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Featured doctrines of grace ?

Discussion in 'Calvinism & Arminianism Debate' started by MB, Jan 3, 2017.

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  1. JonC

    JonC Lifelong Disciple
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    I'm not exactly sure where MB stands here. I think HeirOfSalvation may be more inclined to disagree if Justification is defined along reformed lines, but thus far MB has (as far as I know) declined to depart from "traditional" views.

    I try to be careful (perhaps overly so) to define other people's beliefs for them. I believe that the topic of salvation extends far beyond those issues of the Reformation, which has caused me to bump heads with some and face false accusations by others. What's that saying...Once bitten twice shy .

    The problem starts when people refute Calvinism by saying "Calvinists believe" followed by interpretations of Calvinism that are not widely held by actual Calvinists. And the same goes for any belief. It is simply better to debate doctrine than it is systems of belief.
     
  2. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1 Well-Known Member
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    That is true, as I was just saying that he seems to have a real agnst towards those of us who do see salvation in more of a Reformed/Calvinistic fashion!
     
  3. MB

    MB Well-Known Member

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    I understand what you are saying Yeshua I just do not agree with it I didn't miss anything I just rejected it because the verses Cassidy and other Calvinist present do not support total depravity.
    MB
     
  4. JonC

    JonC Lifelong Disciple
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    That's the thing. We are each persuaded in our understanding. I am satisfied with the passages I believe supports the doctrine of total depravity, in context of what I believe the doctrine to mean.

    Even within Calvinism there are disagreements about the precise meaning of some doctrines. Some debate what it means to have sinned "in" or "with" Adam. Others may debate whether it is proper to view God as choosing out of fallen man a people compared to God choosing a people prior to the Fall. Within Calvinism people debate the degree to which Christ died for all as compared to His death as an applied atonement. Calvinists debate covenants and dispensations.

    Add to this the fact that all Reformed theologies (here I mean those systems that grew out of the Reformation or turned to the Reformers) are indebted to the Reformation. Some would claim they owe their doctrine to the Reformers who developed theories now accepted; others that the Reformers brought out truths that had been neglected, or perhaps were out of view until that time. I think we can safely say that all Reformed theologies at least owe a debt to the Reformation for the articulation of their view. There are Christians who simply do not accept either the conclusions or the context that arose from the Reformation. Limited Atonement, for example, is not a major concern for one holding strictly to a Christus Victor theory of atonement.

    The problem that I see with denouncing a doctrine based on what persuades another to hold that doctrine is that you are refuting the evidence without refuting the thing itself. This is why I asked for you to deny what Calvinists hold as total depravity (not what it means to you, or what TCassidy offered as proof). At a minimum you have confirmed John Piper's view of total depravity. Since Piper is a 7 point Calvinist, I guess that makes you a 1 pointer with a long way to go. :Laugh
     
  5. TCassidy

    TCassidy Administrator
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    And that is his problem. Over and over again I have explained to him that "Total Depravity" does not mean every person is as bad as he/she could be, but that all three parts of a person, body, soul, and spirit have been affected by the fall. But he just ignores that, says that "Total Depravity" means nobody can do anything good then says the verses given don't support TD. Except they do. They support the REAL definition of TD, not his false definition. :rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes:
     
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  6. Agent47

    Agent47 Member
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    Esoteric, only the initiates,adepts are fit to discuss it.

    If you don't believe it,don't discuss it. Wow
     
  7. JonC

    JonC Lifelong Disciple
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    I never said you had to believe in it to discuss it. Please refrain from twisting my words to mean something not stated. I don't look to play juvenile games with your posts. Please don't with mine.

    If you honestly inferred my comment to mean one has to believe a doctrine to discuss it, then either read more carefully or ask for an explanation. You seem to be an intelligent brother in Christ. I think perhaps the stupidity of your reply was merely a result of careless reading. Please revisit my post and ask for clarification if needed.
     
  8. Agent47

    Agent47 Member
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    I don't own posts and most certainly I don't dictate what others do with them. This is a public forum I trust and posts are public. I really wish I had motivation for 'juvenile games'. Trust me I do.

    That aside, whatever you said is clear, clearer than what you are trying to get across in this post.

