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

Friday, July 25, 2008

Some Thoughts on the Doctrines of Grace vs. Baptist Calvinism

OK, below is a comment exchange between myself and Colin Maxwell back in 2007. He ask me a question and then I answer him. I wonder if anyone (including, of course, Colin) has any thoughts on what I say here. I am really curious as to whether or not any of you have noticed anything similar or made this observation ... or is it just in my head?

First, I said this to an local anonymous commenter that was sniping at me for going to a "Calvinist" church:
Rose said:
The church I go to is "Calvinist" in the sense that most everyone believes in ETERNAL SECURITY and that SALVATION IS A GIFT NOT OF WORKS. From what I understand ... in the last 100 or so years around these parts, that was what "Calvinist" really meant to people. A majority in our church would not recognize the newer "Doctrines of Grace" Calvinism.

Colin Maxwell said:
Genuinely and lovingly interested in "the newer "Doctrines of Grace" Calvinism". How old/young are these? In your own time.
By goodnightsafehome at 3/7/2007

Rose said:
Colin,
I do have a basis for saying "newer" and here it is... It might be different in Ireland, but around these parts, in the GARBC circles ... (General Association of Regular Baptist Churches) and other Baptist circles, there has been a certain cap on Calvinistic thought. That is changing... I did not mean to say that the "d.o.g." were newer altogether ... I know better than that... but "newer" in influence around these parts and in these circles.

Here is a good example of the naiveté about "Calvinism" by Dr. Ron Comfort:
"When I was a college student, I was naive enough to think that everybody was either an Arminian ora Calvinist, and the determining factor was whether or not they accepted the security of the believer.When somebody would come to you and say, “Are you a Calvinist?,” if you believed in the security ofthe believer, you would say, “Yes, I’m a Calvinist.” Later on as I got to studying more about Calvinism,I realized that there was more involved in Calvinism than the security of the believer.

I exerpted that from an article here.

I know people, who, while not that "green" about it, they just won't carry the thoughts out to the extremes that the "d.o.g." do. They will say they believe in the doctrine of "Total Depravity" but they don't interpret this as "Inability". TD just means to them that man has nothing good to offer to God ... he is tainted by sin. It doesn't mean that He is not able to believe something that God has shown through the testimony of the HS. These same "Calvinists" will not say that Christ did not die for all, but that His death was not "efficacious" for all. They don't believe in "regeneration preceding faith" or that "faith is a gift." They don't recognize "perseverence of the saints" as the "d.o.g." spells it out, but they would simply present it as resembling "Eternal Security" or (as now scourged by MacArthur Calvinists) "OSAS."

They will tell you that the way they were taught it at BBC or FaithBBC was not what is being spelled out in the "d.o.g."Very simple.

While I might agree with someone who says that the "d.o.g." is just carrying out TULIP in its totality to its logical conclusions ....there it is.

"Calvinism" in the Midwest of the US was not the same as the "doctrines of grace" that we now see in the Midwest of the US. There never used to be much of a "Reformed Baptist" church in existence either. That would have been thought to be a contradiction of terms.

87 Comments:

  • Great thoughts Rose!

    I am very much in favor of the security of the believer but might part ways with some on what that means.

    I think that the parable of the sower and the seed is a good example of the different types of (loosely speaking) "believers".. some, but not all, are secure.

    By Blogger Kansas Bob, at 7/25/2008 2:12 PM  

  • Rose,

    That article from Dr. Comfort at Ambassador is right on. Thanks for linking to it again. God Bless.

    By Blogger David Wyatt, at 7/25/2008 6:33 PM  

  • Hi Rose, good post,

    I think the difference comes down to the way we answer these two questions:

    1) What is the means by which God offers salvation - by our good works, by faith in Jesus, or by his eternal decree?

    2) After becoming Christians, how are we kept saved? (same three options: works, faith, or decree).

    It's my experience that the d.o.g.
    Calvinists answer decree, decree. God decrees who will be saved and decrees that they will persevere.

    However, most Baptists answer faith, decree. We must believe in Christ, then God seals us.

    Now, as an Arminian I would say faith, faith. I must believe in Jesus to be saved, and I must keep on believing to be saved in the end.

    I recognize however, that even though the Calvinists and Baptists views are both "eternal security", the Baptist view is closer to mine. And the Baptist view allows that God truly desires that everyone be saved.

    By Blogger Pizza Man, at 7/25/2008 8:49 PM  

  • Hi Rose



    Going the other direction,



    While it is dangerous to launch into an independent theology that has been unknown to believers throughout the ages, that is not necessarily what one does in ignoring or even disagreeing with the so-called established confessions. In fact, the Reformation creeds and confessions were formulated not by agreement among all Christians but by either the Lutheran or the Calvinistic segment alone. The Synod of Dort and Westminster Assembly, most often referred to by Calvinists as so clearly establishing Christian truth in opposition to Arminianism, were dominated by Calvinists and forced Calvinism as the official state religion upon everyone. So the accusation that one fails to follow these “great Reformed confessions” is merely another way of saying that one disagrees with Calvinism! It also furthers the false impression that it was the official belief held by all of the Reformers. Concerning the five-points of Calvinism.

    Hodges writes:
    "None of these ideas has any right to be called normative Prodestant theology. None has ever been held by a wide cross-section of Christendom. Most importantly, none of them is biblical...all of them lie outside the proper parameters of Christian orthodoxy.
    (Zane C. Hodges, "The New Puritanism, pt. 2: Michael S. Horton: Holy War with Unholy Weapons" (Journal of the Grace Evangelical Society, Spring 1994),6:11.)

    By Blogger alvin, at 7/26/2008 7:34 AM  

  • Rose, this is interesting.

    Calvinism as understood in terms of the 'doctrines of grace' does have a very long history in the USA, though one can see a steady decline in it since the 19th century.

    By Blogger Celestial Fundie, at 7/26/2008 10:22 AM  

  • Kansas Bob, do you think that a born-again person can go into everlasting punishment?

    By Blogger Celestial Fundie, at 7/26/2008 10:23 AM  

  • No CF.. do you?

