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Brother Jason

Are Calvinists the Only True Christians?

Are Calvinists the Only True Christians?  

6 members have voted

  1. 1. Are Calvinists the Only True Christians?

    • Calvinism in general is a cult
      0
    • This is a small extreme cult-like form of Calvinism
      0
    • This is real Calvinism and it's NOT a cult


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That may seem like an odd question, especially considering I'm not a Calvinist myself, but you see, I have here a lot of quotes by prominent Calvinist theologians where they seem to be eluding to Calvinism being the only true form of Christianity. That honestly makes me wonder if the people who believe that have fashioned Calvinism into some sort of cult.

 

Maurice Roberts, on the back-cover of The Potter’s Freedom, by James White, wrote, “In a manner reminiscent of Luther demolishing Erasmus, James White grinds the Semi-Pelagianism of Dr. Geisler to fine powder, not in the spirit of triumphalism, but knowing that all Arminianism is as hostile to the true gospel as it is friendly to a reviving Roman Catholicism.”

 

 

 

The description on the back-cover of The Potter’s Freedom says, “This book is written as a reply to Dr. Geisler, but it is much more: it is a defense of the very principles upon which the Protestant Reformation was founded. Indeed, it is a defense of the very gospel itself!”

 

 

 

Arthur Custance said, “It is questionable whether a dogmatic theology which is not Calvinistic is truly Christian.”

 

He also said, “Calvinism is the Gospel and to teach Calvinism is in fact to preach the Gospel.”

 

 

 

Kenneth Talbot and W. Gary Crampton said, “any compromise of Calvinism is a step towards humanism.”

 

 

 

They also said, “The apostolic doctrine was that of Reformed Theology.”

 

 

 

Loraine Boettner said, “There is no consistent stopping place between Calvinism and atheism.”

 

 

 

and, “The doctrine that men are saved only through the unmerited love and grace of God finds its full and honest expression only in the doctrines of Calvinism.”

 

 

 

William Cunningham said, “Calvinism is just the full exposition of and development of the sum and substance of what is represented in Scripture as done for the salvation of sinners by the three persons of the Godhead.”

 

 

 

David Engelsma said, “Calvinism is the Gospel. Its outstanding doctrines are simply the truths that make up the Gospel.”

 

 

 

Charles Spurgeon has said many funny things about Calvinism, such as, “It is a nickname to call it Calvinism; Calvinism is the gospel, nothing else.”

 

 

 

and, “There is no such thing as preaching Christ and him crucified, unless you preach what now-a-days is called Calvinism.”

 

and, “The longer I live the clearer does it appear that John Calvin’s system is the nearest to perfection.”

 

 

 

Rienk Kuiper said, “It is my firm conviction that the only theology contained in the Bible is the Reformed theology.”

 

R. K. McGregor Wright said, “Arminianism thought is best understood historically, as a compromise of the Reformation gospel with the humanistic motif of the autonomy of the human consciousness flowing out of the ancient pagan learning that had just been rediscovered in the Renaissance.”

 

 

 

Alexander Leighton said this about Arminianism, “The last and greatest monster of the man of sin; the elixir of Anti-Christianism.”

 

 

 

William MacLean wrote in his book Arminianism: Another Gospel, “Arminianism is the very essence of Popery.” Not potpourri, but Popery, as in the Pope.

 

He also wrote that Arminianism “appears as the gospel of Christ, but in reality is ‘another gospel.’”

 

 

 

Duane Spencer said that “Arminianism is but a refinement of Pelegianism.”.

 

 

 

Grover Gunn said, “Arminianism teaches salvation mostly of grace but not all of grace.”

 

 

 

Edwin Palmer said, “I believe some Arminians may be born-again Christians.” How gracious of Mr. Palmer.

 

 

 

According to Milburn Cockrell, “The Christ of Arminianism is not the Christ of the New Testament.”

 

 

 

He also claims that “Christ and His apostles” were Calvinists!

 

 

 

Joseph Wilson said that “no one has ever been or ever will be saved in the way taught by Arminianism.”