     
  9. JonC

    JonC Lifelong Disciple
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    This makes absolutely no sense, brother.

    My comment was that in order to debate Total Depravity, there were presuppositions that had to be met. One who rejects the doctrine that Adam's sin had an effect on human nature is not in a position to debate the extent of that effect. The object of their debate, in this case, would be "original sin". If you wondered, people do believe that we have degrees of depravity.

    You chose to twist my comment that these doctrines can only be debated by those who hold what they assume (here, total depravity assumes an effect from the Fall) to indicate one can only discuss these things if they believe them.

    This is a juvenile game. Unfortunately too many today are obsessed with entertainment and games. I've seen adults driving around with Transformer logos on their vehicles, Hitman logos as avatars, and Star Wars tattoos. We live in a juvenile culture.

    I do not know what you mean that you don't "own your posts". You do own your words, and while this is a public forum your words are subject to the rules of the forum. If you do not understand, then please feel free to PM me and I will explain.
     
  10. JonC

    JonC Lifelong Disciple
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    Yep. Somewhere I read that "People are more likely to be right in what they affirm than in what they deny" (oh yea....that's my signature :Biggrin) . This has proven true more often than not. I understand that some people (at least one on this thread) legitimately reject the doctrine of TD, but here it seems he is unwilling to reject TD so he redefines it simply because Calvinists believe it.
     
  11. Agent47

    Agent47 Member
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    The highlighted.

    You are both right and wrong. 'Original Sin' unlike John the Baptist's age when Jesus was born is a theological construct. This rends it open to debate.

    For instance, before Augustine I lack any teaching remotely suggesting inherited guilt. So I subscribe to inherited corrupted nature but not sin. As such,my understanding of Total Depravity may differ with yours.

    Still, we may agree exactly on Original Sin but still differ on the nature of its consequences. Prominent strands of Calvinism insist the Depraved soul is totally devoid of life, incapable of responding to God except it is regenerated first hence their curious Ordus Salutis. I find this eloquent but devoid of any scripture backing.

    So my brother, don't restrict debate only to those who sees things your way. That's where I'm coming from. The OP asked a question on the doctrines of Grace. Refuting or dismissing them altogether is as valid as expounding them


     
  12. JonC

    JonC Lifelong Disciple
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    I suspect this is true of all of us.
    I agree insofar as there are several views of “original sin”.

    That said, debates typically carry certain presuppositions. All I was saying was that if one rejects the presuppositions then they are not in a position to debate what those presuppositions yield.

    In seminary we had such arguments. But we also had a list of those things presupposed. Here is a larger example – one who denies that Jesus lived is not in the position to debate the scope of the Atonement. He may discuss the topic, of course, but insofar as debating what Christ’s death accomplished his opinions are obsolete.

    I can debate believers baptism. But I cannot honestly debate the proper methods for infant baptism. I hope this clarifies what I intended to convey and apologize if I was less than clear.
    I think we agree here. This would be an interesting discussion as well. I don’t believe that we are condemned for our nature but for our sin (Jesus had a human nature as well, but without sin).
    I’m glad you posted “prominent strands”. While I am not sure what constitutes “prominent” here, it is good to see that at least you acknowledge differing views. I agree that some take the allegory of the lost being spiritually dead too far. I also agree that forming doctrine based on the order of salvation can be problematic. Insofar as the need for God to work in the will and heart of a man in order for that person to repent and believe, I do find enough evidence. I believe God to be immutable – there is only one way of salvation, one redemptive plan. So I see passages that indicate God will forgive us and give us “new hearts” and His Spirit, and influence our actions through His Spirit as enough evidence for me. But what this means and how it is expressed is, of course, a topic of debate – even within Calvinistic belief.

    Just be careful when it comes to assuming beliefs on other people. I do not refer to myself as a Calvinist precisely because it can mislead people regarding my beliefs. But I do try to be honest and forthcoming about what I do believe and why.
    Mine was a simple, and I believe accurate, comment. I do not mean it to restrict debate but to state what is assumed. I think that this is evident in that the debate continued after my comment. I do, however, believe that certain presuppositions have to be met. If you did not hold at least some doctrine of the Fall corrupting human nature, then you would be in a position to debate if that corruption exists, but not its extent.
     
