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#11400 Sat Apr 03, 2004 8:05 AM
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Zion Seeker,
I can offer a hearty Amen to your quote inviting sinners to repent!

I have great respect for Pilgrim's theological knowledge as well as Steve's and I do not think they would try to lead you astray in their handling of the Greek. And since Pilgrim desires to teach the truth faithfully here and has devoted his life to that, I can understand how it was very insulting to him to have you insinuate that he didn't know what he was talking about. It is unfortunate when things get personal here and the discussion ends up focusing on inflammatory remarks and then no one is edified in the process. We seek to honor God here and his truth.
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I don't have all the answers. These things have been argued over for centuries, and until I get some clearer light - and a better knowledge of Greek - I am shelving it, knowing that I can't get any further with it for right now. But there are just too many scriptures that attribute new life itself to faith in the clearest and most unmistakable terms.
I will pray for you Zion Seeker. I believe you are seeking the truth and I do believe that the Lord will show you the way.

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Well, of course, you know what a big fan I am of John Metcalfe <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/takethat.gif" alt="" /> Any connection between his views and mine is wholly coincidental.

I think Long John Silver's parrot had a firm grasp of theology. When he wasn't saying, "Pieces of eight!", he would squawk, "Dead men don't bite!" This is a profound truth; dead men don't bite, nor do they believe unless the Lord first gives them a principle of life.

'But for him that is joined to all the living there is hope, for a living dog is better than a dead lion. For the living know that they will die; but the dead know nothing' (Eccl 9:4-5).

When a baby is born, the parents are so relieved when it takes its first breath and cries. It is a sign that the baby is alive. But unless there is already a principle of life within the baby, it will never take that breath. So it is with a new Christian. Spiritual life brings faith; where there is no faith there is no life. But unless there is already a principle of life present, then no one will ever come to faith.

I think your strictures on Calvinism come from confusing it with Hyper-Calvinism. A true Calvinist has no problem telling people, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved." As one who spent many years in an Arminian church, I have no hesitation in saying that there is more true spiritual life in a Calvinist church than in an Armininian one. Carry on reading Spurgeon.

[Reference Peter Masters and Robert Reymond, I know nothing about any controversy]

Every blessing,
Steve


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It has taken me 2 days to get here (took me that long to read this last several pages of this thread!!

I am not like many of your here with a background in Greek or any formal Christian ed. at all. But I am a born again Christian. All I can give you is my experience. I'm not all settled on the whole Calvinism - Arminianism issue myself and don't know if I'll ever be. But just from my experience and from what I read in Scripture I lean in the Calvin direction.

What I can tell you for sure is that God definately chose me. I can't explain why (except for the vigorous prayers of my Mother) God chose to reveal Himself to me at age 17 1/2. I prayed "sinners prayers" a few times at camp growing up. But I knew in my heart there was something missing. And I did pray the verses to God - where God says - seek me and you will find me - as a teenager. I began going to Youth For Christ meetings and this is when God revealed himself to me. But it's not even going to Youth For Christ that did it. I remember when I began to see things very differently. I had a friend quote a few verses to me and and I got out my confirmation bible from under my bed (already 4 years old and in still brand new looking condition). I read these verses and it was like a big light bulb went on!! And I had apparently read these verses before somewhere because they were underlined. I was kind of shocked seeing they were underlined because I did not at all remember reading these verses before at all. And I started just devouring the Word and read the NT many, many times over the next couple of years. Why did this happen then? I don't know. God totally did it. I have to say I side with the Calvinists on this site that the regeneration totally starts with God and not us and our faith or believing the Word in our heart,etc etc.

I like seeing this "debate" on here and hope Zion Seeker can stay with us and just not get so defensive. Why get defensive?? Ok you don't want to believe in all the Calvinist views, then fine. But if somebody else does, then that's fine too. That's how I feel about it. Just remember you're on Calvinist territory here and you need to respect that. I know I'm saved and that's what matters and I'll be learning for the rest of my life.

