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Featured What I wish the other side understood

Discussion in 'Calvinism & Arminianism Debate' started by Pastor_Bob, Apr 3, 2019.

  1. Pastor_Bob

    Pastor_Bob Well-Known Member

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    As has been mentioned here many times, one or both sides (I could say three sides for those of us who do not wish to be identified with either Calvinists nor Arminians) of the debate in this forum have had their positions misunderstood and, at times, even misrepresented. It is impossible to defend when someone attacks a straw man and not what you actually believe. That is why we hear the oft-repeated phrase, "You really don't understand ______."

    If possible, I would like to hear about some specific issues that you believe are some of the most commonly misrepresented or misunderstood in your positions as it relates to this C/A forum. I would also kindly ask that you create additional threads if you would like to debate the issues or refute the degree of understanding mentioned here. Please, let's leave this thread as an informative thread and not a debate thread.

    May I begin the discussion by saying that a common misunderstanding is that I am either a Calvinist or an Arminian. Some are adamant that these are the only two options. I, for one, do not fully agree with either. I have certain tenets of each that I can accept and others of both systems with which I would strongly oppose.

    So, I think it a clear misrepresentation to label everything contrary to Calvinism as Arminianism.

     
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  2. Reformed

    Reformed Well-Known Member
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    Bob, good OP. I hope it generates a profitable discussion.

    Among Baptists, the terms Calvinist and Arminian do enflame passions. I may have mentioned this to you before, but I like using the terms Monergist and Synergist because they deal directly with theology. Donald McKim defines Mongerism and Synergism. He writes, "[Mongerism] Is the view that the Holy Spirit is the only agent who effects regeneration of Christians. It is in contrast to synergism, the view that there is a cooperation between the divine and the human in the regeneration process." The almost impossible task is to get Christian on both sides of the aisle to admit what they believe. There are quite a few members of this board who refuse any attempt to be pinned down on this issue. This attitude is not just on one side. Of course, it makes discussion with those individuals difficult because they will fight tooth and nail to keep from stating what everyone else knows.
     
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  3. Rob_BW

    Rob_BW Well-Known Member
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    Ah, the unfortuate nomenclature wars.

    I believe the terms General Baptist and Particular Baptist were put forth last go-round, and didn't see much complaint.

    Monergist and Synergist seem like nice, technical terms devoid of historical baggage, but they just can't seem to gain any traction.
     
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  4. Reformed

    Reformed Well-Known Member
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    Rob, the thing about General and Particular Baptist is that they may or may not have other beliefs that go with those terms Hence, they never really get past the superficial. I do not expect Monergist or Synergist to fare any better. When someone does not want to own up to what they believe there is nothing anyone can do to make them.
     
  5. HankD

    HankD Well-Known Member
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    I like Pastor Bob's position. Personally I call myself a mugwump because whatever venue I stand on/under there are valid arguments against it.

    yes I refuse to be pinned down because I am sincerely undecided as to where my slot is and have decided to wait until I have an answer from the LORD (which inquiries will go unannounced).

    This indecision on my part I attribute to my limited intellectual capacity.

    Ecclesiastes 3:11 He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.
     
    #5 HankD, Apr 3, 2019
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  6. Reynolds

    Reynolds Well-Known Member
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    I think the problem is too many people talking causes confusion. I am talking to Calvinist A and Calvinist B,C,D and E answer my question as to what Calvinist A believes. I restate what was said and A says, I don't believe that.

    With good intentions, the Calvinists tell me what I believe because even though I make it plain I am an Arminiam, they assume I am a mutt. I am not a mutt, a non-cal, a blended cal, or a traditionalist. I am a Classical Arminiam. Classical right down to I am only 95% convinced about eternal security.
     
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  7. Reynolds

    Reynolds Well-Known Member
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    I agree. The problem I see with many Calvinists is they are evasive. My perception is they play word games to avoid dealing with logical consequences of their doctrine. On the other hand, I have the utmost respect for high Calvinists. They fully own their doctrine and don't mince words about the consequences.
     
  8. Pastor_Bob

    Pastor_Bob Well-Known Member

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    That is a great observation. Perhaps professional courtesy could dictate that a direct question be answered by the member to whom the question was asked.

