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Featured Predestination

Discussion in 'General Theology' started by akmom, Aug 14, 2018.

  1. Apologetic_Warrior

    Apologetic_Warrior Pilgrim

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    No, I noticed exactly what you did, you quoted from an article, something another Calvinist (Brian S.) wrote and attempting to lay what he said on me and pit us against one another. I find such a tactic out of line with someone interested in honesty and truth.
     
  2. Loren T.

    Loren T. Well-Known Member

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    If no one resists his will, then Paul's answer makes no sense. Because talking back to God is resisting his will. But of course, Paul wasn't saying no one resists his will, that was the person he was arguing with.
    and the potter and the clay analogy is not cancelling free will either, in fact, if you read the scripture Paul references here, it says God changes his mind depending on what his people do.
    Paul was saying in context that God uses some people for one job and one for another.
     
  3. Loren T.

    Loren T. Well-Known Member

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    It was in your post. You quoted it. So, I quote your post back to you and that's somehow dishonest? So, now you are attempting to say, that the quote you put in your own post with no reference to who said it, is invalid and you disagree that God is all controlling? Perhaps you can see why people get a little confused about what Calvinists really mean by words like "free will" and "control" It's because they constantly change the meaning of the words.
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2018
  4. Apologetic_Warrior

    Apologetic_Warrior Pilgrim

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    So, I've read much accusation involving philosophy, yet few seem to understand that everyone has a philosophy. The question then becomes, does your philosophy agree with Scripture? Is your philosophy a Biblical/Christian philosophy rooted and grounded in Scripture? So many borrow elements from non-Christian philosophy and infuse them into their philosophy.

    Honestly, the you follow this philosopher or that philosopher accusations are complete and utter nonsense. The following brief article demonstrate this point:

    Beware of Philosophy!
    By Greg L. Bahnsen

    "Newport Christian High School has something virtually unique among the various private, Christian schools around the country. It is an extraordinary feature of its required curriculum – a prerequisite for high school graduation which few other schools enforce. NCHS is unique in that it offers a philosophy course for its high school seniors.

    There was a time when nearly every college and university required its students to take at least one introductory course in philosophy. Sadly, many colleges have lately altered such “old fashioned” notions about education and dropped their philosophy prerequisites for graduation. Not surprisingly, America’s colleges have been turning out graduates with little interest of proficiency in clear thinking, consistency, cogency, and depth of insight regarding a world-and-life-view. Those who graduate from Newport Christian High School are already a step ahead of many students from colleges which have amended their curriculum to suit the times.

    But are they a step ahead with philosophy? An often abused test from the New Testament might suggest the opposite, at least upon first reading. In Colossians 2 Paul writes: “Beware lest there be anyone who robs you by means of his philosophy and vain deceit after the tradition of men, after the elementary principles of the world, and not after Christ” (v. 8) – robs you, that is, of “all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” which are deposited in Christ (v. 3). With this kind of warning in the New Testament, why would a Christian school want to require the study of philosophy? It might seem that we should rather avoid philosophy!

    A closer and fairer reading of Paul in Colossians 2 will correct our misunderstanding, however. We notice, first, that Paul does not prohibit the study of philosophy; rather, he warns us about it. Likewise, parents will warn their teenagers about the dangers of driving, without prohibiting the use of the family car. Philosophy, like cars, can be used in a constructive or in a destructive manner. Paul warns against the destructive potential of philosophy.

    Secondly, we notice, upon re-reading, that Paul’s warning is not directed against all philosophy, but instead against a particular kind of philosophy. Paul focuses attention on a certain kind of philosophy. Paul focuses attention on a certain kind of philosophy which is given an extended description: it is “vain deceit” (empty and misleading), follows “human tradition” (the accepted opinions of men), and is based on the “elementary principles of the world” (the presuppositions of those in rebellion against God). This is the kind of philosophy against which Paul warns the church. And well he should! Any philosophy which fits this description will indeed rob us of the treasures of knowledge in Christ.
    So then, Paul warns us against worldly philosophy which he has just described is this: it is not a philosophy which he has just described is this: it is not a philosophy. We see, thirdly, that Paul refers to another kind of philosophy by contrast. Above all, what he objects about the worldly philosophy which he has just described is this: it is not a philosophy which is “after Christ.” Christ was Paul’s life and love, the starting point of his thinking and goal of his behavior. Christ was central for Paul. Naturally, then, Paul could have nothing to do with a philosophy which was not according to Christ nor submissive to His holy word.

