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Offline pawnraider

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Calvinism or Arminianism
« on: Wed Dec 19, 2007 - 08:55:33 »
Which is right, Calvinism or Arminianism?  ???

Offline Jaime

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Re: Calvinism or Arminianism
« Reply #1 on: Wed Dec 19, 2007 - 08:58:53 »
Probably neither.

God is sovereign, but man has free will.

Offline Jimbob

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Re: Calvinism or Arminianism
« Reply #2 on: Wed Dec 19, 2007 - 09:02:46 »
Probably neither.

God is sovereign, but man has free will.
Yup.

Offline charlie

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Re: Calvinism or Arminianism
« Reply #3 on: Wed Dec 19, 2007 - 09:32:47 »
Does anybody know if Arminianism has a handy acrostic like TULIP? And if not, does it least have a list of basic tenets?

Tantor

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Re: Calvinism or Arminianism
« Reply #4 on: Wed Dec 19, 2007 - 10:14:22 »
Probably neither.

God is sovereign, but man has free will.
Yup.

If man has free will.. and the bible teaches that darkness hides from the light, then even with free will it would be impossible for man to 'chose' God without God's intervention first.

It's funny that this has become a polarizing issue.. people think you either have free will or you don't.  I subscribe to the position that it is somewhere in the middle.  Within our own context we may feel we have free will, but within God's context he guides us where he wants us to go.


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Re: Calvinism or Arminianism
« Reply #4 on: Wed Dec 19, 2007 - 10:14:22 »



Offline Jaime

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Re: Calvinism or Arminianism
« Reply #5 on: Wed Dec 19, 2007 - 10:21:38 »
Probably neither.

God is sovereign, but man has free will.
Yup.

If man has free will.. and the bible teaches that darkness hides from the light, then even with free will it would be impossible for man to 'chose' God without God's intervention first.

It's funny that this has become a polarizing issue.. people think you either have free will or you don't.  I subscribe to the position that it is somewhere in the middle.  Within our own context we may feel we have free will, but within God's context he guides us where he wants us to go.


Yes it is somewhere in the middle.  ::clappingoverhead::

Offline DCR

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Re: Calvinism or Arminianism
« Reply #6 on: Wed Dec 19, 2007 - 10:42:33 »
Does anybody know if Arminianism has a handy acrostic like TULIP? And if not, does it least have a list of basic tenets?


Strangely, the original tenets of Arminianism are closer to "Calvinism" than what a lot of people realize...

Check this out (I know, I know... take it with a Wikipedia grain of salt): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arminianism

Quote
Arminianism holds to the following tenets:

Humans are naturally unable to make any effort towards salvation
Salvation is possible by grace alone
Works of human effort cannot cause or contribute to salvation
God's election is conditional on faith in Jesus
Jesus' atonement was for all people
God allows his grace to be resisted by those unwilling to believe
Salvation can be lost, as continued salvation is conditional upon continued faith


The only main difference is whether election is conditional or unconditional.  Calvinists seem to believe that God chooses you based on nothing about you... faith or otherwise (you only have faith because you were chosen to be saved first).  And, according to Arminiamism, it seems that salvation can be lost if faith is lost.

Yet, original Arminians seem to agree with Calvinists on total depravity, etc.  But, grace can be resisted... depending again on faith.

Off the cuff response.  Someone else might explain better.

da525382

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Re: Calvinism or Arminianism
« Reply #7 on: Wed Dec 19, 2007 - 12:32:01 »
Here's one of many sources, it is a reformed source, summarizing how the two compare:

                         http://www.the-highway.com/compare.html

The five tenets of Calvinism were established after the five tenets of Arminianism were created.  The followers of Calvin established TULIP after his death in response to the Armianian tenets.

A better question to ask, ISTM, is which belief generally, if not in its purest form, aligns more closely with scripture.  I, of course, being in a minuscule minority here, believe Calvinism does.
« Last Edit: Wed Dec 19, 2007 - 12:49:31 by da525382 »

Offline Wycliffes_Shillelagh

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Re: Calvinism or Arminianism
« Reply #8 on: Wed Dec 19, 2007 - 13:30:37 »
Does anybody know if Arminianism has a handy acrostic like TULIP? And if not, does it least have a list of basic tenets?


Strangely, the original tenets of Arminianism are closer to "Calvinism" than what a lot of people realize...

Check this out (I know, I know... take it with a Wikipedia grain of salt): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arminianism

Quote
Arminianism holds to the following tenets:

Humans are naturally unable to make any effort towards salvation
Salvation is possible by grace alone
Works of human effort cannot cause or contribute to salvation
God's election is conditional on faith in Jesus
Jesus' atonement was for all people
God allows his grace to be resisted by those unwilling to believe
Salvation can be lost, as continued salvation is conditional upon continued faith


The only main difference is whether election is conditional or unconditional.  Calvinists seem to believe that God chooses you based on nothing about you... faith or otherwise (you only have faith because you were chosen to be saved first).  And, according to Arminiamism, it seems that salvation can be lost if faith is lost.

