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View Full Version : Reformed Theology or The Word of God; a thread for all Christians



Jemand
Feb 27th 2010, 05:28 PM
Some years ago when I was a young Christian, a Presbyterian minister with whom I was only slightly acquainted purchased two books for me:

The Five Points of Calvinism by David N. Steele and Curtis C. Thomas

The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination by Loraine Boettner

It was not Christmas or my birthday, so I asked him why he bought the books for me. He told me that it was important for me to learn the “truths” of the Reformed faith, and that I would “never learn them from the Bible.” Well, he was right—I never learned them from the Bible! And by the grace of God, I read my Bible instead of those two books and God spared me from believing five major doctrines that were concocted largely by a French Roman Catholic politician in the 16th century; a man who studied law and the humanities, never attended a divinity school or seminary, but became famous for many things—including his role in the death (burned at the stake) of Michael Servetus. Today he is best known for the five points of Calvinism.

Since then I have studied Calvinism, but I still know better than to go tiptoeing through the tulips. If the five points of Calvinism and Reformed theology are really taught in the Bible, you do not need to read any books other than the Bible to learn them. Stick to the Bible with all tenacity, studying it and praying earnestly every day for God to teach you His truths and to protect you from theological error. The Bible is the word of God; Calvinism is the theology of John Calvin.

Sure, those people who believe in Reformed theology can quote, out of context, one verse after another to “prove” that they are correct, but so can the Jehovah’s Witnesses!

BrckBrln
Feb 27th 2010, 05:31 PM
I've heard that The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination by Loraine Boettner was Calvin's favorite book. :rolleyes:

Amos_with_goats
Feb 27th 2010, 05:39 PM
Couple points;

First, let me say that I personally agree... HOWEVER.

Many folks who hold to reformed theology do so not out of a desire to replace scripture, but as a means of placing scripture into a framework that is clear to them.
I do not think it is entirely fair to suggest they pick and choose the scriptures to support their belief like the cults do. I am not a fan of 'systems' of theology simply because I believe that scripture provides a much more comprehensive 'system'.... and offers none of the problems of the systems taught by men.

I have no problem fellowshipping with my reformed brothers and sisters. There is an intellectual danger involved that can excuse lack of obedience to share the gospel, but it is more of a sin problem then a reformed theology problem....

I wonder why a new thread was needed on this? I see a trend lately to start multiple threads on the same subject... I wonder what purpose it serves?

grit
Feb 27th 2010, 06:56 PM
I read my Bible instead of... books and God spared me...

Since then I have studied Calvinism, but... you do not need to read any books other than the Bible... Stick to the Bible...
Hmmm... it sure seems to me you've been reading a lot of stuff other than the Bible, and much of it untrue and counter to what the reformation of Christianity back to the Bible entails, both in the much needed and appreciated (even by your standards) Protestant Reformation of Christianity in the 15-17th centuries, and today. :hug:

Why it is that so many here seem intent on daemonizing Biblical theology with ouright lies that they know are false and as contrary to Christian comportment and the designed netiquette of the board is beyond me; but, hey, I love you just the same, as also I do the absolutely Biblical doctrines of grace known as Reformed theology.

Someone might at least do well to read a history book in addition to the Bible, if only to convey factual history when attempting to post some measure of accurate biographical material, rather than false smears they've picked up on the fly. I'm just sayin. :hug:

Jemand
Feb 27th 2010, 07:33 PM
Hmmm... it sure seems to me you've been reading a lot of stuff other than the Bible, and much of it untrue and counter to what the reformation of Christianity back to the Bible entails, both in the much needed and appreciated (even by your standards) Protestant Reformation of Christianity in the 15-17th centuries, and today. :hug:

Why it is that so many here seem intent on daemonizing Biblical theology with ouright lies that they know are false and as contrary to Christian comportment and the designed netiquette of the board is beyond me; but, hey, I love you just the same, as also I do the absolutely Biblical doctrines of grace known as Reformed theology.

Someone might at least do well to read a history book in addition to the Bible, if only to convey factual history when attempting to post some measure of accurate biographical material, rather than false smears they've picked up on the fly. I'm just sayin. :hug:

Thank you for your reply.

Yes, my reading extends beyond the Bible itself—especially in the areas of the history of the development of Christian doctrine and critical and historical exegesis of the books of the Greek New Testament. I try very hard to post only information that is in harmony with the very finest Christian scholarship, and therefore I would very much appreciate it if you would be so kind as to state precisely what I have posted that is not academically sound, and please state the sources of your conflicting information. Thank you again for sharing with us.

Jemand

Jemand
Feb 27th 2010, 07:47 PM
Couple points;

First, let me say that I personally agree... HOWEVER.

Many folks who hold to reformed theology do so not out of a desire to replace scripture, but as a means of placing scripture into a framework that is clear to them.
I do not think it is entirely fair to suggest they pick and choose the scriptures to support their belief like the cults do. I am not a fan of 'systems' of theology simply because I believe that scripture provides a much more comprehensive 'system'.... and offers none of the problems of the systems taught by men.

I have no problem fellowshipping with my reformed brothers and sisters. There is an intellectual danger involved that can excuse lack of obedience to share the gospel, but it is more of a sin problem then a reformed theology problem....

I wonder why a new thread was needed on this? I see a trend lately to start multiple threads on the same subject... I wonder what purpose it serves?

Thank you for sharing your thoughts and concerns.

I did not mean to suggest that advocates of Reformed theology “pick and choose the scriptures to support their belief like the cults do.” I desired only to bring to the attention of my readers the fact that very incorrect theological systems and beliefs can be made to appear to be biblically sound by quoting verses from the Bible out of context.

My purpose in beginning this thread was primarily to address the concerns of the member who recently began a thread on Reformed theology but limited the thread to adherents of that theological system.

Thank you again for sharing with us.

Jemand

grit
Feb 27th 2010, 07:54 PM
Thank you for your reply.

Yes, my reading extends beyond the Bible itself—especially in the areas of the history of the development of Christian doctrine and critical and historical exegesis of the books of the Greek New Testament. I try very hard to post only information that is in harmony with the very finest Christian scholarship, and therefore I would very much appreciate it if you would be so kind as to state precisely what I have posted that is not academically sound, and please state the sources of your conflicting information. Thank you again for sharing with us.

Jemand
Well, I appreciate your studiousness, though it should be obvious that the burden of precise historical proof lies with you, since you made absolutely no attempt at sourcing "the very finest Christian scholarship" in your OP, though I'd suggest you begin with an easily accessible and reputable Christian history such as Philip Schaff's History of the Christian Church (http://www.ccel.org/s/schaff/history/About.htm).

Anyone who knows anything about Reformed theology and its Puritan expression upon which America was founded ought to realize that Reformed theolgy stood alone among all of Christianity for over 300 years as the champion of Bible-cetered theology and worship - sola Scriptura (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sola_scriptura) - over and against any and all man-made doctrine and religious practice. Reformed theolgy recognized the regulatve principle (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regulative_principle_of_worship) of founding all doctrine and worship solely upon the Word of God. :hug:

MaryFreeman
Feb 27th 2010, 08:26 PM
Hmmm... it sure seems to me you've been reading a lot of stuff other than the Bible, and much of it untrue and counter to what the reformation of Christianity back to the Bible entails, both in the much needed and appreciated (even by your standards) Protestant Reformation of Christianity in the 15-17th centuries, and today. :hug:

Why it is that so many here seem intent on daemonizing Biblical theology with ouright lies that they know are false and as contrary to Christian comportment and the designed netiquette of the board is beyond me; but, hey, I love you just the same, as also I do the absolutely Biblical doctrines of grace known as Reformed theology.

Someone might at least do well to read a history book in addition to the Bible, if only to convey factual history when attempting to post some measure of accurate biographical material, rather than false smears they've picked up on the fly. I'm just sayin. :hug:


Brother first let me say this:

I do not wish to insult you....

I do not wish to slander your beliefs....


Since then I have studied Calvinism, but I still know better than to go tiptoeing through the tulips. If the five points of Calvinism and Reformed theology are really taught in the Bible, you do not need to read any books other than the Bible to learn them. Stick to the Bible with all tenacity, studying it and praying earnestly every day for God to teach you His truths and to protect you from theological error. The Bible is the word of God; Calvinism is the theology of John Calvin.[/B]

Having said that....

What is beyond me is how someone could insult someone elses intelegence.... Accuse them of not reading history books.... And posting false smears on the fly....

And hug them at the same time?

Again brother I mean no offense whatsoever....

But the way you are treating this brother of ours.... Because he believes differently than you.... Hurt my heart....

If you wish to counter what he said....

Could you not just post your rebuttal?

Please?

grit
Feb 27th 2010, 08:36 PM
Brother first let me say this:

I do not wish to insult you....

I do not wish to slander your beliefs....



Having said that....

What is beyond me is how someone could insult someone elses intelegence.... Accuse them of not reading history books.... And posting false smears on the fly....

And hug them at the same time?

Again brother I mean no offense whatsoever....

But the way you are treating this brother of ours.... Because he believes differently than you.... Hurt my heart....

If you wish to counter what he said....

Could you not just post your rebuttal?

Please?The very first post of the OP is where you'll find personal insult of a Christian brother. I made no counter personal insult whatsoever, but only pointed out the false and ad hominem (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ad_hominem) nature of the post, where it clearly is counter to the designs of this board, and I quoted the very words of experience given by the OP. If you're finding otherwise, then it would seem to me you're reading more into it than is there. My hugs are all sincere, and I'm hurt you would elude otherwise, and this from one who so mischaracterized Reformed theology with insult in another thread.

Jemand
Feb 27th 2010, 08:38 PM
Well, I appreciate your studiousness, though it should be obvious that the burden of precise historical proof lies with you, since you made absolutely no attempt at sourcing "the very finest Christian scholarship" in your OP, though I'd suggest you begin with an easily accessible and reputable Christian history such as Philip Schaff's History of the Christian Church (http://www.ccel.org/s/schaff/history/About.htm).

Anyone who knows anything about Reformed theology and its Puritan expression upon which America was founded ought to realize that Reformed theolgy stood alone among all of Christianity for over 300 years as the champion of Bible-cetered theology and worship - sola Scriptura (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sola_scriptura) - over and against any and all man-made doctrine and religious practice. Reformed theolgy recognized the regulatve principle (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regulative_principle_of_worship) of founding all doctrine and worship solely upon the Word of God. :hug:

I have Schaff’s History of the Chrsitian Church in my home library, and I do not recall any data in that work that expressly contradicts anything in my post. Therefore, I ask that you please post that data.

Your comment regarding the theology of Christians in America for 300 years is founded exclusively upon the untrue premise that Reformed theology, and only Reformed theology, is Bible-centered theology. Needless to say, during that 300 year period, a very wide spectrum of theological thought was believed in and taught in America.

Let us not forget that reformed theology was first conceived in the 16the century as a byproduct of an incorrect theology regarding the sovereignty of God rather than the product of a more accurate exegesis of the Greek New Testament. Indeed, as a consequence of this new system of theology, an entirely new exegesis of hundreds of passages in the New Testament became necessary to justify the theology.

MaryFreeman
Feb 27th 2010, 08:47 PM
The very first post of the OP is where you'll find personal insult of a Christian brother. I made no counter personal insult whatsoever, but only pointed out the false and ad hominem (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ad_hominem) nature of the post, where it clearly is counter to the designs of this board, and I quoted the very words of experience given by the OP. If you're finding otherwise, then it would seem to me you're reading more into it than is there. My hugs are all sincere, and I'm hurt you would elude otherwise, and this from one who so mischaracterized Reformed theology with insult in another thread.

Ok :hug:

As I stated.... I mean no offense....

If you took offense at the original OP.... Then mayhap you could provide what caused the offense so our brother has a chance to make it right?

I am sorry I hurt you....

I didn't mean to....

I merely stated how your post appeared to me....

Jemand
Feb 27th 2010, 08:49 PM
The very first post of the OP is where you'll find personal insult of a Christian brother. I made no counter personal insult whatsoever, but only pointed out the false and ad hominem (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ad_hominem) nature of the post, where it clearly is counter to the designs of this board, and I quoted the very words of experience given by the OP. If you're finding otherwise, then it would seem to me you're reading more into it than is there. My hugs are all sincere, and I'm hurt you would elude otherwise, and this from one who so mischaracterized Reformed theology with insult in another thread.

I insulted no one in my opening post. If you believe that I insulted John Calvin, which of the things that I said of him were insults rather than objectively and factually correct information?

grit
Feb 27th 2010, 08:50 PM
I have Schaff’s History of the Chrsitian Church in my home library, and I do not recall any data in that work that expressly contradicts anything in my post. Therefore, I ask that you please post that data.

Your comment regarding the theology of Christians in America for 300 years is founded exclusively upon the untrue premise that Reformed theology, and only Reformed theology, is Bible-centered theology. Needless to say, during that 300 year period, a very wide spectrum of theological thought was believed in and taught in America.

Let us not forget that reformed theology was first conceived in the 16the century as a byproduct of an incorrect theology regarding the sovereignty of God rather than the product of a more accurate exegesis of the Greek New Testament. Indeed, as a consequence of this new system of theology, an entirely new exegesis of hundreds of passages in the New Testament became necessary to justify the theology.Again, Jemand, if you're going to begin a thread with such ad hominem (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ad_hominem) argumentation and false historical data, the burden of proof is upon you to support any of it with reputable historical source. Schaff's History indeed counters almost every historical allusion you've made, regardless of what you "recall". Where's your proof of anything you began the thread in insulting Calvin, Reformed theology, and my Christian beliefs? It certainly appears that you've begun the thread only with the premise of insulting fellow Christians with falsehoods and comparisons to a cult, with absolutely no basis in fact.

grit
Feb 27th 2010, 08:53 PM
I insulted no one in my opening post. If you believe that I insulted John Calvin, which of the things that I said of him were insults rather than objectively and factually correct information? I'm not going to continue going back and forth with you on this. If you want to claim your OP is factual then please support it with historical reference.

MaryFreeman
Feb 27th 2010, 08:54 PM
Thank you for sharing your thoughts and concerns.

I did not mean to suggest that advocates of Reformed theology “pick and choose the scriptures to support their belief like the cults do.” I desired only to bring to the attention of my readers the fact that very incorrect theological systems and beliefs can be made to appear to be biblically sound by quoting verses from the Bible out of context.

My purpose in beginning this thread was primarily to address the concerns of the member who recently began a thread on Reformed theology but limited the thread to adherents of that theological system.

Thank you again for sharing with us.

Jemand

SPEAKING FOR MYSELF:

I did start a thread on RT.... And I did limit it to those who adhere to it....

But I have a very simple reason....

I am merely curious....

I want to know what they believe.... And what Scripture they found that led them to believe it....

As I stated in that thread....

I have no need of anyone changing my beliefs.... Or trying to.... My beliefs are my own.... I know what I believe and why I believe it....

I think I know what you believe and why you believe it....

But I do not know what they believe.... Nor why they believe it....

So I was asking them.

However it was not meant as an offense to anyone else....

Nor do I have any concerns regarding their beliefs....

I am merely curious....

Please forgive any offense I caused you?

Jemand
Feb 27th 2010, 09:19 PM
SPEAKING FOR MYSELF:

I did start a thread on RT.... And I did limit it to those who adhere to it....

But I have a very simple reason....

I am merely curious....

I want to know what they believe.... And what Scripture they found that led them to believe it....

As I stated in that thread....

I have no need of anyone changing my beliefs.... Or trying to.... My beliefs are my own.... I know what I believe and why I believe it....

I think I know what you believe and why you believe it....

But I do not know what they believe.... Nor why they believe it....

So I was asking them.

However it was not meant as an offense to anyone else....

Nor do I have any concerns regarding their beliefs....

I am merely curious....

Please forgive any offense I caused you?

You have most certainly not offended me in anyway whatsoever. If I have offended you, please forgive me, as I had no such intent. My concern was that you might be led astray by Christians posting passages from the Bible that they have taken out of context.

MaryFreeman
Feb 27th 2010, 09:25 PM
You have most certainly not offended me in anyway whatsoever. If I have offended you, please forgive me, as I had no such intent. My concern was that you might be led astray by Christians posting passages from the Bible that they have taken out of context.

:hug: That is not possible my brother.... I have been saved since I was 12....

I just turned 37....

I do ask questions out of curiosity though....

Jemand
Feb 27th 2010, 09:33 PM
:hug: That is not possible my brother.... I have been saved since I was 12....

I just turned 37....

I do ask questions out of curiosity though....

I am very glad to learn that you are going to stand firm in your beliefs. Thank you for caring about me and coming to my defense. May God richly bless you!

newinchrist4now
Feb 27th 2010, 09:37 PM
Some years ago when I was a young Christian, a Presbyterian minister with whom I was only slightly acquainted purchased two books for me:

The Five Points of Calvinism by David N. Steele and Curtis C. Thomas

The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination by Loraine Boettner

It was not Christmas or my birthday, so I asked him why he bought the books for me. He told me that it was important for me to learn the “truths” of the Reformed faith, and that I would “never learn them from the Bible.” Well, he was right—I never learned them from the Bible! And by the grace of God, I read my Bible instead of those two books and God spared me from believing five major doctrines that were concocted largely by a French Roman Catholic politician in the 16th century; a man who studied law and the humanities, never attended a divinity school or seminary, but became famous for many things—including his role in the death (burned at the stake) of Michael Servetus. Today he is best known for the five points of Calvinism.

Since then I have studied Calvinism, but I still know better than to go tiptoeing through the tulips. If the five points of Calvinism and Reformed theology are really taught in the Bible, you do not need to read any books other than the Bible to learn them. Stick to the Bible with all tenacity, studying it and praying earnestly every day for God to teach you His truths and to protect you from theological error. The Bible is the word of God; Calvinism is the theology of John Calvin.

Sure, those people who believe in Reformed theology can quote, out of context, one verse after another to “prove” that they are correct, but so can the Jehovah’s Witnesses!

Wow, there is much anger in your post. I didn't read any of those just Scripture and came out a Calvinist.

RogerW
Feb 27th 2010, 09:56 PM
Wow, there is much anger in your post. I didn't read any of those just Scripture and came out a Calvinist.

Hi New,

Exactly! I was being called a Calvinist before I had ever heard of John Calvin. I learned the doctrines of Reformed Grace from the Scriptures. What was really funny is that when I first became a Christian in a free-will Baptist church, I only knew the gospel; i.e Christ crucified. When I became hungry in that particular church, and began to study the Bible for myself, I found so many contradictions with what I was being taught and what the Bible said. When I ask how that could be I was told "some things just aren't meant for us to know." Needless to say after I came to understand the Reformed Doctrines of Sovereign Grace...AMAZINGLY ALL THE CONTRADICTIONS DISAPPEARED! Praise the Lord for giving me eyes to see, God so graciously kept His promise that if we truly seek we will find the answers we seek...AMEN!

Many Blessings,
RW

Jemand
Feb 27th 2010, 11:03 PM
Hi New,

Exactly! I was being called a Calvinist before I had ever heard of John Calvin. I learned the doctrines of Reformed Grace from the Scriptures. What was really funny is that when I first became a Christian in a free-will Baptist church, I only knew the gospel; i.e Christ crucified. When I became hungry in that particular church, and began to study the Bible for myself, I found so many contradictions with what I was being taught and what the Bible said. When I ask how that could be I was told "some things just aren't meant for us to know." Needless to say after I came to understand the Reformed Doctrines of Sovereign Grace...AMAZINGLY ALL THE CONTRADICTIONS DISAPPEARED! Praise the Lord for giving me eyes to see, God so graciously kept His promise that if we truly seek we will find the answers we seek...AMEN!

Many Blessings,
RW

Thank you for sharing with us! I have never been to a Free-will Baptist church, and I do not know what was taught in the church where you became a Christian, but if their teaching included many doctrines that contradicted what is taught in the Bible, that is very unfortunate.

Jemand
Feb 27th 2010, 11:13 PM
Wow, there is much anger in your post. I didn't read any of those just Scripture and came out a Calvinist.

Anger? What do I have to be angry about? It is very easy to read into literature that which is not there.

newinchrist4now
Feb 27th 2010, 11:23 PM
Anger? What do I have to be angry about? It is very easy to read into literature that which is not there.

It's there from your accusatory tone and now your prideful tone, I ran into this many times one's thinking they are better because they don't believe in the Reformed Doctrines of Scripture. There are none more hateful and fearful then Christians who see other Christians actually follow Scripture closer then they. It's all over when Christians see others as Calvinist they bring out the claws, when new doctrines such as futurism is challenged the claws come out anything that any other Christians deem sacred to them gets attacked.

Jemand
Feb 27th 2010, 11:49 PM
It's there from your accusatory tone and now your prideful tone, I ran into this many times one's thinking they are better because they don't believe in the Reformed Doctrines of Scripture. There are none more hateful and fearful then Christians who see other Christians actually follow Scripture closer then they. It's all over when Christians see others as Calvinist they bring out the claws, when new doctrines such as futurism is challenged the claws come out anything that any other Christians deem sacred to them gets attacked.

A dear friend for many years has been a Calvinist all of his adult life and is a model Christian faithfully serving Christ. What really matters is not a man’s theology, but the relationship that the man has with Christ and his fellow man because of or in spite of his theology.

Quickened
Feb 28th 2010, 12:16 AM
A dear friend for many years has been a Calvinist all of his adult life and is a model Christian faithfully serving Christ. What really matters is not a man’s theology, but the relationship that the man has with Christ and his fellow man because of or in spite of his theology.

This thread rubbed me the wrong way the minute i jumped in but i must say that this is a good post. How we understand theological issues has no bearing on our salvation. We all learn at different paces and we may not all learn every point out there.

Butch5
Feb 28th 2010, 12:24 AM
Some years ago when I was a young Christian, a Presbyterian minister with whom I was only slightly acquainted purchased two books for me:

The Five Points of Calvinism by David N. Steele and Curtis C. Thomas

The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination by Loraine Boettner

It was not Christmas or my birthday, so I asked him why he bought the books for me. He told me that it was important for me to learn the “truths” of the Reformed faith, and that I would “never learn them from the Bible.” Well, he was right—I never learned them from the Bible! And by the grace of God, I read my Bible instead of those two books and God spared me from believing five major doctrines that were concocted largely by a French Roman Catholic politician in the 16th century; a man who studied law and the humanities, never attended a divinity school or seminary, but became famous for many things—including his role in the death (burned at the stake) of Michael Servetus. Today he is best known for the five points of Calvinism.

Since then I have studied Calvinism, but I still know better than to go tiptoeing through the tulips. If the five points of Calvinism and Reformed theology are really taught in the Bible, you do not need to read any books other than the Bible to learn them. Stick to the Bible with all tenacity, studying it and praying earnestly every day for God to teach you His truths and to protect you from theological error. The Bible is the word of God; Calvinism is the theology of John Calvin.

Sure, those people who believe in Reformed theology can quote, out of context, one verse after another to “prove” that they are correct, but so can the Jehovah’s Witnesses!

He also never changed what he believed. He wrote his institutes at around 27 years of age. Pretty amazing that a 27 year old man could read the Bible and get his doctrines 100% correct the first time. I also think I heard somewhere that he said God had given him his understanding but I am not certain of that.

Jemand
Feb 28th 2010, 02:42 AM
He also never changed what he believed. He wrote his institutes at around 27 years of age. Pretty amazing that a 27 year old man could read the Bible and get his doctrines 100% correct the first time. I also think I heard somewhere that he said God had given him his understanding but I am certain of that.

Have you read his Institutes of the Christian religion in which he introduced into the Church numerous theological concepts of major importance, arguing that the Bible teaches them? Have you read his commentary on Romans and compared it with the commentaries on Romans written by 20th century Reformed theologians? Calvin was a good writer and an interesting theologian, but if his theology 100% accurately represented what the Bible really teaches, all of his predecessors were woefully less than competent scholars, including the Ante-Nicene Church Fathers whom it pleased God to use establish the New Testament canon and to formalize the doctrine of the Trinity. Indeed not only were all of his predecessors woefully less than competent scholars, but so have been very many of the Reformed scholars from the beginning of the Protestant Reformation down to the present day. And, of course, this speaks very poorly of the vast majority of Christians through the ages since only a small fraction of them have been Reformed in their theology.

