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Election/Predestination from a non-Calvinist standpoint?

Discussion in 'General Theology' started by onajourney87, Nov 5, 2004.

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  1. onajourney87

    onajourney87 Contributor

    +258
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    I tend to be fairly Calvinist(not a 5 points Calvinist however), and was talking with my Apologetics teacher on Wednesday about Calvinism and Arminism and the middle ground between the two.

    In talking with him, I realized that I really have never done a very thorough check into how exactly a non-Calvinist(or someone who doesn't agree with the Calvinist view of election/predestination) addresses the issue of predestination/election.

    Clearly, predistination and election are taught in the Bible, even using those terms. But what do non-Calvinists understand them to be?

    osm
     
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  2. kspchemist

    kspchemist Bible Thumper

    516
    +34
    Pentecostal
    Married
    US-Constitution
    Here is my understanding of the issue.

    the Human race has been predestined to be the elect. The elect are those who have chosen to accept what they were predestined to be.
     
  3. St. Worm2

    St. Worm2 Active Member

    356
    +25
    Calvinist
    Married
    US-Republican
    Hey OSM, while I'm a Calvinist now, I wasn't when I became a Christian 18 years ago. Back then I believed in "Conditional Election", that God's choice of us was "conditioned" on our choice of Him (or, rather, by what we chose to do concerning His Son). IOW, God looked down through a 'tunnel of time' (so to speak) and chose to make us 'elect' .. or not .. based on our response to the Gospel.

    Yours and His,
    David
     
  4. walter_the_earl

    walter_the_earl Member

    138
    +4
    Non-Denom
    The Gospel is very strongly about election.

    God is the electing God

    God is the electee, in Jesus

    Jesus is the only predestined and elected one, in essence he changed existences with us, he lived our lives for us so we didn't have to. We are elected in Christ.
     
  5. john14_20

    john14_20 ...you in me and I in you

    707
    +26
    Protestant
    Karl Barth viewed Jesus as both the electing God and the elected man.

    As He is the representative head of all of mankind, all are elect in Him.

    The difference between the believer and unbeliever for Barth was not one of actuality, as the two are no different. It's just that one has realised what Christ has made of him and the other has not.

    Blessings to all, Pete
     
  6. St. Worm2

    St. Worm2 Active Member

    356
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    Clearly, we are all in Adam, and as such, he is "the representative head of all of mankind", but Christ?

    If all are in Christ (as all are in Adam) then all will be made alive, right? This is, of course, wrong. This means that all will be saved, which is the heresy of Universalism. And the only way that could be true is if God has been 'pulling our legs' concerning the reality of Hell and the damnation of the wicked. Would it not be better to say that as Adam is the representative head of all who die, Christ is the representative head of all who believe!

    Is Karl Barth a Universalist? .. :confused:

    Yours and His,
    David
     
  7. walter_the_earl

    walter_the_earl Member

    138
    +4
    Non-Denom
    Barth himself said he was not a Universalist

    If all are in Christ (as all are in Adam) then all will be made alive? Right, and no buts
     
  8. john14_20

    john14_20 ...you in me and I in you

    707
    +26
    Protestant
    Hi David :wave:

    Barth denied being a universalist, even though the initial outcome of his predestination appears to lead that way.

    He refused to speculate on the fate of the person who has been elected and adopted into God's family yet refuses to accept this adoption.

    But, let us be clear.

    Adam was the federal head of ALL humanity. Nobody had to have faith in him to make it real. Nobody had any choice in the matter.

    Jesus Christ is the new Adam. And all humanity has found life, forgiveness, acceptance and adoption in Him. We do not need faith in Christ to make this real anymore than we need faith in Adam. These are accomplished facts that our permission is not required for.

    Many people do not know the glorious truth of thier lives. That is where faith comes in.

    We need to faith to see what is so, we do not need faith to create what is not.

    By the way, this is not a recent invention of Barth's. It is the earliest understanding of predestination.

    Where we trace Calvin's thought back to Augustine, Barth's thesis is traced back even further to Athanasius.

    Blessings, Pete
     
  9. Benedicta00

    Benedicta00 Well-Known Member

    +816
    Catholic
    Private

    The Catholic teaching on predestination and election is that we are saved by grace alone and a soul who is saved is so by the gift of God- these are the predestined, the elect. Those who are the reprobates are so by their sin and their lack of repentance.

    The Catholic view is not unlike the Calvin view in the respect that it is by grace anyone is saved- it is through sin and a lack of repentance one is not saved and a person goes to hell because hell is what they want. Where we differ drastically is in the thought that a man is chosen to receive grace and he will not resist this grace and other men are not chosen to receive grace so they will remain as they are, damned.

    Catholics do not believe in total depravity and this is where the real difference in the views lie. Catholics believe the fall left us disordered and deprave but still inherently good, that we are good but we suffer from the wounds of sin and are separated from God as a consequence of original sin. We are in need of redemption (reconciliation with God) and we are in need of healing even after we have been "saved." I know Calvins view us as radically different after the fall, that we are all born evil and will only desire evil unless God regenerates us and gives us a heart to love him with. We believe that God does give all men the prevenient, actual grace to accept his gift of sanctifying grace and mankind has the free will to want to be saved or want to be damned.

