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lookn4ward2heavn said:
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Robin said:...the depravity of humankind is at the center of the debate about predestination...The depravity of humankind is central to this larger question of predestination...
I would tend to disagree based on the concept of "unconditional election" wherein (if I correctly understand it) the divine choice excludes any consideration of the person's state whatsoever, whether they are "totally depraved" or not.

The issue regarding predestination is "Unconditional Election", which is (it seems) the heart and soul of Calvinism.

What do you consider to be the purpose of Unconditional Election?


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Lookn4ward2heavn,

Quote
You stated:
I would tend to disagree
Quote
(with Robin, who said):
...the depravity of humankind is at the center of the debate about predestination...The depravity of humankind is central to this larger question of predestination...
based on the concept of "unconditional election" wherein (if I correctly understand it) the divine choice excludes any consideration of the person's state whatsoever, whether they are "totally depraved" or not.

Actually it can be--and has been--well argued (linked below) that the rebuttals to Arminius stand or fall as a unit when viewed as a construct. If I may presume to speak for Robin, I think his point is that from the perspective of the unredeemed sinner the fact of one's own utter inability to turn aside the dread wrath of God must be grasped--by God-given faith in Christ--before the remaining 4 points can be true, known, or appreciated. In other words "T" describes our condition; "ULIP" is entirely about the monergistic activity of God in delivering us from that wretched state.

Of course God acts first in "U", thus making that point first in logical order of succession, but the fruit of that election will never known by those who resist the conviction of the Holy Spirit who shows them how "T" they really are (thus the impossibility of being forgiven the sin against the Holy Spirit).

That is why all Christ-exalting evangelism and preaching must never move into the causes ("ULI") or benefits ("P") of salvation without beginning at "T"--our wretched, lost, miserable condition.

Quote
You stated:
The issue regarding predestination is "Unconditional Election", which is (it seems) the heart and soul of Calvinism.


While "U" is probably the most "talked-about" of the 5 points, J.I.Packer makes the brilliant assertion that the heart and soul of Calvinism is not really any of the 5 points alone, but rather the glorious gospel that:

[color:"FFFF00"]God Saves Sinners![/color]

If one's response to that statement is a variant of "of course--everyone knows that", he has not begun to know the depth of his own offensiveness to the thrice-holy Jehovah. If, however, the Holy Spirit has truly convicted one of his sin, after crying out in truth "God be merciful to me a sinner!", and going on his way justified in Christ, he can only ask "why me? why me?", and the knowledge of his unconditional election in eternity past, the particular appointment of redemption to his own wretched person, the emboldening sweetness of grace amazing to his fearful soul, and the certainty that he cannot be snatched from his Father's hand are precious truths which strengthen him as he looks, and walks unashamedly, forward to heaven.


In Christ,
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CovenantInBlood said: What do you consider to be the purpose of Unconditional Election?
If I am correct, the purpose of "unconditional election" is to show God's glory God (however, I don't see how this question or my answer is relevant).

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Hi Paul,

Please note:
(1) “Rebuttals to Arminius” has nothing to do with what is being discussed.
(2) The perspective of the “unredeemed sinner” (is there any other kind?) is irrelevant.
(3) The fact that one is "T" has no relevance (under Calvinism) whether one is chosen for salvation or not: "That some receive the gift of faith from God, and others do not receive it, proceeds from God's eternal decree" (Canons of Dort, Art.6); "Election is the unchangeable purpose of God, whereby, before the foundation of the world, He has out of mere grace, according to the sovereign good pleasure of His own will, chosen from the whole human race, which had fallen through their own fault...a certain number of persons to redemption in Christ..." (ibid., Art.7); "This election was not founded upon foreseen faith and the obedience of faith, holiness, or any other good quality or disposition in man, as the prerequisite, cause, or condition..." (ibid. Art.9).

Some questions to consider:
(1) Why will “the fruit of that election will never known by those who resist the conviction of the Holy Spirit”?
(2) Why do they resist the Holy Spirit?
(3) Why does not the Holy Spirit show them the “T”?
(4) Why is it impossible for them to be forgiven?

Is not the answer found ultimately in that, according to Calvinism, “the decree of God…foreordained [other men] to everlasting death”?

I don’t see where “Christ-exalting evangelism and preaching” is pertinent to the discussion.

As much as I respect Packer, he would quickly go back to TULIP to explain just how God does save sinners.