If I had, at the age of 27, written two large volumes in which I openly and expressly contradicted the Christian beliefs of every Christian scholar before me, I would be guilty of arrogance of the most severe sort. Indeed, at the age of 27 I was just beginning to learn what the Bible teaches and how it had been interpreted by others before me down through the ages. I was struck with awe at the learning and wisdom of Saint Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, Martin Luther, Edward Pococke, John Wesley, Friedrich August Gottreu Tholuck, Moses Stuart, Alexander Balmain Bruce, Ernest DeWitt Burton, R. H. Charles, Ernst Kasemann, Anthony Giesing, Raymond E. Brown, I. Howard Marshall, Joseph A. Fitzmyer, and a host of others who inspired me to diligently study the sacred Scriptures and pursue a consecrated walk with my savior Christ Jesus the Lord.

Butch5
Feb 28th 2010, 03:06 AM
Have you read his Institutes of the Christian religion in which he introduced into the Church numerous theological concepts of major importance, arguing that the Bible teaches them? Have you read his commentary on Romans and compared it with the commentaries on Romans written by 20th century Reformed theologians? Calvin was a good writer and an interesting theologian, but if his theology 100% accurately represented what the Bible really teaches, all of his predecessors were woefully less than competent scholars, including the Ante-Nicene Church Fathers whom it pleased God to use establish the New Testament canon and to formalize the doctrine of the Trinity. Indeed not only were all of his predecessors woefully less than competent scholars, but so have been very many of the Reformed scholars from the beginning of the Protestant Reformation down to the present day. And, of course, this speaks very poorly of the vast majority of Christians through the ages since only a small fraction of them have been Reformed in their theology.

If I had, at the age of 27, written two large volumes in which I openly and expressly contradicted the Christian beliefs of every Christian scholar before me, I would be guilty of arrogance of the most severe sort. Indeed, at the age of 27 I was just beginning to learn what the Bible teaches and how it had been interpreted by others before me down through the ages. I was struck with awe at the learning and wisdom of Saint Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, Martin Luther, Edward Pococke, John Wesley, Friedrich August Gottreu Tholuck, Moses Stuart, Alexander Balmain Bruce, Ernest DeWitt Burton, R. H. Charles, Ernst Kasemann, Anthony Giesing, Raymond E. Brown, I. Howard Marshall, Joseph A. Fitzmyer, and a host of others who inspired me to diligently study the sacred Scriptures and pursue a consecrated walk with my savior Christ Jesus the Lord.

Hi Jemand,

No I haven't read the Institutes. When I was reformed I was going to do so, however, once I began to see the error and eventually left Reformed teaching I really saw no reason to go ahead and read it. I also have his 22 volume commentary series. I figure rather than spending time reading the Institutes my time would be much better spent studying the Ante-Nicene writers.

Redeemed by Grace
Feb 28th 2010, 03:39 AM
This thread rubbed me the wrong way the minute i jumped in but i must say that this is a good post. How we understand theological issues has no bearing on our salvation. We all learn at different paces and we may not all learn every point out there.

I have a dear friend for whom we enjoy challenging each other's thoughts on biblical what ifs - a while back he presented the following... "how far off can one's doctrine be and yet he still be saved?"

We both would agreed that salvation is of the Lord and is not predicated upon any formal reciting of doctrine, for salvation is through the Lord's working within a heart through grace by faith --- but it is an interesting question to ponder on - as to how the answer to this question is a gage of knowing or not knowing Christ... for the man with one talent thought he knew [the doctrines | the teachings | the heart] of his master well.

Jude 1:3 Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints.

Firstfruits
Mar 1st 2010, 03:04 PM
Some years ago when I was a young Christian, a Presbyterian minister with whom I was only slightly acquainted purchased two books for me:

The Five Points of Calvinism by David N. Steele and Curtis C. Thomas

The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination by Loraine Boettner

It was not Christmas or my birthday, so I asked him why he bought the books for me. He told me that it was important for me to learn the “truths” of the Reformed faith, and that I would “never learn them from the Bible.” Well, he was right—I never learned them from the Bible! And by the grace of God, I read my Bible instead of those two books and God spared me from believing five major doctrines that were concocted largely by a French Roman Catholic politician in the 16th century; a man who studied law and the humanities, never attended a divinity school or seminary, but became famous for many things—including his role in the death (burned at the stake) of Michael Servetus. Today he is best known for the five points of Calvinism.

Since then I have studied Calvinism, but I still know better than to go tiptoeing through the tulips. If the five points of Calvinism and Reformed theology are really taught in the Bible, you do not need to read any books other than the Bible to learn them. Stick to the Bible with all tenacity, studying it and praying earnestly every day for God to teach you His truths and to protect you from theological error. The Bible is the word of God; Calvinism is the theology of John Calvin.

Sure, those people who believe in Reformed theology can quote, out of context, one verse after another to “prove” that they are correct, but so can the Jehovah’s Witnesses!

As far as I know Jesus has not been reformed, otherwise the following is not true.

Heb 13:8 Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.

Christ gospel remains the same,

God bless you!

Firstfruits

grit
Mar 1st 2010, 06:38 PM
Reformed theology stood alone among all of Christianity for over 300 years as the champion of Bible-centered theology and worship.


Your comment regarding the theology of Christians in America for 300 years is founded exclusively upon the untrue premise that Reformed theology, and only Reformed theology, is Bible-centered theology. Needless to say, during that 300 year period, a very wide spectrum of theological thought was believed in and taught in America.
Jemand, I’m truly trying to be as delicate and kind with this as I may since I dearly love my fellow Christians and mean them well. This above quote is exactly the kind of misreading, miscommunication, and misapplication of both history and Reformed theology (deliberate or otherwise) with which you greatly appear to needlessly mischaracterize and wrongly defame a Christian brother (John Calvin), the Christian faith upon which America was founded (Reformed theology), history in general, and an errant twisting of my own posts.

I did not post regarding a 300 year history of Christianity in America, or even specify which 300 year period was meant, which you, however well-intended or honestly mistaken, then misunderstood and misapplied as specific to some “that 300 year period” of American history. I posted that, “…Reformed theology stood alone among all Christianity for over 300 years as the champion of Bible-centered theology…”, which it did in Europe where it began, from when the first stirrings of a movement toward reforming Christianity from Roman Catholic abuses back to the Bible began, which might rightly be demonstrated from the 14th, 15th, and 16th centuries. I did indeed post that America was founded upon Reformed theology, which is true of Puritan New England and America’s first English colonies in the early 1600’s, of Roanoke, Jamestown, the Plymouth pilgrims, the Massachusetts Bay Colony, and also as representative of New Netherland and New Sweden, even prior to the Calvinistic Great Awakening of Jonathan Edwards and George Whitefield in the 1730’s and 40’s. It might rightly be claimed that America was primarily Calvinistic for it’s first 100 years, but I made no claim, as you counter, that America was without a wide spectrum of theological thought for 300 years. I can’t help but think that your errant reading in this perhaps likewise flavours your mischaracterizations of John Calvin, Reformed theology, and Christian history in general. I trust it is only an honest mistake without malice.


Let us not forget that reformed theology was first conceived in the 16the century as a byproduct of an incorrect theology regarding the sovereignty of God rather than the product of a more accurate exegesis of the Greek New Testament. Indeed, as a consequence of this new system of theology, an entirely new exegesis of hundreds of passages in the New Testament became necessary to justify the theology. This again simply is not true history in any fashion, even from opponents of Reformed theology who, in expressing a differing opinion from Reformed theology, would nonetheless ardently disagree with your presentation. There is no historian who would not fundamentally credit Erasmus (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erasmus)’ Greek New Testament (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Novum_Instrumentum_omne) as influential in Reformed theology’s emphasis on proper Biblical exegesis and in-depth study of the original languages of the Bible. Nor would any historian discount that the Reformation theology of Luther, Calvin, and all other reformers championing the sovereignty of God was centered specifically on the Holy Word of God over against the man-made traditions established in the Roman Catholic Church at the time. When faced with a choice between the Bible and the Church, they chose the Bible as of far greater authority and reliability for Christian faith and practice.


Calvin was a good writer and an interesting theologian, but if his theology 100% accurately represented what the Bible really teaches, all of his predecessors were woefully less than competent scholars, including the Ante-Nicene Church Fathers whom it pleased God to use establish the New Testament canon and to formalize the doctrine of the Trinity. Indeed not only were all of his predecessors woefully less than competent scholars, but so have been very many of the Reformed scholars from the beginning of the Protestant Reformation down to the present day. And, of course, this speaks very poorly of the vast majority of Christians through the ages since only a small fraction of them have been Reformed in their theology.

If I had, at the age of 27, written two large volumes in which I openly and expressly contradicted the Christian beliefs of every Christian scholar before me, I would be guilty of arrogance of the most severe sort.

I was struck with awe at the learning and wisdom of Saint Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, Martin Luther… Yet again, you assert a conclusion that in no way follows from the premise given and logical argumentation. Just because Calvin rightly reads Holy Scripture does not entail either an ignorance or a dismissal of holy predecessors. Calvin himself greatly valued and made extensive use of Christian scholarship that came before him. He proves to be well-read and educated in the “Church Fathers” and was in much agreement with Augustine, whom you mention as influential in your own learning, and was also in great agreement with his contemporary Luther, who also was Reformed and equally emphasized God’s sovereignty and man’s depravity, and whom you also credit as formative in your own Christian thought.

And, though you’re welcome to your opinion of canonization contrary to my own and that of Calvin and Luther, I consider that God’s Holy Scripture is not reliant upon the Church and its authority for canonization, but that the canon of Scripture lies solely under the direction and authority of God Himself, since it’s His Word above any conveyance of the Church. Our Bible does not rest upon what the Church tells us it is, but upon what God tells us it is, and it is His canon, regardless of our varying recognitions. The Christian Scriptures were recognized and used as divinely inspired writings by Christians long before the Roman Catholic Church of the Ante-Nicene Fathers got around to “establishing” them, even if it can be claimed they formally and finally did prior to doing so in response to the Protestant Reformation and Reformed doctrine.

You also appear to fail in recognizing that Calvin continued to revise and update his Institutes of the Christian Religion (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Institutes_of_the_Christian_Religion) throughout the remainder of his life, and that it is still considered as one of half a dozen or so Christian theological writings of preeminence in the history of Christianity, completely sound and orthodox in keeping with the creedal Christianity summarized in the Apostle’s Creed (which form it followed), and as having nothing to do whatsoever with the denials of Christianity found in the cults, as you claim in association.

One might also note that the average human lifespan in Calvin’s day was about 40 years, and this following the Black Death which is estimated to have killed between 30% - 60% of Europe’s population, and the Hundred Years’ War and religious wars of Europe which killed countless thousands of others. 27 was a ripe mature age of educational and spiritual endowment for those so invested in the Word and the Church as graced by God. :hug:

Scruffy Kid
Mar 1st 2010, 08:04 PM
Dear Jemand (and fellow posters),
Welcome to Bibleforums! :hug:
It's great to have you here! :pp :pp :pp
As I recall, I've much appreciated a number of your posts over the past month or two.

However, I would like to give you some honest feedback on your OP in this thread. You wrote:

Reformed Theology or the Word of God; a thread for all Christians

Some years ago when I was a young Christian, a Presbyterian minister ... purchased two books [of Calvinist theology] for me. ... He told me that it was important for me to learn the "truths" of the Reformed faith, and that I would "never learn them from the Bible." Well, he was right -- I never learned them from the Bible! And by the grace of God, I read my Bible instead of those two books and God spared me from believing five major doctrines that were concocted largely by a French Roman Catholic politician in the 16th century; a man who studied law and the humanities, never attended a divinity school or seminary, but became famous for many things -- including his role in the death (burned at the stake) of Michael Servetus. Today he is best known for the five points of Calvinism. ...

If the five points of Calvinism and Reformed theology are really taught in the Bible, you do not need to read any books other than the Bible to learn them. Stick to the Bible with all tenacity, studying it and praying earnestly every day for God to teach you His truths and to protect you from theological error. The Bible is the word of God; Calvinism is the theology of John Calvin.

Sure, those people who believe in Reformed theology can quote, out of context, one verse after another to "prove" that they are correct, but so can the Jehovah's Witnesses!



How the OP came across to me

I want to start by explaining that I'm not a Calvinist, nor particularly sympathetic to Calvinism. I in fact place a lot of emphasis on human free will, that I find the tenets of TULIP (5-point or Dortian Calvinism) false and bad, and that, through much of my life I have disliked what I supposed to be the Calvinist approach. I expect my theology may be closer to yours than grit's at many points.

Notwithstanding all that, I found your OP -- and even the title of the thread -- unnecessarily provocative and, as a matter of fact, insulting and unfair to Calvin and Calvinists. This was true in many ways. Another thing that was not my favorite about your post, and subsequent posts you made, was your talking in ways which seemed to imply that your particular reading of Scripture was correct, and that where others interpreted the Scriptures differently they were simply unscriptural.

I think, from various things about your posts in this thread and elsewhere that you really do want to be irenic, and speak respectfully, and be in loving relationship with other Christians, including those you disagree with theologically. But I think the way your started off this thread, and have sometimes spoken since in it, are not in line with your true intentions to get along well with other Christians. That reaction on my part does not reflect general skittishness about vigorous debate, or heated debate on hot button theological topics: I'm perfectly at home with spirited, even heated, debate, about theology and other important matters. It was my reaction specifically to what you posted in this thread.

I myself :blush: have made the mistake of allowing my strong feelings to lead to inappropriately strong words, many times, including here at Bibleforums, despite a very determined effort to not allow myself to make that mistake. :cry: We are all rather flawed persons: in fact, "depraved" throughout the "totality" of our humanity -- as I expect you will readily agree. So I'm certainly not in a great position to criticize others too much. I'm a rather scruffy kid, and need, constantly, to keep that in mind (together with a greater emphasis on God's love and grace!). Still, I do think it is fair and appropriate to let you know that your OP came across to me (as some other remarks of yours in this thread did) -- no defender of nor particular friend to Calvinism -- as pretty insulting, and unfair, and harsh, and sort of arrogant.

(Arrogant along the lines of "whoever does not agree with point X of my interpretation of Scripture does not really accept the Scripture". Of course you didn't say that, in the OP or later posts, but it is sort of the impression I took away. I'm not saying that that is your attitude, of course. I'm just saying that that's how it came across to me, me who is no sympathizer with Calvinism.)



About the idea that I best interpret the Bible on my own

There is one other point I would like to make, concerning your (pen-ult) exit line:

If the five points of Calvinism and Reformed theology are really taught in the Bible, you do not need to read any books other than the Bible to learn them. Stick to the Bible with all tenacity, studying it and praying earnestly every day for God to teach you His truths and to protect you from theological error. The Bible is the word of God; Calvinism is the theology of John Calvin.

This line is, IMO, silly; but widely in accord with non-denominational churches and their adherents. It suggests -- it seems to me -- that the speaker is a sort of infallible pope all on his own. It's sort of as if one were saying "Christians through the ages have made many mistakes; but I, by simply reading the Bible with my pure mind, can easily avoid them all."

But shouldn't our attitude instead be that of Paul (in Gal. 5:25-6:3):

If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not desire vain-glory, provoking one another, envying one another. Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, you who are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering yourself, lest you also be tempted. Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. For if a man thinks himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself.
In fact, I don't think that "you do not need to read any books other than the Bible to learn them. Stick to the Bible with all tenacity, studying it and praying earnestly every day for God to teach you His truths and to protect you from theological error."

Why not?

Here are five good reasons, as I see it (and it's by no means an exhaustive list!!):

(1) Because the word of God is given to the church, to Israel, to the community of the redeemed, and because Christ, and God, established a redeemed community, that we might correct and learn from one another.

(2) Because each of us is flawed and needs correction from others, and from the historic legacy of the body of Christian people (the Church) which God promised to keep from error, and to which God gave His Holy Spirit.

(3) Because logically there is no reason why one person, operating on his own, should be sure that he has the right doctrine, where faithful Christians throughout the worldwide church and through the ages have nothing useful to say on the matter. It's a rather odd and self-exalting and individualistic (and non-self-distrusting) way to look at things. "What? Did the word of God come out from you? or did it come to you only?" (I Cor. 14:36) Paul writes to the Corinthians. (The whole passage, about order and authority in the Church, and mutual submission, is of the utmost relevance here!!)

(4) Because that approach (me and God alone; me and the Bible alone) is itself very, very culturally specific, partaking of the nature of radical American-influenced individualism, in a way that (IMO) does not match the Bible, the historic worldwide church, the whole structure of Biblical narrative, or historic Biblical theology. If our hermaneutical presuppositions too closely conform to the general culture of the modern age, or of our cultures's heritage that ought to make us a tad suspicious about the idea that those are self-evidently true and biblical hermaneutical principles, it seems to me.

(5) Because, in any case, I utterly disbelieve in the possibility of people reading a text -- here the Bible in particular -- with completely culture-free and presupposition-free lenses such that, amidst the historic theological efforts of Christian believers, one's own reading is somehow apart from any prior mindset one brings to it, or prior history of theology. I disbelieve this as a general philsophical, or epistemological matter. But I also believe it because of the specific, historical, character of the Bible, and of God's working with His people in history.
No doubt many will disagree! :lol:

In friendship, :hug:
Scruffy Kid

teddyv
Mar 1st 2010, 08:21 PM
Here are four good reasons, as I see it (and it's by no means an exhaustive list!!):

(1) Because the word of God is given to the church, to Israel, to the community of the redeemed, and because Christ, and God, established a redeemed community, that we might correct and learn from one another.

(2) Because each of us is flawed and needs correction from others, and from the historic legacy of the body of Christian people (the Church) which God promised to keep from error, and to which God gave His Holy Spirit.

(3) Because logically there is no reason why one person, operating on his own, should be sure that he has the right doctrine, where faithful Christians throughout the worldwide church and through the ages have nothing useful to say on the matter. It's a rather odd and self-exalting and individualistic (and non-self-distrusting) way to look at things. "What? Did the word of God come out from you? or did it come to you only?" (I Cor. 14:36) Paul writes to the Corinthians. (The whole passage, about order and authority in the Church, and mutual submission, is of the utmost relevance here!!)

(4) Because that approach (me and God alone; me and the Bible alone) is itself very, very culturally specific, partaking of the nature of radical American-influenced individualism, in a way that (IMO) does not match the Bible, the historic worldwide church, the whole structure of Biblical narrative, or historic Biblical theology. If our hermaneutical presuppositions too closely conform to the general culture of the modern age, or of our cultures's heritage that ought to make us a tad suspicious about the idea that those are self-evidently true and biblical hermaneutical principles, it seems to me.

(5) Because, in any case, I utterly disbelieve in the possibility of people reading a text -- here the Bible in particular -- with completely culture-free and presupposition-free lenses such that, amidst the historic theological efforts of Christian believers, one's own reading is somehow apart from any prior mindset one brings to it, or prior history of theology. I disbelieve this as a general philsophical, or epistemological matter. But I also believe it because of the specific, historical, character of the Bible, and of God's working with His people in history.
No doubt many will disagree! :lol:

In friendship, :hug:
Scruffy Kid
I disagree because 4 is not 5! J/K!

Jemand
Mar 1st 2010, 08:53 PM
Dear Jemand (and fellow posters),
Welcome to Bibleforums! :hug:
It's great to have you here! :pp :pp :pp
As I recall, I've much appreciated a number of your posts over the past month or two.

However, I would like to give you some honest feedback on your OP in this thread. You wrote:




How the OP came across to me

I want to start by explaining that I'm not a Calvinist, nor particularly sympathetic to Calvinism. I in fact place a lot of emphasis on human free will, that I find the tenets of TULIP (5-point or Dortian Calvinism) false and bad, and that, through much of my life I have disliked what I supposed to be the Calvinist approach. I expect my theology may be closer to yours than grit's at many points.

Notwithstanding all that, I found your OP -- and even the title of the thread -- unnecessarily provocative and, as a matter of fact, insulting and unfair to Calvin and Calvinists. This was true in many ways. Another thing that was not my favorite about your post, and subsequent posts you made, was your talking in ways which seemed to imply that your particular reading of Scripture was correct, and that where others interpreted the Scriptures differently they were simply unscriptural.

I think, from various things about your posts in this thread and elsewhere that you really do want to be irenic, and speak respectfully, and be in loving relationship with other Christians, including those you disagree with theologically. But I think the way your started off this thread, and have sometimes spoken since in it, are not in line with your true intentions to get along well with other Christians. That reaction on my part does not reflect general skittishness about vigorous debate, or heated debate on hot button theological topics: I'm perfectly at home with spirited, even heated, debate, about theology and other important matters. It was my reaction specifically to what you posted in this thread.

I myself :blush: have made the mistake of allowing my strong feelings to lead to inappropriately strong words, many times, including here at Bibleforums, despite a very determined effort to not allow myself to make that mistake. :cry: We are all rather flawed persons: in fact, "depraved" throughout the "totality" of our humanity -- as I expect you will readily agree. So I'm certainly not in a great position to criticize others too much. I'm a rather scruffy kid, and need, constantly, to keep that in mind (together with a greater emphasis on God's love and grace!). Still, I do think it is fair and appropriate to let you know that your OP came across to me (as some other remarks of yours in this thread did) -- no defender of nor particular friend to Calvinism -- as pretty insulting, and unfair, and harsh, and sort of arrogant.

(Arrogant along the lines of "whoever does not agree with point X of my interpretation of Scripture does not really accept the Scripture". Of course you didn't say that, in the OP or later posts, but it is sort of the impression I took away. I'm not saying that that is your attitude, of course. I'm just saying that that's how it came across to me, me who is no sympathizer with Calvinism.)



About the idea that I best interpret the Bible on my own

There is one other point I would like to make, concerning your (pen-ult) exit line:

If the five points of Calvinism and Reformed theology are really taught in the Bible, you do not need to read any books other than the Bible to learn them. Stick to the Bible with all tenacity, studying it and praying earnestly every day for God to teach you His truths and to protect you from theological error. The Bible is the word of God; Calvinism is the theology of John Calvin.

This line is, IMO, silly; but widely in accord with non-denominational churches and their adherents. It suggests -- it seems to me -- that the speaker is a sort of infallible pope all on his own. It's sort of as if one were saying "Christians through the ages have made many mistakes; but I, by simply reading the Bible with my pure mind, can easily avoid them all."

But shouldn't our attitude instead be that of Paul (in Gal. 5:25-6:3):

If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not desire vain-glory, provoking one another, envying one another. Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, you who are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering yourself, lest you also be tempted. Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. For if a man thinks himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself.
In fact, I don't think that "you do not need to read any books other than the Bible to learn them. Stick to the Bible with all tenacity, studying it and praying earnestly every day for God to teach you His truths and to protect you from theological error."

Why not?

Here are four good reasons, as I see it (and it's by no means an exhaustive list!!):

(1) Because the word of God is given to the church, to Israel, to the community of the redeemed, and because Christ, and God, established a redeemed community, that we might correct and learn from one another.

(2) Because each of us is flawed and needs correction from others, and from the historic legacy of the body of Christian people (the Church) which God promised to keep from error, and to which God gave His Holy Spirit.

(3) Because logically there is no reason why one person, operating on his own, should be sure that he has the right doctrine, where faithful Christians throughout the worldwide church and through the ages have nothing useful to say on the matter. It's a rather odd and self-exalting and individualistic (and non-self-distrusting) way to look at things. "What? Did the word of God come out from you? or did it come to you only?" (I Cor. 14:36) Paul writes to the Corinthians. (The whole passage, about order and authority in the Church, and mutual submission, is of the utmost relevance here!!)

