The Highway
Posted By: Tom Election - Tue Oct 05, 2004 7:00 PM
If you are like me you have had many people say so you, something similar to the following:
"If what you say about election is true, then proclaiming the Gospel is not necessary, in fact a waist of time."

I usually role my eyes when I hear this, because I know that proclaiming the Gospel is God's means of reaching His elect. However, I have yet to have anyone buy this argument when I say it.

Does anyone have something that they say, when they hear similar arguments that you have found to be helpful in making the hearer/reader understand?

Tom
Posted By: Pilgrim Re: Election - Tue Oct 05, 2004 7:09 PM
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Tom said:
Does anyone have something that they say, when they hear similar arguments that you have found to be helpful in making the hearer/reader understand?
Romans 1:16-17 (ASV) "For I am not ashamed of the gospel: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is revealed a righteousness of God from faith unto faith: as it is written, But the righteous shall live by faith."

Proclamation of the truth will be accepted by those who have been given ears to hear. There is no such thing as a "silver bullet", i.e., a guaranteed method of convincing anyone of the truth. All we are required to do is to put forth the truth of God's Word. (1Cor 3:6, 7) I find this to be most assuring and comforting, knowing that I am not responsible to convince anyone of anything. The result is in God's hand and this too we know that ALL who are predestined to eternal life will receive the truth and rejoice in it.


Mark 6:11 (KJV) "And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear you, when ye depart thence, shake off the dust under your feet for a testimony against them. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment, than for that city."



In His Grace,
Posted By: Tom Re: Election - Tue Oct 05, 2004 9:40 PM
Pilgrim

Just so you know, I realize that I can't convince anyone of anything (as you said: "I find this to be most assuring and comforting, knowing that I am not responsible to convince anyone of anything.)
However, there are sometimes ways that can be helpful to present truth that so the reader can understand it better.
Though I have never had a problem with this particular area, I must say that there were other areas that until it was put to me in a way I understood and could not argue against. I didn't believe it, or didn't know if it was true or not.
I ask my question in this context, for those who have ears to hear, but haven't as yet understood the matter.

Tom
Posted By: GottseiEhre Re: Election - Wed Oct 06, 2004 9:13 PM
Another good point I like to bring up when faced with this challenge is that as Rom. 10:17 says, "Faith comes from hearing, and hearing from the Word of God." Without the Word, there is no faith, therefore no salvation. It is for this reason we are sent on the Great Commission, preaching the Gospel to all nations.
troy
Posted By: catholicsoldier Re: Election - Thu Oct 07, 2004 1:25 AM
Tom,

Why should we preach the gospel? I know that some make the point that if God elects a person to salvation, it will happen regardless of whether I tell him today or wait until next week, or next year.

But it is better to learn sooner than later, and we see that even though God can decree our salvation ultimately, our free will can play a factor in the timing of our conversion.

We see this with Jonah and the great fish. In this story Jonah is told to preach to the Ninevites, but refuses God's decree. We know the story of the ship, the sailors, the curse, the expigation, the consumption, and the desperate prayer for deliverance. Jonah would preach as God decreed, but he undoubtedly been better off doing it sooner than later.

Or put another way, ought we to preach the gospel to a mother or father when their child is 3 years old and teachable, or several years later when the child is a rebellious teenagers swinging to the beat of the world?

How many ways can I state that sooner is better than later?

catholicsoldier <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/takethat.gif" alt="" />
Posted By: Anonymous Re: Election - Thu Oct 07, 2004 5:24 AM
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But it is better to learn sooner than later, and we see that even though God can decree our salvation ultimately, our free will can play a factor in the timing of our conversion.