Yet, original Arminians seem to agree with Calvinists on total depravity, etc.  But, grace can be resisted... depending again on faith.

Off the cuff response.  Someone else might explain better.

Nice information here.

In particular, I'm apt to agree with the Arminian position cited above:

Salvation can be lost, as continued salvation is conditional upon continued faith

Offline Harold

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Re: Calvinism or Arminianism
« Reply #9 on: Wed Dec 19, 2007 - 13:41:07 »
Calminian is much closer.

FTL
« Last Edit: Thu Dec 20, 2007 - 13:12:39 by Harold »

Offline charlie

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Re: Calvinism or Arminianism
« Reply #10 on: Wed Dec 19, 2007 - 20:07:31 »
Does anybody know if Arminianism has a handy acrostic like TULIP? And if not, does it least have a list of basic tenets?


Strangely, the original tenets of Arminianism are closer to "Calvinism" than what a lot of people realize...

Check this out (I know, I know... take it with a Wikipedia grain of salt): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arminianism

Quote
Arminianism holds to the following tenets:

Humans are naturally unable to make any effort towards salvation
Salvation is possible by grace alone
Works of human effort cannot cause or contribute to salvation
God's election is conditional on faith in Jesus
Jesus' atonement was for all people
God allows his grace to be resisted by those unwilling to believe
Salvation can be lost, as continued salvation is conditional upon continued faith


The only main difference is whether election is conditional or unconditional.  Calvinists seem to believe that God chooses you based on nothing about you... faith or otherwise (you only have faith because you were chosen to be saved first).  And, according to Arminiamism, it seems that salvation can be lost if faith is lost.

Yet, original Arminians seem to agree with Calvinists on total depravity, etc.  But, grace can be resisted... depending again on faith.

Off the cuff response.  Someone else might explain better.


Awesome! Thanks for the free education. I had always assumed that Arminius was to Calvin what Pelagius was to Augustine. Come to find out, compared to the second pair, the first pair are very close.

I just read that Jacob Arminius was born in 1560. I had no idea he came along so late. Apparently he had tried to reform Reform Theology.

Offline KingdomBelvr

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Re: Calvinism or Arminianism
« Reply #11 on: Wed Dec 19, 2007 - 20:42:16 »
I have studied Cal and Armin for several years, and both sides have problems. If you go back to the original beliefs of the first and second generation of Christians, their end-times perspective was pre-millennial. But Augustine put a the kibosh on that and the church for 1600 years was dominated by millennial (no literal earthly millennium) ideas.
If one starts with a literal future 1000 year Messianic Kingdom, and takes the references to the kingdom of God/kingdom of Heaven to be a literal Messianic Kingdom, and not everlasting bliss in the clouds with God, you might see that most of the warnings against gross sins are about born-again people losing out on participation in the next part of God's program, the seventh-day rest, the Kingdom of Christ.
If this is a correct understanding, I would agree with Cal. that true believers are secure in their salvation, but they may lose their psuche-life for the duration of the coming age. Only those who persevere will receive the double inheritance of the first-born son, life in the Millennium reigning with Christ, and the common salvation of the eternal ages for all who have received Christ.
If general (spirit) salvation (from the lake of fire) is solely by grace through faith, then election can be based on God's foreknowledge of our faith in his Son. And since faith is non-meritorious, and good works are neither required for salvation nor a necessary consequence of being born-again (can I get an Amen from the thief on the cross?), election in time can be compatible with man's free will.
As for Total Depravity, our spirit, soul and body were all affected by the fall.
Election to salvation (of our spirit) in Christ is based on foreseen faith, and is not unconditional.
The Atonement had adequate provision for all, but is only effective on the repentant soul.
Grace is resistable.
All who receive Christ are saved to the uttermost and are saved from the lake of fire. Saints who persevere in doing good will be rewarded with rulership (inheritance) in the coming kingdom. (Rom 2:2-11) Those saved who are disobedient will be shut out in the darkness that is outside until the kingdom is given back to the Father. (Matt. various)

Salvation is a free gift received by faith. Life in the Kingdom of Christ is a reward for obedience after faith.

