Jump to content

The Protestant Community

Christian and Theologically Protestant? Or, sincerely inquiring about the Protestant faith? Welcome to Christforums the Christian Protestant community. You'll first need to register in order to join our community. Create or respond to threads on your favorite topics and subjects. Registration takes less than a minute, it's simple, fast, and free! Enjoy the fellowship! God bless, Christforums' Staff
Register now

Fenced Community

Christforums is a Protestant Christian forum, open to Bible- believing Christians such as Presbyterians, Lutherans, Reformed, Baptists, Church of Christ members, Pentecostals, Anglicans. Methodists, Charismatics, or any other conservative, Nicene- derived Christian Church. We do not solicit cultists of any kind, including Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses, Eastern Lightning, Falun Gong, Unification Church, Aum Shinrikyo, Christian Scientists or any other non- Nicene, non- Biblical heresy.
Register now

Christforums

.... an orthodox (true and correct when contrasted with Liberal theology) Protestant forum whose members espouse the Apostolic doctrines in the Biblical theologies set forth by Augustine, Martin Luther, Ulrich Zwingli, John Calvin and John Knox etc. We do not "argue" with nor do we solicit the membership of people who espouse secular or cultic ideologies. We believe that our conversations are to be faith building and posts that advance heretical or apostate thinking will be immediately deleted and the poster permanently banned from the forum. This is a Christian Protestant community for people to explore the traditional theologies of Classical Protestantism.

Christian Fellowship

John Calvin puts forward a very simple reason why love is the greatest gift: “Because faith and hope are our own: love is diffused among others.” In other words, faith and hope benefit the possessor, but love always benefits another. In John 13:34–35 Jesus says, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Love always requires an “other” as an object; love cannot remain within itself, and that is part of what makes love the greatest gift.
Sign in to follow this  
William

Is There Really No Biblical Support for Unconditional Election?

Recommended Posts

Christians have often disagreed over the exact nature of the biblical doctrine of election. Reasonable believers are willing to state their arguments for their views while acknowledging that others, who disagree, have their own, different, arguments. Making a case for and listening to critiques of one’s views while showing perceived deficiencies in opposing views are great ways to strengthen one’s understanding of the Word of God. That is simply the Christian way of engaging brothers who disagree.

 

Consequently, when a person claims that “the Reformed idea that God chooses some individuals and not others for salvation has no, I repeat, no biblical support,” it is hard to take him seriously. Gratuitous, dismissive assertions have no place in serious theological conversations. Unfortunately, when a respected person makes such a claim some will be tempted to take him at his word.

 

In order to help those so tempted and to expose the foolishness of such a claim, here are a few of the Bible’s many teachings that highlight God’s sovereign grace in election. I put the key words in bold simply to highlight the precise way that the Bible teaches that God chooses some individuals and not others to salvation.

 

Matthew 11:25–27

25
At that time Jesus declared, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you
have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; 26 yes, Father, for such was your gracious will.
27
All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and
no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him
.”

If no one knows the Father (isn’t that salvation?) except those to whom the Son chooses to reveal Him, doesn’t that mean that some are chosen and not others?

 

John 6:37

37
All that the Father gives me will come to me
, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out.

Since all do not come to Christ and yet all that the Father gives to Christ will come to Him, doesn’t that mean the Father gave some to Christ and didn’t give others to Christ?

 

John 17:1–9

1
When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you,
2
since you have given him authority over all flesh,
to give eternal life to all whom you have given him
.
3
And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.…

 

6
“I have manifested your name to
the people whom you gave me out of the world
. Yours they were, and
you gave them to me
, and they have kept your word.
7
Now they know that everything that you have given me is from you.
8
For I have given them the words that you gave me, and they have received them and have come to know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me.
9
I am praying for them. I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours
.

Evidently Jesus believed that the Father had given Him people to whom He in turn would give eternal life. Unless you believe that Jesus has given or will give eternal life to every person then you must conclude that God gave Jesus (or we could say “chose”) some people and not others for salvation.

 

Acts 13:48

48
And when the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord, and
as many as were appointed to eternal life believed
.

How many believed? Only as many as were appointed to eternal life.

 

Romans 9:9–13

9
For this is what the promise said: “About this time next year I will return, and Sarah shall have a son.”
10
And not only so, but also when Rebekah had conceived children by one man, our forefather Isaac,
11
though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad—in order that God’s purpose of election might continue
, not because of works but because of him who calls—
12
she was told, “The older will serve the younger.”
13
As it is written, “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.”

Surely even those who reject personal, unconditional election must admit that God made some sort of distinction between Jacob (whom He “loved”) and Esau (whom He “hated”).

 

2 Thessalonians 2:13–14

13
But we ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers beloved by the Lord, because
God chose you as the firstfruits to be saved
, through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth.
14
To this he called you through our gospel, so that you may obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

It was the Thessalonian Christians, not all those living in Thessalonica, whom God chose.

 

Ephesians 1:4–5

4
even as
he chose us in him before the foundation of the world
, that we should be holy and blameless before him.
In love 5 he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will
.

Who is “us”? Paul and his Christian readers. Those are the ones God chose and predestined to be holy, blameless and adopted.

 

In light of these clear statements of Scripture it is no wonder the Abstract of Principles of 1858 (the first confession of faith produced by Southern Baptists) affirms unconditional election in Article 5:

Election is God’s eternal choice of some persons unto everlasting life—not because of foreseen merit in them, but of His mere mercy in Christ—in consequence of which choice they are called, justified and glorified.

This is simply a reflection of what the Bible teaches and of what was widely believed among traditional Southern Baptists at the beginning of the SBC.

 

Source: http://founders.org/2017/07/06/no_biblical_support_for_unconditional_election/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
This is simply a reflection of what the Bible teaches and of what was widely believed among traditional Southern Baptists at the beginning of the SBC.

Probably not much of a debate, but as a Reformed Baptist (theologically) and a former Southern Baptist ... I say abso-friggin-lutely! Yes, and You bechha.

 

Now those verses are not "Free Grace" (say a prayer, go on living a reprobate life style and 'one saved always saved' God can't change his mind so he has to let your putrid self into heaven) nor is it "Hyper-Calvinism" (God, the monster, taking equal delight in choosing some to bless and others to torture). What they are is acknowledgement that God's arm is not short. God is still in charge and knows what He is doing.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Matthew 11:25-27

25 At that time Jesus declared, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; 26 yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. 27 All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.”

If no one knows the Father (isn’t that salvation?) except those to whom the Son chooses to reveal Him, doesn’t that mean that some are chosen and not others?

