Calvinism Refuted

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Re: Calvinism Refuted

Postby natman » Mon Nov 18, 2013 3:32 pm

jochanaan wrote:Sometimes I wonder if John Calvin would even recognize today's "Calvinism"! :shock:


And sometimes I wonder if Christ would even recognize today's "Christianity". :|
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Re: Calvinism Refuted

Postby jochanaan » Mon Nov 18, 2013 4:39 pm

natman wrote:
jochanaan wrote:Sometimes I wonder if John Calvin would even recognize today's "Calvinism"! :shock:


And sometimes I wonder if Christ would even recognize today's "Christianity". :|
Indeed. :roll:
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Re: Calvinism Refuted

Postby bn2bnude » Mon Dec 30, 2013 11:28 am

natman wrote:
jochanaan wrote:Sometimes I wonder if John Calvin would even recognize today's "Calvinism"! :shock:


And sometimes I wonder if Christ would even recognize today's "Christianity". :|


Let me revive this strip a bit....

I just read Roger Olson's book "Against Calvinism" which, in spite of it's title was a pretty fair treatment.

One of the points made in the book was that it was Calvin's followers who solidified the doctrines. The current "Neo-Calvinist" movement with voices like Mark Driscoll & John Piper have taken things even further.
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Re: Calvinism Refuted

Postby Petros » Mon Dec 30, 2013 9:20 pm

"One of the points made in the book was that it was Calvin's followers who solidified the doctrines. "

This is par for the course. Par exemple [pun intended], there is some evidence that Jesus' teaching left undotted some i's [not to mention p's and q's] that followers [whether ass early as Paul or at a greater distance] have been spelling out.
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Re: Calvinism Refuted

Postby ezduzit » Tue Dec 31, 2013 7:02 am

Petros wrote:"One of the points made in the book was that it was Calvin's followers who solidified the doctrines. "

This is par for the course. Par exemple [pun intended], there is some evidence that Jesus' teaching left undotted some i's [not to mention p's and q's] that followers [whether ass early as Paul or at a greater distance] have been spelling out.


Soooooooooooooooo we don`t have the Word God ? Please give the evidence that you speak of? In the mean time ponder
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Deut. 12:32 What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it.

Rev.22:18 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:
19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.
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Re: Calvinism Refuted

Postby Petros » Tue Dec 31, 2013 10:04 am

Class me not with the heretics and blasphemers.

Rather, pray examine the doctrines, dogmas, teachings and preachings of any three denominations or de facto leaders of the church and count how many are clearly and explicitly stated in the recorded words of the Christ. You can start, if you like, with the details of the Eucharist.

As for Paul, I do not reject the understanding that he was spirit led [as any of us may be] and that his writings have weight and authority - though he himself tells us, nae doot by the Spirit's prompting, that here and there he is stating his own opinion not God's ruling.

I DO say that he says things that add to or expand on what Jesus said. Not a problem - it is old doctrine that in one incarnation Jesus could not experience or say everything.

As for Deut. 12:32 What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it. [the verse in Revelation is of less clear application]: Do you not know, have you not heard, how every law, teaching, precept, whether of God or man, generates in practice a myriad comments, interpretations, corollaries which the scholar [I do not except myself nor my parents] and the lawyer [I do not except my grandparents delight to collect, codify and proclaim until the bill becomes as thick as the so-called Affordable [who can?] Care [who does?] Act [somebody will]?

Jesus had approximately three years to set it out. Let us say [I feel generous] 20% of what he said got written down and passed forward.

On the one hand, it is most true that we need no more than Matthew 22:37-40 AND engagement with the Spirit. But it is also true that the lawyers and the scholars and the institutional church - as opposed to the direct linkage of each to God - cannot leave that well enough alone. And they have not. And they do not.

Why do we need the how thick code if the Constitution be not expanded and interpreted?
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Re: Calvinism Refuted

Postby bn2bnude » Tue Dec 31, 2013 10:52 am

ezduzit wrote:
Petros wrote:"One of the points made in the book was that it was Calvin's followers who solidified the doctrines. "

This is par for the course. Par exemple [pun intended], there is some evidence that Jesus' teaching left undotted some i's [not to mention p's and q's] that followers [whether ass early as Paul or at a greater distance] have been spelling out.


Soooooooooooooooo we don`t have the Word God ? Please give the evidence that you speak of? In the mean time ponder
Ez

Deut. 12:32 What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it.

Rev.22:18 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:
19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.


I think you are overreacting a bit... Please reread what Petros wrote.

While I'd love to see some of Petros' evidence, I also know of evidence though out the New Testament where Paul, John, James, etc fleshed out doctrines that are at best, just mentioned by Jesus in our Gospels. I also know of cases where the Old Testament has been re-interpreted by the New Testament authors.