Offline Sherman Nobles

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Re: Calvinism or Arminianism
« Reply #12 on: Wed Dec 19, 2007 - 21:21:11 »
Calvanism illustrated:
Fore Ordination of God -------> Man's Salvation -------> Man's Response of Faith

Armenianism illustrated:
Fore Knowledge of God -------> Man's Response of Faith -------> Man's Salvation

I believe that the problem is we are thinking linear/temporal, whereas God exists in a different dimmension non-linear/eternal.  I'll try to illustrate this as follows in a triangle:

                           Man's Salvation
                                   /\
                                 /    \
                               /        \
                             /            \
                           /                \
Fore Knowledge <--------------> Man's Response
Fore Ordination                               of Faith
   of God

Note that the arrows go both ways at the same time.  I'm no electrician, but apparently Alternating Current flows both ways at the same time.  I don't understand how that is possible, but I know that if I turn the light switch on, I don't sit in darkness and I see the light.  In like manner, when I responded in faith to the Gospel the lights came on in my heart and I was born of the Spirit! I don't understand salvation or how it works, but I thank Jesus that he died for me before the foundation of the world.

da525382

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Re: Calvinism or Arminianism
« Reply #13 on: Wed Dec 19, 2007 - 21:57:33 »
Hey, that's cool, Sherman! 

k-pappy

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Re: Calvinism or Arminianism
« Reply #14 on: Thu Dec 20, 2007 - 00:57:13 »
Does anybody know if Arminianism has a handy acrostic like TULIP? And if not, does it least have a list of basic tenets?

Arminianism is the exact opposite of Calvinism.  Take Tulip and go to the other end of the spectrum and you have Arminianism.

I personally believe both are about half right.  :)

In Christ,
KP

Offline Dave...

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Re: Calvinism or Arminianism
« Reply #15 on: Thu Dec 20, 2007 - 03:02:46 »

KingdomBelvr wrote:
Quote
Election to salvation (of our spirit) in Christ is based on foreseen faith, and is not unconditional.


KingdomBelvr, I dealt with that here.
http://www.gracecentered.com/christian_forums/index.php?topic=21684.0

Dave

Offline Dave...

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Re: Calvinism or Arminianism
« Reply #16 on: Thu Dec 20, 2007 - 03:17:56 »
I can honestly say that as a Calvinist, what I believe, I believed from reading God's Word even before ever hearing of Calvinism. It was nice to see it all layed out so that I could further test what needed to be tested.

What is Calvinism-Arminianism? These are just terms that represent two schools of thought in theology. The terms are named after two theologians who made each of the two prominant views famous through these debates over recent history. Today, both views vary.

In my mind, while there are some tough questions to be answered, there really is no huge debate between the two schools of thought. I believe that arminian theology is many times rooted in the rejection of God's sovereignty and is foundational in secular humanist philosophy. Why did I say "many times"? Because it is important to understand that the arminian view is also part of the learning curve. Most people start out believing that their coming to faith in Christ, and their perseverance in faith etc. was all of themselves, only to come to see, in time, God's grace in all of it as they begin to understand the truths taught in His Word. So, there is discernment involved, in my mind, in whether or not i'm dealing with a full fledged rejection of biblical truth or someone who just isn't there yet on the learning curve. Read your Bible, believe it, and you will be a Calvinist.

There are a lot of straw man arguments out there. Learn Calvinism from a Calvinist. Likewise, let the Arminian define himself. I don't think that you will find that the Arminian view is misrepresented from the Calvinist side as it is the other way around. I'll let you be the judge of that. I'm confident, though.  ::whistle::

Here are some links that lay out everything in simple reading.

The first link really lays out the basics between the two views in a very easy to understand article.

* The Calvinism Debate simplified  - Getting quickly to the main issues
http://www.corkfpc.com/simplified.html

Next, read all the other links under "DOCTRINAL CONTROVERSY" from this link, and then the rest of the articles from the same page.
http://www.corkfpc.com/calvinismindex.html

That second link that I supplied was my introduction into Calvinism. It's still the best work out there for those who are not familiar with the debates.

Dave

« Last Edit: Thu Dec 20, 2007 - 06:05:04 by Dave... »

Offline johntwayne

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Re: Calvinism or Arminianism
« Reply #17 on: Thu Dec 20, 2007 - 05:47:10 »
Quote
In my mind, while there are some tough questions to be answered, there really is no huge debate between the two schools of thought. I believe that arminian theology is many times rooted in the rejection of God's sovereignty and is foundational in secular humanist philosophy. Why did I say "many times"? Because it is important to understand that the arminianism view is also part of the learning curve. Most people start out believing that their coming to faith in Christ, and their perseverance in faith etc. was all of themselves, only to come to see, in time, God's grace in all of it as they begin to understand the truths taught in His Word. So, there is discernment involved, in my mind, in whether or not i'm dealing with a full fledged rejection of biblical truth or someone who just isn't there yet on the learning curve. Read your Bible, believe it, and you will be a Calvinist.

There are a lot of straw man arguments out there. Learn Calvinism from a Calvinist. Likewise, let the Arminian define himself. I don't think that you will find that the Arminian view is misrepresented from the Calvinist side as it is the other way around. I'll let you be the judge of that. I'm confident, though.

I would start off by saying that you, as a Calvinist, just misrepresented the other side.  The other side is drawn from Scripture and it does not involve the idea that salvation is "all of themselves."