(4) Because that approach (me and God alone; me and the Bible alone) is itself very, very culturally specific, partaking of the nature of radical American-influenced individualism, in a way that (IMO) does not match the Bible, the historic worldwide church, the whole structure of Biblical narrative, or historic Biblical theology. If our hermaneutical presuppositions too closely conform to the general culture of the modern age, or of our cultures's heritage that ought to make us a tad suspicious about the idea that those are self-evidently true and biblical hermaneutical principles, it seems to me.

(5) Because, in any case, I utterly disbelieve in the possibility of people reading a text -- here the Bible in particular -- with completely culture-free and presupposition-free lenses such that, amidst the historic theological efforts of Christian believers, one's own reading is somehow apart from any prior mindset one brings to it, or prior history of theology. I disbelieve this as a general philsophical, or epistemological matter. But I also believe it because of the specific, historical, character of the Bible, and of God's working with His people in history.
No doubt many will disagree! :lol:

In friendship, :hug:
Scruffy Kid

Scruffy Kid,

Thank you for sharing with me how my post came across to you. You are certainly correct in thinking that I did not intend for it to come across in that manner. Indeed, your interpretation of it as a whole was very different from what I was attempting to convey.

I certainly do not believe that I have all the correct answers and interpretations. And I certainly do not believe that the reading and study of the works of other Christians is unimportant to learning the Bible. I have a fairly large library in my home, and this library includes many hundreds of volumes of commentaries (over 230 on Romans) written by scholars representing a very wide spectrum of theological thought. It also includes many hundreds of volumes on Christian theology, about one half of which were written by Reformed scholars, and a few thousand other volumes on matters pertaining to the Christian church.

It is very easy to be misunderstood even when speaking face to face with close friends who have known us for many years; it is very much easier to be misunderstood by total strangers reading our posts on a message board. I would delete my post if I could, but it is too late.

Jemand
Mar 1st 2010, 09:01 PM
Here is one of my very favorite quotes (even though the words were penned by a Calvinist :D),



In order to be able to expound the Scriptures, and as an aid to your pulpit studies, you will need to be familiar with the commentators: a glorious army, let me tell you, whose acquaintance will be your delight and profit. Of course, you are not such wiseacres as to think or say that you can expound Scripture without assistance from the works of divines and learned men who have laboured before you in the field of exposition. If you are of that opinion, pray remain so, for you are not worth the trouble of conversion, and like a little coterie who think with you, would resent the attempt as an insult to your infallibility. It seems odd, that certain men who talk so much of what the Holy Spirit reveals to themselves, should think so little of what he has revealed to others.




Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Jemand
Mar 1st 2010, 09:16 PM
Jemand, I’m truly trying to be as delicate and kind with this as I may since I dearly love my fellow Christians and mean them well. This above quote is exactly the kind of misreading, miscommunication, and misapplication of both history and Reformed theology (deliberate or otherwise) with which you greatly appear to needlessly mischaracterize and wrongly defame a Christian brother (John Calvin), the Christian faith upon which America was founded (Reformed theology), history in general, and an errant twisting of my own posts.

I did not post regarding a 300 year history of Christianity in America, or even specify which 300 year period was meant, which you, however well-intended or honestly mistaken, then misunderstood and misapplied as specific to some “that 300 year period” of American history. I posted that, “…Reformed theology stood alone among all Christianity for over 300 years as the champion of Bible-centered theology…”, which it did in Europe where it began, from when the first stirrings of a movement toward reforming Christianity from Roman Catholic abuses back to the Bible began, which might rightly be demonstrated from the 14th, 15th, and 16th centuries. I did indeed post that America was founded upon Reformed theology, which is true of Puritan New England and America’s first English colonies in the early 1600’s, of Roanoke, Jamestown, the Plymouth pilgrims, the Massachusetts Bay Colony, and also as representative of New Netherland and New Sweden, even prior to the Calvinistic Great Awakening of Jonathan Edwards and George Whitefield in the 1730’s and 40’s. It might rightly be claimed that America was primarily Calvinistic for it’s first 100 years, but I made no claim, as you counter, that America was without a wide spectrum of theological thought for 300 years. I can’t help but think that your errant reading in this perhaps likewise flavours your mischaracterizations of John Calvin, Reformed theology, and Christian history in general. I trust it is only an honest mistake without malice.

This again simply is not true history in any fashion, even from opponents of Reformed theology who, in expressing a differing opinion from Reformed theology, would nonetheless ardently disagree with your presentation. There is no historian who would not fundamentally credit Erasmus (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erasmus)’ Greek New Testament (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Novum_Instrumentum_omne) as influential in Reformed theology’s emphasis on proper Biblical exegesis and in-depth study of the original languages of the Bible. Nor would any historian discount that the Reformation theology of Luther, Calvin, and all other reformers championing the sovereignty of God was centered specifically on the Holy Word of God over against the man-made traditions established in the Roman Catholic Church at the time. When faced with a choice between the Bible and the Church, they chose the Bible as of far greater authority and reliability for Christian faith and practice.

Yet again, you assert a conclusion that in no way follows from the premise given and logical argumentation. Just because Calvin rightly reads Holy Scripture does not entail either an ignorance or a dismissal of holy predecessors. Calvin himself greatly valued and made extensive use of Christian scholarship that came before him. He proves to be well-read and educated in the “Church Fathers” and was in much agreement with Augustine, whom you mention as influential in your own learning, and was also in great agreement with his contemporary Luther, who also was Reformed and equally emphasized God’s sovereignty and man’s depravity, and whom you also credit as formative in your own Christian thought.

And, though you’re welcome to your opinion of canonization contrary to my own and that of Calvin and Luther, I consider that God’s Holy Scripture is not reliant upon the Church and its authority for canonization, but that the canon of Scripture lies solely under the direction and authority of God Himself, since it’s His Word above any conveyance of the Church. Our Bible does not rest upon what the Church tells us it is, but upon what God tells us it is, and it is His canon, regardless of our varying recognitions. The Christian Scriptures were recognized and used as divinely inspired writings by Christians long before the Roman Catholic Church of the Ante-Nicene Fathers got around to “establishing” them, even if it can be claimed they formally and finally did prior to doing so in response to the Protestant Reformation and Reformed doctrine.

You also appear to fail in recognizing that Calvin continued to revise and update his Institutes of the Christian Religion (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Institutes_of_the_Christian_Religion) throughout the remainder of his life, and that it is still considered as one of half a dozen or so Christian theological writings of preeminence in the history of Christianity, completely sound and orthodox in keeping with the creedal Christianity summarized in the Apostle’s Creed (which form it followed), and as having nothing to do whatsoever with the denials of Christianity found in the cults, as you claim in association.

One might also note that the average human lifespan in Calvin’s day was about 40 years, and this following the Black Death which is estimated to have killed between 30% - 60% of Europe’s population, and the Hundred Years’ War and religious wars of Europe which killed countless thousands of others. 27 was a ripe mature age of educational and spiritual endowment for those so invested in the Word and the Church as graced by God. :hug:

Grit,

Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me. I apologize for misinterpreting your words, “Reformed theology stood alone among all of Christianity for over 300 years as the champion of Bible-centered theology and worship.”

We differ in our opinions on many issues, most importantly of which is the use of the term “Reformed theology.” I am using the term in the more technical and specific sense of the theology of Calvinist churches, which excludes the theology of Lutheran Churches, and hence my capitalization of the word. We also differ greatly on the value of the writings of Calvin. From my perspective, his writings are of no value to the Church beyond their historical value. Furthermore, from my perspective, Calvin’s theology has caused the church immense and irreparable damage. I believe that this is especially true of what are known today as ‘the five points of Calvinism,’ all of which, in my view, explicitly contradict the Old and New Testaments in many hundreds of places.

MaryFreeman
Mar 1st 2010, 11:15 PM
Dear Jemand (and fellow posters),
Welcome to Bibleforums! :hug:
It's great to have you here! :pp :pp :pp
As I recall, I've much appreciated a number of your posts over the past month or two.

However, I would like to give you some honest feedback on your OP in this thread. You wrote:




How the OP came across to me

I want to start by explaining that I'm not a Calvinist, nor particularly sympathetic to Calvinism. I in fact place a lot of emphasis on human free will, that I find the tenets of TULIP (5-point or Dortian Calvinism) false and bad, and that, through much of my life I have disliked what I supposed to be the Calvinist approach. I expect my theology may be closer to yours than grit's at many points.

Notwithstanding all that, I found your OP -- and even the title of the thread -- unnecessarily provocative and, as a matter of fact, insulting and unfair to Calvin and Calvinists. This was true in many ways. Another thing that was not my favorite about your post, and subsequent posts you made, was your talking in ways which seemed to imply that your particular reading of Scripture was correct, and that where others interpreted the Scriptures differently they were simply unscriptural.

I think, from various things about your posts in this thread and elsewhere that you really do want to be irenic, and speak respectfully, and be in loving relationship with other Christians, including those you disagree with theologically. But I think the way your started off this thread, and have sometimes spoken since in it, are not in line with your true intentions to get along well with other Christians. That reaction on my part does not reflect general skittishness about vigorous debate, or heated debate on hot button theological topics: I'm perfectly at home with spirited, even heated, debate, about theology and other important matters. It was my reaction specifically to what you posted in this thread.

I myself :blush: have made the mistake of allowing my strong feelings to lead to inappropriately strong words, many times, including here at Bibleforums, despite a very determined effort to not allow myself to make that mistake. :cry: We are all rather flawed persons: in fact, "depraved" throughout the "totality" of our humanity -- as I expect you will readily agree. So I'm certainly not in a great position to criticize others too much. I'm a rather scruffy kid, and need, constantly, to keep that in mind (together with a greater emphasis on God's love and grace!). Still, I do think it is fair and appropriate to let you know that your OP came across to me (as some other remarks of yours in this thread did) -- no defender of nor particular friend to Calvinism -- as pretty insulting, and unfair, and harsh, and sort of arrogant.

(Arrogant along the lines of "whoever does not agree with point X of my interpretation of Scripture does not really accept the Scripture". Of course you didn't say that, in the OP or later posts, but it is sort of the impression I took away. I'm not saying that that is your attitude, of course. I'm just saying that that's how it came across to me, me who is no sympathizer with Calvinism.)
I felt that some statements weren't very.... er.... nice?.... But I knew instantly when I read them that they were said in love and concern for me.... Others had spoken about them so I felt no need....




This line is, IMO, silly; but widely in accord with non-denominational churches and their adherents. It suggests -- it seems to me -- that the speaker is a sort of infallible pope all on his own. It's sort of as if one were saying "Christians through the ages have made many mistakes; but I, by simply reading the Bible with my pure mind, can easily avoid them all."
Then it is quite disappointing.... sir.... That you never once asked anyone in the nondenom church what they meant when they said that.... And it is not just us who do say that.... What we mean when we say that is that Scripture is the ONLY INFALIABLE source on which to build ANY doctrine.... NOT that WE are.... Or that OUR interpretation of the bible is the way to avoid theological pitfals.... Because we do NOT believe in leaning on our own understanding any more than we would lean on John Calvins....


But shouldn't our attitude instead be that of Paul (in Gal. 5:25-6:3):


If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not desire vain-glory, provoking one another, envying one another. Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, you who are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering yourself, lest you also be tempted. Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. For if a man thinks himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself.

Yes it should....
Shouldn't it?

grit
Mar 1st 2010, 11:55 PM
Grit,

Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me. I apologize for misinterpreting your words, “Reformed theology stood alone among all of Christianity for over 300 years as the champion of Bible-centered theology and worship.”

We differ in our opinions on many issues, most importantly of which is the use of the term “Reformed theology.” I am using the term in the more technical and specific sense of the theology of Calvinist churches, which excludes the theology of Lutheran Churches, and hence my capitalization of the word. We also differ greatly on the value of the writings of Calvin. From my perspective, his writings are of no value to the Church beyond their historical value. Furthermore, from my perspective, Calvin’s theology has caused the church immense and irreparable damage. I believe that this is especially true of what are known today as ‘the five points of Calvinism,’ all of which, in my view, explicitly contradict the Old and New Testaments in many hundreds of places.
Understood, my friend, and thank you for sharing your thoughts and concerns with us.

I'm hopeful you'll appreciate that from my perspective too, who finds in Reformed theology a thoroughly consistent and harmonious exegesis of Christian Scripture, there's nothing quite so disconcerting as any claim that would deny the power, authority, and holiness of Almighty God and the humble reverence due Him and His Word, of any sub-Reformed claim that would counter the orthodoxy of thousands of years of Christian history and God's own revelation of Himself to make of God some man-made lesser god without the sovereign might and dignity to absolutely and surely effect the salvation of those He loves and redeems through the blood of Jesus the Son.

Such an idea, though I'm glad to hope than none here proffer, of a man-made lesser god would indeed be a boost to Satan's designs among the brethren of Christ and throughout the world of humankind, just as it has proven to be in recent Christian history with any who think they have some right to stand in their own 'holiness' before the God for whom sin is an eternal offense due eternal punishment. Far too many today get some unbiblical notion in their head, that God votes for us, Satan votes against us, and we cast the deciding vote; as though God has no power and authority over Satan whatsoever, where in fact God's sovereighty and divine rights over all His Creation is absolute. There are indeed countless thousands of modern folk who wrongly think they have somehow earned Heaven by their decision and choice, where the Scriptures rather firmly assert that all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags (Isa. 64:6 (http://bible.cc/isaiah/64-6.htm)), and that God has chosen us (cf. Deut. 7:6 (http://bible.cc/deuteronomy/7-6.htm); Isa. 41:8 (http://bible.cc/isaiah/41-8.htm); Jn. 15:16 (http://nas-stu.scripturetext.com/john/15.htm); 1 Thess. 1:4 (http://nas-stu.scripturetext.com/1_thessalonians/1.htm); Col. 3:12 (http://bible.cc/colossians/3-12.htm); 1 Pet. 2:9 (http://bible.cc/1_peter/2-9.htm)).
:hug:
_________
Matt. 7:22-23 (http://nas-stu.scripturetext.com/matthew/7.htm), NASB; “Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.’ (cf. 25:41-46 (http://nas-stu.scripturetext.com/matthew/25.htm))

MaryFreeman
Mar 2nd 2010, 03:50 AM
Grit

I do not think that I cast a deciding vote though.... And I do not think that I stand in my own holiness before God.... God showed He is a Sovereign and Holy God by sending His Son of His own free will to die on the cross for the sins of the world and then raised Him again on the third day victorious.... He presented Himself with His Son.... A perfect sacrifice for the sins of the world.... That those who believe in Him go on to eternal life.... I believe that we are continually washed with the word.... I believe that we are sealed by the Holy Spirit.... "Against that day".... THE FACT that I did not nor could I ever do ANYTHING to deserve that.... Makes me want and choose Life all the more....

I take the CHOICE of life vs. death literally and seriously....

It is not a matter of robbing God of His deity to state it is a choice.... He Himself said it....

Deu 30:19 "Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live!
Deu 30:20 You can make this choice by loving the LORD your God, obeying Him, and committing yourself firmly to Him. This is the key to your life. And if you love and obey the LORD, you will live long in the land the LORD swore to give your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob."

Take that and put it in new testament words:

Mat 7:13 "You can enter God's Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way.
Mat 7:14 But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it.

Now why can we choose the wide gate but have no choice in whether or not we take the narrow? And why does God say "choose" if we can't?

Rom 6:16 Don't you realize that you become the slave of whatever you choose to obey? You can be a slave to sin, which leads to death, or you can choose to obey God, which leads to righteous living.

Another instance of choosing.... We can choose to sin or choose to obey.... But we cannot choose to be saved??? We cannot choose the narrow gate but can choose the wide??? God can tell us it is a choice but if we repeat it we are glorifying ourselves???

The FACT that I CANNOT and NEVER HAVE done anything to even merit my Jesus hanging on that cross.... The FACT that a Gracious God set a choice before me though I deserved none....

I am not arrogant nor do I believe it is an affront to God and man alike because I choose to say I chose to take the narrow gate....

I didn't even deserve the choice....

But He gave it anyways.....


And if He is not stating He does not have power and authority over satan when He gives the choice....

Why would making that choice be saying that?

Jemand
Mar 2nd 2010, 05:41 PM
Understood, my friend, and thank you for sharing your thoughts and concerns with us.

I'm hopeful you'll appreciate that from my perspective too, who finds in Reformed theology a thoroughly consistent and harmonious exegesis of Christian Scripture, there's nothing quite so disconcerting as any claim that would deny the power, authority, and holiness of Almighty God and the humble reverence due Him and His Word, of any sub-Reformed claim that would counter the orthodoxy of thousands of years of Christian history and God's own revelation of Himself to make of God some man-made lesser god without the sovereign might and dignity to absolutely and surely effect the salvation of those He loves and redeems through the blood of Jesus the Son.

Such an idea, though I'm glad to hope than none here proffer, of a man-made lesser god would indeed be a boost to Satan's designs among the brethren of Christ and throughout the world of humankind, just as it has proven to be in recent Christian history with any who think they have some right to stand in their own 'holiness' before the God for whom sin is an eternal offense due eternal punishment. Far too many today get some unbiblical notion in their head, that God votes for us, Satan votes against us, and we cast the deciding vote; as though God has no power and authority over Satan whatsoever, where in fact God's sovereighty and divine rights over all His Creation is absolute. There are indeed countless thousands of modern folk who wrongly think they have somehow earned Heaven by their decision and choice, where the Scriptures rather firmly assert that all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags (Isa. 64:6 (http://bible.cc/isaiah/64-6.htm)), and that God has chosen us (cf. Deut. 7:6 (http://bible.cc/deuteronomy/7-6.htm); Isa. 41:8 (http://bible.cc/isaiah/41-8.htm); Jn. 15:16 (http://nas-stu.scripturetext.com/john/15.htm); 1 Thess. 1:4 (http://nas-stu.scripturetext.com/1_thessalonians/1.htm); Col. 3:12 (http://bible.cc/colossians/3-12.htm); 1 Pet. 2:9 (http://bible.cc/1_peter/2-9.htm)).
:hug:
_________
Matt. 7:22-23 (http://nas-stu.scripturetext.com/matthew/7.htm), NASB; “Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.’ (cf. 25:41-46 (http://nas-stu.scripturetext.com/matthew/25.htm))

I am a firm believer that “a thoroughly consistent and harmonious exegesis” of Old and New Testament Scriptures results in the inescapable conclusion that the following doctrines are contrary to the teaching of Scripture:

1. Total Depravity

2. Unconditional election

3. Limited Atonement (Particular Redemption)

4. Irresistible Grace

5. Perseverance of the Saints

I am also a firm believer that man is God’s most noble creation and the God, according to His sovereign will, endued man with the ability to choose to either serve Him or reject Him, both temporally and eternally, and the choice on the part of God to endue man with the ability to choose does not in any way detract from the glory of God.

grit
Mar 2nd 2010, 06:02 PM
I am a firm believer that “a thoroughly consistent and harmonious exegesis” of Old and New Testament Scriptures results in the inescapable conclusion that the following doctrines are contrary to the teaching of Scripture:

1. Total Depravity

2. Unconditional election

3. Limited Atonement (Particular Redemption)

4. Irresistible Grace

5. Perseverance of the Saints
Hmmm... the predominance of Protestant Christianity has clearly demonstarted time and again that this (of the the doctrines of grace) is indeed what Scripture expresses.


I am also a firm believer that man is God’s most noble creation and the God, according to His sovereign will, endued man with the ability to choose to either serve Him or reject Him, both temporally and eternally, and the choice on the part of God to endue man with the ability to choose does not in any way detract from the glory of God.I actually completely agree with this statement. :hug:

Jemand
Mar 2nd 2010, 07:18 PM
None of the Five Points of Calvinism have been found in any writing prior to the Reformation. In Part Four of his work, The Cause of God and Truth, published in 1738, John Gill attempted to disprove this fact by taking quotes out of context from the Ante-Nicene Church Fathers and paraphrasing them to his liking. Some of the paraphrases are so lose that scholars have not been able to identify the passages being paraphrased. Those that have been identified can be read in their original context, and upon doing so, it is seen that the original quotes in their context did not support any of the Five Points of Calvinism. Here is a typical example in which Gill paraphrased Irenaeus to show that he taught the doctrine of the Perseverance of the saints,


Irenaeus has several passages in his writings which favor this doctrine. Allegorizing the history of Lot’s wife, he thus expresses himself: “The church which is the salt of the earth, is left in the confines of the of the earth, suffering the things which are human; and whilst whole members are often taken away from it, perseverat statua salis qued est firmamentum fidei, firmans et praemittens filios ad Patrem ipsorum, ‘ the pillar of salt continues, which is the firmament of faith, confirming and sending before the children to their Father.” He speaks of the grace of love as an abiding one: “Love,” says he, “perfects the perfect man; and he that loves God is perfect both in this world, and in that which is to come; nunquam enim desivimus diligentus Deum, for we never cease loving God, but the more we look upon him, the more we love him.” He also represents the Spirit of God as never leaving the man he has taken up his residence in; for, he says, “The breath of life is one thing, which makes the man animal, and another the quickening Spirit, which makes him spiritual. That which is made is different from him that makes it, wherefore the breath is temporal, to de Pneuma aennaon, the Spirit eternal.” The breath indeed is vigorous for a little while, and remains some time, after which it goes away, leaving it breathless where it was before; but the Spirit encompasses man within and without, ate aei paramonimon oudepote kataleipei auton, as always abiding, and never leaves him.” Yea, he represents it as blasphemy to say, that the members of Christ shall not be saved, but destroyed; for he makes this observation on 1 Corinthians 3:17, If any one defile the temple of God, etc.: Templum igitur Dei in quo Spiritus inhabitat Patris, et membra Christi non participare salutem, sed in perditionem redigi dicere, quomodo non maximae est blasphemiae? Therefore to say, that the temple of God, in which the Spirit of the Father dwells, and the members of Christ, shall not partake of salvation, but be brought down to destruction, is it not the highest blasphemy? Vossius refers to a chapter in Irenaeus, as militating against the doctrine of the saints’ final perseverance, in which are these expressions: “All are of the same nature, and able to retain and do good, and able to lose it again, and not do it.” And a little after, “Disobedience to God, and loss of good, are indeed in the power of man.” But it should be known and observed, that Irenaeus is disputing against those heretics who held, that some men were by nature good, and others evil; whereas, he says, they are all of the same nature, as at first created by God, capable of doing good and evil. Besides, he speaks only of the loss of natural and moral good in the natural man, and not of the loss of spiritual good, or of supernatural grace in the regenerate man. Moreover, Irenaeus has a passage in the very same chapter which seems to favor the saints’ perseverance; for he says, that “the Lord bore all these things for us, that by all things being learned in all, we might be cautious for the future, et perseveremus in omni ejus dilectione, and persevere in all love to him.”
Irenaeus tells us something of great importance about the very early Church, and that is that there was very much uniformity and consistency in what the churches taught and that the churches that the apostles themselves ministered in and to were still present and that should a question of doctrine arise, these genuinely apostolic churches could be consulted for definitive answers.

Irenaeus Against Heresies, Book III
Chap. IV. — The Truth Is to Be Found Nowhere Else but in the Catholic Church, the Sole Depository of Apostolical Doctrine. Heresies Are of Recent Formation, and Cannot Trace Their Origin up to the Apostles.


1. Since therefore we have such proofs, it is not necessary to seek the truth among others which it is easy to obtain from the Church; since the apostles, like a rich man [depositing his money] in a bank, lodged in her hands most copiously all things pertaining to the truth: so that every man, whosoever will, can draw from her the 417 water of life. For she is the entrance to life; all others are thieves and robbers. On this account are we bound to avoid them, but to make choice of the thing pertaining to the Church with the utmost diligence, and to lay hold of the tradition of the truth. For how stands the case? Suppose there arise a dispute relative to some important question among us, should we not have recourse to the most ancient Churches with which the apostles held constant intercourse, and learn from them what is certain and clear in regard to the present question? For how should it be if the apostles themselves had not left us writings? Would it not be necessary, [in that case,] to follow the course of the tradition which they handed down to those to whom they did commit the Churches?