This isn't (or shouldn't be) a surprise, however, because John wrote:
John 20:30-31 (KJV) wrote:And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book:But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.
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Re: Calvinism Refuted

Postby Ramblinman » Tue Dec 31, 2013 11:30 am

The apostles had written records of Jesus, their knowledge of Judaism prior to the embellishments of the Talmud, their collective memories of his sayings that did not make it into the gospels, and the power of the Holy Spirit himself to establish the faith.

I do not know how long the Church retained doctrinal purity after the death of the apostles. During their lifetime they were busy teaching new converts and undoing the work of the Nicolatians, the "party of the circumcision" (Judaizers), the Gnostics and countless other cultic deviations of the day.

Without treating them as apostles, I pay close attention to the words of the next generation of Church fathers such as Polycarp. Later on, we encounter problematic teachings now and then from some of the early church fathers, but many Christians both Protestant, Catholic and Eastern Rite agree on most of what was taught by the Church prior to Constantine.
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Re: Calvinism Refuted

Postby jochanaan » Tue Dec 31, 2013 11:43 am

"I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come." (John 16:12-13)

Does the Bible cover in specific detail every possible action and thought pattern humans can conceive? That view doesn't seem reasonable. Part of being created in God's image is that we can in fact create relatively new things. (Not absolutely new; "there is nothing new under the sun.") No book, not even the Bible, can possibly detail every fine doctrinal point; in fact, Paul and others warn against getting too involved in "doubtful disputations." (Romans 14:1) That is why we still, and always, need to be in touch with God's Holy Spirit, Who knows all and guides all our steps, words and thoughts--if we let go and let Him do it.
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Re: Calvinism Refuted

Postby Petros » Wed Jan 01, 2014 1:05 am

I have no intention of feeding a controversy that I had no reason to expect when I said that the teachers of the church have asserted things that Jesus is not recorded as having said - which ought to be pretty much obviouis top anyone who looks.

For anyone who WANTS to look, I can recommend > http://www.creeds.net/ < as a nice easy archive of doctrinal statements old and new. I WILL drop just one example:

The Evangelical Free Church Statemernt of Faith [we thought seriously of joining them at one point, but could not sign off on the whole lined - sorry, Jerry] includes:

4. We believe that Jesus Christ is God incarnate, fully God and fully man, one Person in two natures. Jesus—Israel's promised Messiah—was conceived through the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. He lived a sinless life, was crucified under Pontius Pilate, arose bodily from the dead, ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God the Father as our High Priest and Advocate.

Fine. As it happens, we both of us firmly believe that as stated - it is only slightly expanded from the Nicene formula, and the sinless life is bei mir no stumbling block. BUT - I would love to have anyone who thinks I am an unreasonable troublemaker give chapter and verse on where in the Gospels or in Paul's vision or the Revelation [I try to be fair] each of these points is explicitly stated by Jesus.
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Re: Calvinism Refuted

Postby Ramblinman » Wed Jan 01, 2014 1:41 am

Petros wrote:...BUT - I would love to have anyone who thinks I am an unreasonable troublemaker give chapter and verse on where in the Gospels or in Paul's vision or the Revelation [I try to be fair] each of these points is explicitly stated by Jesus.


It should be obvious that all sayings of Jesus are authoritative. It should also be obvious that not all of Jesus' sayings were recorded in scripture. We simply have a significant portion enough to obtain the necessary background for salvation.
Some of these sayings heard by the apostles (but not recorded by Matthew, Mark, Luke & John) were recorded through the writers of the New Testament by the power of the Holy Spirit (who will teach you all things). Other sayings were incorporated into the life of the early church by oral tradition. That does not mean that the Church remained doctrinely pure indefinitely.
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Re: Calvinism Refuted

Postby bn2bnude » Wed Jan 01, 2014 3:05 am

Ramblinman wrote:It should be obvious that all sayings of Jesus are authoritative. It should also be obvious that not all of Jesus' sayings were recorded in scripture. We simply have a significant portion enough to obtain the necessary background for salvation.


Interesting statement.

Two thoughts. First, is it the sayings that are authoritative or the person who said them?

Second, if the statement is true (and I actually have no disagreement, although I do believe the person has the authority) I'm amazed how many people calling themselves "Christian" seem to pay no attention to them.
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Postby Petros » Wed Jan 01, 2014 10:22 am

I do not THINK Ramblinman and I are in any disagreement, thoigh it does look as if our fingertips are sliding past one another as in the well known exercise.

