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Reformed Church Thats Not Calvinist?

Discussion in 'Baptists' started by Awaken4Christ, Jan 17, 2014.

  1. SeventhValley

    SeventhValley Guest

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    Not totally correct.Arminians believe people are dead in sin but Christ has given us a chance to repent as he can lift us out of death into life.

    Arminianism is still total depravity unlike say Catholics or Orthodox who believe in semi-depravity.

    So Arminians are Reformation protestant but not Reformation Calvinist.

    Also Arminians are Sola Scriptura unlike Catholic or Orthodox.

    So a Arminian is closer to Calvinism than any other Christian group other than maybe Anabaptists.
     
  2. SeventhValley

    SeventhValley Guest

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    My current pastor mixes the two. He is a Billy Graham style preacher but sometimes uses theology from Piper or Grudem.

    He is a big tent Baptist and wants all Calvinists and Arminians to feel comfortable at his church.
     
  3. SeventhValley

    SeventhValley Guest

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    Most SBC pastors I have met are OSAS Arminian but would never call themselves that.
     
  4. SeventhValley

    SeventhValley Guest

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    Either way as Piper says you can't explain how man is accountable and Arminians can't explain why God would create those he foreknows will not put faith in him. Either system comes down to faith in God. So it is not a big deal.
     
  5. Keachian

    Keachian On Sabbatical

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    Do you know any books or sermons elucidating the "big tent" position, I ask because my own church is one and I would like to be able to understand more about this.
     
  6. SeventhValley

    SeventhValley Guest

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    I am not sure. I am going back and examining my own thoughts on Arminian vs Calvinism right now. Not sure where my own thoughts lie at the moment.

    The best I can come up with is when Para church organizations popped up during the 1800's they required less separation in order to work together. I will let you know if I see any books on it.
     
  7. JM

    JM Precisionist, Puritan & Predestinarian Supporter

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    One needs to think critically, examine the stated positions of each group before repeating their positions. The Arminian claims to believe each person is dead in sin but acts as they were not and this influences the logical end of their theology because being dead in sin doesn't make sense combined with the idea of libertarian free will.

    Again, Arminians remonstrated against the Reformed churches and their confessional opinion.

    Yours in The Lord,

    jm
     
  8. 98cwitr

    98cwitr Lord forgive me Staff Member Red Team - Moderator Supporter

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    What is unBiblical about Calvinist theology?
     
  9. crixus

    crixus truth shall set you free

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    I was going to suggest the same thing. I really like Freewill Baptist churches. They offer solid Biblical teaching without Worldly distractions. :preach:
     
  10. godenver1

    godenver1 Guest

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    That's weird, I was under the impression that most Baptist churches were free-will believers.

    This is a surprise to me that there appears to be many Calvinists in the Baptist section. I'm not here to debate Calvinism, I'm undecided.
     
  11. JM

    JM Precisionist, Puritan & Predestinarian Supporter

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    Back to the original question...a church that isn't Calvinist BUT claims to be Reformed has probably slipped into liberalism and reject the Reformed Confessions
     
  12. Petruchio

    Petruchio Guest

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    "Churches" like that, in my experience, are the type that simply dislike discussing the matter in favor of everyone getting along. But, it's a vapid and shallow communion. I think it's shameful to be, well, ashamed of the Gospel. Consequently, I doubt there are any books or sermons on the matter.
     
  13. crixus

    crixus truth shall set you free

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    I was surprised when I first found out several years ago. I think it's probably 50-50 when you break it down to personal opinions and not that of the church leaders. I know a lot of Baptists that don't agree with Calvinism although their Pastors do. It's too important of an issue to me so I left a Baptist church that teaches it for one that teaches free will.
     
  14. ThisBrotherOfHis

    ThisBrotherOfHis Well-Known Member

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    First, find a good Southern Baptist Church, make sure it hasn't been invaded by the "New Calvinists," and sit back and learn. You will find exactly what you're looking for.

    Secondly, I note with some humor combined with sadness that you have been told on here that Calvinist/Monergist/"reformed" teachers are the only ones that "teach what is in the Bible." The problem I have with those statements is that most who believe this to be true never look beyond the Five Points and realize that Calvin and the Reformed church taught a lot that is neither biblical nor acceptable to a Christian today. Infant baptism, regeneration prior to salvation, and even works-based salvation were all key elements of what the Reformed movement taught. My question has always been, if the "reformers" got all that wrong, why do we hold them in such high esteem?

