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Non-Calvinist theologians?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by bjonson, Jan 10, 2006.

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  1. whatever

    whatever New Member

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    This might blow your mind, but hear me out. Man is commanded to repent and believe. It does not follow that man is able to repent and believe.

    The followers of Arminius built their argument, in part, on the notion that one cannot be held accountable to perform that which he is not able to perform. I think this is obviously false. The first half of Romans 3 makes it clear that we all, every single person, are under sin and we cannot do anything about it. And yet Paul says that while we were in this condition God sent the law "so that every mouth may be stopped, and the whole world may be held accountable to God". He gave His law, and His people couldn't possibly keep it, and yet He held them accountable. It's the same with us, with God's command for us to repent and believe. Unless the Father draws us we cannot repent and believe, and those who the Father draws will be raised up by Christ on the last day.
     
  2. Major B

    Major B <img src=/6069.jpg>

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    The Stone-Campbell theology goes quite beyond arminianism to the borders of pelagianism. Most of them don't believe in original sin.

    The Nazarenes are conservative Methodists by another name.

    Geisler is certainly a Jesuit in his approach to some issues--nuff said on that! He does not disagree with the Reformed viewpoints on some "fine points," he rejects reformed theology totally, and is about a two-pointer, if that.

    Finney was, of all things, Presbyterian--but so were Campbell and Stone at first. He later became a perfectionist as well as a Pelagian.

    You could include all of Catholicism except for Augustine and his followers, and the Jansenists in 18th century France.

    Again, we must qualify our use of the term "Calvinist." Grudem, J.P. Boyce, Dagg, Nettles, Gill,, etc., were Baptists. MacArthur is baptistic and is a dispensationalist. They and those whose categories they represent are Monergists in their doctrines of Salvation, as opposed to the synergism of others, but "Calvinist" is not what they are in every area.

    Then again, if you are looking at the doctrines of the Holy Spirit, the infallibility of the Bible, justification by faith alone, salvation by grace alone, original sin, etc., these evangelical doctrines were first systemized in Calvin's Institutes. So, you could say all evangelicals are calvinst to a degree. After all, so were Jacobus Arminius and Moise Amyraut.
     
  3. Major B

    Major B <img src=/6069.jpg>

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    More on Finney. Lest you disbelieve, here are some excerpts from his "Lectures"

    "
     
  4. bjonson

    bjonson New Member

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    Major B,

    You have been very enlightening to me. Thank you for sharing this information.
     
  5. Ransom

    Ransom Active Member

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    Humblesmith said:

    Norman Geisler refers to himself as moderate calvinist (see Chapter 1 of "Chosen But Free"). Most of those that refer to Geisler as arminian are those who disagree with him on the finer points of election/free will,

    There is a good reason we call Geisler Arminian. Even though he calls himself a "moderate Calvinist," he co-opts the traditional theological language and redefines terms such as "Unconditional Election" at his own whim - and his revised definitions are practically indistinguishable from run-of-the-mill, four-point, evangelical Arminianism.

    If an economist were to label himself a "moderate Marxist," it's reasonable to assume that he isn't going to promote private ownership of property and call it "collectivism."

    and don't understand that his perspective comes from Thomas Aquinas (whom they've never read.)

    Actually, I have read Aquinas. I have a few friends, critics of Calvinism, who think that the traditional Calvinist teaching on election and predestination was practically unheard of between Augustine and Martin Luther. I like to point them to Chapter 8 of the Summa Theologica, where we find out that Aquinas was quite a strong predestinarian, believing that the election of believers was wholly God's prerogative, not man's. The Roman Catholic Aquinas was more "Calvinist," in fact, than "moderate Calvinist" Norman Geisler.
     
  6. webdog

    webdog Active Member
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    More circular nonsense. God would not command someone to do something if they were unable to respond to it. When God said to have no other gods beside Him is proof that man can have other gods beside Him. When God says to believe, follow, repent, etc. be assured that man can believe, follow, repent, etc. My God does not speak foolish, impossible double talk.
     
  7. Ransom

    Ransom Active Member

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    More circular nonsense.

    Do you even know what the word "circular" means? Because you wouldn't be able to guess it from the way you use it.
     
  8. webdog

    webdog Active Member
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    If you want to discuss grammar and the english language, go somewhere else. It is pretty circular to command someone to repent...but they are unable to repent...they are judged on not repenting...so they are punished for not following the command to repent. I thought that there were no "absolutes" when speaking figuratively?
     
  9. Major B

    Major B <img src=/6069.jpg>

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    Actually, I believe that instead of debating, this thread was for the purpose of identifying and relating information about the persons and positions of non-calvinist theologians.
     
  10. Ransom

    Ransom Active Member

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    If you want to discuss grammar and the english language, go somewhere else. It is pretty circular to command someone to repent...but they are unable to repent...they are judged on not repenting...so they are punished for not following the command to repent.

    This must be some new and unusual definition of the word "circular" which humanity has not previously experienced.
     
  11. webdog

    webdog Active Member
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    ...you now have. [​IMG]
     
  12. Humblesmith

    Humblesmith New Member

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    By "chapter 8" I assume you mean I-II.8, which deals with "the will, in regard to what it wills." Nothing there about the determiner of the will, only what is willed. More directly to the subject is I-II.9.3, and I-II.9.6. dealing with "That which moves the will." Here, esp. question 6, "Is the will moved by God alone" explains a position I presume you'd agree with. And you correctly point out that Thomas shows God as determiner of the will. But look more closely.....he also says that "without [God's] universal motion, man cannot will anything. But man determines himself by his reason to will this or that, which is true or apparent good."