    By Blogger Kansas Bob, at 7/26/2008 11:25 AM  

  • Matthew,
    Sincerely - I have talked to a lot of people associated with our Baptist church - most of them who think they are 'Calvinist' don't see things the same as the "doctrines of grace" describes. It is just as I said in my comment to Colin... and how Comfort describes it in his article. I suppose they just haven't studied it out enough... or they don't realize the implications of what they say they believe. Maybe.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 7/26/2008 12:11 PM  

  • Bob and David, thanks for visiting!

    Pizza man,
    I think what you describe is why I would never call myself an Anrminian. I would see it as faith, decree.
    If we can lose eternal life, then it was only a promise of eternal life and never actually something that we posess. I see the scriptures as describing something that we posess upon faith in Christ - not just something we hope for in the future. We are "born again" - into that life - we don't die.

    Thanks for visiting!

    By Blogger Rose~, at 7/26/2008 12:15 PM  

  • Alvin,
    thanks for the quotes!

    By Blogger Rose~, at 7/26/2008 12:15 PM  

  • Bob
    Oh good. I am glad you dont.

    By Blogger Celestial Fundie, at 7/26/2008 12:17 PM  

  • There are some interesting books out on the history of Christianity in the United States. When I was a lot younger, growing up in California in a small denomination, in a small church, and later in the denomination's largest church, e had some influence from various Baptists, among others. one of the big debates in my small circle was Calvinism (like you mention in your post, some version of OSAS) and "Arminianism". We had no clue of the larger issues.

    When I read the history of US Christianity, the perspective I got was that there was a rich influence of Methodism, as well as other streams of thought, in particularly the midwest (which my former denomination had its US origins in). This "toned down" the Calvinism. In fact, there was a widespread awakening movement in the second half of the 1800s where former Presbyterians, among others significantly watered down their "Calvinist" views.

    I think the result is that in the US there arose a "popular Calvinism" which in many ways did not resemble the roots from which it sprang.

    By Blogger Earl, at 7/27/2008 9:18 AM  

  • Hi Rose,

    Rose your right on the money! Calvinism was pretty much thought of as Eternal Security and that’s about as far as it ever went. And I was raised up in Southern Baptist churches. Growing up I always heard my one uncle was a hard-shell but I didn’t really understand what that meant. It wasn’t until my brother went away down Kentucky way that he hooked up with my hard-shell uncle and attended a Calvinistic bible college. I joined his Baptist missionary church when he returned, that’s when I first heard the story that went like this: “Their was this big ball of worms and they were rolling down the hill to hell and God just would pluck one up and sugar coat it.” Anyway at the time it didn’t make much sense to me. It wasn’t until I started applying his logic to my only daughter that it struck home. I told him one day, your saying if my daughter isn’t one of the elect she couldn’t be saved even if she wanted to. Also by that time he had told my wife she probably wasn’t one of the elect, they didn’t get along very well ever since he said, “harlots wore pants.” That didn’t go over very well.
    Anyway twenty or so years down the road a man was applying for the position of head pastor of our Evangelical Free Church. He happened to send a couple of tapes of his sermons, and since I was the church clean up guy I spotted the tapes and listened to them. That’s when I first heard him say “It’s unbiblical to tell people that God loves them for in fact His plan for them might be the eternal lake of fire and you would be lying to them.” WOW!!! I knew that didn’t sound right! So when the man came I asked him if he was a five point Calvinist. He said he didn’t go by that name but yes he was. And he went on to tell me that “world” in John 3:16 didn’t mean people but the cosmos. The people of the church and the elders didn’t have a clue about five point Calvinism. The elders tried to educate themselves real fast. They new they didn’t agree with his comment about not telling people that God loved them, but they concluded that Calvinism was orthodox and so they could work with him. He was very charismatic and very likeable! I remember the one elder’s last words “anyone who uses puppy in his sentences has to be alright!” I was amazed! What did that have to do with anything? (were in La la land) Well to make a long story short I ended up speaking against him before the church and they rejected him. I remember a high school teacher coming up to me afterwards and saying “I don’t have a clue on what you guys are saying at all.” He went on to tell me “but I believe what you said was true!” What I said was “some people need to hear the love of God and others will need to be given the law as a schoolmaster to bring them to Christ.” I was thinking of a particular lady that I witnessed to and had started attending the church. She had a real low self-esteem and was suicidal, I knew this teaching could destroy her just like it almost did my wife. I really didn’t want to get up and debate this man but my wife told me “you have to, you know what this teaching can do to people.” I knew first hand that it could destroy people!

    Hey, I think I put the hamster to sleep again!
    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at 7/27/2008 10:07 PM  

  • I go to a Calvinist church, a PCA church in Metro Atlanta. The Evangelical Free pastor candidate you mentioned would have been rejected by us too.

    There are many kinds of Calvinists out there. Unless there is a "quality control" where you can determine the type of Calvinist you run into, chances are you'll run into a bad Calvinist. Calvinism gone bad has the worst odor of almost all Christians.

    An alternative view on how a Calvinist looks at the love of God is D.A. Carson's book, The Difficult Doctrine of the Love of God.

    John Calvin himself would never ever say that God would never save someone even if they wanted it simply on the basis they were not elect.

    There are a lot of Calvinist running around doing great injury to God's kingdom. You did the right thing at that EV Free church. But I would hope you wouldn't write off all of Calvinism. Since the time I became a Calvinist, I have attended churches for a while where when we live away from home for a year pastors and much of the leadership were not Calvinist. I did not write them off.

    When a church is clear about the gospel, but fuzzy on God's sovereignty, or on God's power to save even the most depraved, I am willing to work with them.

    There are a lot of different flavors of Calvinists out there. Its not a simple black and white issue. Try reading D.A. Carson, or, if you don't like him, the great Baptist preacher Spurgeon.

    When we deal with the great mysteries of God, there is going to be some bizarre looking things. How some Calvinists state things, such as people you ran into, is plain wrong. Often it is because careful logic not not applied when analyzing God. Often it is overreaching the logic (misapplying logic again) where logic dictates we are to go no further. Often it is not considering all the possible logical inferences but only locking in on one to the exclusion of others.

