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Featured A Biblical Defense of Synergism #3

Discussion in 'Calvinism & Arminianism Debate' started by Steven Yeadon, Sep 13, 2020.

  1. Steven Yeadon

    Steven Yeadon Well-Known Member
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    The chief problem with the idea man does not have moral ability, also called free moral agency, is that you would never know it just reading the Old Testament cover to cover. The OT presents us with choices, life or death ones from Eden onward. While the law ultimately cannot be perfectly kept, as seen in the life of any of the OT saints, it is still something OT Jews strove to live by. It convicts of sin yes, but I think you guys artificially limit it to that alone using Romans as a proof text. I mean the death penalties carried out for hundreds of years should have given us a clue, though, that something is happening here more than conviction of sin.

    Also, why the wait till Augustine or Calvin for this central teaching. Most primitive Christians held to free will according to church history texts. You guys buy into a teaching that is difficult to ascertain until a teacher in the church figures it out hundreds of years after the apostles, and is then picked up in the Reformation.

    My biggest issue with Calvinism is based in church history. I did not cover that because I was being restrained in my ambition to just a biblical defense. Three related points to show scripture can support synergism. I believe I did that.

    I believe you are all wrong to argue synergism is unbiblical, you are proof texting to do so. You accuse me of proof texting, but to an observer it usually appears we are just quoting scripture at each other over points on both sides that seem salient.
     
  2. AustinC

    AustinC Well-Known Member

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    Of course we see it in all of scripture.
    Did Adam and Eve choose God after their sin, as they cowered in fear, or did God choose them and provide covering?
    Did Cain and Abel choose in whose offering God would find delight? Did Abraham choose YHWH as his God or did God choose Abraham? Did Esau and Jacob choose who would be loved by God and who would not? Did the Moses choose God and then go back to Egypt? The list goes on throughout the entirety of God's word, Steve. To claim differently is to be blind to scripture. The great providential work of God's choosing oozes from the alpha to the omega of scripture.
     
  3. Steven Yeadon

    Steven Yeadon Well-Known Member
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    But scripture in the OT outside of Genesis and Exodus present things very differently. Adam and Eve also had choice to sin, otherwise God is a sinner and tempter all along by hardening Eve and Adam to sin in an innocent state. Beyond the Patriarchs and Moses, we see constant calls to repentance, to obedience in line with God's Law. I sincerely believe Calvinists skew the OT in their reading. Where does the OT state man lacks free moral agency? Where is the corrective lenses against free moral agency to prevent moral ability from being a very defensible idea for hundreds of years. Again, this is too important to show up in the NT as an alien explanation of the text, interpreted differently for hundreds of years.

    Also why did predestinationism wait for Augustine, Luther, Zwingli, and Calvin to explain.
     
  4. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1 Well-Known Member
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    It didn't, as Paul was the first major calvinist!
     
  5. AustinC

    AustinC Well-Known Member

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    No, the Bible is very consistent. God chooses whom He wills. He gives them faith to believe. They do the works ordained for them to do. The writer to the Hebrews shares this truth in Hebrews 11:1 - 12:5.
     
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  6. Steven Yeadon

    Steven Yeadon Well-Known Member
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    I agree we run the race before us, I just believe we are elect from salvation, not before birth.
     
  7. AustinC

    AustinC Well-Known Member

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    What does "elect from salvation" even mean?
    Either God has chosen us because he is all knowing, or else he had no clue and you picked God by your own cognitive processing.
    Is God ignorant of your faith until you decide and then, once you decide, God chooses to say "very well, I guess you are welcome?"

    I don't understand your statement at all.
     
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  8. Steven Yeadon

    Steven Yeadon Well-Known Member
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    Ok, I have to stop and remember John Piper's ministry's take.

    Does God (Really) Desire All to Be Saved?

    I now get I know from scripture the following that are a paradox.