    Thus, we see that in addition to worldly philosophy there exists something which can be called "Christian philosophy"”—philosophy which is “after Christ.” Although Colossians 2 warns believers about the destructive potential of any philosophy which is not according to Christ, this scripture actually explains why we must study philosophy.

    We study philosophy in order to fulfill Paul’s command with greater efficiency and clarity. We study philosophy to make sure that our presuppositions regarding reality, knowledge, and ethics are truly Christ-honoring presuppositions. We study philosophy in order to see what kind of thinking we should not fall prey to in our culture. In short, we study philosophy to beware of misguided thinking and to commit ourselves to true thinking about man and the world.

    So then, NCHS has a required course in philosophy. Even if there were no such course in philosophy, however, philosophy would still be taught at the school. Indeed, philosophy is being taught every day of the academic year at those schools which have no set philosophy course. Philosophy is always being taught, in every course in a school’s curriculum. You see, whatever the textbook or teacher in history, science, literature, math, foreign language, etc. says is a reflection of some kind of philosophical view of man, the world, reality, knowledge, and life. These attitudes and outlooks are always coming through, always being relied upon, always informing what is said. Every book and teacher communicates a philosophy indirectly.

    Thus, philosophy is taught everywhere that students take classes, and it would, accordingly, be taught at NCHS even if there were no course on the subject. The difference at Newport Christian High is that we stop and take the time to reflect upon the philosophy which is always being implicitly communicated to our students. We believe that unless students take time to reflect upon major issues in philosophy (its presuppositions and implications), they will make philosophical decisions by default – without adequate awareness or intellectual responsibility.

    Everyone does philosophy, for everyone comes to views of reality, knowledge, and ethics. The difference between “the philosopher” and the ordinary man in the street is simply one of degree. Everyone does philosophy, but not everyone attempts to do it well. At NCHS we want to stop and reflect on what we should think and do as Christians. We want to be explicit about our philosophy, so that we can have greater assurance that we are doing philosophy well. Only then can we truly heed Paul’s warning to beware of worldly philosophy, for only then can we have a confidence that we have committed ourselves to a “Christian philosophy” instead.

    Beware of philosophy! The best way to do so is to study it."​
     
  5. ICONO'CLAST

    ICONO'CLAST Well-Known Member

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    "BNR32FAN,

    Hello BN,
    I do not know you or your online personality so let me ask for some clarification here.

    [By the gift of the Holy spirit we are given the ability to overcome our sinful nature but it is up to us whether we choose to obey the Holy Spirit or not.]
    Here you are speaking of believers correct?


    What do you mean it is up to us to obey the Holy Spirit ...or not?

    [Calvinism teaches that God is responsible for everyone who will burn in the lake of fire.]

    Well BN...do you believe there is a lake of fire?

    Who casts men into the lake of fire?

    Do they cast themselves in ?

    What reasons are they there for?


    [God sent Jesus to save the world because He loved the world. ]

    God sent Jesus to die for His children scattered throughout the world, not in Israel only.

    [Just because God foresaw our choices]
    The bible nowhere states that God looked ahead to"forsee" what we would choose.The bible is clear that no natural man seeks God...no not one.
    Foreknowledge is of persons. not their choices....whom he did foreknow...it does not say...choices God forsaw...it says 4x times in romans 8...whom, whom, whom, whom

    [doesn’t mean He made the choices for us.]
    neither does biblical calvinism

    [We are responsible for our outcome. ]
    yes...that is the biblical teaching spoken of as Calvinism


    [ That’s why God doesn’t interfere with our free will ]
    of course not there is no free will...thats why




    C
     
  6. ICONO'CLAST

    ICONO'CLAST Well-Known Member

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    There is no free will...you cannot show any verse that says so....you can offer verses that speak of choosing, but that has nothing to do with the will being free.
     
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  7. sdowney717

    sdowney717 Newbie

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    That is exactly what Ephesians 1 says, and you don't like it. This is the mystery of His will, that He chose us in Him before the creation of the world. And HE WORKS ALL THINGS according to the council of His will.