    Finally, I'd beware of "independent" Calvinists. Theology should never be done in isolation -- but be checked by the wider body of Christ. I'd get some of the famous Calvinist confessions, such as the London Baptist Confession, and start asking what that person disagrees with it. That can be quite revealing.

    By Blogger Earl, at 7/27/2008 10:48 PM  

  • Hi Rose,

    Just arrived in Galway and a very expensive internet connection. I can't even read your post at the moment, never mind answer it. (I do recall asking you to repost...maybe I should've waited a while) :0) It could be next week...unless I can get a cheaper email provider. Some are very reasonable. This one isn't! Sorry about that. Take heart that i'm here in Galway evangelising the lost.

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 7/28/2008 10:14 AM  

  • Hi Rose!

    Hi Colin!

    Are you in Galway on work or on vacation? Your answer will determine which wisecrack comes your way!

    By Blogger Anton, at 7/29/2008 12:26 PM  

  • Gospel work.

    Regards

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 7/29/2008 2:36 PM  

  • Hi Rose

    A study of early church history reveals that Calvinistic doctrines were unknown during the church’s first three centuries. One of the greatest experts on ecclesiastical history, Bishop Davenant, declares:

    . . . it may be truly affirmed that before the dispute between Augustine and Pelagius, there was no question concerning the death of Christ, whether it was to be extended to all mankind, or to be confined only to the elect. For the Fathers… not a word (that I know of) occurs among them of the exclusion of any person by the decree of God. They agree that it is actually beneficial to those only who believe, yet they everywhere confess that Christ died in behalf of all mankind . . . .

    Augustine died A.D. 429, and up to his time, at least, there is not the slightest evidence that any Christian ever dreamed of a propitiation for the elect alone. Even after him, the doctrine of a limited propitiation was but slowly propagated, and for long but partially received. (James Morrison, The Extent of the Atonement (Hamilton, Adams and Co., 1882)
    (DH)

    By Blogger alvin, at 7/29/2008 3:23 PM  

  • Hi Rose!

    Hi Colin,

    No wisecracks: only my prayers supporting your work.

    Blessings.

    By Blogger Anton, at 7/30/2008 1:07 PM  

  • Colin,
    I hope you are enjoying your vacation and that the Lord is blessing your ministry.

    EARL! The REASONABLE one!
    I am so glad to have your visit. So it sounds like this is not so much in my imagination. Thank you for the history lesson. I really appreciate your input. I liked your comments about how some of things are doing harm. I can definitly see that. This is a good statement: "When we deal with the great mysteries of God, there is going to be some bizarre looking things." Some things are just way over our head and should be left there. My opinion. :~)

    By Blogger Rose~, at 7/31/2008 10:33 AM  

  • Alvin,
    Thank you for your input, brother.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 7/31/2008 10:33 AM  

  • Calvinist site; visit/comment, please.

    TheAmericanView.com

    JLof@aol.com

    By Blogger John Lofton, Recovering Republican, at 7/31/2008 11:17 PM  

  • Awww, shucks Rose, thank you.

    By Blogger Earl, at 7/31/2008 11:53 PM  

  • Hi Rose,

    Back in Cork again. We had a good time evangelising the lost in Galway, especially at the races. Every one wanted the wee “gospel Cards” with the “Greatest tip of all” printed on the front. 1300 went out the first day in about 2.5 hours and about 1100 the second day in about the same time. I hope that they were earnestly read and earnestly heeded.

    I am able now to pass some comments on your article and on some of the other comments.

    I didn’t come back on your answer because you explained adequately what you meant by the “newer” Doctrines of Grace. Your article (as you explained) related to a local perception rather than substance. I suppose I should have acknowledged your answer.

    Pizza man: A Calvinist answer to your two questions is that Christians are kept by the power of God through faith (1 Peter 1:5) which would included both the decree of God and the faith of the Christian. Thus we have God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility both coming into play here.

    Earl: I tend to agree with you here. Calvin himself cautioned against enquiring too deeply into what God had not revealed. The discussion of predestination---a subject of itself rather intricate---is made very perplexed, and therefore dangerous, by human curiosity, which no barriers can restrain from wandering into forbidden labyrinths, and soaring beyond its sphere, as if determined to leave none of the Divine secrets unscrutinized or unexplored. (Insitutes)

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 8/01/2008 4:18 PM  

  • Hi Rose

    Calvin said:
    I say with Augustine, that the Lord has created those who, as he certainly foreknew, were to go to destruction, and he did so because he so willed. (Op.cit.,III:xxiii,5.)
    If your mind is troubled, decline not to embrace the counsel of Augustine. (Ibid.)

    By Blogger alvin, at 8/01/2008 9:08 PM  

  • Hi Rose/Alvin:

    Alvin: You quote Calvin as saying: “I say with Augustine, that the Lord has created those who, as he certainly foreknew, were to go to destruction, and he did so because he so willed.” (Op.cit.,III:xxiii,5.) and again: “If your mind is troubled, decline not to embrace the counsel of Augustine.” (Ibid.)

    Regarding your second quotation, it does not end in a full stop (period) but a colon which relates it to what is to follow, as opposed (as you imply) what has gone before. Full quote: “If your mind is troubled, do not be ashamed to embrace Augustine’s advice: “You, a man, expect an answer from me; I too am a man. Therefore, let both of us hear one who says, ‘O man, who are you?’ Romans 9:20].” I think that this shows the danger of snatching quotations from here, there and yonder without consulting the context. As it stands, there is hardly a believer out there of any school who would disagree either with Augustine and therefore with Calvin for quoting him.

    Regarding the first quotation, I cannot see how, as it stands, that any Christian would disagree with it either. And I include there those who do not believe in the Doctrines of Calvinism. The quotation breaks down as follows:

    1) The Lord certainly foreknew those who would go to destruction.
    Unless we deny the omniscience of God, then we cannot but agree with this observation.

    2) Even though the Lord certainly foreknew those who go to destruction, yet He still created them
    Again, unless we deny not only the doctrine of God’s omniscience and the doctrine of creation, then we cannot but agree with this observation.

