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!

Featured Corporate Election

Discussion in 'Calvinism & Arminianism Debate' started by JonC, Dec 11, 2023.

  1. 37818

    37818 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2018
    Messages:
    16,360
    Likes Received:
    1,259
    Faith:
    Baptist
    Hmm. I am of the persuasion it to be neither open theism or Pelagianism.
     
  2. JonC

    JonC Moderator
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2001
    Messages:
    33,678
    Likes Received:
    3,602
    Faith:
    Baptist
    Me? I'm not a Calvinist at all.

    Ask a Calvinistic Baptist (a Reformed Baptist) if he agrees with infant baptism or Calvin's Ecclesiology. If they are a Baptist they will say "no".
     
  3. CJP69

    CJP69 Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2023
    Messages:
    492
    Likes Received:
    54
    Faith:
    Baptist
    So what? Who are you?

    I was speaking for myself. If it's coming from me, it's Open Theism. Not only that, but the only people that I've ever heard say anything similar to this have all been Open Theists.

    Not that people who accept corporate election but who are not open theists don't exist. Maybe they do.

    Do you know of anyone who isn't an Open Theist who teaches corporate election? If so, could you provide a reference to any of them? I'd be interested.
     
  4. CJP69

    CJP69 Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2023
    Messages:
    492
    Likes Received:
    54
    Faith:
    Baptist
    I'd like to test that but I suspect you wouldn't participate.

    And those are just about the only two issues that anyone could find that they'd disagree with Calvin about!

    One religious ritual that takes about 15 seconds to perform and the particulars on how to run a church.

    BIG WOOP!

    Neither of those things are doctrines that are distinctive to Calvinism.
     
    #44 CJP69, Dec 23, 2023
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2023
  5. 37818

    37818 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2018
    Messages:
    16,360
    Likes Received:
    1,259
    Faith:
    Baptist
    Well, two of the issues. I was also speaking for myself. Open theism is not orthodox.
     
  6. JonC

    JonC Moderator
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2001
    Messages:
    33,678
    Likes Received:
    3,602
    Faith:
    Baptist
    I would participate in that test. Bring it on big boy :Biggrin . I suspect you won't because you don't want to be disproven (you posted without thinking).

    The problem you will run into is that I strongly reject the Calvinistic view of Atonement. I reject their position of limited Atonement, their position of election, predestination to salvation, their definition of foreknowledge, their view of justification, their definition of total depravity. I reject John Calvin and Beza's view of covenants. I hold neither Dispensationalism (which originated with Calvinists) and Covenant Theology (which also originated with Calvinists).

    I have read Calvin's Instituted (a few times). I find his writings on prayer more interesting.

    You do have to remember that during John Calvin's lifetime the "five points" did not exist. And during James Arminius' lifetime Arminianism was within Orthodox Calvinism.

    And I affirm neither Calvinism or Arminianism.

    But bring it on. This could be fun. :Thumbsup


    No, there are more issues that Reformed Baptists would depart from Calvin. There is the nature of the State, the role of the military, the authority of the Church, the autonomy of the local church, "soul liberty", nature of church discipline, view of the laity, covenantal relationship of children, the scope of the Atonement....just to mention a few.

    It doesn't matter if those positions are distinct to Calvin but the fact that Calvin insisted they were necessary.
     
  7. CJP69

    CJP69 Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2023
    Messages:
    492
    Likes Received:
    54
    Faith:
    Baptist
    But it is both rationally sound and entirely biblical.

    What are you anyway, a Catholic?
     
  8. 37818

    37818 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2018
    Messages:
    16,360
    Likes Received:
    1,259
    Faith:
    Baptist
    What are you saying to be rationally sound?
    I am a Baptist.
    Open theism is an umbilical and not necessary interpretation. God being both infinite and three distinct Persons. One of whom is both finite and infinite. Mark 13:32 and Acts of the Apostles 1:7, ". . . It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. . . ." So the Son of God need not know.
     
  9. CJP69

    CJP69 Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2023
    Messages:
    492
    Likes Received:
    54
    Faith:
    Baptist
    On the contrary! If I'm wrong, being proven wrong is the only thing I want, and I mean that emphatically.

