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Does going against John Calvin mean going against God?

Discussion in 'Controversial Christian Theology' started by MMXX, Jun 9, 2021.

  1. Oscarr

    Oscarr Senior Veteran Supporter

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    Calvin was used by the Holy Spirit to restore sound doctrinal teaching to the church to counter false papal teaching that had blighted the church for the previous 1000 years. He was a theological pioneer who rebuilt a new theological structure on the correct foundation (Christ).

    We have to realise that Calvin's theology was a new framework built upon the true Gospel of Christ. It wasn't the complete building. Since Calvin, the Holy Spirit has progressively to the framework to restore truth to the church that was lost when the church went apostate under papal rule.

    For example:
    Luther restored "the just shall live by faith", but fell short of holiness. This was because religion was based totally on works, and his theology was to totally counter it.
    Calvin built on it by introducing the importance of living a holy life as well as being justified by faith.
    The Puritans built on Calvin by stressing the importance of a genuine conversion to Christ that needs to be sought for from God.
    Wesley introduced full sanctification by faith through the baptism with the Spirit (a central doctrine of the Wesleyan Holiness movement).
    The Anabaptists introduced the importance of believers' baptism which evolved into the Baptist movement.
    George Whitefield and Charles Finney introduced the importance of evangelism and seekers making their own decision for Christ.
    The Pentecostals introduced the availability of the Spiritual gifts to every believer.
    The Charismatics introduced all the above that can be part of any of the traditional denominations without having to form a new denomination.

    What still needs to be introduced to the church is the cancellation of a clergy and hierarchy structure and the restoration of a presbytery of elders running local churches, without a "pre-eminent senor elder", with the involvement of all the members, instead of the one-man-band structure that exists in most churches today. This will be the restoration of the Body of Christ as Paul described it in 1 Corinthians 12.

    With every truth that is being restored to the church, initially there is emphasis on it, probably over-emphasis, but that is normal when fresh revelation of truth that was in the Early Church, but is now revealed important for today's church, is discovered. A good example is when after decades of neglect of the Law, a king discovered in a dusty part of the Temple, a copy of the Law, and upon reading it realised how far they had departed from what God prescribed in the Law, and there was a major nationwide revival centred around what was written. It was a vitally important truth that was restored to Israel at the time, so much emphasis was placed upon it. But once everything calmed down, the Law then bonded into the normal fabric of life and worship in the nation.

    Such as today. While we have churches that still over-emphasize their part of the truth and make it so important that some teach that one cannot be saved without it. Many other churches just incorporate evangelism, justification by faith, holiness of living, sanctification by faith, believers' baptism, continuance of the gifts as integral components of church and personal life. Everything in its correct place and balance.

    I'm sure that members will get some fun kicking all that around in subsequent posts!
     
  2. setst777

    setst777 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Every Christian denomination believes in the Sovereignty of God. However, the Calvinist understanding of God's Sovereignty is not how the Bible defines God's Sovereignty.
     
  3. Bobber

    Bobber Well-Known Member

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    Sorry but the scriptures don't back up Calvinistic theology and it really doesn't have anything to do with what Catholicism did or didn't do. We look to the scriptures'.
     
  4. GallagherM

    GallagherM Well-Known Member

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    I just believe in the Father and the Lord Christ Jesus and that is good enough for me.
     
  5. Oscarr

    Oscarr Senior Veteran Supporter

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    Such as...?
     
  6. Oscarr

    Oscarr Senior Veteran Supporter

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    Obviously you haven't read any of Calvin's commentaries. He worked from the different Greek manuscripts and had a comprehensive knowledge of what was written in them and the differences between some and others. So I guess that he did work from the Scriptures when he compiled his commentaries. The difference being that he was fluent in New Testament Greek and used the Greek manuscripts instead of the Latin and French translations that were available at the time.

    So, not being a New Testament Greek scholar myself, I don't think that I am qualified to criticize his interpretation of those manuscripts.

