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Old 10-10-2013, 01:36 PM
 
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RC Sproul Why Are Reformed Christians Influenced by Arminianism - YouTube

According to R.C. Sproles.. not picking on him specifically, but I came across some good videos on this topic and felt like sharing.

This is a huge issue I think... The issue ultimately comes down to the "goodness of man". It becomes an issue to the point where some groups called "Pelagianism" go so far to suggest that Man is good and basically be good enough for God. This group was classified as Heretics and I think rightly so..

So the issue as I see it is the inherent fallen "goodness of man" and their ability to choose right and wrong. The Calvanist position, as I see it anyways, states that we DO have a choice, but that choice is "enslaved" to choose evil. (please correct me if I'm wrong).. Scripture such as "there are none that do good" is quoted in Romans 3 to support this view.

The problem I have is that I do not believe that fallen unregenerate lost Man ALWAYS MUST obey the DESIRE to do wrong. Certainly we ALL FALL SHORT of the Glory of God thus "none are righteous", but I do not think we ALWAYS CHOOSE TO DO WRONG when given a CHOICE. I think this is where the view of Calvanism comes short... (unless I'm mistaken).. I think there are Scriptures taken out of context.

Now this is not to present the case that fallen unregenerate man is "good", but just to state that when given a choice of right and wrong the sinner CAN choose to do RIGHT. Why am I wrong? Where is my lack of understanding?

The position of Calvanism seems to almost to a point of suggesting we are robots that must choose to do wrong in the natural. Is my understanding not accurate?

What am I missing here?
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Old 10-10-2013, 02:46 PM
 
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I pulled this from some old notes I had taken in college many pre-internet years ago. It is very general and quite condensed.

Generally there are considered to be two complete Christian theological systems.
1. Augustinianism which is completed by Calvinism.
2. Pelagianism completed in Socinianism.
Between the two is Arminianism, a more developed Semi-Pelagianism, if you will, which is a system of compromises between the two.

Pelagius and Pelagianism is considered by all Christians faiths with the exception of Socinianism to be fatal heresy and was rejected by the church by the 5th century. Pelagianism has been condemned by more Church Councils than any other heresy.

Contrasting the two theological systems usually paints the picture adequately. This is a very, very condensed version.
Original Sin:
Augustinianism-Adam's sin affected all future mankind.
Pelagianism-Adam's sin affected only Adam, therefore is no original sin stain.

Free Will:
Augustinianism-freedom of human will lost with Adam's sin. Mankind evil by nature.
Pelagianism-man's will is free and he chooses good or evil as he sees fit.

Grace:
Augustinianism-God's inward grace leads man to do good.
Pelagianism-God has nothing to do with it. Man chooses to do good or evil.

Predestination:
Augustinianism-From eternity God unconditionally decreed to save the elect only through Jesus.
Pelagianism-God predestined to salvation those whom he saw would keep His commandments. Christ's atoning death is general and only for those who have sinned.

Salvation:this is what drove the nail into the coffin for Pelagianism as it asserts that humans are the agents of their own salvation. As such, the Gospel is null.

About the time the battle over Pelagianism was heating up, John Cassian began speaking of a doctrine which was a middle position between Augustinian ism and Pelagianism. Early on it was called Massilian, later Semi-Pelagianism, and later evolved into Arminianism.

I didn't watch the video yet and I'm a bit confused by your question about Calvinists being robots that must choose to do wrong. Calvin did what Thomas Aquinas did for the Catholic Church, bringing unity and system where there had been little. There are many misunderstandings, misleadings, and misinterpretations and mis truths of John Calvin and Calvinism floating around out there.
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Old 10-10-2013, 06:00 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikelee81 View Post

RC Sproul Why Are Reformed Christians Influenced by Arminianism - YouTube

According to R.C. Sproles.. not picking on him specifically, but I came across some good videos on this topic and felt like sharing.

