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Calvinism

Discussion in 'Calvinism & Arminianism Debate' started by JonC, Jun 11, 2019.

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  1. JonC

    JonC Lifelong Disciple
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    When we speak of Calvinism we typically (as this is a Baptist forum) are referring to the 5 points. I suggest when we speak of Arminianism we should therefore be referring to the 5 articles to which those 5 points were a response.

    On another thread it has been noticed that some like to exaggerate positions. They like to insist one cannot fall into a camp unless they agree with their understanding of additional doctrines.

    John Piper cannot be a Calvinist because he does not affirm sign gifts have ceased. Or Spurgeon cannot be a Calvinist because he believed in a universal provision. Jonathan Edwards was not a Calvinist because of the way he presented predestination.

    I am sure hard-lined Arminians have their list as well.

    To help let me reiterate what Tom posted as a sticky - let's deal with "Calvinism" as being the 5 points and Arminianism as the 5 articles. That way we are at least on the same page.
     
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  2. Reynolds

    Reynolds Well-Known Member
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    Arminianism really only has 4 articles. On dealing with eternal security, Classical Arminianism leaves that up to the individual. It does not attempt to refute nor agree with "p".
     
  3. InTheLight

    InTheLight Well-Known Member
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    And where may one find an unbiased, simple listing of the five points of Arminianism?
     
  4. JonC

    JonC Lifelong Disciple
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    Article 1
    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 Ghost, shall believe on this his son Jesus, 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 abideth on him,” and according to other passages of Scripture also.

    Article 2
    That agreeably thereunto, Jesus Christ the Savior of the world, died for all men and for every man, so that he has obtained for them all, by his death on the cross, redemption and the forgiveness of sins; yet that no one actually enjoys this forgiveness of sins except the believer, according to the word of the Gospel of John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” And in the First Epistle of 1 John 2:2: “And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.”

    Article 3
    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.”

    Article 4
    That this grace of God is the beginning, continuance, and accomplishment of all good, even to this extent, that the regenerate man himself, without prevenient or assisting, awakening, following and cooperative grace, can neither think, will, nor do good, nor withstand any temptations to evil; so that all good deeds or movements, that can be conceived, must be ascribed to the grace of God in Christ. but respects the mode of the operation of this grace, it is not irresistible; inasmuch as it is written concerning many, that they have resisted the Holy Ghost. Acts 7, and elsewhere in many places.

    Article 5
    That those who are incorporated into Christ by true faith, and have thereby become partakers of his life-giving Spirit, have thereby full power to strive against Satan, sin, the world, and their own flesh, and to win the victory; it being well understood that it is ever through the assisting grace of the Holy Ghost; and that Jesus Christ assists them through his Spirit in all temptations, extends to them his hand, and if only they are ready for the conflict, and desire his help, and are not inactive, keeps them from falling, so that they, by no craft or power of Satan, can be misled nor plucked out of Christ’s hands, according to the Word of Christ, John 10:28: “Neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.” But whether they are capable, through negligence, of forsaking again the first beginning of their life in Christ, of again returning to this present evil world, of turning away from the holy doctrine which was delivered them, of losing a good conscience, of becoming devoid of grace, that must be more particularly determined out of the Holy Scripture, before we ourselves can teach it with the full persuasion of our mind.
     
  5. atpollard

    atpollard Well-Known Member

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    Worthy of a politician or the SBC. :)


    "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" ... God will definitely save SOMEONE (but we have no idea if it is because of God's choice or man's choice ... but it is definitely God's UNCHANGEABLE PURPOSE and it is definitely IN CHRIST.


    "through the grace of the Holy Ghost, shall believe on this his son Jesus, and shall persevere in this faith and obedience of faith, through this grace" ... The GRACE of the HOLY GHOST definitely has something to do with it. It sounds to a Calvinist like you are are giving credit to the Holy Ghost for drawing, and it sounds to an Arminian like the belief of the man opens the door to the Holy Ghost. True POLITICIAN-SPEAK at its finest. All things to all people.

    "to leave the incorrigible and unbelieving in sin and under wrath" ... Since we have sidestepped the question of whether God draws man, or man chooses God as the 'first cause' of salvation, the issue of the Rights of a Sovereign God and the Love of a Just God are sidestepped.

    Calvinism and Arminianism agree on everything ... except what the words really MEAN and the roles of God and Man in justification, sanctification and the whole 'salvation' thing from eternity past to eternity future.
     
  6. JonC

    JonC Lifelong Disciple
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    :Laugh Yep. BUT that was enough for the Synod of Dort to come up with the 5 points. And for centuries the distinction was "obvious".

    I wonder if it is a matter of sides moving apart - maybe looking back the distinction between the Articles and the Points are not easily discerned because we are not so "finely tuned".

    The irony is that these Articles came first. If they look too much like the Five Points of Calvinism then was the Calvinists wrong to object to the Articles?
     