    7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace
    8 which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence,
    9 having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself,
    10 that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth—in Him.

    11 In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will,
    12 that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory.
     
  8. Apologetic_Warrior

    Apologetic_Warrior Pilgrim

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    True however see here. Other confessions like the London Baptist are nearly identical on the same topic. There there's the Anglican Thirty Nine Articles, Lutheran Augsburg Confession. Something you might find helpful if you're not already aware, although we identify as Calvinists, there is much commonality to be found in the Anglican and Lutheran standards. One of if not the most notable book written by Dr. Luther is his "On the Bondage of the Will" in which he debated Catholic Scholar Erasmus on the topics of free will and predestination. Lutherans also believe in the doctrine of "total depravity", the same as us Calvinists.

    In the Anglican Articles of Religion, on Free Will they state:

    X. OF FREE-WILL

    "THE condition of Man after the fall of Adam is such, that he cannot turn and prepare himself, by his own natural strength and good works, to faith, and calling upon God: Wherefore we have no power to do good works pleasant and acceptable to God, without the grace of God by Christ preventing us, that we may have a good will, and working with us, when we have that good will."

    So it's not just us Calvinists they have problems with, it's historic Christianity AND Scripture that is a problem.
     
  9. sdowney717

    sdowney717 Newbie

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    Yes we can not freely chose to do good and actually do it, we may end doing what we don't want to do, bad evil things.
    That creates in us death because of sin. But thanks be to God we have a deliverer.
    Romans 7, is about a man being regenerated and having Christ save him, not an unsaved man because of what verse 22-25 says. Yet still the flesh serves the law of sin. In Romans 8:10, the body is dead (or corruption like a moldering putrid stench of rotting flesh) because of sin.

    13 Has then what is good become death to me? Certainly not! But sin, that it might appear sin, was producing death in me through what is good, so that sin through the commandment might become exceedingly sinful. 14 For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am carnal, sold under sin. 15 For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. 16 If, then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that it is good. 17 But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. 18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. 19 For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. 20 Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me.

    21 I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good. 22 For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. 23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. 24 O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25 I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!

    So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.
     
  10. Apologetic_Warrior

    Apologetic_Warrior Pilgrim

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    All I see you doing is playing semantics games, equivocating terms like "sovereignty" with your version of "all controlling". You should not assume that just because someone quotes from an article that they agree in every little detail as though they were the words of Scripture. Yes, I see what you're attempting, and other than robot, and puppet tropes, I think you're running on empty. Oh and I think Brian could have worded the particular section you quoted, a little better, explained in more detail what he meant, but I understand what is meant by God is in control, it doesn't mean He's a cosmic puppet master, it means NOTHING is out of His ability to control, it means EVERYTHING is under His power, His authority to govern according to His will. None of which means that God is actively CAUSING anything which He chooses NOT to. Did you miss the part earlier where I describe the will of God as "free" and "sovereign"? Nah you're just picking and choosing what to ignore for the semantic game.
     
  11. sdowney717

    sdowney717 Newbie

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    "All things whatever arise from, and depend on, the divine appointment; whereby it was foreordained who should receive the word of life, and who should disbelieve it; who should be delivered from their sins, and who should be hardened in them; and who should be justified and who should be condemned.[30]

    https://www.monergism.com/thethreshold/articles/onsite/double_luther.html
     
  12. sdowney717

    sdowney717 Newbie

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    Luther must have been an interesting person to have spent time with!

    While Luther analyzes many different arguments, and exegetes hundreds of passages of Scripture, the Sovereignty of God is the fundamental truth by which his conclusions are reached.

    It is from this that he continues by asserting God's absolute control over man's salvation through the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit. It is from the Sovereignty of God that he also argues for God's control over the reprobation of the wicked by means of sovereign control, working evil through them, and handing them over to their sins.

    Luther argues against the Erasmian thesis of the cooperative will on the grounds that the human will is bound by sin as a result of the fall of man.

    Erasmus fully realized the implications of Luther's strong statement of God's sovereignty. He writes that if this teaching of God's sovereignty is proclaimed, "Who will try and reform his life?"[37]

    Luther lashes back, "I reply, Nobody! Nobody can! God has no time for your practitioners of self-reformation, for they are hypocrites. The elect, who fear God, will be reformed by the Holy Spirit; the rest will perish unreformed."[38]

    Erasmus pushes the point: "Who will believe that God loves him?"

