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Thread: Why was Calvinism more popular in past ages than now?

  1. #16
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    Re: Why was Calvinism more popular in past ages than now?

    Quote Originally Posted by Brother Mark View Post
    Here are some direct quotes from the early fathers. All are from A Dictionary of Early Christian Beliefs. The page number is listed after each quote. The book itself notes where the quotes came from.

    Justin Martyr "Neither do we maintain that it is by fate that men do what they do, or suffer what they suffer. Rather, we maintain that each man acts rightly or sins by his free choice... Since God in the beginning made the race of angels and men with free will, they will justly suffer in eternal fire the punishment of whatever sins they committed." page 285

    Justin Martyr "And again, unless the human race has the power of avoiding evil and choosing good by free choice, they are not accountable for their actions". Justin Martyr page 285

    Theophilus "If, on the other hand, he would turn to things of death, disobeying God, he would himself be the cause of death to himself. For God made man free, and with power of himself." page 286

    Irenaeus "God has always preserved freedom and the power of self-government in man. Yet, at the same time, He issued His own exhortations, in order that those who do not obey him would be righteously judged because they have not obeyed him. And those who obeyed and believed on Him should be honored with immortality." Page 286

    Irenaeus "But man, being endowed with reason, and in this respect, similar to God, having been made free in his will, and with power over himself, is himself his own cause that sometimes he becomes wheat and sometimes chaff." Page 286

    Clement "To obey or not is in our own power, provided we do not have the excuse of ignorance." Page 287

    Clement "We have heard by the scriptures that self-determining choice and refusal have been given by the Lord to men. Therefore, we rest in the infallible criterion of faith, manifesting a willing spirit, since we have chosen life." page 287

    Clement "Wisdom, which is given by God (being the power of the Father), rouses our free will and allows faith. It repays the application of the elect with its crowning fellowship." Page 287

    Clement "Choice depended on the man as being free. But the gift depended on God as the Lord. And He gives to those that who are willing, are exceedingly earnest, and who ask. So their salvation becomes their own. For God does not compel." page 288

    Tatian "We were not created to die. Rather, we die by our own fault. Our free will has destroyed us. We who were free have become slaves. We have been sold through sin. Nothing evil has been created by God. We ourselves have manifested wickedness. But we, who have manifested it, are able again to reject it." page 286

    Tertullian "As to fortune, it is man's freedom of will." page 288

    Tertullian "I find then that man was constituted free by God. He was master of his own will and power... For a law would not be imposed upon one who did not have it in his power to render that obedience which is now due to law. Nor again, would the penalty of death be threatened against sin, if a contempt of the law were impossible to man in the liberty of his will.... Man is free, witha will either for obedience, or resistance." page 288

    Origen "It seems a possible thing that rational natures, from whom the faculty of free will is never taken away, may be again subjected to movements of some kind." page 289

    I could quote many more. But this is enough.

    For calvinism, as it is taught today to be true, would require that Jesus not follow his own teachings. It means that Jesus has placed upon men the burden of belief and obedience, but He will not lift a finger to help them. He condemned the pharisees and lawyers for doing that.

    Jesus also taught what it was to be a neighbor. The priest and the Levite walk by the man in need without stopping to help. Calvinism states that Jesus would say to the spiritually wounded man, "get up and obey and believe" but offer no assistance (i.e. grace) in helping the man. Jesus walks on by which is contrary to his teaching we call "the good Samaritan".
    I'm not in disagreement regarding these statements and whether the context in these statements underline free will or not, is not the question and it could be open for debate. However, you've made a statement that the early church fathers differed from the reformers and the RCC. I've showed you that the early church fathers believed in the doctrines of grace and that the reformers were well informed about their views.

    What I'm wondering, is whether Luther heard God right or not? That 2nd little voice making us doubt, is that from God or not and where did the reformation start? I believe that is where we should focus... to find the truth, the 1st voice.
    The Lord is our Shepherd
    die Here sal voorsien
    itís the only method
    glo dit en jy sal sien

    The power of His glory
    is the punch line of this story,
    ek staan verwonderd en tog
    het U alles volmaak besorg


  2. #17
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    Re: Why was Calvinism more popular in past ages than now?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pilgrimtozion View Post
    Still...I echo what Brother Mark said. Do the observations and several writers expressing the same ideas make it true? And even if it were true, does that have any kind of bearing on Biblical truth? History hardly seems the starting point for a theological discussion, especially when it comes to such a hotly debated issue as predestination vs. free will.
    Point taken, I think we all should be true to ourselves and how God have learnt you and in a practical sense first. Theology can be too academic at times and I believe in practical theology...
    The Lord is our Shepherd
    die Here sal voorsien
    itís the only method
    glo dit en jy sal sien

    The power of His glory
    is the punch line of this story,
    ek staan verwonderd en tog
    het U alles volmaak besorg


  3. #18
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    Re: Why was Calvinism more popular in past ages than now?

    Quote Originally Posted by CFJ View Post
    I'm not in disagreement regarding these statements and whether the context in these statements underline free will or not, is not the question and it could be open for debate. However, you've made a statement that the early church fathers differed from the reformers and the RCC. I've showed you that the early church fathers believed in the doctrines of grace and that the reformers were well informed about their views.
    Not to be picky, but you haven't shown me that. Thing is, I don't hear reformers today talking about "free will" like the early fathers I quoted above were talking about.

    What I'm wondering, is whether Luther heard God right or not? That 2nd little voice making us doubt, is that from God or not and where did the reformation start? I believe that is where we should focus... to find the truth, the 1st voice.
    Like most men, I think Luther heard God on a lot of things. I also think he missed God on some things. Are you in agreement with all of Luther's 95 thesis points?
    Last edited by Brother Mark; Apr 7th 2012 at 01:41 AM.
    Matt 9:13
    13 "But go and learn what this means: ' I DESIRE COMPASSION,AND NOT SACRIFICE,' for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners."
    NASU

  4. #19
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    Re: Why was Calvinism more popular in past ages than now?

    Quote Originally Posted by CFJ View Post
    Point taken, I think we all should be true to ourselves and how God have learnt you and in a practical sense first. Theology can be too academic at times and I believe in practical theology...
    Hi Pilgrimtozion,

    I have to grant you this point, but may I give some perspective, as to why I see it this way. The South African scene on the Christian front, have been a history where the Reformed view have been by far to the best of my knowledge, the predominant view for almost 300 years in the Christian walk amongst Afrikaans people and more so with Dutch Reformed and also French Hugenots who became Afrikaners later on. Only in the beginning of the 1900's, did the Charismatic or Pentecostal denominations enter the scene. It is partly from this history and also what one read in observations all over and obviously ones own observations, which makes one to believe this. I also connect this with pre-modernism, modernism and post-modernism. In the pre-modernist times, people tend to have believed more in a God that is in control, than in modernist times where man has a say too...