  7. InTheLight

    InTheLight Well-Known Member
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    "through the grace of the Holy Ghost, shall believe on this his son Jesus"

    Sounds to me like it's saying the Holy Ghost enables one to believe. I mean it's not wishy-washy at all. I don't see any wiggle room for the belief of man to open the door to the Holy Ghost
     
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  8. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1 Well-Known Member
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    Baptist Calvinism tends to be centered around Sotierlogy pretty much, while the strictly Reformed center around the entire Covenant theology framework.
     
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  9. atpollard

    atpollard Well-Known Member

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    Of course it sounds that way to you ... now what if it had been written by an early Methodist and was referring to the Prevenient grace given by the Holy Spirit to all men.

    As in "And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself." [John 12:32]

    Would John Wesley not also affirm Article 1 as true?
    Synergism does not deny that God plays a part in salvation, it asserts that man plays a part as well.
     
  10. JonC

    JonC Lifelong Disciple
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    It was written in July 1610. Perhaps John Wesley did affirm Article 1 as true. :Thumbsup
     
  11. atpollard

    atpollard Well-Known Member

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    I suspect that it was not the carefully worded Articles that sparked the response, but the body of writings and beliefs that stood behind it. Much as the Baptist Faith and Message 2000 was crafted to allow room for broad interpretation through careful selection of words with different meanings to different people, the Articles of Remonstrances were probably carefully crafted to present the most "orthodox" face of a movement with both a moderate and radical wing.

    **********

    Will you also present the 5 Points?
     
  12. JonC

    JonC Lifelong Disciple
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    The initial debate centered around predestination, but insofar as the Articles, they were developed systematically from Arminius' works (Arminius died prior to the split and the Articles). So the debate had existed for some time. It had been determined that Arminiansm was orthodox within Calvinism during Arminius' lifetime, yet it remained controversial.

    They were the explanation of faith presented to the Reformed Church, Dort being the rebuttal.

    The Canons are too long to post in full. They are here:

    https://www.crcna.org/welcome/beliefs/confessions/canons-dort

    I affirm most of their conclusions (being Baptist, I do not affirm the conclusions of Dort in full).
     
  13. InTheLight

    InTheLight Well-Known Member
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    And what are you insinuating?

    This is the first time I've seen the 5 points of Arminianism.


    What if?

    What if you just read what it says without any bias and make your own determination?


    I don't know. I'm not a mind reader.

    Well I suppose the entity needing saving has to play some sort of a part. Sheesh.
     
  14. atpollard

    atpollard Well-Known Member

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    I am accusing you of being a monergist. :)
    So you viewed Article 1 as affirming the work of God.

    A synergist would view Article 1 as empowering the choice of man (like the example of John Wesley).
     
  15. atpollard

    atpollard Well-Known Member

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    Let's play a game ...

    Thus says the LORD:
    And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly [places] in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, [it is] the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them. [Ephesians 2:1-10 NASB]

    What part does the "entity needing saving" play in salvation as described by God in the paragraph above?
    Is it an "active" part or a "passive" part?
     
  16. InTheLight

    InTheLight Well-Known Member
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    I'll play...

    30 “Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways,” says the Lord God. “Repent, and turn from all your transgressions, so that iniquity will not be your ruin. 31 Cast away from you all the transgressions which you have committed, and get yourselves a new heart and a new spirit. For why should you die, O house of Israel? 32 For I have no pleasure in the death of one who dies,” says the Lord God. “Therefore turn and live!” [Ezekiel 18:30-32 NKJV]
     
  17. JonC

    JonC Lifelong Disciple
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    Married to one wife??? :D
     
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  18. atpollard

    atpollard Well-Known Member

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    Ultimately, I have always considered it God's business whose sins he carried within himself and nailed to that cross. It is clearly far beyond my power to add or subtract from Christ's propitiation with my opinions. Yet God has invited me to "come and let us reason together", so I feel free to ask questions and have my own thoughts.

    If all sins were paid at the Cross, then it always seemed to me that God was punishing the same sin twice. For the "damned", Christ died once for that sinful act and they die a second death for the same act. That smacks of the same charge of innately "unfair" as God is accused of for damning those that God chose not to save. Is there even a little unfairness in God's Justice?

    The second thing that bothers me about that is the "uncertainty factor". There is a sense in which Jesus propitiation saved no one. If Jesus death bought everyone a CHANCE at forgiveness, but only some will benefit from that death, then the Death of God Incarnate was insufficient all by itself to save anyone. Salvation is the Blood of Christ plus ... something else.

    As a former nihilist, I have little use for a God whose arm is even a little bit short. I want TRUTH (with a capital 'T') and GOD (with a capital 'G') ... nothing less.
     
  19. atpollard

    atpollard Well-Known Member

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    I was hoping for something closer to conversation than "Scripture Pong".
    I quit, so you win.
     
  20. JonC

    JonC Lifelong Disciple
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    I can only speak from my own perspective and understanding. I believe that Christ died so that it was possible for all men to be saved but in a particular way to save the elect (those given to Him, drawn, by the Father).
     
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