The problem with the Church / churcheds and the messianic dicta is pretty much what I have found in most human communication:

a. that which is unexpected often goes unheard

b. that which does not immediately compute is
1. ignored
or
2. "corrected"

c. the mind on the receiving end constructs a message whose relationship to that intended may be slight.

There is a famous experiment / game which I once adapted for one of my linguistics classes. Everyone heard a tape recording of a fellow student narrating in English an episode from his field research. Each then wrote a brief summary of what was said. They were not even close to one another - though some misheard less wildly.

Compare the chaos of creeds.net

A little surprised ar Ramblinman's emphassis on the tradition. That is a factor, but hardly guaranees a teaching, even an early teaching, can be assumed to track back to Christ.

Myself, I hold the Spirit guides and guards the doctrines of the churches as much as the paths of individual Christians. But in both cases God eschews uniformity for his [unrecorded in gospels or epistles or tradition] purposes.
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Re: Calvinism Refuted

Postby pipermac » Fri Jan 03, 2014 4:29 pm

I was raised in the Presbyterian and Reformed - hence Calvinistic tradition. I take only one exception to Calvinism, as it is classically-presented. The exception relates to the last of the five points of Calvinism.

As a refresher:
T - Total depravity
U - Unconditional election
L - Limited atonement
I - Irresistible grace
P - Perseverance of the Saints.

From my own personal experience, I know that, apart from God's grace and enabling power, I am totally unable to live my life in a manner pleasing to Him. It was only by His grace that all the obstacles to my salvation were overcome. Since He did it ALL to secure my salvation, am I then capable of keeping myself saved, pure and holy?

That last question is what drives my exception to "perseverance of the Saints". If the last point were "preservation of the Saints", I would be completely on board. If I wasn't being PRESERVED by the indwelling and power of the Holy Spirit, I could never muster enough "goodness" of my own. His preserving enables my perseverance.

As I look back over 2013...a year from hell, I have no doubt that God has placed me where I am to strip away my "props"...the "normal" things that had sustained me previously. He wants my heart and my total trust, not just bits and pieces of it. He is working in my life, and sometimes it is pretty tough sledding, but praise God, He hasn't given up on me and left me to my own devises.

I am naked and unashamed in Christ!

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Re: Calvinism Refuted

Postby bn2bnude » Fri Jan 03, 2014 5:17 pm

I'm jumbling up the post above to provide a more (in my head) organized discussion.
pipermac wrote:From my own personal experience, I know that, apart from God's grace and enabling power, I am totally unable to live my life in a manner pleasing to Him. It was only by His grace that all the obstacles to my salvation were overcome. Since He did it ALL to secure my salvation, am I then capable of keeping myself saved, pure and holy?

That last question is what drives my exception to "perseverance of the Saints". If the last point were "preservation of the Saints", I would be completely on board. If I wasn't being PRESERVED by the indwelling and power of the Holy Spirit, I could never muster enough "goodness" of my own. His preserving enables my perseverance.


It's interesting that of the "classic" sides of armeanism and calvinism, this is the one that is the most common. I know there are people on both sides that take things to extreme.

pipermac wrote:As I look back over 2013...a year from hell, I have no doubt that God has placed me where I am to strip away my "props"...the "normal" things that had sustained me previously. He wants my heart and my total trust, not just bits and pieces of it. He is working in my life, and sometimes it is pretty tough sledding, but praise God, He hasn't given up on me and left me to my own devises.


I'm pretty convinced that God never gives up on us but, as I'm not a calvinist I can say this, we can give up on God. There is too much scriptural evidence that God doesn't give up. Hosea, Romans 8, etc.

pipermac wrote:I was raised in the Presbyterian and Reformed - hence Calvinistic tradition. I take only one exception to Calvinism, as it is classically-presented. The exception relates to the last of the five points of Calvinism.
As a refresher:
T - Total depravity
U - Unconditional election
L - Limited atonement
I - Irresistible grace
P - Perseverance of the Saints.

I have issues with the first four items personally. Reading Roger Olsen's "Against Calvinism", however, softened my view against Total Depravity as he presented a softer definition than many I've read.

To me, Unconditional Election is a polar opposite free will. On the other hand, I've heard many stories of people who are not at all connected with a church (atheist, communist, etc) with no other religious influences and Jesus appeared to them.

To me, limited atonement is directly opposed to the inclusive nature of scripture like John 3:16 and 2 Cor 5:11-19 for just 2 examples.

Like unconditional election, Irresistable Grace seems to be a polar opposite of free will.

Maybe the issue is we (humans) have cooked up our theology to describe the way God works in our lives. Since, however, he is a much bigger God than even our greatest thinkers, maybe he doesn't just work in one way in particular. This may be the tension we see between theological views.
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