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Unread 29th November 2005, 08:57 AM

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Calvinist vs Wesleyan

Please, I only want the Reformed forum members to respond to this. Thanks.
I am not looking for a debate or major criticism of others.
We all believe differently and we will only know in the end who WAS right.

What makes a person Calvinist/Reformed versus Wesleyan?
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  #2  
Unread 29th November 2005, 09:31 AM
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Originally Posted by magnify
Please, I only want the Reformed forum members to respond to this. Thanks.
I am not looking for a debate or major criticism of others.
We all believe differently and we will only know in the end who WAS right.

What makes a person Calvinist/Reformed versus Wesleyan?
I compare them to the disparity between oil and water.

Wesley taught that man has free will and must choose to believe in God. He believed that something called "prevenient grace" somehow tames our sinful nature to the point where we're able to freely make a choice between disbelief and belief. He did not think that God's grace is effectual. Instead, man has to cooperate with grace to be saved. Wesley taught that regeneration happens after salvation. He also taught that you can lose your salvation.

Calvin taught that salvation is wholly by the will of God and that grace is irresistable. God, by way of his grace, regenerates the hearts of the elect and gives them faith in Christ as a free gift because he loves them. Calvin rejects the notion that men can choose their own faith because men are completely embonded to sin--all they desire is sin. Wesley thought this too, but believed in the aforementioned "prevenient grace." Calvin repudiates this notion, saying that the grace of God always accomplishes its purpose, which is the regeneration and salvation of the elect. Calvin also taught that once a believer is regenerated, he can never lose his salvation because the Lord will not allow him to.

Soli Deo Gloria

Jon
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Unread 29th November 2005, 09:48 AM

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Losing your salvation has never made sense to me.

As a followup question:
How do others ignore the scripture that talks about "the elect"?
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Unread 29th November 2005, 09:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Jon_
I compare them to the disparity between oil and water.

Wesley taught that man has free will and must choose to believe in God. He believed that something called "prevenient grace" somehow tames our sinful nature to the point where we're able to freely make a choice between disbelief and belief. He did not think that God's grace is effectual. Instead, man has to cooperate with grace to be saved. Wesley taught that regeneration happens after salvation. He also taught that you can lose your salvation.

Calvin taught that salvation is wholly by the will of God and that grace is irresistable. God, by way of his grace, regenerates the hearts of the elect and gives them faith in Christ as a free gift because he loves them. Calvin rejects the notion that men can choose their own faith because men are completely embonded to sin--all they desire is sin. Wesley thought this too, but believed in the aforementioned "prevenient grace." Calvin repudiates this notion, saying that the grace of God always accomplishes its purpose, which is the regeneration and salvation of the elect. Calvin also taught that once a believer is regenerated, he can never lose his salvation because the Lord will not allow him to.

Soli Deo Gloria

Jon
Wesley also taught perfectionism didn't he? I do not believe he thought himself perfect but that one could beome perfectly sinless in this life. Also Pentecostalism rises out of Wesleyanism.
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Unread 29th November 2005, 10:19 AM
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Wesley believed in "cooperation" between the individual and the Holy Spirit with reference to salvation. Jon's explanation of prevenient grace is a good one.

Wesley was a godly man and a great preacher. He did believe in perfection this side of eternity, but claimed to have only met one person whom he considered perfect. His interaction with George Whitefield is still one of the great debates of theological history. Whitefield the Calvinist Methodist and Wesley the free-will Methodist going head to head. Great stuff.
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Unread 29th November 2005, 10:25 AM
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Originally Posted by mlqurgw
Wesley also taught perfectionism didn't he? I do not believe he thought himself perfect but that one could beome perfectly sinless in this life. Also Pentecostalism rises out of Wesleyanism.
Ack, that's right! Wesley thought we could become perfect by some strange conception he called "entire sanctification" (or maybe that's just the modern term). The Wesleyan churches, especially the Nazarenes, to some extent still uphold this. I used to go to a Nazarene church and the doctrine never made sense to me, even when I was an Arminian. I asked the pastor's son (who went to Point Loma Nazarene Bible College) to explain it and the best he could do was to give this analogy.

Think of sin as a stain in the carpet. When we ask for forgiveness, the stain is forgiven, but it is still there. Apparently, the sin is still in us, it's just forgiven. When we are (entirely) sanctified, the sin is washed away completely and there is no longer any stain. Now, how this is consistent with the Bible (Jesus's blood washed away the sins of the elect for all eternity) and how this can infer to perfectionism is beyond me. Maybe the analogy was a bad one, but as soon as he tried to explain it in a biblical context, he made even less sense, so I am forced to conclude that either (a) he didn't know what he was talking about (easily a possibility), or (b) the doctrine is just inherently incoherent (also a possibility).

Soli Deo Gloria

Jon
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Unread 29th November 2005, 10:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Jon_
Ack, that's right! Wesley thought we could become perfect by some strange conception he called "entire sanctification" (or maybe that's just the modern term). The Wesleyan churches, especially the Nazarenes, to some extent still uphold this. I used to go to a Nazarene church and the doctrine never made sense to me, even when I was an Arminian. I asked the pastor's son (who went to Point Loma Nazarene Bible College) to explain it and the best he could do was to give this analogy.

Think of sin as a stain in the carpet. When we ask for forgiveness, the stain is forgiven, but it is still there. Apparently, the sin is still in us, it's just forgiven. When we are (entirely) sanctified, the sin is washed away completely and there is no longer any stain. Now, how this is consistent with the Bible (Jesus's blood washed away the sins of the elect for all eternity) and how this can infer to perfectionism is beyond me. Maybe the analogy was a bad one, but as soon as he tried to explain it in a biblical context, he made even less sense, so I am forced to conclude that either (a) he didn't know what he was talking about (easily a possibility), or (b) the doctrine is just inherently incoherent (also a possibility).

Soli Deo Gloria

Jon
B.B. Warfield has an entire volume on perfectionism.
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Unread 29th November 2005, 12:51 PM
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Originally Posted by magnify
As a followup question:
How do others ignore the scripture that talks about "the elect"?
Boy did you hit the nail on the head!! That is a question that I would like to have answered too! Actually, since I was (major confession here ) an Arminian for 12 years, I think that I know in part how some might respond. If I am correct in my thinking, some people claim that "the elect" are elect because of the reasons that follow:

1. God looked down the corridors of time and, looking forward into the future, He saw who would choose him.

2. Then, it was like this. God sat there with His clipboard and His future observing telescope and said, "Oh! There's Erin Wilcox! She's such a good person ! She'll choose to believe on me! Therefore, since she'll choose me, I'll mark her down as one of the elect. Okay, Erin's elect now." (cause you have to be a good person to CHOOSE to believe on God-as we know, you have to be sinless! )

3. Therefore, many Arminians will claim that the elect are those that God knew would eventually choose to believe on Him.

I'm not trying to be irreverent, only trying to make a point-this is actually what many believe. Although this is extremely unbiblical, I hope that the explanation will help to clear up some issues.
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Unread 29th November 2005, 12:59 PM
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Originally Posted by magnify
What makes a person Calvinist/Reformed versus Wesleyan?
You mean who, perhaps?

The Lord.

Were I to actually think that my own efforts might warrant something other than wrath, I might be tempted by the Wesleyan/ Holiness movement. As is I have been converted to the dark side of Christianity.
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Unread 29th November 2005, 01:00 PM
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Originally Posted by magnify
Losing your salvation has never made sense to me.

As a followup question:
How do others ignore the scripture that talks about "the elect"?
No one who is honest ignores it they just twist it.
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