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Featured The Philosophy of Calvinism

Discussion in 'Calvinism & Arminianism Debate' started by JonC, Nov 12, 2020.

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  1. kyredneck

    kyredneck Well-Known Member
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    ...attaway Yesh! Good comeback! In the beginning Elohim....
     
    #21 kyredneck, Nov 13, 2020
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2020
  2. Rob_BW

    Rob_BW Well-Known Member
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    So Recapitulation Theory, for an example, can be a theology since it wasn't constructed to answer a question. But Calvinism is forever doomed to be mere philosophy because it was.

    Seems like an arbitrary dividing line.
     
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  3. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    Why do you believe Recapitulation was not constructed to answer a question?

    And I said Calvinism as TULIP, not Calvinism as a whole.
     
  4. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    Here's another example:

    "Theology" is the study of God.

    Total depravity deals with the human condition

    Unconditional election deals not with God choosing without conditions but those conditions being God's will apart from any mert in man.

    Limited Atonement deals with the men for whom Christ died.

    Irresistible grace deals with man's inability to ultimately resist God's grace.

    Preference of the Saints deals with the eternalvsecurity of men.

    Calvinism (TULIP) is man-centered.

    You could say this is because it is sotetiology. But it is not. Soteriology is the study of salvation - i.e. what God has done. It is the New Covenant - the Kingdom and those who ate participating in the Kingdom.
     
  5. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    Except you ate assuming. Scripture tells us to focus on Who? How do we know the Father? What is the ONLY way for man to know God? How is God revealed to man?

    If you stich with the Trinity then you are wrong. Scripture says we can only know God because Christ has revealed God to us as He is the 3xact image of the Father.

    We can't find a "backdoor" to the God. We have to focus on Christ - and in the Son the Godhead is revealed.
     
  6. Rob_BW

    Rob_BW Well-Known Member
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    Into semantics we go, I guess..

    Most texts will say that "Theology Proper" is the direct study of God, and leave room for harmatology and angelology and a myriad of other -ologies in the tent that is Theology.
     
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  7. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    Yes, I get the theology thing.

    But Calvinism as TULIP is really just the response to the Five Articles....I'm not making this up. It is not enough to be a soteriology. It's mostly about man.

    It is soteriological. But it is an answer to a philosophical question - not a study of God, not a study of salvation....it is a response to an objection regarding predestination in salvation.
     
  8. Reynolds

    Reynolds Well-Known Member
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    I don't know. I view Philosophy different than many. I use one of my professors definition of philosophy. He said, anything that can not be answered absolutely by Science is Philosophy.
     
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  9. Dave G

    Dave G Well-Known Member

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    Personally, I would get rid of them...
    But that's just me. ;)

    Myself,
    I can't think of any reason a believer should use such things, as we have the Holy Spirit as Teacher ( John 6:45, 1 John 2:20-27 ) and the Lord has given us all that we need that pertains to life and godliness in the Person of His Spirit and the presence of His word.
    Could we maybe re-label them as,
    "Stuff that's useful to know when comparing notes with others who read the Bible for themselves, but I trust the Lord to get me there on my own, just like He did for some of them"?:)
     
    #29 Dave G, Nov 13, 2020
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  10. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    I guess either way we all have philosophical understandings.

    My whole point is we need to be able to understand and defend how we get from point A (the text of scripture) to point B (our understanding).
     
  11. Rob_BW

    Rob_BW Well-Known Member
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    We have Scripture, and our understanding of Scripture. There will always be questions, answers, objections, what have you. If that's the dividing line between theology and philosophy, then theology might as well not exist as a concept.
     
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  12. Rob_BW

    Rob_BW Well-Known Member
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    And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; Ephesians 4:11

    What if some of the teachers mentioned here wrote stuff down?
    :eek:

    ;)
     
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  13. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    It is not.

    What I am getting at is we have the text of scripture (point A). Then we have our understanding (point B).

    Between point A and point B is an activity. We should be willing to examine how we get from A to B.

    This is where reasoning comes in.

    Reasoning is more than a formula. We do not say understanding = scripture.

    There are many things that influence our reasoning.

    The most common are philosophical ideas we hold, our worldviews, cultural influences, and ideologies.

    We need to be able to recognize, identify, explain, and defend how we get from point A (scripture) to point B (our understanding).

    Just stating that we get there is meaningless because everyone starts at point A but some end up at point C, others at point D, and so on.

    The difference is not scripture. The difference is not God. The difference is our reasoning which is comprised of many elements to include philosophical influences, ideologies and worldviews, cultural expectations, and the like.