    Again, it is all about perspective and the balance will determine the truth, but the observation I believe, is a valid one...

    One very important point to consider is that if Calvinism is false (as seen on this forum and in a huge way I must add), the South African history of the Afrikaner is a fake and our forefathers have been anathema all along. Today, within the times we live, this is what many Afrikaners believe too and most of them are very liberal in their views... and free will is much more predominant today amongst Afrikaners, than only 30-50 years ago...
    The Lord is our Shepherd
    die Here sal voorsien
    itís the only method
    glo dit en jy sal sien

    The power of His glory
    is the punch line of this story,
    ek staan verwonderd en tog
    het U alles volmaak besorg


  5. #20
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    Re: Why was Calvinism more popular in past ages than now?

    Quote Originally Posted by Brother Mark View Post
    Not to be picky, but you haven't shown me that. Thing is, I don't hear reformers today talking about "free will" like the early fathers I quoted above were talking about.
    Hi Brother Mark,

    My response have been on this statement you have made, which you have not answered yet, but lets start there again. You've said, 'Anyway, the question you ask could easily have been asked by someone in the 1600s about how the RCC and the Reformers had moved away from what the early church fathers had taught.'

    I've then showed you that the Reformers views were taught by the early church fathers too in post #5. Do you agree with this info in post #5?

    Quote Originally Posted by Brother Mark View Post
    Like most men, I think Luther heard God on a lot of things. I also think he missed God on some things. Are you in agreement with all of Luther's 95 thesis points?
    I don't think 2 Christians will agree 100% on all aspects of theology, but there are primary points of view not to be taken lightly. Luther's most important writing against the Papacy have been 'the Bondage of the will'. It is no coincidence that Erasmus was a humanist and these debates between Luther and him tells more than meets the eye. I believe that due to this perspective against free will, a huge movement today known as the Reformation became rampant and by this the RCC was exposed for its semi-Pelagian stance... and in a counter Reformation free will was introduced in a more acceptable package as we know it today...
    The Lord is our Shepherd
    die Here sal voorsien
    itís the only method
    glo dit en jy sal sien

    The power of His glory
    is the punch line of this story,
    ek staan verwonderd en tog
    het U alles volmaak besorg


  6. #21
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    Re: Why was Calvinism more popular in past ages than now?

    Quote Originally Posted by CFJ View Post
    Hi Brother Mark,

    I've then showed you that the Reformers views were taught by the early church fathers too in post #5. Do you agree with this info in post #5?
    Hi Brother.

    No. I don't agree. Others in the thread have pointed out some reasons why.

    I don't think 2 Christians will agree 100% on all aspects of theology, but there are primary points of view not to be taken lightly.
    I agree. But when you start saying things like "Do you think he was led by the holy spirit..." to justify his position, it seems important to me to point out that there are some things he was mistaken on. Of course I think Brother Luther was led by the Holy Spirit. His testimony has impacted me greatly! After I first got saved, he was one of my spiritual heroes!

    Luther's most important writing against the Papacy have been 'the Bondage of the will'.
    I've read the book. But it's been many years ago.

    It is no coincidence that Erasmus was a humanist and these debates between Luther and him tells more than meets the eye. I believe that due to this perspective against free will, a huge movement today known as the Reformation became rampant and by this the RCC was exposed for its semi-Pelagian stance... and in a counter Reformation free will was introduced in a more acceptable package as we know it today...
    I don't buy into "free will" as some do. I think it's a misnomer and I am not fond of the label because to me, it seems misleading. No one's will is completely free. I cannot will myself to be saved, to be rich, to be blue, to be tall, to fly, to grow wings, to be a good dancer, etc. Now, my will can influence some of those things, but not all. As Jesus said "Which one of you by taking thought, can add a single hour to his life". Our will is most certainly limited! I think Martin Luther did an excellent job in his book of explaining that. I also think he did an excellent job of explaining how God uses evil in men. (If I remember correctly, he explained that God did not put the evil in the heart of man, but when he got ready to use a man, he would "ride" what was in that man's heart to bring about his purposes.)

    My issue is that there's no room in the reformed movement today for what I would call "The day of visitation". Jesus said this of Jerusalem:

    Luke 19:44
    44 and they will level you to the ground and your children within you, and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not recognize the time of your visitation."
    NASU

    Jesus comes to a man, he visits him personally, he gives him grace to believe and the man suppresses the grace (truth) given to him. Until Jesus visits that man, there is no desire to know Jesus. There is nothing in him to will him to know Jesus. His will is in bondage to sin, though his heart and will can be controlled by society and those around him to a degree. (One reason that God gave government was to keep man's wicked heart in check. Otherwise it would be like it was in the days of Noah all the time.)

    The reformation was greatly needed. But somewhere along the way, we lost sight of Jesus teachings about love, about being a neighbor, and about putting burdens upon men and not lifting a finger to help them. Jesus doesn't walk by the sick man on the road to Jericho without stopping to help. He doesn't place a burden of belief and obedience upon men without lifting a finger to help. He doesn't teach me to love my enemies so he could ignore his enemies. Paul taught us that we are to follow the spirit of the law because the letter brings death. Jesus words are spirit and are truth! He won't spiritually not help a man that has fallen, nor put spiritual requirements upon men without helping them.

    So, I agree with the idea that the will is in bondage. I do not believe it totally free. But I also believe that Jesus will visit the heart of every man, and plant truth there. That truth only comes through grace for any truth given from God is grace because only truth will set us free. But at the same time, God has ordained it so that man can suppress the truth and many do.

    Today, some teach that God creates men to be tormented in hell for eternity just so he can be glorified. That seems to be a selfish act and God is not selfish nor self centered!

    Grace to you brother,

    Mark
    Matt 9:13
    13 "But go and learn what this means: ' I DESIRE COMPASSION,AND NOT SACRIFICE,' for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners."
    NASU

  7. #22
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    Re: Why was Calvinism more popular in past ages than now?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gadgeteer View Post
    Gill is nowhere near an "unbiased observer". He's very easy to refute, principle by principle.

