Let's be reasonable with one another, shall we?

Sunday, November 20, 2005

TULIP … Unconditional Election, part 1

I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. (Exodus 33:19)

After I was born-again and had read through the Bible a couple of times and was studying it, I first heard of the words of TULIP ... the 5 points being simply listed to me. I remember my first impression was that Unconditional Election probably means that a person who calls on the name of the Lord, believing and appropriating Christ's work on Calvary, is received without condition. I sure was wrong on that one … I was very naïve! I came to learn that what the Calvinists actually believe, as represented by this point in the popular acrostic, is that God has chosen those who would respond to him before the earth even existed ... and certainly before they ever existed.

According to this soteriological construct, everyone’s eternal destiny is completely predetermined. I recall hearing the term double predestination. This was said with disdain by a certain 4 point Calvinist. “God does not predestine people for hell; he only predestines the elect for heaven.” Well, it didn’t take much logical reasoning to understand that if God didn’t choose you, then he was predestinating you for hell. No way around that one. I can certainly then understand how the next step logically follows this one. (But we will deal with the “L” at another time.)

Was I unconditionally elect before placing faith in Christ? Was I unconditionally loved? No. I was an object of wrath, headed for eternal death. If the doctrine of Unconditional Election is true, I didn’t even need to place my trust in Jesus Christ and His work on Calvary on my behalf. Of course I WOULD do it, according to Calvinist theology, but I didn’t need to. The logical outworking of this theology is that the salvation was already there. I was already unconditionally elected. God had predetermined that I would be saved. According to TULIP, I was, in effect, saved before I was ever born. And anyone who is ever redeemed was redeemed before they were ever born. God chose them; they did nothing, believed nothing, and had faith in nothing to come to salvation.

According to TULIP, people don’t really have any input into their salvation because God is controlling everything, even their choices. A Christian may think he has placed his faith in Christ, but really, God determined in eternity past that He would breathe His Holy Spirit into this individual. Next, the Spirit, having given him new life, would cause him to understand the message of the gospel by “granting faith”. God would then cause the individual to call on the name of Lord and ... he is saved. So, if someone doesn’t believe the gospel, and doesn’t become saved, it is because he wasn’t predestined to do so.

One person puts it this way: “As a depraved being I was running towards hell as fast as my legs could take me, but the God who made me, loved me, even before I was born, and determined to save me. And if anyone is ever saved, it is solely based on His 'Unconditionally Electing' power.” This is quite an interesting thought. God chooses certain people over others. He loves them. The logical counter point, then, is that God hates others. This brings to mind a few of the things some people said to me when I first was born-again. I was telling of the wonderful way in which God had changed my life. This was all meant to bring God glory and encourage them to turn to Christ also, of course. A few of them said to me “Oh so you think you are special and better than the rest of us.” I was so perplexed by that. I insisted that no, I was not special; anyone could receive the free gift of salvation. In fact, it was the opposite … becoming saved had more to do with recognizing that I was quite wicked and calling on the One who shed His blood for that wickedness. “How am I saying that I think I am special? Anyone can receive this gift.” I just didn’t get why people would respond to me that way. Now I think I may understand why. Maybe they had met up with some of Calvin’s doctrines before they met me. How naïve I was!

Do I understand this correctly?

part 2: is it Biblical and right to promote such a doctrine?


  • Romans 10: 13 "For whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved."

    I believe that God calls to Himself those who will believe in His Son, Jesus Christ

    Revelation 22:17 "And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely."

    Matthew 22:14 says, "For many are called, but few are chosen (elected)." God clearly does choose, but man must also accept God's invitation to salvation.

    If we believe that God is our Father , how can we also believe that of some of the childern that He has made He will send them to hell for no reason,but that He wanted to or didn't call them.

    Good going Rose, but very sad for them

    By Blogger forgiven, at 11/20/2005 3:18 PM  

  • Great stuff, Rose~~~~~!!!!!

    I totally agree. I was worried you might give us vague sentiemnts about divine mysteries and paradoxes, but I should have had more faith.