    Luther stands his ground: "I reply, Nobody! Nobody can! But the elect shall believe it; and the rest shall perish without believing it, raging and blaspheming, as you describe them. So there will be some who believe it."[39]

    This is the central point Erasmus makes in his Diatribe, that God's sovereignty should not be emphasized to the point that the freedom of man's will is usurped.

    Luther fires volley after volley, arguing that unless the sovereign God changes the heart of man, none shall accept the gospel. He writes:

    "God has surely promised His grace to the humbled: that is, to those who mourn over and despair of themselves. But a man cannot be thoroughly humbled till he realises [sic] that his salvation is utterly beyond his own powers, counsels, efforts, will and works, and depends absolutely on the will, counsel, pleasure and work of Another - God alone."[40]

    Thus Luther affirms the absolute sovereignty of God in salvation. In this same passage, Luther also goes on to speak of those who are not elect, that is, the reprobate. He realizes that his theology will not allow him to speak only of the elect, but of the non-elect as well. He writes:

    "Thus God conceals His eternal mercy and loving kindness beneath eternal wrath, His righteousness beneath unrighteousness. Now, the highest degree of faith is to believe that He is merciful, though he saves so few and damns so many; to believe that He is just, though of His own will He makes us perforce proper subjects for damnation, and seems (in Erasmus' words) 'to delight in the torments of poor wretches and to be a fitter object for hate than for love.' If I could by any means understand how this same God, who makes such a show of wrath and unrighteousness, can yet be merciful and just, there would be no need for faith. But as it is, the impossibility of understanding makes room for the exercise of faith when these things are preached and published; just as, when God kills, faith in life is exercised in death."[41]

    Thus Luther exhibits no qualms about following his theology to it's logical conclusion.
     
  13. Apologetic_Warrior

    Apologetic_Warrior Pilgrim

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    Yup, Lutherans not only hold to total depravity, but also monergistic regeneration. Where I differ with Luther is concerning the reprobate, I view God as passing over them, leaving them in their sinful nature, which they freely make sinful choices according to and limited by the nature of their will. I hold to single Predestination and reject the notion of God looking through the corridors of time and choosing based on how people choose, it simply cannot be reconciled with the depravity of man. I do appreciate Luther, he spoke much truth, he was a beacon of light in dark times.

    Westminster Confession of Faith
    Chapter III

    [1] yet so, as thereby neither is God the author of sin,[2] nor is violence offered to the will of the creatures; nor is the liberty or contingency of second causes taken away, but rather established.[3]

    II. Although God knows whatsoever may or can come to pass upon all supposed conditions;[4] yet has He not decreed anything because He foresaw it as future, or as that which would come to pass upon such conditions.[5]

    III. By the decree of God, for the manifestation of His glory, some men and angels[6] are predestinated unto everlasting life; and others foreordained to everlasting death.[7]

    IV. These angels and men, thus predestinated, and foreordained, are particularly and unchangeably designed, and their number so certain and definite, that it cannot be either increased or diminished.[8]

    V. Those of mankind that are predestinated unto life, God, before the foundation of the world was laid, according to His eternal and immutable purpose, and the secret counsel and good pleasure of His will, has chosen, in Christ, unto everlasting glory,[9] out of His mere free grace and love, without any foresight of faith, or good works, or perseverance in either of them, or any other thing in the creature, as conditions, or causes moving Him thereunto;[10] and all to the praise of His glorious grace.[11]

    VI. As God has appointed the elect unto glory, so has He, by the eternal and most free purpose of His will, foreordained all the means thereunto.[12] Wherefore, they who are elected, being fallen in Adam, are redeemed by Christ,[13] are effectually called unto faith in Christ by His Spirit working in due season, are justified, adopted, sanctified,[14] and kept by His power, through faith, unto salvation.[15]Neither are any other redeemed by Christ, effectually called, justified, adopted, sanctified, and saved, but the elect only.[16]

    VII. The rest of mankind God was pleased, according to the unsearchable counsel of His own will, whereby He extends or withholds mercy, as He pleases, for the glory of His sovereign power over His creatures, to pass by; and to ordain them to dishonor and wrath for their sin, to the praise of His glorious justice.[17]