    In this case, however, I've not said you were or you weren't and so there's nothing to be wrong about, except that your willingness to participate comes as something of a surprise to me. The flippant, unsubstantial nature of your responses is typical of Calvinists and so made me suspect that you were one. Such an attitude is certainly not exclusive to Calvinists, however, so...

    Okay, terrific. That's just about as much of a test as I need already, except that it is entirely about what you reject and I've learned through experience that until you find out what someone affirmatively believes, either attaching or removing a label is unwarranted. This is especially true of Calvinists who like to play games with the definitions of common words.

    You'll find that I associate Calvinism far more with their theology proper than I do with the TULIP doctrines. If God is immutable (in the Classical sense of that term) then Calvinism is entirely correct - all of it. Very nearly the entire system is logically derived from that single premise. I understand that this attitude of mine leads to some confusion but nothing that isn't easily identified and fixed. More often than not, its been a useful assumption to make.

    Yes. I commonly tell people that Arminianism is far too Calvinistic for me. (Precisely because of their theology proper, by the way.) In fact, what I most often refer to as Calvinism is actually post reformation Arminianism, which, as it turns out covers several flavors of Christianity, including both Calvinism and Arminianism to one degree or another.

    Assume the Classical meaning of all these terms...

    1. Do you believe that God is immutable?
    2. Do you believe that God is impassible?
    3. Do you believe in the doctrine of Divine Simplicity?
    4. Do you believe in the doctrine of Divine Sovereignty?
    5. Do you believe that God is omniscient?
    6. Do you believe that God is omnipresent?
    7. Do you believe that God exists outside of time?
    8. Do you believe that God has choices?

    All Calvinists and most Catholics would answer the first seven questions, "yes" without qualification. The last one usually throws some sort of wrench into their gears because they typically won't answer it.

    It entirely does matter! I don't understand this propensity toward muddying the water that people have when it comes to Calvinism. There are several sects of Christianity that might share common opinions about any one or all of those issues. As such, none of these are Calvinist distinctive. Calvinist distinctives are those doctrines that allow one to distinguish Calvinism from non-Calvinism. That line isn't always are starkly black and white as we might like for it to be but the role of the military, for example, is certainly not an issue that sets Calvinism apart from its rival systems and the definition of the term "Calvinism" isn't so plastic that you and believe whatever you want and still call yourself a Calvinist or reject some obscure, practically random, doctrine that Calvin happened to believe, just so you can claim not to be a Calvinist. If such were the case, then both of the terms "Calvinist" and "distinctives" have no meaning.
     
  10. CJP69

    CJP69 Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2023
    Messages:
    492
    Likes Received:
    54
    Faith:
    Baptist
    ALL truth is rationally sound. Any truth claim that is found to be irrational is false, by definition. This includes the claims made by God, Scripture and anyone who might call themselves Christian or Baptist or whatever.

    Yes, I know that! The point was that an appeal to "orthodoxy" is something that resides more comfortably in the mouth of a Catholic than any protestant, including a Baptist. In fact, if an appeal to orthodoxy was valid, we'd all be Catholics.

    Prove it!

    You won't even try.

    That, or the doctrine of divine foreknowledge overstates the truth.
     
    #50 CJP69, Dec 23, 2023
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2023
  11. taisto

    taisto Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2023
    Messages:
    1,079
    Likes Received:
    100
    Faith:
    Baptist
    You have made truth subjective to your own rationalism. This places you as judge, jury, and god of determining truth.

    Since you are an open theist, such an opinion of yourself is to be expected. I have yet to meet an open theist who doesn't view themselves as sovereign over their world.
     
  12. JonC

    JonC Moderator
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2001
    Messages:
    33,678
    Likes Received:
    3,602
    Faith:
    Baptist
    I think when seeing where people align with any particular sect it is important to see what they reject.

    I agree with you that Arminianism is too Calvinistic. It is of a Calvinistic trajectory. With Calvinism this can be determined with one simple issue. Do you believe the traditional Penal Substitution Theory of Atonement to be correct? Every point of Calvinism hinges on Calvin's articulation of the Atonement. I don't.

    1. Do you believe that God is immutable?

    I believe that God is immutable in His nature (ontologically immutable). BUT divine immutability means that God must be relationally mutable.