    You are so level-headed.

    Every Blessing in Christ


    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 11/20/2005 4:09 PM  

  • forgiven,
    Thanks for listing scriptures. Thanks for reading and commenting.

    The vague sentiments/divine mysteries will come in the next post! Here, I am merely stating what I think this doctrine to mean, not really analyzing it's merit until the next installment. Thanks for the compliment anyway!

    If I am misrepresenting the teaching, please let me know before I move on. (I have a straw man on my porch, but I don't want one on my blog). ;~)

    By Blogger Rose~, at 11/20/2005 4:40 PM  

  • Interesting note on Blogging : Here's a quick thought wouldn't it be better to be in person and study this from the scripture. I write long stuff instead of just saying it would be easier and studying it together with friend.


    I've got a sour taste in my mouth. Why because I love the Bible and love to study it and I recall these feelings about 5 years ago and thinking exactly like this and the best thing to calm my confusion was just to get my theology from the bible. Luckily I didn't know so much about calvinism, but just stuck with the bible. That's the point are you in awe of the scriptures and listening intently when it refers to election and being aware there. What does it matter in the end if Calvin believed something unless it was biblical. I hope to not offend but here some things to consider it.

    There are some things wrong in this article let me focus on about what you believe calvinists believe but I'll start from one thing. One of the things most electionists (my friend Bhedr makes a good point) believe in is Compatiblism. That God's Sovereignty is to be taken into consideration with Man's Responsibility in the scriptures. To see more on God's sovereignty check out this biblical analysis of biblical statements about God sovereignty link

    I see your struggle with election the same way the early first century readers of Romans had as well. Now if your frustration is from annoying calvinists that is fine, but how do you deal with Romans 9. Paul acknowledges this in verse 14 and 19 in his letter talking about Jacob's election over Esau, but at the same time gives them a stern rebuke. It's against what we like to hear.

    How does one fully answer your statements without going through what Paul said in Romans 9 with going through line by line and comparing to what you said to Paul.

    Romans 9

    6 But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel,

    7 and not all are children of Abraham because they are his offspring, but “Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.”

    8 This means that it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise are counted as offspring.

    9 For this is what the promise said: “About this time next year I will return and Sarah shall have a son.”

    10 And not only so, but also when Rebecca had conceived children by one man, our forefather Isaac,

    11 though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad—in order that God's purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of his call—

    12 she was told, “The older will serve the younger.”

    13 As it is written, “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.”

    14 What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God's part? By no means!

    15 For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.”

    16 So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy.

    17 For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.”

    18 So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills.

    19 You will say to me then, “Why does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?”

    20 But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, “Why have you made me like this?”

    21 Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honored use and another for dishonorable use?

    22 What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction,

    23 in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory—

    By Blogger Shawn L, at 11/20/2005 5:34 PM  

  • Forgiven,

    You said "God clearly does choose, but man must also accept God's invitation to salvation. "

    All Christians believe that elect people or the Sheep in Jesus' words are people who come to faith in Christ.

    So are you saying God's election is contingent upon their acceptance. The bible makes it clear that they are later justified because they are elected in the first place before the any part of their human will is concerned creation of the world (Ephesians 1 & 9 are clear), not because they accepted the invitation. Oh course they accept the invitation, but the election itself is not based upon our human will (See Romans 9:11; 16 and Ephesians 1:11 in context).

    Also another surprisingly lost interest in election keeps us from realizing why God has put this topic in the scriptures. Election should be taught to us for praise and sometimes these topics leave people lost. The purpose in election being taught to use is in Romans 9:23 and Ephesians 1:11

    So that we see the glory of God and his greatness to work in the world when we are in despair. God is glorified through some of the most dismal circumstances in working all things according to his council and greatness.