It is absolutely essential for readers to understand that when this work was written, sometime between the years of 182-188, the “Catholic” church was NOT the Roman Catholic Church that we have today and that none of the doctrines that distinguish the Roman Catholic Church from our Protestant churches had yet been introduced into the Church. Gnosticism, however, was attempting to make inroads into the Church and Irenaeus was especially concerned with refuting the heresies of Gnosticism and keeping them out of the Church. Irenaeus very strictly adhered to the teachings of the genuinely apostolic churches that were still present in his day, and those teachings included the teaching of conditional security. I am going to quote a fairly lengthy portion from the writings of Irenaeus so that you can see clearly that not only did Irenaeus teach conditional security, but that he understood Paul to have taught it, and so that you can see for yourselves how Irenaeus defended the doctrine of conditional security. (Quotes to follow in my post below)

Jemand
Mar 2nd 2010, 07:21 PM
Irenaeus Against Heresies, Book IV
Chap. XXVII — The Sins of the Men of Old Time, Which Incurred the Displeasure of God, Were, by His Providence, Committed to Writing, That We Might Derive Instruction Thereby, and Not Be Filled with Pride. We Must Not, Therefore, Infer That There Was Another God Than He Whom Christ Preached; We Should Rather Fear, Lest the One and the Same God Who Inflicted Punishment on the Ancients, Should Bring Down Heavier upon Us.

1. As I have heard from a certain presbyter, who had heard it from those who had seen the apostles, and from those who had been their disciples, the punishment [declared] in Scripture was sufficient for the ancients in regard to what they did without the Spirit’s guidance. For as God is no respecter of persons, He inflicted a proper punishment on deeds displeasing to Him. As in the case of David, when he suffered persecution from Saul for righteousness’ sake, and fled from King Saul, and would not avenge himself of his enemy, he both sung the advent of Christ, and instructed the nations in wisdom, and did everything after the Spirit’s guidance, and pleased God. But when his lust prompted him to take Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah, the Scripture said concerning him, “Now, the thing (sermo) which David had done appeared wicked in the eyes of the Lord;” and Nathan the prophet is sent to him, pointing out to him his crime, in order that he, passing sentence upon and condemning himself, might obtain mercy and forgiveness from Christ: “And [Nathan] said to him, There were two men in one city; the one rich, and the other poor. The rich man had exceeding many flocks and herds; but the poor man had nothing, save one little ewe-lamb, which he possessed, and nourished up; and it had been with him and with his children together: it did eat of his own bread, and drank of his cup, and was to him as a daughter. And there came a guest unto the rich man; and he spared to take of the flock of his own ewe-lambs, and from the herds of his own oxen, to entertain the guest; but he took the ewe-lamb of the poor man, and set it before the man that had come unto him. And David’s anger was greatly kindled against the man; and he said to Nathan, As the Lord liveth, the man that hath done this thing shall surely die (filius mortis est): and he shall restore the lamb fourfold, because he hath done this thing, and because he had no pity for the poor man. And Nathan said unto him, Thou art the man who hast done this.” And then he proceeds with the rest [of the narrative], upbraiding him, and recounting God’s benefits towards him, and [showing him] how much his conduct had displeased the Lord. For [he declared] that works of this nature were not pleasing to God, but that great wrath was suspended over his house. David, however, was struck with remorse on heating this, and exclaimed, “I have sinned against the Lord;” and he sung a penitential psalm, waiting for the coming of the Lord, who washes and makes clean the man who had 499 been fast bound with [the chain of] sin. In like manner it was with regard to Solomon, while he continued to judge uprightly, and to declare the wisdom of God, and built the temple as the type of truth, and set forth the glories of God, and announced the peace about to come upon the nations, and prefigured the kingdom of Christ, and spake three thousand parables about the Lord’s advent, and five thousand songs, singing praise to God, and expounded the wisdom of God in creation, [discoursing] as to the nature of every tree, every herb, and of all fowls, quadrupeds, and fishes; and he said, “Will God whom the heavens cannot contain, really dwell with men upon the earth?” And he pleased God, and was the admiration of all; and all kings of the earth sought an interview with him (quaerebant faciem ejus) that they might hear the wisdom which God had conferred upon him. The queen of the south, too, came to him from the ends of the earth, to ascertain the wisdom that was in him: she whom the Lord also referred to as one who should rise up in the judgment with the nations of those men who do hear His words, and do not believe in Him, and should condemn them, inasmuch as she submitted herself to the wisdom announced by the servant of God, while these men despised that wisdom which proceeded directly from the Son of God. For Solomon was a servant, but Christ is indeed the Son of God, and the Lord of Solomon. While, therefore, he served God without blame, and ministered to His dispensations, then was he glorified: but when he took wives from all nations, and permitted them to set up idols in Israel, the Scripture spake thus concerning him: “And King Solomon was a lover of women, and he took to himself foreign women; and it came to pass, when Solomon was old, his heart was not perfect with the Lord his God. And the foreign women turned away his heart after strange gods. And Solomon did evil in the sight of the Lord: he did not walk after the Lord, as did David his father. And the Lord was angry with Solomon; for his heart was not perfect with the Lord, as was the heart of David his father.” The Scripture has thus sufficiently reproved him, as the presbyter remarked, in order that no flesh may glory in the sight of the Lord.

2. It was for this reason, too, that the Lord descended into the regions beneath the earth, preaching His advent there also, and [declaring] the remission of sins received by those who believe in Him. Now all those believed in Him who had hope towards Him, that is, those who proclaimed His advent, and submitted to His dispensations, the righteous men, the prophets, and the patriarchs, to whom He remitted sins in the same way as He did to us, which sins we should not lay to their charge, if we would not despise the grace of God. For as these men did not impute unto us (the Gentiles) our transgressions, which we wrought before Christ was manifested among us, so also it is not right that we should lay blame upon those who sinned before Christ’s coming. For “all men come short of the glory of God,” and are not justified of themselves, but by the advent of the Lord, — they who earnestly direct their eyes towards His light. And it is for our instruction that their actions have been committed to writing, that we might know, in the first place, that our God and theirs is one, and that sins do not please Him although committed by men of renown; and in the second place, that we should keep from wickedness. For if these men of old time, who preceded us in the gifts [bestowed upon them], and for whom the Son of God had not yet suffered, when they committed any sin and served fleshly lusts, were rendered objects of such disgrace, what shall the men of the present day suffer, who have despised the Lord’s coming, and become the slaves of their own lusts? And truly the death of the Lord became [the means of] healing and remission of sins to the former, but Christ shall not die again in behalf of those who now commit sin, for death shall no more have dominion over Him; but the Son shall come in the glory of the Father, requiring from His stewards and dispensers the money which He had entrusted to them, with usury; and from those to whom He had given most shall He demand most. We ought not, therefore, as that presbyter remarks, to be puffed up, nor be severe upon those of old time, but ought ourselves to fear, lest perchance, after [we have come to] the knowledge of Christ, if we do things displeasing to God, we obtain no further forgiveness of sins, but be shut out from His kingdom. And therefore it was that Paul said, “For if [God] spared not the natural branches, [take heed] lest He also spare not thee, who, when thou wert a wild olive tree, wert grafted into the fatness of the olive tree, and wert made a partaker of its fatness.”

3. Thou wilt notice, too, that the transgressions of the common people have been described in like manner, not for the sake of those who did then transgress, but as a means of instruction unto us, and that we should understand that it is one and the same God against whom these men sinned, and against whom certain persons do now transgress from among those who profess to have believed in Him. But this also, [as the presbyter states,] has Paul declared most plainly in the Epistle to the Corinthians, when he says, “Brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and were all baptized unto Moses in the sea, and did all eat the same spiritual meat, and did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual rock that followed them; and the rock was Christ. But with many of them God was not well pleased, for they were overthrown in the wilderness. These things were for our example (in figuram nostri), to the intent that we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted; neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them, as it is written: The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play. Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them also did, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand. Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents. Neither murmur ye, as some of them murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer. But all these things happened to them in a figure, and were written for our admonition, upon whom the end of the world (saeculorum) is come. Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth, take heed lest he fall.”

newinchrist4now
Mar 2nd 2010, 07:29 PM
Are we to follow Irenaeus or Scripture

th1bill
Mar 2nd 2010, 07:32 PM
This string is a perfect example of why I never argue with Calvinists and Armenians over their basic concepts. Personally, I am a Biblicist. There are Biblical foundations for all three positions and since arguing any of the three is not in accordance with our final command from Christ I can see no point in the argument. Folks from all three positions will go to Heaven and many from all three positions will go to Hell. I can find no grounds after 19+ years of study for any of them to enter Hell or Heaven on the basis of their Theological positions.

I wish you gents well but it looks a lot like Satan has you ignoring the Great Commission.

newinchrist4now
Mar 2nd 2010, 07:33 PM
I really don't see how the Great commission applies here at all.

Jemand
Mar 2nd 2010, 07:59 PM
Are we to follow Irenaeus or Scripture

I choose to believe the Scriptures, but in order to believe them, I must understand them. Irenaeus tells us that there was very much uniformity and consistency in what the churches taught and that the churches that the apostles themselves ministered in and to were still present and that should a question of doctrine arise, these genuinely apostolic churches could be consulted for definitive answers. Therefore, if I arrive at a very different understanding of the Scriptures than did any of the Early Church Fathers, it is very likely that my understanding is incorrect.

newinchrist4now
Mar 2nd 2010, 08:04 PM
Not necessarily, there are Church Fathers not perfect. As I said when I looked at Scripture alone I found in them the doctrines of Grace and the five points before I even knew what they were called. Just because they came before does not make them right

MaryFreeman
Mar 2nd 2010, 08:05 PM
Are we to follow Irenaeus or Scripture
Are we to follow Calvin or Scripture?

NOTE: I am not mocking you.... I am just saying that we should NEVER ever rely totally on ANY HUMAN BEINGS interpretation of the Scripture.... But to take what said human being shows us to the Infaliable One....

And see what He says.....

MaryFreeman
Mar 2nd 2010, 08:07 PM
Not necessarily, there are Church Fathers not perfect. As I said when I looked at Scripture alone I found in them the doctrines of Grace and the five points before I even knew what they were called. Just because they came before does not make them right

Are you perfect?

Just a question brother.... I am not trying to insult....

Also what goes for the Nicine councel goes for all human beings.... Including John Calvin....

newinchrist4now
Mar 2nd 2010, 08:13 PM
Are we to follow Calvin or Scripture?

NOTE: I am not mocking you.... I am just saying that we should NEVER ever rely totally on ANY HUMAN BEINGS interpretation of the Scripture.... But to take what said human being shows us to the Infaliable One....

And see what He says.....

We follow Scripture, a I said I found the Reformed Doctrines in Scripture before I knew what they were called. I don't understand why people think we follow Calvin just because his name is in the mix. Do Lutherans follow Luther, Do Anglicans follow the King Henry, do those that are KJV Only follow King James 1?

No, they are just people associated with the respective theological systems (and here I thought I was catholic, boy was I wrong :) )

newinchrist4now
Mar 2nd 2010, 08:16 PM
Are you perfect?

Almost :D. No :)


Just a question brother.... I am not trying to insult....

Also what goes for the Nicine councel goes for all human beings.... Including John Calvin....

The thing most miss is Calvinism has nothing to do with John Calvin, it has to do with Scripture and a system of theological thought taken directly from Scripture.

MaryFreeman
Mar 2nd 2010, 08:41 PM
We follow Scripture, a I said I found the Reformed Doctrines in Scripture before I knew what they were called. I don't understand why people think we follow Calvin just because his name is in the mix. Do Lutherans follow Luther, Do Anglicans follow the King Henry, do those that are KJV Only follow King James 1?

No, they are just people associated with the respective theological systems (and here I thought I was catholic, boy was I wrong :) )
:lol:

They think so because John Calvin was the first to .... er.... Come up with? ( I do beg a pardon but I don't have a sugary word :lol: sorry....).... The doctrine.... And I will never stop learning.... As long as I am cracking open that bible.... I will learn something new.... My main point..... Is that turn about is fair play....

The theologians of our time and times past are all well and good..... But in the end.... If you want to know what the Author of a book means by what He says.....

Ask the Author.....

MaryFreeman
Mar 2nd 2010, 08:45 PM
We follow Scripture, a I said I found the Reformed Doctrines in Scripture before I knew what they were called. I don't understand why people think we follow Calvin just because his name is in the mix. Do Lutherans follow Luther, Do Anglicans follow the King Henry, do those that are KJV Only follow King James 1?

No, they are just people associated with the respective theological systems (and here I thought I was catholic, boy was I wrong :) )

All I am trying to say :hug: is that NO ONE is perfect....

But the Nicine councel..... And the first century church.... Had first hand knowledge of things we have to search for.... And it seems brother :hug: speaking softly :hug: that it is ok to point out that the Nicine Councel "are not perfect" and ask the question of who or what we need to follow.... But it does not seem ok to turn the question around or to point out that neither was John Calvin....

Please don't be offended Please don't be offended :pray::saint:

Jemand
Mar 2nd 2010, 08:47 PM
Almost :D. No :)



The thing most miss is Calvinism has nothing to do with John Calvin, it has to do with Scripture and a system of theological thought taken directly from Scripture.

If the Five Points of Calvinism are really taught in the Bible, why didn’t anyone see them there for 1500 years? Why did everyone prior to that time see in the Scriptures something very different? What changed in the 16th century causing thousands of people to interpret the Bible in a manner greatly different than it had been interpreted prior to that time?

We are all products, to a very substantial degree, of our environment—including our theological environment. One does not need to read Calvinistic theology to be influenced to believe it. The environment of the very early Church was the environment in which the Apostles themselves taught. As that environment gradually changed, so did the theology. By the 16th century, the theology of the Church was warped, distorted, and largely apostate. The Reformation was a rejection of that warped, distorted, and largely apostate theology, and the replacement of it with a newly conceived theological system that was a product of the 16th century environment and its influence on the interpretation of the Scriptures.

MaryFreeman
Mar 2nd 2010, 08:49 PM
BTW.... All theologies are taken directly from Scripture.....

Including mine.....

And it still is not perfect.....

Yet those who believe in RT..... Calvinism..... The five points.....

Seem to (according to actions mind you, I may be wrong....) be saying theirs is.....

And that others did not get their theology from Scripture....

Apparently I resent that :lol: I am such a silly human :lol:

Freek
Mar 2nd 2010, 08:52 PM
:lol:

They think so because John Calvin was the first to .... er.... Come up with? ( I do beg a pardon but I don't have a sugary word :lol: sorry....).... The doctrine.... And I will never stop learning.... As long as I am cracking open that bible.... I will learn something new.... My main point..... Is that turn about is fair play....

The theologians of our time and times past are all well and good..... But in the end.... If you want to know what the Author of a book means by what He says.....

Ask the Author.....

Problem is, not everybody hears His voice. Where do you think all the doctrines come from? :D

MaryFreeman
Mar 2nd 2010, 08:55 PM
Almost :D. No :)

This is the quote my post on perfection was directed at....

I told you I'm a silly human!:lol:

MaryFreeman
Mar 2nd 2010, 08:57 PM
Problem is, not everybody hears His voice. Where do you think all the doctrines come from? :D

Er.... I don't know.... That is why I take them to the Lord lol....

I fear though that your meaning may well be mistaken....

Someone following in that doctrine or this can still hear the Lords voice....

:hug:

newinchrist4now
Mar 2nd 2010, 09:09 PM
All I am trying to say :hug: is that NO ONE is perfect....

But the Nicine councel..... And the first century church.... Had first hand knowledge of things we have to search for.... And it seems brother :hug: speaking softly :hug: that it is ok to point out that the Nicine Councel "are not perfect" and ask the question of who or what we need to follow.... But it does not seem ok to turn the question around or to point out that neither was John Calvin....

Please don't be offended Please don't be offended :pray::saint:

I'm not, but I don't think those who don't follow Calvinistic thinking understand either. You see it has nothing to do with Calvin, the doctrines of Grace (that is the true title) have been around long before Calvin dating to Augustine and beyond back to Christ so we do not follow Calvin so as to your last post, no turn about is not fair play because there is no turn about to be had.

Those who have studied extensively the Scriptures and in them found the Doctrines of Grace will tell you we follow Christ and not Calvin.

MaryFreeman
Mar 2nd 2010, 09:26 PM
no turn about is not fair play because there is no turn about to be had.

Those who have studied extensively the Scriptures and in them found the Doctrines of Grace will tell you we follow Christ and not Calvin.
See?

How.... brother.... Do you know I'M NOT following Christ? Because I have not found the same thing you have? Because I follow the same thing taught by the Nicene Councel (who did not teach the D.o.G)? I have never read anything from either John Calvin OR the Nicine Councel brother....

And I find the whatever-anyone-wishes-to-call-them exactly what they are....

Imperfect theories.

Just like mine....

:grin:

MaryFreeman
Mar 2nd 2010, 09:30 PM
Jesus said this:

Joh 3:16 "For God loved the world so much that He gave His one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.
Joh 3:17 God sent His Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through Him.



However.... When I look at the Doctrines of Grace....

They refute this....

newinchrist4now
Mar 2nd 2010, 09:35 PM
See?

How.... brother.... Do you know I'M NOT following Christ? Because I have not found the same thing you have? Because I follow the same thing taught by the Nicene Council (who did not teach the D.o.G)? I have never read anything from either John Calvin OR the Nicene Council brother....

Now did I ever say you weren't? Nor would I :)

---------
Some general thoughts:

The problem is because we name our systematic beliefs everyone assumes we aren't following Christ but a person and nothing could be further from the truth.

As Reformed Believers we don't have the luxury of not following the Scriptures, Calvinist get attacked so much by other Christians that we are always in the Scripture explaining things in a reasonable way. In the end only getting accused of following a man, I think that is why Calvinist seem a bit rude sometimes because they are tried of being attacked by those who also claim the name of Christ.

newinchrist4now
Mar 2nd 2010, 09:38 PM
Jesus said this:

Joh 3:16"For God loved the world so much that He gave His one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.
Joh 3:17God sent His Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through Him.



However.... When I look at the Doctrines of Grace....

They refute this....






Context is important. Many tend to take verses by itself and extrapolate from there, here is a good treatment of the subject:


John 3:16 is often utilized out of the context of Jesus’ didactic teaching to Nicodemas, and employed as a proof text for God’s saving love to the entire world.[1] Some Calvinists believe that God is not saving all men here, but does intend a general “saving” love to all men. Some attempt to force John 3:16 within a context of a “general love.” Neither the context, nor the grammar, or the specific use of the words “so” and “gave,” allow for a general love to all men.[2] As Hugh Latimer has stated, “God is not only a private Father, but a common Father unto the whole world, unto all the faithful, be they never so poor and miserable.”[3] As will be demonstrated, the world of the faithful, and they alone, have God as their Father.

First, the text reads, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”[4] The article, ga.r (gar, for) denotes the information previous in the conversation which Jesus is expounding to Nicodemas. The immediate context is taken from the Old Testament passage of the brass serpent in the wilderness for those who would look upon it.[5] The larger context is on regeneration and Jesus’ discourse with Nicodemas—how the Spirit, Son and Father accomplish redemption. The “for” is immediately connected with the objects of the last verse instrumentally; everyone who believers should not perish because God sent his son to those who believe. The “for” of the verse links the thought in the previous verse, 3:15, to verse 16. The “for” is transitive. It is also to be noted that John 3:16 recalls the promise of the prologue seen in 1:12-13 and prepares the reader of the Gospel to encounter God’s expanded realm of salvation, not only for the Jews, but also for the Samaritans and Gentiles in John 4:1-54.[6]

The author of this love is God. The grammar is literally, “so loved God…”[7] The word, “Ou[twj” (houtos) is the emphatically[8] used “so” of the verse.[9] It is not a general love, but an emphatic love[10], of which there is none higher than this.[11] The “so” stresses[12] the aorist tense of the verb “hvga,phsen.” “So” acts as an adverb in this instance, connected vitally as a preceding intensive particle to the verb “love”. As an adverb, it denotes the “degree of intensity” of the verb to be stated. As is often noted, the phrase as a whole (“For, God so loved the world”) is a clause attached to a subordinate result clause (“that He gave…”). This is important since it causes the phrase to stand on its own, except for the connection between the last verse and the word “for.” As with most constructions in the Greek language, the sentence could literally be ripped apart and the words themselves strewn upon the floor. But because word endings are the key to helping us understand the construction, even if we did jumble the words around, the meaning would still be the same. The meaning, then, is quite straight forward in the Greek – not only did God love the world, but He intensely loved the world which is emphatically seen in use of the often neglected adverb Ou[twj.

The particular use of the word “hvga,phsen” (love), is to love something in particular or to “delight in the object”.[13] The “love” spoken of here by the Saviour cannot be a lesser love than that which God loves his elect. The aorist active indicative of “agapao” is the word so common in the Gospels for the highest form of love. It is used here as often in the writings of John (14:23; 17:23; 1 John 3:1; 4:10). It is used of God’s love for his elect (2 Thess. 2:16; Rom. 5:8; Eph. 2:4).[14] If this love in John 3:16 is “so” great as to be towards the whole world, this would cause the love of God to the whole world to be greater than the love He has for His elect. But the Savior states, “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends.” (John 15:13) If this is true, then the love which is spoken of in John 3:16 is the greatest love.[15] Thus, if this is true, and no greater love can be exemplified than this love which causes one to lay one’s life down for his friends, then the “world,” of necessity, is universally saved since God “so loves” it. This is certainly not true. It is true, though, that the love which is stated here is the greatest love God ever had, but it is for His elect.[16]


Turretin rightly states:



The love treated in John 3:16 when it is said that “God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son,” cannot be universal towards each and every one, but special towards a few. (1) It treats of the supreme and immense love of God[17] (http://www.apuritansmind.com/Arminianism/McMahonExegesisOfJohn3_16.htm#_ftn17) (a greater than which is not and cannot be conceived) to those he gave his only begotten. This is evident both from the intensive (epitatike) particle houtos (which has great weight here) and from the thing itself. For no one can have a greater love than to lay down his life for his friends (John 15:13), so no greater love can be found than that by which God (when men were yet enemies) delivered his own Son to death for them. And as Abraham could not more evidently prove his piety to God than by offering up his son as a sacrifice, so God could not more illustriously demonstrate his love to men than by giving up his Son to them as a propitiatory victim (hilastiken). (2) The love by which God gave his Son draws after itself all other things necessary to salvation: “For he that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?” (Rom. 8:32). But not upon each and every one, rather upon the elect alone, he bestows all things with Christ. (3) Therefore the end of that love which God intends is the salvation of those whom he pursues with such love; hence he adds, “For God sent not his son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through him might be saved” (John 3:17). If therefore God sent Christ for that end (that through him the world might be saved) , he must either have failed of his end or the world must be necessarily saved in fact. However it is certain that not the whole world, but only the chosen out of the world are saved; therefore to them properly this love has reference. Nor can it be conceived if a universal love is here under*stood, how such and so great love (which is by far the cause of the greatest and most excellent good, viz., the mission of Christ) can consist with the hatred of innumerable persons whom he willed to pass by and ordain to damnation (to whom he never has revealed either his Son or willed to bestow faith, without which it is set forth in vain). Nor can it be conceived how this love of God can be so greatly commended here which yet remains void and inefficacious on account of the defect of subjective grace, which God has determined to deny.[18] (http://www.apuritansmind.com/Arminianism/McMahonExegesisOfJohn3_16.htm#_ftn18)


An Exegetical Look at John 3:16 (http://www.apuritansmind.com/Arminianism/McMahonExegesisOfJohn3_16.htm)

MaryFreeman
Mar 2nd 2010, 09:45 PM
Now did I ever say you weren't? Nor would I :) You missed my point brother mine.... Look closely at your statement.... You stated first that your doctrine comes from Christ.... Not Calvin.... But when I read the words of Jesus one of the first things He says is that He died on the cross for the sins of the world. Those with Calvinistic thinking will tell me that is not true.... That He died only for the elect....

Er.... Ok....

And what you did say :hug: conveyed what you weren't saying:hug: that all other theories and theologies are wrong and do NOT come from Christ....