    Furthermore, he lived in times where it was the death penalty in law to own a German or French translation of the Bible. People were burned at the stake for just owning an English translation. The first two graduates of his Bible school were murdered by the Papist authorities for just being taught by him.

    I have a much greater respect for those Bible teachers who put themselves in harm's way to give what they believe is sound doctrinal teaching. This is why I fully respect a pastor in a Muslim country where he could be killed for just owning a Bible, and the Chinese pastor who has just a few pages of John's Gospel to preach from to his congregation. Much more than many armchair critics who live in safe societies where there is total religious freedom.
     
  7. Bobber

    Bobber Well-Known Member

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    My comments were based on the suggestion that we should look upon Calvin's work as one who received progressive revelation that God was somehow perfecting the church in knowledge they didn't have before. The one poster stated this,

    We have to realise that Calvin's theology was a new framework built upon the true Gospel of Christ. It wasn't the complete building.

    I say NO WAY! All things considered SOUND doctrine was there in the time of the Apostles.

    You most certainly DO have the place to test all things and hold fast to that which is good. You don't surrender what is actually your God given responsibility to weigh things and assess things yourself. The Spirit said he'd guide believers too into all the truth not just accept another as some type of absolute conveyer of truth that you default to.

    Well you can always admire certain aspects of what somebody does.....most certainly doesn't mean you should feel compelled to agree with them on the details of what they say. Two different issues.

    So I'm not sure I'm getting your reasoning. So you're suggesting one who has much more to lose by stating what they consider to be true as compared to one who doesn't lose anything.....well that means the persecuted one probably is the one more in the truth?
     
  8. Oscarr

    Oscarr Senior Veteran Supporter

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    For the previous 1000 years the basis of religious (not Christian) doctrine was determined by the Papists. Calvin restored to the true church (not the Papist fraud) the sound doctrine that the Apostles taught. We know that Calvin was not an Apostle of Christ, so he did not receive direct inspiration in the same way they did, but he wrote what he believed was sound doctrine. Incidentally, Calvin's doctrine was universally accepted by the Reformed churches right through to John Wesley.

    You are not accounting for the 1000 years under the Papists, where that sound doctrine was lost to the true church. Calvin went back to the earlier Greek manuscripts he had that contained the Apostles' doctrine.

    I thought all believers did that. Are you saying that there are some who don't, and accept another as some type of absolute conveyer of truth as the default?

    Let me read between the lines: Are you saying that because I recognise that Calvin wrote many things that were sound doctrine, that I am putting Calvin above Jesus and Paul whose words were directly inspired by the Holy Spirit, and that I am suggesting that it was Calvin who was crucified for me instead of Jesus?

    Because I have been closely studying the Scriptures for the last 53 years, I guess I have a good idea of what Jesus and Paul taught, so by experience and maturity I can work out whether Calvin wrote sound doctrine and be able to identify any parts of it that are his own opinion, which incidentally, he presents a sound set of reasons why he is more happy about one interpretation of a particular verse of Scripture than the interpretation of others. He also notes the different uses of particular Greek words which give rise to different ways of viewing a Scriptural verse. There are some interpretations that he is content with, but others he prefers.

    Well, if Calvin is teaching the Bible to his students and he knows that there is the distinct possibility that it is going to cost them their lives by accepting and believing the doctrine he teachers, wouldn't you think he would be very careful to teach them the truth as he knew it, to make sure that if they did give their lives, it would be on the basis of truth and not error?

    Its like the army general who sends out the troops knowing that many of them will lose their lives. He has to make sure that the battle is worth fighting and winning, so that lives are not wasted through stupid decisions resulting in poor intelligence and planning.

    But if the general is planning just an exercise where everyone is firing blanks and no one is getting killed, one might think he might not be as meticulous in his planning.

    So, in safe societies like ours, a Bible teacher can experiment with several ideas and take risks, because no one will lose their life and errors can easily be corrected. But a Bible teacher in a Muslim country wouldn't take any risks but make sure that his students got the true Gospel seeing that they would be risking their lives in sharing what they were taught with others.
     
