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Featured A Few Questions for Calvinists (Trying to figure out what you believe).

Discussion in 'Controversial Christian Theology' started by Jason0047, Nov 30, 2017.

  1. Jason0047

    Jason0047 Agent for Christ Supporter

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    1. Do you believe that God forces some to be not saved against their will?
    2. Do you believe Jesus died for all people or just for the Elect or the saved?
    3. Did God directly create evil?
    4. Does God force regenerate (i.e. to be born again) the Elect before they make a free will choice to accept Christ?
    5. Does God choose the saved or unsaved based upon what He knew they were going to do?
    6. Once God saves somebody, is there no possible chance they can become unsaved?
    7. Are God's Elect saved even while they abide in unrepentant sin sometimes?
    8. Which of the 5 points of Calvinism do you believe in and can you explain them?
    9. Is there such a thing called "free will"?
    10. If there is a thing called "free will", does it always exist for the entire lifespan of a man who he is alive, mentally healthy, and conscious?
    11. If you believe God predetermines some to be saved and some to not be saved, then what is the purpose of the Judgment?

    Please provide Scripture as a part of your answers (if you can).

    Thank you.
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2017
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  2. Dave G.

    Dave G. Well-Known Member

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    I'm not sure anyone is going to dive in head first and answer all ten at once.
     
  3. HereIStand

    HereIStand Regular Member Supporter

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    I am a so-so Calvinist, but with regard to 5, as I've recently listened to in Boethius, God's perspective is eternal. Our perspective is finite. What time is it in eternity right now? There isn't time there, because it is always in the eternal present. God doesn't look forward or backward in time to acquire knowledge of events. He is outside of time, overlooking and knowing all of history at the same time. And he takes in all of our salvation history at once.
     
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  4. Jason0047

    Jason0047 Agent for Christ Supporter

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    So Christ is being sacrificed over and over and over and over and over and over again through out time?
    God did not really rest on the 7th Day after the 6 Day creation?

    Granted, I believe God knows the future with pin point precision; I just do not think He exists in all points in time (as many Christians believe).

    Anyways, some Calvinists believe that God does not choose the Elect or the Reprobate based upon any kind of condition. Hence, why it is called "Unconditional Election" in Calvinism.
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2017
  5. Jason0047

    Jason0047 Agent for Christ Supporter

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    I know. Most Calvinists I have talked with before are not all that eager or direct so as to answer my questions before. If it was me: I would answer the questions (if I believed Calvinism was true) because I would want to defend what I know to be right.
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2017
  6. Albion

    Albion Facilitator

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    You probably need to produce a definition of Calvinist if you want to limit the answers to Calvinists.
     
  7. Jason0047

    Jason0047 Agent for Christ Supporter

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    I put out the call. We will see if they answer or not.
     
  8. Dave G.

    Dave G. Well-Known Member

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    If I were a true Calvinist ( I'm not even part of their organization by the way) I doubt I would answer either.
     
  9. Albion

    Albion Facilitator

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    The questions do show a bias against the TULIP points, that's right.
     
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  10. Apologetic_Warrior

    Apologetic_Warrior Saved by Grace through Faith

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    Hello brother Jason, I will attempt to answer per request, hoping the answers I give line up with Scripture and historical Calvinism, that is in agreement with the many creeds and confessions of the Reformed faith and the majority of it's adherents, while recognizing the room for some variation of disagreement, and at the same time a consistency of agreement among adherents.



    No, I do not, neither is there any need for coercion, sinners by very nature sin, it comes rather naturally.



    I believe all Calvinists will agree that Jesus' substitutionary atonement applies exclusively to the elect in Christ. The logical conclusion for the non-elect, is the blood of Christ is not on those suffering the wrath of God's judgement. There are variations of answers to this question due to the magnitude of the atonement in accomplishing all that the Father intended. It can also be said that Christ died for all kinds of people, all types of people, meaning all races, ages, gender, throughout all of the history of mankind.



    No, not directly, He did create the potential for it, all while knowing what the outcome would be and sovereignly allowing it. Some occurances we might consider “evil” such as a “natural disaster”, God is in control, has control over, is not beyond His ability to control.



    No, and the question is framed without taking into account the historical Reformed order of salvation. The fact is, we are all dead in sins and trespasses and cannot please a Holy God before regeneration. God does not force, He regenerates His chosen people that He chose before the foundation of the world according to His wondrous mercy and grace, His choice His divine prerogative. To say God "forces" suggest He converts against a person's will, but the will not in Christ is already spiritually dead and set against God. He brings to life, that which was formerly dead. If that is forcing, then so be it, I will accept it, and be thankful for it.



    Romans Chapter 9 provides the answer, Also see Ephesians Chapter 2. The Biblical answer is no, God does not look through the corridors of time, hoping for volunteers. He say’s “follow me” and those that can hear, they do.



    No, God does not make mistakes, He does not provide salvation and leave it in the hands of sinners to foil His plans. On this note, it is entirely possible and more than possible, for people to partake in, have an exterior appearance of conversion but lack true inward conversion. Unfortunately most are self-deceived, indeed we need not look further than non-Christian religions to observe the widespread deception infecting the whole world.