Just to push back, until a die hard Arminian arrives to accept the challenge, the author has read some personal assumptions into these quoted verses. What they clearly and explicitly say is that there is no 'back door' to God the Father. Jesus Christ is the ONLY way to get to know God. While it is a reasonable and sound logical argument to state "except those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him", the author actually goes beyond what these scriptures actually state in drawing the conclusion "and not others". These verses cannot rule out the possibility that Jesus chooses to reveal the Father to all and there is some other obstacle to their coming to know God.

 

I offer as Arminian clarification of these verse (and not scripture pong) that it is God's will that none would perish. 2 Peter 3:9

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just to push back, until a die hard Arminian arrives to accept the challenge, the author has read some personal assumptions into these quoted verses. What they clearly and explicitly say is that there is no 'back door' to God the Father. Jesus Christ is the ONLY way to get to know God. While it is a reasonable and sound logical argument to state "except those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him", the author actually goes beyond what these scriptures actually state in drawing the conclusion "and not others". These verses cannot rule out the possibility that Jesus chooses to reveal the Father to all and there is some other obstacle to their coming to know God.

 

I offer as Arminian clarification of these verse (and not scripture pong) that it is God's will that none would perish. 2 Peter 3:9

 

I personally welcome your view, and have to admit that I too raised an eyebrow here and there in the article.

 

Lemme get this straight though.

 

Lets take for example, John 6:44 which says "No one can come to me less the father draws them to me STOP. Then I will raise them up on the last day.

 

Pretty clear, I will not insult you by elaborating on this verse but only offer an Arminian response which comes out from the immediate context.

  • 43 “Stop grumbling among yourselves,” Jesus answered. 44 “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them, and I will raise them up at the last day. 45 It is written in the Prophets: ‘They will all be taught by God.’[d] Everyone who has heard the Father and learned from him comes to me. 46 No one has seen the Father except the one who is from God; only he has seen the Father. 47 Very truly I tell you, the one who believes has eternal life. 48 I am the bread of life. 49 Your ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness, yet they died. 50 But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which anyone may eat and not die. 51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.”

Notice the bold, it seems that what you're suggesting is at first glance supporting what you're saying. Correct me if wrong, but this is what you mean?

 

God bless,

William

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I offer as Arminian clarification of these verse (and not scripture pong) that it is God's will that none would perish. 2 Peter 3:9

 

For some context:

  • 3 This is now the second letter that I am writing to you, beloved. In both of them I am stirring up your sincere mind by way of reminder, 2 that you should remember the predictions of the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior through your apostles, 3 knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires.
  • 4 They will say, “Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.”
  • 5 For they deliberately overlook this fact, that the heavens existed long ago, and the earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God,
  • 6 and that by means of these the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished.
  • 7 But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.
  • 8 But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
  • 9 The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you,[a] not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.

Lets address the immediate context. Do you see that there are two groups (beloved with pure minds and the ungoldly headed for perdition) being contrasted here?

 

If no one knows the Father (isn’t that salvation?) except those to whom the Son chooses to reveal Him, doesn’t that mean that some are chosen and not others?

 

The Arminian verse, now faced with context has to decide whether the verse about God being patient not wishing that any should perish is towards: everyone without exception, all of group A (beloved, the recipient of the letter), or all of group B (Scoffers that will come 'in the last day' following their own sinful desires)?

 

God bless,

William

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Consequently, when a person claims that “the Reformed idea that God chooses some individuals and not others for salvation has no, I repeat, no biblical support,” it is hard to take him seriously.

Well the reason it is hard to take him seriously is because no one is willing to approach this matter WITHOUT ANY PRECONCEIVED IDEAS. So what every Christian needs to do is examine the words "elect (-ed,-ion), "chosen", predestined (-ation, -ated), "foreknowledge" in the contexts in which they have been used in Scripture, and only then draw a valid conclusion. We cannot simply rely on what Augustine, Luther, Calvin etc. believed about this, since they have been mistaken from time to time in spiritual matters.

 

1. Is Divine election a Bible truth? Absolutely. What it means is that God specifically chooses individuals, and that His choices were determined before He created anyone. This is most clearly brought out in relation to Jesus of Nazareth. According to Acts 2:23, Christ was delivered into the hands of wicked men to be slain by the PREDETERMINATE COUNSEL AND FOREKNOWLEDGE OF GOD. In other words, as Scripture says, the Lamb of God was slain because He was FOREORDAINED from before the foundation of the world (1 Pet 1:19,20).

 

2. Has the word "elect" or its cognates been used with reference to (1) Hebrew individuals, (2) nations, (3) believers, and does it automatically mean the same thing in each case? Yes it has, and the meaning depends on the context.

 

For example the nation of Israel (the 12 tribes of Israel) were elected by God to become a holy nation and a royal priesthood, yet this could not possibly apply to each and every individual Hebrew, since the majority of them transgressed the Law and were also found in unbelief at the first coming of Christ. Only a handful were justified by grace through faith, and thus elected to be saints (see Hebrews 11 for details). So this makes it crystal clear that unless a sinner has genuine faith in God and in Christ, there is no way that there will be any election.

 

3. If "predestination" is applied to Christians, in what sense is it applied? Is it predestination for SALVATION or is it predestination for ultimate GLORIFICATION and all for the praise of the glory of God's grace?

 

4. What is the relationship between Divine foreknowledge, election, and predestination, and is this related to salvation or something else?

 

The best passage of Scripture to begin with is Romans 8:28-30, since it connects all this concepts.

 

28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

 

29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.

 

30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.

 

1. So what is the PURPOSE of predestination? This is the critical issue which gets overlooked again and again.

 

2. Does the Bible says "He also did predestinate to be justified" or doe it say "He also did predestinate TO BE CONFORMED TO THE IMAGE OF HIS SON? If it were the former, then election would be for salvation. But if it the latter, then election is for the glorification of those who were justified. This makes all the difference, since it means that God chooses none for salvation or damnation, but He does choose the saved (the justified ones) for ultimate glorification.

 

3. So what does it mean "to be conformed to the image of His Son"? Well the apostle John gives us the answer in 1 John 3:1-3:

 

1 Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.

 

2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.

 

3 And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.

 

WE SHALL BE LIKE HIM, FOR WE SHALL SEE HIM AS HE IS. The Man Christ Jesus is now in a glorious and glorified immortal body at the right Hand of the Father. Since He is God, all perfection is in Him. We shall be like Him when we shall be perfected and glorified (at the Resurrection/Rapture).

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

For some context:

  • 3 This is now the second letter that I am writing to you, beloved. In both of them I am stirring up your sincere mind by way of reminder, 2 that you should remember the predictions of the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior through your apostles, 3 knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires.
  • 4 They will say, “Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.”
  • 5 For they deliberately overlook this fact, that the heavens existed long ago, and the earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God,
  • 6 and that by means of these the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished.
  • 7 But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.
  • 8 But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
  • 9 The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you,[a] not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.