    3) The Lord created those whom He certainly foreknew would be lost, because He willed it.”
    Unless we have God creating those whom He knew would be lost against His will, then we cannot but disagree with this statement either.

    I can only therefore assume, Alvin, that you are quoting Calvin quoting Augustine, because you are in agreement with them both?

    Regards,

    By Anonymous Goodnightsafehome, at 8/02/2008 9:34 AM  

  • Oops!

    Serious typo:

    3) The Lord created those whom He certainly foreknew would be lost, because He willed it.”

    Unless we have God creating those whom He knew would be lost against His will, then we cannot but disagree with this statement either.

    Should read:

    3) The Lord created those whom He certainly foreknew would be lost, because He willed it.”

    Unless we have God creating those whom He knew would be lost against His will, then we cannot but agree with this statement either.


    Sorry,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 8/02/2008 11:51 AM  

  • Hi Colin,

    As a Molinist, I can't 100% agree with your reasonings.

    Regarding your enumerated points...

    1) The Lord certainly foreknew those who would go to destruction.
    Unless we deny the omniscience of God, then we cannot but agree with this observation.


    No problem here.

    2) Even though the Lord certainly foreknew those who go to destruction, yet He still created them
    Again, unless we deny not only the doctrine of God’s omniscience and the doctrine of creation, then we cannot but agree with this observation.


    I in fact do deny the doctrine of creation, thus, I do not accept this point.

    3) The Lord created those whom He certainly foreknew would be lost, because He willed it.”
    Unless we have God creating those whom He knew would be lost against His will, then we cannot but agree with this statement either.


    Depends on what you mean by His "will", and which will of God's you are speaking of. If glorifying Himself is God's ultimate, highest will, isn't it possible that allowing people free choice and giving them what they want (even if that means not Him) glorifies Him more than pre-determining their eternal destiny? This would mean that, rather than being against God's will, some people going to hell would actually conform to God's highest will (that of allowing people their own choice). So there's no need to accept this point either.

    By Blogger Rachel, at 8/03/2008 12:02 AM  

  • Hi Rose
    Goodnight,

    This goes back to Earl’s statement that you agreed with. Showing if you want to call it that wisdom from Calvin about inquiring to deeply.
    I believe that Calvin was in the deep abyss when he came up with the “horrible decree from god.” I think I will call his so called wisdom “the art of double talk” which you so fondly use concerning faith and works. I like the way Antonio pulled back your covers and exposed faith and works under the sheets together,,,Ha!Ha! It should have been of no surprise to any of us being we know you believe everything comes automatically in the package plan.
    Anyway getting back to what’s at hand. That quote I gave was from Dave Hunts book “What Love Is This” and as you noticed the two quotes were from two different places. Dave was trying to show how Calvin all through his institutes used Augustine as a authority, frequently citing his writings as authoritative and even using the expression,’ . . . confirmed by the authority of Augustine.” My last post on Antonio’s blog shows my feelings on studying someone trying to teach the meat of the word when they have not even believed the milk of the word. I believe this fits nicely concerning Augustine who Calvin said quote: “Augustine is so wholly with me, that I wished to write a confession of my faith. I could do so with all fullness and satisfaction to myself out of his writings."(John Calvin) Yet he [Augustine] believed that grace came through the Roman Catholic sacraments. Augustine said: “I should not believe the gospel unless I were moved to do so by the authority of the Catholic Church.” That statement was quoted with great satisfaction by Pope John Paul II in his 1986 celebration of the 1600th anniversary of Augustine’s conversion.
    Howbeit, to prove conclusively that Calvin was a disciple of Augustine, we need look no further than Calvin himself. One can’t read five pages in Calvin’s Institutes without seeing the name of Augustine. Calvin quotes Augustine over four hundred times in the Institutes alone. He called Augustine by such titles as “holy man” and “holy father.” (Vance, op. Cit; citing Calvin, op. Cit.,139,146,148-49.)
    This shows simply that Calvin embraced the counsel of Augustine, even though Augustine believed such errors as: Infant baptism for regeneration (infants who die unbaptized are damned), the necessity of baptism for the remission of sins (martyrdom does the same), purgatory, salvation in the Church alone through its sacraments and persecution of those who reject Catholic dogmas. Augustine also fathered acceptance of the Apocrypha (which he admitted even the Jews rejected), allegorical interpretation of the Bible (thus the creation account, the six days, ect. In Genesis are not necessarily literal), and rejection of the literal personal reign of Christ on earth for a thousand years (we are now in the millennial reign of Christ with the Church reigning and the devil presently bound).
    Wow!!! We know Augustine was as Earl's word nicely nail's "wandering into forbidden labyrinths, and soaring beyond its sphere" that was where Augustine was by rejecting the milk of the word. And that's where Calvin found his "horrible decree" they were in the same "sphere."

    By Blogger alvin, at 8/03/2008 12:58 AM  

  • Hi Rose

    Sorry Colin , after rereading that I did get a little carried away, I shouldn't have ha,,hawed.

    Here's your ear back

    Regards
    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at 8/03/2008 1:16 AM  

  • Good morning Rose/Alvin

    Alvin, You have raissed several matters outside the immediate posting which I could answer, but not now. I like to keep to the matter at hand and display some depth, rather than wander here, there and yonder and go down about half an inch.

    Do you agree with Calvin's second statement as it stands?

    If your posting, which I answered you, was designed merely to show that Calvin quoted Augustine, then OK: Calvin quoted Augustine. Which is hardly a big deal. Yes, it was usually in agreement, although not infrequently where he disagreed. This is the norm in Evangelical circles i.e. that we quote people when we agree or disagree with them. HA Ironside (for example) did the same and even claimed, that Romans and Galatians formed the basis of the "Augustinian theology."

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 8/03/2008 4:58 AM  

  • Hi Rose

    Goodnight,
    Let’s not just skate past what Calvin actually said. And of course we have plenty to make clear what he meant! I know you want to get right into your art form but lets lay it out like it really is from Calvin’s lips.