    VIII. The doctrine of this high mystery of predestination is to be handled with special prudence and care,[18] that men, attending the will of God revealed in His Word, and yielding obedience thereunto, may, from the certainty of their effectual vocation, be assured of their eternal election.[19] So shall this doctrine afford matter of praise, reverence, and admiration of God;[20] and of humility, diligence, and abundant consolation to all that sincerely obey the Gospel.[21]

    (WCF posted for context of where I differ from Luther, that is assuming Luther held to a double predestination, which I am not clear on) :)
     
  14. OzSpen

    OzSpen Regular Member

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    Dave,

    If God wrote the names of the saved in the book of life before the foundation of the world and he made his decision based on those who accepted his grace in Christ and who chose His offer of eternal life, then those who have the free will to choose - given to them by God - are born again / saved.

    The nature of human free will or of human free choice is, according to Norman Geisler, ‘the power of contrary choice’ (Geisler 2003:444). I agree with this position as I see it through both OT and NT.

    This is a basic and simple definition that I accept as being consistent with the biblical revelation: ‘Free will or free choice is the power of contrary choice’ and it is not taken away from human beings by God’s sovereignty, even though they are sinners.

    This was the power of free choice in the beginning of the universe when Adam & Even were given the ability of free will, the power of contrary choice, when God said they could choose to eat or not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil:Gen 2:15-17 ; 3:2-7 NLT)

    That free will, the ability to choose between alternatives, was not taken away after sin entered the world. Joshua 24:14-24 (NLT) confirms this.

    We know salvation is from God and God alone (Eph 2:8-9 NIV), but this salvation for individuals happens when they believe. We know this from passages such as Acts 16:31 where the Philippian jailer asked Paul and Silas, 'What must I do to be saved?' 'They replied, “[You] Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved, along with everyone in your household" (NLT).

    'Believe' is an imperative verb; it's a command for the jailer to choose to believe. He and his household could have chosen not to believe.

    Paul and Silas did not say,

    'There is nothing for you to do because God has predestined you to salvation, unconditionally, and irresistible grace has been extended to you so you cannot reject God's offer. You are guaranteed salvation because you were placed in the elect before the foundation of the world - by God. Those not in the elect are predestined to damnation. You are among the "lucky" ones whom God showed favouritism towards and you have been chosen for eternal life'.​

    To be 'dead in sin', as the Philippian jailer and household were (Eph 2:1 NIV), did not prevent them from using their free will in regard to salvation - they could choose between the alternatives of eternal life or eternal damnation.

    See my articles dealing with this topic:

    [​IMG] [​IMG] What is the nature of human free will?

    [​IMG] [​IMG] Salvation by grace but not by force: A person chooses to believe

    This is not Pelagianism or semi-Pelagianism. It is biblical free will as we cannot save ourselves. Salvation is provided by God, but not on a basis of being forced into the Kingdom without a choice - through unconditional election, limited atonement and irresistible grace.

    Oz

    Works consulted:

    Geisler, N 2003. Systematic theology: God, creation, vol 2. Minneapolis, Minnesota: BethanyHouse.
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2018
  15. BNR32FAN

    BNR32FAN He’s a Way of life Supporter

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    Ok cannons 1&2 are completely irrelevant to our discussion. The rest of the cannons you put into bold print indicate what I have already said that God’s grace enables us to overcome our sinful nature. I don’t see how any of this adds up to Calvin’s view of predestination.
     
  16. OzSpen

    OzSpen Regular Member

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    Dave,

    If God wrote the names of the saved in the book of life before the foundation of the world and he made his decision based on those who accepted his grace in Christ, chose His offer of eternal life, then those who have the free will to choose - given to them by God - are born again / saved.

    The nature of human free will or of human free choice is, according to Norman Geisler, ‘the power of contrary choice’ (Geisler 2003:444). I agree with this position as I see it through both OT and NT.

    This is a basic and simple definition that I accept as being consistent with the biblical revelation: ‘Free will or free choice is the power of contrary choice’ and it is not taken away from human beings by God’s sovereignty, even though they are sinners.

    This was the power of free choice in the beginning of the universe when Adam & Even were given the ability of free will, the power of contrary choice, when God said they could choose to eat or not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil:Gen 2:15-17 ; 3:2-7 NLT)

    That free will, the ability to choose between alternatives, was not taken away after sin entered the world. Joshua 24:14-24 (NLT) confirms this.

