1. Welcome to Baptist Board, a friendly forum to discuss the Baptist Faith in a friendly surrounding.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register to get access to all the features that our community has to offer.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon and God Bless!

Calvinist or Arminian

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Hope of Glory, Dec 14, 2005.

  1. EdSutton

    EdSutton New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2006
    Messages:
    8,755
    Likes Received:
    0
    Curious! They are, after all, in the final analysis, no different. Ed
     
  2. Ben W

    Ben W Active Member
    Site Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2002
    Messages:
    8,883
    Likes Received:
    6
    Arminian all the way!
     
  3. GeneMBridges

    GeneMBridges New Member

    Joined:
    May 13, 2004
    Messages:
    782
    Likes Received:
    0
    All of what? World of what? What is the exegetical presumption for taking such terms to mean "all people without exception?"

    Christians who deny special redemption typically appeal to the “pantos” (“all’) passages of Scripture. But this confuses extension (referent) with intension (sense). A universal quantifier has a standard intension, but a variable extension. That follows from the nature of a quantifier, which is necessarily general and abstract rather than specific and concrete marker in the text. That’s what makes it possible to plug in concrete content. A universal quantifier is a class quantifier. As such, it can have no fixed range of reference. In each case, that must be supplied by the concrete context and specific referent. In other words, a universal quantifier has a definite intension but indefinite extension. So its extension is relative to the level of generality of the reference-class in view. Thus, there is no presumption in favor of taking “all” or “every” as meaning everyone without exception. “All” or “every” is always relative to all of something.'

    1. The whole universe. (Acts 17:24)

    2. The Earth (John 13:1; Eph.1:4)

    3. The world system (the sinful world) (John 12:31)- e.g. the world “intensively “ and qualitatively” not “extensively”

    4. The whole human race (Rom. 3:19)

    5. The world of unbelievers only. (John 15:18, 1 John 5:18 -19, Rom. 3:6)

    6. The world of Jews (Rom. 11:12)

    7. The world of believers only (John 1:29 12:47, 1 Cor. 4:9, 2 Cor 5:19)

    We must justify our definition of the term. The Arminian must justify his assumption that “world” is all people without exception, and the Calvinist must justify any other definition. There is no presumption for taking "world" to mean all without exception. If you do that in 1 John, for example, you have a problem, for in chapter 5, believers are exempted from being under the power of the evil one, yet, in the next verse, the whole world is said to be under his power. If world is defined as all people without exception, then you have a problem. The meaning here is "the world of unregenerate persons."

    As to I John 2:2, we should let John define that for us. He actually does in the parallel passage in John 11:51,52.

    I John 2:2
    And
    He Himself
    is the propitiation for
    our sins
    and not for ours only
    but also
    for
    the whole world.

    John 11:51 - 52
    he prophesied that
    Jesus
    would die for
    the nation
    and not for the nation only
    but also
    that He would gather together
    the children of God scattered abroad.

    World here, then, is defined as the children of God scattered abroad.

    a. The law forbids favoritism. It does not prohibit God from treating persons unequally. In fact, in Deut. 7, God tells Israel why He chose them. He chose them not for their wealth, faithfulness, or faith, but because He loved them and He had a covenant with the Patriarchs to make them a people.

    The Old Covenant is based on the New. In the New, God saves those He chooses based solely on His mercy and love, not on foreseen faith or faithfulness. The Father elects, the Son redeems, the Spirit applies the benefits of redemption. Each Person of the Trinity is in unison and is faithful to their covenant with the others in the same way that God was faithful to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, who serve as type to Their archetype and antitype.

    b. That is only true if all of them deserve to be offered a pardon. Moreover, that is only true if God offers some a pardon and not others based on favoritism. If God is unjust for choosing some for salvation and not others, what principle of justice is He violating?

    Reformed theology teaches that God selects based on His own purposes for His own glory and never makes the wrong decision. This is not grounded in men, so no favoritism is involved. It is the definition of favoritism to look through history and elect based on foreseen faith. Favoritism could only be involved if God grounded that decision in some kind of intrinsic characteristic in men.

    Moreover, if you ground election in foreseen faith, you become a functional unitarian with respect to conversion and redemption. Arminianism puts election and regeneration after conversion itself and thus outside the work of grace. Neither the work of the Father election), nor the work of the Spirit (regeneration) are links in a golden chain which effect a state of grace. Election and regeneration fall outside the grace of God, for they do not create or contribute to a state of grace. On this view, the grace of God is limited to the work of Christ, one person of the Trinity. It is up to man in a state of nature to respond to the Gospel of Christ. This view confines the grace of God to the objective work of Christ, and divine grace is limited to what God does for us, not in us.