  9. setst777

    setst777 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    All of them. Take your pic.
     
  10. Oscarr

    Oscarr Senior Veteran Supporter

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    Someone showed me a selection of about five different shovels and told me to take my pick. I became confused...
     
  11. Butterball1

    Butterball1 Well-Known Member

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    But you are not making parallels in Romans 5:18. Instead you are making contradictions going from 18a to 18b. You want 18a to have "all men" UNCONDITIONALLY made sinners by birth for that idea fits your particular theological bias. So if 18a has all men UNIVERSALLY, UNCONDITIONALLY made sinners then the parallel to that in 18b would be that same all men are UNIVERSALLY, UNCONDITIONALLY made righteous.

    So you want 18a to have UNIVERSAL UNCONDITIONAL condemnation of all men but you do NOT want the parallel to that in 18b be the UNIVERSAL UNCONDITIONAL justification of all men. So you are NOT drawing parallels between 18a and 18b but are being INCONSISTENT in your interpretation going from 18a and 18b due to a theological bias.

    Secondly, the Bible nowhere teaches men are unconditionally made sinner as it nowhere teaches men are unconditionally made righteous.

    Comparing Romans 4:15 with 1 John 3:4 with Romans 7:8-9 we find how the Bible defines sinner, that being, for one to be a sinner there must be a law and that law must be transgressed by an accountable person. Since the Bible does not contrdict itself in how it defines a sin/sinner, then the Bible's definition of sin/sinner eliminates the man made idea of original sin. Therefore the Bible definition of sin/sinner makes it impossible for one to UNCONDITIONALLY be a sinner apart from existence of law and apart from transgression of that law by an unaccountable person.

    Paul reiterates what he says in Romans 4:15 in Romans 5:13
    "(For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law."

    There is NO UNCONDITIONAL IMPUTATION OF SIN apart from law, apart from transgression of that law. Hence sin cannot be UNCONDITIONALLY imputed unto newly conceived infants for they are not accountable to God's law (Romans 7:8-9) and unable to transgress God's law....for WITHOUT law sin is DEAD and Paul was himself once WITHOUT LAW meaning sin was DEAD to him, had no power over him. He was spiritually ALIVE being with out law making him dead to sin but when he became accountable to God's law upon intellectually maturing learning right from wrong THEN sin sprang up and he spiritually DIED. If original sin were true, Paul would have been born spiritually dead and remained in that dead state until he became a born again Christian. Yet he was born spiritually alive and did not spiritually die until later in his life when sin sprang up then Paul BECAME a sinner, not unconditionally born a dead sin.

    After delivering a death knell blow to original sin in Romans 5:13 Paul delivers yet another death knell blow to original sin in Romans 5:14:
    Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.
    If original sin were true then all would die from inheriting the EXACT SAME sin Adam committed and there is no need for Paul to make a contrast, distinction between Adam's sin and the sin of those who lived from Adam to Moses. The fact Paul DID make the distinction shows men died as a result of their own particular sin that committed that was DIFFERENT from Adam's sin. Hence men die of their OWN sins they choose to commit and not UNCONDITIONALLY born dead for inheirting the same exact sin Adam committed.

    So before we even get to verse 18 Paul already made the idea of original sin an impossbility in showing there is no such thing as being passively unconditionally made a sinner apart from God's law and transgression of that law. That men die as a consequence of their own sin, men died having committed sin different from Adam's sin.

    So you are not only reading the idea of all men being UNIVERSALLY UNCONDITIONALLY made sinners into verse 18, you are not parallelling that same "universal, unconditional" idea from 18a into 18b therefore being INCONSISTENT with your interpretation. You only like the idea of "universal" and "unconditional" and ADD it a verse like Rom 5:18 to make that verse conveniently fit your theology of original sin. But then you must invent a way to get rid of that SAME idea of "universal, unconditional" from the same exact verse you added it to when it does not fit your theology (universalism).
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2021
  12. Clare73

    Clare73 Blood-bought

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    It's about the first and second Adam and those in them.