    I don't see "predestined-salvation" in what the "early fathers" wrote. We would have to discuss actual writings; but Augustine is generally credited with premiering the concept of "predestination". I don't think he considered salvation unforfeitable, as Calvin did.
    Hi Gadgeteer,

    Although I believe the most important part of what we believe is what God have learnt you personally, here are some more sample or precise quotations from early Church fathers who supported these doctrines of grace... [Source: Michael Horton, Putting Amazing Back into Grace]


    TOTAL DEPRAVITY

    Barnabas (A.D. 70): "Learn: before we believed in God, the habitation of our heart was corrupt and weak."
    Ignatius (A.D. 110): "They that are carnal cannot do the things that are spiritual...Nor can the unbelievers do the things of belief."
    Justin Martyr (A.D. 150): "Mankind by Adam fell under death, and the deception of the serpent; we are born sinners...No good thing dwells in us...For neither by nature, nor by human understanding is it possible for me to acquire the knowledge of things so great and so divine, but by the energy of the Divine Spirit...Of ourselves it is impossible to enter the kingdom of God...He has convicted us of the impossibility of our nature to obtain life...Free will has destroyed us; we who were free are become slaves and for our sin are sold...Being pressed down by our sins, we cannot move upward toward God; we are like birds who have wings, but are unable to fly."
    Clement Of Alexandria (A.D. 190): "The soul cannot rise nor fly, nor be lifted up above the things that are on high, without special grace."
    Origen: "Our free will...or human nature is not sufficient to seek God in any manner."
    Eusebius (A.D. 330): "The liberty of our will in choosing things that are good is destroyed."
    Augustine (A.D. 370): "If, therefore, they are servants of sin (2 Cor. 3:17), why do they boast of free will?...O, man! Learn from the precept what you ought to do; learn from correction, that it is your own fault you have not the power...Let human effort, which perished by Adam, here be silent, and let the grace of God reign by Jesus Christ...What God promises, we ourselves do not through free will of human nature, but He Himself does by grace within us...Men labor to find in our own will something that is our own, and not God's; how can they find it, I know not."

    UNCONDITIONAL ELECTION

    Clement Of Rome (A.D. 69): "Let us therefore approach Him in holiness of soul, lifting up pure and undefiled hands unto Him, with love towards our gentle and compassionate Father because He made us an elect portion unto Himself...Seeing then that we are the special elect portion of a Holy God, let us do all things that pertain unto holiness...There was given a declaration of blessedness upon them that have been elected by God through Jesus Christ our Lord...Jesus Christ is the hope of the elect..."
    Barnabas (A.D. 70): "We are elected to hope, committed by God unto faith, appointed to salvation."
    Ignatius: "To the predestined ones before all ages, that is, before the world began, united and elect in a true passion, by the eternal will of the Father..."
    Justin Martyr: "In all these discourses I have brought all my proofs out of your own holy and prophetic writings, hoping that some of you may be found of the elect number which through the grace that comes from the Lord of Sabaoth, is left or reserved [set apart] for everlasting salvation."
    Irenaeus (A.D. 198): "God hath completed the number which He before determined with Himself, all those who are written, or ordained unto eternal life...Being predestined indeed according to the love of the Father that we would belong to Him forever."
    Clement Of Alexandria (A.D. 190): "Through faith the elect of God are saved. The generation of those who seek God is the elect nation, not [an earthly] place, but the congregation of the elect, which I call the Church...If every person had known the truth, they would all have leaped into the way, and there would have been no election...You are those who are chosen from among men and as those who are predestined from among men, and in His own time called, faithful, and elect, those who before the foundation of the world are known intimately by God unto faith; that is, are appointed by Him to faith, grow beyond babyhood."
    Cyprian (A.D. 250): "This is therefore the predestination which we faithfully and humbly preach."
    Ambrose Of Milan (A.D. 380): "In predestination the Church of God has always existed."
    Augustine (A.D. 380): "Here certainly, there is no place for the vain argument of those who defend the foreknowledge of God against the grace of God, and accordingly maintain that we were elected before the foundation of the world because God foreknew that we would be good, not that He Himself would make us good. This is not the language of Him who said, 'You did not choose Me, but I chose you' (John 15:16)."

    LIMITED ATONEMENT

    Barnabas (A.D. 70): "[Christ speaking] I see that I shall thus offer My flesh for the sins of the new people."
    Justin Martyr (A.D. 150): "He endured the sufferings for those men whose souls are [actually] purified from all iniquity...As Jacob served Laban for the cattle that were spotted, and of carious forms, so Christ served even to the cross for men of every kind, of many and various shapes, procuring them by His blood and the mystery of the cross."
    Irenaeus (A.D. 180): "He came to save all, all, I say, who through Him are born again unto God, infants, and little ones, and children, and young men, and old men...Jesus is the Savior of them that believe; but the Lord of them that believe not. Wherefore, Christ is introduced in the gospel weary...promising to give His life a ransom, in the room of, many."
    Tertullian (A.D. 200): "Christ died for the salvation of His people...for the church."
    Cyprian (A.D. 250): "All the sheep which Christ hath sought up by His blood and sufferings are saved...Whosoever shall be found in the blood, and with the mark of Christ shall only escape...He redeemed the believers with the price of His own blood...Let him be afraid to die who is not reckoned to have any part in the cross and sufferings of Christ."
    Lactantius (A.D. 320): "He was to suffer and be slain for the salvation of many people...who having suffered death for us, hath made us heirs of the everlasting kingdom, having abdicated and disinherited the people of the Jews...He stretched out His hands in the passion and measured the world, that He might at the very time show that a large people, gathered out of all languages and tribes, should come under His wings, and receive the most great and sublime sign."
    Eusebius (A.D. 330): "To what 'us' does he refer, unless to them that beleive in Him? For to them that do not believe in Him, He is the author of their fire and burning. The cause of Christ's coming is the redemption of those that were to be saved by Him."
    Julius (A.D. 350): "The Son of God, by the pouring out of His precious blood, redeemed His set apart ones; they are delivered by the blood of Christ."
    Hilarion (A.D. 363): "He shall remain in the sight of God forever, having already taken all whom He hath redeemed to be kings of heaven, and co-heirs of eternity, delivering them as the kingdom of God to the Father."
    Ambrose (A.D. 380): "Before the foundation of the world, it was God's will that Christ should suffer for our salvation...Can He damn thee, whom He hath redeemed from death, for whom He offered Himself, whose life He knows is the reward of His own death?"
    Pacian (A.D. 380): "Much more, He will not allow him that is redeemed to be destroyed, nor will He cast away those whom He has redeemed with a great price."
    Epiphanius (A.D. 390): "If you are redeemed...If therefore ye are bought with blood, thou are not the number of them who were bought with blood, O Manes, because thou deniest the blood...He gave His life for His own sheep."
    Jerome (A.D. 390): "Christ is sacrificed for the salvation of believers...Not all are redeemed, for not all shall be saved, but the remnant...All those who are redeemed and delivered by Thy blood return to Zion, which Thou hast prepared for Thyself by Thine own blood...Christ came to redeem Zion with His blood. But lest we should think that all are Zion or every one is Zion is truly redeemed of the Lord, who are redeemed by the blood of Christ form the Church...He did not give His life for every man, but for many, that is, for those who would believe."
    Remigius (A.D. 850): "Since only the elect are saved, it may be accepted that Christ did not come to save all and did not die on the cross for all."
    Anselm: "If you die in unbelief, Christ did not die for you."