    We know salvation is from God and God alone (Eph 2:8-9 NIV), but this salvation for individuals happens when they believe. We know this from passages such as Acts 16:31 where the Philippian jailer asked Paul and Silas, 'What must I do to be saved?' They said, 'They replied, “[You] Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved, along with everyone in your household" (NLT).

    'Believe' is an imperative verb; it's a command for the jailed to choose to believe. He and his household could have chosen not to believe.

    Paul and Silas did not say,

    'There is nothing for you to do because God has predestined you to salvation, unconditionally, and irresistible grace has been extended to you so you cannot reject God's offer. You are guaranteed salvation because you were placed in the elect before the foundation of the world - by God. Those not in the elect are predestined to damnation. You are among the "lucky" ones whom God showed favouritism towards and you have been chosen for eternal life'.​

    To be 'dead in sin', as the Philippian jailer and household were (Eph 2:1 NIV), did not prevent them from using their free will in regard to salvation - they could choose between the alternatives of eternal life or eternal damnation.

    See my articles dealing with this topic:

    [​IMG] What is the nature of human free will?

    [​IMG] Salvation by grace but not by force: A person chooses to believe

    This is not Pelagianism or semi-Pelagianism. It is biblical free will as we cannot save ourselves. Salvation is provided by God, but not on a basis of being forced into the Kingdom without a choice - through unconditional election, limited atonement and irresistible grace.

    Oz

    Works consulted:

    Geisler, N 2003. Systematic theology: God, creation, vol 2. Minneapolis, Minnesota: BethanyHouse.
     
  17. OzSpen

    OzSpen Regular Member

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    ICONO,

    I do not know you, but from your profile with the avatar, you identify as a Calvinist. I'd like to respond to a few of your comments in this post.

    Can we obey or disobey the Holy Spirit?

    How is it possible to resist the Holy Spirit and so reject Him?

    The words of Stephen, the first Christian martyr, were spoken to a hostile audience. The message of the risen Christ was being rejected. "You stiff-necked people," he says, "with uncircumcised hearts and ears! You are just like your fathers: You always resist the Holy Spirit!" (Acts 7:51) Their response was like the response their ancestors gave whenever a prophet came among them; their rejection of the message was tantamount to resisting the Holy Spirit. It was as if the Holy Spirit were personally speaking to them and they were rejecting him. The Jews resisted what Stephen said: "they were furious and gnashed their teeth at him... they covered their ears and, yelling at the top of their voices, they all rushed at him, dragged him out of the city and began to stone him." (Acts 7:54-57) The Holy Spirit was speaking through Stephen and, when his message was rejected, the Holy Spirit was being resisted.

    We get an insight from Jesus into how the Jews in his day resisted the Spirit. Jesus worked miracles "by the Spirit of God" yet they attributed his power to demons. (Matthew 12:25-31) They were resisting the Holy Spirit. Jesus said to them, "You refuse to come to me to have life." (John 5:40) Jesus didn't say that they couldn't come to him, but that they refused to come to him. They were resisting the Holy Spirit. We see further resistance when Paul was on trial before Felix. Paul "spoke about faith in Christ Jesus [and] discoursed on righteousness, self-control and the judgment to come." We read that "Felix was afraid and said, 'That's enough for now! You may leave. When I find it convenient, I will send for you.'" (Acts 24:25-26) The Holy Spirit was at work in Felix's heart, but he was resisting the Spirit. He dismissed Paul; he didn't want to hear any more. The same resistance is seen in many of the Jews who came to Paul while he was under house arrest in Rome. "From morning till evening he explained and declared to them the kingdom of God and tried to convince them about Jesus from the Law of Moses and from the Prophets. Some were convinced by what he said, but others would not believe." (Acts 28:23-24) Those who "would not believe" chose to reject the truth and so resisted the Holy Spirit (BibleAnswers.ie 2018).​

    If a person's name is not written in the Book of Life that person will be cast by God into the Lake of Fire (Rev 20:15).

    How does a human being get to Hades and so make themselves eligible for the Lake of Fire? It is because of the free will choice given to all human beings to respond to the offer of salvation or reject it (see #307). God does not force anyone (unconditionally elect) into Hades or Paradise at death.