    Rather than answer the question, I will throw one back. Let’s take Christian Joe for example. He’s been saved and lived a godly life for most of his life. He’s not perfect but has always been the aim, to be Holy like Christ. He’s always strived to repent for every time he’s fallen short of the glory of God. One fateful morning on the way to Church service, another driver pulls out in front of him and without hardly thinking in a moment of anger he lets out a word I cannot use here. In the process of the accident, Joe loses his life almost instantly without time to repent or get it right with God. Since Christian Joe did not repent of that sin will he be thrown in the fire with the rest? Other examples that might come to mind have to do with elderly people who experience diseases effecting their mental faculties. It is difficult to envision a loving parent throwing out the baby with the dirty bath water.

    As to the rest of the questions I will try to get back to them later when/as I am afforded time.
     
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  11. ~Anastasia~

    ~Anastasia~ † Servant of God † Supporter CF Senior Ambassador

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    I'm just following the discussion because I'm interested. But if you actually want to understand the answers to your questions, it might be best to visit the Calvinist's subforum, request permission to ask, and then ask no more than a few at a time. That won't allow you to argue back, if that's your aim, but you could ask for clarification.

    Though iirc the time I tried that, all I got was links to books.

    I'm still trying to understand a few things about Calvinism too.
     
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  12. Jason0047

    Jason0047 Agent for Christ Supporter

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    Thank you so much for your reply. I really do appreciate that.

    I will try and get back to you with Scripture later.

    Again, thank you for answering.

    May God bless you.
     
  13. Jason0047

    Jason0047 Agent for Christ Supporter

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    Oh, you should know me. I do like to reply back, as well.
     
  14. HereIStand

    HereIStand Regular Member Supporter

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    Time exist. God created it and we live in it. He can act within it as He did in creation, but He isn't restricted by time as we are. What you've stated about unconditional election is true. God does not choose us based on our capacity for goodness. He places us in the environment and opens our hearts to receive the Word. But we have to accept it of our own volition or we can resist it of our own volition, as Augustine argued. Here (I think) Augustine would have departed from Calvinist "Irresistible Grace" as Lutherans do.

    Note: All important typo...left out the word not in my first version of this post. Major error.
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2017
  15. RC1970

    RC1970 post tenebras lux

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    I will try and deal with #1. I think if non-Calvinists can just understand this first issue there would be much less confusion.

    God does not force anyone to do anything "against their will". What He does is come into your heart and change it's desire. So where your heart was not willing before, now it is willing. It's still your will, but it is now enlightened and accepting of the things of God.

    For those who God does not do this for, they remain on the same unbelieving, unwilling course they have always been on.

    Deuteronomy 30:6
    Ezekiel 36:26-27
    John 3:6-8
     
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  16. Mountainmanbob

    Mountainmanbob Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Don't think so.
    M-Bob
     
  17. gordonhooker

    gordonhooker Franciscan tssf Supporter

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    How is that not the same thing - you simply used other words to describe it?
     
  18. ~Anastasia~

    ~Anastasia~ † Servant of God † Supporter CF Senior Ambassador

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    LOL very well then. If this doesn't pan out you might try General Theology. :)
     
  19. Apologetic_Warrior

    Apologetic_Warrior Saved by Grace through Faith

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    All of them, I can explain, but doubt I will have adequate time anytime soon. Although each is Biblical that is based on the teachings of Scripture, these doctrines were not known as “The Five Points of Calvinism” until The Canons of Dort. They consist of a formal response to the five points of Arminian. Nearly, if not all of the doctrines of grace, can be found in one form or another in Reformed confessions before them.

    The topic of “free will” is another novel sized discussion, in fact entire books have been written on just this topic alone. Probably one of the most famous is Calvinist Jonathan Edwards book “Freedom of the will”. This is also a topic where I believe there is some room for variation of disagreement. This is also another topic where defining terms is not only helpful, but crucial. This is also a topic that involves using more than proof texts and exposition, although I would argue they hold the most weight, a bit of philosophical knowledge is extremely helpful to this topic in particular, and that is how I define my position. I am a compatibilist concerning “free will”. I would argue that only in Christ can the will be set free from the bondage of sin, and the will bound to sin is a slave to it’s desires.

    I am not sure that I understand your question entirely, but I think I covered it in response to the previous question. To answer plainly, no, not the entire lifespan of a man, only after regeneration is there freedom in the will, freedom to not sin, freedom to please God, the term freedom could almost be exchanged for the term ability.

    There are different views of “double predestination”, Romans Chapter 9 is all I need to believe on the matter (including purpose of judgement). Any Christian that believes in an omniscient God (which historical Christianity has) per the historical definition of the term, must still grapple with the fact that God knew before He created the world, that most the world would never choose Him, and that He would make them vessels of destruction. The philosophy of “free will” doesn’t turn out to be the get out of jail free card that so many seem to think it is.

    A few helpful inks:

    Synod of Dort

    Canons of Dort

    List of Participants in the Synod of Dort
     
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  20. Neal of Zebulun

    Neal of Zebulun Active Member

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    I have not seen anyone actually disprove what Romans 9 is saying. They have to ignore it and focus on other Scripture to try and contradict it (thus bring Paul himself into question), or else they attack their opponent's character, the chapter is just that inescapable.

    Isaiah 29:15-16 and Isaiah 64:7-8 talk about the Potter too.

    I don't know much at all about Calvinism, but I know Romans 9, and I believe what Paul is saying. So I'm very interested to read how this thread goes, and how the chapter will be handled.

    Thank you!

    And praise Yahweh, let this thread be a blessing unto His children, and an inspiration to respect the Master Potter.
     
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