 

I understand that Calvinists are obviously going to have strongly held convictions about the doctrines that separate them from other Christians, but to go so far as to claim that Calvinism IS the gospel, and that the Christ of Arminianism isn't the Christ of the N.T., and that Arminianism teaches another gospel, etc. seems to me to turn Calvinism into a cult. So I'm posting this in the Reformed Theology forum because I'm wondering what Calvinists here think of that. Do you think Calvinism is the gospel? Do you think non-Calvinists have the wrong Jesus? If you believe that do you think you're a cult member?

 

 

 

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If you believe that do you think you're a cult member?

 

Define Cult in relation to a Christian denomination.

 

And Calvinism is not a denomination, but is rather a systematic hermeneutic in the area of soteriology.

 

As far as Calvinist believing that they are the only Christians, I do not believe that I have ever heard of another Calvinist believe they are the only Christians. Then again, I discern the difference between being a Christian and a saved Christian. For example, I personally believe a Christian (follower of Christ) may not even believe in God in the beginning stage of his discipleship or may even sit under the guise of horrible theology for a time.

 

Whether Pelagianism teaches another Gospel, I think so. I think Pelagian or Semi Pelagianism soteriology centers itself on the lie of Genesis 3:5. Pelagianism is the soteriology of the natural man.

 

As to whether Arminians are saved, I believe they are often saved by their theological contradictions. That is, if we take them verbatim then I'd have to say they believe in a distorted Gospel. Much bad theology turns out merely to be inconsistent theology and it is possible to be saved in spite of bad theology, but only if they are inconsistent, and they don't really believe what they think or say they believe.

 

A fully consistent Arminian is not saved - but to be fully consistent you would have to be an open theist or something like it. But some Arminians are inconsistent, truly trusting in Christ alone, grace alone, but not thinking through what that means when it comes to faith, perseverance, etc. They are very weak in their understanding, and need to be taught the truth. IF they resist that teaching, and cling to their own contribution to salvation, it may be evidence that they are not saved. If they receive the teaching, and say, yes, this is true - it is grace alone, and grow in this, then they are saved and perhaps were before, but not enjoying their salvation, because bogged down in inconsistently bad theology. Consider that if someone is truly regenerated by the Holy Spirit but has sit for years under the false teaching of his denomination, he will become resistant to hearing the truth, especially the first time because his tradition has largely replaced it. If confronted with Scripture long enough it is probable they will be stripped of all poor understanding and self-effort, BUT many of these persons will likely NEVER have the opportunity to be confronted on this in their environment, that is, until Jesus returns. There are many Chrisitans in China in remote places who could not possibly come into contact with a theologically reformed church but the Holy Spirit may have quickened them while reading the Scriptures. I will not count out the fact that such a person may be saved. - Greg Fields - Calvinist

 

God bless,

William

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I would define a Christian cult as a sect of Christianity that claims that only they have the true Jesus and the true gospel. Since you just said that Arminians can only be saved by a happy accident, would you say you've put yourself in that category? So you believe that God makes you persevere, and that if you fall from the faith one day that would prove that you weren't really saved in the first place, and if you never return to the faith that would prove that Jesus didn't die for you and that you're a reprobate. None of that is your choice, it's all the result of God's eternal decree. But a person who claims that they are being sanctified by the Holy Spirit and have been transformed by God's grace, BUT also believes that his perseverance in the faith (or lack thereof) is the result of his own free will choices somehow constitutes a false gospel? Really? Could you elaborate on that please? Thanks.

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I would define a Christian cult as a sect of Christianity that claims that only they have the true Jesus and the true gospel. Since you just said that Arminians can only be saved by a happy accident, would you say you've put yourself in that category? So you believe that God makes you persevere, and that if you fall from the faith one day that would prove that you weren't really saved in the first place, and if you never return to the faith that would prove that Jesus didn't die for you and that you're a reprobate. None of that is your choice, it's all the result of God's eternal decree. But a person who claims that they are being sanctified by the Holy Spirit and have been transformed by God's grace, BUT also believes that his perseverance in the faith (or lack thereof) is the result of his own free will choices somehow constitutes a false gospel? Really? Could you elaborate on that please? Thanks.

