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Discussion in 'Debate with a Calvinist' started by saintboniface, Jan 14, 2014.

  1. abacabb3

    abacabb3 Newbie

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    Presuming the OP was in earnestness:

    To quote the 1994 Catholic Catechism:

    The first work of the grace of the Holy Spirit is conversion, effecting justification in accordance with Jesus’ proclamation at the beginning of the Gospel: ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.’[Matthew 4:17]. Moved by grace, man turns toward God and away from sin, thus accepting forgiveness and righteousness from on high…The merit of man before God in the Christian life arises from the fact that God has freely chosen to associate man with the work of his grace. The fatherly action of God is first on his own initiative, and then follows man’s free acting through his collaboration, so that the merit of good works is to be attributed in the first place to the grace of God, then to the faithful. Man’s merit, moreover, itself is due to God, for his good actions proceed in Christ, from the predispositions and assistance given by the Holy Spirit.

    So, the teachings of your own church is that the election of each believer is indeed a miracle, as in GOd had to do something supernatural to make each person a believer.

    So, what difference does it make if you hear preaching? According to St. Propser of Aquataine: "He that is the inspirer of the hear is also the inspirer of the preacher's office."

    So God inspires your ability to hear the Gospel, just as He inspires the person who preaches it to you to listen.
     
  2. Skala

    Skala I'm a Saint. Not because of me, but because of Him

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    If God is omniscient, he knew that if he creats "Bob", Bob would end up in hell.

    Thus, God creating "Bob" effectually seals Bob's fate.

    Only open theists can escape this dilemma.
     
  3. abacabb3

    abacabb3 Newbie

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    I had a Jehova Witness argue that God selectively knows the future and selectively does not...
     
  4. saintboniface

    saintboniface Junior Member

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    I keep getting responses from Calvinists saying the Catholic Church teaches the same thing as Calvin. If that was true we would all be going down to the local fish fry together this Friday. The Catholic Church does not teach that God wills some men to go to hell.
     
  5. saintboniface

    saintboniface Junior Member

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    I don't disagree with this. God knows ahead of time that some men will end up in hell.

    Calvinists say God willed some of the men he created to go to hell. That no matter how much they chose to love and serve God they would have no chance for eternal life. Catholics say God wills that all men have eternal life as in 1 Timothy 2:4.
     
  6. abacabb3

    abacabb3 Newbie

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    I am not saying the RCC teaches the 5 points of Calvinism, I was answering your own question in the first post: what difference does it make if you go to church if your are predestined one way or the other?

    The RCC teaches predestination, but not predestinarianism.

    The reason many Calvinists and RCCs don't go to the local fish fry is for reasons totally different than the existence of monergism in the election of saints.


    Orthodox Roman Catholic Saints have taught that while God doesn't actively destine people for hell, that He does pass over them in giving them grace:

    We indeed see it happen that the grace of the Saviour
    passes by some men and that the prayers of the Church
    in their favour are not heard. This must be ascribed
    to the secret judgments of divine justice. We must
    acknowledge that we cannot understand this profound
    mystery in this life.
    (Prosper of Aquataine, Call of the Nations, Book 1 Chap 13)

    But if, it is said, it was necessary that, although all were not condemned, He should still show what was due to all, and so He should commend His grace more freely to the vessels of mercy; why in the same case will He punish me more than another, or deliver him more than me? I say not this. If you ask wherefore; because I confess that I can find no answer to make. And if you further ask why is this, it is because in this matter, even as His anger is righteous and as His mercy is great, so His judgments are unsearchable. (Augustine, On the Perseverance of the Saints, Book 2, Chap 18)

    But he who falls, falls by his own will, and he who stands, stands by God's will. For God is able to make him stand; Romans 14:4 therefore he is not able to make himself stand, but God...Following whom also the blessed Ambrose ventures to say, For our heart is not in our own power, nor are our thoughts. And this everybody who is humbly and truly pious feels to be most true. (Augustine, On the Perseverance of the Saints, Book 2, Chap 19)

    It is, therefore, in the power of the wicked to sin; but that in sinning they should do this or that by that wickedness is not in their power, but in God's, who divides the darkness and regulates it; so that hence even what they do contrary to God's will is not fulfilled except it be God's will. (Augustine, On Predestination, Book 1, Chap 33)

    For the Lord Himself also sufficiently explains this calling when He says, You have not chosen me, but I have chosen you. John 15:16 For if they had been elected because they had believed, they themselves would certainly have first chosen Him by believing in Him, so that they should deserve to be elected. But He takes away this supposition altogether when He says, You have not chosen me, but I have chosen you. (Augustine, On Predestination, Book 1, Chap 34)


    So, if you take issue with monergism, take that up with your church. I particularly like this article from New Advent (a RCC site) on semi-pelagianism: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/13703a.htm
     
  7. Apologetic_Warrior

    Apologetic_Warrior Pilgrim

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    Oh really? I think it depends on which Catholics you ask...