    IRRESISTBLE GRACE

    Barnabas (A.D. 70): "God gives repentance to us, introducing us into the incorruptible temple."
    Ignatius: "Pray for them, if so by they may repent, which is very difficult; but Jesus Christ, our true life, has the power of this."
    Justin Martyr (A.D. 150): "Having sometime before convinced us of the impossibility of our nature to obtain life, hath now shown us the Savior, who is able to save them which otherwise were impossible to be saved...Free will has destroyed us; we are sold into sin."
    Irenaeus (A.D. 180): "Not of ourselves, but of God, is the blessing of our salvation...Man, who was before led captive, is taken out of the power of the possessor, according to the mercy of God the Father, and restoring it, gives salvation to it by the Word; that is, by Christ; that many may experimentally learn that not of himself, but by the gift of God, he receives immortality."
    Tertullian (A.D. 200): "Do you think, O men, that we should ever have been able to have understood these things in the Scriptures unless by the will of Him that wills all things, we had received grace to understand them?...But by this it is plain, that [faith] is not given to thee by God, because thou dost not ascribe it to Him alone."
    Cyprian (A.D. 250): "Whatsoever is grateful is to be ascribed not to man's power, but to God's gift. It is God's, I say, all is God's that we can do. Yea, that in nothing must we glory, since nothing is ours."
    Arnobius (A.D. 303): "You place the salvation of your souls in yourselves, and trust that you may be made gods by your inward endeavor, yet it is not our own power to reach things above."
    Lactantius (A.D. 320): "The vistory lies in the will of God, not in thine own. To overcome is not in our power."
    Athanasius (A.D. 350): "To believe is not ours, or in our power, but the Spirit's who is in us, and abides in us."
    Jerome (A.D. 390): "This is the chief righteousness of man, to reckon that whatsoever power he can have, is not his own, but the Lord's who gives it...See how great is the help of God, and how frail the condition of man that we cannot by any means fulfill this, that we repent, unless the Lord first convert us...When [Jesus] says, 'No man can come to Me,' He breaks the proud liberty of free will; for man can desire nothing, and in vain he endeavors...Where is the proud boasting of free will?...We pray in vain if it is in our own will. Why should men pray for that from the Lord which they have in the power of their own free will?"
    Augustine (A.D. 370): "Faith itself is to be attributed to God...Faith is made a gift. These men, however, attribute faith to free will, so grace is rendered to faith not as a gratuitous gift, but as a debt...They must cease from saying this."

    PERSEVERANCE OF THE SAINTS

    Clement Of Rome (A.D. 69): "It is the will of God that all whom He loves should partake of repentance, and so not perish with the unbelieving and impenitent. He has established it by His almighty will. But if any of those whom God wills should partake of the grace of repentance, should afterwards perish, where is His almighty will? And how is this matter settled and established by such a will of His?"
    Clement Of Alexandria (A.D. 190): "Such a soul [of a Christian] shall never at any time be separated from God...Faith, I say, is something divine, which cannot be pulled asunder by any other worldly friendship, nor be dissolved by present fear."
    Tertullian: "God forbid that we should believe that the soul of any saint should be drawn out by the devil...For what is of God is never extinguished."
    Augustine: "Of these believers no one perishes, because they were all elected. And they were elected because they were called according to the purpose--the purpose, however, not their own, but God's...Obedience then is God's gift...To this, indeed, we are not able to deny, that perseverance in good, progressing even to the end, is also a great gift of God."
    The Lord is our Shepherd
    die Here sal voorsien
    itís the only method
    glo dit en jy sal sien

    The power of His glory
    is the punch line of this story,
    ek staan verwonderd en tog
    het U alles volmaak besorg


  8. #23
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    Re: Why was Calvinism more popular in past ages than now?

    Quote Originally Posted by Brother Mark View Post
    Grace to you brother,

    Mark
    Grace to you too Mark! My views is not that far from your's.

    Just for the record, I do not believe any denomination could have a 100% definition of the truth. I'm not in any denomination myself and found myself in a house-Church. I'm not Reformed in every way and do not agree with all Reformed views. There are issues in Reformed Churches if I can use them as sample, which I believe is not correct. The most important one I believe is their legitimation processes of who may preach the Gospel. I've learnt from the Bible that only God can do this (only He has true legitimacy for His Church's preachers) and this is one of the reasons why Churches go astray, they legitimize preachers when they are not prepared by God in a personal way...

    I do have sympathy for Calvinism or rather the doctrines of grace (look at the rich history of souls that were won for the Lord and ask yourself why could this be?), which I believe is not always presented in an unbiased way by those opposing it. We do not understand God's control 100%, but we can accept it 100% and in essence this is what the doctrines of grace boils down to and a life in prayer is just that, we begging God to control our lives... and I agree with one of the Church fathers who said this about free will regarding our prayers, 'We pray in vain if it is in our own will. Why should men pray for that from the Lord which they have in the power of their own free will?' - Jerome
    The Lord is our Shepherd
    die Here sal voorsien
    itís the only method
    glo dit en jy sal sien

    The power of His glory
    is the punch line of this story,
    ek staan verwonderd en tog
    het U alles volmaak besorg


  9. #24
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    Re: Why was Calvinism more popular in past ages than now?

    Quote Originally Posted by CFJ View Post
    Grace to you too Mark! My views is not that far from your's.

    Just for the record, I do not believe any denomination could have a 100% definition of the truth.
    Agree completely.

    I'm not in any denomination myself and found myself in a house-Church.
    I attend a church that is more like a home church. We are affiliated with the southern baptist but our beliefs don't really line up 100% with them.

    I'm not Reformed in every way and do not agree with all Reformed views. There are issues in Reformed Churches if I can use them as sample, which I believe is not correct. The most important one I believe is their legitimation processes of who may preach the Gospel. I've learnt from the Bible that only God can do this (only He has true legitimacy for His Church's preachers) and this is one of the reasons why Churches go astray, they legitimize preachers when they are not prepared by God in a personal way...
    Oh, that's not just the reformed movement brother. That seems to me to be most churches. We do such a disservice to our preachers today. God put Moses in the wilderness for 40 years before deeming him ready to pastor and teach and lead and set free. Today, a young man gets a call, we ship him off to seminary and he comes out preaching and teaching before the desert has had it's proper work in his life. Look at how many of the great men God called that he first put through some trauma before setting them up... David lived in caves, Joseph 17 years in slavery/prison, John the Baptist spent 30 years in the desert preparing for a 6 month ministry, Paul spent 13 years in Arabia before coming on strong, Jesus himself spent 40 days in the desert before starting his ministry. The pattern goes on and on and on. Even Peter had to be broken and see his weaknesses before he could write his epistles and encourage the brethren.