 

Lets address the immediate context. Do you see that there are two groups (beloved with pure minds and the ungoldly headed for perdition) being contrasted here?

 

The Arminian verse, now faced with context has to decide whether the verse about God being patient not wishing that any should perish is towards: everyone without exception, all of group A (beloved, the recipient of the letter), or all of group B (Scoffers that will come 'in the last day' following their own sinful desires)?

 

God bless,

William

OK, If "I am not an Arminian, but I play one on internet discussions", I will have to pick my verses more carefully because I just got my clock cleaned with that 'off the cuff' example. :)

Yeah, 2 Peter 3:9 was a bad choice on my part because, as you pointed out, the context is CLEARLY God's patience towards all whom he would gather into His flock between the moment Peter wrote those words and Jesus second coming. It really isn't "everyone in the whole wide world" in that context. There are probably other verses that supports God wanting every last person to repent, but that wasn't one of them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I personally welcome your view, and have to admit that I too raised an eyebrow here and there in the article.

 

Lemme get this straight though.

 

Lets take for example, John 6:44 which says "No one can come to me less the father draws them to me STOP. Then I will raise them up on the last day.

 

Pretty clear, I will not insult you by elaborating on this verse but only offer an Arminian response which comes out from the immediate context.

  • 43 “Stop grumbling among yourselves,” Jesus answered. 44 “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them, and I will raise them up at the last day. 45 It is written in the Prophets: ‘They will all be taught by God.’[d] Everyone who has heard the Father and learned from him comes to me. 46 No one has seen the Father except the one who is from God; only he has seen the Father. 47 Very truly I tell you, the one who believes has eternal life. 48 I am the bread of life. 49 Your ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness, yet they died. 50 But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which anyone may eat and not die. 51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.”

 

 

Notice the bold, it seems that what you're suggesting is at first glance supporting what you're saying. Correct me if wrong, but this is what you mean?

 

God bless,

William

Yes, that is a better example.

The OP made the assumption that God would not 'choose all' and that those who were not saved were unsaved because they were 'not chosen'. However Matthew 11:25-27 does not actually say THAT. It stops with saying "no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him" ... begging the question "Does the Son reveal the Father to all?" I mean, even as a Calvinist, there is a sense in which I could agree with a statement like "Jesus had revealed God the Father to all mankind." Jesus words and example are recorded and translated into virtually every language. Few people on the face of the earth have never even heard of Jesus. Jesus said "If you have seen me, you have seen the Father." I mean, Romans starts out that all men are without excuse ... How much less excuse does this generation have than that of 2200 years ago?

 

From an Arminian perspective, the strength comes from simple verses expressing God's intent. John 3:16 NASB "For God so loved the world, that He gave His [fn]only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life." ... it says 'THE WORLD'. John 12:32 NASB "And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself.” ... it says 'ALL MEN'. So it does not seem unreasonable to ask if, indeed, Jesus did come, does desire, and will indeed offer to make the introduction between each and every man woman and child who has or will ever live, and God the Father.

 

Then you offer John 6:45 NASB "It is written in the prophets, ‘AND THEY SHALL ALL BE TAUGHT OF GOD.’ Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father, comes to Me" and, yes, the question to ask is will 'THEY ALL' really be taught of God ... which is what Wesley proposed with his 'general grace' that overcomes our fallen nature enough to allow all men the ability (by the grace of God rather than the strength of men) to choose. Placing the credit for salvation in the faith and grace and cross all a gift from God, and the 'blame' for damnation in the hands of the stiff necked people who sit under God's instruction and refuse to listen ... the heart of stone that will allow no seed to take root.

Edited by atpollard
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
From an Arminian perspective, the strength comes from simple verses expressing God's intent. John 3:16 NASB "For God so loved the world, that He gave His [fn]only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life." ... it says 'THE WORLD'. John 12:32 NASB "And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself.” ... it says 'ALL MEN'. So it does not seem unreasonable to ask if, indeed, Jesus did come, does desire, and will indeed offer to make the introduction between each and every man woman and child who has or will ever live, and God the Father.

 

Just sharing a previous response that was compiled from a couple years ago on this board:

 

The plain reading of John 6:44 is that no one can come to Christ unless first drawn to Him by the Father. Non-Calvinists will often concede this if pressed. It's the rest of the verse that causes problems for them as the verse goes on to state that those who are drawn (represented by "him") are also raised to life by the Son. What non-Calvinists are essentially doing then, is accepting the first half of the verse but denying the second half. This is done by going to John 12:32 and insisting that all men are drawn to Christ. Now, the problem should be obvious. If 6:44 states that all those that are drawn are then raised, and if all men without exception are drawn to Christ per 12:32, then you have an affirmation of Universalism. Since both sides reject Universalism, another explanation must be sought. For the non-Calvinist, this usually means an immediate switch to "all these other verses over here". For the Calvinist, it means dealing with these verses on their own and in their immediate contexts.

 

Now, when John 12:32 is brought forward by non-Calvinists, there is never any mention about the context in which Jesus makes His statements. The only thing that seems to interest those using this verse against Calvinists is the appearance of the term "all". The assumption is that "all" always means all men everywhere. This assumption remains even when the Calvinist points out that the term "all" is often times limited by contextual considerations. So obviously, the question is what did Jesus mean when He said that He will "draw all men" to Himself? Did He mean all men everywhere, or all *kinds* of men?

 

The important thing to note about the non-Calvinist's use of this verse is that "all men everywhere" are not in fact drawn to Christ. We know this to be true by both Biblical and experiential considerations. The Pharisees for instance, were not drawn to Christ unless one wishes to count their attempts at killing Him. Further, each of us knows or have known people who have never had an interest in Christianity outside of trying to disprove it. There is also the issue of those who have never heard of Jesus Christ. So, either Jesus was mistaken in what He said, or He did not mean "all men everywhere" but rather, all kinds of men. In support of this, we find in John 12:20 that there were Gentiles who were wishing to see Jesus. When Jesus got word of this, He began to address a crowd that now comprised both Jew and Gentile. It is to this mixed crowd that Jesus made His comments about "drawing all men". And it is this consideration that makes the Calvinist's interpretation of this verse not only plausible, but probable. That is, the Calvinist believes this verse is limited by this contextual consideration coupled with the above mentioned issues. If the non-Calvinist's interpretation clashes with other texts, and makes no sense of the verse when considered on it's own, then the Calvinist's interpretation becomes the most probable. Indeed, it would seem that these considerations would make the Calvinist's interpretation the only one *possible*.