    [Early Church Father St.] Augustine from his Anti-Pelagian writings:
    Chapter 31.—Grace is Given to Some Men in Mercy; Is Withheld from Others in Justice and Truth.

    "Forasmuch then as our turning away from God is our own act, and this is evil will; but our turning to God is not possible, except He rouses and helps us, and this is good will,—what have we that we have not received? But if we received, why do we glory as if we had not received? Therefore, as “he that glorieth must glory in the Lord,” it comes from His mercy, not their merit, that God wills to impart this to some, but from His truth that He wills not to impart it to others. For to sinners punishment is justly due, because “the Lord God loveth mercy and truth,” and “mercy and truth are met together;” and “all the paths of the Lord are mercy and truth.” And who can tell the numberless instances in which Holy Scripture combines these two attributes? Sometimes, by a change in the terms, grace is put for mercy, as in the passage, “We beheld His glory, the glory as of the Only-begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” Sometimes also judgment occurs instead of truth, as in the passage, “I will sing of mercy and judgment unto Thee, O Lord.” - St. Augustine

    "Irenaeus (c. 130-c. 200): This manner of speech may perhaps be plausible or persuasive to those who know not God, and who liken Him to needy human beings, and to those who cannot immediately and without assistance form anything, but require many instrumentalities to produce what they intend. But it will not be regarded as at all probable by those who know that God stands in need of nothing, and that He created and made all things by His Word, while He neither required angels to assist Him in the production of those things which are made, nor of any power greatly inferior to Himself, and ignorant of the Father, nor of any defect or ignorance, in order that he who should know Him might become man.8 But He Himself in Himself, after a fashion which we can neither describe nor conceive, predestinating all things, formed them as He pleased, bestowing harmony on all things, and assigning them their own place, and the beginning of their creation. In this way He conferred on spiritual things a spiritual and invisible nature, on super-celestial things a celestial, on angels an angelical, on animals an animal, on beings that swim a nature suited to the water, and on those that live on the land one fitted for the land—on all, in short, a nature suitable to the character of the life assigned them—while He formed all things that were made by His Word that never wearies. ANF: Vol. I, Against Heresies, Book 2:2:4.

    Clement of Alexandria (150 - c. 215): From what has been said, then, it is my opinion that the true Church, that which is really ancient, is one, and that in it those who according to God’s purpose are just, are enrolled.186 For from the very reason that God is one, and the Lord one, that which is in the highest degree honourable is lauded in consequence of its singleness, being an imitation of the one first principle. In the nature of the One, then, is associated in a joint heritage the one Church, which they strive to cut asunder into many sects.

    Therefore in substance and idea, in origin, in pre-eminence, we say that the ancient and Catholic Church is alone, collecting as it does into the unity of the one faith—which results from the peculiar Testaments, or rather the one Testament in different times by the will of the one God, through one Lord—those already ordained, whom God predestinated, knowing before the foundation of the world that they would be righteous. ANF: Vol. II, The Stromata, Book VII, Chapter XVII.

    The best treatment of the history of the doctrine of Predestination from the Early Church Fathers which I am aware, is found in John Gill's classic work "The Cause of God and Truth (PDF)", The Cause of God and Truth (Kindle, Epub), The Cause of God and Truth (Html). From the TOC...

    PART 3

    CHAPTER 1. OF PREDESTINATION

    Introduction

    SECTION 1. - Clemens Romanus
    SECTION 2. - Ignatius
    SECTION 3. - Justin
    SECTION 4. - Minutius Felix
    SECTION 5. - Irenaeus
    SECTION 6. - Clemens Alexandrinus
    SECTION 7. - Tertullian
    SECTION 8. - Origenes Alexandrinus
    SECTION 9. - Caecillius Thascius Cyprianus
    SECTION 10. - Novatianus
    SECTION 11. - Athanasius
    SECTION 12. - Hilarius Pictaviensis
    SECTION 13. - Basilius Caesariensis
    SECTION 14. - Cyrillus Hierosolymitanus
    SECTION 15. - Gregorius Nazianzenus
    SECTION 16. - Hilarius Diaconus
    SECTION 17. - Ambrosius Mediolanensis
    SECTION 18. - Joannes Chrysostomus
    SECTION 19. - Hieronymus

    John Calvin pulled Predestination not from his hat...and said and done we will both have to agree that if it is the will of God to save everyone, then His will is not done far more than His will is done, and yet He willed that His will not be done from eternity fully knowing the destination of every individual ever to be born. Have a nice day!
     