This is a huge issue I think... The issue ultimately comes down to the "goodness of man". It becomes an issue to the point where some groups called "Pelagianism" go so far to suggest that Man is good and basically be good enough for God. This group was classified as Heretics and I think rightly so..

So the issue as I see it is the inherent fallen "goodness of man" and their ability to choose right and wrong. The Calvanist position, as I see it anyways, states that we DO have a choice, but that choice is "enslaved" to choose evil. (please correct me if I'm wrong).. Scripture such as "there are none that do good" is quoted in Romans 3 to support this view.

The problem I have is that I do not believe that fallen unregenerate lost Man ALWAYS MUST obey the DESIRE to do wrong. Certainly we ALL FALL SHORT of the Glory of God thus "none are righteous", but I do not think we ALWAYS CHOOSE TO DO WRONG when given a CHOICE. I think this is where the view of Calvanism comes short... (unless I'm mistaken).. I think there are Scriptures taken out of context.

Now this is not to present the case that fallen unregenerate man is "good", but just to state that when given a choice of right and wrong the sinner CAN choose to do RIGHT. Why am I wrong? Where is my lack of understanding?

The position of Calvanism seems to almost to a point of suggesting we are robots that must choose to do wrong in the natural. Is my understanding not accurate?

What am I missing here?
I dont know how else to take verses like Romans 3:23 and Romans 3:10. It's clear that we can't please God on our own.
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Old 10-10-2013, 09:51 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikelee81 View Post
What you are missing is that Calvinists come in so many different stripes they don't know themselves which species among the 100 million in the animal kingdom they belong to.

You have TULIP's, TLIP's, TUIP's, TULI's, TULLIP's and about another dozen varieties that combine some part of the acronym.

Doesn't anybody find it strange that Christianity is the only religion on earth that is made up of over 30,000 different varieties of beliefs? I find that utterly astonishing and I know I shouldn't, given how totally corrupted the modern Bible has become. Nobody can agree on anything when supposedly all the answers to your questions are lying right there in that book waiting to be answered. Just depends on who's doing the asking and what answer they want to be given them.
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Old 10-11-2013, 03:01 PM
 
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Differences between Semi-Pelagianism and Arminian Beliefs

Here's a good article..

Correct doctrine eliminates boasting.. nothing "I" have done got me saved.. So the Calvanistic doctrine of Monergism must be correct.
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Old 10-11-2013, 04:25 PM
 
19,950 posts, read 13,625,689 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thrillobyte View Post
What you are missing is that Calvinists come in so many different stripes they don't know themselves which species among the 100 million in the animal kingdom they belong to.

You have TULIP's, TLIP's, TUIP's, TULI's, TULLIP's and about another dozen varieties that combine some part of the acronym.

Doesn't anybody find it strange that Christianity is the only religion on earth that is made up of over 30,000 different varieties of beliefs? I find that utterly astonishing and I know I shouldn't, given how totally corrupted the modern Bible has become. Nobody can agree on anything when supposedly all the answers to your questions are lying right there in that book waiting to be answered. Just depends on who's doing the asking and what answer they want to be given them.
First of all....please give me a list of these 30,000 variations. If you're claiming it, it must be true, right? You wouldn't lie to us, would you?

Second....do you think for a second that all of Islam agrees on all the points of doctrine? Or all buddhists? Or all of any religion?
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Old 10-11-2013, 07:50 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vizio View Post
First of all....please give me a list of these 30,000 variations. If you're claiming it, it must be true, right? You wouldn't lie to us, would you?

Second....do you think for a second that all of Islam agrees on all the points of doctrine? Or all buddhists? Or all of any religion?
Actually, Vizio, I was being very generous.