    Romans 9:23 " in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory"

    Ephesians 1:11 "In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will,

    Blessings in Christ,
    Shawn Lynes

    By Blogger Shawn L, at 11/20/2005 5:48 PM  

  • Hi Rose,

    I know we've had this discussion before, but just a quick note for newcomers:

    I think the election took place on the basis of absolute merit. As such, it resulted in the choosing of only one person: Jesus Christ the righteous:

    "Behold! My Servant whom I uphold, My Elect One in whom My soul delights!"
    (Isa 42:1)

    God does not say 'one of my elect' as if one of many, but 'My Elect One' which means one and only (see Gal 3:16).

    This is something I call the 'election proper' (as opposed to the election of grace, which pertains to the Jews as the natural brances of the salvation 'tree'). Only Jesus is the elect one, or chosen one, of God, in this sense. And when we believe and are joined with Him in salvation, we become chosen in Him:

    "just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love."
    (Eph 1:4)

    In other words we are not saved because we are elect. Jesus alone is elect; and we are chosen in Him because we are saved.

    By Blogger loren, at 11/20/2005 6:04 PM  

  • I'm putting in back to back 80 hour weeks at work and need to spend time with my family, so I may not have time to discuss this.

    Shawn's comments are right on target.

    By Blogger Earl, at 11/20/2005 7:08 PM  

  • It has been a long, long time since I have actually read any of Calvin'w writings, or many others' for that matter.

    I choose to just read scripture and do my best to take it all in the context of the whole.

    If the Bible is God's revelation of His love for His creation and His plan for its redemption, and if we spread this thickly over whatever we are reading, we usually get it right.

    By Blogger Joe, at 11/20/2005 7:45 PM  

  • Hi Rose

    In John 12:46-48 He said, "I am come as a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on Me should not abide in darkness. And if any man hear My words, and believe not, I judge him not; for I came, not to judge the world but to save the world. He that rejecteth Me, and receiveth not My words, hath One that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day."

    Stephen'sActs 7:51, "Ye stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost; as your fathers did, so do ye

    He that rejecteth Me,

    If you reject, then someone has to give you something.

    How do you resist the Holy Ghost
    unless He is trying to give you something.

    The Lord has tried to chose and give them His free gift but, they refuse.

    By Blogger forgiven, at 11/20/2005 8:52 PM  

  • Shawn, first of all, I wish you wouldn't have a sour taste in your mouth. I am not trying to be appalling to you or any of my Calvinist friends. I like youall and I don't mean to offend.

    Secondly, I am quite in awe of Scripture for it is the very words of God and the gospel of Christ ...which is the power of God unto salvation to the Jew first and also to the Greek.

    You seem to think I am questioning God. This is how a lot of Calvinists react to my analysis. But listen, I am questioning John Calvin's theology, his interpretation, not the Bible. There is a difference.

    Romans 9 is dealing with Israel and the question of why God was not saving the Jewish nation at that time. If you read the whole thing with this in mind, it makes a lot more sense (to me, anyway). There was a purpose to this chapter (actually ch 9-11) When it mentions the names Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, Essau, Pharoah, it is clear he was talking about the peoples, the nations they represent. He is not just singling out 5 men from history and telling us their eternal destiny.

    The Jewish believers, including Paul, were heartbroken that their nation was perishing and the majority of Jews were not believers in their own Messiah. Israel was chosen of God, yet in this passage, God is saying that He has rejected them because they had no faith (as a nation) in the Messiah. The question is in this Romans passage is, "how can God reject those whom he has elected?!" Israel had been elected, not for eternal life, but as a nation, for a certain priveledge and duty. This passage doesn't even say anything about individual salvation or destiny beyond the grave. It is about God's dealings with nations. And the real beauty, of this passage is that you and I, if we are not Jews, have now been afforded the gospel. Because God's plan was to save based on faith and not the physical seed alone, the gospel was spread among the gentile nations.

    Do you see what I am saying? Think about the intent of the writer, not the "doctrines of Grace."

    Further, notice in verses 30-32. Here we find the very new testament doctrine that is so beloved. Salvation is afforded the gentiles because it is not of natural seed, nor of works, but of faith!! Anyone from any nation who believes in Christ, Yeshua, will not be put to shame!