I honestly think there is your theology..... There is my theology..... And then there is the truth :lol:

Which is why I must constantly take my theology to the only One who can call Himself infaliable....

Cuz I'm not! Thats my story and I'm sticking to it!



---------
Some general thoughts:

The problem is because we name our systematic beliefs everyone assumes we aren't following Christ but a person and nothing could be further from the truth.

As Reformed Believers we don't have the luxury of not following the Scriptures, Calvinist get attacked so much by other Christians that we are always in the Scripture explaining things in a reasonable way. In the end only getting accused of following a man, I think that is why Calvinist seem a bit rude sometimes because they are tried of being attacked by those who also claim the name of Christ.

Anyone who considers their theology "perfect" starts out rude.... Because they approach people with "Here you are wrong.... Let me teach you the right thing...." I have found by doing that myself that it is the quickest way to turn anyone else away.... I had to realize that I and my theology are not perfect.... Nor am I the only one who has a bit of the truth to add to the table.... Period....

newinchrist4now
Mar 2nd 2010, 09:47 PM
You missed my point brother mine.... Look closely at your statement.... You stated first that your doctrine comes from Christ.... Not Calvin.... But when I read the words of Jesus one of the first things He says is that He died on the cross for the sins of the world. Those with Calvinistic thinking will tell me that is not true.... That He died only for the elect....

Than Christ has failed

MaryFreeman
Mar 2nd 2010, 09:52 PM
Context is important. Many tend to take verses by itself and extrapolate from there, here is a good treatment of the subject:


An Exegetical Look at John 3:16 (http://www.apuritansmind.com/Arminianism/McMahonExegesisOfJohn3_16.htm)If you are telling me I am taking these scriptures out of context brother that is a false accusation.... Please understand that I can throw just as many scriptures at a person as they can throw at me.... I simply choose to believe that Jesus' words are enough....

But if you need more:
Joh 1:29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, "Look! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!
1Jn 2:2 He Himself is the sacrifice that atones for our sins—and not only our sins but the sins of all the world.

Scripture SUPPORTS Scripture brother....

You will not find Scripture that will say anything different than what Jesus said....

And I am a firm believer that you can take Jesus' words to the bank.....

MaryFreeman
Mar 2nd 2010, 09:53 PM
Than Christ has failed

ONYD!

Look brother....

Jesus did NOT fail the world....

THE WORLD FAILED JESUS....

newinchrist4now
Mar 2nd 2010, 09:55 PM
If you are telling me I am taking these scriptures out of context brother that is a false accusation.... Please understand that I can throw just as many scriptures at a person as they can throw at me.... I simply choose to believe that Jesus' words are enough....

But if you need more:
Joh 1:29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, "Look! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!
1Jn 2:2 He Himself is the sacrifice that atones for our sins—and not only our sins but the sins of all the world.

Scripture SUPPORTS Scripture brother....

You will not find Scripture that will say anything different than what Jesus said....

And I am a firm believer that you can take Jesus' words to the bank.....

Well one must still see what Jesus words meant and they were not in English. It requires much study to truly identify what was meant at that time, so yes one can take Jesus words to the Bank but one must be able to figure what bank and where they go, just as when you take your money to the bank you must know were it goes. In other words, one must know the context, it is is not enough to just take a sentence and throw it out and say there it is, the sentence must be understood in context.

newinchrist4now
Mar 2nd 2010, 09:59 PM
ONYD!

Look brother....

Jesus did NOT fail the world....

THE WORLD FAILED JESUS....

If what you propose is correct than he failed, because the world is not saved. So in context either Christ failed or the verse does not mean what you want it to mean. Now I shall be back but Im ust go to the doctor :)

MaryFreeman
Mar 2nd 2010, 10:05 PM
Well one must still see what Jesus words meant and they were not in English. It requires much study to truly identify what was meant at that time, so yes one can take Jesus words to the Bank but one must be able to figure what bank and where they go, just as when you take your money to the bank you must know were it goes. In other words, one must know the context, it is is not enough to just take a sentence and throw it out and say there it is, the sentence must be understood in context.
This is why.... My dear brother.... In all love :hug:.... I do not like talking to those who adhere to reformed theology....

Because they not only question my walk with Christ and my ability to hear Him....

They question my intelegence....

My ability to understand what I am reading :cry:

And my honesty by using the "context" argument....

And have a way of doing so that makes it look like they are :saint: under attack....

I am sorry my brother if this insults you.... Because I am not trying to..... I am trying to say what I have been saying all along....

None of us are perfect and no one has the right to say "I rightly divine the word of God while you do not. "

MaryFreeman
Mar 2nd 2010, 10:10 PM
If what you propose is correct than he failed, because the world is not saved. So in context either Christ failed or the verse does not mean what you want it to mean. Now I shall be back but Im ust go to the doctor :)

Um this is why I stated the world failed Jesus (BTW if the words in John 3:16 are only for the elect.... So are these):

Joh 3:18 "There is no judgment against anyone who believes in Him. But anyone who does not believe in Him has already been judged for not believing in God's one and only Son.
Joh 3:19 And the judgment is based on this fact: God's light came into the world, but people loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil.

So if what YOU propose is true then THE ELECT failed Jesus.... Remember I am following your logic.

Athanasius
Mar 2nd 2010, 10:44 PM
If what you propose is correct than he failed, because the world is not saved. So in context either Christ failed or the verse does not mean what you want it to mean. Now I shall be back but Im ust go to the doctor :)

You're going to have to get more basic than that, as this "assertion" itself is based on far too many a priori commitments to be meaningful. What Mary means is simply this. According to a "non-Reformed" theology (to lack specificity), "the world" is everyone, and everyone has the potential of being saved. Thus, if the world is not saved it is because of man's failure to respond to God, not Jesus' failure to call every man. This is what Mary was trying to get at. On the other hand, this doesn't make sense according to a Reformed theology, in that it's believed that man cannot 'resist God,' and not all men are called by God. Those lucky few Gnostic elect.

It's not terribly difficult, so I don't know why you have to reinforce the perception that reformed "theologians," are brash, pompous idiots who simply assert "the[ir] truth" with no regard for anyone else.

theBelovedDisciple
Mar 2nd 2010, 11:05 PM
God doesnt operate on 'luck'... ;););)

I'm neither Calvanistic nor Reformed theology..

but many will 'label' me as Calvanistic or Reformed...

but I've been called worse...lol...

a label is just that a label....

and I thank God Today.. He taught me.. with no labels Attached..... nor does He put me under the Umbrella of a label or 'title'...

Jesus was never Reformed.. I've learned from Him... I've learned from the Best..

MaryFreeman
Mar 2nd 2010, 11:15 PM
Here is a question....

When we tell all the world that God loves them so much He gave His Son.....

Which ones are we lying to?

Or.... Another way....

How do we know which sinners we are lying to and which ones we are not lying to when we tell all of them about John 3:16?

NOTE: I am not being sarcastic.....

The art of prevarication is a hard one to learn.....

And even harder to maintain....

BUT this is the gospel we are supposed to go and preach to "all the world"....

So if John 3:16 does not mean what I think it means....

I am not going to quote it to another living soul....

Because God said "Thou shalt not lie."

MaryFreeman
Mar 2nd 2010, 11:27 PM
You're going to have to get more basic than that, as this "assertion" itself is based on far too many a priori commitments to be meaningful. What Mary means is simply this. According to a "non-Reformed" theology (to lack specificity), "the world" is everyone, and everyone has the potential of being saved. Thus, if the world is not saved it is because of man's failure to respond to God, not Jesus' failure to call every man. This is what Mary was trying to get at. On the other hand, this doesn't make sense according to a Reformed theology, in that it's believed that man cannot 'resist God,' and not all men are called by God. Those lucky few Gnostic elect. Just like I stated in a previous post.... Why do we get to choose the wide road.... And its gate.... But we do NOT get to choose the narrow one.... And its gate? We can choose death.... But we cannot choose life? And if God states we have a choice.... And Jesus states we have a choice.... Why then is it that we are arrogant people who are "saying God has no power over satan" if we confess that we CHOSE ?? I made a choice I did NOT deserve to be given in the first place.... DOUBLY SO being a Gentile....


It's not terribly difficult, so I don't know why you have to reinforce the perception that reformed "theologians," are brash, pompous idiots who simply assert "the[ir] truth" with no regard for anyone else.

I would hope to shout I have not done this..... But who knows.... Five minutes without Jesus and I'd prolly do somethiing really stupid lol....

MaryFreeman
Mar 2nd 2010, 11:38 PM
Joh 3:16 For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He [even] gave up His only begotten (unique) Son, so that whoever believes in (trusts in, clings to, relies on) Him shall not perish (come to destruction, be lost) but have eternal (everlasting) life.

Joh 3:16ουτως γαρ ηγαπησεν ο θεος τον κοσμον ωστε τον υιον αυτου τον μονογενη εδωκεν ινα πας ο πιστευων εις αυτον μη αποληται αλλ εχη ζωην αιωνιον

Joh 3:16

כי־אהבה רבה אהב האלהים את־העולם עד־אשר נתן את־בנו את־יחידו למען אשר לא־יאבד כל־המאמין בו כי אם־יחיה חיי עולם׃


Joh 3:16For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Joh 3:16"For God loved the world so much that He gave His one and only
Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.

Greek, Hebrew, Old English, Modern American English, And AMPLIFIED just for fun....

And all of them say the same thing.

newinchrist4now
Mar 3rd 2010, 02:58 AM
This is why.... My dear brother.... In all love :hug:.... I do not like talking to those who adhere to reformed theology....

Because they not only question my walk with Christ and my ability to hear Him....

They question my intelegence....

My ability to understand what I am reading :cry:

And my honesty by using the "context" argument....

And have a way of doing so that makes it look like they are :saint: under attack....

I am sorry my brother if this insults you.... Because I am not trying to..... I am trying to say what I have been saying all along....

None of us are perfect and no one has the right to say "I rightly divine the word of God while you do not. "

So are you the only one who can start threads that question the faith of other believers and than say they are wrong, yet when they come back and defend themselves you bristle. Double standard perhaps? Let me give you an example: In the thread you had closed you condemned a good portion of believers because they didn't take Jesus at His words, instead of reasoning together you passed judgment before you gave anyone else a chance.

You tell me I'm wrong, but when I disagree and so another side all of a sudden we are the bad guy. When trying to give a defense and explanation you reject it out of hand and you wonder why Calvinistic believers are like they are? They been through it so many times that they are tried of being consider lesser because they have studied and came to a different conclusion and then when ask are shoot down. I don't say none of this with malice, I say it out of concern that Christian are so willing to attack other rather well.

newinchrist4now
Mar 3rd 2010, 03:00 AM
Joh 3:16 For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He [even] gave up His only begotten (unique) Son, so that whoever believes in (trusts in, clings to, relies on) Him shall not perish (come to destruction, be lost) but have eternal (everlasting) life.

Joh 3:16ουτωςγαρηγαπησενοθεοςτονκοσμον ωστετον υιοναυτουτονμονογενηεδωκεν ιναπαςοπιστευων ειςαυτον μηαποληταιαλλεχηζωηναιωνιον

Joh 3:16

כי־אהבה רבה אהב האלהים את־העולם עד־אשר נתן את־בנו את־יחידו למען אשר לא־יאבד כל־המאמין בו כי אם־יחיה חיי עולם׃


Joh 3:16For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.



Joh 3:16"For God loved the world so much that He gave His one and only
Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.

Greek, Hebrew, Old English, Modern American English, And AMPLIFIED just for fun....

And all of them say the same thing.



Here's another example, if I even attempt to answer (which I did) you will bristle and tell me I am wrong, but I and many reformed believers are expected to take it

Athanasius
Mar 3rd 2010, 03:07 AM
Here's another example, if I even attempt to answer (which I did) you will bristle and tell me I am wrong, but I and many reformed believers are expected to take it

I don't think playing the victim is really necessary:rolleyes:

newinchrist4now
Mar 3rd 2010, 03:08 AM
I'm not playing anything this comes from many observations over many places and I don't play the victim card. I don't want to be offensive, so Mary I am sorry if it came off that way.

Athanasius
Mar 3rd 2010, 03:16 AM
I'm not playing anything this comes from many observations over many places and I don't play the victim card. I don't want to be offensive, so Mary I am sorry if it came off that way.

Come on now, you're refusing to answer on the basis that all those who adhere to a non-Reformed position attack those who are Reformed (that's certainly the implication). I can understand if you don't want to go back and forth with Mary, but to bring everyone else "into it," that's not fair. No one's "attacking" you just because you're Reformed. But I will say that there is quite a dislike of the Reformed position because many of its proponents are extremely arrogant. If that reflects back onto you, or any other Reformed individual. Well, that's not right.

newinchrist4now
Mar 3rd 2010, 03:26 AM
No I am not refusing to answer, if you read my post you'll see I said I already did. What I said was if I did I would be attacked yet again of having the wrong view and I am still not sure if I am a Calvinist yet fully.

Athanasius
Mar 3rd 2010, 03:36 AM
No I am not refusing to answer, if you read my post you'll see I said I already did. What I said was if I did I would be attacked yet again of having the wrong view and I am still not sure if I am a Calvinist yet fully.


"I can understand if you don't want to go back and forth with Mary, but to bring everyone else 'into it,' that's not fair."

newinchrist4now
Mar 3rd 2010, 03:44 AM
if that's what you think fine

Amos_with_goats
Mar 3rd 2010, 03:46 AM
Newinchrist4now and I both like turkey bacon!

MaryFreeman
Mar 3rd 2010, 04:46 AM
Here's another example, if I even attempt to answer (which I did) you will bristle and tell me I am wrong, but I and many reformed believers are expected to take it
Bristle?

How do you know I am bristling? I am actually sitting slackjawed....

:eek:<---- Something like this..... Except I'm not blue.... :lol:....

See? I try and try to say things.... And I try not to offend while I do it....

And I end up offending anyways....

:rolleyes:

MaryFreeman
Mar 3rd 2010, 04:52 AM
No I am not refusing to answer, if you read my post you'll see I said I already did. What I said was if I did I would be attacked yet again of having the wrong view and I am still not sure if I am a Calvinist yet fully.
I am not attacking you!!!! AARRRRRGGGG!!!

I even tell you the things I say are not meant to offend....

I say a lot that is merely food for thought!

Now I did let my temper loose on another thread....

I didn't even expect it! Tis the Cherokee :rolleyes:.... My bane....

When I am wrong..... I am a big girl and I apologize....

However.... You didn't answer a single thing I asked you to think about....

And now you are acting like a martyr brother....

That is just too much....

My husband just met a Pakistani preacher.... used to be muslim.... HE can tell you all about a martyr he watched die for his faith.... After so much horrid cruelty.... And the man was bedridden to start with.... Please don't do that.... You have no idea what martyrdom is....

MaryFreeman
Mar 3rd 2010, 04:53 AM
Newinchrist4now and I both like turkey bacon!
How about chocolate frosties?

newinchrist4now
Mar 3rd 2010, 04:55 AM
Nor did I say I did now did I? It wasn't me your attacking but the reformed beliefs. Anyway there is nothing more to be said. Go with God and be blessed

MaryFreeman
Mar 3rd 2010, 05:00 AM
So are you the only one who can start threads that question the faith of other believers and than say they are wrong, yet when they come back and defend themselves you bristle. Double standard perhaps? Let me give you an example: In the thread you had closed you condemned a good portion of believers because they didn't take Jesus at His words, instead of reasoning together you passed judgment before you gave anyone else a chance. Now see.... That is not the truth goofy guy.... I can even go back to that thread and post here WHAT I SAID.... I condemned NO ONE.... And the thread got closed due to someone else's manner with you :eek:..... I said that IF RT teaches ANYTHING that goes against JESUS OWN WORDS.... I don't want it.... And I don't..... But I never ever condemned anyone....


You tell me I'm wrong, but when I disagree and so another side all of a sudden we are the bad guy. When trying to give a defense and explanation you reject it out of hand and you wonder why Calvinistic believers are like they are? They been through it so many times that they are tried of being consider lesser because they have studied and came to a different conclusion and then when ask are shoot down. I don't say none of this with malice, I say it out of concern that Christian are so willing to attack other rather well.Don't ok? Don't do this..... I understand if you don't want to have a go with what I post.... Then just don't..... But don't accuse me of attacking you when I share an honest feeling with you....

MaryFreeman
Mar 3rd 2010, 05:02 AM
Nor did I say I did now did I? It wasn't me your attacking but the reformed beliefs. Anyway there is nothing more to be said. Go with God and be blessed
:rolleyes: If it is the reformed beliefs I am attacking brother why are YOU so offended? And I merely posted scripture.... And we were debating.... And I followed your logic.... And now you are upset with me :cry:.....

Amos_with_goats
Mar 3rd 2010, 05:04 AM
How about chocolate frosties?

Yes, very much so. I do wonder why they give you those weird spoons with them? Ever notice that? The spoons they give you with chocolate frosties have sharp edges that can cut your lips.... if you are not careful... which I am not.

MaryFreeman
Mar 3rd 2010, 05:22 AM
Yes, very much so. I do wonder why they give you those weird spoons with them? Ever notice that? The spoons they give you with chocolate frosties have sharp edges that can cut your lips.... if you are not careful... which I am not.

:lol: You are a blessing....

I love frosties.... I just don't use the spoons....

Amos_with_goats
Mar 3rd 2010, 05:27 AM
:lol: You are a blessing....

I love frosties.... I just don't use the spoons....

Wow, I tried using my fingers once... they asked me to leave the restrauant. I am glad you are getting away with it. I have concidered keeping a long tea spoon in my 'man purse' so that I will have it with me for just such a purpose.

MaryFreeman
Mar 3rd 2010, 05:31 AM
Wow, I tried using my fingers once... they asked me to leave the restrauant. I am glad you are getting away with it. I have concidered keeping a long tea spoon in my 'man purse' so that I will have it with me for just such a purpose.
A straw.... Amos.... :rofl: I use a straw.... Most times.... I guess there is a time or two I use the spoon.... I remember when the ice cream truck used to sell malts.... And they gave you one of those little wooden things that looked like canoe paddles with shortened handles.... :lol:

Radagast
Mar 3rd 2010, 12:37 PM
If the Five Points of Calvinism are really taught in the Bible, why didn’t anyone see them there for 1500 years? Why did everyone prior to that time see in the Scriptures something very different? What changed in the 16th century causing thousands of people to interpret the Bible in a manner greatly different than it had been interpreted prior to that time?

I must say, I found your OP rather inappropriate. It quoted no Scripture, argued no case, and misrepresented history (John Calvin was a French Roman Catholic politician? Really? He may have been born Catholic, but so was Luther. And "pastor/theologian" is probably a more accurate label than "politician").

It seems that your sole purpose was to stir up strife and conflict, and, sadly, you seem to have succeeded. :(

As to "why didn’t anyone see them there for 1500 years?", many of Calvin's ideas were already present in, for example, the writing of Augustine, over 1100 years earlier. That doesn't prove that they are right, but it does demonstrate that they didn't suddenly appear in 16th century Switzerland.

Now many people here obviously disagree with Reformed Theology. The Christian way to express such disagreement is to point out, in a loving and friendly way, how the Reformed use of Scripture (http://www.prca.org/cd_index.html) is wrong. It is neither loving nor helpful to toss around broad accusations of "quoting Scripture out of context" without explaining how they are out of context.

Radagast
Mar 3rd 2010, 01:15 PM
The problem with being a Calvinist is that, if you aren't careful, you wind up denying free will completely, and then half the Bible no longer makes sense. How can you say "repent and believe" to someone with no free will?

The problem with being a non-Calvinist is that you wind up saying things like "we failed Jesus" -- in other words, Jesus only 50% saved us, and the other 50% we have to do ourselves. That doesn't work out very well either.

Clearly some of the issues here genuinely difficult. We can't deny the omnipotence of God, but we can't deny free will either (at least, free will in some sense). The Bible tells us very clearly that "He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all men might believe" (John 1:7), but you just have to look around to see that all men don't believe.

That requires somer explanation, and the explanation has to bring together texts like Romans 9:15-16 ("For he says to Moses, 'I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.' It does not, therefore, depend on man's desire or effort, but on God's mercy.") and 1 Timothy 4:10 ("...we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, and especially of those who believe.") and a host of others. It is surely arrogant to say the answers are easy, and it is equally true that the holes in the other guy's argument always seem larger than the holes in one's own.

But surely a bunch of Christians who love God, and love the Bible, and love each other should be able to talk through these issues in a friendly and honest way?

MaryFreeman
Mar 3rd 2010, 01:46 PM
The problem with being a Calvinist is that, if you aren't careful, you wind up denying free will completely, and then half the Bible no longer makes sense. How can you say "repent and believe" to someone with no free will?

The problem with being a non-Calvinist is that you wind up saying things like "we failed Jesus" -- in other words, Jesus only 50% saved us, and the other 50% we have to do ourselves. That doesn't work out very well either.

Clearly some of the issues here genuinely difficult. We can't deny the omnipotence of God, but we can't deny free will either (at least, free will in some sense). The Bible tells us very clearly that "He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all men might believe" (John 1:7), but you just have to look around to see that all men don't believe.

That requires somer explanation, and the explanation has to bring together texts like Romans 9:15-16 ("For he says to Moses, 'I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.' It does not, therefore, depend on man's desire or effort, but on God's mercy.") and 1 Timothy 4:10 ("...we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, and especially of those who believe.") and a host of others. It is surely arrogant to say the answers are easy, and it is equally true that the holes in the other guy's argument always seem larger than the holes in one's own.

But surely a bunch of Christians who love God, and love the Bible, and love each other should be able to talk through these issues in a friendly and honest way?

First.... And I love ya really.... But many have already chided the op.... Tis like beating a dead dog :lol:....

Second.... When I say we failed Jesus.... I mean that He came and did what He was to do 100%....

Non acceptance is the fault of the person who loves darkness more than the Light....

Jesus did not fail.... We did.... See? He saved the world from sin.... But some in the world wanted to stay in sin..... Still do..... Thus.... It is their fault....

MaryFreeman
Mar 3rd 2010, 01:53 PM
I must say this though Rad,

You are right about discussing things in a friendly loving way....

grit
Mar 3rd 2010, 03:24 PM
None of the Five Points of Calvinism have been found in any writing prior to the Reformation.
This simply is not true, friend, since essentially Calvinism, including the "Five Points" summarized in defense against the Remonstrants (found heretical by every avenue of the Church at the time), is extensively cataloged with direct Scriptural reference with which the Reformers were consistently enamoured as the hallmark of sola Scriptura, against the extra-Scriptural, man-made doctrines of Roman Catholic traditions and indulgent abuses that had so corrupted Christian sensibility for ages.

Irenaeus tells us something of great importance about the very early Church, and that is that there was very much uniformity and consistency in what the churches taught and that the churches that the apostles themselves ministered in and to were still present and that should a question of doctrine arise, these genuinely apostolic churches could be consulted for definitive answers.

It is absolutely essential for readers to understand that when this work was written, sometime between the years of 182-188, the “Catholic” church was NOT the Roman Catholic Church that we have today and that none of the doctrines that distinguish the Roman Catholic Church from our Protestant churches had yet been introduced into the Church... Irenaeus very strictly adhered to the teachings of the genuinely apostolic churches that were still present in his day…

I choose to believe the Scriptures, but in order to believe them, I must understand them. Irenaeus tells us that there was very much uniformity and consistency in what the churches taught and that the churches that the apostles themselves ministered in and to were still present and that should a question of doctrine arise, these genuinely apostolic churches could be consulted for definitive answers. Therefore, if I arrive at a very different understanding of the Scriptures than did any of the Early Church Fathers, it is very likely that my understanding is incorrect.
Well, we've addressed this before between you and I (here (http://bibleforums.org/showthread.php?202379-Should-the-Bible-alone-be-used-for-doctrine-If-so-why&p=2335608#post2335608), and see again * below), so I'll let this be my last comment on it in this thread and you're welcome to have a last word on my response.