    I say with Augustine, that the Lord has created those who, as he certainly foreknew, were to go to destruction, and he did so because he so willed.

    This is what Calvin meant by creating them for destruction:
    The decree, I admit, is dreadful; and yet it is impossible to deny that God foreknew what the end of man was to be before he made him, and foreknew, because he had so ordained by his decree. (Op.cit.,III:xxiii,7.)
    Calvin’s view is so extreme that it makes God the author of every event and thus even of all sin:
    Now. . .God. . .arranges all things…If God merely foresaw human events, and did not also arrange and dispose of them at his pleasure, there might be room for agitating the question, how far his foreknowledge amounts to necessity; but since. . .he has decreed that they are so to happen. . .it is clear that all events take place by his sovereign appointment. (Calvin, op.cit.,III:xxiii,6.)
    (DH)
    Out of this particular view of God’s sovereignty cam Calvin’s understanding of predestination. According to him (following the teaching of Augustine), in eternity past God had decided to save only a fraction of the human race and decreed that the rest would be consigned to eternal torment.
    On what basis then did He predestine so many to hell? Simply because to do so was “the good pleasure of his will”:
    Calvin said, Scripture clearly proves. . .that God by his eternal and immutable councel determined once for all those whom it was his pleasure one day to admit to salvation, and those whom, on the other hand, it was his pleasure to doom to destruction. (Op.cit.,III:xxi,7)
    Calvin said: Those therefore, whom God passes by he reprobates, and that for no other cause but because he is pleased to exclude them from the inheritance which he predestines to his children . . .(Op.cit.,III:xxiii,1)
    Calvin said: But if all whom the Lord predestines to death are naturally liable to sentence of death, of what injustice, pray, do they complain . . . because by his eternal providence they were before their birth doomed to perpetual destruction . . . what will they be able to mutter against this defense? (Op.cit.,III:xxiii,3)
    Calvin said: The great God . . . whose pleasure it is to inflict punishment on fools and transgressors, though he is not pleased to bestow his Spirit upon them . . . Of this no other cause can be adduced than reprobation, which is hidden in the secret counsel of God. (Op.cit.,III:xxiii,4)
    Calvin said: Now since the arrangement of all things is in the hand of God . . . he arranges . . .that individuals are born, who are doomed from the womb to certain death, and are to glorify him by their destruction . . .(Op.cit.,III:xxiii,6)
    Calvin said: God, according to the good pleasure of his will, without any regard to merit, elects those whom he chooses for sons, while he rejects and reprobates others . . .it is right for him to show by punishing that he is a just judge . . .
    Here the words of Augustine most admirably apply . . .When other vessels are made unto dishonor, it must be imputed not to injustice, but to judgment. (Op.cit.,III:xxiii,10-11)

    All we would have to include here is Constantine and we would have the un-holy trinity who combined church with state.
    England’s King James comment: This doctrine is so horrible, that I am persuaded, if there were a council of unclean spirits assembled in hell, and their prince the devil were to [ask] their opinion about the most likely means of stirring up hatred of men against God their maker; nothing could be invented by them that would be more efficacious for his purpose, or that could put a greater affront upon God’s love for mankind than that infamous decree of the late Synod

    By Blogger alvin, at 8/03/2008 6:38 AM  

  • Alvin:

    Answer me this.

    1) Did God ordain that Christ would suffer on the Cross? Either He did or He didn’t and so a simple “Yes” or “No” answer will suffice, even if you want to explain it afterwards.

    2) Were the hands that crucified Christ “wicked hands” i.e. responsible for their actions in crucifying Christ? Again, Either they were or they weren’t and so a simple “Yes” or “No” answer will suffice, even if you want to explain it afterwards.

    Here’s your problem succinctly stated:

    If God did not ordain that Christ should die on the Cross, then we have pretty little to thank God for that Christ did so die. Yet we all know that Christ died because the Bible distinctly tells us: Christ was ”delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God,” (Acts 2:23) So, the Cross came into being because God decreed that it should take place and that there was nothing therefore to prevent it from coming to pass.

    This leads (in your eyes) to a moral problem. If God ordained the Cross to take place, then how can He indict the hands that brought about these ordained events, as distinctly “wicked hands”? Yet in Acts 2:23 this charge was laid at the door of the Jews ultimately leading them to them being pricked in the heart and seeking salvation.

    If you should come to the place whereby you accept that God can ordain sinful events and still indict those who bring those same events to pass, then you can stand along Calvin and others and better still, Peter and the Apostles. Until then, you are left with a text which you cannot explain and which (in effect) you indirectly rile against.

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 8/03/2008 8:53 AM  

  • Hi Rose

    Goodnight, you are certainly in your art form! I think I’ve already shown that Calvin was in the same sphere as Augustine whom he quoted in his Institutes 400 times. And that Augustine believed much heresy and that Calvin carried on some of those beliefs such as infant baptism and combining church and state in an ungodly union.
    Now you want to put Peter and the apostles in the same sphere with Calvin and Augustine who he called "holy father" insinuating that Calvin’s decree is the same as God’s concerning the cross.

    One simple verse can answer your Calvinist rilings!
    Webster’s Dictionary (rile 1.to make thick and muddy by stirring the dregs.)
    (dregs 2. The most worthless part of anything)


    “Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man . . .”(James 1:13-14)

    With God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26). Yet it is impossible for God to do evil, or even to entice anyone into evil.

    Goodnight, your trying to put Calvin’s words in God’s mouth.

    The Bible presents evil as the result of man’s free will choosing for self instead of for God.
    The Calvinist, however, in denying human moral freedom, makes God the cause of all evil, insisting that He “creates the very thoughts and intents of the soul.”
    As Calvin declared. “The first man fell because the Lord deemed it meet that he should . . .because he saw that his own glory would thereby be displayed . . .Man therefore falls, divine providence so ordaining, but he falls by his own fault . . .I will not hesitate, therefore, simply to confess with Augustine . . . that the destruction consequent upon predestination is also most just.” (Calvin, op.cit.,III:xxiii,8)

    This idea, however, is so contradictory to man’s God-given conscience and sense of justice that Calvin spent much of his Institutes struggling unsuccessfully to justify it. (DH)

    Calvin himself states:
    The decree, I admit, is dreadful; and yet it is impossible to deny that God foreknew what the end of man to be before he made him, and foreknew, because he had so ordained by his decree. (Op.cit.,III:xxiii,7)

    Zane Hodges writes:
    The result of [Michael S.] Horton’s theology is that non-elect people are hopelessly bound for hell because God declined to regenerate them. Thus they are unable to believe. Yet they are condemned for that belief! The picture of God that emerges from this is a hideous distortion of His loving character and nature.