    Thanks for your comments and for interacting. Keep coming back! (bring some mints) ;~)

    By Blogger Rose~, at 11/20/2005 9:50 PM  

  • SHAWN,
    As the Calvinist here, can you tell me am I misrepresenting the teaching? Please let me know if I am before I move on.

    I am going to deal with that in my small way in the other half of this post. It was so long, I divided it into two parts.

    Earl, aw shucks!! I always appreciate your even-tempered comments. Maybe you could just tell me if I am representing the doctrine truthfully. I don't want to set up the proverbial "straw man".

    a part of me really hates this discussion ... a big part of me. But I also think it is a good exercise, if, for nothing else, it gets me really thimking about scripture. I am not reading any of Calvin's books right now, I am just looking to the Bible and analyzing this stuff. I have learned much about Calvinism just from blogs, believe it or not, and discussion with the many Calvinists I know. That is also the reason why I wanted to deal with it on my own blog. Because everywhere I turn, there it is, sort of "in your face" as it were.
    Thanks for stopping by!

    you ask a good question. I hope a reader here will answer it.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 11/20/2005 10:02 PM  

  • I do not view election, calling, or predestination when encountered in the Bible, as having anything to do with any kind of choice of who or who is not going to be redeemed.

    Choosing is unto service, responsibility, and office.

    When Jesus says, "You have not chosen me but I have chosen you" it is true! He chose only 12 apostles for the work, service, responsibility and office of apostleship. It is the Calvinist who must read into this the concept of "I have chosen you for eternal life".

    Predestination is to mark out beforehand a destiny that in some senses in unconditional, and in other senses are contingent, but having to do with blessings and opportunities that attend salvation, but does not deal with eternal life itself. No where does the Bible talk about predestination unto eternal life.

    The way these words were understood in the 1st century is quite different than many understand them today. The teaching of Calvinism regarding their doctrine of Unconditional Election did not reside at all in the early church but was formulated by Augustine.

    My Free Grace Theology Blog


    By Blogger Antonio, at 11/20/2005 11:34 PM  

  • Rose, I don't recognize the doctrines of Calvinism here. Let me go over some of what you said.

    “I recall hearing the term double predestination.”

    Let’s keep this for another discussion. This is under debate inside Calvinism. There is a view called supralapsarianism (which has double predestination) and infralapsarianism (which does not, it’s the view I hold, and the implied view of the Westminster Confession of Faith). This is a long discussion for another time.

    “Was I unconditionally elect before placing faith in Christ?”

    This is true in Calvinsim.

    “Was I unconditionally loved?”

    For the elect, this is true in Calvinism.

    “I was an object of wrath, headed for eternal death.”

    For the elect, this is false.

    “If the doctrine of Unconditional Election is true, I didn’t even need to place my trust in Jesus Christ and His work on Calvary on my behalf.”

    This is false in Calvinism. It is not a logical inference in Calvinism.

    “If the doctrine of Unconditional Election is true, I didn’t even need to place my trust in Jesus Christ and His work on Calvary on my behalf.”

    This is false in Calvinism.

    “According to TULIP, I was, in effect, saved before I was ever born..”

    This is false in Calvinism. The elect in God as saved only when they place their faith in Christ.

    “And anyone who is ever redeemed was redeemed before they were ever born.”

    This is false in Calvinism. Redemption was accomplished at a point in time by Christ’s death, but it is not applied to the elect until they believe.

    “According to TULIP, people don’t really have any input into their salvation because God is controlling everything, even their choices.”

    This is false in Calvinism. Read in the London Baptist Confession on free will. The early Baptists were Calvinists and they took their confession of faith from the Westminster Confession of Faith and changed it to suit what they saw as true for baptism and other areas.

    “So, if someone doesn’t believe the gospel, and doesn’t become saved, it is because he wasn’t predestined to do so.”

    Now finally you make a true statement about Calvinism.

    “This is quite an interesting thought. God chooses certain people over others. He loves them. The logical counter point, then, is that God hates others.”

    A false dichotomy. This error is made by many Calvinists too. I recommend a short book: The Difficult Doctrine of the Love of God by D.A. Carson.