    We get the Reformation wrong is by overlooking or neglecting its historical rootedness. We get the Reformation wrong by misunderstanding its relationship to the Renaissance that preceded it. We get the Reformation wrong by thinking that, when Luther came on the scene, the insights of the Reformation were immediately apparent and proclaimed, presenting people with a clear choice between truth and error. We think the Reformers taught that sola fide means “solitary faith” -- without any connection to “good works,” the reality being, they continued to teach the same works-based salvation of "mother church" for two hundred years after Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the Wittenberg Cathedral door.

    What much of our friends who call themselves Calvinistic or Reformed today think the Reformers taught about religious authority is a significant misrepresentation of what they actually taught. Add to this the significant disagreements and competing views of the various Reformers, and any neat conception of the Reformation is profoundly challenged. The fact is, most who call themselves "reformed" or "Calvinist" have no clue what that actually means. They cite the Five Points and think they're done. The reality is, Calvinist/Reformed thought has become so distorted and overly simplified by today's adherents that Calvin or Luther wouldn't recognize what they would hear today.

    Reformed theology is so complex, with far greater nuances than any who advocate it today can imagine. What passes for "reformed theology" today, in other words, doesn't come close. Charles H. Spurgeon understood it, which is amazing since he didn't really get a seminary education. I couldn't begin to explain what Reformed theology actually is in the few inches of space allowed on a message board. But Spurgeon repeatedly preached on the truthful dichotomy of God's sovereignty and man's responsibility. Most who claim to be of either Calvinistic or Reformed theology today can't grasp the duality of those truths.
     
  15. holyrokker

    holyrokker Contributor

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    The term "Reformed Theology" is a euphemism for Calvinism.

    Reformed Theology is a rigid systematic approach to studying Scripture. All understanding of Scripture must be filtered through it.

    A "Bible-believing" church is probably one that has a more fluid theology. Theology doesn't drive the teaching of the church. Its teaching is likely more of a meditative style.
     
  16. Arete

    Arete Soli Deo Gloria

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    Y'all correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought the SBC started as an essentially Doctrines of Grace denomination and it was Arminian theology that was the "invaders" to borrow from the quoted post. I have colleagues within the SBC that claim the Calvinistic resurgence is the denomination returning to its roots.

    But I am repeating hearsay as I do not know the history of it myself.

    Also, if I am to throw away all doctrine held by anyone who was in error in anyway...what is there left to believe? Some may say "The Scriptures", and that is good. However, is there any non-canonical work or teaching then that I could turn to if this were my primary position?

    Not trying to be snarky, but it seems that casting aside Calvinism because some proponents baptize children is not the way to test the truth. Shouldn't we believe or not believe because the Doctrine taught is firmly founded upon Scripture and truly represents the nature, character and word of God?
     
  17. Petruchio

    Petruchio Guest

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    Speaking as a Reformed Presbyterian, we do not teach that infants are saved by baptism. You act as if we're Roman Catholics. We simply baptize our children, since we believe that they, as our children, are proper members of the church too, and are inheritors of His promise to us, though they may, in fact, never be saved at all, which can only be seen later.

    We do not teach regeneration precedes salvation, since regeneration and salvation are the same thing. Well, the latter is implicit in the former. What I think you mean is, Regeneration precedes faith. But we teach that regeneration precedes faith in the same way a hammer strikes a nail. When the Holy Spirit reveals to you that Jesus is the Christ, and creates in you a new heart, you are, at that moment, naturally a believer.

    We have never taught salvation by works. You will not find this in Luther, or Calvin, or Knox, or Spurgeon, or Edwards. We simply teach that works are a necessary result of true faith. If one has faith, one naturally "shews forth their faith," though they are justified by faith alone. In other words, we can tell the contents of the heart by what appears, though what appears is only a result of an invisible reality that only God can see. Works do not cause salvation. Works are the result of salvation.