I enjoy reading what remains of Irenaeus' writings. I think they have great value for Christians, and I find he was a most admirable fellow. Historians agree that he was perhaps the most orthodox of the Ante-Nicene fathers. Bless his heart, he even ministered in the very same area as John Calvin, though because of the corrupt fund-raising relic worship that so stirred Martin Luther and the Reformers, Calvinistic French Huguenots found it expedient to destroy the shrine made to Irenaeus along with his remains in 1562, lest Christians continue to be led astray in worshipping and praying to him.

Irenaeus, though, was not and is not the final authority of apostolic orthodoxy. Scripture always and in every way is far superior to any commentary of man, and I trust you and I are in agreement with this. Irenaeus had some clear errors and departures from both Scripture and Apostolic tradition about him, as we've discussed before. Schaff says Irenaeus was “one of the chief architects of the Catholic system of doctrine” (History of the Christian Church, Ante-Nicene Fathers, 182. Irenaeus). He is credited with establishing the line of papal authority and reliance upon the primacy of Rome and its ‘tradition’ as par with the Scriptures. His Mariology is key in establishing the cult of Mary as the Mother of God, the anti-Scriptural claim of the perpetuity of her virginity, and equating her with Christ, the second Adam, in proffering her as the second Eve. His eschatology was a bit extreme. I actually mostly agree with the classic premillennialism of the Apostolic age, which Irenaeus also espoused, but like many in those days he wandered a bit into date setting. And perhaps his most glaring doctrinal fault was in siding with the Montanists (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Montanism), found to be heretical, and who taught such things as ecstatic clairvoyance as God which superseded Christian Scripture, Judaistic legalism of discipline as a requirement for all Christians, blood-baptism of martyrdom as something to actively seek, the forbidding of marriage, and that any sins after baptism were unpardonable.

And that’s just Irenaeus, who was otherwise quite orthodox. Many of the other Ante-Nicene fathers, who nonetheless offer valuable insight, have a much more spotted record of doctrines not found in Scripture and which Christians ought to avoid. I realize it’s lofty to look back to an ancient Christian age when things were perhaps purer and better. The LORD Himself says in Jeremiah 6:16 (http://bible.cc/jeremiah/6-16.htm), “Stand by the ways and see and ask for the ancient paths, Where the good way is, and walk in it; And you will find rest for your souls.”(NASB) But one only need look to the Christian Scriptures to find that the early Church was not the “uniformity and consistency in what the churches taught” that one might hope or dream of. Just as you’ve pointed out and the Scriptures confirm, Gnosticism was prevalent, as was Hellenism, and doctrines of the Judaizers and Nicolaitans. The Ante-Nicene age was ripe with heresy among Christian churches, and rather than no introduction of “the doctrines that distinguish the Roman Catholic Church from our Protestant churches”, we find such things as the cult of Mary, the primacy of the Pope, and many other heresies and schisms. Just to name a few of the more notable differences with which Christians were met we have Marcionism, Montanism, Arianism, Manichaeism, Anti-trinitarianism, Donatists, Novatians, Docetists, Ebionites and Nazarenes; the patripassian heresy, the schism of Hippolytus (who was a disciple of Irenaeus), of Felicissimus, the Meletian schism, the Paschal controversy; and a host of differences regarding most every aspect of Christian life, including baptism, ascetism, discipline, ordination, worship, and even the canon of Scripture. In fact, one of the most telling aspects of Ante-Nicene Christianity was the Council of Nicaea of said reference. In primarily battling the most prominent division concerning Arianism, the council was called by Constantine to unify the religion he had chosen for his empire, to make of one by force the great diversity that had heretofore exemplified Christianity, at least on major points.

Please understand, my Christian brother, that I’m not meaning to take away from your considerable depth of Scriptural study or your claim that you don’t particularly find the same doctrines in Scripture that Calvin and generations of Christians have found. And I certainly don’t mean to put words in your mouth or in any way mischaracterize your beliefs. It just seems to me that many who harken back to an ultimate reliance on the Ante-Nicene fathers as some great standard of unanimity give an appearance (to me) that Christ somehow abandoned His Church from that time to some recapturing of ancient Christianity in modern times. I’m sure you’ll agree with me that this is not the case, that rather Christ has always and will forever maintain His lovely Bride, even amidst and throughout whatever diversity, errant or otherwise, we Christians may express. He certainly has always disciplined those he loves to a continuance of pure Christianity.

* (http://bibleforums.org/showthread.php?199679-What-does-the-bible-say-about-free-will-vs.-God-s-will&p=2333356#post2333356) From Answers.com:

Origen taught that even Satan was not beyond repentance and salvation, a view for which he was condemned. Before St. Augustine, Origen was the most influential theologian in the church. Like Plotinus, he wrote that the soul passes through successive stages of incarnation before eventually reaching God. He imagined even demons being reunited with God. For Origen, God was the First Principle, and Christ, the Logos, was subordinate to him. His views of a hierarchical structure in the Trinity, the temporality of matter, "the fabulous preexistence of souls," and "the monstrous restoration which follows from it" were declared anathema.
Justin Martyr saw the Logos as a separate being from God and subordinate to him.
Tertullian abandoned the Catholic Church to join the heretical Christian movement of the Montanists, who claimed a superior authority arising from divine inspiration, and were written against by Irenaeus.
Irenaeus emphasized the unique position of authority of the bishop of Rome, and with Tertullian emphasized a mariology where Mary is the Mother of God.
Tatian was expelled from the church for his Encratitic views forbidding marriage and the eating of meat, and for his following of Gnosticism - he believed the Logos was subordinate to God.
Novatian was excommunicated as a heretical schismatic and established his own church with him as anti-pope.
And Lactantius, too, was considered somewhat heretical after his death.

I don’t post this to deride the men, but to note that a reliance on men apart from the clear teachings of Scripture is problematic, even if they're ancient.

Butch5
Mar 3rd 2010, 03:31 PM
* (http://bibleforums.org/showthread.php?199679-What-does-the-bible-say-about-free-will-vs.-God-s-will&p=2333356#post2333356) From Answers.com:

Origen taught that even Satan was not beyond repentance and salvation, a view for which he was condemned. Before St. Augustine, Origen was the most influential theologian in the church. Like Plotinus, he wrote that the soul passes through successive stages of incarnation before eventually reaching God. He imagined even demons being reunited with God. For Origen, God was the First Principle, and Christ, the Logos, was subordinate to him. His views of a hierarchical structure in the Trinity, the temporality of matter, "the fabulous preexistence of souls," and "the monstrous restoration which follows from it" were declared anathema.
Justin Martyr saw the Logos as a separate being from God and subordinate to him.
Tertullian abandoned the Catholic Church to join the heretical Christian movement of the Montanists, who claimed a superior authority arising from divine inspiration, and were written against by Irenaeus.
Irenaeus emphasized the unique position of authority of the bishop of Rome, and with Tertullian emphasized a mariology where Mary is the Mother of God.
Tatian was expelled from the church for his Encratitic views forbidding marriage and the eating of meat, and for his following of Gnosticism - he believed the Logos was subordinate to God.
Novatian was excommunicated as a heretical schismatic and established his own church with him as anti-pope.
And Lactantius, too, was considered somewhat heretical after his death.

I don’t post this to deride the men, but to note that a reliance on men apart from the clear teachings of Scripture is problematic, even if they're ancient.

Care to cite some actual historical evidence other than some one's opinion form answers.com???

Anyone being labeled a heretic by Augustine should feel honored, with as much error as he brought into the church. He was a Manichean Gnostic prior to his conversion, he should have left is Gnostic beliefs behind when he said he would follow Christ.

grit
Mar 3rd 2010, 03:35 PM
Care to cite some actual historical evidence other than some one's opinion form answers.com???


Sure. If you'll take a look at Answers.com you'll find the articles on each of these gentlemen detail the historical references you seek, which is quite a bit more, and quite a bit more commonly accepted historical agreement than ever offered in the OP. Plus, the comment is linked from early discussions and references regarding Ante-Nicene Christianity here at Bibleforums. Sorry the links are so small, I suppose I could have spelled out the url code. The determinations of heresy of these Ante-Nicene fathers was made in their lifetimes, as generally expressed, quite a bit before Augustine's days.

Butch5
Mar 3rd 2010, 04:06 PM
Sure. If you'll take a look at Answers.com you'll find the articles on each of these gentlemen detail the historical references you seek, which is quite a bit more, and quite a bit more commonly accepted historical agreement than ever offered in the OP. Plus, the comment is linked from early discussions and references regarding Ante-Nicene Christianity here at Bibleforums. Sorry the links are so small, I suppose I could have spelled out the url code. The determinations of heresy of these Ante-Nicene fathers was made in their lifetimes, as generally expressed, quite a bit before Augustine's days. :hug:

I meant some historical evidence. It is as I suspected, just peoples opinion. I looked at Origen's page out of 34 sources of reference only one was actually from Origen, the rest were just some one's opinion of what Origen thought or believed. Have you actually read what Origen wrote? Secondary and tertiary sources are very often unreliable. I looked Tertullian on the page also and again the same thing. This time there were at least a few quotes from Tertullian. The writer says Tertullian believed X, however,without the context we don't know if they actually say what the writer is claiming.

My friend, if you desire to know what the Ante-Nicenes taught, I suggest reading their works not the words of men who probably have not read the Ante-Nicenes themselves.

grit
Mar 3rd 2010, 04:46 PM
I meant some historical evidence. It is as I suspected, just peoples opinion. I looked at Origen's page out of 34 sources of reference only one was actually from Origen, the rest were just some one's opinion of what Origen thought or believed. Have you actually read what Origen wrote? Secondary and tertiary sources are very often unreliable. I looked Tertullian on the page also and again the same thing. This time there were at least a few quotes from Tertullian. The writer says Tertullian believed X, however,without the context we don't know if they actually say what the writer is claiming.

My friend, if you desire to know what the Ante-Nicenes taught, I suggest reading their works not the words of men who probably have not read the Ante-Nicenes themselves.You couldn't be more wrong. I'll do you one better, here's the link to Philip Scaff's History of the Christian Church (http://www.ccel.org/s/schaff/history/About.htm) I made earlier in the thread. I'm sure you'll find that his work, like most other reputable historical references, supports every one of the historical claims found in my reference, particularly his section on Ante-Nicene Christianity (http://www.ccel.org/s/schaff/history/2__toc.htm) and his biographical sketches of the Church fathers (http://www.ccel.org/s/schaff/history/2_ch13.htm). You might want to take a look at just about any Theological encyclopaedia, as well, which supports my presentation over and against that found in the OP. And yes, I've read Origen and Irenaeus and Calvin, among many others, though I'll admit primarily in their English translations which I have in my library. :hug:

But as it began, this thread seems quite worthless and mean-spirited to me, full of false claims and attacks against the accepted beliefs of this board, counting such as a cult from the very beginning and supporting absolutely no logical or loving rationale for it's primary assertion that Reformed theology is against the Word of God, which Reformed theology has consistently and even solely championed over Roman Catholic corruptions even the Roman Church admitted and attempted to hem in with the Catholic Counter Reformation. As I indicated, I'm done with this thread, so continue with your ad hominem attacks (as you've displayed against Augustine, a man with whom I differ in theology). At least the biographical material I listed was factual and sourced, as you yourself suggested, and not flavoured with what one should "feel".

If someone wants an honest and respectful debate or inquiry I'd be happy to participate. :hug:

MaryFreeman
Mar 3rd 2010, 04:47 PM
Am I not worth responding to Grit?

Mathetes
Mar 3rd 2010, 08:08 PM
The problem with being a Calvinist is that, if you aren't careful, you wind up denying free will completely, and then half the Bible no longer makes sense. How can you say "repent and believe" to someone with no free will?

1. Because a command is not a statement of ability but a statement of duty.
2. It could be that the message preached to people will be mixed with faith, thus profiting them.

I've believed in Reformed theology for many years, and I wouldn't say that makes half the Bible make no sense.


Clearly some of the issues here genuinely difficult. We can't deny the omnipotence of God, but we can't deny free will either (at least, free will in some sense).


I'm glad you realize that there are different possible meanings to "free will." Man's will is free externally, that is, there are no external constraints placed upon man's will. Nobody forces man to sin. Internally, however, man's will is in bondage to sin.

Butch5
Mar 3rd 2010, 08:28 PM
You couldn't be more wrong. I'll do you one better, here's the link to Philip Scaff's History of the Christian Church (http://www.ccel.org/s/schaff/history/About.htm) I made earlier in the thread. I'm sure you'll find that his work, like most other reputable historical references, supports every one of the historical claims found in my reference, particularly his section on Ante-Nicene Christianity (http://www.ccel.org/s/schaff/history/2__toc.htm) and his biographical sketches of the Church fathers (http://www.ccel.org/s/schaff/history/2_ch13.htm). You might want to take a look at just about any Theological encyclopaedia, as well, which supports my presentation over and against that found in the OP. And yes, I've read Origen and Irenaeus and Calvin, among many others, though I'll admit primarily in their English translations which I have in my library. :hug:

But as it began, this thread seems quite worthless and mean-spirited to me, full of false claims and attacks against the accepted beliefs of this board, counting such as a cult from the very beginning and supporting absolutely no logical or loving rationale for it's primary assertion that Reformed theology is against the Word of God, which Reformed theology has consistently and even solely championed over Roman Catholic corruptions. As I indicated, I'm done with this thread, so continue with your ad hominem attacks (as you've displayed against Augustine, a man with whom I differ in theology). At least the biographical material I listed was factual and sourced, as you yourself suggested, and not flavoured with what one should "feel".

If someone wants an honest and respectful debate or inquiry I'd be happy to participate. :hug:

First of all I made no remark in regard to the OP. I was responding to your comments about the Ante Nicene writers. You posted a link to Phillip Schaff's work, yet none from Origen, Tertullian, etc. That's my point. If we want to know what Oregin believed then why not read Oregin? Why read Schaff or the many others who have given their opinions? The same with Tertullian. Look at all of the commentaries on Scripture, many say different things about the same passages, are we not to expect the same with regard to the Ante Nicene writers. Do we expect every one to give an unbiased report. That's why some many Christians are confused and can't understand the Scriptures, they hear this from one person and that form another, yet both claim to be Scholars. None of them were there so everything they say is at best an educated guess.

Attack Augustine??? What I said was merely the truth. He was a Manichean Gnostic before his conversion and "Many" of his beliefs were rejected by the church in his day.



Grit---But as it began, this thread seems quite worthless and mean-spirited to me, full of false claims and attacks against the accepted beliefs of this board, counting such as a cult from the very beginning and supporting absolutely no logical or loving rationale for it's primary assertion that Reformed theology is against the Word of God, which Reformed theology has consistently and even solely championed over Roman Catholic corruptions.

It seems you complained about the way reformed doctrine was treated in the OP yet you have accused Roman Catholicism of corruptions. Do you not think that reformed theology also has corruptions?

Radagast
Mar 3rd 2010, 09:29 PM
1. Because a command is not a statement of ability but a statement of duty.
2. It could be that the message preached to people will be mixed with faith, thus profiting them.

I've believed in Reformed theology for many years, and I wouldn't say that makes half the Bible make no sense.

You misunderstood me, brother. I meant that iif you are not careful -- if you are a hypercalvinist -- then half the Bible make no sense.


I'm glad you realize that there are different possible meanings to "free will." Man's will is free externally, that is, there are no external constraints placed upon man's will. Nobody forces man to sin. Internally, however, man's will is in bondage to sin.

I agree with that.

Jemand
Mar 4th 2010, 05:37 PM
As to "why didn’t anyone see them there for 1500 years?", many of Calvin's ideas were already present in, for example, the writing of Augustine, over 1100 years earlier. That doesn't prove that they are right, but it does demonstrate that they didn't suddenly appear in 16th century Switzerland.


None of the ‘five points of Calvinism’ are found in the writings of Augustine or those of any other writer prior to the 16th century. A few of the rudimentary ideas that apparently had an influence in Calvin arriving at those five points are found in the writings of Augustine, but the five points are not. Therefore, we need to ask ourselves, what caused Calvin to interpret the Bible in a manner very different from any known Christians prior to the Reformation, and why do Calvinists today interpret the Bible in a manner very different from the very large majority of Christians?

teddyv
Mar 4th 2010, 06:10 PM
None of the ‘five points of Calvinism’ are found in the writings of Augustine or those of any other writer prior to the 16th century. A few of the rudimentary ideas that apparently had an influence in Calvin arriving at those five points are found in the writings of Augustine, but the five points are not. Therefore, we need to ask ourselves, what caused Calvin to interpret the Bible in a manner very different from any known Christians prior to the Reformation, and why do Calvinists today interpret the Bible in a manner very different from the very large majority of Christians?

A very interesting thread so far. I was unaware of a general disdain of Reformed theology. Not much for me to add to thread but I continue to read with interest.

As I was born to parents of a Reformed persuasion and and raised in a church of similar persuasion I don't even know I realize that I hold these particular beliefs or if they've shaped me in ways unaware. Reading these forums for the last couple of years, I can't say I really see anything that what I have learned as a Christian is in serious disagreement with those of other traditions. I guess I have never really studied exactly what the five points have stated but I think unequivocally that I have never consistently been taught/preached anything contradictory to the Bible. I guess I have never really taken on the label of Reformed or Calvinist, despite being a member of a Reformed church.

Anyway, on with the discussion.

Mathetes
Mar 4th 2010, 06:38 PM
None of the ‘five points of Calvinism’ are found in the writings of Augustine or those of any other writer prior to the 16th century.

Of course not. They are the formulation of biblical soteriology found in the Canons of Dordt. They were a response to the five points of Arminianism.

That, however, does not make them unbiblical. Doctrine is developed over the course of church history. A great example of this is the doctrine of the Trinity.


A few of the rudimentary ideas that apparently had an influence in Calvin arriving at those five points are found in the writings of Augustine, but the five points are not. Therefore, we need to ask ourselves, what caused Calvin to interpret the Bible in a manner very different from any known Christians prior to the Reformation,First of all, I'm not sure his interpretations were as different from previous Christians as you make out. Secondly, the answer to your question is that Calvin used the Bible to interpret the Bible, but that is a short answer and needs more. Your question cannot be answered in a short, knee-jerk type of response. I suggest you study Calvin's writings for yourself to find the answer to your question. Have you done this yet?


and why do Calvinists today interpret the Bible in a manner very different from the very large majority of Christians?I don't think we do. Besides, the majority is not always right, so I think you are asking the wrong question. The right question to ask is whether Calvin's theology is biblical.

Jemand
Mar 4th 2010, 06:38 PM
It just seems to me that many who harken back to an ultimate reliance on the Ante-Nicene fathers as some great standard of unanimity give an appearance (to me) that Christ somehow abandoned His Church from that time to some recapturing of ancient Christianity in modern times. I’m sure you’ll agree with me that this is not the case, that rather Christ has always and will forever maintain His lovely Bride, even amidst and throughout whatever diversity, errant or otherwise, we Christians may express. He certainly has always disciplined those he loves to a continuance of pure Christianity.

I certainly do not believe that the Ante-Nicene Church Fathers are our ultimate authority for belief and practice in the Church, and I agree that some of them held to beliefs that are not explicitly taught in the Scriptures. However, if any of the ‘five points of Calvinism are really taught in the Bible, most certainly at least some of the Ante-Nicene Church Fathers would have been aware of it, but there is no evidence whatsoever that they were. Indeed, what we do find in many of their writings are explicitly taught beliefs that directly contradict the ‘five points of Calvinism.’

I have noticed in some of your posts what appears to me to be reliance upon one church historian, Philip Schaff, for historical information, rather than reliance upon scores of them representing a wide spectrum of views regarding church history. I believe that such an approach to the study of history is extremely dangerous, especially when the one historian who is relied upon had very strong theological views and opinions. Indeed, Philip Schaff was a leader in the German Reformed Church and was a professor of Church history and Biblical literature in the German Reformed Church seminary in Mercersburg, Pennsylvania. Are we to believe that Philip Schaff, being very much aware that the Ante-Nicene Church Fathers directly contradicted his own theology, did not feel an obligation to attempt to discredit them?

I have in my home library very numerous volumes of Church History written by scholars representing a very wide spectrum of theological thought, both Roman Catholic and Protestant, and they disagree with each other regarding many matters of great importance. Therefore, I agree with our brother Butch5, that if one wishes to know what the Ante-Nicene Church Fathers really believed and taught, we need to carefully read and study their own writings.

Mathetes
Mar 4th 2010, 06:47 PM
A very interesting thread so far. I was unaware of a general disdain of Reformed theology.

Teddyv, in my experience, much of the disdain for Reformed theology comes from those who don't understand it. Here are some examples of popular objections to Calvinism that are driven by a complete misconception of it:


Calvinists say that we have no will (Reformed theology does not teach this).
Why bother preaching the gospel if Calvinism is true? (A question probably based on the misunderstanding above)
Calvinists don't like preaching the gospel (false; Reformed churches send out plenty of missionaries).

It is also rejected by those who don't like its implications regarding predestination, election, the sovereignty of God, total depravity, etc. Those doctrines are not pleasing at all to our natural way of thinking.

newinchrist4now
Mar 4th 2010, 09:47 PM
I was unaware of a general disdain of Reformed theology.

It's more than just disdain, there is out right hatred out there of Reformed Theology. I know some who have been called Satanist and cultist because they hold to Reformed Theology, I been told myself I was not a Christian because I held to them and all this by "Christians"

MaryFreeman
Mar 4th 2010, 09:49 PM
A very interesting thread so far. I was unaware of a general disdain of Reformed theology. Not much for me to add to thread but I continue to read with interest.

As I was born to parents of a Reformed persuasion and and raised in a church of similar persuasion I don't even know I realize that I hold these particular beliefs or if they've shaped me in ways unaware. Reading these forums for the last couple of years, I can't say I really see anything that what I have learned as a Christian is in serious disagreement with those of other traditions. I guess I have never really studied exactly what the five points have stated but I think unequivocally that I have never consistently been taught/preached anything contradictory to the Bible. I guess I have never really taken on the label of Reformed or Calvinist, despite being a member of a Reformed church.

Anyway, on with the discussion.

You know.... Perhaps it is the spirit in which those who adhere to it bring what they have.... I actually didn't believe in predestination for that reason.... Among others.... Including my belief in free will.... Now I do believe in it because I know that God foresaw those who would choose (BTW We are required to choose by a Holy Righteous and Sovereign God.... You are not allowed to NOT make a choice) to believe in His Son and set them apart beforehand based on that.... It fit with what I know to be the truth!

This is why I say there is your theology....

There is my theology....

Then there is the truth!

MaryFreeman
Mar 4th 2010, 09:50 PM
It's more than just disdain, there is out right hatred out there of Reformed Theology. I know some who have been called Satanist and cultist because they hold to Reformed Theology, I been told myself I was not a Christian because I held to them and all this by "Christians"
What an aweful thing to say to anyone....

I wonder where I have heard that before....

Butch5
Mar 4th 2010, 09:52 PM
Teddyv, in my experience, much of the disdain for Reformed theology comes from those who don't understand it. Here are some examples of popular objections to Calvinism that are driven by a complete misconception of it:


Calvinists say that we have no will (Reformed theology does not teach this).
Why bother preaching the gospel if Calvinism is true? (A question probably based on the misunderstanding above)
Calvinists don't like preaching the gospel (false; Reformed churches send out plenty of missionaries).

It is also rejected by those who don't like its implications regarding predestination, election, the sovereignty of God, total depravity, etc. Those doctrines are not pleasing at all to our natural way of thinking.


Here are a few more objections to it.

It is a completely inferred theology.
Every one of it's five points stands in contradiction to the Scriptures
It make God out to be the author of sin
It has God creating people for the express purpose of sending them to hell

etc. etc. etc.

newinchrist4now
Mar 4th 2010, 09:55 PM
Here are a few more objections to it.

It is a completely inferred theology.
Every one of it's five points stands in contradiction to the Scriptures
It make God out to be the author of sin
It has God creating people for the express purpose of sending them to hell

etc. etc. etc.