I went on a Mormon discussion board once (when I was researching Mormonism thoroughly because of a neighbor I've gotten to know who is Mormon). I read their rules on the board. I wanted to respond (against the rules of the board) to one person who was questioning some things, but I didn't do it because that wasn't right because I would have had to break their rules to do it. (of course they had strick rules and didn't want any Christian like me coming on to change anyone's minds) I was on their turf and it wouldn't be right to not respect their wishes on that board.

#11403 Thu Apr 08, 2004 9:16 AM
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Zion Seeker,
I want to add one more thing and I am done.

[quote]Man's depravity, as a result of the Fall, is total. All men are born into this world spiritually dead, blind, and deaf to the things of God; the sinner's heart is desperately corrupt. His will is not free; it is in bondage to his evil nature. Therefore, he has lost his ability to choose good over evil in the spiritual realm. It takes more than the Spirit's assistance to bring the sinner to Christ--it takes regeneration by which the Spirit makes the sinner alive and gives him a new nature. Faith is not something man contributes to salvation but is itself a part of God's gift of salvation--it is God's gift to the sinner, not the sinner's gift to God.

Ps 51:5 Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,
and in sin did my mother conceive me.

58:3 The wicked are estranged from the womb;
they go astray from birth, speaking lies.

Is 53:6 All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have turned every one to his own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.

64:6 We have all become like one who is unclean,
and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment.
We all fade like a leaf,
and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.

Jer 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things,
and desperately sick;
who can understand it?

Jn 3:3 Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

8:44 You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father's desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

Romans 3:10-12 as it is written:

“None is righteous, no, not one;
11 no one understands;
no one seeks for God.
12 All have turned aside; together they have become worthless;
no one does good,
not even one.”

5:12 Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned—

Eph 2: 1-3 And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— 3 among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body [1] and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.

1 Cor 2:14 The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.

Taken from: The 5 points of Calvinism.

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Mark

Have your views changed since you started this thread?

Tom

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The Calvinist position is not "free choice" but that the will is in bondage to sin. Any "choice" anyone makes is determined by outside influences, not by a "libertarian free will." Free moral agency is the Calvinist position, not "free will". There is no such thing as "free will". Martin Luther denied it in The Bondage of the Will and so did Calvin in Book 3, Chapter 23, Institutes of the Christian Religion.


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Calvin the "hyper-Calvinist" comments on Romans 9:11-13,

11. We come now to the reprobate, to whom the Apostle at the same time refers (Rom. 9:13). For as Jacob, who as yet had merited nothing by good works, is assumed into favor; so Esau, while as yet unpolluted by any crime, is hated. If we turn our view to works, we do injustice to the Apostle, as if he had failed to see the very thing which is clear to us. Moreover, there is complete proof of his not having seen it, since he expressly insists that when as yet they had done neither good nor evil, the one was elected, the other rejected, in order to prove that the foundation of divine predestination is not in works. Then after starting the objection, Is God unjust? instead of employing what would have been the surest and plainest defense of his justice—viz. that God had recompensed Esau according to his wickedness, he is contented with a different solution—viz. that the reprobate are expressly raised up, in order that the glory of God may thereby be displayed. At last, he concludes that God has mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth (Rom. 9:18). You see how he refers both to the mere pleasure of God. Therefore, if we cannot assign any reason for his bestowing mercy on his people, but just that it so pleases him, neither can we have any reason for his reprobating others but his will. When God is said to visit in mercy or harden whom he will, men are reminded that they are not to seek for any cause beyond his will. (Book 3, Chapter 22, Paragraph 11.

John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion (Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, 1997).

Last edited by Cranmer; Sun Apr 21, 2013 1:49 PM.

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Amen. God causes us to believe, otherwise we would still be in unbelief. (Ephesians 2:8-9; Titus 3:5-7; John 3:3-8).