I fall between the two schools of thought.  I don't believe in total depravity, but I do believe in depravity.  There are just too many scriptures that emphasize that there beside the sinful part of man there is a part of man that seeks God, that God gave this part to all men, and that God appeals to it and urges man to choose faith in Him.

Quote
"The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands; nor is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all people life and breath and all things; and He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation, that they would seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; for in Him we live and move and exist, as even some of your own poets have said, 'For we also are His children.'
(Acts 17:24-28 NASB)

Grace is not totally unconditional.  Grace is certainly unconditionally offered to all--but it is offered and then man must meet the condition of faith to fully realize its end.  The ability to choose faith is a God given gift to all men.

Quote
"Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent, (Acts 17:30 NASB)

The atonement was not limited, but was made for all men because God does not desire that any should be lost, but that all should come to salvation.

Quote
The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:9 NASB)

For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit; (1 Peter 3:18 NASB)

Grace is not irresistible.  Man rejected God's grace in the garden when he chose sin, and can continue to reject God's grace in Christ should he chose to do so.

Quote
And working together with Him, we also urge you not to receive the grace of God in vain-- for He says, "AT THE ACCEPTABLE TIME I LISTENED TO YOU, AND ON THE DAY OF SALVATION I HELPED YOU." Behold, now is "THE ACCEPTABLE TIME," behold, now is "THE DAY OF SALVATION"--
(2 Corinthians 6:1-2 NASB)

Finally, "once save, always saved" is not supported by Scripture.  There are many verses which warn us about the danger of straying from grace.

Quote
"At that time many will fall away and will betray one another and hate one another. (Matthew 24:10 NASB)

"In a similar way these are the ones on whom seed was sown on the rocky places, who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with joy; and they have no firm root in themselves, but are only temporary; then, when affliction or persecution arises because of the word, immediately they fall away. (Mark 4:16-17 NASB)

Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall. (1 Corinthians 10:12 NASB)

But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, (1 Timothy 4:1 NASB)

Therefore let us be diligent to enter that rest, so that no one will fall, through following the same example of disobedience. (Hebrews 4:11 NASB)

You have been severed from Christ, you who are seeking to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace.
(Galatians 5:4 NASB)


Paul describes the struggle that goes on inside of man between his depravity and the part of him that seeks God this way...

Quote
For we know that the Law is spiritual, but I am of flesh, sold into bondage to sin. For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate. But if I do the very thing I do not want to do, I agree with the Law, confessing that the Law is good. So now, no longer am I the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not. For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want. But if I am doing the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wants to do good. For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man, but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin.
(Romans 7:14-25 NASB)

To deny that there is a part of man, made in the image of God, that seeks God fundamentally misrepresents what scripture says about man and how God made him to be.  Additionally, the fact that God gave man a side of himself that seeks God is no cause for boasting on man's part for it is gift--a gift God gave to all men everywhere.

Finally, there is the sovereignty issue... The Calvinist believes that unless God makes ALL choices that He is not sovereign.  The other side believes that God through sovereignty gave man the gift of choice so both sides believe in  the sovereignty of God they just have different concepts of it. 






« Last Edit: Thu Dec 20, 2007 - 06:33:26 by johntwayne »

Offline Dave...

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Re: Calvinism or Arminianism
« Reply #18 on: Thu Dec 20, 2007 - 05:58:19 »
Thanks John.  Like I said...

Dave

Offline spurly

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Re: Calvinism or Arminianism
« Reply #19 on: Thu Dec 20, 2007 - 06:38:32 »
I am glad to see that so many people here, like me, find themselves in the middle between the two poles.

da525382

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Re: Calvinism or Arminianism
« Reply #20 on: Thu Dec 20, 2007 - 07:15:15 »
There really are few purest in thought at either extreme.  The primary difference between the two extremes, ISTM, surrounds the concepts of (1) election/predestination(from whence all argumentation on choosing faith comes from, i.e., whether God chooses focused only on Himself, i.e., on the basis of His own purposes, or whether He chooses focused on humanity, i.e., based on forseeing what someone believes in the future) and (2) the total depravity (which could better be said by the phrase "absolute inability") of man, wherein the two sides simply differ in that one believes man has some ability to respond to God without God's own move upon man's will, while the other side believes God moves on man's will to empower Him to respond from a state of absolute inability, deadness(bondage to sin), or depravity. 

And all Christians believe many, many, variations and combinations of these two extremes.  But that's the way it's been for centuries and it will stay that way to the end of time.

