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Continuation of Why Y'all Aint Calvinists thread

Discussion in 'Calvinism & Arminianism Debate' started by JonC, Mar 5, 2018.

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  1. JonC

    JonC Lifelong Disciple
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    @James Donovan had made a comment about believing Calvinists did not understand Scripture. @TCassidy asked him why. And then the thread closed. Perhaps this will be an opportunity to continue the discussion.

    This is especially important as this topic is rarely discussed on the BB.
     
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  2. JonC

    JonC Lifelong Disciple
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    I was also typing, but apparently too slowly, and got cut off by the thread closure. Here was my post:

    I believe some do understand both their system and Scripture, although perhaps through their theology (we all do this to an extent). I appreciate the insights of teachers like MacArthur, Keller, Sproul, and Piper.

    But I share your concern as it seems more and more study and know the tradition they have chosen far more than the Bible. Recent posts point to the fact many can't even identify what is their understanding of Scripture from Scripture itself.

    The most consistent people I know (in terms of theology) are Calvinists. But in many ways they seem the most biblically illiterate (especially the younger group, many who will only spout off cliche Calvinistic answers instead of engaging Scripture).
     
  3. BobRyan

    BobRyan Well-Known Member

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    I think the "why I am not Calvinist" argument included something like this --

    Why not be Calvinist? easy - "Calvinism does not survive the test of scripture."
    ================================================


    John 1:11He came to His OWN and His OWN received Him NOT


    "God so loved the WORLD that HE gave" John 3:16.

    "God is not WILLING that ANY should perish" 2Peter 3.

    God knew Judas would fail - and yet he washed his feet.

    God knew His own would reject Him - and yet He came to them and yet he weeps over them in places like Matt 23. "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem.. how I wanted to save your children...but YOU would not"


    Matt 23
    37“Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling.
    38“Behold, your house is being left to you desolate!

    Hosea 11
    :7 So My people are bent on turning from Me.
    Though they call them to the One on high,
    None at all exalts Him.
    8 How can I give you up, O Ephraim?
    How can I surrender you, O Israel?

    How can I make you like Admah?
    How can I treat you like Zeboiim?
    My heart is turned over within Me,
    All My compassions are kindled.


    Ezek 18
    30“Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, each according to his conduct,” declares the Lord GOD. “Repent and turn away from all your transgressions, so that iniquity may not become a stumbling block to you.
    31“Cast away from you all your transgressions which you have committed and make yourselves a new heart and a new spirit! For why will you die, O house of Israel?
    32“For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone who dies,” declares the Lord GOD. “Therefore, repent and LIVE!"

    "He came to HIS OWN and HIS OWN received Him not" John 1:11

    2Cor 5
    18 Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation,
    19 namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the WORLD to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation.
    20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.
     
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  4. BobRyan

    BobRyan Well-Known Member

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    Some would argue "yes" -- because God does not have the power to enable choice for the lost - without first causing them to be born-again saints.

    And yet the Bible says otherwise

    Rom 10
    9 that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; 10 for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.
     
    #4 BobRyan, Mar 5, 2018
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  5. BobRyan

    BobRyan Well-Known Member

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    IS God the cause of His own lament? Calvinism appears to answer "yes"


    Isaiah 5

    3 “And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem and men of Judah,
    Judge between Me and My vineyard.
    4 What more was there to do for My vineyard that I have not done in it?
    Why, when I expected it to produce good grapes did it produce worthless ones?
    5 “So now let Me tell you what I am going to do to My vineyard:
    I will remove its hedge and it will be consumed;

    John 1:11He came to His OWN and His OWN received Him NOT

    God says "what more could I do that I have not done?"

    Calvinisms says "oh I know... I know...zaaaapped me to choose of my own free will as He dictated"

    Indeed the Calvinist answer to God's question in Isaiah 5 is to make God the author and cause of His own lament.

    It is to inform God that He must have "forgotten" to zaaaap.
     
    #5 BobRyan, Mar 5, 2018
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  6. BobRyan

    BobRyan Well-Known Member

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    As for the Calvinist answer of constantly circling back to "redefine terms when the bible contradicts Calvinism" , I find it helpful that one contributor to these threads points this out about Calvin himself being reluctant to try out that trick every time Calvinism appears to "need it".

    =================================================================

    from #131 Saved-By-Grace, Yesterday at 7:24 PM

    Last edited: Yesterday at 7:34 PM



    John Calvin himself on John 3:16, who was not a "Calvinist"!