    By Blogger Earl, at 11/21/2005 12:11 AM  

  • Rose,
    I have never read any of Calvin's works. My Calvinism developed over time purely from scripture. One friend of mine and I had some discussions about Calvinism in 1978 and he left it at that. Since then my whole personal belief system developed mostly independant of the writings of men, with only little exposure to Spurgeon etc. That is one of your straw men- calvinism only exists when people are exposed to his writings-I was not. I purposely stayed away from Calvin because of his treatment of Servetus. I was turned off by that and did not want to deal with his writings.

    It has been only in the past 8 years that I have even started reading the writings of these men. I do so because it is good to know history and also I am the least well read man in my congregation. But, my belief system is every bit as strong as any of the men in my church- only mine was formulated in my own personal study times without the writings of the Reformers.

    Your approach to Romans 9 is a typical Dispensational one. While I must acknowledge that not all Christians are Calvinist you must acknowledge that not all Christians are Dispensationalists. I for one embrace New Covenant Theology after having been a Dispensationalist.

    Also, men must believe to be saved:
    John 3:16-21;Acts 16:31;Romans 3:24-31;Romans 4:1-25 and Hebrews 11:6. Only the hper-calvinist would down-play the role of faith in our coming to Christ.

    Paul was a predestinarian. Anybody who preaches a message different than what he preached throughout scripture is a hyper-calvinst when it comes to the role of faith.

    The glory of God is that He took a sinfull wretch like me and regenerated me,and gave me the faith to call out to Him as my only hope. And He did so without my doing anything to get His attention.

    Look at the apostle Paul in Acts 9:1-30.Paul was a man who hated Christ and His people. Suddenly his life is changed-a complete 180 degrees When He met the life-changing Savior. He was unconditionally chosen to be a servant of Christ. Pay close attention to Acts 9:6-16. Christ already had a mission for Paul even before Paul's encounter with Ananias.See especially verses 15-16.The plan for Paul was quite obviously pre-ordained, and he certainly did nothing to impress God to plan to use him as such a way.

    To me the whole account of Paul's conversion suplies us with a great picture of "UNCONDTIONAL ELECTION".

    I suffer from The Healthy Blog Addiction of rr. I am a friend and do not intend to sound like I am angry. rr is part of my daily routine and shall continue to be so.

    With Much Respect,
    Mark D. Pierson

    By Blogger bluecollar, at 11/21/2005 12:37 AM  

  • Earl,

    there is quite the difference between something that may be false in the stated, written works of Calvinism, yet true as the logical conclusions of the doctrines of Calvinism.

    It is my experience that Calvinism is riddled with inconsistencies and contradictions.

    For example, Calvinists like to say "sola fide" in one breath and say that faith can't be alone apart from works in the next.

    Some of the things Rose is saying may not be explicitly articulated in the writings of Calvinism, but they are the logical conclusions of their doctrine.

    About the love things, here is R.C. Sproul:

    "It was certainly loving of God to predestine the salvation of His people, those the Bible calls the 'elect or chosen ones.' It is the non-elect that are the problem. If some people are not elected unto salvation then it would seem that God is not all that loving toward them. For them it seems that it would have been more loving of God not to have allowed them to be born. That may indeed be the case." (R.C. Sproul, Chosen by God, 36)

    ("Not all that loving toward them" may be one of the greatest theological understatements of all time!)

    Read more at this link to my blog.

    Calvinists spend more time trying to convert evangelicals then they do preaching their own gospel.

    Blue Collar, you write:

    Paul was a predestinarian
    Not in the Calvinistic sense!

    Paul was elected to service, it is also shown in his account that he at first was resisting! (Kicking against the goads).

    By Blogger Antonio, at 11/21/2005 2:01 AM  

  • Forgiven,

    I am a confessional Calvinist. This means I subscribe to one or more confessions as being a good summary of what the Bible teaches. Given that I'm a conservative Presbyterian, I subscribe to the Westminster Confession and Catechisms. If you want to show Calvinism false to me, read and attack the Westminster Confession of Faith. That is the standard by which I define Calvinism.