    I do have sympathy for Calvinism or rather the doctrines of grace, which I believe is not always presented in an unbiased way by those opposing it.
    Yea. I see that too. But the reverse is just as true. God never once has said that belief in him was a work. Yet many who say that even faith comes from God will teach that others are saying that belief is a work if man chooses. That's really not representative of my view in the least. I do not "grab hold" of the life jacket thrown to me while I am drowning. Rather, like Peter, we cry out for God's mercy and HE does it all, even showing us Himself so that we can cry out to Him. Where I strongly disagree with the reformed teaching is that they start out with sovereignty and move from there. I see that as an ability/attribute of God but not his character.

    For instance, a good king and a bad king are both sovereign. How they use that sovereignty is determined by their heart. So what's important is to see the character of God to know how he will use his sovereignty. As you can tell, I don't see sovereignty defined as God controlling every action as much as I see it as God being in control. I can tell my kids "If you do this, I will buy you ice cream. If you do that, I will spank you." I am completely in control, but have given them the option of how they wish for me to use my control. Reformers will disagree with me on this issue.

    It leads to really big problems, IMO. Like I keep saying about the teachings and words of Christ.

    I'll even open up a bit more and say that I believe certain individuals such as John the Baptist and Jeremiah were ordained to be saved and a strong case can be made that they had no choice. What I don't believe is that God does not make a genuine offer (and not genuine as the reformers/calvinist call genuine, they jump through hoops, IMO in calling the offer genuine) to man for salvation. He enables every man so that every man CAN be saved though every man won't be saved.

    When man dies and goes to hell, it won't be because God gets glory from that, or because God did not make a way for salvation for that man, or because it was God's will for that man to go to hell. He goes to hell because he suppressed the truth that God gave him. God loved that man enough to send Jesus to die for him. But the man rejected anyway.

    We do not understand God's control 100%, but we can accept it 100%
    I think many reformers move the mystery further than what the scriptures move it though. Where they finally throw up their hands and say "I don't know" is far past, IMO, where scripture leaves the mystery. If a reformer told me "some are elect and some die and go to hell, and I don't know how to explain that effectively" I would be fine. But most will go so far as to say it is God's will that Adam sinned. That's much further than what scripture takes it, IMO.

    and in essence this is what the doctrines of grace boils down to and a life in prayer is just that, we begging God to control our lives... and I agree with one of the Church fathers who said this about free will regarding our prayers, 'We pray in vain if it is in our own will. Why should men pray for that from the Lord which they have in the power of their own free will?' - Jerome
    I would agree with that. But again, having a will, and be able to do what my will wants are two different things! I can have a will to be perfect before God and make a decision to try with all my will and might. Doesn't mean I will be able to accomplish it! So the will can choose, but God's grace is still necessary to bring it to fruition.
    Matt 9:13
    13 "But go and learn what this means: ' I DESIRE COMPASSION,AND NOT SACRIFICE,' for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners."
    NASU

  10. #25

    Re: Why was Calvinism more popular in past ages than now?

    Quote Originally Posted by CFJ View Post
    Why am I not surprised Gadgeteer...

    May I or can I take you serious on this matter? I don't think so...
    Yes, take me serious. Post something from Gill, and we can discuss it. I briefly searched the Net, and found a comparison between Gill and Calvin on "all" --- stating that Calvin's "some of all types", meant everyone; Calvin correctly recognizes that we are to pray for even wicked rulers, while Gill promotes the opposite view.

    Gill fully subscribes to 1Cor2:14 asserting unregenerates are shut off from saving belief, as they cannot understand any theological/spiritual things. And that is not what 1Cor2:14 asserts; Gill starts to recognize that "things" mean "the deep things of God", but makes the same error as most Calvinists in thinking this includes "saving-faith". Very simple refutation --- the THINGS are revealed by the RECEIVED Spirit in verse 12; therefore one must believe, be saved, receive the Spirit, and THEN (and only then!) those THINGS are taught.

    Sproul, White, Piper, Pink, Spurgeon and most all Calvinists make the same mistake; and it's such an easy refutation. One would have to propose that a person receives the Spirit before belief (impossible --- Acts11:17!), to continue thinking that "things" in 1Cor2:14 include "saving-belief".

    Gill wrote an exposition of the Bible; so it's easy to discuss more of his positions.

    On Luke8:13:
    Quote Originally Posted by Gill
    And these have no root; neither "in themselves", as the other evangelists say, they have no true grace in them; nor have they any root in Christ, nor in the love of God:

    which for a while believe: their faith is a temporary one, like that of Simon Magus; which shows it is not true faith; for that is an abiding grace, Christ, who is the author, is the finisher of it, and prays for it, that it fail not. The Persic version renders it, "in the time of hearing they have faith"; and such sort of hearers there are, who, whilst they are hearing, assent to what they hear, but when they are gone, either forget it, or, falling into bad company, are prevailed upon to doubt of it, and disbelieve it. The Arabic version renders it, "they believe for a small time"; their faith do not continue long, nor their profession of it, both are soon dropped:

    and in the time of temptation fall away: "or go back", as the Vulgate Latin version, they draw back unto perdition; or "forsake that", as the Arabic version reads, the word, they have heard, and received, their faith in it, and profession of it: "and soon become apostates", as the Persic version renders it. By "the time of temptation", is not meant any particular and sore temptation of Satan, but a time of affliction and persecution, as appears from the other evangelists; which is a trying time to professors of religion, and when those who have not the root of the matter in them, fall away.
    There is no basis for presuming those in Lk8:13 were never REALLY saved, that they have no true grace, nor do they love God. As we've discussed, the soil label consequents from their action --- those WHO persevere are CALLED "good soil", but those who fall away are CALLED "rocky/bad soil". Heb6:7-8 clearly teaches that a tilled soil (expected to produce good fruit) can produce either; if it produces good it is called "good soil", but if it produces bad it is cursed and burned and called "bad soil". Isaiah 5 also applies.

    Perseverance is charged to us --- 1Tim4:16. Peter warns us to be diligent to make our calling and election firm/steadfast, against one who was once saved/purified but is no longer. Thus, Lk8:15 are those WHO are called "good soil", because of their perseverance --- they did not persevere because God made them good soil!

    I can't think of others off hand, but some of the refutations of Gill are more blatant.

  11. #26

    Re: Why was Calvinism more popular in past ages than now?

    Quote Originally Posted by CFJ View Post
    Hi Gadgeteer,

    Although I believe the most important part of what we believe is what God has (taught) you personally, here are some more sample or precise quotations from early Church fathers who supported these doctrines of grace... [Source: Michael Horton, Putting Amazing Back into Grace]
    Hi again, "CFJ".