 

Undoubtebly, the non-Calvinist will object with something like, "but you're changing *all* men into *some* men just to make it fit your doctrine!". But I would point out that this isn't a response to the argument offered. In fact, I haven't heard a non-Calvinist address the Calvinist's interpretation of 12:32 with anything other than comments like this. Indeed, in order to refute the Calvinist interpretation of John 12:32, the non-Calvinist will first need to:

  • Harmonize this verse with John 6:44
  • Show that all men since the time of Christ have in fact been drawn to Him
  • Refute the contextual argument derived from John 12:20 with the appearance of Gentiles seeking Jesus

Without addressing these issues, the non-Calvinist will be obliged to hand over one of their primary prooftexts to Calvinism.

 

Source: https://www.christforums.org/forum/c...rist-unlimited

 

And to quote you:

 

Then you offer John 6:45 NASB "It is written in the prophets, ‘AND THEY SHALL ALL BE TAUGHT OF GOD.’ Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father, comes to Me" and, yes, the question to ask is will 'THEY ALL' really be taught of God ... which is what Wesley proposed with his 'general grace' that overcomes our fallen nature enough to allow all men the ability (by the grace of God rather than the strength of men) to choose. Placing the credit for salvation in the faith and grace and cross all a gift from God, and the 'blame' for damnation in the hands of the stiff necked people who sit under God's instruction and refuse to listen ... the heart of stone that will allow no seed to take root.

 

Lemme share Calvin which addresses the Allusion made from the context:

 

It is written in the Prophets. Christ confirms by the testimony of Isaiah what he said, that no man can come to him, unless he be drawn by the Father He uses the word prophets in the plural number, because all their prophecies had been collected into one volume, so that all the prophets might justly be accounted one book. The passage which is here quoted is to be found in Isa 54:13, where, speaking of the restoration of the Church, he promises to her, sons taught by the instruction of God Hence it may easily be inferred, that the Church cannot be restored in any other way than by God undertaking the office of a Teacher, and bringing believers to himself. The way of teaching, of which the prophet speaks, does not consist merely in the external voice, but likewise in the secret operation of the Holy Spirit. In short, this teaching of God is the inward illumination of the heart.

 

And they shall be all taught by God. As to the word all, it must be limited to the elect, who alone are the true children of the Church. Now it is not difficult to see in what manner Christ applies this prediction to the present subject. Isaiah shows that then only is the Church truly edified, when she has her children taught by God Christ, therefore, justly concludes that men have not eyes to behold the light of life, until God has opened them. But at the same time, he fastens on the general phrase,all; because he argues from it, that all who are taught by God are effectually drawn, so as to come; and to this relates what he immediately adds,

 

Whosoever therefore hath heard my Father. The amount of what is said is, that all who do not believe are reprobate and doomed to destruction; because all the sons of the Church and heirs of life are made by God to be his obedient disciples. Hence it follows, that there is not one of all the elect of God who shall not be a partaker of faith in Christ. (154) Again, as Christ formerly affirmed that men are not fitted for believing, until they have been drawn, so he now declares that the grace of Christ, by which they are drawn, is efficacious, so that they necessarily believe.

 

These two clauses utterly overturn the whole power of free will, of which the Papists dream. For if it be only when the Father has drawn us that we begin to come to Christ, there is not in us any commencement of faith, or any preparation for it. On the other hand, if all come whom the Father hath taught, He gives to them not only the choice of believing, but faith itself. When, therefore, we willingly yield to the guidance of the Spirit, this is a part, and, as it were, a sealing of grace; because God would not draw us, if He were only to stretch out his hand, and leave our will in a state of suspense. But in strict propriety of language He is said to draw us, when He extends the power of his Spirit to the full effect of faith. They are said to hear God, who willingly assent to God speaking to them within, because the Holy Spirit reigns in their hearts.

 

Cometh to me. He shows the inseparable connection that exists between him and the Father. For the meaning is, that it is impossible that any who are God’s disciples shall not obey Christ, and that they who reject Christ refuse to betaught by God; because the only wisdom that all the elect learn in the school of God is, to come to Christ; for the Father, who sent him, cannot deny himself.

 

Just emphasizing the underlined portion above: John 1:12 "But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God"

 

I offer this because it immediately struck me as some want to claim "All" men are children of God, but I think they mistaken "made in the image" with "children of God".

 

But our writer once again joins the long line of "I want to try to deal with John 6 but I simply refuse to start at the beginning and follow Jesus through His teaching" would-be exegetes. John 6:45 is a follow-up to John 6:44, which, likewise, must be defined in light of what prompted the Lord to speak these words, etc. The "hop-skip-jump" method of interpretation may work for those who are not overly serious about the issue, but for those who realize you cannot hack the text up in that fashion, following a thought through from its introduction to its application is sort of important. - James White

  • No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him (them). And I will raise him up on the last day.

Context tells us: the preceding verse speaks of the one who is drawn by the Father and who, as a result of being drawn, comes to the Son (and is raised up by Him).

  • It is written in the Prophets, 'And they will all be taught by God.' Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me--

First, who is "they"? The "all" is all of "them (6:44)," whoever they are. Context defines the "ALL".

 

First, there is no question that an unregenerate man can read the words of the Bible and even come to a correct understanding of its contextual reading. But there is an 18 inch separation between the heart and the head, and mere knowledge has never saved anyone.

 

The being "taught by God" is not some general revelation, some peanut-butter activity that is devoid of connection with the preceding context. No, this is a restatement, an expansion, explanation, of what it means for the Father to "draw." The drawing of the Father leads those drawn to the Son. Why? Well, part of it has to do with imparting knowledge, teaching. God does the teaching. And just as the drawing of the Father brings all who are drawn to the Son (and hence to eternal life), so too He never fails in imparting the knowledge that leads to life. All who are taught "hear" (aorist) and "learn" (aorist), and as a result of this action, come to Christ (just as v. 37 and 44). Here all truly does mean all, because it has a specific delimiter in the context: all drawn, all given, all taught, all hearing, etc. In v. 45 the emphasis remains upon the Father, not upon those taught, those who, as a result, hear and learn. I may comment just in passing that in reality, man looks rather desperate when he tries to find in passages such as this the much vaunted free will of man. - James White

 

A point of interest and worthwhile mention, notice how both Calvin and White focus in on the Father? And not man? Notice how knowledge of the heavenly truth is the gift and work of God not resting in any power of man?

For example:

  • "God...made us alive together with Christ." Eph 2:5
  • "He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Christ Jesus." Phil 1:6

God bless,

William

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Regarding post #8 -- the Matthew 11: 25-27 -- vs 28 says "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest."