    You say, "Some of the things Rose is saying may not be explicitly articulated in the writings of Calvinism, but they are the logical conclusions of their doctrine."

    Show how the following statement is a logical conclusion of Calvinism: "If the doctrine of Unconditional Election is true, I didn’t even need to place my trust in Jesus Christ and His work on Calvary on my behalf.”

    I'd like to see how you'd prove that is a necessary conclusion of Calvinism.

    By Blogger Earl, at 11/21/2005 3:45 AM  

  • Response to Bluecollar-

    I would be cautitous about using Paul's election as a model for election in general. That his election was unconditional does not prove ours is.

    Paul's lection was primarily in terms of service, though certainly he received salvation.

    Is it not possible that he could have rejected God's call to him on the Damascus Road? Probably not, but the possbility is surely there.

    The comment about his resisting the goad (absent in most modern translations) indicates he had been resisting God's call.

    Every Blessing in Christ


    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 11/21/2005 3:53 AM  

  • Earl was responding to Antonio, I believe, not forgiven.

    You people stay up too late!!!

    By Blogger Rose~, at 11/21/2005 7:34 AM  

  • Earl,
    You're right. The Calvinist writers that I have read do not state the things I have stated in my post. It is just reasoning through their premises ...forward and back... brings me to say those things. The person doesn't need to place their faith in Christ because God gives them the faith and then they use God's gift to trust Christ. It is not their faith. See what I mean?

    Labels aside ... (I really hate labels and I, like you, have gotten theology from reading the Bible, not bunches of books) ... Dispensational or New Covenantal, do you really think that Paul's intention in Romans chapter 9 was to single out 5 men, tell us that their eternal destinies, heaven or hell, were chosen before they were born ... and by giving us this information, cause us to conclude that everyone's final end is predetermined before they are born? Really?

    Friendlily, (new word)

    By Blogger Rose~, at 11/21/2005 7:55 AM  

  • The Bible gives us not a word as to the eternal destiny of Esau. It seems highly unlikely that the promise of blessings ot Jacob had anything to do with the denial of eternal life to Esau.

    God Bless

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 11/21/2005 8:24 AM  

  • Sister Rose(any relation to the Cornelius brothers...oh,never mind, probably way before your time),

    I believe the focus should be verses 11,15-16,18-21. I believe these supply us with a glimps of how God operates and has operated from the begining.

    By Blogger bluecollar, at 11/21/2005 10:12 AM  

  • Brother Matthew,
    I have searched my concordance and cannot find one good thing God has said of Esau. Esau is last mentioned in Heb.12:16 as a "fornicator and profane person". I have yet to find God ever to speak of His own that way.

    I like you, do you think we can be friends when this painfull debate is over?

    Your Bother,
    Mark D. Pierson

    By Blogger bluecollar, at 11/21/2005 10:20 AM  

  • Genesis 25 23 The LORD said to her, "Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples from within you will be separated; one people will be stronger than the other, and the older will serve the younger."

    This verse shows from Genesis that the two men represent nations. How is my understanding then in Romans of them being nations written off as dispensational?

    By Blogger Rose~, at 11/21/2005 10:29 AM  

  • Mark, I am not running from that passage. I am embracing it...see it at the top of my post?

    11Yet, before the twins were born or had done anything good or bad—in order that God's purpose in election might stand 15For he says to Moses, "I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion." 16It does not, therefore, depend on man's desire or effort, but on God's mercy. 17For the Scripture says to Pharaoh: "I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth." 18Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden.

    19One of you will say to me: "Then why does God still blame us? For who resists his will?" 20But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? "Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, 'Why did you make me like this?' " 21Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use?

    Mark, I see this as pertaining to God working out His soveriegn plan for the nation of Israel, so the whole world be exposed to the gospel, especially when seen in light of the rest of Romans ... and the whole Bible, for that matter. Individual predestination for heavan and hell is not here. FAITH vs. WORKS is where we end up here ... and that is who God has chosen to have mercy on, not Israel by nationality for the time being, but on THOSE WHO WOULD COME TO HIM BY FAITH.