    2. Do you believe that God is impassible?

    No. The idea that God is impossible is a philosophical concept that is disproven in Scripture.

    3. Do you believe in the doctrine of Divine Simplicity?

    No. Again, this is philosophy mislabeled "theology". We cannot know the extent of God's being or nature. We know God only through His revelation to us, and this in the Person of Jesus Christ.

    4. Do you believe in the doctrine of Divine Sovereignty?

    Depends on your meaning. God being Creator and everything existing for and through Him denotes a sovereignty by right. For this reason God is not evil for dealing with Creation as He desires (He was not evil when He caused the Flood, for example).

    5. Do you believe that God is omniscient?

    Yes. I believe that God has a foreknowledge of what is to come. That said, divine precogniscence is not Calvinism. Calvinism (both Calvin and Beza) grounds omniscience in sovereignty and decree.

    6. Do you believe that God is omnipresent?

    Yes, ad defined by "He is before all things, and in Him all things consist".

    7. Do you believe that God exists outside of time?

    This strikes me as science fiction. If you mean is God in the past now...and in the future now...well, that doesn't make sense to me. So no.

    8. Do you believe that God has choices?

    Yes.


    Now, let me ask you (to see if you are a Calvinist by my criteria):

    Do you believe the Penal Substitution Doctrine of Atonement correct?

    That is really the only thing I need to know in terms of classifying one as a type of Calvinists (with John Calvin's theology as defining Calvinism). If you hold that true then your faith is of a Calvinistic trajectory. If you don't, then it can't be a form of Calvinism.
     
  13. CJP69

    CJP69 Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2023
    Messages:
    492
    Likes Received:
    54
    Faith:
    Baptist
    Would you judge this statement of yours as true or false?

    Nonsense. Quite literally nonsense.

    The only way that could even approach being true is if I had something to do with declaring that existence doesn't contradict itself, which is obviously nonsensical to the point of stupidity.

    Did you make this judgment on your own?

    You knew this was false when you said it. It's nothing at all but a unsubstantial ad hominem and I suspect the very best that you've got to offer.
     
  14. JonC

    JonC Moderator
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2001
    Messages:
    33,678
    Likes Received:
    3,602
    Faith:
    Baptist
    @CJP69 ,

    I took your test. Let me know if you think my position "Calvinism," and if so your reasoning.

    I presented my own test, which consists of the foundation of Calvinism (the distinctive of Calvinistic soteriology hinges on Calvin's articulation of the Atonement).

    John Calvin applied his understanding of criminal law to the equation - man is a criminal and must be punished by God. God sent His Son to earth to bear the immense wrath of the God of all for us so that God may then be merciful. These concepts are foreign to the East and yet critical to penal substitutionary atonement.

    Where do you stand on Calvin's Doctrine of Penal Substitution?
     
  15. CJP69

    CJP69 Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2023
    Messages:
    492
    Likes Received:
    54
    Faith:
    Baptist
    Definitely! It is, however, only one side of the coin.

    I don't see how anyone can be an Arminian at all. It's the most convoluted and self-contradictory attempt to ride the theological fence between Augustinian doctrine and free will that can be made up by the mind of man.

    I understand why you say this but it isn't factually the case. The hinge is the immutability of God and by that I mean Plato's version of immutability. It is that doctrine that Augustine clung to and it is that doctrine from which everything distinctively Calvinist is derived, including, but not limited too, Omniscience, Omnipresence, Predestination, Limited Atonement, etc.

    This, by itself, would disqualify you as a Calvinist. I haven't read the rest of your responses at this point. I'll be interesting to see how consistent you are.

    Biblically, it is God's character that is immutable. God changes His mind, He repents (i.e. wishes the He hadn't done something), is able to be talked out of doing things, He is angry at some points and pleased at others and He does things like become a human being, die and rise from the dead with a brand new glorified physical body that He hadn't ever had before but still has to this day and forever more. His righteous character, however, does not change in anyway whatsoever.

    Nice! It is immutability applied to God's state of mind. A Calvinist (and most Catholics) would argue that any change in God's state of mind would necessarily imply imperfection in His state of mind. This was Aristotle's argument and it has been repeated by every prominent Calvinist I've ever read.

    VERY nice!