    Goodnight, I will have no part of your rilings and distortions of God by trying to put Calvin’s words in God’s mouth!

    Verse to ponder upon: Luke 23:34 Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.”

    Goodnight, I believe this verse also applies to you because what you are doing is in ignorance.

    By Blogger alvin, at 8/03/2008 11:34 PM  

  • Alvin said, Goodnight, I will have no part of your rilings and distortions of God by trying to put Calvin’s words in God’s mouth!

    I come across people like this from time to time. Their minds are closed, they defame other believers. Micheal Horton seems to be a favorite hobby horse who is misunderstood.

    I pray for the unity of believers and long to see that day.

    I'm afraid this comment won't help matters either. So Rose, feel free to delete this and allow things to settle out.

    By Blogger Earl, at 8/04/2008 12:07 AM  

  • Hi Rose

    Earl,

    It is often forgotten in our day that revealed truth is the basis for all fellowship with God and for true fellowship with one another. One who departs from the original truths which the Lord revealed to His appointed witnesses will by so much depart from true fellowship with God. God will not have fellowship with a lie or with any form of spiritual darkness. 1 John 1:5,6
    Zane C. Hodges

    Here is the rest of Michael S. Horton,s quote:
    “He God cannot love us directly because of our sinfulness, but he can love us in union with Christ, because Christ is the one the Father loves.” (Quoting from Michael S. Horton, ed., Christ The Lord: The Reformation and Lordship Salvation (Baker Book House, 1986), 111)
    Dave Hunts comment:
    What this amounts to is that God does not “directly” love anyone unless first He regenerates him or her, since “regeneration is the commencement of union.” In other words, God does not love the elect until they are regenerated, and He never loves the non-elect at all. (Zane C. Hodges, “The New Puritanism, Pt 3: Michael S. Horton: Holy War With Unholy Weapons” (Journal of the Grace Evangelical Society,” Spring 1994),7:12, 17-29)

    Earl, both sides cannot be in the light, one is in darkness. A Calvinist can’t even know he is a child of God until he persevere’s unto the end because he could just have a spurious faith. Which Calvin believed God gives to condemn the person. Since a Calvinist can’t KNOW he is a child of God, he is yet to believe Jesus promise of eternal life because Scripture clearly tells us that the one who believes can KNOW! Which is impossible for the Calvinist being evidence of his works has a part. Which means the Calvinist is still in darkness.

    Regards
    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at 8/04/2008 1:45 AM  

  • Good morning Rose/Alvin:

    Alvin: I think Earl has a good point here. I had hoped to engage you on a definite verse of Scripture (Acts 2:23) and sought to draw you out on how those who helped bring about a God ordained event (i.e. the Cross) could still be held condemned as wicked. Instead of engaging me on this particular verse, which would throw much light on Calvin’s views of divine sovereignty and man’s responsibility, you have just reverted back to your usual rhetoric and now you appear to have all Calvinists damned because of our views. I remember that you apologised for this kind of behaviour before, but you don’t seem to be able to rise above it. Therefore, seeing that you are only regurgitating old vitriol, I think I may be excused from furthering engaging with you. As it stands, I simply can’t help you.

    If any one else from the FG/Non Calvinist community wishes to take up the thought on how those who helped bring about a God ordained event (i.e. the Cross) could still be held condemned as wicked, as taught in Acts 2:23 then I am willing to engage you without casting doubt on your salvation or using demeaning language.

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 8/04/2008 4:25 AM  

  • Hi Rose

    Goodnight, I thought I made clear before that I'm not questioning anyones salvation, just showing that Calvinism can't save because of it's attachment to works. I can't see your heart or if you believd before you got confused with Calvinism.
    And concerning demeaning language, you said regurgitating old vitriol that sounded pretty demeaning. I'll have to look those words up in the dictionary.
    But I can tell yah! Calvin’s views of divine sovereignty and man’s responsibility,is like night and day, Calvin being night.
    I doubt whether any other FG/non-Calvinist is up this late.
    And I would be willing to give you back your other ear if that would help matters!

    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at 8/04/2008 4:45 AM  

  • Hi Rose, when you get up!

    Goodnight I thought I did give you some very good clues with the Scriptures I gave you which proves Calvin's beliefs were twisted.
    Being they did it in ignorance, and God not being able to make people sin. Maybe you just need to meditate some more on those points. Open your mind up more to God's words and what is consistant with His character.
    Just some thought's.

    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at 8/04/2008 4:51 AM  

  • Alvin: There is no doubt about their ignorance: 1 Corinthians 2:8Luke 23:34 etc., makes such clear. But the point is still the same, even with this in mind:

    1) They were still wicked, whether that wickedness was in ignorance or not. Act 2:23 indicts them as wicked and their response of being pricked in their heart and crying out for salvation further establishes the thought of their guilt.

    2) They were accounted wicked even though they were but bringing about an event which was foreordained in the sovereign plan of God. Acts 2:23 also makes this clear.

    Consider the choice which Pilate saw himself as having. "What shall I do with Jesus who is called the Christ?" (Matthew 27:22) He saw himself as one who had power to crucify Christ or power to let Him go. (John 19:11)

    1) Was there any risk/chance/possibility that Pilate would have said: "The Jews have delivered this Man for envy.That's no reason to crucify Him. I find no fault in Him - let Him go!"

    2) If not, why is Pilate indicted of an awful crime of crucifying an Innocent Man (indeed: The Lord of Glory) when it was eternally decreed by Almighty God that he would do the dastardly act? Why are the Jews also condemned (as in Acts 2:23) and Judas etc., of whom it is written:" Better for him that he had never be born"?