You are conflating salvation and sanctification. An unsaved person cannot be sanctified, however, wrong theology on the issue of 'perseverance' will not disqualify someone from salvation.

 

However, the Roman Catholic Church where I first heard the gospel, the Church of God where I first learned about Bible Precepts from a Wesleyan Arminian, the Evangelical Free Church where I learned from a Moody graduate that my personal beliefs had a name (Calvinism), the Southern Baptist Church I studied the Trinity at, and the Pentacostal Church I currently attend and learned about the Moravian Church from a pastor raised Moravian, would all agree that placing the faith for your SALVATION somewhere other than in the person and work of Jesus Christ could disqualify a person from salvation ... whatever their view on the mechanics of the perseverance of the saints.

 

That was the point that William was making (and probably the point that the out of context blurbs from those books were making as well.)

If you believe, as the poor Jehovah's Witnesses do, that you need to sell enough tracts to earn one of the 144,000 seats on the bus to Heaven, then your incorrect theology may prevent your salvation (or God may save you in spite of your beliefs rather than because of them, He does not consult with me for a second opinion on such matters).

 

To be honest, I do not really sense any sort of honest inquiry or attempt to dialog in your opening post. It seems somewhat insulting, accusatory and rabble rousing. I actually hold Weslyan Arminianism in high regard. I just think that it is less Biblically supportable than Calvinism. Both views have verses that pose a challenge, I just think that Synergism has a higher hill to climb.

 

Since the true yardstick for comparing Calvinism and Arminianism is really Monergism vs Synergism at the point of initial "salvation", here is a question for you:

 

How can a sinful man overcome his fallen nature and slavery to sin in order to initially CHOOSE to repent?

 

​​​​​​​Calvinism says ... he can't ... therefore salvation is monergistic (Of and by GOD alone) [Ephesians 2:8-10 NASB]

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I would define a Christian cult as a sect of Christianity that claims that only they have the true Jesus and the true gospel.

 

A Christian denomination is different than a Sect or Cult. You haven't defined any of them.

 

Since you just said that Arminians can only be saved by a happy accident, would you say you've put yourself in that category?

 

Never said they were saved by accident. But what I did say was that some are probably saved despite their horrible soteriology. If nothing else they are saved despite what they profess verbatim.

 

So you believe that God makes you persevere, and that if you fall from the faith one day that would prove that you weren't really saved in the first place, and if you never return to the faith that would prove that Jesus didn't die for you and that you're a reprobate.

 

That's a distortion of Calvinist soteriology and quite telling of where you are theologically.

 

But a person who claims that they are being sanctified by the Holy Spirit and have been transformed by God's grace, BUT also believes that his perseverance in the faith (or lack thereof) is the result of his own free will choices somehow constitutes a false gospel?

 

I believe @atpollard nailed the response.

 

But I will go further and suggest that the bible nowhere says that man has an autonomous or libertarian free will.

 

Really? Could you elaborate on that please? Thanks.

 

I doubt that no sound exegesis would sway your mind. But I hope that I am wrong.

 

I'd like to give you a gift though:

 

John 6:44

No man can come to me (T)

Lest the Father (U)

Draws them to me (I)

Then I will raise them up (L)

On the last day (P)

 

tulips.jpg.b2317d73a95305298bf2503b39ab6a59.jpg

 

God bless,

William

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To be honest, I do not really sense any sort of honest inquiry or attempt to dialog in your opening post. It seems somewhat insulting, accusatory and rabble rousing.

 

Well, other than the fact that I used the word "cult" I really don't see what's so insulting or "rabble rousing" about my question. I asked a straightforward question and provided a list of quotes so you could understand the reason for my question. I'm sorry you found that upsetting.

 

 

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A Christian denomination is different than a Sect or Cult. You haven't defined any of them

 

Ah-huh, and I never said it had to be a denomination, you're the one who keeps asserting that it has to be a denomination. What I'm more getting at is, as a Calvinist, have you encountered other Calvinists who have a sort of cult-like view of Calvinism by thinking that only Calvinists are Christians, only Calvinists have the gospel, only Calvinists have Jesus, that sort of thing. It seems to me, based off how you responded by saying that Arminians can be saved despite themselves, that you basically have that mindset yourself.