    I think another good practice would be to not assume all Monergists or Synergists ;) in the discussion hold exactly to the position being stated. However, if you click "like," "agree," or "winner," it should be assumed that you agree with the post. Is that fair?
     
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  9. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell Well-Known Member
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    This is the attitude that is unnecessary and quite arrogant. If I tell someone that their characterization is incorrect that is what they should go by. You do not get to tell me what I believe.

    The issue is that the other persons view gets characterized from the opposing persons own theological construct in order to demean that position as much as possible in order to win a debate rather than have a discussion.

    I am not an arminian because I do not hold to everything arminianism holds to and I am not a synergist because I do not work in cooperation with God anymore than the gospel preacher does who delivers the very gospel I believe.

    People get all bent out of shape if others refuse to be pinned down to personal theological preferences. If someone wants to know what I believe about a particular doctrine ask me I will tell you. If you characterize it in any way other than what I have said you have lied and misrepresented me.
     
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  10. Reformed

    Reformed Well-Known Member
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    Bob, in all honesty, I do not see any other choice. If the Holy Spirit is the only agent that effects regeneration, then it is monergistic. If God leads the sinner to water but the sinner has the option to drink or not, that is synergism. The terms are not meant to be a pejorative. It also is logical with a dose of common sense.
     
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  11. Rob_BW

    Rob_BW Well-Known Member
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    I would be hesitant about "like." I think I sometimes have liked a post that sums up a block of information nicely, even if I don’t necessarily agree. Or if the post makes two separate points and I only like one point.
     
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  12. Reformed

    Reformed Well-Known Member
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    Some are but that is not exclusively the domain of Calvinists.

    How do you define a high Calvinist? I am not sure what that means.
     
  13. Reynolds

    Reynolds Well-Known Member
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    High Calvinist is the proper, historical name for what most now call hyper Calvinist. The biggest difference I see in debate is they embrace, not run from, the concept of and the term "Double predestination."
     
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  14. Reynolds

    Reynolds Well-Known Member
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    Seems fair enough.
     
  15. Reformed

    Reformed Well-Known Member
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    You do know that there is no agreed upon definition of a "Hyper Calvinist". The term is a pejorative used against Calvinists. I have heard non-Calvinists use it to describe Calvinists that do not believe in sharing their faith. I have heard it used to describe supralapsarians. I even had someone on this board tell me that all Calvinists are hyper-Calvinists.
     
  16. Reynolds

    Reynolds Well-Known Member
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    That's why I put the term "most" in there.
    A high Calvinist believes God is the bus driver and we are along for the ride. He is the puppet master and we are the puppets.

    Their position is very unwavering despite the consequences. Notice I said I respect, not agree with them.
     
  17. Reformed

    Reformed Well-Known Member
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    OK. Well, I do not know many Calvinists like that unless they are new and uneducated or they have no idea what scripture teaches. I believe no purpose of God can be thwarted by men. I also believe that God knows all things, even down to the most inconsequential of choices or minute detail. The difficulty for any person is to understand the tension between God's plan vs. man's choices. We are finite creatures trying to understand an infinite God. Ergo, there is a limit to our understanding. What I do know is that God works through the choices of men according to His divine will. Sometimes God is the first cause and other times He is the second cause.
     
    #17 Reformed, Apr 3, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2019
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  18. Martin Marprelate

    Martin Marprelate Well-Known Member
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    I agree with all five points of Calvinism (TULIP). If people want to say that makes me a Calvinist, I am quite relaxed about that, though in fact the Five Points were not formulated until well after Calvin's death.

    What does irritate me slightly is when people suppose that because I'm a 'Calvinist' I must therefore be in favour of 'baptizing' babies and burning Servatus.

    When pressed to define my theological stance, I tend to answer 'Reformed Baptist.'
     
  19. loDebar

    loDebar Well-Known Member

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    Martin, Are many Baptists Calvinistic in your area?
     
  20. Pastor_Bob

    Pastor_Bob Well-Known Member

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    Yes, sir, I understand that. I was using the terms broadly instead of Cal/Arm. My point is, there are so many facets of Calvinists and Arminians here on the BB that we cannot paint everyone's beliefs with a broad brush. Sure, we agree on the major points, but not necessarily on the periphery issues. I think it is counterproductive to assume everyone on the opposing side agrees across the board with the one who may have answered the question.
     
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