    From Luther:

    "This is what I have often said, if faith be true, it will break forth and bear fruit. If the tree is green and good, it will not cease to blossom forth in leaves and fruit. It does this by nature. I need not first command it and say: Look here, tree, bear apples. For if the tree is there and is good, the fruit will follow unbidden. If faith is present works must follow.” [Sermons of Martin Luther 2.2:340-341]

    “We must therefore most certainly maintain that where there is no faith there also can be no good works; and conversely, that there is no faith where there are no good works. Therefore faith and good works should be so closely joined together that the essence of the entire Christian life consists in both.” [Martin Luther, as cited by Paul Althaus, The Theology of Martin Luther [Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1963], 246, footnote 99]

    "What Augustine says is indeed true: He who has created you without yourself will not save you without yourself. Works are necessary for salvation, but they do not cause salvation; for faith alone gives life. For the sake of hypocrites it should be said that good works are necessary for salvation. Works must be done, but it does not follow from this that works save… Works save externally, that is, they testify that we are just and that in a man there is that faith which saves him internally, as Paul says: ‘With the heart man believeth unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation’.” [What Luther Says 3: 1509]. [Ewald M. Plass, “What Luther says,” page 1509]

    I think what you are promoting is that works don't naturally proceed from a regenerated heart, in the same way a pregnant cloud must rain. The Catholics believe that works result in salvation, and that grace can be "merited" for that purpose. We do not believe that. But we do not believe, nor should anyone, whether they are Baptists or Presbyterians, that good works are not a necessary result of salvation. If you see a person who claims to have faith, and yet lies constantly, does all manner of evil, etc., are we to presume that he is justified? God forbid, though we cannot see the heart, and so we can never truly know for sure. Sanctification, after all, is not an immediate process, but we can reasonably conclude, with the Apostle James, that they have no saving grace within them, but are simply like the devils who also believe.

    Luther didn't teach anything that Calvin didn't in regards to soteriology. They differed in some areas. For example, Luther believed in actually eating Christ (with the mouth) in the Lord's Supper, and affirmed consubstantiation (but not transubstantiation). Zwingli, rightly or wrongly perceived, seemed to teach a purely memorialist view of the Lord's Supper. In other words, totally symbolic. This is probably the primary view held by the Baptists. Calvin taught suprasubstantiation. That is, Christ is present with us in the Lord's Supper, and eating the bread and drinking the wine is in fact, through faith, communion with Christ and with the body (other Christians). But unlike Luther, he did not believe this was done with "teeth and stomach," but through faith only, and unlike a purely memorial view, Calvin taught that Christ was "really present" with us during the supper, just not within the elements, or under them, or above them, but in faith only.

    Yes, these are differences, and there are more, but on all the essentials we certainly agreed, and I doubt that anyone is going to go to hell because they baptize children, or wait to baptize them when they are of age, since we all still believe in salvation, not by works, but looking to faith only.

    Spurgeon was a Calvinist. It is a myth that he was not. The simple truth is that those who say so simply do not understand what Reformed theology actually teaches in regards to man's responsibility and in reprobation, and so they confuse it and think that we are contradicting ourselves, but we do not. They simply do not understand what we are even teaching. But Spurgeon said nothing that Calvin didn't, or Augustine didn't.

    "The old truth that Calvin preached, that Augustine preached, that Paul preached, is the truth that I must preach to-day, or else be false to my conscience and my God. I cannot shape the truth; I know of no such thing as paring off the rough edges of a doctrine. John Knox's gospel is my gospel. That which thundered through Scotland must thunder through England again."—C. H. Spurgeon

    More:

    "I suppose there are some persons whose minds naturally incline towards the doctrine of free-will. I can only say that mine inclines as naturally towards the doctrines of sovereign grace. Sometimes, when I see some of the worst characters in the street, I feel as if my heart must burst forth in tears of gratitude that God has never let me act as they have done! I have thought, if God had left me alone, and had not touched me by His grace, what a great sinner I should have been!"