That God saves sinners is a basic tenet of the Bible, not Calvinism; it is a Bible truth, not a “Calvinistic truth”. The basic and essential tenet of Calvinism is “how” God saves sinners. Saving sinners is the heart and soul of the Bible; “unconditional election” (if not all 5-points) is the heart and soul of Calvinism.

Respectfully...

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Quote
Some questions to consider:

(1) Why will “the fruit of that election never be known by those who resist the conviction of the Holy Spirit”?

Because the fruit of that election is everlasting life in the new heavens and new earth. Those who reject Him will never know eternal life.

Quote
(2) Why do they resist the Holy Spirit?

More accurately, why did God elect some and not all? Regeneration (the work of the Holy Spirit upon the elect) cannot be resisted by those who have been freed from spiritual death. Those who "resist" the outward call of the gospel do so because they cannot do otherwise, being slaves to sin (Romans 6-7).


Quote
(3) Why does not the Holy Spirit show them the “T”?

Even the light of nature shows them "T." But those who are blinded simply cannot see it unless their eyes are supernaturally opened. Why doesn't God open everybody's eyes? The better question is, "Why does He show mercy to anyone at all" rather than "why doesn't He show mercy to everyone." If God was obligated to show mercy to everyone, then it couldn't be called mercy, could it? What we deserve is justice, not mercy. Those who receive His justice have no right to expect anything else.

Quote
(4) Why is it impossible for them to be forgiven?

Not because it is beyond God's ability to forgive them, but because their hearts of stone are unable to repent and turn from sin to humble themselves. It is not that God cannot give forgiveness, but that they cannot accept forgiveness.

The new birth is from Above, not from within. That is the heart and soul of Calvinism.

-Robin

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lookn4ward2heavn,

I don't know that I will have time at the moment to answer all your points, but let me at least begin.
Quote
You stated:
(1) “Rebuttals to Arminius” has nothing to do with what is being discussed.
Begging your pardon, but in your prior post you had used the terms "Unconditional Election" and "Totally Depraved" in response to Robin; you seemed to see a vital connection between those terms and what is being discussed. Those 2 terms are of course the headers of 2 of the 5 points intended explicitly to rebut the 5-pointed Remonstrance of the followers of Arminius.
Quote
You stated:
(2) The perspective of the “unredeemed sinner” (is there any other kind?) is irrelevant.
Well yes, there is the "redeemed sinner"..... Paul seems to think so: "The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. (1 Timothy 1:15, ESV)
As far as "relevance", the issue raised by Robin concerned "the debate about predestination". My point is simply that that "debate" cannot be entered objectively by the unredeemed without having come to terms with Total Depravity.

Quote
You stated:
(3) The fact that one is "T" has no relevance (under Calvinism) whether one is chosen for salvation or not:
Actually it has all relevance. If one is not a sinner, one stands in no need of election--one's own work would satisfy the justice of God, one needs no atonement for the same reason, one needs no grace for the same reason, and one needs no keeping for the same reason. "For surely it is not angels that he helps, but he helps the offspring of Abraham." (Hebrews 2:16, ESV)


In Christ,
Paul S
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lookn4ward2heavn said:
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CovenantInBlood said: What do you consider to be the purpose of Unconditional Election?
If I am correct, the purpose of "unconditional election" is to show God's glory God (however, I don't see how this question or my answer is relevant).

Well, that's true. Here's Article VII of the First Head of Doctrine of the Canons of Dordt:

Quote
Election is God's unchangeable purpose by which he did the following:

Before the foundation of the world, by sheer grace, according to the free good pleasure of his will, he chose in Christ to salvation a definite number of particular people out of the entire human race, which had fallen by its own fault from its original innocence into sin and ruin. Those chosen were neither better nor more deserving than the others, but lay with them in the common misery. He did this in Christ, whom he also appointed from eternity to be the mediator, the head of all those chosen, and the foundation of their salvation. And so he decided to give the chosen ones to Christ to be saved, and to call and draw them effectively into Christ's fellowship through his Word and Spirit. In other words, he decided to grant them true faith in Christ, to justify them, to sanctify them, and finally, after powerfully preserving them in the fellowship of his Son, to glorify them.

God did all this in order to demonstrate his mercy, to the praise of the riches of his glorious grace.

As Scripture says, God chose us in Christ, before the foundation of the world, so that we should be holy and blameless before him with love; he predestined us whom he adopted as his children through Jesus Christ, in himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, by which he freely made us pleasing to himself in his beloved (Eph. 1:4-6). And elsewhere, Those whom he predestined, he also called; and those whom he called, he also justified; and those whom he justified, he also glorified (Rom. 8:30).