    There is a sense in which mercy is arbitrary in a way that justice is not, for mercy, by definition, is undeserved, and not, therefore, obligatory. Reformed theology does not teach there is no selection criterion at all. It is merely hidden and undisclosed. We do not tell God He is arbitrary for what not disclosing His reasons. Is a storm that God causes “arbitrary?”

    To say that it is arbitrary in the above sense is not to say that it's unjust or unfair, for inequality of treatment is only unjust when it denies a party his just claims to something. But, by definition, no one has a just claim on the "mercy" of God. All are condemned as sinners and deserve death. (cf. Romans 3).

    c. Mercy and justice are separate categories in ethics. To be merciful something must be undeserved. To be “just” either a standard of justice must be satisfied or something must be deserved. Mercy can satisfy justice if somebody else takes the penalty for a wrong act so that the Judge can extend mercy to somebody else. The Arminian, by grounding election in foreseen faith ultimately makes God unjust, because all people believe for different reasons. In fact, it is the same kind of favoritism that James condemns, because this faith arises as an intrinsic foreseen characteristic in those persons. This is not true equality. Calvinists believe the ground, or anchor, the reason for electing (choosing) (by the way, “elect” is another Bible word, thus election is a doctrine taught in Scripture) some and allowing others to continue in sin is found only in God and is not done with respect to either foreseen faith or foreseen wickedness. (Eph. 1, Romans 9). This is truly "just" because people are all in the hands of a God who alone is perfectly just and loving and does nothing arbitrarily and will always do the right thing.

    Calvinism is unfair. So is Arminianism. If God was fair, everybody would go to hell. We do not want God to be fair!

    Additionally, since the cross is the place where justice for sins is satisfied for Christians, justice is satisfied for them there . . . in hell for unbelievers. This makes every part of salvation, from beginning to end, a matter of pure mercy that God extends to every sinner as He so chooses. If people are somehow owed a chance to hear the gospel and accept or reject Christ, then how is this merciful? Thus, the free will position, not the Calvinist position, is the one grounded in justice alone but not in mercy at all. Salvation, by definition, is not about justice. It is about mercy.

    Therefore, in Calvinism, salvation is about mercy. In Arminianism it is the result of God responding to men’s wills and thus in the category of justice not mercy. Arminianism is thus unmerciful, because it puts salvation out of the category of mercy altogether
     
  4. EdSutton

    EdSutton New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2006
    Messages:
    8,755
    Likes Received:
    0
    Gene- not bad. A theologue and an ethicist, to boot. You wrote:

    "Calvinism is unfair. So is Arminianism. If God was fair, everybody would go to hell. We do not want God to be fair!"

    Getting there! See my short post above. Ed
     
  5. bjonson

    bjonson New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2001
    Messages:
    336
    Likes Received:
    1
    Someone once said:

    "God is not unfair if He graciously gives to some what He is not obligated to give at all."
     
  6. HankD

    HankD Well-Known Member
    Site Supporter

    Joined:
    May 14, 2001
    Messages:
    26,977
    Likes Received:
    2,535
    Faith:
    Baptist
    Neither.

    HankD
     
  7. Kiffen

    Kiffen Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2004
    Messages:
    642
    Likes Received:
    0
    [​IMG] Amen!
     
  8. Major B

    Major B <img src=/6069.jpg>

    Joined:
    May 6, 2003
    Messages:
    2,294
    Likes Received:
    0
    "WOO-WOO-WOO! Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk...Hey Moe!"

    Sorry, could not resist...
     
  9. drfuss

    drfuss New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2005
    Messages:
    1,692
    Likes Received:
    0
    I am somewhere between the two.
    I don't believe a Christian falls from Grace. However, I believe a Christian has a free will and can decide to stop trusting Christ as Savior and therefore forfeits their salvation. It has nothing to do with works or performance; it depends on their decision only. The term "fall from grace" implies it may happen without their knowledge.
     
  10. Grasshopper

    Grasshopper Active Member
    Site Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2002
    Messages:
    3,383
    Likes Received:
    23
    For me it is this. I do not believe a sinner would, nor could, come to God without God first doing a work in the sinner. A man confessing Christ as Lord is the result of an already done work of God in the man not of a man coming to God of his own free-will. His "free-will" would never make such a choice. This leads me to "calvinism".
     
  11. drfuss

    drfuss New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2005
    Messages:
    1,692
    Likes Received:
    0
    -------------------------------------------------

    "If there is one thing that you can point to that makes you agree with one or the other, what is it?"

    For practical purposes, A person must be trusting Christ only as Savior when they die to go to heaven. (Not sure about the extreme Calvinists belief).
     