 

And John 3:16 says 'who so ever believeth on me will not perish but have everlasting life."

 

Then again -- on another Forum -- there are a couple of people who I've shared with Several times -- the plan of God's salvation. The entire conversation -- and one of them especially scoffs, makes fun of, etc. -- he is a steadfast atheist. A denier of the miraculous being possible. He's said he'd Like to have proof of God's existence but so far he never has. His problem is that he's not willing to accept that which Has been presented to him. The man is totally science. He's determined that a person cannot be both a Christian And a scientist. And I've shared a number of people who Are both. And he says that apparently they aren't really true scientists. Hopefully God will choose to work in this man's heart and bring him to Himself. He did with Paul / Saul.

 

God has given us His Word and the free will to do with it as we see fit to. God is the Only one who knows who will or will not accept Him as Personal Savior. A person Can fight the Holy Spirit all his life, but if he's one of God's chosen, he Will at some point, even if it's on his death bed -- accept Jesus Christ as his personal Savior. And then again, another person can spend his entire life doing all kinds Of good works -- wonderful things , but for the wrong reason, no one approaches him about his spiritual condition because he looks really good and they don't want to get a bad reaction - - and that's the person who ends up in hell.

 

And there's a passage that says that Jesus Christ won't return until every single person has had a chance to hear God's Word / salvation and either accept or reject Him. Or maybe it's simply a theologeon's opinion. And we'd be amazed at how far the internet reaches. And how far missionaries walk to share the Gospel of salvation with interior groups of people.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
John 6:44 “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them, and I will raise them up at the last day.

Just a small point, but technically, Jesus does raise ALL (saved and damned) on the last day to face Judgement and Eternal life or punishment. (Not called the 'second death' for nothing.) ;)

Matthew 25:31-33

Matthew 25:46

 

31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

 

46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It has occurred to me that there are Scriptures supporting both sides. So - what are we supposed to be doing with them? What is the purpose Of debate? What is the function of high school debate teams? To learn critical thinking skills? To find out what a person believes and Why? Doctrinal apologetics?

 

Just thinking out loud.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
It has occurred to me that there are Scriptures supporting both sides. So - what are we supposed to be doing with them? What is the purpose Of debate? What is the function of high school debate teams? To learn critical thinking skills? To find out what a person believes and Why? Doctrinal apologetics?

 

Just thinking out loud.

For me, one of the most important goals is to acknowledge that there are scriptures that appear to support both sides. This means that those who hold both views are entitled to the respect due a brother or sister in Christ. Too many individuals approach subjects about which reasonable people can honestly disagree as if the opposition is worthy of contempt, rejects the bible or is not really saved. That attitude quickly leads nowhere.

 

There seem to be three possible answers:

1. View 'A' is correct and view 'B' is wrong.

2. View 'B' is correct and view 'A' is wrong.

3. View 'C' is correct and view 'A' and 'B' are both incomplete in some way (but partially correct).

 

One benefit that I draw from these discussions is to be forced to examine scriptures in context and often to view them from other than my comfortable starting assumptions. Sometimes this strengthens my confidence that I have 'rightly divided' some particular verse and the often popular view of that verse ignores the scriptural context or is very 'translation dependent'. Other times I am forced to admit that my pet verse is less cut and dry when viewed in the larger context than I had been applying it when ripping it out of context. What excites me most is when a verse turns out to actually be saying something much richer than I had been aware when I was just skimming over parts of it to support a preheld point.

 

As an example, both the 'Free Grace' (raise your hand, say a prayer and go about your life as normal) and the 'I am 100% in charge of my choice to believe' positions are pale and ... well pathetic ... compared to the amazing Truth of God's plan for salvation ... dead hearts of stone removed and replaced with a living heart of flesh; seeds finding different quality of soil and taking root and bearing fruit; saved by grace, through faith, not of ourselves; works prepared by God in advance just for us to walk in; safety positioned between the hand of the Father and the hand of the Son; sealed with the Holy Spirit as a pledge for our redemption, the list goes on. All of that can be discovered by digging into the verses that we like to pong back and forth.

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
It has occurred to me that there are Scriptures supporting both sides. So - what are we supposed to be doing with them? What is the purpose Of debate? What is the function of high school debate teams? To learn critical thinking skills? To find out what a person believes and Why? Doctrinal apologetics?

 

Just thinking out loud.

Well the Bible is quite clear that endless debate is not edifying and should be avoided. So the purpose of "debate" (I would call it Bible discussion) is to arrive at the truth, since God will have all men to be saved AND to come unto the knowledge of the truth (1 Tim 2:4). In order to arrive at a knowledge of the truth we must have a biblical understanding of (a) the character of God, (b) the finished redemptive work of Christ, and © the relevant Scriptures pertaining to a specific subject.

 

Taking the example of the Calvinistic view of election unto salvation, it becomes immediately clear that is goes against the character of God, the finished work of Christ, and the relevant Scriptures. On the authority of the above verse from 1 Timothy alone (which is God-breathed) we can say without the shadow of a doubt that God DOES NOT elect some to salvation and others to damnation. Why? Because He says that He will have ALL men to be saved, and this is corroborated by numerous other Scriptures. The very fact that Christ took the sins of the world upon Himself is sufficient proof.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@ Lucas --- I would agree with everything you've shared -- God's 'will' is that All men would come to Christ, but His foreknowledge tells Him who will and who won't. If -- because of the cross -- everyone Will eventually come to Christ -- that is called Universalism - right? And I don't believe that Scripture teaches that. And I Think it's true -- maybe it somebodies' wishfull thinking that Christ won't return until everyone has had a chance to hear the Gospel unto salvation and make a choice to either accept or reject Him.

 

And there is the passage in Romans 8: 29 and 30. An understanding of Those verses - especially vs. 30.

 

And there is also prophesy that needs to be fulfilled before Christ returns. It would appear that NOW is the time to make sure of our salvation. And that Is Scriptural.

 

And, yes, endless debate should be avoided. Discussion is great -- but the goal Should be to share the Gospel unto salvation.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
God DOES NOT elect some to salvation and others to damnation

Technically, Calvinism (Reformed Theology) does not teach that God elects some to damnation. It may be a 'logical conclusion', but Scripture is careful to NEVER actually say that. "Double Predestination" (God chooses some to be saved and God chooses some to be damned) was rejected as a heresy not supported by scripture.

 

The Bible clearly does teach that God draws, elects, chose, predestined, seals, gives faith ... so the great question is whose will is supreme in the matter of salvation? God has power over men, or men have the power to thwart the will of God?

