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From: Secundus555Sep-8 1:31 PM 
To: Len (AryehLeib613)  (11 of 131) 
 40910.11 in reply to 40910.9 

Len (AryehLeib613) said...

From  my friend,  a former Calvinist, now a Jew:

Eh, one could make the same argument against Christianity.  Why did no one teach it before the first century?

The Christian argument is that it WAS, but it wasn't FULLY revealed until the coming of Christ and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. 

Unless Calvinists want to claim John Calvin as a PROPHET OF GOD (something neither he nor any of his followers ever made), then he could not give NEW revelations about Christ that were not taught from the beginning of our faith. 

We preach Christ as the Son of God, who reveals the Father to us, fulfilling the Old Covenant in himself and in his death and Resurrection. The Old Covenant prefigured and symbolized the promised New Covenant that was foretold by the Prophets and fulfilled in Christ. 

I know that you do not agree, but it is simply NOT the same thing when we look at the fact that NO ONE, not even St. Augustine or Luther ever taught what Calvin taught. St. Augustine most certainly would NOT have agreed with many of Calvin's Interpretations of his writings. Luther clearly disagreed with much of Calvin's teachings, which is why no lasting accord could ever be forged between the two great Reformers. 

Calvinism simply has no historical precedent within Christian thought before the 16th Century. If the point of the Reformation was to strip away the fluffery and superstition and man-made traditions that obscured the pure Gospel and return the Church to the pure message it preached in the beginning, CALVINISM AIN'T IT! It is NOT a return to the original message if the Gospel, it is a WHOLE NEW belief that did not exist until Calvin began teaching it. 

Len (AryehLeib613) said...

Augustine taught it robustly enough.  Heck, even Luther was a bit more strident than Calvin at times.

Neither of these statements is fair, or accurate. St. Augustine may have influenced Calvin, but he would NOT be a Calvinist if he had lived in Calvin's day. Calvin adopted ASPECTS of Augustinian theology, but it is reductionist and inaccurate to say that Augustine taught what Calvin taught. 

Luther clearly had many theological differences with Calvin on the matter of Soteriology and Election. He would have been closer to an Arminian than to Calvin. But even that label is a bit anachronistic.

Len (AryehLeib613) said...

The problem of Calvinism and Arminianism is a misplacement if what happens within time and what happens outside of time.

To a degree, but it goes far deeper and broader than that. It is the question of how one understands human Free Will and the Synergistic interplay between our will and God's Grace. Calvinism essentially REPUDIATES Free Will, while Arminianism...and all of Christianity for the 1,500 yrs before Calvin...affirms human Free Will as being totally compatible with God's Sovereignty and Election.

One has God acting unilaterally, imposing his Grace upon those who are unwilling and incapable of responding to his Grace. The other has God enabling and calling us to participate in his Grace freely. One is consistent with Love, always offering a choice, never demanding it's own way, but inviting us to cooperate with and receive his Grace. The other has God reprogramming his Creations so that the ones he selects, will always respond positively to him. God must unilaterally impose his Grace upon them, and they have no part except to fulfill what he has predestined. One is loving. The other is programming. 

 

God is Love. The Difference between these two views on how they view God and his Grace is enormous. 

 

Secundus

  • Edited September 8, 2020 1:41 pm  by  Secundus555
 
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From: Len (AryehLeib613)Sep-8 7:00 PM 
To: Secundus555  (12 of 131) 
 40910.12 in reply to 40910.11 

Hi Len,

The position that Calvinism CAN work doesn't mean it's the optimal solution to Christianity.  My problem as a Baptist was Dispensationalism and Antinomianism.  Baptists are locked into a framework that would be either Dispensational OR Calvinistic, and I used Calvinism as the antidote to what I regarded to be a heresy.


Calvinism has its limitations, but it's the only viable solution at this time to Southern Baptist Theology.  They'll accept it, begrudgingly, but they will nevertheless accept it.

Tim

 

 
From: Secundus555Sep-8 7:26 PM 
To: Len (AryehLeib613)  (13 of 131) 
 40910.13 in reply to 40910.12 

Len (AryehLeib613) said...

Calvinism has its limitations, but it's the only viable solution at this time to Southern Baptist Theology.  They'll accept it, begrudgingly, but they will nevertheless accept it.

Depends on which stream of Baptists you are associated with.

There us such a thing as "Free Will Baptist" and "General" (Non-Calvinist) Baptists. The largest Baptist body, the SBC, is indeed descended from the "Particular" or Calvinist Baptist tradition. Many Northern Baptist associations, however, are more Arminian (Free Will).

Arminianism works fine within a Baptist framework.

It is within the Presbyterian and Reformed churches that Calvinism is more intrinsic and indispensable.

I am Methodist, and we are must decidedly Arminian (Wesleyan Arminian, rather than Dutch Arminian).

 

Secundus

 

 
From: Len (AryehLeib613)Sep-8 11:38 PM 
To: Secundus555  (14 of 131) 
 40910.14 in reply to 40910.11 

Note: This post should be read following the next one. They are in the wrong order.