 

Never said they were saved by accident. But what I did say was that some are probably saved despite their horrible soteriology.

 

Yeah, which would mean they're saved by accident. I understand that you don't believe in accidents, but humor me.

 

That's a distortion of Calvinist soteriology and quite telling of where you are theologically.

 

Other than the fact that you wouldn't word perseverance that way I have, how exactly is that a distortion? Please tell me my theology.

 

But I will go further and suggest that the bible nowhere says that man has an autonomous or libertarian free will

 

That's nice, I'm not trying to actually debate Calvinism. I was simply asking, based on the above quotes, if you think that mindset of your fellow Calvinists should be considered cult-like, and if it distorts Calvinism into a cult. That's what I'm trying to discuss.

 

I doubt that no sound exegesis would sway your mind. But I hope that I am wrong.

 

What possessed you (other than God's eternal decree, of course) to say something like that? Again, all I did was ask a simple question and provide some quotes so you could understand why I was asking that question. We've never debated theology, we've never discussed exegesis or proper hermeneutics or anything, so why would you go out of your way to insult me, a person you've barely interacted with and know nothing about, and imply that even if you could prove something to me from the Bible that I would just dismiss it? What exactly about our extremely brief interaction has lead you to that bold judgment of a complete stranger?

 

I'd like to give you a gift though:

 

John 6:44

No man can come to me (T)

Lest the Father (U)

Draws them to me (I)

Then I will raise them up (L)

On the last day (P)

 

Well, on second thought, if that's what you consider "sound exegesis", you're right, I probably won't be persuaded! :RpS_w00t:

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Well, other than the fact that I used the word "cult" I really don't see what's so insulting or "rabble rousing" about my question.

What exactly about our extremely brief interaction has lead you to that bold judgment of a complete stranger?

 

The fact that you came onto the board, asked Origen whether he was a heretic and went right to the creation of a thread that assumes Calvinist are a cult when you cannot even properly define a cult tells me a lot. You seemingly are in the business of trying to figure out who is a Christian or not? Are you? What you stated was that the before mentioned men eluded to who is a Christian. I see no evidence of that, but I do see them discerning theology. The fact is doctrine divides. If not, why are you an Anabaptist? Did you know that John Calvin married an Anabaptist?

 

Ah-huh, and I never said it had to be a denomination, you're the one who keeps asserting that it has to be a denomination.

 

If you understood Calvinism you would know that Calvinism is not a denomination, sect, or cult but as already iterated is an area of soteriology.

 

Well, on second thought, if that's what you consider "sound exegesis", you're right, I probably won't be persuaded! :RpS_w00t:

 

I have no doubt that no sound exegesis would persuade you if you have actually read the detailed works of the likes of John Calvin or even James White.

 

God bless,

William

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The fact that you came onto the board, asked Origen whether he was a heretic

 

HA HA! Dude, give me a break! That was obviously a joke about the HISTORICAL Origen who most people consider a heretic (whether you like it or not), I'm not actually accusing the "Origen" in this forum of being a heretic. It was just a joke, and I thought I made that perfectly obvious when I did it.

 

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HA HA! Dude, give me a break! That was obviously a joke about the HISTORICAL Origen who most people consider a heretic (whether you like it or not), I'm not actually accusing the "Origen" in this forum of being a heretic. It was just a joke, and I thought I made that perfectly obvious when I did it.

 

My apologies.

 

God bless,

William

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If you understood Calvinism you would know that Calvinism is not a denomination, sect, or cult but as already iterated is an area of soteriology.

 

Calvinism is beyond just soteriology. It has a particular view on God's sovereignty, God's foreknowledge, anthropology, etc. So it would appear that you don't understand Calvinism.

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Calvinism is beyond just soteriology. It has a particular view on God's sovereignty, God's foreknowledge, anthropology, etc. So it would appear that you don't understand Calvinism.

 

Sovereignty and foreknowledge are directly related to soteriology. What you are suggesting is held by all Reformed and also the Protestant Lutheran denominations.