    It is not so painful of a debate ... it is good for us to question the doctrines of men.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 11/21/2005 10:45 AM  

  • Bluecollar,
    Of course we can be friends. I find it is Calvinists who get upset over this issue rather than Arminians or I-am-not-a-Calvinist-or-an-Arminian-ists. Do you get emotional when you discuss this? I guess your doctrine is important to you. I might get a bit uptight if someone was challenging my Premillennialism.

    As for Esau, he was probably lost, as the Bible has nothing good to see about him, he was a wicked old fornicator. However, Jacob was elected to blessings rather than salvation (at least according to the texts on the subject). So, we should not conclude that Esau was denied the chance of salvation because he was denied the promise to Abraham.

    Every Blessing in Christ


    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 11/21/2005 11:06 AM  

  • Matthew, sometimes I have felt my blood boil over this issue, but I find the more I discuss it and look into it, the less upsetting it is.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 11/21/2005 11:48 AM  

  • Rose, just as with any group, including Dispensationalists, there are people who are imprecise with their statements about doctrine, so there are with Calvinists (and that includes me!). That is why you'll rarely see me quote from another Calvinist author. What I will do is refer to the Westminster Confession of Faith or the London Baptist Confession for a standard definition of Calvinism.

    So, using these confessions as the standard deinfintion of Calvinism, let's take your statement: "If the doctrine of Unconditional Election is true, I didn’t even need to place my trust in Jesus Christ and His work on Calvary on my behalf.”

    The Westminster Confession starts its section on faith (WCF 14.1) as: "The grace of faith, whereby the elect are enabled to believe to the saving faith of their souls..." gives us information of the Calvinist viewpoint of the gift of faith. The gift is where God works in the heart of a person so that where they hated God, they now believe God. This is the sense of the gift. Hence the person is exercising faith, faith that is coming from them, but God had reconstituted their heart so that they have faith.

    This is why your conclusion about Calvinism as defined in the Westminster Confession of Faith and the London Baptist Confession does not follow.

    By Blogger Earl, at 11/21/2005 12:13 PM  

  • God can see into one's heart and can tell the begin from the end.To make that statement of hating his child, God had to have a resin for saying that.

    I have trouble thinking that God just hates someone because He can.Do you really believe God's plan before the fundation of the earth was ; "I going to make these childern that I will save , be with me forever".Then he said; "I'm making these childern to burn in Hell forever"

    Can you really believe that and call Him Father. I believe that when my Father saw just one of His childern heading toward hell, He did everthing to warn them. As a Loving Father He would.

    By Blogger forgiven, at 11/21/2005 12:22 PM  

  • So, forgiven, I gave you a challange to show why a statement made by Rose must logically follow from the premises of Calvinism. Rose was kind enough to show her reasoning, which I greatly appreciate. How about your's? Remember, the starting premises are the Westminster Confession of Faith or the London Baptist Confession.

    Thanks. :O)

    By Blogger Earl, at 11/21/2005 12:50 PM  

  • Earl, back to your comments above,

    “I was an object of wrath, headed for eternal death.”

    For the elect, this is false.

    if you will put up with me a little longer ... Are you saying that the a person who has not yet been born-again by trusting in Christ with faith ... is not an object of wrath, not headed for hell ... if he is elect, in the Calvinist sense?

    Wouldn't the basic teaching for this then be that salvation from hell is by election and not by faith?

    By Blogger Rose~, at 11/21/2005 1:27 PM  

  • Rose, thank you for your patience. You write: "Wouldn't the basic teaching for this then be that salvation from hell is by election and not by faith?"

    This is the logical fallacy that for two logical propositions, A and B, if A is true, then B must be false. When you look at it abstractly like this, you can see the problem with this kind of reasoning.

    God's election does not produce salvation -- that is yet to come. It means salvation will occur. Faith is what is required for salvation. Since the elect will be ultimately saved, it logically follows that those elect will have faith.

    Thus your earlier conclusion is not a necessary conclusion for Calvinism.