Calvinism teaches (because it is what we believe the bible teaches) that all men exercise their free will and their fallen nature to reject God (100%) - [Romans 3:10-18 NASB] - therefore the only way that any person can/will be saved is through an intervention of God - [John 6:44 NASB Ephesians 2:1-10 NASB]. As to the question of why one person and not another, I have no blessed idea [Romans 9:14-16 NASB]. :cool:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For me, one of the most important goals is to acknowledge that there are scriptures that appear to support both sides. This means that those who hold both views are entitled to the respect due a brother or sister in Christ. Too many individuals approach subjects about which reasonable people can honestly disagree as if the opposition is worthy of contempt, rejects the bible or is not really saved. That attitude quickly leads nowhere.

 

There seem to be three possible answers:

1. View 'A' is correct and view 'B' is wrong.

2. View 'B' is correct and view 'A' is wrong.

3. View 'C' is correct and view 'A' and 'B' are both incomplete in some way (but partially correct).

 

One benefit that I draw from these discussions is to be forced to examine scriptures in context and often to view them from other than my comfortable starting assumptions. Sometimes this strengthens my confidence that I have 'rightly divided' some particular verse and the often popular view of that verse ignores the scriptural context or is very 'translation dependent'. Other times I am forced to admit that my pet verse is less cut and dry when viewed in the larger context than I had been applying it when ripping it out of context. What excites me most is when a verse turns out to actually be saying something much richer than I had been aware when I was just skimming over parts of it to support a preheld point.

 

As an example, both the 'Free Grace' (raise your hand, say a prayer and go about your life as normal) and the 'I am 100% in charge of my choice to believe' positions are pale and ... well pathetic ... compared to the amazing Truth of God's plan for salvation ... dead hearts of stone removed and replaced with a living heart of flesh; seeds finding different quality of soil and taking root and bearing fruit; saved by grace, through faith, not of ourselves; works prepared by God in advance just for us to walk in; safety positioned between the hand of the Father and the hand of the Son; sealed with the Holy Spirit as a pledge for our redemption, the list goes on. All of that can be discovered by digging into the verses that we like to pong back and forth.

 

 

 

 

 

My response would be "C"

 

It IS , after all, God's salvation. Not ours. Is it possible that in the process of "making sure we have the correct Greek/ Hebrew meaning of a word" that we 'kill' the subject? That any unbeliever who is reading some of these posts would end up 'shying away From' because salvation ends up sounding So Complicated that "why bother".

 

Are there possibly those who get into a Christ forum to find out "what Christ is like"?

 

And, yes, we Do have the Creeds and the church fathers and great preachers from back in the days. But what about the men / women of God in These Days.

 

The "dead hearts" are inside of real live people. And these real, live people need to hear about God's gift of salvation. They have ears to hear with and questions to ask and get answers for. When a question is asked or a person is confused -- are we going to refer them to a site or share - on the spot - Scripture to guide them.

 

Your very last sentence -- 'verses that we like to ping-pong back and forth'. Indeed, let's be busy sharing them.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Technically, Calvinism (Reformed Theology) does not teach that God elects some to damnation.

Actually -- and technically also -- Reformed Theology does teach that some are elected for damnation.

 

III. By the decree of God, for the manifestation of His glory, some men and angels are predestinated unto everlasting life; and others foreordained to everlasting death.

 

The Westminster Confession of Faith, Chapter III, Of God's Eternal Decree, Section III

 

Perhaps many Reformed Christians are either not too familiar with this document, or choose to ignore this awful doctrine which is presented as Bible truth. Chances are most have not read it through in its entirety and then examined the Scriptures to determine if all the teachings are biblical. How in the world this can be presented as "for the manifestation of His glory" is something to be pondered.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
III. By the decree of God, for the manifestation of His glory, some men and angels are predestinated unto everlasting life; and others foreordained to everlasting death.

The WCF does indeed say that. I think that we would need to study it much harder than I have any desire to in order to tease out the nuances of exactly what they intended. Personally, I hold the same complaint with the WCF that I hold with the KJV: Archaic language and grammar make it dificult to understand exactly what it is saying in some places.

 

The keynotes offer the following verses in support of the underlined statement. If you reject the underlined statement, have you a response to the scripture that WCF claims as support for whatever they meant by that statement:

 

ROM 9:22 What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: 23 And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory.

EPH 1:5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, 6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.

PRO 16:4 The Lord hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.

 

Personally, I prefer the Heidelberg Catechism as "Reformed Theology for Dummies" ...

 

Q & A 1

Q. What is your only comfort

in life and in death?

 

A. That I am not my own,1

but belong—

body and soul,

in life and in death—2

to my faithful Savior, Jesus Christ.3

He has fully paid for all my sins with his precious blood,4

and has set me free from the tyranny of the devil.5

He also watches over me in such a way6

that not a hair can fall from my head

without the will of my Father in heaven;7

in fact, all things must work together for my salvation.8

Because I belong to him,

Christ, by his Holy Spirit,

assures me of eternal life9

and makes me wholeheartedly willing and ready

from now on to live for him.10

1 1 Cor. 6:19-20

2 Rom. 14:7-9

3 1 Cor. 3:23; Titus 2:14

4 1 Pet. 1:18-19; 1 John 1:7-9; 2:2

5 John 8:34-36; Heb. 2:14-15; 1 John 3:1-11

6 John 6:39-40; 10:27-30; 2 Thess. 3:3; 1 Pet. 1:5

7 Matt. 10:29-31; Luke 21:16-18

8 Rom. 8:28

9 Rom. 8:15-16; 2 Cor. 1:21-22; 5:5; Eph. 1:13-14

10 Rom. 8:1-17

 

 

Q & A 2

Q. What must you know to

live and die in the joy of this comfort?

 

A. Three things:

first, how great my sin and misery are;1

second, how I am set free from all my sins and misery;2

third, how I am to thank God for such deliverance.3

1 Rom. 3:9-10; 1 John 1:10

2 John 17:3; Acts 4:12; 10:43

3 Matt. 5:16; Rom. 6:13; Eph. 5:8-10; 2 Tim. 2:15; 1 Pet. 2:9-10

 

 

Q & A 20

Q. Are all people then saved through Christ

just as they were lost through Adam?