I personally give God every single bit of credit for my salvation, including that He moved upon me to choose Him, that He gave me faith and life.  I take no credit whatsoever for my salvation, even in my own personal constructed "choice", otherwise my coming to Him would be simply a boast in the greatness of my own construction of my "choice".  Anyway, that's where my walk has led me over many, many years.
« Last Edit: Thu Dec 20, 2007 - 09:00:16 by da525382 »

Offline DCR

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Re: Calvinism or Arminianism
« Reply #21 on: Thu Dec 20, 2007 - 09:00:05 »
I personally give God every single bit of credit for my salvation, including that He moved upon me to choose Him, that He gave me faith and life.  I take no credit whatsoever for my salvation, even in my own personal constructed "choice", otherwise my coming to Him would be simply a boast in the greatness of my own construction of my "choice".  Anyway, that's where my walk has led me over many, many years.

I think one problem in these discussions is often the perception one side has about what the other side is really thinking.

While I tend to understand God to choose us on the basis of our faith... I take no credit for my salvation either.  I actually don't dwell on or boast about my "personally constructed 'choice'" (as you put it).  I remember when I first heard this criticism coming from the Calvinistic side... my response was... huh??  That kind of notion had never entered my mind.  I would hope that very few on the Arminian side would ever sit around singing praises about their "choice."  That would just be a bizarre and dysfunctionally narcissistic thing to think, IMO.  God gets all the credit for salvation... no one should dispute that.  There's no basis for boasting in oneself simply because he accepted God's invitation to follow Him.

But, it is somewhat of a shame when people, who do come to the Arminian perspective from their own study of Scripture, are implied to take credit for their salvation, simply because they perceive things a little differently from the Calvinist perspective.

da525382

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Re: Calvinism or Arminianism
« Reply #22 on: Thu Dec 20, 2007 - 09:03:47 »
I personally give God every single bit of credit for my salvation, including that He moved upon me to choose Him, that He gave me faith and life.  I take no credit whatsoever for my salvation, even in my own personal constructed "choice", otherwise my coming to Him would be simply a boast in the greatness of my own construction of my "choice".  Anyway, that's where my walk has led me over many, many years.

I think one problem in these discussions is often the perception one side has about what the other side is really thinking.

While I tend to understand God to choose us on the basis of our faith... I take no credit for my salvation either.  I actually don't dwell on or boast about my "personally constructed 'choice'" (as you put it).  I remember when I first heard this criticism coming from the Calvinistic side... my response was... huh??  That kind of notion had never entered my mind.  I would hope that very few on the Arminian side would ever sit around singing praises about their "choice."  That would just be a bizarre and dysfunctionally narcissistic thing to think, IMO.  God gets all the credit for salvation... no one should dispute that.  There's no basis for boasting in oneself simply because he accepted God's invitation to follow Him.

But, it is somewhat of a shame when people, who do come to the Arminian perspective from their own study of Scripture, are implied to take credit for their salvation, simply because they perceive things a little differently from the Calvinist perspective.

Point well taken, no condemnation of Arminians intended.  However, there is a very bright, sharp line difference in the two concepts, that is undeniable in human logic and  in scripture from each one's perspective.  God's choice based on foreseeing faith is simply not compatible with the view that God elects of Himself only, that is the difference.  Giving all credit for one's salvation on that basis means that God moved first in every way, without any contribution whatsoever from man.  That is the sense in which it is meant. It is not meant to condemn you or insist that you do not attribute your own salvation to God or to make you defensive.  It is simply two different interpretations of scripture.

Offline charlie

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Re: Calvinism or Arminianism
« Reply #23 on: Thu Dec 20, 2007 - 09:32:19 »
I would hope that very few on the Arminian side would ever sit around singing praises about their "choice."  That would just be a bizarre and dysfunctionally narcissistic thing to think,

Let us stand and sing:

"I then obeyed his blest command, and gained the victory."

Come on people, sing!

"The vilest offenders who truly obey, that moment may enter the heavenly way."

Offline Jimbob

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Re: Calvinism or Arminianism
« Reply #24 on: Thu Dec 20, 2007 - 09:37:32 »
Oh victory! In my decision!
My accomplishment, forever!
He bought me at my discretion,
With His redeeming blood.
He loved me ere, I knew Him,
And all my love is due Him,
He plunged me to victory,
'Neath His redeeming blood.


Yeah, that's not exactly how we sing it at all.  That's just how we're falsely accused of singing.

Offline JERRY C

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Re: Calvinism or Arminianism
« Reply #25 on: Thu Dec 20, 2007 - 09:38:13 »
Agh, you are all wrong! And you are all right!
But, what do I know, I am not evolved yet!
Dave, this is my mentor and friend, a Calvinist –



the truth of the matter is, it is really about universalism!

2Pet.3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any (*) should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
Do the math:
Five points of Calvinism:
1 Total depravity (you cannot understand this, anyway)
2 Unconditional election (God does the picking – and, he has picked us (*) ALL)
3 Limited atonement (no more, no less than needed)
4 Irresistible grace (we have no choice, we are all picked, and all going)
5 Perseverance of the saints (this is Hotel California, no checking out!)