 

Religion is chiefly the study of a certain kind of human behavior, be it under the rubric of anthropology, sociology, or psychology. The study of Theology, on the other hand, is the study of God. Religion is anthropocentric; theology is theocentric. The difference between religion and theology is ultimately the difference between God and man - hardly a small difference.

 

Calvinism is theocentric.

 

God bless,

William

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Calvary Chapel is anti-reformed and considers Calvinism a cult.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GK57JH80FtY

 

 

James White debates the above video which is an audio of Chuck Smith (founder of Calvary Chapel)

 

 

 

James White debates Calvary Chapel.

 

 

God bless,

William

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That may seem like an odd question, especially considering I'm not a Calvinist myself, but you see, I have here a lot of quotes by prominent Calvinist theologians where they seem to be eluding to Calvinism being the only true form of Christianity. That honestly makes me wonder if the people who believe that have fashioned Calvinism into some sort of cult.

 

I understand that Calvinists are obviously going to have strongly held convictions about the doctrines that separate them from other Christians, but to go so far as to claim that Calvinism IS the gospel, and that the Christ of Arminianism isn't the Christ of the N.T., and that Arminianism teaches another gospel, etc. seems to me to turn Calvinism into a cult. So I'm posting this in the Reformed Theology forum because I'm wondering what Calvinists here think of that. Do you think Calvinism is the gospel? Do you think non-Calvinists have the wrong Jesus? If you believe that do you think you're a cult member?

I decided to go back to the top and discuss this head on (absent the snippets of out of context quotes).

 

Let me present a similar question from history as a starting point to clarify MY position on this and my objection with how you have framed the question. The First Century Jews were divided between Pharasies and Sadducees (theologically). The Sadducees believed that only the first five books of the OT were divinely inspired, so anything not taught by Moses was not the Word of God. The Pharasies believed that all of the books in our OT were inspired by God. As a result, Moses never spoke of the Ressurection of the dead, so the Sadducees claimed that God never said that there is anything after death. Later books do speak briefly of both an afterlife and the Ressurection of the dead, so the Pharasies claimed that God does teach about an afterlife and the Ressurection of the dead. Clearly, they are not both correct in their theology. At least one group must be wrong. Yet when the Pharasies claim that they are correct and the Sadducees are incorrect and that God did inspire all scripture (as NT writers and Jesus himself affirm), you would claim that the Pharasies are acting like a cult and accusing the Sadducees of not being Jews.

 

That is not what the Pharasies were claiming. They were claiming that the Pharasies had a more correct understanding of theology than the Sadducees (which is true, since both Jesus and Paul were Pharasies and not Sadducees from a theological perspective). Calvinism and Arminianism, likewise, have mutually exclusive views of how God saves. God cannot both save all by himself as a complete act of His soverign will, and as a cooperative venture that requires our consent and participation. One view (at a minimum) must be wrong. Calvinism claims that Monergism and the Soverighnty of God are supported by scripture and the ability of fallen man to act contrary to his fallen nature and choose to repent without God first regenerating (saving) him is not taught in scripture.

 

The Calvinist claim "to teach what the Bible teaches" does not make it a cult, nor does it mean that only Calvinists are saved, however no matter what Arminians believe, the Bible says what it says and Calvinists will not deny it for some ecumenical "kumbaya". The Sadducees will one day discover that the Psalms of David and the writings of Daniel were indeed God breathed, and the Arminians will one day discover that God really is SOVERIGN.

 

On that day, you will both (Sadducees and Arminians) need to suck it up and deal with it.

So to directly answer your question, Calvinists are not the only Christians and they are not a cult ... we are just Biblically correct.

Edited by atpollard
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I decided to go back to the top and discuss this head on (absent the snippets of out of context quotes).