We are commanded to preach the gospel urgently in all seasons (2 Tim 4:2) and to young and old alike (Mark 16:15). But the timing of conversion does not depend on our efforts. Before the foundation of the world, God determined how He Himself, by the power of the Holy Spirit, would produce and work, through the Word, everything that pertains to our conversion and how He alone would bring the elect to faith and preserve them. Rom 9:18. Thus, conversion is taken out of our hands and placed in the hand of the Almigthy God whose purpose and work can not fail.
Posted By: catholicsoldier Re: Election - Thu Oct 07, 2004 4:27 PM
Speratus,

I thank your for your thoughts, but I believe them to be in contrast to scripture. Yes, God will ultimately bring those whom He has elected to salvation, but He allows us free will, and often our free will takes us further from the truth, in order to, eventually, embrace it.

Beside the example I already provided, perhaps an even stronger example was the unwillingness of Israel to trust God and enter the promised land. (Promised land being an Old Testament parallel to salvation) And, though they would eventually possess the land, they spent 40 years wandering in the wilderness, whereas they could have possessed it immediately.

You cannot convince me that God had preordained their sinful choice, in fact it angered Him deeply. So deeply, in fact, that He discussed with Moses the complete elimination of the people and starting afresh with Moses. Certainly God's fervent desire was for Israel to trust Him, and He didn't "will" otherwise.

The author of Hebrews alludes to this passage and offers us the same choice they were given:
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"Therefore as the Holy Spirit says: 'Today, if you will hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, in the day of trial in the wilderness, where your fathers tested Me, tried Me, and saw My works forty years.

Therefore I was angry with that generation, and said, "They always go astray in their heart, and they have not known My ways. So I swore in My wrath, 'They shall not enter My rest.'"'

"So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief."

Hebrews 3:7-11,19 NKJV

And yet another powerful demonstration of our free will contradicting the will of God is demonstrated by Israel's rejection of Christ, though God had willed his salvation to flow to all the world from out of the Jews. (John 4:22) But because of the unwillingness of the Jews who said, "We will not have this man rule over us," God's salvation was carried out by the Gentiles.

In this we see the contrast of that which was immutable, that Christ would build His church, and that which was subject to man's choices; that His church did not grow predominantly from out of Israel.

I think Calvinist often disparage the notion of free-will to the offense of the Bible and common sense. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/crazyeyes.gif" alt="" />

catholicsoldier <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/takethat.gif" alt="" />
Posted By: Pilgrim Re: Election - Thu Oct 07, 2004 4:58 PM
catholicsoldier,

I've been slowly getting back to my previous more active state here and still have some posts to reply to, one being the one you started on icons, etc... <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> But I thought I would type out a quick reply to this one as it seems easy enough to rebut.

In all the examples you have given thus far, they all involve people resisting God's preceptive will as opposed to His decretive will. If it were possible to subvert, alter or totally override God's eternal counsel, then this would of necessity deny the very definition and nature of God which He Himself has recorded for us in His inspired, infallible and inerrant written Word. Further, to hold to such a position results in a denial of the divine inspiration of Scripture. How? Because prophesy and its fulfillment would be impossible or at best a matter of incredible "chance".

All forms of semi-Pelagianism, Arminianism, and even paganism categorically deny the absolute sovereignty of God in relation to either authority and/or power; most often the former. As it has been posted in myriad places on this Board, the Scriptures teach incontrovertibly that man is "free" indeed according to his nature. Historically, this has been termed, "free agency". Secondly, God decrees the means as well as the end, which takes into account secondary causes, including the acts of men. (cf. Acts 2:23, 3:18; 4:26-28; also: Is 43:13; 44:7; 45:21; 49:9, 10; 55:11; Ps 33:11; 135:6; Prov 19:21; 21:30; Dan 4:35; et al)

For a more complete array of biblical declarations of the immutability of God's decree and of his sovereignty, see here: God's Indisputable Sovereignty.

In His Grace,
Posted By: janean Re: Election - Fri Oct 08, 2004 1:45 AM
Catholic Soldier,

You said

"I think Calvinist often disparage the notion of free-will to the offense of the Bible and common sense."


I see where you are coming from. Yes I have thought this way for 20 years myself just from having "arminian" teaching and have never really read about Calvinism and the Reformed belief until recently. Wow what an eye-opener for me. And really most it resonates to what I really already felt was true.

