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Featured Is Calvinism Just?

Discussion in 'Controversial Christian Theology' started by BNR32FAN, Dec 4, 2019 at 8:21 AM.

  1. BNR32FAN

    BNR32FAN He’s a Way of life Supporter

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    I’m going to try to keep the OP short and to the point and I will kindly ask that everyone please just stick to the topic of the thread. We’re not here to interpret scriptures, we can go round and round all day and never accomplish anything that way because everyone has their own opinions on scripture interpretation. The point I want to make is how can God’s judgement be just if Calvin’s theology is true? According to Calvin’s doctrine of total depravity man is incapable of repenting and believing in God unless God elects them to salvation. Below I have provided a brief description of total depravity from Wikipedia. Now I know that this description may not fit everyone’s view of the doctrine since many people view it in different ways but these can be discussed in the thread.


    Total depravity is the fallen state of human beings as a result of original sin. The doctrine of total depravity asserts that people are, as a result of the fall, not inclined or even able to love God wholly with heart, mind, and strength, but rather are inclined by nature to serve their own will and desires and reject his rule. Even religion and philanthropy are wicked to God because they originate from a selfish human desire and are not done to the glory of God. Therefore, in reformed theology. if God is to save anyone, he must predestine, call, or elect individuals to salvation since fallen man does not want to, and is indeed incapable of, choosing him.


    The major complication to Calvin’s theology is the doctrine of unconditional election, which I believe fails to take Acts 10:34-35 into consideration.


    n Calvinist (Reformed) theology, unconditional election is considered to be one aspect of predestination in which God chooses certain individuals to be saved. Those elected receive mercy, while those not elected, the reprobates, receive justice without condition. This unconditional election is essentially related to the rest of the TULIP doctrinal outline and hinges upon the supreme belief in the absolute sovereignty of God over the affairs of man. God unconditionally elects certain people even though they are sinful as an act of his saving grace apart from the shortcomings or will of man. Those chosen have done nothing to deserve this grace.

    In Calvinist and some other churches (Waldensians, Katharoi, Anabaptists, Particular Baptists, etc.) this election has been called "unconditional" because his choice to save the elect does not depend on anything inherent in any person chosen, on any act that a person performs or on any belief that a person exercises. Indeed, according to the doctrine of total depravity (the first of the five points of Calvinism, the influence of sin has so inhibited the individual's volition that no one is willing or able to come to or follow God apart from God first regenerating the person's soul to give them the ability to love him and take part in the salvation process. Hence, God’s choice in election is and can only be based solely on God's own independent and sovereign will and [not] upon the foreseen actions of man


    So according to Calvin’s theology not only is man incapable of repentance or even believing in God, he is also incapable of doing anything to attain God’s election. This presents us with a huge problem because now God’s election is completely outside of man’s capability of attaining. According to John 3:18 man is judged according to wether or not he believes in Christ, but according to Calvin’s theology man is completely incapable of believing on his own accord in any way and is also incapable of attaining God’s grace that would enable him to believe. So ultimately those who will burn in the lake of fire never had any chance for salvation. God being omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent not only foreseen this, has the ability to prevent this, but has decreed that the majority of man will be created in this fallen state and punished for all eternity of no fault of their own. Ultimately Calvin’s theology makes God responsible not only for those who will burn in the lake of fire but also responsible for them not coming to repentance since He has intentionally made them in this fallen and incapable state. With that said, how can God’s judgement and punishment be just if this was of His doing and man never had any choice in the matter? If God’s judgment is unjust then we are forced to conclude that Calvin’s theology is incorrect because God is incapable of being unjust.
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2019 at 3:54 PM
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  2. Dave L

    Dave L Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Here's the clincher. If Calvin was right about God, many today hate him with a passion and worship idols using his name.
     
  3. -57

    -57 Well-Known Member

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    Romans 9:14 What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God’s part? By no means! 15 For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.”


    John 6:65 And he said, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father.”

    John 6:44 No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day.

    Romans 3:11 no one understands; no one seeks for God.


    I'll post the verse fo you.
    Acts 10:34 So Peter opened his mouth and said: “Truly I understand that God shows no partiality, 35 but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him.


    Romans 8:29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30 And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.

    Eph 1:1 In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will,

    Eph 1:5 He predestined us for adoption as His sons through Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of His will,


    Romans 9:11 though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad—in order that God’s purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of him who calls—


    John 3:18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.
     
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  4. nonaeroterraqueous

    nonaeroterraqueous Nonexistent Member

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    What was that about the shepherd who left the ninety-nine to find the one lost sheep? Or was it the sheep who found the shepherd? Under Calvinistic doctrine the shepherd finds the sheep, and not the other way around. They don't stand there and negotiate the sheep's surrender. He doesn't let the sheep continue on its merry way if it doesn't agree to his terms. He goes out, finds it, grabs it under the legs and carries it home. The only thing the sheep did was get lost.
     