See, here’s the deal – God gets what he wants; there is no resisting him; and, he wants us all and will keep us all! (simple enough for un-evolved minds?)

Dave, when you and John C. quantum leap to the next level, you will bop your forehead and say, “I could have had a V8, not a flower!
« Last Edit: Thu Dec 20, 2007 - 09:47:33 by JERRY C »

Offline DCR

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Re: Calvinism or Arminianism
« Reply #26 on: Thu Dec 20, 2007 - 10:13:45 »
I would hope that very few on the Arminian side would ever sit around singing praises about their "choice."  That would just be a bizarre and dysfunctionally narcissistic thing to think,

Let us stand and sing:

"I then obeyed his blest command, and gained the victory."

Come on people, sing!

"The vilest offenders who truly obey, that moment may enter the heavenly way."

LOL.  You're not helping, my friend.  ::destroyingcomputer::

da525382

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Re: Calvinism or Arminianism
« Reply #27 on: Thu Dec 20, 2007 - 11:12:12 »
Agh, you are all wrong! And you are all right!
But, what do I know, I am not evolved yet!
Dave, this is my mentor and friend, a Calvinist –





So, which one is you?

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Re: Calvinism or Arminianism
« Reply #28 on: Thu Dec 20, 2007 - 11:40:12 »
Quote from JTW:
Grace is not totally unconditional.  Grace is certainly unconditionally offered to all--but it is offered and then man must meet the condition of faith to fully realize its end.  The ability to choose faith is a God given gift to all men.

Jack,

My difference with this notion is as follows:
             
              (1) If scripture truly taught God's grace is conditional, then it is no longer grace. 
                    His grace is His and it is not conditioned on anything.
             
              (2) The issue is not that man does not choose God freely, it is whether
                    that  choice  is made free and independent of God and His will. 
                    Scripture, I believe,  has numerous tensions in it, this is one of them, that
                    man's free choice is not  free and independent of God's will, but rather it is
                    only in the context of  God's sovereignty.  Both coexist together, and we
                    cannot possibly fathom or contemplate with our feeble intellects how that is,
                    nor do I think we have to.
             
              (3)  Overlaying the background of it all is a choice we freely make, that however,
                     is made after God first chooses us.  It is more of a notion that God's Spirit
                     moves, first convicting mankind, opening his mind and heart, giving mankind
                     the abillity then to respond in belief, repentance, faith, etc.  It is a
                     miraculous event that we will never fully comprehend.

For a little more explanation, here's a copy of a response I made to you on another thread that perhaps you did not get a chance to see:

This was a quote from what you had written:
Thanks for your post DA.  I guess we just differ on this one.  I do believe God chooses--I simply believe He chose to give to all the capacity to believe and that He chose to save those who would do so.  If I understand you He chose who specifically would believe and empowered only them to do so.  I just can't reconcile this with the love of God as I understand it.

All of the following below was my response to you:

Thanks, Jack,

Yes, I fully understand your position.  It was mine at one time, too.  However, one of the most changing scriptures I had to deal with (among others) relating to God's choosing us only according to His own purposes were the following:

Quote
1 Corinthians 1:26-31
 26For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. 27But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; 28God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, 29so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. 30And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, 31so that, as it is written, "Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord."

The repeated phrase "God chose" drives the point home as to who did the choosing....that is,  He did the choosing first, before we made our choice....verse 30 says because of him we are in Christ Jesus, hence there is nothing to boast about whatsoever on our part. He chose us not because we chose Him, rather He chose us first, which comports with other scripture stating that very fact,  that is, that He chose us first.

Additional scripture which drives this sovereign choice of God home is the following:

Quote
Romans 9:10-13
10And not only so, but also when Rebekah had conceived children by one man, our forefather Isaac, 11though 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— 12she was told, "The older will serve the younger." 13As it is written,(V) "Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated."

Here it again engages the concept of Him who calls as the basis of election, not based on what anyone (in this case Jacob or Esau) forseeably believed or did.  His own sovereign choice was it.  Jacob did not choose God.

And continuing on in Romans 9:

Quote
Romans 9:14-24
14What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God’s part? By no means! 15For he says to Moses, "I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion." 16So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy. 17For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, "For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth." 18So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills.

 19You will say to me then, "Why does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?" 20But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, "Why have you made me like this?" 21 Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use? 22What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, 23in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory— 24even us whom he has called, not from the Jews only but also from the Gentiles?

The question here becomes, why would Paul defend the justice of God's own choice in this manner?  Why would Paul have to discuss why we talk back to God if it is only we who choose Him?  There would then be no reason whatsoever to scold man for talking back, there would be no basis for it.   In other words if God chooses us only after He sees that we choose Him, what sense can be made of Paul's defense of God's choice of us according to His own purposes?  His divine right of choosing is in His hands alone because he is the potter, He possesses choice, and it is all because of and to his own glory.  Otherwise this passage makes little sense.