Now it's interesting that you bring up common sense. You should definately read the article by John Piper about the two wills of God. Maybe someone can put a link there because I'm not sure how to do that. But you can search for it and find it I'm sure. That explains nicely the dilemma you bring up and sure made me think. Yes it's God's will that he would like things a certain way - you brought up some good examples. Yes Jonah didn't do what God wanted him to do (at first). And that's the whole problem -- man's sin. We never do what God would like us to. I'm not sure why God didn't put it into Johah's heart to just go the first time (except that Jonah's example is referred to by Christ and seemingly used as an example to Christ's death and resurrection (sorry I do not have the verse reference here)- maybe that's the whole reason why right there). But God knew Jonah would act this way because of his sinful nature. God purposely didn't intervene with Jonah right away. Unless God intervened, Jonah would have never gone to Ninevah ever. Do you get it?? Unless God intervenes in ANY situation in anyone's life, salvation or whatever God wants will never happen to anyone. And God even intervenes in those who aren't His own - how about Pharoah heart being hardened, etc. How do you explain that? You are saying it's kind of up to us when God moves. It's not.

Anyways another common sense idea is this - How could God write down in His Word all of the prophesies and foretelling of future events if He weren't in control of situations??? It doesn't make sense. And if you say that He just knows the future and what decisions we will make, etc. well that doesn't really make sense either and you will have to go be an open theist who says that God doesn't really know the future because he's given us free will - and of course that's not biblical. If one really thinks about this free will issue really hard, the Calvinist ideas are the only conclusion that one can come to to be inline with Scripture.
Posted By: Anonymous Re: Election - Fri Oct 08, 2004 11:31 AM
Since scripture does not teach free-will, I would love to see your defense of it. Calvinism teaches mans free-agency.

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And yet another powerful demonstration of our free will contradicting the will of God is demonstrated by Israel's rejection of Christ, though God had willed his salvation to flow to all the world from out of the Jews.

Is God not omnipotent?


God bless,

william
Posted By: catholicsoldier Re: Election - Fri Oct 08, 2004 11:47 AM
Janean,

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ!

I really enjoyed reading your response. You have a way of explaining your position while extending an olive branch and a warm invitation to consider your findings. This is a a work of grace I pray someday God will effect in me. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/yep.gif" alt="" />

I have felt the same resonation of truth in learning about 5 point Calvinism, and Romans 8:29,30 (the Reader's Digest of TULIP) confirms irrefutable the entire body of theology for me.

But beyond the 5 points, Calvinist doctrine becomes extreme and out of touch with the spirit and letter of scripture, particulary in the dogmatics about reprobation and free will.

To put things in perspective, John Calvin is not the author of Calvinism or any particular theology. He had a passion for expounding on only the Bible and all of the Bible. His discourse on the sovereinty of God came later in his ministry and in response to attacks on this doctrine. But his exposition on it was relatively brief.

His followers, however developed what is today called "Calvinism." Some of this was brilliant, such as the assembly of TULIP, but some of it really stretched the theology of John Calvin's teachings. I've been told by members here that I cannot use any of Calvinism, unless I embrace all of it, including tota scriptura, which I believe to be in error.

But much like yourself, (if I may be bold in assuming) I am amazed that God chose us before He even created the world, and loved us though there was nothing loveable about us, and will bring to the ultimate redemption through the storms of Satan's reign, the acts of men and angels, and even our own stubborn "free will". And as I have thoroughly studied this doctrine, I've found it does not contradict Catholic teaching, it transcends it. And Catholic teaching affirms it in its own way. I hope someday to write a post explaining this correlation.

"Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to present you faultless before His glory with exceeding joy, to God our Savior who alone is wise be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and forever. Amen." Jude 24,25

catholicsoldier <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/takethat.gif" alt="" />
Posted By: catholicsoldier Re: Election - Fri Oct 08, 2004 11:54 AM
William,

Sir, I invite you to take a few steps backward and look at an even bigger picture. Free will does not contradict the sovereinty of God, it makes it more glorious, mysterious, and wonderful.