Sorry my friend none of these are true, more lies to vilify a segment of Christians :(

holyrokker
Mar 4th 2010, 10:10 PM
Here are a few more objections to it.

It is a completely inferred theology.
Every one of it's five points stands in contradiction to the Scriptures
It make God out to be the author of sin
It has God creating people for the express purpose of sending them to hell

etc. etc. etc.
The tenets of Calvinistic doctrine are presumed true, then Scripture passages are sought out to build a case in support of the claims.

We should never attempt to support doctrine with Scripture. Rather, we should always challenge our views by examining our "proof-texts" contextually.

Radagast
Mar 4th 2010, 10:18 PM
The tenets of Calvinistic doctrine are presumed true, then Scripture passages are sought out to build a case in support of the claims.

One shouldn't make a blanket attack like that without presenting some evidence that it is true.

holyrokker
Mar 4th 2010, 10:32 PM
One shouldn't make a blanket attack like that without presenting some evidence that it is true.Do you want to go step by step through each doctrine of Calvinism?

Calvinistic doctrine claims that the guilt of Adam is held against all of mankind, and that everyone is born sinful. These are concepts that are not found by careful exegesis of the Word of God.

To support the claim, several passages of Scripture are removed from their context and reassigned meanings:
Romans 5:12-19; Ephesians 2:3; Psalm 51:5; Psalm 58:3; Job 14:4 are often cited as "evidence" supporting the doctrine, yet when examined contextually, these passages do not lead to such a conclusion.

MaryFreeman
Mar 4th 2010, 10:38 PM
Do you want to go step by step through each doctrine of Calvinism?

Calvinistic doctrine claims that the guilt of Adam is held against all of mankind, and that everyone is born sinful. These are concepts that are not found by careful exegesis of the Word of God.

To support the claim, several passages of Scripture are removed from their context and reassigned meanings:
Romans 5:12-19; Ephesians 2:3; Psalm 51:5; Psalm 58:3; Job 14:4 are often cited as "evidence" supporting the doctrine, yet when examined contextually, these passages do not lead to such a conclusion.

Um....

You don't believe that "all have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God"?

Now I am not saying I believe in the sinful nature of mankind as the RTers do.... Because apparently it applies to newborns as well as 90 yr olds....

And how in the world can a sensate being who cannot even talk and does not know how to express what they need accept Christ?

All of the Scripture you have cited though does indeed state that through Adam we lost what God has for us and through Jesus we got it back....

I simplify.... But that is the jist of the thing right there....

Athanasius
Mar 4th 2010, 10:40 PM
Teddyv, in my experience, much of the disdain for Reformed theology comes from those who don't understand it. Here are some examples of popular objections to Calvinism that are driven by a complete misconception of it:


Calvinists say that we have no will (Reformed theology does not teach this).
Why bother preaching the gospel if Calvinism is true? (A question probably based on the misunderstanding above)
Calvinists don't like preaching the gospel (false; Reformed churches send out plenty of missionaries).

It is also rejected by those who don't like its implications regarding predestination, election, the sovereignty of God, total depravity, etc. Those doctrines are not pleasing at all to our natural way of thinking.

What are the objections you've experienced from those who do understand Reformed theology?

Radagast
Mar 4th 2010, 10:45 PM
Do you want to go step by step through each doctrine of Calvinism?

I don't think you even realised what you just did. You may disagree with Calvinism, but saying "The tenets of Calvinistic doctrine are presumed true, then Scripture passages are sought out to build a case in support of the claims" was a personal attack.

But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, 'Raca, ' is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, 'You fool!' will be in danger of the fire of hell. (Matthew 5:22)


Calvinistic doctrine claims that the guilt of Adam is held against all of mankind, and that everyone is born sinful. These are concepts that are not found by careful exegesis of the Word of God.

To support the claim, several passages of Scripture are removed from their context and reassigned meanings:
Romans 5:12-19; Ephesians 2:3; Psalm 51:5; Psalm 58:3; Job 14:4 are often cited as "evidence" supporting the doctrine, yet when examined contextually, these passages do not lead to such a conclusion.

Again, what you presumably mean here is that you disagree with Calvinists about the interpretation of these particular passages. A polite thread explaining why you think that would be interesting, but I think this thread is already beyound saving.

MaryFreeman
Mar 4th 2010, 10:49 PM
I don't think you even realised what you just did. You may disagree with Calvinism, but saying "The tenets of Calvinistic doctrine are presumed true, then Scripture passages are sought out to build a case in support of the claims" was a personal attack.

But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, 'Raca, ' is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, 'You fool!' will be in danger of the fire of hell. (Matthew 5:22)



Again, what you presumably mean here is that you disagree with Calvinists about the interpretation of these particular passages. A polite thread explaining why you think that would be interesting, but I think this thread is already beyond saving.

:lol:...........................................

holyrokker
Mar 4th 2010, 10:56 PM
I don't think you even realised what you just did. You may disagree with Calvinism, but saying "The tenets of Calvinistic doctrine are presumed true, then Scripture passages are sought out to build a case in support of the claims" was a personal attack.

But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, 'Raca, ' is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, 'You fool!' will be in danger of the fire of hell. (Matthew 5:22)



Again, what you presumably mean here is that you disagree with Calvinists about the interpretation of these particular passages. A polite thread explaining why you think that would be interesting, but I think this thread is already beyound saving.
How is it a personal attack? Did I say "You are stupid for believing these things"? No. The only way that my words could be interpreted as a personal attack is if the doctrines are equated with an individual.
I made no personal attack, yet you've accused me of calling a brother a fool. You've also presumed what I intended to say.

newinchrist4now
Mar 4th 2010, 11:08 PM
How is it a personal attack? Did I say "You are stupid for believing these things"? No. The only way that my words could be interpreted as a personal attack is if the doctrines are equated with an individual.
I made no personal attack, yet you've accused me of calling a brother a fool. You've also presumed what I intended to say.

Actually you made a personal attack against a whole group of Christians and your accusation that one has to fit Scripture to Reformed belief is wholly untrue. I can tell you from personal experience that before I even knew about anything Calvinistic I found them in Scripture.

holyrokker
Mar 4th 2010, 11:24 PM
A personal attack is against a person.
Unless you identify yourself by your set of doctrines, then you haven't been attacked or slandered.
If you are so closely tied to your doctrinal position that you feel personally attacked by my statements, then I feel sorry for you.

newinchrist4now
Mar 4th 2010, 11:29 PM
An attack is an attack weather against a person or a group

holyrokker
Mar 4th 2010, 11:36 PM
The tenets of Calvinistic doctrine are presumed true, then Scripture passages are sought out to build a case in support of the claims.

We should never attempt to support doctrine with Scripture. Rather, we should always challenge our views by examining our "proof-texts" contextually.


An attack is an attack weather against a person or a group
How can a doctrine be equated to people? I have attacked no individual or group.

newinchrist4now
Mar 4th 2010, 11:40 PM
The Reformed Doctrines affects a huge group and in attacking that you attacked the group of Christians. It's like me saying Arminians are dumb for their beliefs as a blanket statement, which you in essence did by saying that the reformed have to twist Scripture. You have made a blanket accustion against many Christians saying that they all twist God's Word. That is a very serious charge

MaryFreeman
Mar 4th 2010, 11:41 PM
How can a doctrine be equated to people? I have attacked no individual or group.
Losing battle my friend....

Athanasius
Mar 4th 2010, 11:45 PM
How can a doctrine be equated to people? I have attacked no individual or group.

Some times it's best to forgo a certain discussion, even if you're right.

MaryFreeman
Mar 4th 2010, 11:46 PM
The Reformed Doctrines affects a huge group and in attacking that you attacked the group of Christians. It's like me saying Arminians are dumb for their beliefs as a blanket statement, which you in essence did by saying that the reformed have to twist Scripture. You have made a blanket accustion against many Christians saying that they all twist God's Word. That is a very serious charge
Just because a doctrine affects a large group of people does not mean one cannot question it....

Not to mention.... It seems everytime someone does.... One or more of its adherents claims they are being attacked....

Rather silly in my opinion....

Because all should have a ready scriptural answer....

Not a ready accusation to switch focus....

Just my opinion....

Radagast
Mar 4th 2010, 11:47 PM
How is it a personal attack? Did I say "You are stupid for believing these things"? No. The only way that my words could be interpreted as a personal attack is if the doctrines are equated with an individual.

By saying "The tenets of Calvinistic doctrine are presumed true, then Scripture passages are sought out to build a case in support of the claims", you were attacking the motivations and the attitude to the Bible of a large group of Christians. You weren't just attacking their theology.

newinchrist4now
Mar 4th 2010, 11:48 PM
Just because a doctrine affects a large group of people does not mean one cannot question it....

Not to mention.... It seems everytime someone does.... One or more of its adherents claims they are being attacked....

Rather silly in my opinion....

Because all should have a ready scriptural answer....

Not a ready accusation to switch focus....

Just my opinion....

Nor am I saying that, but accusations should not be made as he has done.

MaryFreeman
Mar 4th 2010, 11:52 PM
Nor am I saying that, but accusations should not be made as he has done.
No.... He has stated an opinion based on what he has seen.....

Which NOONE is innocent of.... Including me....

Mayhap worded wrong.... But....

newinchrist4now
Mar 4th 2010, 11:58 PM
No.... He has stated an opinion based on what he has seen.....

Which NOONE is innocent of.... Including me....

Sorry my friend, he made assumptions and it is more than an opinion. An opinion would be "I think such and such is wrong because...", what he did was make an accusatory remark without any back up. Reformed believers get this a lot, that is why they seem mean, abrasive and prideful because most people aren't interested in answers but only to tell Reformed Believers how bad they are for believing such things without trying to engage in any meaningful dialogue.

Honest questions from a sincere seeker are great, but such are few. Instead the fashionable thing is to begin in attack mode and go from there, I have seen it many many times in my sojourn when I was a Reformed Believer.

Athanasius
Mar 5th 2010, 12:09 AM
The problem is that forum discussions on Calvinism (or monergism, to be more technical) often degrade into this sort of "debauchery," where you have a segment of believers crying foul (usually Calvinists), you have another segment be extremely aggressive (usually not Calvinists) and still another segment trying to mediate between the two (Calvinists and non-Calvinists). Everybody's blaming everyone else for how they themselves act. That doesn't cut it, you act the way you act because you choose to act that way (all of us included).

Now, it is a problem when the Reform position is caricatured and attacked.
It is also a problem when those who adhere to a Reform position assume their position to be always erroneously attacked (based on misunderstandings), and thus write off everyone as "insincere seekers". I'll tell you that if someone is taking an issue with your theology, they aren't doing so as a "seeker".

And again, the outcry of the Reformed position in this thread is astounding to me. Just as the blunt statements of the non-Reformed are astounding. Not a very profitable thread, especially since the only thing being said is by the Reformed, and it's "But we're always being attacked!!!!" Uh huh...

MaryFreeman
Mar 5th 2010, 02:05 AM
Sorry my friend, he made assumptions and it is more than an opinion. An opinion would be "I think such and such is wrong because...", what he did was make an accusatory remark without any back up. Reformed believers get this a lot, that is why they seem mean, abrasive and prideful because most people aren't interested in answers but only to tell Reformed Believers how bad they are for believing such things without trying to engage in any meaningful dialogue.

Honest questions from a sincere seeker are great, but such are few. Instead the fashionable thing is to begin in attack mode and go from there, I have seen it many many times in my sojourn when I was a Reformed Believer.
EVERYONE gets this....

But NOT everyone gets abrasive.... Or mean.... Or prideful.... And it is not just a seeming sort of thing.... It IS what ANYONE who believes their theology is perfect and "rightly divined" from Scripture acts like.... And ANYONE who is like that thinks they have something to teach the rest of Christendom and all the rest of Christendom has the right to do is shut up and listen....

And by golly they better swallow it hook.... Line.... And sinker or they are going to be ignored....

Yet the bible tells us that we do have the right to judge what another christian is saying to us..... And how they act.....

BECAUSE they call themselves christians.....

I have NEVER seen ANYONE act the way "reformed" believers act..... NEVER.... And they do so because they believe they are COMPLETELY right and NOONE has anything to add.....

NOT because they "have been attacked so much they just seem"....

People do NOT have to sugar coat things..... They do not have to come with their tail tucked between their legs and their eyes downcast..... Seeker? Who is the One who tells us "Seek and ye shall find".....

Would you have me (for instance) believing it is YOU I should come seeking from?

And reformed believers are NOT arrogant?

All these questions I ask you are merely in the hopes that they will start you thinking.... Looking at things more objectively....

And utilizing QTIP.....

Quit
Taking
It
Personally!

NOTE: I am not upset.... I am not "bristling".... I am not arrogant, conceited, or vain.... I am not being sarcastic..... And I am not in attack mode.....

I am sitting here next to my son calmly telling you what I have seen....

And asking things meant merely to get you to use your BRAIN....

Choose your battles WISELY....

I approached the Phelps group in my hometown.... Just wanted to know why they believed the way they do.... The woman was just the same way the reformed christians I have had anything to do with here were.... Except she added filthy language and an attitude NO christian should have to her repertoire.....

And I was called an abomination.....

Because I asked questions as an equal....

Instead of the SEEKER you seem to think people should be....

It is our Lord whos feet we should kneel at.... Our Lord whom we should seek from....

Not reformed, baptist, methodist, presbeterian, pentecostal, charismatic, nondenominational christians!

newinchrist4now
Mar 5th 2010, 02:15 AM
And yet the questions will continue having an edge because most people assume it is wrong at the get go instead of really genuinely trying to find out the truth. I have experienced the same in Pentecostalism, Reformed Theology, and Catholicism instead of approaching trying to understand they are apporached as always wrong and if some dares to point that out then they are told they are taking things personally, out of context, etc, etc.

Yeah your right were all the bad guys, how could we think any other way.

MaryFreeman
Mar 5th 2010, 02:28 AM
The problem is that forum discussions on Calvinism (or monergism, to be more technical) often degrade into this sort of "debauchery," where you have a segment of believers crying foul (usually Calvinists), you have another segment be extremely aggressive (usually not Calvinists) and still another segment trying to mediate between the two (Calvinists and non-Calvinists). Everybody's blaming everyone else for how they themselves act. That doesn't cut it, you act the way you act because you choose to act that way (all of us included). :pp


Now, it is a problem when the Reform position is caricatured and attacked.
It is also a problem when those who adhere to a Reform position assume their position to be always erroneously attacked (based on misunderstandings), and thus write off everyone as "insincere seekers". I'll tell you that if someone is taking an issue with your theology, they aren't doing so as a "seeker". No.... When one christian approaches another it is NEVER AS a seeker.... And rightfully so.... Because we are all equals..... And believe it or not each one of us has a piece of the truth....


And again, the outcry of the Reformed position in this thread is astounding to me. Just as the blunt statements of the non-Reformed are astounding. Not a very profitable thread, especially since the only thing being said is by the Reformed, and it's "But we're always being attacked!!!!" Uh huh...
I find myself trying to defend one person and then another.... I closed another thread because someone was saying things I felt were rude to another brother.... And he is a reformed believer.... If we could just all come together as equals in each other's estemation.... We could learn a thing or two from each other and then take it to our Lord and find out how to use it in our own lives....

Now me.... I speak bluntly..... So please.... There is a difference between blunt and rude.... I have seen people from both "sides" (what is this.... A football game?) being blunt..... And from both sides have come rudeness.... I have even had to catch myself and say "hmmm..... Is that blunt.... Or is it rude?".....

MaryFreeman
Mar 5th 2010, 02:30 AM
And yet the questions will continue having an edge because most people assume it is wrong at the get go instead of really genuinely trying to find out the truth. I have experienced the same in Pentecostalism, Reformed Theology, and Catholicism instead of approaching trying to understand they are apporached as always wrong and if some dares to point that out then they are told they are taking things personally, out of context, etc, etc.

Yeah your right were all the bad guys, how could we think any other way.Now see? You are using your emotions....

Please calm down for a minute so we can do this reasonably.....

I merely mention the reformed theology because it is the one in question....

I have other examples.... From all over Christendom.....

Take a breather real quick for me ok?

newinchrist4now
Mar 5th 2010, 02:34 AM
No.... When one christian approaches another it is NEVER AS a seeker.... And rightfully so.... Because we are all equals..... And believe it or not each one of us has a piece of the truth....I don't believe in the we are all equals thing, because we aren't. You have knowledge I don't, Xel may have knowledge neither of us has and so forth. That's why if I want to know a position I should always approach as a seeker not as an equal. Of course that's easier to write then do :)

newinchrist4now
Mar 5th 2010, 02:34 AM
Now see? You are using your emotions....

Please calm down for a minute so we can do this reasonably.....

I merely mention the reformed theology because it is the one in question....

I have other examples.... From all over Christendom.....

Take a breather real quick for me ok?

No I'm not using emotions if I did I would have to ban myself. :)

Radagast
Mar 5th 2010, 02:45 AM
It is also a problem when those who adhere to a Reform position assume their position to be always erroneously attacked.

But this entire thread has been an attack thread from the OP on, and it's hardly surprising that attack threads make people defensive. I'm still waiting to see some actual Biblical arguments. From anyone.


Not a very profitable thread

That's certainly true, and I think it's about time for me to bow out.

Athanasius
Mar 5th 2010, 02:46 AM
But this entire thread has been an attack thread from the OP on, and it's hardly surprising that attack threads make people defensive. I'm still waiting to see some actual Biblical arguments. From anyone.

I agree.

Athanasius
Mar 5th 2010, 02:47 AM
:pp
No.... When one christian approaches another it is NEVER AS a seeker.... And rightfully so.... Because we are all equals..... And believe it or not each one of us has a piece of the truth....

I find myself trying to defend one person and then another.... I closed another thread because someone was saying things I felt were rude to another brother.... And he is a reformed believer.... If we could just all come together as equals in each other's estemation.... We could learn a thing or two from each other and then take it to our Lord and find out how to use it in our own lives....

Now me.... I speak bluntly..... So please.... There is a difference between blunt and rude.... I have seen people from both "sides" (what is this.... A football game?) being blunt..... And from both sides have come rudeness.... I have even had to catch myself and say "hmmm..... Is that blunt.... Or is it rude?".....

Don't take offense, it would seem I've failed at being amicable. Ah well! Can't please both sides :(

MaryFreeman
Mar 5th 2010, 02:55 AM
I don't believe in the we are all equals thing, because we aren't. You have knowledge I don't, Xel may have knowledge neither of us has and so forth. That's why if I want to know a position I should always approach as a seeker not as an equal. Of course that's easier to write then do :)
No hunnie.... You are saved.... I am saved.... We are equal.... You deserve to know what I know because you are my brother....

I deserve to know things you have found because I am your sister....

See?

Take predestination.... I didn't expect to come out of my predestination thread believing in it.....

But I do....

Because I took scripture (THAT I got from a REFORMED believer) to my Lord.... And He showed me how to fit it with what He has taught me to believe over 24 years..... And I believe in predestination :pp....

MaryFreeman
Mar 5th 2010, 02:57 AM
Don't take offense, it would seem I've failed at being amicable. Ah well! Can't please both sides :(Now why would you think I am taking offense :lol: I was AGREEING with you :lol:

MaryFreeman
Mar 5th 2010, 03:00 AM
I agree with everyone on here....

This thread has lost what value it may have had.....

Who is all for letting it die?

newinchrist4now
Mar 5th 2010, 03:02 AM
No hunnie.... You are saved.... I am saved.... We are equal.... You deserve to know what I know because you are my brother....

I deserve to know things you have found because I am your sister....

See?

Take predestination.... I didn't expect to come out of my predestination thread believing in it.....

But I do....

Because I took scripture (THAT I got from a REFORMED believer) to my Lord.... And He showed me how to fit it with what He has taught me to believe over 24 years..... And I believe in predestination :pp....

Okay :) We are still not equal :P:lol:

MaryFreeman
Mar 5th 2010, 03:03 AM
Okay :) We are still not equal :P:lol:
:hug: :lol: Whatever you say brah! :hug:

Athanasius
Mar 5th 2010, 03:07 AM
Now why would you think I am taking offense :lol: I was AGREEING with you :lol:

Because I haven't slept in at least a week, oh dear!!

MaryFreeman
Mar 5th 2010, 03:09 AM
Because I haven't slept in at least a week, oh dear!!
Aw God bless you brah! :hug:

Mathetes
Mar 5th 2010, 01:15 PM
What are the objections you've experienced from those who do understand Reformed theology?

I'd say most likely their objections have been centered around the teaching that God predestines some to be saved. I'd say also they have objected to total depravity and total inability to believe in Christ and to repent.

That reminds me. Here's another one that those who don't understand Calvinism have often misunderstood: Total depravity. This doctrine has been misunderstood to teach that all men are as bad as they could be. In reality, it really teaches that all of man's faculties are fallen. Total depravity addresses the scope of the fall, not its degree (although the two are closely related, which could explain why those who don't study it could easily confuse them).

Butch5
Mar 5th 2010, 01:27 PM
I'd say most likely their objections have been centered around the teaching that God predestines some to be saved. I'd say also they have objected to total depravity and total inability to believe in Christ and to repent.

That reminds me. Here's another one that those who don't understand Calvinism have often misunderstood: Total depravity. This doctrine has been misunderstood to teach that all men are as bad as they could be. In reality, it really teaches that all of man's faculties are fallen. Total depravity addresses the scope of the fall, not its degree (although the two are closely related, which could explain why those who don't study it could easily confuse them).



I'd say most likely their objections have been centered around the teaching that God predestines some to be saved.

If Scripture taught this I would believe it. why do we find such teaching in Scripture?


I'd say also they have objected to total depravity and total inability to believe in Christ and to repent.

Likewise, where does Scripture teach such a thing?

Mathetes
Mar 5th 2010, 02:08 PM
You know.... Perhaps it is the spirit in which those who adhere to it bring what they have.... I actually didn't believe in predestination for that reason.... Among others.... Including my belief in free will.... Now I do believe in it because I know that God foresaw those who would choose (BTW We are required to choose by a Holy Righteous and Sovereign God.... You are not allowed to NOT make a choice) to believe in His Son and set them apart beforehand based on that....

Mary, this presents a serious dilemma. If God's predestination is based strictly on those whom he foresaw as choosing Christ, and is not based at all on his predetermining that people come to Christ (which is what predestination actually means), then nobody will come to Christ because nobody understands or seeks for God.

This is why a correct understanding of man's nature is so pivotal in discussions like this. Once we understand that man is so depraved that in and of himself he does not seek for God, does not understand, and is not able to subject himself to the law of God, then we will readily understand that in order for anyone to be saved, God must predestine even their faith and repentance. If God left it up to man, nobody would ever come to Christ.

Butch5
Mar 5th 2010, 02:29 PM
Mathetes---Mary, this presents a serious dilemma. If God's predestination is based strictly on those whom he foresaw as choosing Christ, and is not based at all on his predetermining that people come to Christ (which is what predestination actually means), then nobody will come to Christ because nobody understands or seeks for God.

That's not what predestination means at all. It simple means to determine before hand.


This is why a correct understanding of man's nature is so pivotal in discussions like this. Once we understand that man is so depraved that in and of himself he does not seek for God, does not understand, and is not able to subject himself to the law of God, then we will readily understand that in order for anyone to be saved, God must predestine even their faith and repentance. If God left it up to man, nobody would ever come to Christ.

My friend, I think before you are going to be able to make any headway you are going to have to prove your premise.We can discuss this all day long but if you do not prove your premise then no one is going to buy your argument. As you may have noticed I have been asking questions to get you to prove your premise. You have not done so. Since you claim man is incapable of turning to God. please show us where Scripture teaches such an idea. You say regeneration precedes faith, where does Scripture teach such a thing?

Mathetes
Mar 5th 2010, 02:36 PM
That's not what predestination means at all. It simple means to determine before hand.