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  13. Earth Wind and Fire

    Earth Wind and Fire Well-Known Member
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    "Seems" LOL.....that is an understatement.
     
  14. Agent47

    Agent47 Member
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    Fair enough.
    In short,there is need for open consensus before engaging. Setting parameters.

    You may not bother with methods of pedobaptism but on an enquiry of scriptural basis of pedobaptism, where methods are discussed, your opposition or skepticism to the practice would be OP.

    On the subject thread, the OP enquires on the scriptural basis of doctrines of Grace without even stating whether they subscribe to them.. I still maintain that disputing them wholly is not off topic.

    Thank you
     
  15. JonC

    JonC Lifelong Disciple
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    I agree. Disputing the doctrines of Grace is not only not off topic but is (from what I gather) the purpose of the thread.

    I thought that it would be interesting to take them one by one, starting with TD, and see where people disagree. From what I understand (and he can correct me if I've misunderstood) HeirOfSalvation disagreed with TD because he rejects the idea of imputed corruption based on Adam's transgression. But others seem to affirm what many/most Calvinists view as TD (even if they reject the characterization they make of it).

    Where do you stand on the topic? Starting with total depravity, do you believe that we come to God apart from the influence of the Spirit?
     
  16. Agent47

    Agent47 Member
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    Great point there. I find a single thread dedicated to such a diverse but related topic to be wasteful; it will do no justice to either of the doctrines nor their nuances. But then again, the OP may be well satisfied with the discussion in that state


    I believe we inherit fallen/sinful nature which are almost always bent towards rebellion/sin against God.

    In this state we can't come to God on our own except He draws us.

    I know drawing is a theological minefield so I will explain it a bit. It is no compulsion but rather influencing our spiritual faculties towards God and ultimately salvation, and it is by no means irresistible as held by some.

    Resisting this drawing is what damns men
     
  17. JonC

    JonC Lifelong Disciple
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    I agree with you regarding human nature. I do wonder, however, exactly what this "nature" entails. We often talk of it, but it is rarely defined. Did Jesus not have the same human nature that we have (only he did not sin)? I believe he did. So I do not know that we are necessarily sinners based on our nature (apart from actually sinning) as much as we are inclined inwards - to satisfy our desires, the desires of the flesh - rather than towards God. So I believe that Jesus had a human nature and was tempted as we are, but denied the flesh to glorify the Father. That said, taking on human nature also involves being under the curse, which is death. So I also agree that our natures are bent towards the flesh rather than to God. This is what it means to be human. Even now we bear our crosses, flee from sin, and subdue the flesh.

    This is what I mean by total depravity. We are dependent on God to draw us. I also agree that this is not compulsion but rather the influencing of God. Spurgeon explained it well when he noted that the most common means God uses to draw men is persuasion. But even this, our acceptance of what so many have rejected, is the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

    I agree that we resist God's drawing. But here we would also disagree. I believe that God draws all men in a general sense. This is evident in what is known of God through common means. All men are inclined to seek God in a manner. Jesus died as the Savior of mankind, so that men may be saved. And all men reject this salvation. There was a time for all of us that we were unsaved, in a state of rebellion against God because we have all sinned. But I also believe that God draws some of these who have rejected that general drawing or call in a particular sense. And they may be resistant here as well. But God prevails. This is irresistible grace, that God accomplishes his purpose - not by compulsion but by transformation.

    The issue that I have seen on this thread (not necessarily with you, brother) is that sometimes people want to magnify disagreements by redefining the beliefs of others in such a way to "win" an argument. I've seen this done against various positions (not just Calvinism). I think that we can benefit from discussing our disagreements, even if we never come to the same conclusions. We get to learn of each other's beliefs, consider those interpretations, refine our views if necessitated, or perhaps strengthen our own arguments. But we cannot do this if we are not willing to work with the views of opposing brethern. I cannot debate your position if I consistently define your position for you. I have to deal with your view on your terms, or not at all. Sometimes people think that are fighting dragons when in truth they are battling windmills. They may achieve victory, but it is hollow and meaningless.