I just realized [Secundus] had a more complete argument further down.

Please pass on to him that I never had an interest to convert an Arminian to Calvinism.  Arminianism is a legitimate expression of Christianity.  Dispensationalism isn't.  It's much easier to take someone who claims to be a 4 point Calvinist and cram some holiness back into his equation than to tear down the 4 points he is so fond of.

But Arminianism is fine just as it is.  I've always thought so, and always will.

Nevertheless, your friend undersells Martin Luther and Augustine.  I'd suggest he start with Luther's Bondage of the Will.  And if he has a bit of extra time I'd suggest he reads Erasmus' tract that Luther sought to refute.

And Augustine?  Calvin was a bit of a softy compare to him as well.

That doesn't make Calvinism flawless, but Calvin certainly didn't invent it either.

Timothy E. Clontz
www.market-mousetrap.blogspot.com
516-313-9457

  • Edited September 8, 2020 11:51 pm  by  Len (AryehLeib613)
 

 
From: Len (AryehLeib613)Sep-8 11:48 PM 
To: Secundus555  (15 of 131) 
 40910.15 in reply to 40910.11 

Note: The following chronologically belongs before the post just above it. I saw and transmitted the later one before the earlier one.

Len

I was specifically speaking about Southern Baptists.  Of course Arminian Baptists exist, but that isn't the solution to the Dispensational heresy within Southern Baptists.

I'm fine with Arminianism and Calvinism as consistent systems that avoid the antinomianism inherent in dispensationalism.

I fault each for cramming elements of time and eternity in places they don't need to go.  

Calvinism crams predestination into time, where it doesn't belong, and Arminianism crams free will into eternity, where it doesn't belong.  Free will is an element of time.  It exists in a moment, and not before or after that moment passes.  Predestination doesn't exist in moments, but in eternity.

Charles Hadden Spurgeon would defend free will in some of his sermons, while remaining a good example of a Calvinistic Baptist.

Neither Calvinism nor Arminianism can completely explain all of the philosophical ramifications of New Testament theology.  Corporate election (for Arminianism) doesn't satisfy Paul's own experience.  But the Calvinistic treatment of "faith" as a "work" doesn't satisfy Paul's contrast of the two.

Hence my distinction of time and eternity.  God knows all that has happened and all that will happen.  He created this universe knowing full well what would happen.  He wasn't under any constraints to create it, and he could have created another universe in which your Secundus were a cow and I was a cluster of grass with the bad luck to be in Secundus' hungry path.  Secundus could have been a Jew and I could have been a Methodist (in fact I was a Methodist for a while and I'm quite fond of that church).

At the same time, Secundus was entirely free twenty years ago to convert to Judaism and I was entirely free to become a Methodist -- but neither of us can go back in time and change that now.  Our PAST freedom is NOW etched in stone.  We are free to do something NOW, but NOW isn't twenty years ago.

Is God's foreordination foreknowledge?  Sure.  Is it MERELY foreknowledge?  No.

God did not make you or I as women.  He made us who we are.  WE are "free", but "we" would have been free had we been lobsters too -- freely doing whatever THAT version of us wanted.

Calvinists and Arminians both over think it.  Christian theology is to have faith in Jesus and the works will follow.  The two are not the same, in spite of what Martin Luther would say.  But at the same time "faith" isn't really supposed to be a matter of pride either.  It is THAT element that Calvin attempted to instill.  Whether he succeeded in one thing to the detriment of another is an aspect of his humanity.

Pass on to your friend Secundus that if Arminianism had been a possible sell to Southern Baptists I might have opted for that.  Instead, I took the dispensational assumptions of Southern Baptists and presented a more theologically consistent version.  My goal was to prompt them to holiness -- which was much like what John and Charles Wesley tried to do.

Timothy E. Clontz
www.market-mousetrap.blogspot.com
516-313-9457

 

 
From: Bob (Bobbylee7) DelphiPlus Member Icon Posted by hostSep-9 10:31 AM 
To: Secundus555  (16 of 131) 
 40910.16 in reply to 40910.8 

Bob (Bobbylee7) said...

bob>They don't come out and say that, but that's the heart of what they believe. One is "chosen BEFORE they are born" and only the "chosen/elect" will be saved and nothing they do in this life can ever change their "election" 

Again, kind of an oversimplification that distorts what they believe. 

bob>I got that straight from 5 point preachers who taught us over about 3 months. 

The path each of the Elect takes to salvation is, in their belief, foreordained.

bob>That's what they said, predestined to be saved. 

But no human being knows for sure who is and who is not Elect.

bob>They would say from the pulpit, "I am certain everyone in this chruch is predestined to be saved" 

Some who APPEAR to be Elect now, may fall away before the end and thus demonstrate that they were never "truly saved" to begin with.

bob>You said just what you disagree with. One can appear to be saved and yet are not. This is a take off on OSAS in the calvin form it's "some are predestined to be saved before they are born, nothing they do in this life can ever change that" 

(Again, this is their understanding). Some who APPEAR to be reprobate and hopelessly lost right now, may turn and repent and be saved before the end. We cannot know who is and who is not "Elect" until the very end.

bob>Billy Graham saved? No way to know. Hitler saved? No way to know. 