    I would like to seriously commend you for your effort; especially if this was "hand-typed". But this is the substance of a good discussion, to engage each other and Scripture, and see where it leads. :-)

    Towards that, I'd like to make some comments on Michael Horton's work; striving of course not to be merely "reactive" (approaching what he says only with the intent of disputing him), but to assert considerations that, while they may be in opposition, will be honest.
    TOTAL DEPRAVITY

    Barnabas (A.D. 70): "Learn: before we believed in God, the habitation of our heart was corrupt and weak."
    This fits both "Calvinism" and "Arminianism" --- and "Responsible Grace" (which I hold, which is much closer to Arminianism than Calvinism).
    Ignatius (A.D. 110): "They that are carnal cannot do the things that are spiritual...Nor can the unbelievers do the things of belief."
    But does this assert that they cannot change? No. This fits both positions --- "Responsible Grace" specifically that belief is causal.
    Justin Martyr (A.D. 150): "Mankind by Adam fell under death, and the deception of the serpent; we are born sinners...No good thing dwells in us...For neither by nature, nor by human understanding is it possible for me to acquire the knowledge of things so great and so divine, but by the energy of the Divine Spirit...Of ourselves it is impossible to enter the kingdom of God...He has convicted us of the impossibility of our nature to obtain life...Free will has destroyed us; we who were free are become slaves and for our sin are sold...Being pressed down by our sins, we cannot move upward toward God; we are like birds who have wings, but are unable to fly."
    This sounds more "Calvinistic"; but it does not oppose the idea that God moves us towards Him; it does not oppose John12:32 "Jesus calls all men", nor does it oppose Deut30, where everyone is given the word-of-faith and each can confess/believe/be-saved, or can refuse and perish.
    Clement Of Alexandria (A.D. 190): "The soul cannot rise nor fly, nor be lifted up above the things that are on high, without special grace."
    To honestly reply to this, I would have to know further --- whether he views "special grace" as something given exclusively to a few, or if it is the special grace given to all who will believe, bestowed on us in the Beloved (Jesus).
    Origen: "Our free will...or human nature is not sufficient to seek God in any manner."
    This still does not endorse "monergistic regeneration". Everyone agrees that by ourselves we have no power to seek God; but if all are drawn to Him, then we do seek. I'd like to know what he thought about Matt7:7-14, and Hebrews11:6. And Jer29:11-13.
    Eusebius (A.D. 330): "The liberty of our will in choosing things that are good is destroyed."
    Destroyed by what? How did he view John3:20-21? Which is "cause", and which is "effect"?
    Augustine (A.D. 370): "If, therefore, they are servants of sin (2 Cor. 3:17), why do they boast of free will?...O, man! Learn from the precept what you ought to do; learn from correction, that it is your own fault you have not the power...Let human effort, which perished by Adam, here be silent, and let the grace of God reign by Jesus Christ...What God promises, we ourselves do not through free will of human nature, but He Himself does by grace within us...Men labor to find in our own will something that is our own, and not God's; how can they find it, I know not."
    This definitely sounds more "Calvinistic". But then, it's from Augustine, who inspired Calvin.
    UNCONDITIONAL ELECTION

    Clement Of Rome (A.D. 69): "Let us therefore approach Him in holiness of soul, lifting up pure and undefiled hands unto Him, with love towards our gentle and compassionate Father because He made us an elect portion unto Himself...Seeing then that we are the special elect portion of a Holy God, let us do all things that pertain unto holiness...There was given a declaration of blessedness upon them that have been elected by God through Jesus Christ our Lord...Jesus Christ is the hope of the elect..."
    I think this quotation proves the opposite --- in saying "Let US approach HIM", and "let US do all things ...holy..." --- this diverges from the thought that God sovereignly turns hearts towards righteousness. Why admonish men to do what God ordains and causes them to do?
    Barnabas (A.D. 70): "We are elected to hope, committed by God unto faith, appointed to salvation."
    I'd have to know further quotes. They may well have understood that the word "elect" (eklektos in the Greek) is interchangeable with "saved".
    Ignatius: "To the predestined ones before all ages, that is, before the world began, united and elect in a true passion, by the eternal will of the Father..."
    I would like to know his thoughts on John6:40, and John10:38. One says "all who see and believe be saved", the other teaches "we can believe because of seeing".
    Justin Martyr: "In all these discourses I have brought all my proofs out of your own holy and prophetic writings, hoping that some of you may be found of the elect number which through the grace that comes from the Lord of Sabaoth, is left or reserved [set apart] for everlasting salvation."
    Absolutely not conclusive support of "unconditional election". In fact, the opposite --- by presenting proofs, he very much is engaging in persuasion; fully antithetical to "sovereign heart-change".

    His comments align perfectly with John's ending of his letter, "These things have I written that you may know Jesus is the Christ (Messiah!), the Son of God, and believing you may have life in His name." Persuasion.
    Irenaeus (A.D. 198): "God hath completed the number which He before determined with Himself, all those who are written, or ordained unto eternal life...Being predestined indeed according to the love of the Father that we would belong to Him forever."
    Sounds Calvinistic. I would like to know his thoughts on Matt22:37 ("you shall love God"), and Acts17:26-31.
    Clement Of Alexandria (A.D. 190): "Through faith the elect of God are saved. The generation of those who seek God is the elect nation, not [an earthly] place, but the congregation of the elect, which I call the Church...If every person had known the truth, they would all have leaped into the way, and there would have been no election...You are those who are chosen from among men and as those who are predestined from among men, and in His own time called, faithful, and elect, those who before the foundation of the world are known intimately by God unto faith; that is, are appointed by Him to faith, grow beyond babyhood."
    I wonder if he sees "faith" as flowing from God towards man (easily refutable), or something that God receives from men (1Pet1:9, Heb11:6, Acts10:34-35, etcetera).
    Cyprian (A.D. 250): "This is therefore the predestination which we faithfully and humbly preach."
    What is? "Predestination" is absolutely in Scripture; Eph1:4-5, and 1:11. But who are predestined to what? Those who believe, are predestined through that belief to be Christlike. We need further comments to know what he thinks "predestination" is.
    Ambrose Of Milan (A.D. 380): "In predestination the Church of God has always existed."
    Absolutely non-supporting. JESUS is clearly "foreknown from the foundation" (1Pet1:20-21), and whoever joins Him, joins the Church of God.
    Augustine (A.D. 380): "Here certainly, there is no place for the vain argument of those who defend the foreknowledge of God against the grace of God, and accordingly maintain that we were elected before the foundation of the world because God foreknew that we would be good, not that He Himself would make us good. This is not the language of Him who said, 'You did not choose Me, but I chose you' (John 15:16)."
    Augustine flat messed up; that verse says Jesus chose the TWELVE to be DISCIPLES, and ordained they bear fruit that remains --- EVEN JUDAS!!!
    LIMITED ATONEMENT