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  5. BNR32FAN

    BNR32FAN He’s a Way of life Supporter

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    You quoted Romans 9:14 what about verse 22-23? How did God endure with much patience the vessels of wrath?

    “If God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction and He did so to make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He prepared beforehand for glory,”
    ‭‭Romans‬ ‭9:22-23‬
     
  6. Albion

    Albion Facilitator

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    If God is indeed God, the Creator of all, then his system cannot be unjust. Where we run into trouble trying to understand it is where we try to apply the rules he has set out for us, his creatures, to the Creator himself. Doing that is probably natural for humans, but it isn't sound thinking.

    In addition to that, humans often think of the individual person as starting from a position of neutrality, then to become either good or bad. For God to pass over some of those people when it comes to saving some seems unfair of him but mainly because those who are left out are thought of by us as innocent victims of the process.

    Total Depravity, correctly described in your post but usually misunderstood by people first looking at this matter, explains that no one--in his natural state--is either good or a blank slate.
     
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  7. MDC

    MDC Well-Known Member

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    Vessels of wrath were prepared for destruction as the vessels of mercy were prepared for glory.. Don’t see how this doesn’t answer your question starting with vs 14. Paul basically anticipates your question
     
  8. BNR32FAN

    BNR32FAN He’s a Way of life Supporter

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    In Acts 10:34-35 Peter says that God does not show partiality and that in every nation the man that fears Him and does what is right is accepted, approved, welcome to Him. He doesn’t say the man is appointed, elected, or chosen by Him.

    “Opening his mouth, Peter said: "I most certainly understand now that God is not one to show partiality, but in every nation the man who fears Him and does what is right is welcome to Him.”
    ‭‭Acts‬ ‭10:34-35‬ ‭NASB‬‬

    If unconditional election is true then God would be showing partiality towards the elect.
     
  9. Albion

    Albion Facilitator

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    Yes. So...?
     
  10. Gracia Singh

    Gracia Singh Newbie Supporter

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    Albion, just a question, are you Reformed yourself, theologically? Are you a Reformed Anglican?
     
  11. BNR32FAN

    BNR32FAN He’s a Way of life Supporter

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    This is in reference to whosoever does not believe in Him as an end result. Not whosoever does not currently believe in Him.
     
  12. BNR32FAN

    BNR32FAN He’s a Way of life Supporter

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    What makes the elect any different from the other lost sheep?
     
  13. Albion

    Albion Facilitator

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    Oh, you know how it is that Anglicans come in quite a range of types. So the question is hard to answer. I am certainly inclined towards what might be called Low Church Anglicanism and Evangelical Anglicanism.

    But on the other hand, almost every Anglican is by definition (and by comparison to all other Protestant churches) similar to Catholicism in many ways. It would be a mistake to misrepresent or omit that fact. The Anglican slogan that says the church is both Catholic and Protestant sounds too cute or evasive to the ears of other people, but it actually is true.

    When it comes to the predestination issues and all of that...what I mainly think is that the predestinarians have the better argument. ;)
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2019 at 10:09 AM
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  14. BNR32FAN

    BNR32FAN He’s a Way of life Supporter

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    No I completely understand that all have this fallen state which they have been created in by God. Man has absolutely no choice about his sinful nature. Who’s fault is it that man has this fallen nature to begin with? Adam’s? God’s?
     
  15. BNR32FAN

    BNR32FAN He’s a Way of life Supporter

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    So Peter said God does not show partiality. God is not a respecter of men. So you see we have a contradiction here.
     
  16. BNR32FAN

    BNR32FAN He’s a Way of life Supporter

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    That doesn’t answer my question. How did God endure with much patience the vessels of destruction?
     
  17. Albion

    Albion Facilitator

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    I don't see how it can be God's fault, so it's the fault of Adam and Eve.
     
  18. Gracia Singh

    Gracia Singh Newbie Supporter

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    So, kind of yes, kind of no?
     
  19. Albion

    Albion Facilitator

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    Only so far as the first of those statements is concerned, and it is quite possible that we misinterpret it to be a comment on the subject of Election when it means something else.
     
  20. Skidder

    Skidder Member

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    No Dave, here's the clincher...
    Total depravity must mean total depravity before we can understand the POWER that freed us from total depravity.

    If God had to make a person a believer, than the Gospel lacks the power UNTO salvation. So basically Calvinism is a direct attack on the cross of Christ. No choice but to believe, and no choice but to burn is no choice in the cross.
     
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