 

Let me present a similar question from history as a starting point to clarify MY position on this and my objection with how you have framed the question. The First Century Jews were divided between Pharasies and Sadducees (theologically). The Sadducees believed that only the first five books of the OT were divinely inspired, so anything not taught by Moses was not the Word of God. The Pharasies believed that all of the books in our OT were inspired by God. As a result, Moses never spoke of the Ressurection of the dead, so the Sadducees claimed that God never said that there is anything after death. Later books do speak briefly of both an afterlife and the Ressurection of the dead, so the Pharasies claimed that God does teach about an afterlife and the Ressurection of the dead. Clearly, they are not both correct in their theology. At least one group must be wrong. Yet when the Pharasies claim that they are correct and the Sadducees are incorrect and that God did inspire all scripture (as NT writers and Jesus himself affirm), you would claim that the Pharasies are acting like a cult and accusing the Sadducees of not being Jews.

 

That is not what the Pharasies were claiming. They were claiming that the Pharasies had a more correct understanding of theology than the Sadducees (which is true, since both Jesus and Paul were Pharasies and not Sadducees from a theological perspective). Calvinism and Arminianism, likewise, have mutually exclusive views of how God saves. God cannot both save all by himself as a complete act of His soverign will, and as a cooperative venture that requires our consent and participation. One view (at a minimum) must be wrong. Calvinism claims that Monergism and the Soverighnty of God are supported by scripture and the ability of fallen man to act contrary to his fallen nature and choose to repent without God first regenerating (saving) him is not taught in scripture.

 

The Calvinist claim to teach what the Bible teaches does not make it a cult, nor does it mean that only Calvinists are saved, however no matter what Arminians believe, the Bible says what it says and Calvinists will not deny it for some ecumenical "kumbaya". The Sadducees will one day discover that the Psalms of David and the writings of Daniel were indeed God breathed, and the Arminians will one day discover that God really is SOVERIGN.

 

On that day, you will both (Sadducees and Arminians) need to suck it up and deal with it.

So to directly answer your question, Calvinists are not the only Christians and they are not a cult ... we are just Biblically correct.

 

Great response, atpollard. I learned something here and grew with you in the faith.

 

God bless,

William

 

 

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Great response, atpollard. I learned something here and grew with you in the faith.

 

God bless,

William

 

I would like to thank Phil Vischer and half a dozen viewings of "What's in the Bible, with Buck Denver" with my daughter for explaining the difference between a Pharisee and a Sadducee.

God works in mysterious ways. :)

 

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For me the clinching argument that allowed me to see Calvinism is correct was James Whited dialogue on Romans chapter 9. I went to college with James white he was brilliant then and now he has far better and matured to be a help for others.

 

I applauder you William for an excellent presentation of the true theological understanding of Calvinism. Five Stars!

 

 

justme

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Define Cult in relation to a Christian denomination.

 

And Calvinism is not a denomination, but is rather a systematic hermeneutic in the area of soteriology.

 

As far as Calvinist believing that they are the only Christians, I do not believe that I have ever heard of another Calvinist believe they are the only Christians. Then again, I discern the difference between being a Christian and a saved Christian. For example, I personally believe a Christian (follower of Christ) may not even believe in God in the beginning stage of his discipleship or may even sit under the guise of horrible theology for a time.

 

Whether Pelagianism teaches another Gospel, I think so. I think Pelagian or Semi Pelagianism soteriology centers itself on the lie of Genesis 3:5. Pelagianism is the soteriology of the natural man.

 

As to whether Arminians are saved, I believe they are often saved by their theological contradictions. That is, if we take them verbatim then I'd have to say they believe in a distorted Gospel. Much bad theology turns out merely to be inconsistent theology and it is possible to be saved in spite of bad theology, but only if they are inconsistent, and they don't really believe what they think or say they believe.

 

 

 

God bless,

William

 

I would like to read simpler wrding such study of the gospel as apposed to soteriology . It is tiresome to look up all these two dollar words.

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I would like to read simpler wrding such study of the gospel as apposed to soteriology . It is tiresome to look up all these two dollar words.

 

I suspect it is an attitude before even looking up or learning the meaning of any theological terms that gives them the net worth of two dollars. Years ago I was overwhelmed by the vast number of theological terms. Today, I'm glad I tackled the "system" and its lingo. Any system or area of expertise has its own language. Instead of reinventing the wheel, I decided to learn from theologians throughout the course of Church history, there are some real gems to be found. Part of learning theology is learning church history. Most likely someone already addressed what is on our mind and has coined it some theological term. There is a saying, if in 2000 years of Church History you come up with an original idea it is wise to abandon it.