    Barnabas (A.D. 70): "[Christ speaking] I see that I shall thus offer My flesh for the sins of the new people."
    Huh-uh, non supporting. It fully allows "voluntary belief".
    Justin Martyr (A.D. 150): "He endured the sufferings for those men whose souls are [actually] purified from all iniquity...As Jacob served Laban for the cattle that were spotted, and of carious forms, so Christ served even to the cross for men of every kind, of many and various shapes, procuring them by His blood and the mystery of the cross."
    This also allows for men believing voluntarily. Not conclusive for "exclusive election".
    Irenaeus (A.D. 180): "He came to save all, all, I say, who through Him are born again unto God, infants, and little ones, and children, and young men, and old men...Jesus is the Savior of them that believe; but the Lord of them that believe not. Wherefore, Christ is introduced in the gospel weary...promising to give His life a ransom, in the room of, many."
    This opposes "sovereign exclusive election" --- he plainly says "them that believe".
    Tertullian (A.D. 200): "Christ died for the salvation of His people...for the church."
    Non-conclusive. The "church" are those who believe.
    Cyprian (A.D. 250): "All the sheep which Christ hath sought up by His blood and sufferings are saved...Whosoever shall be found in the blood, and with the mark of Christ shall only escape...He redeemed the believers with the price of His own blood...Let him be afraid to die who is not reckoned to have any part in the cross and sufferings of Christ."
    Why would one "be afraid to die", if he's incapable of understanding spiritual things like the danger of dying unsaved? This opposes "exclusive election", stating that BELIEVERS are redeemed.
    Lactantius (A.D. 320): "He was to suffer and be slain for the salvation of many people...who having suffered death for us, hath made us heirs of the everlasting kingdom, having abdicated and disinherited the people of the Jews...He stretched out His hands in the passion and measured the world, that He might at the very time show that a large people, gathered out of all languages and tribes, should come under His wings, and receive the most great and sublime sign."
    Non-conclusive; it could easily accommodate John3:20-21, "those WHO desire evil avoid the light, but those WHO seek righteousness come to the light".
    Eusebius (A.D. 330): "To what 'us' does he refer, unless to them that believe in Him? For to them that do not believe in Him, He is the author of their fire and burning. The cause of Christ's coming is the redemption of those that were to be saved by Him."
    Not conclusive; he seems to promote "belief" as causal (which would oppose "exclusive election").
    Julius (A.D. 350): "The Son of God, by the pouring out of His precious blood, redeemed His set apart ones; they are delivered by the blood of Christ."
    Hilarion (A.D. 363): "He shall remain in the sight of God forever, having already taken all whom He hath redeemed to be kings of heaven, and co-heirs of eternity, delivering them as the kingdom of God to the Father."
    Leans more towards "voluntary belief". Those who are redeemed, are those who believe.
    Ambrose (A.D. 380): "Before the foundation of the world, it was God's will that Christ should suffer for our salvation...Can He damn thee, whom He hath redeemed from death, for whom He offered Himself, whose life He knows is the reward of His own death?"
    Zero support; I'm certain he knew about 2Pet2:1, where Jesus "bought" even the false teachers who are detailed spectacularly sinful.
    Pacian (A.D. 380): "Much more, He will not allow him that is redeemed to be destroyed, nor will He cast away those whom He has redeemed with a great price."
    Zero support; "redeemed" is by belief.
    Epiphanius (A.D. 390): "If you are redeemed...If therefore ye are bought with blood, thou are not the number of them who were bought with blood, O Manes, because thou deniest the blood...He gave His life for His own sheep."
    Zero support; we would have to have him commenting on whether they were "His own sheep" BEFORE they believed. And I'd like to see a comment on Heb10:29, where a man was sanctified by Jesus' blood, but is no longer.
    Jerome (A.D. 390): "Christ is sacrificed for the salvation of believers...Not all are redeemed, for not all shall be saved, but the remnant...All those who are redeemed and delivered by Thy blood return to Zion, which Thou hast prepared for Thyself by Thine own blood...Christ came to redeem Zion with His blood. But lest we should think that all are Zion or every one is Zion is truly redeemed of the Lord, who are redeemed by the blood of Christ form the Church...He did not give His life for every man, but for many, that is, for those who would believe."
    Completely opposes "exclusive election"! Those WHO WOULD believe. In baseball we would call that a "strike".
    Remigius (A.D. 850): "Since only the elect are saved, it may be accepted that Christ did not come to save all and did not die on the cross for all."
    Inconclusive; Jesus could have died for all, but those who reject Him can validly reject His dying --- thus they say "He did not die for me"; and the would be right, but that because of THEIR decision. Again, surely he knew of 2Pet2:1.
    Anselm: "If you die in unbelief, Christ did not die for you."
    This leans far more to "voluntary rejection". Stating: "He did not die for unbelievers, BECAUSE they disbelieved". Surely he knew of John3:18 and 1Jn5:10.
    IRRESISTBLE GRACE