    Also is I-II.109.2, dealing with "whether man can wish or do any good without grace?" I would think that you'd like this one.

    All of this, I'm sure you'll agree, is overridden by scripture, which is the final arbiter of truth. However, all I have read of Thomas and Geisler, they align, such as with the teaching of God's and man's wills in the passages cited here.
     
  13. EdSutton

    EdSutton New Member

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    What are the qualifications for 'theologian'? Is there a list somewhere?
    Ed
     
  14. bjonson

    bjonson New Member

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    Ed,

    Good question. My original hope for this post was to uncover men who are published and reasonably well-known as theologians, preachers or authers and who hold to non-Calvinism.

    The feedback has been what I hoped for, excepting the debating...which wasn't intended.
     
  15. exscentric

    exscentric Well-Known Member
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    On an internet board - no debating - surely you jest :D

    On this board - no debating - you are jesting [​IMG]
     
  16. Ransom

    Ransom Active Member

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    Humblesmith said:

    By "chapter 8" I assume you mean I-II.8, which deals with "the will, in regard to what it wills."

    Actually, by "chapter 8" I meant I.23, which deals with "Predestination." Don't know where I got that 8 from. Faulty memory.

    Aquinas defines predestination thus:

    He believed in double predestination:

    He answers the cavils of those anti-predestinarians that claim that God's election is arbitrary or capricious, responding that election is grounded in love:

    Nor is election based on the foreknowledge of merit in the one elected:

    A common objection to Calvinism is that it kills evangelism. After all, why bother preaching to the unconverted if God has already predestined them to heaven or hell? Aquinas tackles a similar question, of whether prayer is efficacious in light of predestination, answering in the affirmative:

    We can guess that his answer would be similar if he were tackling the question of evangelism instead of prayer: God has ordained not only the end, which is conversion, but the means, which is evangelism, so go to it!

    Now, if you read Chosen but Free, it becomes quite evident that even if we can consider Norman Geisler to be a Thomist, he certainly departs from Aquinas' views on this particular subject.

    [ January 16, 2006, 12:18 PM: Message edited by: Ransom ]
     
  17. Humblesmith

    Humblesmith New Member

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    If we read Chosen But Free, it becomes quite evident that Norman Geisler is aligned with Thomas' teaching on secondary causes, which you have rightly quoted. That is one of the main points in the book. He also carries the theme through, with extensive support from historical sources, in his Systematic Theology.
     
  18. Athanasian Creed

    Athanasian Creed New Member

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    ...BTW, I've heard Spurgeon believed faith was exercised an instant before regeneration - anybody know if that's true? [/QB][/QUOTE]


    "a man who is regenerated...is saved already...it is...ridiculous...to preach Christ to him.
    - Spurgeon, "The Warrant of Faith", pg. 3

    Calvinists argue that salvation and regeneration are two distinct events, regeneration coming first by God's sovereign act without faith, then the gift of faith is given so that the person can believe the gospel unto salvation. This quote from Spurgeon rejects that notion.

    Salvation comes by faith - faith is the means of our salvation/regeneration, not something that follows it.

    "by grace THROUGH faith" - God's grace to regenerate us by our faith. ;)


    Ray [​IMG]
     
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  19. Athanasian Creed

    Athanasian Creed New Member

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    Yes, to come, believe and receive Christ -

    Matthew 11:28 Come unto me, all ye Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

    Acts 16:31 And they said, Acts 16:31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.

    John 1:12 But as many as received him But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

    "by grace THROUGH faith" - God's grace in regenerating us by our faith in Him. ;)


    Ray [​IMG]
     
  20. Athanasian Creed

    Athanasian Creed New Member

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    Calvinist like to believe so but, imo, the Word of God doesn't teach such -

    Hebrews 6:4-6 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.

    (Barnes Commentary on Heb. 6:4-6) That it refers to true Christians will be apparent from these considerations:--

    (1.) Such is the sense which would strike the great mass of readers. Unless there were some theory to defend, the great body of readers of the New Testament would consider the expression here used as describing true Christians.

    (2.) The connexion demands such an interpretation. The apostle was addressing Christians. He was endeavouring to keep them from apostasy. The object was not to keep those who were awakened and enlightened from apostasy, but it was to preserve those who were already in the Church of Christ from going back to perdition. The kind of exhortation appropriate to those who were awakened and convicted, but who were not truly converted, would be to become converted; not to warn them of the danger of falling away. Besides, the apostle would not have said of such persons that they could not be converted and saved. [But of sincere Christians it might be said, with the utmost propriety, that they could not be renewed again, and be saved, if they should fall away--because they rejected the only plan of salvation after they had tried it, and renounced the only scheme of redemption after they had tasted its benefits. If that plea could not save them, what could? If they neglected that, by what Other means could they be brought to God?

    Hebrews 10:26-27,38-39 For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries...Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.

    (Barnes Commentary on Heb. 10:26) If, after we are converted and become true Christians, we should apostatize, it would be impossible to be recovered again, for there would be no other sacrifice for sin; no way by which we could be saved.

    1 Timothy 1:19 Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck:

    There is never a mention of true faith and false faith in Scripure. The faith spoken of here is saving faith, of which some, as the Apostle Paul says, have "made shipwreck"


    'Hyper-Calvinism' is really an oxymoron. Hyper Calvinists are true Calvinists (eg. James White), all others are "leaky" (eg. C.H. Spurgeon)


    Ray [​IMG]
     
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