You're imagination of the greatness of God will be significantly enlarged when you understand that God does indeed give freewill to men and angels and yet, even with all the variables this presents, maintains absolute control over the affairs of men and conclude them to His predetermined purpose to the glory of His name.

catholicsoldier <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/takethat.gif" alt="" />
Posted By: Anonymous Re: Election - Fri Oct 08, 2004 11:58 AM
If only somebody would show me how. Could you? Saying so doesn't make it so, so now add some substance.


God bless,

william
Posted By: Pilgrim Re: Election - Fri Oct 08, 2004 4:52 PM
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catholicsoldier said:
William,

You're imagination of the greatness of God will be significantly enlarged when you understand that God does indeed give freewill to men and angels and yet, even with all the variables this presents, maintains absolute control over the affairs of men and conclude them to His predetermined purpose to the glory of His name.
I do think you have described perfectly the difference between true believers and all others; even those who claim to be so. The difference is that true believers bow before and accept as infallibly true, the self-revelation of God which He has graciously provided and preserves in His inspired written Word while all others rely upon and rest in their imaginations. (cf. Gen 6:5, 8:21; Deut 29:14-21; Ps 81:12; Jer 3:17; 7:24; 9:14; 11:8; 13:10; 16:12; 18:12; 23:17; et al) I realize that since you do not consider the Bible to be an absolute authority, it is not likely that you will bother to read those several passages. But I am confident that many others will. And, the Lord will impress His words upon their hearts with an indelible mark.

The fact is, that if you subscribe to this man-made, self-serving, man-exalting doctrine of "free-will", you of necessity deny the deity of God and make out of man an idol that transcends even God Himself. For not even the Almighty LORD God has a "free-will"; i.e., the ability to choose and do that which is contrary to His nature. How one can maintain that a man's estimation of God will be "significantly enlarged", when God is dethroned and man exalted is beyond my comprehension. As I have often done in the past, this view is akin to the story of the little Dutch boy who stood before the dike and desperately attempted to plug all the holes that appeared and keep back the impending waters. To envision God rushing around trying to come up with plan "B", "C", "D", ad infinitum as man changes his unfettered mind to do that which is contrary to His ultimate purpose is hardly, at least in my mind, a vision of "greatness". Neither golden calves, nor idols of wood, nor the vain imaginations of man can rival the true living God Who does all things according to His eternal counsel; when, where and how He has determined and for His own glory.

Paul's discourse to the Athenians at the Areopagus (Acts 17:17ff) is paradigmatic in that it isn't simply the Epicureans and Stoic philosophers who worship false gods; gods which are the product of man's imagination, but all men everywhere are guilty of doing likewise. The "gods" of men are but glorified clones of themselves which they are able to control for their own purposes. This is not the LORD God of the universe Who is exalted and dwells in ineffable holiness and is the divine Sovereign Who controls the very path of even the smallest particle of matter and Who has determined its end. I end here with a couple of marvelous quotes from two men who have been taken hold of by the sovereign God whom you would not have rule over you:


"They attribute to Free-will a very little indeed, yet they teach us that by that very little we can attain unto righteousness and grace. Nor do they solve that question, Why does God justify one and leave another? in any other way than by asserting the freedom of the will, and saying, Because the one endeavors and the other does not; and God regards the one for endeavoring, and despises the other for his not endeavoring; lest, if he did otherwise, he should appear to be unjust." - Martin Luther

"All men become like the objects of their worship. Our inward character is being silently moulded by our view of God and our conception of him. Christian character is the fruit of Christian worship; pagan character the fruit of pagan religion; semi-Christian character the fruit of a half-true understanding of God. The principle holds good for us all: we become like what we worship ­ for worse or for better. 'They that make them are like unto them' (Psa. 115:8)." — Maurice Roberts



In His Grace,
Posted By: janean Re: Election - Fri Oct 08, 2004 5:33 PM
Hi Catholic Soldier-