    Calvin does not attempt to reconcile, what appears to us, to be a contradiction. He accepts that God does not tempt men to sin, but he also recognises that sinful men carry out the righteous purposes of God and are thus guilty of the sin while God who knows no sin remains spotlessly pure.

    We can all sit and point fingers at Calvin (and Calvinists) but Acts 2:23 is still there and Calvin isn't saying anything outide its teaching. Unless we can up with an alternative answer, then we should desist from blasting around us.

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 8/04/2008 6:24 AM  

  • At work, I read a magazine called 'Drink and Drugs News.'

    Every week in the letter page, there are people debating an approach focused on getting people drug free versus an approach based on harm reduction. It is a debate that seems to go on forever in drugs services.

    I am somewhat reminded of the whole debate about predestination.

    Not that I don't have an opinion on the subject, just like I have an opinion on harm reduction v abstinence.

    God Bless

    Matthew

    By Blogger Celestial Fundie, at 8/04/2008 12:55 PM  

  • Hi Matthew,

    The same may be said about every last doctrine in the Bible and not only predestination.

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 8/04/2008 1:18 PM  

  • Hi Rose

    Goodnight,

    You see a contradiction. I see no contradiction. I see people doing just what they wanted to according to their free choice to do it. Not that God hadn’t given them light, but they had rejected it. Therefore Jesus started speaking in parables to them. If they had known that the very One they were hanging on a tree was God’s Messiah who was paying for their sins would they have still crucified Him? No! That’s why Jesus was asking the Father to forgive them “they do not know what they do.” They were doing it in ignorance but yet they were doing it of their own free will. They had listened to Satan rather then God! God can accomplish His will by simply giving people more of themselves. By rejecting Him who is light which He knew they would do, they accomplished His purpose by hardening themselves and bringing about God’s will. God wanted them to accept their Christ, but God new they would not accept Him, but that they would reject the light.
    God accomplished His will simply by giving them theirs.

    You have chosen to believe John Calvin’s explanation. And John Calvin puts the blame squarely on God, because God is sovereign. But the scriptures clearly show that God cannot sin or make someone else sin. But you still want to believe Calvin. And Calvin was the one who had Servetus put to death for being a heretic, but at the same time had nothing but praise for Augustine who was a heretic. You don’t seem to see ALL the inconsistencies of John Calvin but just put them off as nothing. These men were acting no different then the Jihadist of today. They set up so called chritian states and ruled it by iron fist, putting to death anyone who they considered a heretic. But you want to close a blind eye to all of this, and act as though it never happened. I can tell you the Muslims know it happened, they know what was done in the name of the Christian God. Augustines “City of God” (354-430) went so far as to announce (through his book, The City of God) that Rome had been privileged to usher in the millennial Kingdom (otherwise know as the ‘Dark Ages’).”

    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at 8/04/2008 6:39 PM  

  • Colin, if you are talking about heretics and infidels, then every doctrine of the Bible will be up for debate.

    But it does seem that predestination seems to be a source of permanent debate amongst those who reverence the Word of God.

    Other issues such as baptism and propthetic events seem to only be issues of controversy in particular historical circumstances.

    God Bless

    Matthew

    By Blogger Celestial Fundie, at 8/05/2008 3:29 AM  

  • Alvin:

    Is it safe for me to assume that you haven't a clue what John Calvin wrote in his comments on Acts 2:23?

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 8/05/2008 3:46 AM  

  • Oops .... Good morning Rose!

    Regards as well! :o)

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 8/05/2008 3:47 AM  

  • My monitor went caput so I could not use the computer since Saturday morning. I hope everything was civil in this thread. I can't read it in detail cuz now I gotta work!

    By Blogger Rose~, at 8/05/2008 8:27 AM  

  • O Yes, Rose! Tranquil, ireneic, peaceful, soothing: (Er) No. But civil... definately.

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 8/05/2008 8:45 AM  

  • Hi Rose



    Goodnight I’m aware of what Calvin said in his commentary but what Calvin would give with one hand he would take away with the other.



    Right hand:

    As touching the other point, I deny that God is the author of evil; because there is a certain noting of a wicked affection in this word. For the wicked deed is esteemed according to the end whereat a man aimeth.



    Left hand

    As Calvin declared “The first man fell because the Lord deemed it meet that he should . . . because he saw that his own glory would thereby be displayed . . . Man therefore falls, divine providence so ordaining, but he fall by his own fault . . . I will not hesitate, therefore, simply to confess with Augustine . . . that the destruction consequent upon predestination is most just.” (Calvin, op.cit.,III:xxiii,8)

    Calvins view is so extreme that it makes God the author of every event and thus even of all sin:

    Now . . . God . . . arranges all things . . . If God merely forsaw human events, and did not also arrange and dispose of them at his pleasure, there might be room for agitating the question, how far his foreknowledge amounts to neccessity; but since . . . he has decreed that they are so to happen . . . it is clear that all events take place by his sovereign appointment. (Calvin, op.cit.,III:xxi,7)

    Now since the arrangement of all things is in the hand of God . . . he arranges . . . that individuals are born, who are doomed from the womb to certain death, and are to glorify him by their destruction . . .(Op.cit.,IIIxxiii,6)
    It's one thing to say that God can use man's sin to bring about His will, but another to say that God causes people to sin.

    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at 8/05/2008 10:11 AM  

  • OK Alvin:

    We have now established, even if only after some pressure on my part, that Calvin puts the blame for sin on to sinners. This is at odds with your statement above when you declared: "And John Calvin puts the blame squarely on God, because God is sovereign. He does not. He indicts the sinner for the sin as his comments on Acts 2:23 make clear.However, my persistence in getting at truth here has paid off.

    You say that because Calvin teaches that God ordains sinful acts to take place that this is giving with one hand to take away with the other. Surely then, the exact same charge must be laid against the Apostles. On one hand, they clearly declare that the crime of the Cross - the betrayal and murder of the Just One as Stephen puts it (Acts 7:58)was ordained of God. The redemption of the Cross is clearly tied in to the blod shed upon it and this bloodshedding is according to the predeterminate counsel of God. Yet, as we have seen, those hands that carried out this deed are indicted as wicked hands. (Acts 2:23)

    If Calvin is to be indicted for what he has written on this matter, then the Apostles likewise must be indicted, because they are both doing the exact same thing.