Hi Butch,

I'm not saying this to be rude, but this is the last time I'm going to respond to you on this matter because this is just going back and forth. At any rate, your objection above makes no difference. If anything, it just reinforces my point. If God's predestination--predetermining--of who will come to Christ is dependent upon the sinner's choice to believe in Christ, then it follows that such predestination is doomed to failure because nobody understands and nobody seeks for God (Rom. 3:11). If there is some subset of humanity that seeks God and understands, unlike the rest of humanity, then Mary's point would be true. The Bible, however, allows for no such possibility. No one in the entire human race understands or seeks for God, so if God looks down through the corridors of time in search of people who will make the choice of their own free will to believe in Christ, he will find nobody. This is why Arminianism is like a wide bridge that goes only halfway across a chasm. It offers freely, but in the end it takes nobody to the other side. Reformed soteriology, on the other hand, is like a narrow bridge that extends all the way across the chasm. For those who get on the bridge, it takes them assuredly to the other side.

The fact is that God grants faith to certain people, and this divine act of granting is necessary for anyone to come to Christ (Phil. 1:29; Eph. 2:8; John 6:37, 44, 65). These Scriptures make it all too clear that this granting of faith is an active role that God takes, not a passive one. He does not sit back and wring his hands helplessly, hoping that people will give Jesus a chance. Such a view attempts to put that sovereignty, which belongs to God alone, into the hands of the sinner and makes God's choice subject to the corrupt will of fallen man.


My friend, I think before you are going to be able to make any headway you are going to have to prove your premise.We can discuss this all day long but if you do not prove your premise then no one is going to buy your argument. As you may have noticed I have been asking questions to get you to prove your premise. You have not done so.That is not true. You know, based on our interaction in the other thread about this topic, "Calling all predestination believers....," that I have referenced Scriptures and explained them to make my point. Of course, you don't accept those explanations, but that does not mean that I have not proven my premise.


Since you claim man is incapable of turning to God. please show us where Scripture teaches such an idea. You say regeneration precedes faith, where does Scripture teach such a thing?I've already done that in the other thread, mentioned above. I also plan to delve into this at considerable length in the future, although that will take some to produce, as I have no intention of going about this in a casual, flippant, proof-texting manner that refuses to consider all that God has said.

MaryFreeman
Mar 5th 2010, 04:21 PM
Mary, this presents a serious dilemma. If God's predestination is based strictly on those whom he foresaw as choosing Christ, and is not based at all on his predetermining that people come to Christ (which is what predestination actually means), then nobody will come to Christ because nobody understands or seeks for God.

This is why a correct understanding of man's nature is so pivotal in discussions like this. Once we understand that man is so depraved that in and of himself he does not seek for God, does not understand, and is not able to subject himself to the law of God, then we will readily understand that in order for anyone to be saved, God must predestine even their faith and repentance. If God left it up to man, nobody would ever come to Christ.

I have a hard time answering this gently....

So here.... brother.... is the cold hard truth....

In plain.... unadorned.... Sugarfree American....

From the very begining a choice was demanded of the entire human race:

"I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both you and your decendants may live; that you may love the lord your god, that you may obey His voice, and that yu may cling to Him for He is your life and the length of your days, and that you may dwell in the land which the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them." Deuteronomy 30:19-20

DEMANDED.... And all heaven and all earth bears witness against us.... That we know the truth and can see it everywhere we turn:

(Rom 1:18) But God shows His anger from heaven against all sinful, wicked people who suppress the truth by their wickedness.

(Rom 1:19) They know the truth about God because He has made it obvious to them.

(Rom 1:20) For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see His invisible qualities—His eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God.

(Rom 1:21) Yes, they knew God, but they wouldn't worship Him as God or even give Him thanks. And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like. As a result, their minds became dark and confused.

(Rom 1:22) Claiming to be wise, they instead became utter fools.

As a RESULT.... Sinners did not start out dumb and blind as reformed theology suggests.... We all knew.... We all saw and understood that which was around us.... As a result of a refusal to worship Him as God.... or even thank Him for all He had done.... Their minds became dark and confused.... AS A RESULT.... Not the cause here.... But the end result.... The reason they no longer knew Him is because they refused to seek Him....

However that did not mean they could not seek Him (which has been my point all along).... God said we know Him.... All of us do.... Period.... Which is why He demands a choice be made.... Choose to obey Him or choose to stay in darkness and sin.... IT IS A CHOICE.... And not one He is sitting hunched down with His head bowed in heaven.... Biting His fingernails in anxious worry over what we would choose.... Why would He need to do that? He FOREKNEW who would use their BRAIN and choose LIFE.... BASED ON THAT He predestened those who showed some intellegence to His Glory....

People don't need to seek God.... Because He didn't go anywhere.... He is all around them.... Nature itself testifies of the Lord God.... And NO ONE has a leg to stand on.... NONE of us can say "I didn't know".... To state that people are somehow devoid of the ability to see and know God is to insert an excuse where according to Scripture there is NONE.... No one has an excuse because the truth has been there since day one....

As far as reformed soteriowhateveryoucalledit.... JESUS IS THE WAY.... Jesus is the truth.... Jesus is the life....

NO MAN COMES TO THE FATHER BUT BY JESUS....

Not nondenominational"ism"....

Not Baptist churches....

Not the Anti Nicene Fathers....

Not Armenianism....

Not reformed theology....

How anyone could equate their theology with "the narrow way".... I am clueless.... And I stand here speachless.... Mouth agape.... :eek: that anyone would dare....

MaryFreeman
Mar 5th 2010, 04:32 PM
Hi Butch,

Reformed soteriology, on the other hand, is like a narrow bridge that extends all the way across the chasm. For those who get on the bridge, it takes them assuredly to the other side.

:eek: :eek: :eek:

Joh 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

Athanasius
Mar 5th 2010, 04:55 PM
I'm not saying this to be rude, but this is the last time I'm going to respond to you on this matter because this is just going back and forth. At any rate, your objection above makes no difference. If anything, it just reinforces my point. If God's predestination--predetermining--of who will come to Christ is dependent upon the sinner's choice to believe in Christ, then it follows that such predestination is doomed to failure because nobody understands and nobody seeks for God (Rom. 3:11). If there is some subset of humanity that seeks God and understands, unlike the rest of humanity, then Mary's point would be true. The Bible, however, allows for no such possibility. No one in the entire human race understands or seeks for God, so if God looks down through the corridors of time in search of people who will make the choice of their own free will to believe in Christ, he will find nobody.

Unfortunately for Calvinism, human experience says otherwise. There are people who seek and come to God (partly because I believe God calls all people... Oh yes, ALL PEOPLE are "the elect," if they so respond). Thus, this position needs to be rethought from something extreme to something more realistic and in conformation with reality and human experience. Otherwise, as is a common point made in these threads, Calvinism - or a Reformed position - properly understood, makes God out to be something of a moral monstrosity. And to say again, the propensity of some people to simply state the(ir) truth is agitating, to say the least.

Here's a narrow road: following Jesus. Here's what isn't a narrow road: Calvinism or Arminianism... They aren't even narrow bridges. And I would say that if one is accused of not being able to "bridge a gap," then it is true of the other as well.

It's just unbelievable, and it's no wonder people have such disdain for the Reformed position. And I'm not Arminian, by the way.

Mathetes
Mar 5th 2010, 06:06 PM
From the very begining a choice was demanded of the entire human race:

"I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both you and your decendants may live; that you may love the lord your god, that you may obey His voice, and that yu may cling to Him for He is your life and the length of your days, and that you may dwell in the land which the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them." Deuteronomy 30:19-20

Mary, this argument has been used for hundreds of years by those who are of your persuasion, but it rests on a weak foundation. God's commands do not indicate ability on the part of the ones to whom the command is given. Doesn't God demand perfect obedience to his law? Doesn't he demand perfect righteousness? Yet he knows very well that we are unable to comply with that demand. Why does he do this? Why does he command us to do something we are not able to do? First, God is not a human being. His ways are not our ways. In our everyday interactions with other people, we certainly would not tell someone to do something that they cannot do. We have to remember, though, that we are dealing with God and not a mere man. Secondly, far be it from God to lower his standards to accommodate sinful man. He would never say, "Here is my law, but I know you can't obey it completely because of your sinful nature, so I won't demand that you do so." Man's corruption and inability to obey God's commandments perfectly do not make them any less binding on us. Why should it seem so strange, then, if God tells us to repent and believe when we cannot do so apart from grace?


DEMANDED.... And all heaven and all earth bears witness against us.... That we know the truth and can see it everywhere we turn:

(Rom 1:18) But God shows His anger from heaven against all sinful, wicked people who suppress the truth by their wickedness.

(Rom 1:19) They know the truth about God because He has made it obvious to them.

(Rom 1:20) For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see His invisible qualities—His eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God.

(Rom 1:21) Yes, they knew God, but they wouldn't worship Him as God or even give Him thanks. And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like. As a result, their minds became dark and confused.

(Rom 1:22) Claiming to be wise, they instead became utter fools.

As a RESULT.... Sinners did not start out dumb and blind as reformed theology suggests.... We all knew.... We all saw and understood that which was around us.... As a result of a refusal to worship Him as God.... or even thank Him for all He had done.... Their minds became dark and confused.... AS A RESULT.... Not the cause here.... But the end result.... The reason they no longer knew Him is because they refused to seek Him....

Certainly their minds became darkened and they became fools, but this, as you indicated, was preceded by their willful rejection of what they knew. The order is: They knew who God was, then they rejected that knowledge, and finally they became fools and their minds were darkened. So the question is: Why did they reject God's revelation of himself in nature in the first place? How would you answer that question?

I answer it this way: The people Paul spoke of in Romans 1 had a knowledge of God, but they turned away from that light in nature, choosing to worship the creature instead of the Creator. Knowledge of the truth does not guarantee faith. (The two, in fact, are distinct from each other.) IOW, they disbelieved. Why? That willful rejection must indicate a predisposition of hostility toward God; otherwise the rejection would not have taken place.


However that did not mean they could not seek Him (which has been my point all along).... God said we know Him.... All of us do.... Period.... Which is why He demands a choice be made....

Well, one thing to remember is that Paul's intention was not to address the subject of man's ability or inability in that passage. What he was setting out to show was that all men commit sin, as he summarizes later in chapter 3, verse 9:

What then? Are we better than they? Not at all; for we have already charged that both Jews and Greeks are all under sin;

Therefore, it's difficult to use this passage to try to determine whether man has ability or not.


Choose to obey Him or choose to stay in darkness and sin.... IT IS A CHOICE.... And not one He is sitting hunched down with His head bowed in heaven.... Biting His fingernails in anxious worry over what we would choose.... Why would He need to do that? He FOREKNEW who would use their BRAIN and choose LIFE.... BASED ON THAT He predestened those who showed some intellegence to His Glory....

Well, Mary, if nobody understands, as the biblical text certainly tells us, how would using their brain even be a factor? Also, since nobody seeks for God, don't you think that, when God looked down the corridor of time to see who would later choose to believe in Christ, he would see nobody making that choice? And if that were true, what was there for God to predestine? Based on your view and the fact that nobody seeks for God, I don't see how you can conclude that God predestined anyone.


People don't need to seek God.... Because He didn't go anywhere.... He is all around them.... Nature itself testifies of the Lord God.... And NO ONE has a leg to stand on.... NONE of us can say "I didn't know".... To state that people are somehow devoid of the ability to see and know God is to insert an excuse where according to Scripture there is NONE.... No one has an excuse because the truth has been there since day one....

I agree, except for this: Saying that man is blind is no excuse at all. The revelation is out there, as you say, objectively for all to see. Man still rejects that light willfully. His own sin blinds him. That is not God's fault but man's, so man is still without excuse.


How anyone could equate their theology with "the narrow way".... I am clueless.... And I stand here speachless.... Mouth agape.... :eek: that anyone would dare....

I'm afraid you misunderstood the point entirely. The point of that analogy was to show that Arminian theology does not deliver what it promises. It offers the gospel to all people, but if their theology is correct, nobody would get across the bridge. What it offers with one hand it takes away with the other. Reformed theology, on the other hand, is "narrow" in the sense that it teaches that only some will be saved, but if it is true it guarantees that those "some" will be saved because their faith, repentance, justification, sanctification, etc., are all guaranteed by God, having been predestined.

MaryFreeman
Mar 5th 2010, 07:34 PM
Mathetes

I didn't read your post....

Nor will I read subsequent posts....

You CANNOT twist Scripture to fit your view.... Therefore you MUST twist your view to fit Scripture.... I have shown you Scripture proving difinitively that people DO know God.... They have knowledge of Him because He made it blatantly obvious.... They CHOOSE to remain where they are because they LOVE where they are.... Which is what makes them blind and stupid.... They do not start out that way.... And you provided no scriptural rebuttal.... Just another long post saying nothing at all....

I have stated this thread bears no fruit.... That it is not profitable for anyone involved.... PERIOD....

So please do not respond to this post as I will not come back here.

Butch5
Mar 5th 2010, 07:48 PM
Hi Butch,

I'm not saying this to be rude, but this is the last time I'm going to respond to you on this matter because this is just going back and forth. At any rate, your objection above makes no difference. If anything, it just reinforces my point. If God's predestination--predetermining--of who will come to Christ is dependent upon the sinner's choice to believe in Christ, then it follows that such predestination is doomed to failure because nobody understands and nobody seeks for God (Rom. 3:11). If there is some subset of humanity that seeks God and understands, unlike the rest of humanity, then Mary's point would be true. The Bible, however, allows for no such possibility. No one in the entire human race understands or seeks for God, so if God looks down through the corridors of time in search of people who will make the choice of their own free will to believe in Christ, he will find nobody. This is why Arminianism is like a wide bridge that goes only halfway across a chasm. It offers freely, but in the end it takes nobody to the other side. Reformed soteriology, on the other hand, is like a narrow bridge that extends all the way across the chasm. For those who get on the bridge, it takes them assuredly to the other side.

The fact is that God grants faith to certain people, and this divine act of granting is necessary for anyone to come to Christ (Phil. 1:29; Eph. 2:8; John 6:37, 44, 65). These Scriptures make it all too clear that this granting of faith is an active role that God takes, not a passive one. He does not sit back and wring his hands helplessly, hoping that people will give Jesus a chance. Such a view attempts to put that sovereignty, which belongs to God alone, into the hands of the sinner and makes God's choice subject to the corrupt will of fallen man.


Hi Mathetes,

You're not being rude, and I didn't expect you would respond very long to my questions. This is the typical response that I get from reformed thinkers when I pose the hard questions to them. You have a nice tidy systematic theological system, It appeals to the educated mind yet it stands in contradiction to Scripture. As I said before it is an inferred theology, all of the doctrines are inferred. There is not a statement of Scripture that states any one of the five points of Calvinism outright. Yet Calvinism in turn has to redefine the words of Scripture to avoid clear contradictions. I am more than willing to discuss the issue, however, let's discuss the entire issue, not avoid the hard questions.


That is not true. You know, based on our interaction in the other thread about this topic, "Calling all predestination believers....," that I have referenced Scriptures and explained them to make my point. Of course, you don't accept those explanations, but that does not mean that I have not proven my premise.

OK, Total depravity, man is incapable of turning to God unless first regenerated, correct???

What Scriptural evidence is there to support this doctrine? It seems to me that since this is the foundational doctrine of the theology there would be an abundance of Scriptural support for it. Can you give me just a verse or two?


I've already done that in the other thread, mentioned above. I also plan to delve into this at considerable length in the future, although that will take some to produce, as I have no intention of going about this in a casual, flippant, proof-texting manner that refuses to consider all that God has said.

That is good and I look forward to hear what you have to say. I am a proponent of studying in light of the entirety of Scripture. If you are going to convince me though you will need to be able to prove what you claim. I am willing to listen to anyone, however, I do not accept presumptions. What you say I will hold up against the entirety of Scripture, not just John 6, Romans, and Ephesians 1.

BTW, I'm not Arminian. I think both bridges only go half way.

John146
Mar 5th 2010, 08:12 PM
Hi Butch,

I'm not saying this to be rude, but this is the last time I'm going to respond to you on this matter because this is just going back and forth. At any rate, your objection above makes no difference. If anything, it just reinforces my point. If God's predestination--predetermining--of who will come to Christ is dependent upon the sinner's choice to believe in Christ, then it follows that such predestination is doomed to failure because nobody understands and nobody seeks for God (Rom. 3:11). If there is some subset of humanity that seeks God and understands, unlike the rest of humanity, then Mary's point would be true. The Bible, however, allows for no such possibility. No one in the entire human race understands or seeks for God, so if God looks down through the corridors of time in search of people who will make the choice of their own free will to believe in Christ, he will find nobody. This is why Arminianism is like a wide bridge that goes only halfway across a chasm. It offers freely, but in the end it takes nobody to the other side. Reformed soteriology, on the other hand, is like a narrow bridge that extends all the way across the chasm. For those who get on the bridge, it takes them assuredly to the other side.Oh, my. I couldn't just let this go. Speaking of only telling part of the story and going half way across the chasm. Wow. You say no one seeks God. In a sense that's true, but in another sense it is not. If no one ever sought God then passages like the following would not make sense:

Isaiah 55
6Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near:
7Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.

Heb 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

Surely, you are not trying to claim that no one seeks the Lord while He may be found and no one diligently seeks Him, right? So, do we have a contradiction here or is it the case that no one seeks Him under certain conditions but they do in other conditions? Could it be that no one would seek the Lord on their own volition if He did not call them and have the gospel preached to them but once people are called and hear the gospel they are expected to seek Him while He may be found? I believe so. But you see something that says "no one seeks God" and you stop right there and ignore the passages that speak about people seeking God. You're only seeing half of the story, yet here you are accusing those who oppose your view of doing that.


The fact is that God grants faith to certain people, and this divine act of granting is necessary for anyone to come to Christ (Phil. 1:29; Eph. 2:8; John 6:37, 44, 65). These Scriptures make it all too clear that this granting of faith is an active role that God takes, not a passive one. He does not sit back and wring his hands helplessly, hoping that people will give Jesus a chance. Such a view attempts to put that sovereignty, which belongs to God alone, into the hands of the sinner and makes God's choice subject to the corrupt will of fallen man.God grants people the opportunity to be saved by His grace through faith in Christ. Scripture doesn't say that God gives people saving faith and withholds it from the rest.

Acts 11:18 When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life.

This verse is referring to the Gentiles in general. In other words, it's referring to people who were not Jews. So, what this verse means is that God has granted to the Gentiles (non-Jews) the opportunity to repent unto eternal life just as He had done for the Jews. But the logic you use to interpret other verses like this would demand that this verse is saying that God has given repentance and eternal life to all Gentiles.

newinchrist4now
Mar 5th 2010, 09:46 PM
Mathetes

I didn't read your post....

Nor will I read subsequent posts....

You CANNOT twist Scripture to fit your view.... Therefore you MUST twist your view to fit Scripture.... I have shown you Scripture proving difinitively that people DO know God.... They have knowledge of Him because He made it blatantly obvious.... They CHOOSE to remain where they are because they LOVE where they are.... Which is what makes them blind and stupid.... They do not start out that way.... And you provided no scriptural rebuttal.... Just another long post saying nothing at all....

I have stated this thread bears no fruit.... That it is not profitable for anyone involved.... PERIOD....

So please do not respond to this post as I will not come back here.

And you illustrated my point better than I could myself. When the Reformed present there side they are always wrong but when ones like you say your side it always wonderfully right.

Radagast
Mar 5th 2010, 10:01 PM
I'm not sure if it's necessarily wise of me to step back in, but fools rush in where angels fear to tread...



Unfortunately for Calvinism, human experience says otherwise. There are people who seek and come to God

You are right, I think, to say that human experience is relevant. And if you are saying, on the basis of your ability to look into people's hearts, that some people seek and come to God without the assistance of the Holy Spirit, then Reformed Theology would indeed be wrong.

However, I'm not sure that you can see quite that clearly, and so I'm not sure that your assessment is completely correct in this case.



... If God left it up to man, nobody would ever come to Christ.

The best expression of the Reformed position is probably this hymn:

I sought the Lord, and afterward I knew
He moved my soul to seek Him, seeking me.
It was not I that found, O Savior true;
No, I was found of Thee.

Thou didst reach forth Thy hand and mine enfold;
I walked and sank not on the storm vexed sea.
’Twas not so much that I on Thee took hold,
As Thou, dear Lord, on me.

I find, I walk, I love, but oh, the whole
Of love is but my answer, Lord, to Thee!
For Thou were long beforehand with my soul,
Always Thou lovest me. -- Anonymous, 1880


Of course, a hymn doesn't prove anything, but the ideas in the hymn are, I think, drawn from Scripture:

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. (Ephesians 2:8-10)

theBelovedDisciple
Mar 5th 2010, 11:10 PM
Originally Posted by Xel'Naga
Unfortunately for Calvinism, human experience says otherwise. There are people who seek and come to God

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

Yes I would like to hear what your saying on this.. is this what your implying..

that man can come to God on his own.. without the aid of the Holy Ghost?

not really sure if your implying this.. :hmm:
God draws the sinner to HImself by the Holy Ghost.. and its the Father that draws the sinner to Jesus Christ..

no man woman or child comes to Jesus Christ without the FAther drawing them thru the Operation fo the HOly Ghost..

man coming to God on his/her own.. is not Biblical...

thats a man centered salvation.... and more than likely the work of the other 'sower' Jesus talked about in His Parable..

I'm no Calvanist or Armenianist...

Athanasius
Mar 5th 2010, 11:13 PM
I
You are right, I think, to say that human experience is relevant. And if you are saying, on the basis of your ability to look into people's hearts, that some people seek and come to God without the assistance of the Holy Spirit, then Reformed Theology would indeed be wrong.

However, I'm not sure that you can see quite that clearly, and so I'm not sure that your assessment is completely correct in this case.

I probably contradicted myself. Go with my other statement, that I believe God calls everyone... At least for now. I don't have the time to defend this view (that you've quoted), nor have I thought about it sufficiently.

Radagast
Mar 6th 2010, 12:07 AM
I don't have the time to defend this view (that you've quoted), nor have I thought about it sufficiently.

No point debating it, then. :)


Go with my other statement, that I believe God calls everyone.

That depends very much on what exactly you mean by "call." I think many Reformed people would agree that "God calls all sinners to repentance."

Athanasius
Mar 6th 2010, 02:14 AM
No point debating it, then. :)

Not really, when I get my theology down... in a few years... then maybe then :P For the time being I simply like intruding a being a nuissance.

Jemand
Mar 6th 2010, 05:29 PM
Mary, this presents a serious dilemma. If God's predestination is based strictly on those whom he foresaw as choosing Christ, and is not based at all on his predetermining that people come to Christ (which is what predestination actually means), then nobody will come to Christ because nobody understands or seeks for God.

This is why a correct understanding of man's nature is so pivotal in discussions like this. Once we understand that man is so depraved that in and of himself he does not seek for God, does not understand, and is not able to subject himself to the law of God, then we will readily understand that in order for anyone to be saved, God must predestine even their faith and repentance. If God left it up to man, nobody would ever come to Christ.

We share the gospel with unsaved people because they are depraved and in need of salvation. As we share the gospel with them, the Holy Spirit convicts them of their sin and their need of salvation, but with various results:


Some people do not believe the gospel and are not saved.

Some people believe the gospel but choose not to yield their lives to Christ and are not saved.

Some people believe the gospel and choose to yield their lives to Christ and are saved.

Some people who are saved fail to continue in the faith and loose their salvation

Some people who are saved continue in the faith.


Col. 1:19. For it was the Father's good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him,
20. and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven.
21. And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds,
22. yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach--
23. if indeed you continue in the faith firmly established and steadfast, and not moved away from the hope of the gospel that you have heard, which was proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, was made a minister.

John 3:16. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.
17. “For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.
18. “He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” (NASB, 1995)

Everyone who hears the gospel message clearly presented to them has the opportunity to believe it and choose to yield their lives to Christ. Christ did everything that His Father asked Him to do for our salvation. Our part is to do everything that Christ asked us to do for our salvation—believe In Him, keep His commandments, abide in His love, and bear fruit. (John 15:1-11)