    "That whosoever believeth on him may not perish. It is a remarkable commendation of faith, that it frees us from everlasting destruction. For he intended expressly to state that, though we appear to have been born to death, undoubted deliverance is offered to us by the faith of Christ; and, therefore, that we ought not to fear death, which otherwise hangs over us. And he has employed the universal term whosoever, both to invite all indiscriminately to partake of life, and to cut off every excuse from unbelievers. Such is also the import of the term World, which he formerly used; for though nothing will be found in the world that is worthy of the favor of God, yet he shows himself to be reconciled to the whole world, when he invites all men without exception to the faith of Christ, which is nothing else than an entrance into life."

    Note what this man, who is claimed by those who call themselves "5 Point Calvinists", says about who the Lord Jesus Christ died to save. Also note the terms, "THE WHOLE WORLD" (as we have been discussing for 1 John), and "ALL MEN WITHOUT EXCEPTION", a term that is not Calvinistic in any way.

    Also, on Colossians 1:14

    "that our sins are not imputed to us. He says that this redemption was procured through the blood of Christ, for by the sacrifice of his death all the sins of the world have been expiated"

    Mark 14:24

    "Which is shed for many. By the word many he means not a part of the world only, but the whole human race"
     
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  7. Saved-By-Grace

    Saved-By-Grace Well-Known Member

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    Because most Calvinists misuse the Scriptures for their purposes, rather than accept what it actually says, even if their are wrong in their beliefs for many years. They like to mock you, or attack your knowledge of Scripture or languages, laugh at mistakes of grammar, some even go around marking serious discussions as "funny", etc, etc. When they are challenged on their theology by their very own, like John Calvin, John Gill, and Matthew Henry, they either dismiss what they say, or just ignore it. They attack the authorities like lexicons and grammars when they disagree with them. And when they don't like what you say, they get you banned for the truth!

    Basically, most Calvinists and Reformed are very sad and bitter people, who cannot accept the Bible fact, that "God takes not pleasure in the death of the wicked...and wiling that none of them are lost".
     
    #7 Saved-By-Grace, Mar 5, 2018
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  8. thatbrian

    thatbrian Well-Known Member
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    I can't speak for these "young men". I was a teenager when Christ saved me and about 40 when I came to understand God's sovereignty in election, but my experience might be similar.

    Having read, and read, and read the scriptures, I became more and more unsettled by the teaching (or lack of it) that I was receiving in my (Pelagian - Arminian) church. At that time, I could not put my finger on it, but I knew something was wrong. It wasn't until I came to understand the DoG that I finally came to understand the Bible.
     
    #8 thatbrian, Mar 6, 2018
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  9. Earth Wind and Fire

    Earth Wind and Fire Well-Known Member
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    Do you consider AlbertMohler to be biblically Illiterate ?
     
  10. Reformed

    Reformed Well-Known Member
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    Jon, I think you are making a distinction without a difference. How does your comment not apply to specific Synergists and Monergists alike? Individuals in either group can trust in the conclusions of their system of belief without having done the hard work to confirm what they believe through the study of scripture. Biblical laziness is not an indictment of any system of belief, it is an indictment of the individual.

    I embraced the doctrines of grace in a similar way as @thatbrian. I made the "mistake" of doing an in-depth study of Romans in the early 1990's. That study tipped a series of dominos that lead me to a more Reformed understanding of scripture. Without the scriptures, I never would have made that change.
     
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  11. JonC

    JonC Lifelong Disciple
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    My experience was very similar. In fact, I think this is the experience of many (regardless of what theological system they hold).

    I think the problem with some was identified fairly by Spurgeon in his sermon on God's will and man's will. He said that some people learn a truth (divine sovereignty) and magnify that truth at the expense of other doctrines. And this is understandable. When we see an error in our beliefs it is logical that this becomes our area of focus.

    I do think some people make it to Calvinism because of the error it corrects in their former system and they stop there (they start accepting the system for the truth it contains and never examine other issues that may be problematic).
     
  12. JonC

    JonC Lifelong Disciple
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    Although I am not a Calvinist now, I did embraced Calvinism for exactly the same reasons as the both you and @thatbrian . One morning I gave a sermon and made a comment I had made a few other times. I said that on the Cross God did not turn His back on Jesus, but instead faced Him full on and poured out His wrath on His Son, punishing Him in our place. I'm sure some Calvinists may also see the error in that statement, but I didn't at the time. It was an unbiblical emphasis (perhaps influenced by listening to Paul Washer before I wrote the sermon) that led to a false statement. And I went to bed thinking that the sermon was one of my best. I awoke in shame, having been convicted of teaching an error. I chose not to preach for a year after that (I was not a pastor).