  12. whatever

    whatever New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2004
    Messages:
    2,088
    Likes Received:
    1
    That's exactly what "perseverance of the saints", the P in the TULIP, means.

    As for the topic, I am a Calvinist because it makes me feel like I am smarter than everyone else.

    Just kidding. I really love those answers where people say things like "I am not Arminian or Calvinist, I just believe the Bible", as if they have figured out the definitive answers to the questions that Christians have disagreed on for hundred of years. And guess what? All of those Christians have been wrong! And nobody else believes the Bible!

    In reality, I am Calvinist because I think it is the best, most Biblical explanation of how God saves sinners.
     
  13. Joseph_Botwinick

    Joseph_Botwinick <img src=/532.jpg>Banned

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2000
    Messages:
    17,527
    Likes Received:
    0
    I agree with Dr. Bob's 6 points except for his use of the word "woo". I think the word "compel" would be more appropriate.

    Joseph Botwinick
     
  14. shannonL

    shannonL New Member

    Joined:
    May 27, 2005
    Messages:
    686
    Likes Received:
    0
    Dr. Bob,

    I'm in with you Bob except for #4. I don't see how God can offer salvation to whosoever will without His atoning work on the cross being sufficent enough to back up the promise of "whosoever will".
    Are you saying God knows who will and who won't so that is how the atonement is applied? Which I whole heartily believe He does know who will and who won't be saved. God is sovereign.
    I do not believe that man plays a part in his salvation. He can't. I just would like some insight on how you understand the atonement.
    I had a bible professor who put it like this:
    His atonement is sufficent for all but only efficient for those who are saved.
     
  15. Ron Arndt

    Ron Arndt New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2005
    Messages:
    238
    Likes Received:
    0
    My favorite theologian is Norman Geisler. I have his 4 volumes on Systematic Theology. Norman is NOT extreme as Calvinist or Arminians. But he is BIBLICAL. I cannot personally accept the Calvinist position, because they flat out deny that Christ is the potential Savior FOR THE WHOLE WORLD and he tasted death for every man. See I Tim 4:10 and I John 2:2.

    Nor can I accept the Arminian view that once man receives Christ he is on his own so to speak and must MAINTAIN good works to ultimately be saved. Arminians just completely ignore the guidance of the Holy Spirit in the believer's life after a person sincerely receives Christ as Lord and Savior. And Arminians also ignore the power of God in convicting his children of sin and keeping them as well.

    Both Calvinism and Arminianism should be rejected. Rather we are Christians saved by the grace of God, led by the Holy Spirt and sealed unto the day of redemption, whether our works meet a grand reward or a meager one, matters not. We are saved and kept by the power of God.
     
  16. OldRegular

    OldRegular Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2004
    Messages:
    22,678
    Likes Received:
    64
    Good Biblical points Dr. Bob! [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  17. Ron Arndt

    Ron Arndt New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2005
    Messages:
    238
    Likes Received:
    0
    Old Regular

    Your quote:"5. God the Spirit works, woos, and regenerates the hearts of those selected ones so that they WILL repent, believe the Gospel and call on Christ"

    REPLY-It is true that God convicts the sinner of his sin by his word and his Spirit, but this does not mean he FORCES one to accept his Son as his Savior. This is a false teaching of Calvinism.Read carefully John 7:17, as well as John 3:16 and Rev 22:17(NKJV)

    Man when convicted by the Spirit and the word of God must BE WILLING to receive the gospel message and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. It is the whoso ever WILL that comes to Christ and not the whosoever HAD TO that has come to the Lord. God hogties no one to heaven.Choose ye this day who ye will serve.Deut 30:19
     
  18. Timtoolman

    Timtoolman New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2004
    Messages:
    1,403
    Likes Received:
    0
    I am not a calvinist but I agree with Dr. Bob also. You see I just don't allow calvinist to twist scriptures and redefine terms to meet or make thier theology. If you don't let them change meanings and words "I" find their theology very weak indeed. And I say that because I am no scholar and it is easy for me to see they ain't got it right! [​IMG]
     
  19. mima

    mima New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2006
    Messages:
    395
    Likes Received:
    0
    I am very Calvinistic. I strongly believe in once saved always saved, and I take this position because I do not believe God makes mistakes. Which he would have had to do, if for any reason he must force you out, cast you aside.Arminianism also would destroy God's having foreknowledge.
     
  20. OldRegular

    OldRegular Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2004
    Messages:
    22,678
    Likes Received:
    64
    I agree. I will stand with God's word which tells us:

    Ephesians 1:3-7
    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.
    7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;


    Can't beat that can you. My Salvation depends on God, not on me! [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
Loading...