning of his Institutes. If you really want to be anti-Calvin, you should read the Institutes of the Christian Religion. You can get it for free online and I'll try to cut and paste that section below for you.
     
    #6 thatbrian, Mar 4, 2018
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  7. thatbrian

    thatbrian Well-Known Member
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    From Calvin's Institutes, book 1, chapter 1:

    1. Our wisdom, in so far as it ought to be deemed true and solid Wisdom, consists almost entirely of two parts: the knowledge of God and of ourselves. But as these are connected together by many ties, it is not easy to determine which of the two precedes and gives birth to the other. For, in the first place, no man can survey himself without forthwith turning his thoughts towards the God in whom he lives and moves; because it is perfectly obvious, that the endowments which we possess cannot possibly be from ourselves; nay, that our very being is nothing else than subsistence in God alone. In the second place, those blessings which unceasingly distil to us from heaven, are like streams conducting us to the fountain. Here, again, the infinitude of good which resides in God becomes more apparent from our poverty. In particular, the miserable ruin into which the revolt of the first man has plunged us, compels us to turn our eyes upwards; not only that while hungry and famishing we may thence ask what we want, but being aroused by fear may learn humility. For as there exists in man something like a world of misery, and ever since we were stript of the divine attire our naked shame discloses an immense series of disgraceful properties every man, being stung by the consciousness of his own unhappiness, in this way necessarily obtains at least some knowledge of God. Thus, our feeling of ignorance, vanity, want, weakness, in short, depravity and corruption, reminds us (see Calvin on John 4:10), that in the Lord, and none but He, dwell the true light of wisdom, solid virtue, exuberant goodness. We are accordingly urged by our own evil things to consider the good things of God; and, indeed, we cannot aspire to Him in earnest until we have begun to be displeased with ourselves. For what man is not disposed to rest in himself? Who, in fact, does not thus rest, so long as he is unknown to himself; that is, so long as he is contented with his own endowments, and unconscious or unmindful of his misery? Every person, therefore, on coming to the knowledge of himself, is not only urged to seek God, but is also led as by the hand to find him.
     
    #7 thatbrian, Mar 4, 2018
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  8. thatbrian

    thatbrian Well-Known Member
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    2. On the other hand, it is evident that man never attains to a true self-knowledge until he have previously contemplated the face of God, and come down after such contemplation to look into himself. For (such is our innate pride) we always seem to ourselves just, and upright, and wise, and holy, until we are convinced, by clear evidence, of our injustice, vileness, folly, and impurity. Convinced, however, we are not, if we look to ourselves only, and not to the Lord also —He being the only standard by the application of which this conviction can be produced. For, since we are all naturally prone to hypocrisy, any empty semblance of righteousness is quite enough to satisfy us instead of righteousness itself. And since nothing appears within us or around us that is not tainted with very great impurity, so long as we keep our mind within the confines of human pollution, anything which is in some small degree less defiled delights us as if it were most pure just as an eye, to which nothing but black had been previously presented, deems an object of a whitish, or even of a brownish hue, to be perfectly white. Nay, the bodily sense may furnish a still stronger illustration of the extent to which we are deluded in estimating the powers of the mind. If, at mid-day, we either look down to the ground, or on the surrounding objects which lie open to our view, we think ourselves endued with a very strong and piercing eyesight; but when we look up to the sun, and gaze at it unveiled, the sight which did excellently well for the earth is instantly so dazzled and confounded by the refulgence, as to oblige us to confess that our acuteness in discerning terrestrial objects is mere dimness when applied to the sun. Thus too, it happens in estimating our spiritual qualities. So long as we do not look beyond the earth, we are quite pleased with our own righteousness, wisdom, and virtue; we address ourselves in the most flattering terms, and seem only less than demigods. But should we once begin to raise our thoughts to God, and reflect what kind of Being he is, and how absolute the perfection of that righteousness, and wisdom, and virtue, to which, as a standard, we are bound to be conformed, what formerly delighted us by its false show of righteousness will become polluted with the greatest iniquity; what strangely imposed upon us under the name of wisdom will disgust by its extreme folly; and what presented the appearance of virtuous energy will be condemned as the most miserable impotence. So far are those qualities in us, which seem most perfect, from corresponding to the divine purity.
     
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  9. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1 Well-Known Member
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    Calvinism is NOT the Gospel, nor inspired revelation as the scriptures, but it would be the best system to understand how God saves us as per the scriptures.
     
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  10. Rippon

    Rippon Well-Known Member
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    "I have my own private opinon that there is no such thing as preaching Christ and Him sacrificed, unless we preach what nowadays is called Calvinism. It is a nickname to call it Calvinism; Calvinism is the gospel, and nothing else." Charles H. Spurgeon
     
  11. Saved-By-Grace

    Saved-By-Grace Well-Known Member

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    Your 5 points are more about what you believe, and does not represent the teachings of the Holy Bible.
     
  12. Saved-By-Grace

    Saved-By-Grace Well-Known Member

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    nonsense!
     
  13. Saved-By-Grace

    Saved-By-Grace Well-Known Member

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    how about simply a Bible-believing Christian?
     
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  14. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1 Well-Known Member
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    Except that the Apostles taught and held to them!
     
  15. Saved-By-Grace

    Saved-By-Grace Well-Known Member

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  16. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1 Well-Known Member
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    So what did non cals such as a DL Moody preached?
     
  17. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1 Well-Known Member
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    Calvinists are all bible believing Christians!
     
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  18. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1 Well-Known Member
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    What is most important is did Jesus and the Apostles affirm them in the scriptures? Affirmative!
     
  19. TCassidy

    TCassidy Administrator
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    Good advice. Read First Clement (80-140 AD) and the Epistle to Diognetus (c150AD).
     
  20. Saved-By-Grace

    Saved-By-Grace Well-Known Member

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    NO
     
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