    What God led me to was a reevaluation of my own theology (or the one I had adopted to correct what I viewed as an error in Reformation, or Classic, Arminianism). I purchased a dry erase board, put it on the wall behind my door, and began to link Scripture to my theology. I can now affirm the five points of Calvinism as a conclusion, but not within Calvinism itself (I believe there is a critical error at its foundation....one that is shared by many non-Calvinists...resulting as a reaction to the RCC during the Reformation).

    I am not applying my comment to Monergists, but to Calvinists. Most Synergists on this forum (Cal/Arm) assume a theology that is of Calvinistic trajectory. This is why, I believe, it is fairly easy to show Calvinism to be so logical (they have accepted the foundation of Calvinism without its soteriological conclusions). The reason I say that Calvinism poses a unique problem is that the system itself is worked out, concise, logical, simple, and appeals to the intellect. It is a system that can stand on human logic independent, to some extent, from Scripture. I've encountered many who are very apt at defending Calvinism, but who are not as proficient in doing so via Scripture itself. But you are right that this is not restricted solely to Calvinism, but other systems do not seem to be as consistent.
     
  13. JonC

    JonC Lifelong Disciple
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    No. And John Piper, Tim Keller, N.T. Wright, Charles Stanley, Paul Enns, Robert Picirilli, Gorden Fee....many more....are dedicated to Scripture. Biblical literacy does not mean theological agreement.

    EDIT: @Earth Wind and Fire , post edited. I meant literate, not illiterate. The capital "I" confused my old mind.
     
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  14. Reformed

    Reformed Well-Known Member
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    The reason I am in the habit or using the term Monergist vs. Calvinist is because of the erroneous accusations by some on this board that Calvinism is about following John Calvin. That canard has been thoroughly debunked but they keep using it all the same. Spurgeon considered Calvinism and the doctrines of grace as one-in-the-same, as do I. For that matter I consider Monergism to be nothing less than Calvinism. The Calvinists I know are people of the book, not disciples of a long dead French theologian and pastor.

    Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk
     
    #14 Reformed, Mar 6, 2018
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  15. Saved-By-Grace

    Saved-By-Grace Well-Known Member

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    N. T. Wright is very much unbiblical on Justification, hence would be a Liberal
     
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  16. JonC

    JonC Lifelong Disciple
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    I have seen this happen from both sides. At one time we had a fairly nasty group of Calvinists, but we have also had pretty nasty non-Calvinists (I remember one claiming that Calvinism was satanic).

    When it comes to languages, I've learned to try and take what I can from what other people (who know these languages) offer. I have some experience (I studied Greek for a year at the graduate level) but not near enough to form a conclusion on my own. So I lean to others. On this forum @TCassidy and @John of Japan have proved themselves good resources, but study certainly does not stop there. That said, I don't think that we can consider one lexicon as an authority over another. We have to weigh both what is offered and the expertise of the one doing the offering (and still, it's not necessarily the "gospel truth").

    I agree with you that there are some who cannot evaluate their own theology through Scripture (on both sides).
     
  17. JonC

    JonC Lifelong Disciple
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    I don't know of any Calvinist who follows John Calvin. And I agree with you that many erroneous accusations are presented against Calvinism (in fact, I can't recall very many legitimate ones offered).

    The reason that I do not use the term Monergist is that it can be misleading. For example, I believe that no one comes to God unless God Himself draws them. Men do not cooperate to get saved, but rather salvation is entirely a work of God. But I am not a Calvinist. I don't believe the flaw in Calvinism resides in its Monergism, although I do believe it flawed at its root. So you and I could come together and agree in the five points, but this is only a surface agreement. We are both Monergists. But at a deeper level we understand God's work in salvation very differently. This is the reason I choose "Calvinism", although I understand why you would not choose that term.
     
  18. Saved-By-Grace

    Saved-By-Grace Well-Known Member

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    regardless of what one might "know", it is useless without the aid of the Holy Spirit. But, then too we have to be open to the possibility, that what we have believed in for many years, might be completely wrong. Some cannot do this for reasons known to them.
     
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  19. thatbrian

    thatbrian Well-Known Member
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    Amen.
     
  20. JonC

    JonC Lifelong Disciple
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    But it would be foolish to say he is biblically illiterate. Consider others - although they were influenced very much by their own presuppositions and circumstances, we can't say Karl Barth and Søren Kierkegaard were biblically illiterate. Neither can we say that of C.S. Lewis, or Billy Graham, or John Wesley.

    When I say "biblically illiterate" I am referring to people who cannot even separate their own theories from Scripture. N.T. Wright is an excellent example here. Even with his "New Perspective on Paul" he acknowledges the probability that his view is deficient and therefore wrong. He can separate his view from the biblical text and justify (even if he remains wrong) his conclusions. Too many today cannot do this.
     
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