Furthermore, Titus 3:5 states:

Quote
he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit,

He saved us, he washed us with a washing of regeneration, he renewed us by and through his Spirit: it is the move of Him on our will that is the crux of the issue, and again here in this verse is the language relating to his own mercy, his own choice.....For example, do we congratulate ourselves and look to God and tell Him how proud He must be of our choices, that we ended up choosing Him because of our special abilities over others?  Sort of like looking around us and saying, "O God, look at all these other people not quite so bright as myself, or who just didn't have a heart with a longing for you like mine, who didn't choose you."..... No, of course we would never want to do that.

Anyway, to look at it another way, do we pray in our churches that God will choose our friends if they will only choose Him?.....What kind of a prayer would that be?   Actually, it's more like we're simply telling God that we hope our friends will choose him......Instead, I think most would agree that when we pray for our friends we pray that God Himself opens their minds and hearts and blind eyes and deafened ears to Him, do we not?

And finally, here are the words of Christ:

Quote
John 15:16
16You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.

Should He have corrected Himself, and instead said "I did not choose you, you chose me. If the going gets rough, don't come wimpering to me....after all, it's your choice, friends"?

Just a few more thoughts for you to keep in your back pocket, Jack!..........Take care.




 
« Last Edit: Thu Dec 20, 2007 - 14:03:28 by da525382 »

Offline charlie

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Re: Calvinism or Arminianism
« Reply #29 on: Thu Dec 20, 2007 - 11:57:54 »
(1) If scripture truly taught God's grace is conditional, then it is no longer grace. 
                    His grace is His and it is not conditioned on anything.
 

I don't know if anybody hit on this already, but I would like to challenge the notion quoted above. It is often said that, since we are saved by grace, then God does everything pertaining to salvation and we contribute nothing because, after all, if we contribute anything to our own salvation, then it is not grace.

If I'm selling my car and the price is $10k and you want to buy it, you really like it, you really need it, and you don't have the money, and I sell it to you for $1 (by the way, I did that once), am I not being gracious? If you told your friends about it, how many of them would correct you and say I was not being gracious, but generous, because if I had been gracious, I would have given it to you for free.

And please, let's not bring baptism or confession into this. I'm not talking about form of proclamation. In fact, God requires much more from us than that in order to accept his gracious gift. He requires no less than a changed life and complete devotion. As soon as you start quibbling about just how much change will suffice, you've already missed the mark. Like any good Lexus salesman will tell you, if you have to ask, you can't afford it.

Bonhoeffer would agree with me.

Offline JERRY C

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Re: Calvinism or Arminianism
« Reply #30 on: Thu Dec 20, 2007 - 12:20:12 »
da525382, you ask which is who --
dear brother, I should think that is obvious!
Chewie and I are cousins, by the way; but, he is a Catholic.

so, is that tag a zipcode or inmate#?

I really do not intend to make light of this post; but I do despise elitism and gnosticism.

one of my dad's favorite verses was Dt.29:29 The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law.

another one is Job11:
7"Can you fathom the mysteries of God?
       Can you probe the limits of the Almighty?
 8 They are higher than the heavens—what can you do?
       They are deeper than the depths of the grave —what can you know?
 9 Their measure is longer than the earth
       and wider than the sea.


I try to take my picture of God from the life of Jesus, as much as possible.
I do like to read theology, but it gets tedious, speculative, semantical, dubious.
Someone has already made that point in this string about definitions and terms.

We got it wrong the 1st time he came; we will likely repeat history.

But, let's strive know him; "beyond the sacred page, I seek thee, Lord..."

da525382

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Re: Calvinism or Arminianism
« Reply #31 on: Thu Dec 20, 2007 - 12:25:09 »
(1) If scripture truly taught God's grace is conditional, then it is no longer grace. 
                    His grace is His and it is not conditioned on anything.
 

I don't know if anybody hit on this already, but I would like to challenge the notion quoted above. It is often said that, since we are saved by grace, then God does everything pertaining to salvation and we contribute nothing because, after all, if we contribute anything to our own salvation, then it is not grace.

If I'm selling my car and the price is $10k and you want to buy it, you really like it, you really need it, and you don't have the money, and I sell it to you for $1 (by the way, I did that once), am I not being gracious? If you told your friends about it, how many of them would correct you and say I was not being gracious, but generous, because if I had been gracious, I would have given it to you for free.

And please, let's not bring baptism or confession into this. I'm not talking about form of proclamation. In fact, God requires much more from us than that in order to accept his gracious gift. He requires no less than a changed life and complete devotion. As soon as you start quibbling about just how much change will suffice, you've already missed the mark. Like any good Lexus salesman will tell you, if you have to ask, you can't afford it.

Bonhoeffer would agree with me.