Quote:
Note: This is not a complete list, but aims to provide a comprehensible overview of the diversity among denominations of Christianity. As there are reported to be approximately 41,000 Christian denominations, many of which cannot be verified to be significant, only those denominations with Wikipedia articles will be listed in order to ensure that all entries on this list are notable and verifiable.
List of Christian denominations - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

But this is beside the point. What I was trying to establish is that if the Bible is the go-to book--the one that purportedly contains all the answers to questions anyone who wanted to become a Christian would ask, then why the overwhelming differences in doctrine that such an astonishing number of different sects within Christianity that uses that one official text, the "Bible", if you will, could come into existence?

My question has more to do with the assumption that any sincere person who earnestly desired to know the truth would be given the truth as it is written in the Bible

Quote:
James 1:5-6: 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. 6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.
So here we have God's conditional promise that He will give us wisdom to know what the truth is. Consequently there would be no extreme differences of opinion on such matters as eternal destiny (ET vs UR vs annihilation), or OSAS vs losing salvation, or faith alone vs faith plus works vs work w/o faith, or TULIP vs TUIP vs TULLIP. These are just a sprinkle of the tons of differences between each of these 41,000 Christian sects.

So what gives, Vizio? Where does the Bible fail? Or does it? And if it doesn't, why the discrepancies?

As to the second part of your question, I reiterate "no faith on earth has the number of varieties that Christianity does--not even close". I am not a non-Christian. I believe Jesus is the Son of God and that He died to free me from the consequences of my sin, as he frees everyone. So I am not asking this question as a challenge to Christianity and Jesus. But I do ask as to the claim that the Bible is so inerrant and so perfectly God's voice to us that it cannot possibly fail to give correct answers to anything anyone can ask.
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Old 10-11-2013, 08:29 PM
 
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I did watch the video and the OP summed up Sproul's dogma rather nicely.

Anyone who knows me here knows I am extremely critical of what man has done to Jesus' original teachings. It's not man's fault entirely, I've come to believe. God endowed man with the ability to think critically and it was inevitable that questions such as those that are raised here about free will vs God's will are going to come up. But man has, as he is always doing, gone overboard in trying to analyze the mind of God, which is why we have all this division. It could be said that in the finer aspects of doctrine there as many different sects of Christianity as there are Christians, since no two of us thinks exactly the same about what Christianity entails.

I am inclined, funny enough, to more side with Sproule on this matter: man does NOT have free will independent of God's. He has what might be called "free choice" but then Proverbs 16:9 kicks in:

Quote:
In his hearts a man plan his course, but the LORD directs his steps.
That is not free will when man plans the direction he takes but his ultimate direction is guided by God. And I say, "Thank God for that!" If I were left completely to my devices and without God's Divine intervention in critical junctions of my life I would be dead now.

But Calvinists go too far in doing this double predestination thing. Predestination is bad enough, but to say that God chose from time immemorial the 99% He was going to withhold His Holy Spirit from and allow them to be damned to eternal torment in hell and He chose to create them anyway (we're talking roughly 99 billion people here, folks ) and give His grace to only 1% of humanity (roughly the number of people estimated to have been saved over the course of history---broad is the way--narrow is the way theology and "No one can come to Me except the Spirit draws him" --- well, that gets to be a bit TOO MUCH!
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Old 10-11-2013, 10:23 PM
 
11,239 posts, read 11,259,675 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thrillobyte View Post
So here we have God's conditional promise that He will give us wisdom to know what the truth is. Consequently there would be no extreme differences of opinion on such matters as eternal destiny (ET vs UR vs annihilation), or OSAS vs losing salvation, or faith alone vs faith plus works vs work w/o faith, or TULIP vs TUIP vs TULLIP. These are just a sprinkle of the tons of differences between each of these 41,000 Christian sects.
Oh, and add pretribulation rapture vs mid-tribulation rapture vs post-tribulation rapture vs no tribulation rapture vs millennialism vs amillennialism to that list.
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Old 10-12-2013, 02:37 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thrillobyte View Post
But Calvinists go too far in doing this double predestination thing. Predestination is bad enough, but to say that God chose from time immemorial the 99% He was going to withhold His Holy Spirit from and allow them to be damned to eternal torment in hell and He chose to create them anyway (we're talking roughly 99 billion people here, folks ) and give His grace to only 1% of humanity (roughly the number of people estimated to have been saved over the course of history---broad is the way--narrow is the way theology and "No one can come to Me except the Spirit draws him" --- well, that gets to be a bit TOO MUCH!
Hey Thrillobyte, here are some thoughts on predestination from early in church history.