    1. God wants all saved
    2. Faith is not a work
    3. There are some unconditionally elected people
    4. God knows the future
     
    #68 Steven Yeadon, Sep 16, 2020
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2020
  9. Steven Yeadon

    Steven Yeadon Well-Known Member
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    To make more sense, As long as I believe God loves all mankind as prodigal children he wants to save, something to me that is so scriptural, I would rather suffer greatly than recant. We lack daylight between our positions. Your arguments have shown me my understanding of election is flawed. However, I believe your understanding of Gods character is equally flawed.
     
  10. Dave G

    Dave G Well-Known Member

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    The way I see it, implication is a foundation upon which nothing should ever be built, Steven.
     
  11. ivdavid

    ivdavid Active Member

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    The paradox is of our own making. I did read Piper's book and as great an attempt it is in intent, it has contradictions in his two-wills-of-God theory when it comes to predestination.

    The resolution is in accepting both truths simultaneously - that God unconditionally, individually elects His 'children of Promise' unto salvation AND that God genuinely, lovingly desires ALL, elect and non-elect, to be saved. And that's possible only by reconciling the Arminian and the Calvinist camps under Single Predestination.

    Both camps contain faulty premises -
    Calvinists say:
    If God elects a person, then he is predestined to salvation.
    If God does not elect a person, then he is predestined to reprobation/condemnation.
    God elects some and not all and therefore some are predestined to reprobation/condemnation.

    Arminians say:
    If man believes in Christ, then he is saved as/in the elect.
    If man does not believe in Christ, then he is condemned as the non-elect.
    Some men believe in Christ and therefore some are saved due to their own faith apart from predestined unconditional individual election.

    Calvinists commit the error of addition where they add a premise without basis - it is absolutely inconsistent for God to desire all to be saved if He also predestined them to reprobation/condemnation. And the Arminians commit the error of omission where they leave out premises of individual sovereign election that serve to glorify God.

    Given Arminianism was a reaction primarily to Calvinist predestined reprobation/condemnation, the path to reconciliation should ideally involve convincing Calvinists to renounce that one doctrine thereby adopting single predestination and then for Arminians to be convinced to meeting them there. A good starting point would be to discuss the difference between these 2 statements concerning the children of Promise -
    If God elects a person, then God gives him salvation.
    If God elects a person, then God gives him the promise of salvation.
     
  12. ivdavid

    ivdavid Active Member

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    You constantly argue that somehow being given a choice implies one would end up making the right choice? Being given a choice shows the fairness of God in granting opportunities - our being unable to make the right choice shows the effects of sin in us not caused by God in any way. We are moral agents throughout - but evil moral agents. The murderer who's convicted in our courts does not get to say he had no choice but rather that he chose wrongly for whatever underlying reasons.

    Total inability of the flesh does not mean we go 'duh' when spoken about morality - it means we comprehend the moral requirement and detest obeying it in the moment because our sinful pleasures are thwarted and denied in so doing. We choose wrongly with no excuse. What we are ignorant about is why we end up doing this continuously and what God is calling us to actually - until He opens our hearts and minds.

    Biblical defense should be sufficient in all cases. But if you must talk church history, why did it take nearly 1000 years to allow for English translations of the Latin-only Bible? Tyndale was put to death by the church primarily because of his translations - wasn't this an important enough doctrine that each of us can and must search and interpret Scriptures ourselves for the truth? God in His wisdom sometimes allows for error and misunderstanding to exist within the church for hundreds of years before restoring us back to Biblical truths. Therefore a biblical defense alone should suffice, assuming we've accepted sola scriptura and not an added '+ traditions' to boot.
     
  13. AustinC

    AustinC Well-Known Member

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    Steve, you posted twice, but never answered my question in either post.
    Your view of the prodigal is not accurate within the context of the story. Therefore you have created a false theology around it. The rest of scripture confirms this false understanding you bring to the passage. There is nothing more for me to say on this particular subject.
     
  14. Steven Yeadon

    Steven Yeadon Well-Known Member
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    I believe I need to walk away at this point. Already, we are claiming each other is being dishonest to the text of the bible. I understand you believe yourself to be right, and so do I. At this point I am going to pray that God leads us both to the truth, whatever that is, with discipline and rebuke if necessary.
     
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