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Doctrines of Grace

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by glfredrick, Dec 4, 2010.

  1. glfredrick

    glfredrick New Member

    Aug 5, 2010
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    In other threads, the topic of free will and God's sovereignty come up or end up in virtually every thread.

    In most of those posts, I've seen a stereotype of Calvinism or preferably the Doctrines of Grace that even the proponents of the opposing view admit are not correct when pressed. For instance, in one thread where we were discussing evangelism and Calvinism, it was admitted that many Calvinists do not hold to the standard opposition view, i.e., that Calvinists (or Reformed, or those holding the Doctrines of Grace) are not evangelistic. When pressed to present people, churches, teachers, etc., who actually teach that hyper-Calvinistic model, nothing came forth.

    Here, I'd like to introduce another aspect of the Doctrines of Grace -- literally, "grace." It is only by God's "grace" that we come to Him. He must extend that grace FIRST, whether Arminian or Calvinist, to see one saved. Pelagianism is another thing, and human-centered enough so as to be heretical, as is hyper-Calvinism, which features an absolutely deterministic God, cf., Allah.

    Along those lines, I'd like to toss out the opening salvo around another common expression by non-Calvinists, "God will not drag someone to heaven kicking and screaming..." To which, by the way, we mostly all agree, no matter which side of this discussion we stand. So on the face of it, that phrase seems nothing more than a red herring or strawman argument anyway. But in any case, because it does come up often, I thought that I would offer some thoughts...

    Here is a question that leads to my thesis statement, and this is especially directed toward those of the more Arminian perspective, even if you, like I with Calvinism, do not hold to that descriptor:

    Do you pray for God to change the hearts of those in or around your ministry, family, community, and the world, who are in blatant sin, irreconcilable marriages, animosity toward God, etc."

    If you DO pray for God to change the heart, then why? Can God indeed direct the thoughts, attitudes, direction, heart, soul, etc., of a person who stands against Him in sin or other rebellious attitude or action?

    And, why can God do that for anything or anyone, except in the case of salvation, where the "kicking and screaming" line comes into play?
  2. Winman

    Winman Active Member

    Jul 8, 2009
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    I pray for family members and friends who are not saved, and while I do not believe God forces someone to be saved against their will, I absolutely believe he can exert influence on them.

    It is not much different than the news we see every day concerning world governments. The U.S. for instance can institute financial or trade constraints on a country to exert pressure on it. The Cuban trade embargo is an example. While this has not been successful, some actions like this have been. The U.S. threatened several years ago to seize the assets of countries who were harboring and giving assistance to terrorists. This threat worked well in some areas and certain countries quickly arrested or exported terrorists operating in their country.

    The scriptures speak of God giving up or giving over some who reject him, I pray that God would continue to have compassion on them and continue to exert pressure on them to be saved and not give them up.

    God uses fear to save some folks. I got saved when I heard a fire and brimestone sermon on hell. I was certainly ready to accept Christ after hearing that. Does it work on everyone? No, but it works on many.

    Jude 1:And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.
  3. Dr. Bob

    Dr. Bob Administrator

    Jun 30, 2000
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    I pray for God's grace to be glorified. I plead that this might be extended to loved ones, friends, neighbors, co-workers who are dead and blind to the Gospel and without the special inward working of the holy Spirit.

    As a calvinist (since age 14) I have two great loves in addition to the study/preaching of the Word. One is prayer and the other is missions (spreading news of Law and Gospel to all the world).

    Appreciate the reminder in this thread and sweet spirit of the posts