And of course, we agree to disagree.   I do not see scripture paralleling God's salvation of us with a car salesman, I'm sorry.  It all depends, I guess, on whether the gracious gift of God, our salvation, is seen as that, or is seen as a contract to enter with man, conditioned on the parameters of the contract man must perform.   That's really about it in a nutshell.  I fully realize Christians out there are on a spectrum of belief, perhaps with "pure gift" at one end and "pure contract" at the other end.  I just do not see scripture in any way proclaiming anything other than God's gracious gift of salvation, it is His possessory interest alone, and it is His gracious Will that has provided that to his elect by His own desire and purpose, and to His own glory, even since before the beginning of time.

Offline JERRY C

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Re: Calvinism or Arminianism
« Reply #32 on: Thu Dec 20, 2007 - 12:31:48 »
one comment before I get back to work --

D# commented,
His gracious Will that has provided that to his elect by His own disire and purpose

is He willing that any should perish?
if not, then how is this resisted?
if He wills all to be saved, then how are they not elect, predestined, ...

is predestination concerning individuals or a group?

later.

Offline Harold

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Re: Calvinism or Arminianism
« Reply #33 on: Thu Dec 20, 2007 - 13:26:20 »
Calvanism illustrated:
Fore Ordination of God -------> Man's Salvation -------> Man's Response of Faith

Armenianism illustrated:
Fore Knowledge of God -------> Man's Response of Faith -------> Man's Salvation

I believe that the problem is we are thinking linear/temporal, whereas God exists in a different dimmension non-linear/eternal.  I'll try to illustrate this as follows in a triangle:

                           Man's Salvation
                                   /\
                                 /    \
                               /        \
                             /            \
                           /                \
Fore Knowledge <--------------> Man's Response
Fore Ordination                               of Faith
   of God

Note that the arrows go both ways at the same time.  I'm no electrician, but apparently Alternating Current flows both ways at the same time.  I don't understand how that is possible, but I know that if I turn the light switch on, I don't sit in darkness and I see the light.  In like manner, when I responded in faith to the Gospel the lights came on in my heart and I was born of the Spirit! I don't understand salvation or how it works, but I thank Jesus that he died for me before the foundation of the world.

Just so you know, Alternating electricity alternates from negative to positive in a linear motion called a sine-wave.

Gods comes to us, someone tells the Good News, we hear and BELIEVE, I believe God's salvation message, through faith in this message I am saved. I am not trying to fill in all the blanks, the point is, Paul states in Romans how one hears and receives the message.

Do you believe with all your heart?

For the Cals, does God believe for you?

FTL

Offline charlie

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Re: Calvinism or Arminianism
« Reply #34 on: Thu Dec 20, 2007 - 13:54:43 »
(1) If scripture truly taught God's grace is conditional, then it is no longer grace. 
                    His grace is His and it is not conditioned on anything.
 

I don't know if anybody hit on this already, but I would like to challenge the notion quoted above. It is often said that, since we are saved by grace, then God does everything pertaining to salvation and we contribute nothing because, after all, if we contribute anything to our own salvation, then it is not grace.

If I'm selling my car and the price is $10k and you want to buy it, you really like it, you really need it, and you don't have the money, and I sell it to you for $1 (by the way, I did that once), am I not being gracious? If you told your friends about it, how many of them would correct you and say I was not being gracious, but generous, because if I had been gracious, I would have given it to you for free.

And please, let's not bring baptism or confession into this. I'm not talking about form of proclamation. In fact, God requires much more from us than that in order to accept his gracious gift. He requires no less than a changed life and complete devotion. As soon as you start quibbling about just how much change will suffice, you've already missed the mark. Like any good Lexus salesman will tell you, if you have to ask, you can't afford it.

Bonhoeffer would agree with me.

And of course, we agree to disagree.   I do not see scripture paralleling God's salvation of us with a car salesman, I'm sorry.  It all depends, I guess, on whether the gracious gift of God, our salvation, is seen as that, or is seen as a contract to enter with man, conditioned on the parameters of the contract man must perform.   That's really about it in a nutshell.  I fully realize Christians out there are on a spectrum of belief, perhaps with "pure gift" at one end and "pure contract" at the other end.  I just do not see scripture in any way proclaiming anything other than God's gracious gift of salvation, it is His possessory interest alone, and it is His gracious Will that has provided that to his elect by His own desire and purpose, and to His own glory, even since before the beginning of time.

And all I'm saying is that, just because justification may be cooperative (synergistic, rather than monergistic) doesn't mean it's not grace.

The more I read, the more that Reform theology seems to me to be an overreaction to medieval Catholicism. Arminianism seems to have been an attempted check on the extremes of Calvin's followers (supralapsarianism ala Theodore Beza). I'm wondering if even Calvin would have been a Calvinist. He never even mentioned Unconditional Election.

 

     
anything