Thank you for your response in saying that I've extended you some grace. I'm not sure that's a gift I really have, I'm just am honest when I write something. Well I do have to be more honest with you though.
You said:

Quote
I have felt the same resonation of truth in learning about 5 point Calvinism, and Romans 8:29,30 (the Reader's Digest of TULIP) confirms irrefutable the entire body of theology for me
It's pretty clear to me that you contridict yourself. You want to say you feel the same resonation of truth in learning the 5 points; but from what you have stated of your theology and beliefs in other posts that you are going to be forced to redefine the 5 points to fit your theology. You cannot have it both ways.
I know that John Calvin is not the "author" of Calvinism, etc.

You also said:

Quote
I've been told by members here that I cannot use any of Calvinism, unless I embrace all of it, including tota scriptura, which I believe to be in error.
I think you meant Sola Scriptura. Well yes you have to believe Sola Scriptura. I think an important thought here after reading some of your discussions on this board is that it's not Roman Catholism v. Calvinism. It's truth v. error. What is really the truth?? This is how I approach things. I guess I'm an apologist at heart and am looking for what is truth. Only the Holy Spirit will show you this. One of my favorite verses is Matthew 7:7 "Ask and it shall be given to you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you."

I hope you are reading all of the links and articles that you have been given in your discussions here. They just may make you re-think your beleifs. By the way here is that article I spoke of before by Piper http://www.desiringgod.org/library/topics/doctrines_grace/2wills.html

Janean

P.S. I thought all along that your name Catholic Soldier was you being a Soldier in Christ (like Onward Christian Soldiers hymn), but I see that you're a real Soldier!!!
Posted By: catholicsoldier Re: Election - Mon Oct 11, 2004 10:20 PM
Pilgrim,

Much to my changrine, you don't understand me at all.
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"I do thing you have described perfectly the difference between true believers and all others; even those who claim to be so. The difference is that true believers bow before and accept as infallibly true, the self revelation of God which He has graciously provided and preserves in His inspired written Word while all others rely upon and rest in their imagination."

How convienient that you get to define "true believers" in such manner as to explicitly exclude me. None of what you said here is Biblical, in regards to biblical requisites to salvation, it is purely Protestant advocacy.

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"I realize that since you do not consider the Bible to be an absolute authority, it is not likely that you will bother..."

I don't believe the Bible to be the exclusive embodiment of ALL Christian truth, or the sole rule of faith. I do consider the Bible as an absolute authority and out of all the holy writings governing the Christian faith, the Catholic Church esteems the Old and New Testaments far higher than all the rest combined. In fact, all other Christian writings serve only to affirm the validity of the holy scriptures.

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"I end here with a couple of marvelous quotes from two men who have been taken hold of by the sovereign God whom you would not have rule over you:"

Well, let's get to the heart of the matter. You inflict injury upon me when you infer (as you have done twice in this post) that I'm not saved. This is not a mark of humility on your part because YOU DO NOT KNOW! If you were humble, you would have remembered that man looks to the outward appearance, but God looks at the heart. If you had soberly remembered this, you might have refrained from the judgement you just rendered.

You also seemed to say that our imagination of God should strictly adhere to the text of scriptures concerning God's attributes, but a purely abstract conceptualization of God for any length of time is not possible. The human equation asserts itself, as has become evident here. For I have percieved in this forum, (if I may offer some kind criticism) an image of God as One who will judge based on man's command of correct doctrine, and perfect knowledge of that which saves him.

Salvation is a heart issue, and biblical knowledge of Jesus in an intimate knowledge, not a scholastic one. I believe all CAtholic teachings and interpretations of scripture, but I know Jesus in such a personal way as cannot be described by words. It is because my relationship to Jesus is so close and enduring that it hurts when those whom I consider brethren in Christ, in smug confidence, conclude that I'm not saved.