    Just as all those in the first Adam were made sinners,
    so also all those in the second Adam, Christ, were made righteous. (Romans 5:18-19)

    Righteousness and condemnation are acquired the same way--just as, so also.
    Just as righteousness is accounted/reckoned/imputed in Romans 4:3,
    so also sin/condemnation is accounted/reckoned/imputed in Romans 5:12-14.

    Paul's contrasting parallels are carefully constructed and couldn't be any clearer.

    It was a Catholic deep in the bowels of the Catholic Church, the monk Martin Luther, who tried to show Catholicism its misunderstanding of "salvation by faith without works" (Ephesians 2:8-9), causing a major break in Christendom, and which took Catholicism hundreds of years to acknowledge; however, in the past 50 years Catholicism has come to agree it is true doctrine.

    It's the same issue with imputation of Adam's sin and Christ's righteousness.

    Romans 5:12-14 is an excellent example of what Peter means when he says, "Paul's letters contain some things that are hard to understand..." (2 Peter 3:16).
    There is a lot to unpack in Romans 5:12-14 and Romans 5:18-19.
    So consider carefully Paul's argument there.

    Paul's argument in Romans 5:12-14 is to show that the reason all died between Adam and Moses is because Adam's sin was acccounted/credited/imputed to them, just as Christ's righteousness is accounted/credited/imputed to us (Romans 5:18-19).

    Christ is the "second Adam" (1 Corinthians 15:47), by whom righteousness is reckoned/credited/imputed to us just as the first Adam's sin was reckoned/credited/imputed to us (Romans 5:18-19).
    HIs argument in Romans 5:12-14 is:

    Death is the result of sin (Romans 6:23).
    Sin is transgression of the law.
    Therefore, where there is no law, there is no sin (5:13b).

    There was no law from Adam to Moses, therefore, there was no sin.
    But sin was in the world (5:13) before the law was given because all died, and death is the result of sin.
    How was sin in the world when there was no law to sin against?

    Sin entered the world before Moses and the law through one man (5:12), and all died because of one man's sin, even though
    they did not sin by transgressing the law (5:14).
    Adam's sin was reckoned/credited/imputed to those who did not sin (5:14)--because there was no law to sin against,
    [the reckoning to them of Adam's sin thereby making them sinners (Romans 5:19) from the day of their birth--enemies of God and by
    nature (birth) objects of God's wrath (Ephesians 2:3; Romans 5:9-10, and]
    showing that Adam's sin is reckoned/creditied/imputed to all mankind (all condemened, all made sinners--Romans 5:18-19).

    And we also find this reckoning/crediting/imputing in regard to
    righteousness. . .in Abraham in Genesis 15:6, which Paul
    brings forth into the NT in Romans 4:3-5, and applies by faith to all those
    in Christ.

    So, they all died between Adam and Moses because of Adam's sin which was reckoned/credited/imputed to them, and is
    the basis for Paul's contrasting parallels of "imputation" in Romans 5:18-9, where Adam's condemnation/disobedience
    is reckoned/credited/imputed to all those of Adam,
    just as Christ's justification/obedience is reckoned/accounted/credited
    to all those of Christ.

     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2021
  13. Halbhh

    Halbhh Everything You say is Life to me Supporter

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    I wonder if many (more than a small portion of) reformed or Calvinists think that other denominations don't know God is sovereign?

    Are many in that total misestimation of other Christians?
     
  14. RickReads

    RickReads Well-Known Member

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    Why not skip Calvin and study Paul instead.
     
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  15. Butterball1

    Butterball1 Well-Known Member

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    Again, the context does NOT say they were made sinner UNCONDITIONALLY, that is made sinners apart from choosing to sin as it does NOT say they were made righteous UNCONDITIONALLY, that is, made righteous apart from choosing to have faith.