    The Gospel of John teaches the free will options of choice in regard to salvation:
    • 'Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects [or disobeys] the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them' (John 3:36 NIV).
    • 'You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life' (John 5:39-40 NIV).
    Jesus teaches free will choice to believe or to reject Him.

    Non-Christians are cast into the Lake of Fire as their final destination because they used their God-given choice to reject Jesus and be cast into Hades at death.

    The Bible does not tell me so!!! This is what Scripture tells me:
    • 'He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world' (1 John 2:2 ESV).
    • 'But we see him who for a little while was made lower than the angels, namely Jesus, crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone' (Heb 2:9 ESV).
    • 'Who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time' (1 Tim 2:6 ESV).
    Your teaching on the limited atonement is not accepted by many Calvinists, e.g. The Case for Unlimited Atonement (by Ron Rhodes)

    I have addressed this issue in,


    Could you have overlooked 1 Peter 1:1-2 (ESV), 'Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who are elect exiles of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in the sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and for sprinkling with his blood: May grace and peace be multiplied to you'.

    There most certainly is free will for human beings, articulated in Scripture, throughout OT and NT. It started with Adam & Eve in the garden when they were given the power of choice to eat or not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. That free will extends throughout the Bible. See my post above (at #307) for biblical references of such.

    A basic and simple definition that I accept as being consistent with the biblical revelation is: ‘Free will or free choice is the power of contrary choice’ and it is not taken away from human beings by God’s sovereignty, even though they are sinners, dead in trespasses and sin (Eph 2:1).

    Oz
     
  18. OzSpen

    OzSpen Regular Member

    +655
    Australia
    Baptist
    Private
    BNR,

    Titus 2:11 (ESV) tells how God's grace enables all people: '‘For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people’.

    If God's grace 'appeared' and 'brings' salvation to all, does that mean ALL will be saved? Universalism? I hope not!

    See, How to interpret ‘appeared’ in Titus 2:11

    Oz
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2018
  19. Apologetic_Warrior

    Apologetic_Warrior Pilgrim

    +3,184
    United States
    Christian
    Private
    If what St. Augustine wrote about Predestination is not important, then why would John Calvin's view of predestination be important...to you? Do you think Calvinists cannot have a disagreement with John Calvin? Certainly we can, and he would want us to test his words against Scripture. Nowhere in the history of Christianity do I find a Christian writer asking their audience to consider their writing to be given the same level of authority as Scripture, to be considered as Scripture. What I have found, is that the doctrine of Predestination is not only clearly in Scripture, but that it has been taught throughout the ages of Church history. Something else peculiar and suspect is your lack of concern for say Luther's view of Predestination, or any other of the many Reformers, instead you go after just one, without even considering what you might discover in the Confessions of other Protestant Churches. John Calvin was just one man, an important one yes, but whatever he say's still cannot carry the same weight of a Confession which is usually agreed upon by a community of believers, and signed by leaders of a community or gatherings of communities. On another note, whatever interpretation you have of Calvin's view of predestination, how do you reconcile it with Calvin's view of the atonement? Ah yes, and allow me to share a favorite quote of mine by Calvin:

    "...we allow that man has choice and that it is self-determined, so that if he does anything evil, it should be imputed to him and to his own voluntary choosing. We do away with coercion and force, because this contradicts the nature of the will and cannot coexist with it. We deny that choice is free, because through man's innate wickedness it is of necessity driven to what is evil and cannot seek anything but evil. And from this it is possible to deduce what a great difference there is between necessity and coercion. For we do not say that man is dragged unwillingly into sinning, but that because his will is corrupt he is held captive under the yoke of sin and therefore of necessity will in an evil way. For where there is bondage, there is necessity. But it makes a great difference whether the bondage is voluntary or coerced. We locate the necessity to sin precisely in corruption of the will, from which follows that it is self-determined. - John Calvin from Bondage and Liberation of the Will, pg. 69-70

    Now enjoy reconciling Calvin's predestination, with his views on atonement and views of the human will, both before and after conversion.
     
  20. Dave L

    Dave L Well-Known Member Supporter

    +5,295
    United States
    Christian
    Married
    But, if salvation is conditional, it is not by grace. You must turn the gospel into law for the self-righteous to keep in order to save themselves.
     
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