    Catholics believe in the “both/ and” not the “either/or”, meaning we believe it takes both, God drawing us to himself and our cooperation. Not either God drawing us or we save ourselves by cooperating. That I think is the hardest thing for a Calvin to understand about the Catholic teaching on this subject.

    Another main area of difference is eternal security. We do not believe that once we have been redeemed by Christ that we can not walk away from that if we choose to. Until death we always have the freedom to choose sin over God and lose the hope of glory. I know Calvins do not believe that is possible.
     
  10. Benedicta00

    Benedicta00 Well-Known Member

    +816
    Catholic
    Private
    That is a good way to put it.
     
  11. Carrye

    Carrye Weisenheimer

    +713
    Catholic
    Single
    This is probably the most concise and accurate account I've read. :thumbsup:

    Election is not as if God were saying "I choose you (pointing to one person), but not you (pointing to another)". God wishes that all might be saved, but the sad reality is that this will not be true. Christ's death on the cross has provided all necessary graces, but it is ultimately up to the individual to accept or reject these graces, and then to act upon them.

    Predestination too, is not God setting one person on the course to salvation and another to damnation. No, for that would be incredibly unjust and contrary to God's universal salvific will. Humans would be reduced to puppets just living out their already determined lives.

    Free will is essential in any discussion about salvation. It is I who choose; I who either accepts or rejects. Is this a one-time decision? As a Catholic I say no. It is a constant choosing ... a decision I make many times each day.

    There's something within theology called the "fundamental option". Basically, it says that a person faces a choice in his life to orient himself toward/away from God. Once this choice is made for God, he can slide relatively toward or away from God, but only on a sliding kind of scale. Similarly, once the choice is made against God, he can never change his mind. No matter what he does, what he believes, he will never be justified or saved.

    Now of course I think this is utter trash, but it is something that seems to relate to the topic, and it speaks to a slightly less "predestination" ideal. If a person is given a choice, but only one choice, then he is in a sense predestining himself.

    Clear as mud? ;)
     
  12. Theophorus

    Theophorus ...

    +378
    Eastern Orthodox
    Single
    so what is death and our relation to it? It is the fate of all men yes, but is that the real death which is feared or warned about.
    Christ died a death, but are we to say that God died, no but rather God manifested life through death. How was that? through a deathless, or in other words, a sinless life.
    The purpose of Christ's death and resurection is to release us from the bondage of death, or sin, for sin is death, but Christ died! So there is a death and then there is a death or state of bondage and captivity.

    If all are liberated from this death, then why does sin still exsist? Or even if only the elect are liberated, why do they still sin, or live in death?
    Just as Adam brought about physical death by eating of the fruit of rebellion and pride, and also real death ( for our God is not a deceiver as the serpent was) we also live by eating of the tree of life, that is our Lord.
    And just as the death of Adam was not instantaneous, so is our life, in Christ not manifest to the eye in the same manner though both are chosen at any moment in our lives, for if Adam did repent, then was he not saved by Christ and the woman who gave birth to hope? And who did she credit with this hope but God himself, but did not Cain despise it, or rather was still living in death and did not partake in it, but rather tried to kill it, even when God had told him that if he chose life, would it not go well for him.

    If the physical death was glorified by our Lord, and he too was a partaker of it, Then there must remain another death. Is not that death sin, and at any moment are we not in death or in life? Is it static, or is it living and full of power like our Lord. Do we seek to ride in on his coatails or do we seek true liberation.
     
  13. Dmckay

    Dmckay Guest

    +0
    I am a Baptist Minister who during the course of 30+ years study of the Scriptures came to realize that what I believed and taught was actually Calvinism. When I went through Bible College and Seminary Calvinism was taught more from a historical perspective and glossed over. Usually the profs would admit quietly to being 4 or 4 1/2 point Calvinists rather apologetically. As I wasn't interested in studying what I thought was just someone's systematized beliefs I didn't really look into Calvin's teachings or their history. I have a couple of very detailed studies that I have put together on TULIP and one on the historic development of the Pelagian heresy and Calvinism which is how TULIP came about. If you want to private message me I will give you my email address so you can tell me the best format to get these studies to you.
     
  14. Dmckay

    Dmckay Guest

    +0
    My other offer aside, in answer to your question, non-Calvinists usually separate election and predestination. The will say that God looked down the corridors of time in His prescience, and foreknew those who would accept the offer of salvation when it was made to them. Knowing that those would believe, God elected to save them based on their future acceptance. Predestination is usually separated out and applied to the adoption as sons of those foreknown and elected to salvation.

    In other words, God made the offer of salvation to all who would accept. He looked down through time to foresee who would accept the offer He made. Those who would accept when they had the chance then had their names written in the Lamb's Book of Life. On the basis of their future acceptance, God decided to elect them to salvation and then Predestined those who would accept to be adopted as sons of God and conformed to the image of Christ. Rather makes God more reactionary than sovereign doesn't it?
     
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