For "who has known the mind of the LORD that he may instruct Him?" But we have the mind of Christ. (1 Corinthians 2:16 NKJ)
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Originally Posted by Cranmer
The Calvinist position is not "free choice" but that the will is in bondage to sin. Any "choice" anyone makes is determined by outside influences, not by a "libertarian free will." Free moral agency is the Calvinist position, not "free will"....
1. Welcome to the Discussion Board. [Linked Image]

2. Yes, the historic and confessional Calvinist view denies an inherent "free-will", i.e., a denial that man can choose contrary to his nature.

3. Any choice a man makes is partly determined by outside influences. Choices are also partly and predominately determined by inside influences, i.e., one's nature. The natural man CAN only choose that which is contrary to God due to his inherited depravity of nature. The spiritual (regenerated) man has a new nature which seeks after God and desires to be conformed to the image of Christ. But since there is a remaining influence of sin within the regenerate man, he can also sin. cf. Rom 7.

4. ALL choices made by man, whether unregenerate or regenerate are "free", i.e., no one or any thing can force the human will, not even God. Man, as Edwards pointedly wrote, always chooses that which is most important to him under any given circumstance. The ONLY way that any man can even desire to seek after God and do that which is good is by a radical change of nature; the recreation of the will which occurs in regeneration.


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I've rarely if ever met any "hyper-Calvinists" online and never in person.

But consider what that "hyper-Calvinist" has to say in the Institutes of the Christian Religion:

11. We come now to the reprobate, to whom the Apostle at the same time refers (Rom. 9:13). For as Jacob, who as yet had merited nothing by good works, is assumed into favor; so Esau, while as yet unpolluted by any crime, is hated. If we turn our view to works, we do injustice to the Apostle, as if he had failed to see the very thing which is clear to us. Moreover, there is complete proof of his not having seen it, since he expressly insists that when as yet they had done neither good nor evil, the one was elected, the other rejected, in order to prove that the foundation of divine predestination is not in works. Then after starting the objection, Is God unjust? instead of employing what would have been the surest and plainest defense of his justice—viz. that God had recompensed Esau according to his wickedness, he is contented with a different solution—viz. that the reprobate are expressly raised up, in order that the glory of God may thereby be displayed. At last, he concludes that God has mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth (Rom. 9:18). You see how he refers both to the mere pleasure of God. Therefore, if we cannot assign any reason for his bestowing mercy on his people, but just that it so pleases him, neither can we have any reason for his reprobating others but his will. When God is said to visit in mercy or harden whom he will, men are reminded that they are not to seek for any cause beyond his will. Book 3, Ch. 22, Section 11.

John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion (Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, 1997).


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That's a great summary of the semi-Arminian view. However, it is not the view of either Luther or Calvin:

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"THIS, therefore, is also essentially necessary and wholesome for Christians to know: That God foreknows nothing by contingency, but that He foresees, purposes, and does all things according to His immutable, eternal, and infallible will. By this thunderbolt, "Free-will" is thrown prostrate, and utterly dashed to pieces. Those, therefore, who would assert "Free-will," must either deny this thunderbolt, or pretend not to see it, or push it from them." Martin Luther, The Bondage of the Will, "Sovereignty of God"

Free moral agency is not the same thing as "free will" at all. Romans 9:11-13 refutes any idea that choice is the deciding factor in salvation. The golden chain of salvation begins with unconditional election, not free choice or even free moral agency (Ephesians 1:4-5, 11).

From a "hyper-Calvinist":

Quote
11. We come now to the reprobate, to whom the Apostle at the same time refers (Rom. 9:13). For as Jacob, who as yet had merited nothing by good works, is assumed into favor; so Esau, while as yet unpolluted by any crime, is hated. If we turn our view to works, we do injustice to the Apostle, as if he had failed to see the very thing which is clear to us. Moreover, there is complete proof of his not having seen it, since he expressly insists that when as yet they had done neither good nor evil, the one was elected, the other rejected, in order to prove that the foundation of divine predestination is not in works. Then after starting the objection, Is God unjust? instead of employing what would have been the surest and plainest defense of his justice—viz. that God had recompensed Esau according to his wickedness, he is contented with a different solution—viz. that the reprobate are expressly raised up, in order that the glory of God may thereby be displayed. At last, he concludes that God has mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth (Rom. 9:18). You see how he refers both to the mere pleasure of God. Therefore, if we cannot assign any reason for his bestowing mercy on his people, but just that it so pleases him, neither can we have any reason for his reprobating others but his will. When God is said to visit in mercy or harden whom he will, men are reminded that they are not to seek for any cause beyond his will. Book 3, chapter 22, section 11.