    You can read more here in his sermon "In defense of Calvinism":

    A Defense of Calvinism
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 24, 2014
  18. ThisBrotherOfHis

    ThisBrotherOfHis Well-Known Member

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    I would simply ask you to actually study Reformed theology and Calvinism in depth, carefully, and then retract that statement. Calvinism and Reformed theology are not interchangeable terms. In fact, Calvinism was a reaction to a reaction. Calvin wrote what was essentially a rebuttal to Arminius, who wrote to rebut Reformed theology. If you believe Reformed theology and Calvinism are the same thing, you are woefully misinformed.
    I would refer you to the work of Adrian Rogers, the man who single-handedly pulled the SBC back from the brink of error and destruction by removing liberalism from the SBC seminaries. He very defiantly stated why he is not a Calvinist, but why Baptists were never Calvinists either. If you don't want to read twelve pages of well-reasoned argument, then suffice to say, Rogers was in agreement with me, or more appropriately, I with him: Calvinists today don't have a clue what Calvin taught, what the Reformed movement was about, and as a result don't even preach what Calvin preached, and if they saw what Calvin preached, they'd reject it.
    And it is precisely what Rogers said. Which is why your next question ...
    ... is a moot point. If you have the Scriptures, that is all you need. I'm not saying there are not good insights available, but you can read, understand, and develop from Scripture what God wanted you to read, understand and develop without having someone from 500 years ago try to tell you what God said, particularly when he didn't get much of it right.
    That's a clear indication you didn't really read my post. I said much more than "Calvin taught infant baptism." Perhaps you should go back and read it, slowly this time.
    No. We should believe or not believe what Scripture teaches, because it is the only thing guaranteed to represent the nature, character and word of God. Get a good concordance, a Hebrew and a Greek lexicon, study inductively, and God's revelation with be amply evident to you.
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2014
  19. Petruchio

    Petruchio Guest

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    What are you even talking about? Calvin died 4 years after Arminius was born. And before Calvin was Luther, who said only what Calvin said. Did John Calvin own a Delorean?

    Why read an argument when you can just read the London Baptist confession of 1689?

    CHAPTER 10

    OF EFFECTUAL CALLING

    Paragraph 1. Those whom God hath predestinated unto life, He is pleased in His appointed, and accepted time, effectually to call,1 by His Word and Spirit, out of that state of sin and death in which they are by nature, to grace and salvation by Jesus Christ;2 enlightening their minds spiritually and savingly to understand the things of God;3 taking away their heart of stone, and giving to them a heart of flesh;4 renewing their wills, and by His almighty power determining them to that which is good, and effectually drawing them to Jesus Christ;5 yet so as they come most freely, being made willing by His grace.6
    1 Rom. 8:30, 11:7; Eph. 1:10,11; 2 Thess. 2:13,14
    2 Eph. 2:1-6
    3 Acts 26:18; Eph. 1:17,18
    4 Ezek. 36:26
    5 Deut. 30:6; Ezek. 36:27; Eph. 1:19
    6 Ps. 110:3; Cant. 1:4

    Paragraph 2. This effectual call is of God's free and special grace alone, not from anything at all foreseen in man, nor from any power or agency in the creature,7 being wholly passive therein, being dead in sins and trespasses, until being quickened and renewed by the Holy Spirit;8 he is thereby enabled to answer this call, and to embrace the grace offered and conveyed in it, and that by no less power than that which raised up Christ from the dead.9
    7 2 Tim. 1:9; Eph. 2:8
    8 1 Cor. 2:14; Eph. 2:5; John 5:25
    9 Eph. 1:19, 20

    Paragraph 3. Elect infants dying in infancy are regenerated and saved by Christ through the Spirit;10 who works when, and where, and how He pleases;11 so also are all elect persons, who are incapable of being outwardly called by the ministry of the Word.
    10 John 3:3, 5, 6
    11 John 3:8

    Paragraph 4. Others not elected, although they may be called by the ministry of the Word, and may have some common operations of the Spirit,12 yet not being effectually drawn by the Father, they neither will nor can truly come to Christ, and therefore cannot be saved:13 much less can men that do not receive the Christian religion be saved; be they never so diligent to frame their lives according to the light of nature and the law of that religion they do profess.14
    12 Matt. 22:14, 13:20,21; Heb 6:4,5
    13 John 6:44,45,65; 1 John 2:24,25
    14 Acts 4:12; John 4:22, 17:3

    Historic Church Documents at Reformed.org

    You could copy and paste this into the Westminster confession and you wouldn't know the difference.

    I have a suspicion that it's not the Calvinists who are the ones who do not know what Calvin or the Reformed movement taught.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 24, 2014
  20. SeventhValley

    SeventhValley Guest

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    Of course the Baptist 1611 confession and the 1651 confession were both Arminian. So Baptists have been split 50/50 since the beginning.
     
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