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Calvinism doesn't exist in early christian writers till Augustine

Discussion in 'Patristics' started by Jesusthekingofking, Sep 18, 2020.

  1. Jesusthekingofking

    Jesusthekingofking Member

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    does the early church fathers teach Calvinism?
     
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  2. alllivesmatter

    alllivesmatter ta da,EL ROI

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    You mean EXIST in your title?
     
  3. Cormack

    Cormack Member

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    They did not teach Calvinism, even many noteworthy reformed theologians agree that the nearest thing to Calvin’s theology was first taught by Augustine. Reformed theologian Loraine Boettner wrote that Augustine “the spirit filled theologian of the west” was “the first to see” a Calvinistic (or deterministic) style of religion in the church.

    Before this time, at least according to the American theologian Loraine, the early church taught a kind of cooperative synergism between man choosing to repent and God choosing to forgive and save the repentant sinner.

    If there’s anyone reading who’s still undecided and they’d like some great resources explaining the case against Calvinism, there’s Steve Gregg, Leighton Flowers, Dr. William Lane Craig, Jerry Walls.

    While the case for Calvinism is widely known and expounded by famous teachers like Chris Date, Matt Slick, John Piper, A. W. Pink, James White, GotQuestions (they’re 4 pointers,) John MacArthur. Loads of well known popular speakers in fact.
     
  4. SkyWriting

    SkyWriting The Librarian Supporter

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    Ah. That's what I've been trying to tell people for years. They are two sides to the same coin.
     
  5. Andrewn

    Andrewn Well-Known Member CF Ambassadors Supporter

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    Calvinistic predestination hijacked a large portion of the ReformationIt's a damaging view of God and of the world, perhaps worse than most heresies.
     
  6. Cormack

    Cormack Member

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    Now you could quote Loraine Boettner, just throw up your hands and say “hey, it’s not just me saying it, Calvinists and reformed theologians think so too!”

    Conflating mans choice to repent and believe with Gods choice to forgive and save is a common misunderstanding. When people make that mistake they’ll often say “you believe man has the power to save himself???” Etc etc.

    Still, that’s not the point, the point is that man can respond in faith to God when He graciously makes the offer of salvation to all people.

    Dr. Jerry Walls has two incredible lectures on this.



    Sorry @Jesusthekingofking if this ^^ slightly hijacks your topic.
     
  7. Jesusthekingofking

    Jesusthekingofking Member

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    Biblical predestination in eph 1 means God before time save the elect in Christ. On the other hand I often heard calvinist say God degree some for salvation and some for damnation.
     
  8. Jesusthekingofking

    Jesusthekingofking Member

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    I have to watch the entire thing? Can you summarize in words?
     
  9. Cormack

    Cormack Member

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    I could. Dr. Walls is a great speaker so listening is actually a lot of fun, still, the main theme of the talk is that Calvinists are using Christian language but they have a private Calvinistic meaning hidden behind many of the Christian words.

    Predestination, sovereignty, even love, Calvinists will use these words but won’t always explain what they mean, they’re benefiting on the fact that the questioner doesn’t understand the Calvinists private use of the word.

    The questioner hears a Calvinist say “God loves sinners,” and they believe in our shared understanding of what love means, but that’s not the way that the Calvinist is using the word love, he has a second meaning to the word love that he won’t always share. A Calvinist can use “love” and mean temporal blessing.

    In this way Calvinists gather many people to their church who don’t fully understand or believe in Calvinism.
     
  10. SkyWriting

    SkyWriting The Librarian Supporter

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  11. Cormack

    Cormack Member

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    ^^^^ Just as an interesting side note, I recently listened to 5 point Calvinist Dr. James White reply to Jerry Walls above lecture (write me for a link if you’re having trouble finding that.)

    About Calvinists misusing terms and misleading audiences James replied by blaming the audience, in essence he replied it’s not our fault you people don’t understand our use of words, you should educate yourselves.

    Why an audience who are eager to learn would have to foreknow a Calvinists idiosyncratic misuse of words like love is anybody’s guess.

    As much as I’ve benefitted from James books (e.g. The forgotten Trinity, What every Christian needs to know about Islam) my impression of James rebuttal video was that it’s almost like how a conman blames his victims for being swindled, “if they had more of an education this wouldn’t have happened. Serves them right. They were asking for it. They’ll know better next time.”

    On topic: I’m of the opinion that Augustine (like James White, John Calvin and other Calvinists) misappropriated an entire arsenal of Biblical vocabulary to argue for an unbiblical viewpoint regarding God, man, salvation and free will (“free will” being another term Calvinists use but don’t believe in by the commonplace understanding.)

    In short early Christians didn’t teach Calvinism.
     
  12. Jesusthekingofking

    Jesusthekingofking Member

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    really? can a calvinist says 'God love mankind'? sometime they are so defensive and stuck in their system they neglect the simple truth.
     
  13. Cormack

    Cormack Member

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    A Calvinist could say God “loves mankind,” but that love is a general thing, he “loves us all” (in their opinion) because he provides rain, food and holds back the evil in our hearts. He gives all of mankind a small taste of the joys of this life, but he doesn’t give his Son for all of mankind.

    He gives people rain and crops and the joys of friendship, but not Jesus. Under Calvinism Jesus’ sacrifice isn’t for the world, it is for a special group only.

    If you believe Jesus died for the world, then you can’t be a 5 point Calvinist.

    “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.” Not every Calvinist will understand that verse in the same way, but many will say hate means hate and God hated Esau.

    God hates sinners and he didn’t elect many of them to salvation, furthermore it’s his prerogative if he “passes over” the unelected, damning them forever.

    I believe Calvinism misses the heart of the gospel by making God into the Levite or the Pharisee, passing over the robbed and wounded man dying by the roadside.

    Calvinists will reply “he’s God and he does whatever he pleases.” So our next question should be then what pleases Him?

    Ezekiel 18:23 Do I take any pleasure in the death of the wicked? declares the Sovereign LORD. Rather, am I not pleased when they turn from their ways and live?
     
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