Quote:
Origen (AD 185–254) and John Chrysostom (AD 347–407) said that God
does not predestine us, but rather God foreknows who will choose him of their
own free will, so in essence God chooses those who choose him.

Pelagius (AD 354–420/440) said that God does not predestine us, but
we simply choose God. In other words, people basically save themselves. He was condemned as a heretic for also saying that people are born sinless and pure like Adam and can simply choose God and a life of holiness.

Augustine (AD 354–430) was the leading opponent of Pelagius and was
originally a synergist until later recanting his position and becoming a
monergist. He then went on to teach, with great influence that continues to this
day, the doctrine of single predestination. This means that everyone is a sinner
by nature and choice and therefore fully deserves nothing more than conscious
eternal torment in hell; nevertheless, in pure grace, some wholly undeserving
sinners are predestined for heaven and saved by Jesus Christ. Meanwhile, those
who are not predestined to salvation experience the natural course of sin, which
leads to death and hell. Augustine taught that everyone is going to hell except
for the predestined elect and that God does not predestine people to hell, but,
rather, only predestines some people to heaven. Augustine’s position was in
effect a very positive celebration of the saving work of a gracious God who
worked through Jesus Christ for the good of the elect as it focused on those who
are saved, while not seeking to provide any definitive reason apart from sin for
those who are eternally damned.

Gottschalk (also known as Godescalc) of Orbais (AD 804–869) was a
Benedictine monk and one of the most influential proponents of double
predestination in the history of Christian theology. Gottschalk was a student of
Augustine’s writings and went beyond his master’s teaching to promote not only
the singular predestination of the elect to heaven, but also the double
predestination of the non-elect to hell. Practically, his position was that God
creates some people for hell and some for heaven. He was condemned as a heretic at the council of Quierzy in 853 on charges that he declared God was the author of human sin; he died without recanting while imprisoned in a
monastery.

John Calvin (AD 1509–1564) was influenced by the writings of both
Augustine and Gottschalk and did teach the concept of double predestination. It
deserves mentioning, however, that Calvin did not stress the doctrine of
predestination in such writings as The Institutes as much as Luther and later Calvinists did. Furthermore, for him the doctrine of predestination was used primarily as a pastoral answer to the question of why some people trust in Jesus for salvation while others do not. Admittedly, his teaching was quite controversial; some of his opponents even named their dogs “Calvin” in mockery. Nonetheless, Calvin wrote of the doctrine in his will: “I have no other hope or refuge than His predestination upon which my entire salvation is grounded.”[2]

James Arminius (AD 1560–1609) commended the writings of John Calvin
but deviated greatly in his understanding of election and predestination. He
taught that election was a corporate, not individual, concept in Scripture,
according to the Old Testament precedent that Israel was the elect people of
God. Furthermore, he taught that God has not predestined people to salvation,
but, rather, predestined the conditions of repentance of sin and faith in Jesus
as the grounds for joining the elect.

John Wesley (AD 1703–1791), the founder of Methodism, popularized the
teachings of James Arminius. He echoed much of Arminius’ teaching, especially
the concept of prevenient grace, or first grace. According to Wesley, prevenient
grace is a grace that God gives to open up the will of a sinner so that everyone has the opportunity to freely choose or not choose to trust in Jesus Christ for salvation.[3] This concept was an attempt to defend human freedom of the will without denying the pervasive effects of sin on the human condition.
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