 

A. No.

Only those are saved

who through true faith

are grafted into Christ

and accept all his benefits.1

1 Matt. 7:14; John 3:16, 18, 36; Rom. 11:16-21

 

 

Q & A 21

Q. What is true faith?

 

A. True faith is

not only a sure knowledge by which I hold as true

all that God has revealed to us in Scripture;1

it is also a wholehearted trust,2

which the Holy Spirit creates in me3 by the gospel,4

that God has freely granted,

not only to others but to me also,5

forgiveness of sins,

eternal righteousness,

and salvation.6

These are gifts of sheer grace,

granted solely by Christ’s merit.7

1 John 17:3, 17; Heb. 11:1-3; James 2:19

2 Rom. 4:18-21; 5:1; 10:10; Heb. 4:14-16

3 Matt. 16:15-17; John 3:5; Acts 16:14

4 Rom. 1:16; 10:17; 1 Cor. 1:21

5 Gal. 2:20

6 Rom. 1:17; Heb. 10:10

7 Rom. 3:21-26; Gal. 2:16; Eph. 2:8-10

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Doesn't it follow that if "some men and angels are predestinated unto everlasting life'" then others would be predestinated to everlasting death ?" Where else Would they end up. Unless there's a difference between being predestinated and foreordained?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Seems that as I was posting # 21 in response to # 19 that # 20 came in.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The WCF does indeed say that. I think that we would need to study it much harder than I have any desire to in order to tease out the nuances of exactly what they intended. Personally, I hold the same complaint with the WCF that I hold with the KJV: Archaic language and grammar make it dificult to understand exactly what it is saying in some places.

 

The WCF carefully used the words "predestinated" and "foreordained". What are the differences?

 

Perhaps many Reformed Christians are either not too familiar with this document, or choose to ignore this awful doctrine which is presented as Bible truth. Chances are most have not read it through in its entirety and then examined the Scriptures to determine if all the teachings are biblical. How in the world this can be presented as "for the manifestation of His glory" is something to be pondered.

 

Look at what Lucas said. He quoted it and it is appears as is right in front of him and he still can't read it right.

 

III. By the decree of God, for the manifestation of His glory, some men and angels are predestinated unto everlasting life; and others foreordained to everlasting death.

 

Lets address the differences.

 

But lets look at what Sue suggests too, she says God's omniscience has him knowing who will and will not choose him as though God looks through the corridors of time. This comes from a wrong interpretation of Romans 8:29-30 where the works of man are foreknown rather than "those whom" or rather the Elect which God foreknew. In other words, it is those people God foreloved or set his affections upon rather than their works. People are the objects of God foreknowledge and not their works.

  • 29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30 And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.

God's 'will' is that All men would come to Christ, but His foreknowledge tells Him who will and who won't.

 

Doesn't it follow that if "some men and angels are predestinated unto everlasting life'" then others would be predestinated to everlasting death ?" Where else Would they end up. Unless there's a difference between being predestinated and foreordained?

 

But according to Sue, God predestinated these things to come to pass then? Of course what Sue is suggesting is not found in Scripture, but by her argument she is in fact stating a case for foreordination - a theological inconsistency. But I ask Sue to examine why she can't believe that God Elects some and passes over others which leaves them damned in their unrighteousness? Especially when her pet verse John 3:16 in its context says so in John 3:18?

 

Personally, I prefer the Heidelberg Catechism as "Reformed Theology for Dummies" ...

 

Actually, we use both the WCF and H.C., but our H.C. is actually taught in Sunday schools to our children :). I wouldn't say our children or our office of teacher are dummies. The H.C. is great for addressing those with an elementary understanding of theology. Those from my church which have memorized the H.C. have done so from their childhood.

 

Back to the WCF.

 

I. God from all eternity, did, by the most wise and holy counsel of His own will, freely, and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass;[1] yet so, as thereby neither is God the author of sin,[2] nor is violence offered to the will of the creatures; nor is the liberty or contingency of second causes taken away, but rather established.[3]

 

II. Although God knows whatsoever may or can come to pass upon all supposed conditions;[4] yet has He not decreed anything because He foresaw it as future, or as that which would come to pass upon such conditions.[5]

 

III. By the decree of God, for the manifestation of His glory, some men and angels[6] are predestinated unto everlasting life; and others foreordained to everlasting death.[7]

 

IV. These angels and men, thus predestinated, and foreordained, are particularly and unchangeably designed, and their number so certain and definite, that it cannot be either increased or diminished.[8]

 

V. Those of mankind that are predestinated unto life, God, before the foundation of the world was laid, according to His eternal and immutable purpose, and the secret counsel and good pleasure of His will, has chosen, in Christ, unto everlasting glory,[9] out of His mere free grace and love, without any foresight of faith, or good works, or perseverance in either of them, or any other thing in the creature, as conditions, or causes moving Him thereunto;[10] and all to the praise of His glorious grace.[11]

 

VI. As God has appointed the elect unto glory, so has He, by the eternal and most free purpose of His will, foreordained all the means thereunto.[12] Wherefore, they who are elected, being fallen in Adam, are redeemed by Christ,[13] are effectually called unto faith in Christ by His Spirit working in due season, are justified, adopted, sanctified,[14] and kept by His power, through faith, unto salvation.[15] Neither are any other redeemed by Christ, effectually called, justified, adopted, sanctified, and saved, but the elect only.[16]

 

VII. The rest of mankind God was pleased, according to the unsearchable counsel of His own will, whereby He extends or withholds mercy, as He pleases, for the glory of His sovereign power over His creatures, to pass by; and to ordain them to dishonor and wrath for their sin, to the praise of His glorious justice.[17]

 

VIII. The doctrine of this high mystery of predestination is to be handled with special prudence and care,[18] that men, attending the will of God revealed in His Word, and yielding obedience thereunto, may, from the certainty of their effectual vocation, be assured of their eternal election.[19] So shall this doctrine afford matter of praise, reverence, and admiration of God;[20] and of humility, diligence, and abundant consolation to all that sincerely obey the Gospel.[21]

 

Other Reformed Confessions:

 

The Reformed Confession: 1536

Our salvation is from God, but from ourselves there is nothing but sin and damnation. (Art. 9)

 

French Confession of Faith: 1559

We believe that from this corruption and general condemnation in which all men are plunged, God, according to his eternal and immutable counsel, calleth those whom he hath chosen by his goodness and mercy alone in our Lord Jesus Christ, without consideration of their works, to display in them the riches of his mercy; leaving the rest in this same corruption and condemnation to show in them his justice. (Art. XII)

 

The Belgic Confession of Faith: 1561

We believe that all the posterity of Adam, being thus fallen into perdition and ruin by the sin of our first parents, God then did manifest himself such as he is; that is to say, MERCIFUL AND JUST: MERCIFUL, since he delivers and preserves from this perdition all whom he, in his eternal and unchangeable council, of mere goodness hath elected in Christ Jesus our Lord, without respect to their works: JUST, in leaving others in the fall and perdition wherein they have involved themselves. (Art. XVI)

 

The Second Helvetic Confession: 1566

Finally, as often as God in Scripture is said or seems to do something evil, it is not thereby said that man does not do evil, but that God permits it and does not prevent it, according to his just judgment, who could prevent it if he wished, or because he turns man's evil into good. . . . St. Augustine writes in his
Enchiridion:
"What happens contrary to his will occurs, in a wonderful and ineffable way, not apart from his will. For it would not happen if he did not allow it. And yet he does not allow it unwillingly but willingly." (Art. VIII)

 

 

Does anybody actually know what "Reformed" means?