    By Blogger Earl, at 11/21/2005 2:02 PM  

  • A good deal of the argument hinges on where faith originates from. I do not think the Calvinist premise that faith is purely a gift of God is very certain.

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 11/21/2005 3:21 PM  

  • Dyspraxic,

    You've identified another part of the issue. There is:

    (a) The logical consistency of the Calvinist position, which is what Rose was dealing with.

    (b) The Biblical fidelity of the Calvinist position, which is what you seem to be bring up.

    The tenor of Rose's post on election seemed to be the logical consistency of Calvinism, that is what my focus has been. Your point is a whole other kettle of fish. :o)

    By Blogger Earl, at 11/21/2005 4:00 PM  

  • How about this: what is the logically consistent, biblical truth?

    By Blogger Rose~, at 11/21/2005 4:13 PM  

  • By the way, Earl, when you keep addressing "forgiven" with your question, are you sure you are not meaning to address Antonio? Was it not his original statements that you were challenging?

    By Blogger Rose~, at 11/21/2005 4:16 PM  

  • Rose, you're right. I am going with lack of sleep so I'm missing some of this. My apologies. It's my long work hours.

    By Blogger Earl, at 11/21/2005 4:38 PM  

  • Rose asked, "How about this: what is the logically consistent, biblical truth?"

    That is Calvinism as specified in the Westminster Confession of Faith. That is the epitome of logically consistent biblical truth. As my math professors would say after a long proof, this is obvious to the most casual observer. :o)

    By Blogger Earl, at 11/21/2005 5:28 PM  

  • Earl and Matthew,
    I think Matthew has hit the nail on the head! Someday I will really delve into that question with fervor, but, I touch on it the next part of this post ... coming in the next couple of hours.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 11/21/2005 6:21 PM  

  • Sorry Earl, you are very good at keeping the issues in focus.

    God Bless


    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 11/22/2005 4:08 AM  

  • Forgiven,

    John 12:46-48 is a great truth about how God is the light of the world, but the real issue is that God has given us ears to hear and eyes to see.

    That's all over John as well, and this verse doesn't negate election. How does this negate exactly with election or the call of God itself is not based on human will according to scripture (Romans 9:11; 16 Ephesians 1:11) . Of course the elect all accept the invitation to come to Christ at some point

    Acts 7:51 : So true many many people resist the Holy Spirit. God has called all men outwardly to repent and they reject the gospel. This goes along with alll the statements in scripture.


    My statements "sour taste" is confusing. My point is I sometime think we miss the point of this doctrine in the bible. I want to learn doctrine to grow in praise and sometimes these discussions don't help people learn to praise and pray more.

    I'm not bugged with you at all, just mean I remember being very confused in this and it didn't lead to more praise for quite some time.

    Romans 9 clearly indicated specific people. Of course in the context Romans 9-11 is referring to national Israel, but don't assume it is not referring directly to a person.

    Onto Romans 9.

    Not all Israel is Israel or in my interpretation based on context (Not all those within Israel are the Israel/elect of God). He is going on to show that Jacob was elect by God before he even did anything good or bad before he even did anything good or bad. It was based on God's mercy that God has given him mercy and saved him.

    I have explained simply how you are misrepresenting calvinism. God's Sovereignty and man's responsibility to have faith are compatible (spelled wrong).

    Actually your view is the same as John Hagee, I guess that's the only one I have found this view. I guess I'm not watching the average person research this. If you have read or listened to MacArthur (a leaky dispensationalist = biblical) he has some good concerns about taking an excessive dispensational view about salvation between the dispensations. Most dispensationalists believe that God has always justified believers through faith alone. Those who seperate faith from works and Lord from Savior tend to take their dispensationalism too far and be careful about constantly not assuming it is for you as it was written for those of the house of Israel.

    Personal note : I hope either way you all believe about election that you would see and delight in the Lord. That seems to be the purpose of what election is written throughout the scriptures. Consider all of them and delight and see that the Lord is good.

    By Blogger Shawn L, at 11/22/2005 11:06 PM  

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