    That is where the differences are. Again, not with Scripture and not with God (not with what is objective) but with us (the subjective). And that is where conversation can be had.
     
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  14. Parashah

    Parashah Member

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    An Interesting analysis.

    Thx, you have challenged me to read further; just as Scripture admonishes us to at all times:

    "Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true."
    Acts 17:11 (NIV)
     
    #34 Parashah, Nov 14, 2020
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  15. Parashah

    Parashah Member

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    I have some genuine concerns with that statement.

    Pls consider the Christian Gospel as outlined by the Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:3-8:

    "Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand.

    By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.

    For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve.

    After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.

    For I am the least of the apostles and do not even deserve to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect.

    No, I worked harder than all of them—yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me. Whether, then, it is I or they, this is what we preach, and this is what you believed."
    1 Corinthians 15:3-11 (NIV)

    I can see no reference to the Trinity in the Gospel; our faith in which saves us.

    Also, Christ does not work in opposition to or without the approval of, both our Heavenly Father and the Holy Spirit. In fact Christ stated that he had come to do the Father's will:

    "For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me."
    John 6:38 (NIV)

    The Resurrected and Ascended Son now "seated at the right-hand of the Majesty on High" (He whom was originally sent by the Father to undergo a "Baptism of Fire" in his earthly ministry) now sends the Holy Spirit:

    "But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be My witnesses, telling people about Me everywhere - in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."
    Acts 1:8 (NLT)

    If memory serves me correctly, theologically the Father is referred to as the "Administrative Head" and the "First Among Equals" (primus inter pares) in the Christian Trinity. Pls do not confuse that usage with the Communist borrowing of the term for their own ideological agenda!!!

    I may have confused your post slightly as to being in relation to the Gospel rather than Calvinism per se.
     
    #35 Parashah, Nov 14, 2020
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  16. Rob_BW

    Rob_BW Well-Known Member
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    Nobody is trying to say that Scripture and our understanding are equivalents.

    But you are reducing theology down to reading Scripture, making the addition of any human thought/reason/exegesis flip the activity to philosophy.

    Which you can argue. But it strikes me as odd that you begin the argument solely discussing Calvinism, while your novel way of defining things will affect every subset of theology.
     
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  17. kyredneck

    kyredneck Well-Known Member
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    His post was in relation to THEOLOGY in general, not the gospel, nor Calvinism in particular:

     
    #37 kyredneck, Nov 14, 2020
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  18. Dave G

    Dave G Well-Known Member

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    What I'm saying Rob, is that even if they wrote stuff down ( which is helpful ), don't you think that since the Lord has given you His Spirit, then He can show you the same things that He has shown to them strictly through your own studies?

    As an analogy:

    Why go to the well to have a cup handed to you with water that someone else has filled for you...
    When you can go straight to the well with your own cup and fill it yourself?;)
     
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  19. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    You are missing my point.

    I am not making an argument at all.

    I am stating a fact.

    Calvinism (TULIP) started not with scripture but as a rebuttal to the Five Articles which was addressing a philosophical issue (predestination and the problem of evil).

    BUT Calvinism in a larger scope is a theology (Calvinism more than TULIP).

    Again, NOT an argument- a fact.

    I then identified several philosophical presuppositions upon which Calvinism is dependent.

    Again, not an argument but a fact.

    What I wanted was a discussion on these presuppositions NOT an argument about why I was only addressing Calvinism or that other theologies ate also dependent on presupposed ideas (they are).

    The reason I chose to address Calvinism is that this is the Calv section. Also on other threads Calvinism has been equated to Scripture itself and the Calvinistic understanding not to reasoning but to divine revelation.

    Can you address the philosophical presuppositions held by Calvinism?

    That was my intent but thus far these presuppositions have been entirely overlooked.
     
  20. Dave G

    Dave G Well-Known Member

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    It can be.
    I disagree.

    For example, what is commonly called "Calvinism", at least with regard to the TULIP, I've never found it necessary to go outside of Scripture itself for my understanding on any topic.
    In a deeper sense, I've never had to go outside of the words on the page to understand concepts like "Divine Reprobation", "calling", election and predestination, and many other things that so-called "Calvinists" hold to.
    With me it all started out small and built upon itself through my studies in His word over the past two decades.
    I agree.

    Those do, in my estimation, constitute most of the influences that pry at us as believers to take God's word as anything other than what is written.
    That is why the Lord specifically states that we should abandon our own understanding and trust Him and His words alone ( Proverbs 3:5-7 ).

    In other words, we should chuck all that out the window and trust the Lord to show us, in His time, the things in His word that we currently do not understand.
     
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