    This also is a doctrine that is nothing more than the doctrine of immutability applied to God's being/form.

    Well, this is why I said to assume the Classical meaning.

    The simple answer, given a Classical meaning of the term, is, "No, God is not sovereign". God does not control nor decree nor is He even specifically aware of every event that happens. If Calvinistic Sovereignty where true, there would be no rational escape from God being the author of sin.

    God is, however, the Sovereign of the universe. The word sovereign simply means, "highest authority" and its context matters. If you are talking about a nation, then the king of that nation is that nation's sovereign. There is no authority higher than God in all of existence and thus He is sovereign, by definition.

    Calvinistic soveriegnty and decree are themselves both grounded, to use your phrasing, in immutability as is omniscience, predestination.

    Biblically, there is no grounds at all for the classical understanding of omniscience. God knows what He wants to know of that which is knowable. He is not required to be a first person witness to every event that occurs nor is His being so required for Him to accurately predict future events. Not to mention that there are several prophecies in the bible that did not come to pass. Also, we see in scripture that God has the ability to learn.

    I'll take this as a tacit rejection of the Classical meaning of the term.

    Biblically, God can be in all places that exist at once but is only actually in places that He wants to be. He can neither exist in nor go to anyplace that does not exist and He is not required to be anywhere He doesn't wish to be.

    "This doesn't make sense to me." That's an interesting phrase. Taisto is going to start accusing you of thinking of yourself as the sovereign on your own world!

    It's very good that it doesn't make sense to you because it doesn't make sense - period. It is however what virtually EVERY Calvinist and Arminian and Catholic believes. Very nearly the ENTIRE Christian world believe this stupidity.

    It is contradictory on its face. Time is just a concept that we use to communicate information related to the duration and sequence of events relative to other events. It does not exist ontologically. It is an idea. Existence implies duration thus the idea of timeless existence commits a stolen concept fallacy and is thus self-contradictory and self-defeating.

    Biblically, there is no argument that can be made for the idea of timeless existence. There are literally dozens of passages that very clearly show that God experiences both sequence and duration, which is all time is.

    I'm so loving the one word answer!

    Calvin's head would explode!

    There is no other biblically consistent alternative. Penal substitution is what Calvary was about or God is unjust (or He doesn't exist at all).

    There are no other alternatives that do not destroy the meaning of the word "just" when applied to God.

    I'm sorry but saying it doesn't make it so. Just because Calvin believed something doesn't make the belief false or even Calvinism. Calvin was a theist, too! By your logic, if I believe God exists, I'm on a "Calvinist trajectory". Simple nonsense.
     
  16. JonC

    JonC Moderator
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2001
    Messages:
    33,678
    Likes Received:
    3,602
    Faith:
    Baptist
    I agree because Arminianism affirms Calvinists except on a few aspects of soteriology.

    The logical conclusion to the Doctrine of Penal Substitution is Calvinistic soteriology.

    When we examine Calvin's Atonement theory through the lens of history we can see he simply reformed the existing Roman Catholic view by centering the Atonement on his view of justice rather than Aquinas' view of merit.

    The Doctrine of Penal Substitution IS Calvinism (is the foundation of Calvinistic soteriology). It does not exist in Eastern thought. It did not exist until articulated by John Calvin.

    I am NOT talking about Penal aspects of Atonement. I am not talking about representative substitution.

    I am talking about the idea that divine justice means God must punish man, that God sent His Son to experience this punishment in relation to His wrath towards sin in order to forgive man. (I am talking about the Doctrine of Penal Substitution).

    Anybody who holds the Doctrine of Penal Substitution IS a Calvinist. The question is just how consistent they are within the spectrum of Calvinism.


    You hold a distinctive Calvinistic understanding of the Cross. It appears you may hold different views at places, but you would be somebody (based on your post) I would call "Calvinistic" on the grounds that you have adopted John Calvin's judicial philosophy of the Cross, restoration, and divine judgment.

    I grant you may depart from Calvinism in other areas, but if strictly talking about your view of the Cross I'd place it within Orthodox Calvinism (at least at its foundation).


    It is interesting the influence Calvinism has had, even on anti-Calvinistic doctrine. This is due to the popularity of Calvinism (in 19th Century Europe and the US we see Calvinistic denominations - mainly Presbyterians and Methodists - comprize the majority of churches and this influenced Baptist theology).
     