    Barnabas (A.D. 70): "God gives repentance to us, introducing us into the incorruptible temple."
    I wonder what he meant? In AD70, it's likely that he fully understood Scripture's literary device "SEMITIC VIEW" (anthropomorphism). Exodus10:1 says GOD hardened Pharaoh's heart, but two verses earlier 9:34 Pharaoh hardened his OWN heart. Those in that time fully understood "God didn't really do it"; so we would need further proof that he viewed "repentance" as flowing from GOD towards MEN (men being passive recipients, very much like "puppets"), or if he was simply being Semitic and meant that men repent. Surely he knew of Romans2:4-8; God's kindness leads to repentance, but stubborn unrepentance stores up wrath for themselves.
    Ignatius: "Pray for them, if so by they may repent, which is very difficult; but Jesus Christ, our true life, has the power of this."
    Complete opposition! See previous comment --- clearly he recognized repentance is our own choice!
    Justin Martyr (A.D. 150): "Having sometime before convinced us of the impossibility of our nature to obtain life, hath now shown us the Savior, who is able to save them which otherwise were impossible to be saved...Free will has destroyed us; we are sold into sin."
    Inconclusive; we would have to know if he viewed ALL MEN as being drawn to where they can believe, or if only a FEW are effectively drawn.
    Irenaeus (A.D. 180): "Not of ourselves, but of God, is the blessing of our salvation...Man, who was before led captive, is taken out of the power of the possessor, according to the mercy of God the Father, and restoring it, gives salvation to it by the Word; that is, by Christ; that many may experimentally learn that not of himself, but by the gift of God, he receives immortality."
    No support; fully fits voluntary faith, according to Gods mercy and our own choice."
    Tertullian (A.D. 200): "Do you think, O men, that we should ever have been able to have understood these things in the Scriptures unless by the will of Him that wills all things, we had received grace to understand them?...But by this it is plain, that [faith] is not given to thee by God, because thou dost not ascribe it to Him alone."
    He very much seems to be supporting "faith is not given to you by God" --- which would be full opposition to "irresistible grace".
    Cyprian (A.D. 250): "Whatsoever is grateful is to be ascribed not to man's power, but to God's gift. It is God's, I say, all is God's that we can do. Yea, that in nothing must we glory, since nothing is ours."
    Zero support; fully fits Arminianism and Responsible Grace.
    Arnobius (A.D. 303): "You place the salvation of your souls in yourselves, and trust that you may be made gods by your inward endeavor, yet it is not our own power to reach things above."
    Sounds "Calvinistic". Would like to know his thoughts on 1Tim4:16, and 1Pet1:9.
    Lactantius (A.D. 320): "The vistory lies in the will of God, not in thine own. To overcome is not in our power."
    Not conclusive; everyone agrees that we do not overcome, but Christ overcomes through us. At issue is "how He works through us" --- is it through faith, or does He work salvation and faith APART FROM turning to Him?
    Athanasius (A.D. 350): "To believe is not ours, or in our power, but the Spirit's who is in us, and abides in us."
    Inconclusive; everyone agrees it is impossible to believe without the Spirit working. The question is "do men have a choice?"
    Jerome (A.D. 390): "This is the chief righteousness of man, to reckon that whatsoever power he can have, is not his own, but the Lord's who gives it...See how great is the help of God, and how frail the condition of man that we cannot by any means fulfill this, that we repent, unless the Lord first convert us...When [Jesus] says, 'No man can come to Me,' He breaks the proud liberty of free will; for man can desire nothing, and in vain he endeavors...Where is the proud boasting of free will?...We pray in vain if it is in our own will. Why should men pray for that from the Lord which they have in the power of their own free will?"
    Sounds Calvinistic; would love to see if he had support for any of this in Scripture --- I've not seen it.
    Augustine (A.D. 370): "Faith itself is to be attributed to God...Faith is made a gift. These men, however, attribute faith to free will, so grace is rendered to faith not as a gratuitous gift, but as a debt...They must cease from saying this."
    Augustine already does not have credibility; in vain would we search the Scriptures to find the principle of "saving-faith flowing from God towards men". It's not in Eph2:8, not in 2Tim2:25, not anywhere; and we can discuss dozens of verses which cast "faith", as being from us. 1Pet1:9 notably!
    PERSEVERANCE OF THE SAINTS

    Clement Of Rome (A.D. 69): "It is the will of God that all whom He loves should partake of repentance, and so not perish with the unbelieving and impenitent. He has established it by His almighty will. But if any of those whom God wills should partake of the grace of repentance, should afterwards perish, where is His almighty will? And how is this matter settled and established by such a will of His?"
    He seems to think it is possible for one to fall and perish; not fully understanding his position.
    Clement Of Alexandria (A.D. 190): "Such a soul [of a Christian] shall never at any time be separated from God...Faith, I say, is something divine, which cannot be pulled asunder by any other worldly friendship, nor be dissolved by present fear."
    This is in violation of many Scriptures; deception away from Jesus and salvation by "worldly philosophy" is clear in 2Pet3:17, in Col2:6-8, and is the theme of 2Cor6:14, "do not be unequally yoked; what fellowship (friendship) has light with darkness?" Surely he knew of 2Cor11:3!!!!
    Tertullian: "God forbid that we should believe that the soul of any saint should be drawn out by the devil...For what is of God is never extinguished."
    Just flat wrong. 2Cor11:3, 1Tim4:1. These guys read the Scriptures, right?
    Augustine: "Of these believers no one perishes, because they were all elected. And they were elected because they were called according to the purpose--the purpose, however, not their own, but God's...Obedience then is God's gift...To this, indeed, we are not able to deny, that perseverance in good, progressing even to the end, is also a great gift of God."[/INDENT]
    Hmmmm; "obedience" therefore flows from GOD towards MEN --- fully violating all of Scripture, notably Romans2:4-8; and Heb5:9, where salvation is in response to obedience.

    A long post, but I endeavored to respond to each citation honestly; we saw some of them NOT supporting Calvinism but OPPOSING it, many non-conclusive, and some seeming in support but falsifiable with Scripture. Just because we can quote someone in support of one doctrine or another, does not mean the doctrine is valid. Can we not prove what Scripture says, by Scripture itself?

    2Cor11:3 alone should prove we are in just as much danger as Eve was; but it's far from alone. Why would we be charged to make our election firm/steadfast in 2Pet1:5-11 (against the example of one who WAS purified but fell away) --- if Calvinism was valid?

    Thank you again for your efforts; I believe your time is not wasted, but will be productive to the conversation.

    :-)

  12. #27

    Re: Why was Calvinism more popular in past ages than now?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tertullian (A.D. 200)
    "Do you think, O men, that we should ever have been able to have understood these things in the Scriptures unless by the will of Him that wills all things, we had received grace to understand them?...But by this it is plain, that [faith] is not given to thee by God, because thou dost not ascribe it to Him alone."
    He very much seems to be supporting "faith is not given to you by God" --- which would be full opposition to "irresistible grace".
    I may have perceived this one wrongly. Is he promoting the idea that "one cannot understand without exclusive grace" (and thus by some "not ascribing faith to God alone" God has not elected/given-faith?) Zero support on that in Scripture, if it's the case.

    Amazing that anyone can think saving-faith comes from God, and moves towards men; clearly Scripture asserts faith is a choice, and God receives faith --- Heb11:6, Acts10:34-35, 1Pet1:9.

    I also messed up on two:
    Quote Originally Posted by Julius (A.D. 350)
    "The Son of God, by the pouring out of His precious blood, redeemed His set apart ones; they are delivered by the blood of Christ."
    This also connects to Hebrews10:29; the man there (who is US if we fail to heed the warning of verse 26!), was sanctified by Jesus' blood; surely he was "delivered". He could have been nothing else.
    Hilarion (A.D. 363): "He shall remain in the sight of God forever, having already taken all whom He hath redeemed to be kings of heaven, and co-heirs of eternity, delivering them as the kingdom of God to the Father."
    Quote Originally Posted by Gadget
    Leans more towards "voluntary belief". Those who are redeemed, are those who believe.
    The concept of ceasing-to-be-born-again (no longer adopted sons), is clear in Hebrews12:7-9. We have become subject to His discipline (past tense), but if we are without His discipline (present tense) then we are not sons but illegitimate (we are no longer begotten!).

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