    So the verses do not teach unconditional condemnation of all men (orignal sin) no more than it teaches unconditional justification of all men (Universalism). Paul makes no parallel between these two things.

    John says sin is transgression of the law (1 John 3:4). You posted "There was no law from Adam to Moses, therefore, there was no sin" and "How was sin in the world when there was no law to sin against?"

    But there was law in the world. Romans 5:14 for those from Adam to Moses to have sinned implies there was law for if there were no law, there is no transgression (Romans 4:15). From the beginning in the garden of Eden there was law (Genesis 2:17) where Adam and Eve were not sinners until they transgressed that law. We today BECOME sinners as Adam and Eve by choosing to transgress God's law. Therefoe original sin is not necessary for us today to be sinners for we become sinners following in the steps of Adam and Eve by choosing to transgress God's law not born/created sinners.

    After Adam and before the law of Moses was given there were laws that existed prior to the law of Moses. We can see some of these laws in Genesis 15:16 ; Genesis 20:9 ; Genesis 39:9 ; Leviticus 18:3 ; Leviticus 18:24-25. Hence they became sinners by sinning sins not like Adam's. The fact sin was imputed unto those who lived between Adam and Moses proves there was law Romans 5:13.
     
  16. Clare73

    Clare73 Blood-bought

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    The NT states precisely that in Romans 4:3, regarding Abraham whose righteousness was credited/imputed to him.

    It's not about "conditions," it's about "sources," man's faith or God's work.

    The texts are clear--"righteousness from God" (Romans 1:17, Romans 3:21), just as it was to Abraham (Romans 4:3)
    It's not about "conditions," it's about "sources," Adam's sin or my sin.

    The texts are clear--"one trespass," "disobedience of one man"--that's Adam's sin, not mine (Romans 5:18-19).

    And so. . .
    just as righteousness (of Christ) from God was accounted/imputed to Abraham as well as to those in Christ (Romans 4:3),
    so also the sin of Adam is accounted/imputed to those in Adam (Romans 5:18).
    You couldn't misunderstand it more.
    Paul makes very precise parallels between those two things:
    just as-->so also.

    Therefore, because Christ's righteousness is imputed to us, so Adam's sin is likewise imputed to us.

    I "posted"?. . .and from where did I post it? From:

    "Before the law was given. . .sin is not taken into account when there is no law. . .those who did not sin by breaking a command" (Romans 5:13-14)
    The text states they "did not sin," (Romans 5:14)
    You imply it, the text states just the opposite, "Before the law was given. . .there is no law. (v.13). . .who did not sin (v.14)."
    Your argument is not with me, it is with Scripture. . .take it up with Paul.

    However, I will have to agree with Peter here that Paul's "letters contain some things that are hard to understand. . ." (2 Peter 3:16).

    So you might carefully reconsider my post quoted above for a Biblical understanding of the imputation of Christ's righteousness to us as well as imputation of Adam's sin to us in Romans 5:18-19.

    And then yours following seeks to further substitute your own theology for the NT teaching of Romans 5:12-14.
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2021
  17. returntosender

    returntosender EL ROI

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    "Calvinism is secret Universalism"
    That's an interesting thing to say since the most outspoken person here against Calvinism is a universalist.;)
     
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  18. fhansen

    fhansen Oldbie

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    No they’re quite different. Calvin’s theology is largely nice speculation, quasi plausible. And wrong. God’s theology, OTOH, happens to be right. Go figure. Anyway that’s the difference.
     
  19. Butch5

    Butch5 Newbie Supporter

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    He said it's the most loved doctrine by people who understand it. I would suggest that it's the most loved doctrine by people who don't understand it. Calvinism and the Bible have little in common. So, to answer your question, to go against Calvinism is not going against the Bible.

    The Reformers created a doctrine and named it after a concept in the Bible, predestination. However, the doctrine the Reformers created isn't the concept of predestination in the Bible.
     
  20. Daniel Marsh

    Daniel Marsh Well-Known Member

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