    Too many people simply do not take the time to listen and learn what others are saying. I do not mean to be harsh - I have done this as well. But there comes a time when we need to pause and see what is really being said before proceeding (again, not directed at you but the direction of this thread).
     
  18. Agent47

    Agent47 Member
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    I agree that definitions are important.

    I have some accounting background and common terms such as asset,income and so forth have vigorous definitions that would confuse a layman. But such academic and precise definition are really not necessarily essential to the layman. He will grasp what an asset is and what it is not readily.

    Coming to scriptures and, theology, definitional imprecision abound. Soul,spirit,regeneration,righteousness,holiness,godliness,justification,judgement....

    Some times I find it unhelpful,subjective and other times it amplifies my belief.

    'Sinful Nature' to me embodies our tendency to rebel against God. Just as an alcoholic has a tendency to abuse or take alcohol in excessive amounts regularly, but can be sober at time, so is the Sinful Nature; not always and in every way sinning but it tends to sin

    Romans 8:3 tells me Jesus came 'in the likeness of sinful flesh,and for sin'. HOW did Jesus manage a sinless life? Was his humanity somewhat special than ours? If so then is it fair to set him up as an example of overcoming temptation? If he was in every way human yet without sin, can a human attain the same state of sinlessness? (I have met 'sin-free' Christians)

    This is part of my faith I'm still interrogating. It is one where no proposed paradigm answers all questions. Just like any approach to interpreting Revelation, none is,to date and to me, without holes.


    Wholly agreed
    So God does something leading to acceptance in some and not others,right?

    I won't push it but I think you have just described compulsion.

    I'm from Kenya. Kenya has various parts which are steeped in traditional religions and witchcraft. Our neighbors Tanzania are famed for even more potent witchcraft. One type of this is love potions. A woman does it targeting a man and the man is supposed to hopelessly fall for her. Some actually reduce men to puppets, they surrender all their businesses and salaries to a woman.

    Supposing a woman did this to you and it worked, would it be anything other than compulsion?

    This crude analogy is exactly what unsolicited 'transformation' that makes particular drawing effectual seems to me. Whether after the transformation you want nothing but to follow Christ, you have been rigged to do so. More on this later.

    The main reason we may disagree on this aspect is not compulsion but rather that God is anything but love to all those he won't irresistibly draw to him.

    He loves them so much as to derive pleasure and glory (Jonathan Edwards spin) in their damnation.

    Illustration.
    I know you consider yourself Elect.
    Consider this. It is perfectly plausible for one Mr. X to study and understand your position including about all you know about God.

    Now suppose Mr X is reprobate, and he is also under no illusion that he is anything else. Would Mr X share your perception of God's love and mercy? Would John 3:16 make any sense?

    What I'm saying is this particular belief system presupposes all its recipients and purveyors are Elect, are safe. That's why Edward had no qualms over eternal damnation giving God glory as much as eternal life, yet he couldn't volunteer to glorify God from hell

    I'm guilty of what you are saying and I've also been a victim. Somebody not only misrepresents my statement or belief, but proceeds to tear it apart. I can't defend what I don't believe in.

    But there is another annoying and hilarious habit I have noted not necessarily on this thread; repeat claims that your belief/position is misunderstood. This I usually find as a defense mechanism when your argument or position falls apart and is indefensible. Or where inconsistencies in your beliefs is pointed out. Short of abandoning them, you charge your debater with ignorance without proof.

    I think it's human nature to resist admitting fault. The fact that we have invested time,money,resources and emotions in beliefs also makes us cling to them too tight even past their sell-by date.


    That said, I sincerely apologize to anyone here I may have hastily misrepresented their position or used unkind words. Please do find it in your heart of hearts forgiveness.
     
    #58 Agent47, Jan 6, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2017
  19. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1 Well-Known Member
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    How do you understand Paul referring to Jesus ass econd Adam, as hte Head of a saved Humanityy, just as Adam was head over lost/fallen one then?

    Seems like Ferderal Headship there, correct?
     
  20. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1 Well-Known Member
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    Non Calsnormally see the doctrine as meaning that we all are as bad as a Hitler was....
    Or that we cannot do any good works at all...
     
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