 

Personally, it was through the lens of Calvinism that I saw the gospel clearly, it corrected my vision and brought me to my knees.

 

God bless,

William

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What a great thread! The more I read about the Reformed soteriology, the more similarities I do indeed find between my Lutheran and your Reformed faith! The most important aspect of that is the monergism that William spoke of before. God saves us, totally and completely. Without the Holy Spirit guiding us, we would be as incapable of obeying God on our own as a log or a stone. In fact, we'd be less capable than that because of our Original Sin and tendency to rebellion. As a Lutheran, also, we know that God's free election covers those predestined to salvation.

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I would like to read simpler wrding such study of the gospel as apposed to soteriology . It is tiresome to look up all these two dollar words.

 

Mitchel carefully reread Romans 9. Then look at the Books Paul wrote, he wrote over and over that we are "called". Who called me and you? God called. God knows who will respond to the Gospel, He also know who will reject Christ. God condemns those who will reject. His foreknowledge is beyond our understanding. In a real way salvation is limited. But we do not know who will respond to the Gospel so we "GO" as Matthew 28:20 says. This is just one part of how I understand Calvinism is.

 

Justme

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Mitchel carefully reread Romans 9. Then look at the Books Paul wrote, he wrote over and over that we are "called". Who called me and you? God called. God knows who will respond to the Gospel, He also know who will reject Christ. God condemns those who will reject. His foreknowledge is beyond our understanding. In a real way salvation is limited. But we do not know who will respond to the Gospel so we "GO" as Matthew 28:20 says. This is just one part of how I understand Calvinism is.

 

Justme

 

Just a little clarification:

 

Question: In Romans 8:29, the text reads "For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son..." Does this not therefore suggest that because foreknowledge comes before predestination in the text, then predestination is simply based on God's foreknowledge: because God foreknows or sees in advance (with full and complete knowledge) what a person will do, and who it is that will respond in faith to the Gospel, He simply predestinates those whom He knows ahead of time will believe?

 

Answer: At first glance, it certainly seems to be a legitimate interpretation, yet the fact that foreknowledge comes before predestination should in no way surprize us. That's because God would need to foreknow a person He is going to predestinate to something. God does not predestinate unknown persons, but specific individuals whom He knows. So this not really an argument for either side in this debate. In both systems, Arminian and Reformed, foreknowing would need to come before predestination. The real question then is "what exactly does it mean for God to foreknow somebody?"

 

The interpretation also falls down because the word "foreknew" does not merely mean to know future actions beforehand. It has a much more precise meaning. The word "foreknew" (Greek: proginosko) in Romans 8:29 is a verb rather than a noun. It is an action word, and as the text informs us, it is something done by God. What exactly does God do then? The text says "those whom He foreknew..."

 

To gain a correct biblical definition of this word foreknew, rather than assume its meaning (which is what many do), we need to do some homework and study. In this case it means we need to go to passages of scripture that have God as the subject of the verbal form, as here in this passage. This is because passages that have humans as the subject would differ substantially in their meaning from the ones where God is the subject, because, I am sure we will all agree, we as creatures "know" things on a very different basis to the way God does.

 

When we do this we find the verb proginosko is used three times in the New Testament with God as the subject - here in Romans 8:29, then also in Romans 11:2, and lastly in 1 Peter 1:20. This proves to be significant when we ask the question "what, or who is foreknown by God?"

 

In Romans 8:29, the direct object of the verb is a pronoun that refers back to the called of the previous verse (v. 28). In Romans 11:2 the object the verb is refering to is "His people," and in 1 Peter 1:20, the object is Jesus Christ Himself.

 

Each reference then portrays God as foreknowing persons rather than actions. 1 Peter 1:20 says, "For He was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you." When God foreknew Christ, did that mean that God simply knew that Jesus would make correct decisions or have faith in His Father? Hardly! It speaks of the Father's personal intimacy and affection for His beloved Son.

 

To quote Dr. James White in this regard, "to say that God foreknows acts, faith, behavior, choices, etc, is to assume something about the term that is not witnessed in the biblical text. God foreknows persons not things."