I choose my words carefully, and I have never said that any of you will go to hell because you aren't baptized into the one holy Catholic Church, or because you partake in a "false Eucharist." Much to my credit, I don't even believe privately that this would exclude you from the Christian faith. Discussion of doctrinal differences is fine, but when you start to deny my salvation, you assault my dear relationship to Christ, and it becomes personal.

I hope in the future you will exercise more godly consideration in your choice of words.

Life is hard. God is good. Heaven is sure.

catholicsoldier <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/takethat.gif" alt="" />
Posted By: Tom Re: Election - Mon Oct 11, 2004 10:48 PM
catholicsoldier

This matter reminds me of a broadcast I heard on The Bible Answer Man (I rarely go there now) a few years ago he had Dr. Michael Horton as his guest. Hank asked Dr. Horton if he believed Arminians were Christians. After about 10 seconds, he responded something to the effect of I think if is safe to say and is the stance taken by the ACE (Alliance of Confessional Evangelicals) that while many Arminians may indeed be genuine Christians. If they knowing believe in their heart of hearts the Arminian gospel, then unfortunately we do not believe they are saved.
After he said that, Hank hesitated and changed the subject. Anyone care to guess why? <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/giggle.gif" alt="" />

Anyway the reason why I bring that up is because I think if Hank had used the words Roman Catholics instead of Arminians, I believe Dr. Horton would have said similar things and I would have agreed with him.

Tom
Posted By: catholicsoldier Re: Election - Tue Oct 12, 2004 12:02 AM
Tom,

Perhaps Hank changed the subject to avoid beating the daylights out of Dr. Horton on national television <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/bif.gif" alt="" />

I cannot believe that so many of you don't understand what a sin of pride is committed when we begin to speculate on the salvation of other Christians. My firm assertion that only God knows the heart falls on deaf ears. YOur doctrinal differences are minor, though you may argue that it is much larger than it appears. I can only attribute this to the Reformation's artistic ability to make a mountain out of a mole hill. And your interprotestantal differences in doctrine are no excuse to call each other "anethema."

I hope if this ever happens to me in person, I will be blessed with the same restraint as the Bible Answer man. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/read.gif" alt="" />

catholicsoldier <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/takethat.gif" alt="" />
Posted By: Pilgrim Re: Election - Tue Oct 12, 2004 1:55 AM
Quote
catholicsoldier protests:
And your interprotestantal differences in doctrine are no excuse to call each other "anethema."
How easily you forget history, both past and present, where the Roman State Church in it's infamous "Council of Trent" pronounced "Anathema" on anyone and every one who disagreed with its man-made, heretical views. I suppose the apostle Paul would also have to fall under your charge for his pronouncement of anathema upon all who preached another gospel other than Sola Fide? (Gal 1:7, 9; 4:30; 1Cor 5:5ff; Titus 1:20; 3:10; et al) <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/scratchchin.gif" alt="" /> While it is agreed that no finite being can know the eternal destiny of another, what is true is that all those who believe upon and follow the Lord Christ, are charged with the duty and responsibility of being "fruit inspectors". Furthermore, the Church is obligated to discipline and if necessary excommunicate anyone who is errant in either doctrine or in life.

The "mole hills", by your estimation which exist between Protestants, are not all so. In fact, the majority of Protestants hold to a doctrine of soteriology which is much closer to Rome than many realize. And thus, those who hold to such things by their confession, "anathematize" themselves. For the "mole hill" in your estimation, if which are wanting to foist upon us here, is a standard of truth by which the Church either stands or falls.

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I hope if this ever happens to me in person, I will be blessed with the same restraint as the Bible Answer man.
I would hope the same for you too, for your own sake. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />

In His Grace,
Posted By: Tom Re: Election - Tue Oct 12, 2004 6:36 AM
catholicsoldier

Despite what you may think Dr. Horton was being very gracious in his response and in no way was judging anyone’s salvation. If you will read my post again you will see that he was talking about the doctrines of Arminianism itself.
He was basically saying that since Arminianism is a false gospel, then if an Arminian is truly saved, it is despite it, not because of it.