Note what I've emboldened. Unconditional Election has referrence to the fallen human race. It's purpose, with regard to men, is to bring a certain number of them out of bondage to sin and into eternal life through Christ. So, the idea which you propound, that Unconditional Election has no referrence to Total Depravity, is incorrect. The fact of the matter is rather than Unconditional Election hardly makes sense without Total Depravity.


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Hi Robin,

According to Calvinism, all your answers are peripheral - cloud cover - (actually, as I see it, irrelevant) to the ultimate reasons why, which is, simply because God did not choose them…period (cf. WC III: Of God's Eternal Decree). For all intents and purposes, as far as Calvinism is concerned, the first and ultimate cause of the damnation of the “non-elect” is God’s choice to damn them: “…He (has) not decreed anything because He foresaw it as future, or as that which would come to pass upon such conditions”.

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Hi Paul,

(1) I fail to see (a) where I made a vital connection between "Unconditional Election" and "Totally Depraved" and, (b) what the Remonstrance has to do with the issue or my comments on it.

(2) Who in this debate is “unredeemed”? and, again, how is that relevant to the issue?

(3) “T” has no relevance if the choice was made without any consideration to God foreknowledge or future conditions therein related (cf. WC 3:2).

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lookn4ward2heavn said:
According to Calvinism, all your answers are peripheral - cloud cover - (actually, as I see it, irrelevant) to the ultimate reasons why, which is, simply because God did not choose them…period (cf. WC III: Of God's Eternal Decree). For all intents and purposes, as far as Calvinism is concerned, the first and ultimate cause of the damnation of the “non-elect” is God’s choice to damn them: “…He (has) not decreed anything because He foresaw it as future, or as that which would come to pass upon such conditions”.
The view to which you appear to have an objection is called "Supralapsarianism" (without regard to the Fall), which is a view held by a minority of Calvinists. The majority have held to "Infralapsarianism" (with regard to the Fall).

See here:

- Supralapsarianism and Infralapsarianism, by Herman Bavinck

- Double Predestination, by R.C. Sproul.

In His grace,


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Ooookay...

lacknothing #37785 Fri Nov 02, 2007 9:33 PM
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ORIGINAL SIN
The main chapter to consider when looking at the doctrines of original sin and original guilt is Romans 5.12-21. Here Paul makes clear that because Adam sinned death came into the world, a death which has become the lot of every man. However interpretation needs to be made carefully.
The Roman Catholics believe that man is born, not only with a taint of sin but with fully fledged guilt because of Adam’s sin. That because the first man sinned we are all guilty and therefore deserving of punishment regardless of what we have or have not done. They would cite verses 16-18. Of course this then fits into their teaching that every child must be baptised to be cleansed from sin, and gives tremendous power to the church which is thus able to control man’s destiny. There is little backing for this in Scripture. Baptism is never seen in the Bible in such a literalistic way. Indeed Peter specifically states that baptism is ‘not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience towards God’, while baptism is portrayed either as a picture of the pouring out of rain producing spiritual life (by John the Baptiser) or as a picture of dying and rising again in Christ (by Paul - Romans 6.4). The thought of washing is totally absent.
But what does Romans 5.12-21 specifically teach? It certainly seizes on the sin of Adam and the universality of death as connected, but v.12 points out that that is because all men sin. They do not suffer for Adam’s sin but for their own sin (compare Ezekiel 18.19-23). He does not deal with the question of the baby not yet in a position to sin.
He goes on to argue that by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners (v.19) but that is only to argue that man’s disobedience has resulted in disobedient man. Sin now reigns over man with a tendency to selfishness and rebellion against what is good. And this is revealed in his outward life. It is a fact of history.
But can a man be punished for another’s sin? Ezekiel specifically repudiates such a thought. How indeed can someone be guilty of what someone else has done? This assumes a doctrine of the solidarity of the human race, of a sharing in guilt, which is foreign to the idea of freedom and individual responsibility. It is certainly nowhere clearly taught in Scripture. (We speak sometimes of ‘collective guilt’ but this results from the fact that men actually partake in that guilt either because of their actions or because of their failure to act when they should. They are individually guilty. But their babies are not!).
It appears to us that it is dangerous to take Paul’s language, which is using a general illustration (the universality of death and sin) to enable him to move on to a specific point, and press it to something that is beyond logic and reason. Righteousness in Christ is possible, not because He was a righteous man who can somehow pass on credit to us, but because He was the righteous God made man, Who in His manhood bore the judgment of sin, and as God takes us up into Himself. Adam was never this. He was indeed the first individual, but he was never more than an individual.
What Paul is stressing in Romans 5 is that there has now come One Whose impact on the human race can even be greater than that of Adam. The emphasis is on Christ not on Adam.
Another verse often quoted in this regard is Psalm 51.5. but here the Psalmist is using hyperbole, a vivid picture, to bring out his deep awareness of his sin. He is not expounding a doctrine but expressing a feeling of revulsion at his own sinfulness, but it is his specific sin that he has in mind and for which he seeks forgiveness. He is not pleading a doctrinal position. He sees himself as needing forgiveness because he has actively sinned, not because he was born ‘sinful’.
So it would seem to me that the doctrine of original sin is a doctrine based on the historical fact that there is a tendency in all men (Adam included) that inevitably results in sin, and that Adam began it all, rather than a doctrine dealing with the question of why we face final judgment. The latter is because WE sin, not because we are born potential ‘sinners’. The above is a quote from Peter Pett a baptist minister in England, but has been edited by Jim_M