  17. JonC

    JonC Moderator
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2001
    Messages:
    33,678
    Likes Received:
    3,602
    Faith:
    Baptist
    It makes sense, but not to those steeped in a Calvinistic tradition.

    John Calvin was the first to articulate the Doctrine of Penal Substitution. He did this by reforming Aquinas' theory (moving from merit to justice). But both of these ideas are foreign to Eastern thought (foreign to the Biblical narrative).


    You do not realize that Penal Substitution is Calvinism. Arminians do not realize that their view is based on Calvinism. That's fine

    But ANY person who believes the Doctrine of Penal Substitution is, at some significant level, a Calvinist because they have adopted John Calvin's theory. They may be a very inconsistent Calvinist, but they are Calvinistic.



    This is why it's my one criteria. If somebody rejects the Doctrine of Penal Substitution then it is impossible for them to be a Calvinist. If somebody accepts the Doctrine of Penal Substitution then it is impossible for them not to be Calvinistic.
     
  18. CJP69

    CJP69 Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2023
    Messages:
    492
    Likes Received:
    54
    Faith:
    Baptist
    You keep making this claim over and over again but do nothing to substantiate it. I'm open to be convinced but you'll have to do a lot more than merely emphatically make the claim.

    The wages of sin is death.
    Without the shedding of blood (death) there is no remission of sins.
    Jesus' death paid the ransom for many
    The reason it had to be God the Son on the cross is because nothing else was of sufficient value to pay the debt.
    If I call upon the name of the Lord (i.e. acknowledge that I am in need of a savior and that He is that savior) and believe that God raised Him from the dead, I will be saved - period.

    I don't care what you call it other than, "the truth". If that's penal substitution then fine by me. All I can tell you is that I did not get it from Calvin.

    In short, you need to define your terms and substantiate your claims with evidence and actual arguments where the dots are actually connected because I don't buy it at all. It is my bible, not Calvin, that tells me that God paid the price that justice demands for sin and that the price he paid is accrued to my account if and when I call upon the name of Jesus and believe that God raised Him from the dead.
     
  19. CJP69

    CJP69 Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2023
    Messages:
    492
    Likes Received:
    54
    Faith:
    Baptist
    This wouldn't be true even if your theory about the origins of Penal Substitution are correct.

    That just isn't how this works. Penal substitution is NOT a Calvinist distinctive! I don't care what else you do believe, if don't believe that God is utterly immutable or that humans are totally depraved then you ARE NOT any sort of Calvinist whatsoever - period.

    Again, just because Calvin taught something doesn't make it false nor does it necessarily make it Calvinism.
     
  20. JonC

    JonC Moderator
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2001
    Messages:
    33,678
    Likes Received:
    3,602
    Faith:
    Baptist
    Consider history.

    No theologian before John Calvin articulated the Atonement on the grounds of Penal Substitution. Sure, there are penal aspects of the Atonement. But the type of substitution was always representation (read Aquinas' defence of his use of punishment and substitution if you doubt that fact).

    John Calvin reformed the Roman Catholic Atonement (Aquinas) from a system based on merit to a system based on justice (specifically a 16th century understanding of retributive justice....which is understandable as Calvin was trained not in theology but humanistic law).

    You have entire centuries showing this development (consider Aquinas' 13th Century development of how an innocent man could be punished for a guilty man).

    Just read history. You are an intelligent man. You will see what I mean. Probably the quickest way is to find a Christian before Calvin who stated the Doctrine of Penal Substitution (not aspects, but the actual doctrine).

    Read the positions of those in the 16th Century who were not Calvinists. Obviously Catholics disagreed with Penal Substitution. BUT so did every Christian sect at the time (Ana-baptist sects, Lutheran, for example).

    There was a time in history where ONLY Calvinists held the Doctrine of Penal Substitution. Before this time there is no evidence the position was held (some would say it was in embro for 15 thousand years until Calvin put it together, but I find that foolish. He invented the Doctrine when he reformed Aquinas' position).

    Consider how you read the Doctrine of Penal Substitution as do central to the Cross yet no Christian discovered this until John Calvin came along.
     
Loading...