 

Contrary to what Lucas believes, the WCF divines carefully treated how we confess what Scripture teaches.

 

"Double Predestination" (God chooses some to be saved and God chooses some to be damned) was rejected as a heresy not supported by scripture.

 

Not completely true, brother. Only the distortion of double predestination is heretical. Double predestination in its positive negative schema deals with the implications of Election as some will always then go to the reprobate and say ......

 

Actually -- and technically also -- Reformed Theology does teach that some are elected for damnation.

 

Predestination has only one side—election. If “double” predestination means a symmetrical view of predestination, then we must reject the notion. But such a view of “double” predestination would be a caricature and a serious distortion of the Reformed doctrine of predestination.

 

The Double-Predestination Distortion:

 

There is a symmetry that exists between election and reprobation. God WORKS in the same way and same manner with respect to the elect and to the reprobate. That is to say, from all eternity God decreed some to election and by divine initiative works faith in their hearts and brings them actively to salvation. By the same token, from all eternity God decrees some to sin and damnation (destinare ad peccatum) and actively intervenes to work sin in their lives, bringing them to damnation by divine initiative. In the case of the elect, regeneration is the monergistic work of God. In the case of the reprobate, sin and degeneration are the monergistic work of God. Stated another way, we can establish a parallelism of foreordination and predestination by means of a positive symmetry. We can call this a positive-positive view of predestination. This is, God positively and actively intervenes in the lives of the elect to bring them to salvation. In the same way God positively and actively intervenes in the life of the reprobate to bring him to sin.

 

This distortion of positive-positive predestination clearly makes God the author of sin who punishes a person for doing what God monergistically and irresistibly coerces man to do. Such a view is indeed a monstrous assault on the integrity of God. This is not the Reformed view of predestination, but a gross and inexcusable caricature of the doctrine. Such a view may be identified with what is often loosely described as hyper-Calvinism and involves a radical form of supralapsarianism. Such a view of predestination has been virtually universally and monolithically rejected by Reformed thinkers.

 

I want to emphasis the Positive Positive Schema of double predestination is not what Reformed believe, but it is what non Reformed people like Lucas think we believe.Election by its very definition is positive, people are only elected to salvation and not damnation. However, double predestination does address the implications of God's election and the reprobate.

 

Calvinism's acronym TULIP begins with Total Depravity or Total Inability - which addresses why man cannot obtain righteousness. Reject this point and we see that our debaters are aligned with Pelagianism.

 

The Reformed View of Predestination:

 

In sharp contrast to the caricature of double predestination seen in the positive-positive schema is the classic position of Reformed theology on predestination. In this view predestination is double in that it involves both election and reprobation but is not symmetrical with respect to the mode of divine activity. A strict parallelism of operation is denied. Rather we view predestination in terms of a positive-negative relationship.

 

In the Reformed view God from all eternity decrees some to election and positively intervenes in their lives to work regeneration and faith by a monergistic work of grace. To the non-elect God withholds this monergistic work of grace, passing them by and leaving them to themselves. He does not monergistically work sin or unbelief in their lives. Even in the case of the "hardening" of the sinners' already recalcitrant hearts, God does not, as Luther stated, "work evil in us (for hardening is working evil) by creating fresh evil in us."

[/Quote]

 

By the way, I think personally, this thread is very hard to follow because it jumps from Unconditional Election, to Limited Atonement, to Total Depravity. I'm stopping here where I am and only addressing Unconditional Election. But I do understand why other points are coming up - it is because Calvinism is 100% logically consistent and disagreeing with any one point will show logical inconsistencies. Scripture nowhere is illogical. One really has to reject Total Depravity to think that man has it himself to obtain righteousness:

 

Calvinism teaches (because it is what we believe the bible teaches) that all men exercise their free will and their fallen nature to reject God (100%) - [Romans 3:10-18 NASB] - therefore the only way that any person can/will be saved is through an intervention of God - [John 6:44 NASB Ephesians 2:1-10 NASB]. As to the question of why one person and not another, I have no blessed idea [Romans 9:14-16 NASB]. :cool:

 

I agree, and I agree with your use of "free will" but only would suggest that man exercises his own free will as it is bound/enslaved to his fallen nature. Not picking you apart atpollard, just hinting at the type of free will Calvinist do not reject and the type they do reject. Nobody here has defined free will yet and so far I only see them denying and rejecting man's sin nature which only demonstrates contradictions in personal theology.

 

The keynotes offer the following verses in support of the underlined statement. If you reject the underlined statement, have you a response to the scripture that WCF claims as support for whatever they meant by that statement:

 

ROM 9:22 What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: 23 And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory.

EPH 1:5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, 6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.

PRO 16:4 The Lord hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.

 

Still waiting for someone to unpack the WCF and address those Scriptures. Too often do those reject any possibility that others have received a gift through such offices by which they do not hold and say that they only turn to Scripture for their doctrine. Yet here is an opportunity to address the Scriptures by which gifted men have "gotten their theology and doctrine from". These gifted men are pointing to Scripture, and not asking you take their word for it, but again, I think people have no idea what Reformed means.

 

Last note, a group of divines may spend months upon months debating one complete sentence in the WCF from Scripture. Dazzle us and show us how someone can compile something better in seconds, hours, days or even a month by themselves.

 

God bless,

William

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The WCF carefully used the words "predestinated" and "foreordained". What are the differences?

There are no material differences. I did not quote the first two sections of that chapter in the Westminster Confession, but after I quote it below and you see what it says, it should be crystal clear that according to Reformed Theology, God predestines/foreordains many to Hell, since according to this theology EVERYTHING is ordained by God, and not merely because of His foreknowledge::

 

I. God from all eternity, did, by the most wise and holy counsel of His own will, freely, and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass; yet so, as thereby neither is God the author of sin, nor is violence offered to the will of the creatures; nor is the liberty or contingency of second causes taken away, but rather established.

 

II. Although God knows whatsoever may or can come to pass upon all supposed conditions; yet has He not decreed anything because He foresaw it as future, or as that which would come to pass upon such conditions.

 

The disclaimer about God not being the Author of sin is there because those who wrote this Confession realized that in the final analysis (and according to their distorted theology) God becomes ultimately responsible for sending millions (billions?) to Hell. That is exactly what "foreordained to everlasting death means".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's a good question -- does anybody know what Reformed means.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
Articles - News - Registration Terms