"Those who endure to the end" are the truly Elect.

bob>Or one can be saved on their death bed no matter what kind of life they had, except those who are predestined to be saved before they are born will be saved, nothing can stop that. 

Only God knows who they are. No one who is truly Elect will ever fail to be eventually converted as foreordained, nor will they ever apostatize and lose faith. They will remain faithful. 

bob>OSAS, however, some loose faith and come back, but that does not mean they were Predestined to be saved or not. 

The "Once Saved Always Saved" thing where a person can get saved and then live however they want and still be saved is NOT what Calvin taught, and it is NOT what Calvinists teach. That is a bastardized version of Calvinism that most Calvinists would reject and condemn. 

bob>OSAS has a different slant on it via calvinsim "once predestined to be saved Always saved" 

They would say that while a truly regenerate Elect person can occasionally fall Into sin, even serious sin, he will not LIVE A LIFE of sin. He will repent of his sins and return to obedience. 

bob>Confusing isn't it. He may repent in the last second of life and if he's predestined to be saved, he will be, if he's not, he won't be. Calvinist don't have to live in obedience, they are saved already. 

Calvin saw the Spiritual Disciplines of Prayer, Bible reading, church attendance, etc, as a way to "show forth" or "make your election sure" (demonstrate you are truly Elect by continuing in faithfulness), and he saw those who lived sinfully habitually after a supposed conversion to have been "falsely converted". 

bob>Or not. Calvinist are predestined to be saved, not predestined to be wonderful followers of Christ. Some of the wonderful followers of Christ are predestined to be saved and some are not, as you said, we don't know, we can't tell, so one's life doesn't mean anything. 

He would have rejected the "OSAS" message of many Baptists because it doesn't include true repentance from sin and a truly changed life, which all truly regenerate people (the Elect) will necessarily show forth. 

bob>Calvinism has a different slant on OSAS and one's life doesn't matter, if one is predestined to be saved before they are born they are saved, NOTHING they do in this life changes anything. 

And again, he never presumed that anyone was necessarily Elect or unelect.

bob>Confused? it's all about being "Elect" before one is born to be saved. 

That is why, historically, the Calvinists have been among the most active Evangelistic groups.

...[Message truncated]


 

 

 
From: Bob (Bobbylee7) DelphiPlus Member Icon Posted by hostSep-9 10:32 AM 
To: crusedude  (17 of 131) 
 40910.17 in reply to 40910.8 

bump


 

 

 
From: Bob (Bobbylee7) DelphiPlus Member Icon Posted by hostSep-9 10:36 AM 
To: Len (AryehLeib613)  (18 of 131) 
 40910.18 in reply to 40910.9 

From  my friend,  a former Calvinist, now a Jew:

bob>Tim was a 100% calvinist, wrote a book on it, then left it and became a Jew, is he confused or what? 

Eh, one could make the same argument against Christianity.  Why did no one teach it before the first century?

bob>The Torah/OT taught of the coming Messiah. 
 

Augustine taught it robustly enough.  Heck, even Luther was a bit more strident than Calvin at times.
 

The problem of Calvinism and Arminianism is a misplacement if what happens within time and what happens outside of time.

bob>When a religious theory has to go "outside of time" it's "outside of logic and the bible. Calvinism should be called Predestination, that's what it is, a confused look at predestination and it ignores the freewill that is obviously in the bible. 


 

 

 
From: Bob (Bobbylee7) DelphiPlus Member Icon Posted by hostSep-9 10:39 AM 
To: Len (AryehLeib613)  (19 of 131) 
 40910.19 in reply to 40910.12 

Calvinism has its limitations,

bob>If we discuss it as predestination, which is what it is, we could better analyse it. To call it by a name not even represented int eh bible is confusing. A very few were PREDESTINED TO SERVE, not predestined to be saved. 


 

 

 
From: Bob (Bobbylee7) DelphiPlus Member Icon Posted by hostSep-9 10:44 AM 
To: Secundus555  (20 of 131) 
 40910.20 in reply to 40910.13 

The largest Baptist body, the SBC, is indeed descended from the "Particular" or Calvinist Baptist tradition.

bob> I spend most my life in SBC and never heard of this before. I contacted the SBC and asked them about it, they said it was not SBC teaching, but some churches started to accept it and are known as "reformed baptists" the calvin SBC church I attended was calvinist in secret as they had ony leaders that went to in in the last 20 years, but it was not preached to the members in a direct manner. The leaders had discussed taking the church presbyterian, but knew the members would leave, so they didn't. Once it was revealed, half the church left immediately and it's been falling ever since. I also knew people who were presbyterian and didn't know about calvainism. 


 

 

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