  8. Skala

    Skala I'm a Saint. Not because of me, but because of Him

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    But do those same Catholics believe that God willingly created people that He knew (if he created them) would end up in hell?

    If the answer is "yes" then even the Catholics you describe are guilty of the very thing you are arguing against.

    Also, this statement of yours is a strawman:

    Nobody believes this, especially not Calvinists. I feel like I have corrected you on this error in the past. Yet here you are at it again?

    Calvinists believe there is no such thing as a person who "loves and serves God" apart from being elected and regenerated in the first place. Thus your objection is a false dilemma. It can't actually happen from a Calvinistic standpoint, thus it is disingenuous to apply it to Calvinism and then dismiss it as wrong.
     
  9. saintboniface

    saintboniface Junior Member

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    Yes, you had corrected me on that. But I remembered some passages that don't appear to be explainable under that theology. For example:

    2 Corinthians 5:9-10
    “Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.”

    Why is Christ sitting on the judgment seat? If all the elect are already chosen what is there to judge? If the works of man have no bearing on salvation what is there to judge? This isn't just an isolated passage, it seems to me to be the whole theme of the New Testament. It is what Jesus talked about the most.
     
  10. saintboniface

    saintboniface Junior Member

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    Thanks for that link. I am looking forward to digging in there. I can already smell the extreme hatred and absolute disgust of anything popish. Looks like some good reads.
     
  11. abacabb3

    abacabb3 Newbie

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    So, I guess the OP was just looking for a fight and really didn't want an answer to the question...
     
  12. stenerson

    stenerson Newbie

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    Really? How about those that are born, live and die in pagan idolatry, never hearing the gospel? Has God freely given them the same grace and saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus as one that gets the Good News gospel from a preacher/missionary?
    That erroneous doctrine is the reason the RCC now teaches that "honest and sincere" Budhists, Hindus, Muslims etc. that never hear the gospel and turn to Christ can be saved.
     
  13. abacabb3

    abacabb3 Newbie

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    It's a shame, because it has led modern Catholics to reject writers who have commented specifically on the subject, such as Augustine and Prosper of Aquataine. Prosper pretty much said that those who the Gospel never reached received a general call, but not an effectual call. It's pretty simple, really.
     
  14. stenerson

    stenerson Newbie

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    My understanding is that all that hear the gospel are getting the general call. The effectual call goes out to the elect that will be effected by the Spirit's work.
    The pagans that never hear it have the law in their hearts and a general knowledge of God the creator, right and wrong..
     
  15. JM

    JM Particular Baptist Supporter

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    saintboni, it's time you become Reformed. :)
     
  16. stenerson

    stenerson Newbie

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    Yeah, you should take up your Christian Reformed neighbors offer to join in their bible study.. Bring your questions and objections to them.
     
  17. abacabb3

    abacabb3 Newbie

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    Historically, the general call is more akin to what you read in Romans 1. This is how Prosper of Aquataine explains the Scripture, "Christ is the savior of all men, especially believers."

    Book II, CHap 3

    Book II, Chap 9
    Chap 17, Book II Call of the Nations
    Chap 33, Book II Call of the Nations
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2014
  18. stenerson

    stenerson Newbie

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    There's general revelation as written about in Romans 1 that all men have to a degree or another. I don't agree (if I'm understanding him correctly) that all men inherently get a degree of revelation concerning the gospel/Christ. The Law is written in our hearts and we repress it by nature..The gospel needs to be preached/taught/read or presented.
     
  19. abacabb3

    abacabb3 Newbie

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    It's hard to summarize his whole argument, but being that he was the first to even come up with the term "general call" it's worth looking at. But, to put it briefly, Aquataine is saying that all men are "saved" by God in the way man and beast are "saved" in Psalm 36:6. God sustains all men. He puts breath in their longs, he provides them food and shelter. He even goes a step farther and puts a sense of the divine in their hearts. In this sense, God is the savior of all men and this is the general call available to all. This way, God is the savior of all men, even the unreached.

    However, man by his own free will according to Aquataine will not choose faith in Christ ("Human nature, it is true, has been wounded by such a severe wound that natural speculation cannot lead a person to the full knowledge of God if the true light does not dispel all darkness from his heart"), even when preached to. So the general call is not enough and a "special/effectual call" is necessary.

    Aquataine is not a perfect Calvinist, I believe he rejects limited atonement, but I have not read all of Book II so I am not sure.
     
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