Isaiah 7:16
"For before the boy will know enough to refuse evil and choose good, the land whose two kings you dread will be forsaken.
(NAS95)

We are born with a spiritual nature, a fleshly nature and a freedom to choose which we will serve, which are you choosing today? John 3:6 flesh gives birth to flesh, but the spirit gives birth to spirit. Philippians 3:3 we who worship by the spirit of God, who glory in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh.


We do not fall because Adam fell, we fall the same way he fell, by disobedience and not trusting in God. We all fall, but we fall because of our choices not Adams.

39 'Moreover your little ones and your children, who you say will be victims, who today have no knowledge of good and evil, they shall go in there; to them I will give it, and they shall possess it.
(NKJV)

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A tidbit from John Calvins Commentary on romans 5:(unedited)
14. Even over them, etc. Though this passage is commonly understood of infants, who being guilty of no actual sin, die through original sin, I yet prefer to regard it as referring to all those who sinned without the law; for this verse is to be connected with the preceding clause, which says, that those who were without the law did not impute sin to themselves. Hence they sinned not after the similitude of Adam’s transgression; for they had not, like him, the will of God made known to them by a certain oracle: for the Lord had forbidden Adam to touch the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil; but to them he had given no command besides the testimony of conscience. The Apostle then intended to imply, that it did not happen through the difference between Adam and his posterity that they were exempt from condemnation. Infants are at the same time included in their number.

From the pen of Jim_M
The bible teaches that the children are punished for the sins of their fathers, to the third & fourth generation, if they are guilty of the same sins, Exodus 20:5 (of those who hate me) and if they do not repent, Numbers 14:18 (forgiving sin and rebellion).This is made very clear in Ezekiel 18, when the Jews accuse God of “sour grapes”. Consequently no one is a sinner just because Adam was a sinner, we all become sinners the same way Adam became a sinner, by sinning and not repenting.

Jim_M #37787 Sat Nov 03, 2007 4:42 PM
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Jim_M said:

From the pen of Jim_M
The bible teaches that the children are punished for the sins of their fathers, to the third & fourth generation, if they are guilty of the same sins, Exodus 20:5 (of those who hate me) and if they do not repent, Numbers 14:18 (forgiving sin and rebellion).This is made very clear in Ezekiel 18, when the Jews accuse God of “sour grapes”. Consequently no one is a sinner just because Adam was a sinner, we all become sinners the same way Adam became a sinner, by sinning and not repenting.

Jim,

Exodus 20:5 is teaching that the children of "those who hate me" are "visited with the iniquity" of their fathers. This is a general principle in Scripture, and we see it especially in the Books of Kings and Chronicles. How you get from this that men only become sinners upon sinning, I don't know! Now, it is true Adam was not a sinner until he sinned. But all of his children are made sinners because he is their head and father. In like manner, and in an even greater way, all who are sons of God in Christ are made righteous because Christ is their Head and God is their Father. That's the argument of Romans 5.


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lookn4ward2heavn said:
Ooookay...

I'm sorry are we using too big of words <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/comfort.gif" alt="" />? Okay lets break it down for you. There are two views with regard to the logical progression of how God ordered predestination. What Pilgrim has pointed out was that what you are espousing for all Calvinists was in reality only held by a few. Most Calvinists see election as God's desire to save a definite group of fallen men. That is the majority view, yours the minority.


Peter

If you believe what you like in the gospels, and reject what you don't like, it is not the gospel you believe, but yourself. Augustine of Hippo
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