 

God bless,

William

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William, I am not a scholar, but still very much a "learner". In many areas I have not dove as deeply as you, and I openly admit that. You seeem to have a deeper grasp of these issues. So if i have mis stated something or spoken in error, I am deeply sorry. I am not sure exactly what you are pointing out. Have I said something wrong? I am more than willing to correct myself if that is the case. I am still a learner and want to grow everyday. Would you mind stating your post a little more easily for me to grasp where I am in error if this is the case? I dearly love your kindness to me. Again thank you.

 

Justme

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William, I am not a scholar, but still very much a "learner". In many areas I have not dove as deeply as you, and I openly admit that. You seeem to have a deeper grasp of these issues. So if i have mis stated something or spoken in error, I am deeply sorry. I am not sure exactly what you are pointing out. Have I said something wrong? I am more than willing to correct myself if that is the case. I am still a learner and want to grow everyday. Would you mind stating your post a little more easily for me to grasp where I am in error if this is the case? I dearly love your kindness to me. Again thank you.

 

Justme

 

No need to apologize brother.

 

For "those whom" (object) he foreknew (verb) he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.

 

What I posted was directly related to Romans 8:29. Most Arminians believe that God looked through the corridors of time into the future and chose those who chose Him first. They believe God chose them according to their deeds. Contrary to that, we know that God first loved us 1 John 4:19. We know that man's deeds are nothing more than filthy rags Isaiah 64:6 and no man seeks for God Romans 3:11. Romans 8:29 says that God "foreknew" which is a verb or action upon "those whom" which are persons, not what they chose to do or not do. Their deeds are not mentioned here. In other words the object of foreknew is persons which God predestined. What does foreknew mean? It is synonymous with foreloved, God set His affections upon persons before the foundation of the world. For example:

 

In Amos 3:2, God, speaking to Israel says,“You only have I known of all the families of the earth; therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities.” The Lord knows about all the families of the earth, but He knew Israel in a special way. They were His chosen people whom He had set His heart upon. See Deuteronomy 7:7,8; 10:15. Because Israel was His in a special sense He chastised them, cf. Hebrews 12:5,6.*God, speaking to Jeremiah, said, “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you,” (Jeremiah 1:5). The meaning here is not that God knew about Jeremiah but that He had a special regard for the prophet before He formed him in his mother’s womb. Jesus also used the word “knew” in the sense of personal, intimate awareness. “On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you evildoers’ “ (Matt. 7:22,23). Our Lord cannot be understood here as saying, I knew nothing about you, for it is quite evident that He knew all too much about them – their evil character and evil works; hence, His meaning must be, I never knew you intimately nor personally, I never regarded you as the objects of my favor or love. Paul uses the word in the same way in I Corinthians 8:3, “But if one loves God, one is known by him,” and also II Timothy 2:19, “the Lord knows those who are His.” The Lord knows about all men but He only knows those “who love Him, who are called according to His purpose” (Rom 8:28) – those who are His!

 

The Calvinist response is literally Soli Deo Gloria. All Glory belongs to God alone in our salvation. Not partly to God and partly to me because I chose God of my own free will.

 

God bless,

William

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William, "Free will" and predestination can be seen as a contradiction, especially when Gods "Call" can not be denied. Personally I see Gods all knowing each persons choice they will make about Jesus Christ. As I understand Romans 9, some souls' hearts are hardened by God and some are preordained to be used by God as hard hearted people such as verse says. Pharaoh. Verse 15 clearly states He makes the choice for whom he will show mercy and compassion to. This also indirectly says God does the reverse.

 

God is the maker of us and He is the potter and it is totally up to Him how He molds the clay. The point is God is sovereign in the freedom of dealing with each one of us. Therefore for those chosen by Gods Grace and Mercy must be so extremely regretful as to willing serve Jesus Christ with the deepest love and gratitude coming from within our being. I an stunned that God would reach out to me a soul whom battles sin on a constant basis as one doing battle as described in Ephesians 6:10-18.

 

I truly hope I have expressed my thoughts and feeling accurately, according to Scripture.

 

 

justme

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