John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion (Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, 1997).

Last edited by Cranmer; Sun Apr 21, 2013 2:25 PM.

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>>>4. ALL choices made by man, whether unregenerate or regenerate are "free", i.e., no one or any thing can force the human will, not even God.<<<

This is Arminian language. Of course God does not "violate" the will of man:

Quote
CHAPTER III—Of God’s Eternal Decree

1. God from all eternity, did, by the most wise and holy counsel of His own will, freely, and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass: (Eph. 1:11, Rom. 11:33, Heb. 6:17, Rom. 9:15,18) yet so, as thereby neither is God the author of sin, (James 1:13,17, 1 John 1:5) nor is violence offered to the will of the creatures; nor is the liberty or contingency of second causes taken away, but rather established.


The Westminster Confession of Faith (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1996).

However, that is not to say that God is not the cause of both election and reprobation. Clearly the WCF says that God does cause both election and reprobation. Calvin says the same thing.

Quote
3. By the decree of God, for the manifestation of His glory, some men and angels (1 Tim. 5:21, Matt. 25:41) are predestinated unto everlasting life; and others foreordained to everlasting death. (Rom. 9:22–23, Eph. 1:5–6, Prov. 16:4) WCF, Chapter III:3

The Westminster Confession of Faith (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1996).


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Originally Posted by Cranmer
>>>4. ALL choices made by man, whether unregenerate or regenerate are "free", i.e., no one or any thing can force the human will, not even God.<<<

This is Arminian language. Of course God does not "violate" the will of man:
I'm a bit confused by your response.

What exactly is "Arminian Language"??? scratchchin


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Originally Posted by Cranmer
I've rarely if ever met any "hyper-Calvinists" online and never in person.
Interesting! grin This of course, begs the question... What is the definition of a "hyper-Calvinst or hyper-Calvinism"? There are LOTS of definitions out there that people have expressed. What is yours? grin

That's a topic which has been discussed here on several occasions.


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All choices made by man are not "free". They are determined by God. Calvin clearly denies that it is the "nature" of man that determines him to good or evil. Rather it is according to God's decree that man acts:

Quote
7. They deny that it is ever said in distinct terms, God decreed that Adam should perish by his revolt.503 As if the same God, who is declared in Scripture to do whatsoever he pleases, could have made the noblest of his creatures without any special purpose. They say that, in accordance with free-will, he was to be the architect of his own fortune, that God had decreed nothing but to treat him according to his desert. If this frigid fiction is received, where will be the omnipotence of God, by which, according to his secret counsel on which every thing depends, he rules over all? But whether they will allow it or not, predestination is manifest in Adam’s posterity. It was not owing to nature that they all lost salvation by the fault of one parent. Why should they refuse to admit with regard to one man that which against their will they admit with regard to the whole human race? Why should they in caviling lose their labour? Scripture proclaims that all were, in the person of one, made liable to eternal death. As this cannot be ascribed to nature, it is plain that it is owing to the wonderful counsel of God. It is very absurd 2232in these worthy defenders of the justice of God to strain at a gnat and swallow a camel. I again ask how it is that the fall of Adam involves so many nations with their infant children in eternal death without remedy unless that it so seemed meet to God? Here the most loquacious tongues must be dumb. The decree, I admit, is, dreadful; and yet it is impossible to deny that God foreknew what the end of man was to be before he made him, and foreknew, because he had so ordained by his decree.
Institutes, Book 3. Ch. 23. Section 7.


For "who has known the mind of the LORD that he may instruct Him?" But we have the mind of Christ. (1 Corinthians 2:16 NKJ)
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