By the way, the differences between Calvinism and Arminianism are not minor as you think.
To show you just how different they really are, let me relate something that hopefully shows you what I mean.
I was once talking to someone I know about limited atonement. After I had finished she gave me a horrified look and in a loud and angry voice said: "That is not my God!!!" Although I still talk with this person a lot, and get along great with her, she does not want to even talk about the issue anymore. Since then, I have had a few more emotional responses by other people.

Why would she react that way? She recognized the huge contrast between what she believes on the subject and what I believed.
I have to admit that one of the aspects of the doctrines of grace that I struggled with before I embraced TULIP was limited atonement. I spend many a sleepless night on the issue and must confess that in that process (not intentionally), caused a lot of stress in my family.
At the time, I didn’t really want to believe it because of its ramifications, it was indeed a huge contrast from what I had been taught up until that point. I finally embraced these precious doctrines because I knew in my heart they are biblical. It was quite a while after that that I finally began seeing that I had previously been looking at the issue through the wrong perspective. I had been looking at it through my own eyes, not the eyes of my sovereign God.
Seeing the matter through this new perspective, I began to see how much sense the doctrines of grace really made.
I will say that because of my experiences with this issue, I have grown to have a little patience with people that have not embraced these doctrines. I don’t know the condition of people’s heart, they may be in a similar position that I at one time was. Saved and teachable, but not at that time understanding doctrine.

Tom
Posted By: catholicsoldier Re: Election - Tue Oct 12, 2004 12:27 PM
Tom,

Perhaps I was hasty and sent the wrong message. Yes, the differences are important. Arminianism is an antigospel and I must agree with you on that. TULIP is very biblical, and Romans 8:29,30 would affirm its veracity to me independant of any other evidence.

But here, sir, enters the inevitable problem with the statement that anyone who believes in their heart the Arminian doctrine is not saved. In our effort to protect the sacred doctrine of justification by faith alone apart from works, (note I do not agree with Protestant interpretations of this) we have created here a justification based on works as we have made prerequisite a perfect or at least adequate intellectual knowledge of that which saves us.

A circular paradox to be sure. If you require one to suffice in understanding that they are not saved by works, then indeed, you are implying just that; that they are saved by this work.

Actually according to James we are saved by our works, but they are virtually indistinguishable from our faith so closely are they entertwined. This is where protestants need to take a closer look at James's discourse, for you have missed the point. Faith receives the upper hand in this debate because you cannot have faith without works, but you can have works without faith.

But back to the point at hand, sir, I hope you can see the error here. Not only do we all lack perfect knowledge of that which saves us, I assert that we don't have even an adequate knowledge of it, and I'm glad that this isn't a mark against us. In heaven I believe we'll be embarrased at just how much we thought we knew, but in fact how short sighted we really were.

I believe perfect knowledge of that which saves us will be ours when we gaze tearfully for the first time at the scars on the body of our Savior and not before.

In the Sacred Heart of Christ and the Immaculate Heart of Mary

catholicsoldier <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/takethat.gif" alt="" />
Posted By: Anonymous Re: Election - Tue Oct 12, 2004 1:01 PM
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In our effort to protect the sacred doctrine of justification by faith alone apart from works, (note I do not agree with Protestant interpretations of this)...
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Actually according to James we are saved by our works,...

Precisely. You believe in a synergistic soteriology. Reformed folks are monergists. World of difference, and therefore, you cannot be a calvinist, the doctrines of which are monergist.

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Not only do we all lack perfect knowledge of that which saves us, I assert that we don't have even an adequate knowledge of it,...

I assert that we do have adequate knowledge in this area and that scripture is abundantly clear on both Gods sovereignty and mans inability. The two positions are not the same, we can simultaneously have adequate knowledge and yet never have perfect knowledge on any given subject.


God bless,

william
Posted By: Tom Re: Election - Tue Oct 12, 2004 6:17 PM
I guess I should have expected an responce like that. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/rolleyes2.gif" alt="" />

I will leave you to others.

Tom
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