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 8/05/2008 10:32 AM  

  • Again Alvin: You say: It's one thing to say that God can use man's sin to bring about His will, but another to say that God causes people to sin."

    Can you produce me these words from the writings of Calvin whereby he declares that "God causes people to sin?"

    I do not believe that this is Calvin's position and must therefore doubt your ability to supply proof of your allegations.

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 8/05/2008 10:41 AM  

  • Hi, Rose,

    Hope your monitor has recovered!

    Earl, I really appreciate your 7/27 comments. We all have to be careful when someone claims a particular label and then says rotten things that we not assume that one person is representative of the best or even of the majority of the adherents to that position. (And it's oooh sooo easy to do when you already know you disagree with the position! "See, I knew those guys were nuts all along!" ;) )

    One comment on "shaky on sovereignty" -- I'm not 100% sure what you meant, but I'm guessing it's the "freedom to choose" thing. I'd just like to clarify that from the Arminian (or non-Calvinist for those who prefer) perspective -- we do not see this as infringing on God's sovereignty in the slightest, we still believe Him to be 100% sovereign. One of the most absolutely fascinating things I learned about C v. A when talking with my best friend (a Calvinist) was the Calvinist belief that God is not sovereign if men are given free will. I was stunned, but boy it explained a lot about Calvinists that so frequently say that Arminians don't believe in a sovereign God (pretty offensive to any orthodox Christian). And she was stunned to learn that Arminians do not believe this makes God in any way less sovereign, and have difficulty fathoming how Calvinists interpret it so. (My own understanding is that God *allowing* man to make a decision is one-directional -- man has not managed to "usurp" God's power, he has simply been permitted to make a decision for himself.)

    Rose, I find this a fascinating post, and even more so because we Christians cannot even agree on church history! Calvinists love to claim a long and continuous history for Calvinist predominance in church history, and Arminians love to vigorously disagree! I don't know enough to pipe up, I just shake my head at it all. Ultimately, it's frankly not that important to me (though of academic interest) -- I will just try to be as Scripture-only as I can possibly be and not worry about whether C or A was more popular at any particular time/place.

    In the Southern Baptist church I grew up in & came to Christ in no one ever heard of Calvinism or Arminianism. I imagine it wouldn't occur to most folks there to use either of these labels. Their beliefs are Arminian, though, including belief in perseverance (this is not at all a minority view within Arminianism). Some would call them 2-point Calvinists, but I see no merit in this as it denies the most crucial distinctives of Calvinism.

    Enough rambling from me. Apologies, Rose, for another really long comment!

    By OpenID pointnine, at 8/05/2008 8:26 PM  

  • One more thing -- I used "we"-type words in the above comment -- please understand I don't mean to speak for everyone of a particular persuasion, I'm sure there will always be someone who disagrees.

    And, it goes without saying that my home church does not teach Calvinism's Doctrines of Grace -- though they very much believe in grace.

    By OpenID pointnine, at 8/05/2008 8:29 PM  

  • Good morning Rose

    Goodnight here is your evidence:

    Reformed theologians (as they call themselves) trace Calvin’s view of God’s sovereignty back to Augustine. He acknowledged his debt to Augustine in his Institutes concerning God’s absolute control over mankind’s every thought, word and deed, good or bad, including all evil committed:



    [W]e hold that God is the disposer and ruler of all things – that from the remotest eternity, according to his own wisdom, he decreed . . . that, by his providence, not heaven and earth and inanimate creatures only, but also the counsels and wills of men are so governed as to move exactly in the course which he has destined . . .



    In short, Augustine everywhere teaches . . . that there cannot be a greater absurdity than to hold that anything is done without the ordination of God; because it would happen at random. For which reason, he also excludes the contingency which depends on human will, maintaining a little further on, in clearer terms, that no cause must be sought for but the will of God . . . I say, then, that . . . the order, method, end, and necessity of events, are, for the most part, hidden in the counsel of God, though it is certain that they are produced by the will of God . . .

    (John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, trans. Henry Beveridge (Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1998 ed.) I:xvi,6,8,9)(DH)



    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at 8/06/2008 10:13 AM  

  • Hi Rose

    Interesting note:

    Of the ten words making up the acronym TULIP, four (total, depravity, unconditional and irresistible) are not even found in the Bible and two (limited and perseverance) are each found only once. As for the phrases expressed by each letter (Total Depravity, Unconditional Election, Limited Atonement, Irresistible Grace and Perseverance of the Saints), none of them appears anywhere from the beginning of Genesis to the end of Revelation! We have, therefore, good cause to be at least cautious in approaching these key Calvinist concepts. The burden is upon their promoters to show that these ideas, in spite of their absence from Scripture, are indeed taught there. (DH)

    By Blogger alvin, at 8/06/2008 10:15 AM  

  • Good afternoon Rose/Alvin;

    OK Alvin. Let us take the two statements which you have emboldened and let us apply them to our great text in Acts 2:23 where those who carried out the ordained plan of God to crucify Christ are indicted as possessing guilty hands.

    The offending words, when applied to Acts 2:23, according to you, would be that God governed the counsels and wills of men to move exactly in the course they did i.e. that the delivering up of the Lord Jesus to be crucified – Judas betraying Him and leading the men to where He was – the arresting of Christ – His beatings and scourging – and at last His crucifixion with the attendant mocking, was because God governed their counsels and wills to move exactly in this course. The second quote is really more of the same, only this time we would word it that the deliverance of the Lord Jesus to be crucified etc., was according to the will of God.

    This is simply what Calvin writes in a general manner but applied particularly to the crucifixion of Christ. Is it true? I say, it is. I do so, because first of all, when Ciaphas but spoke in John 11:50 of having Christ murdered, (“It is expedient that one man die for the people”) then we distinctly read that “This he spake not of himself” (v51) but rather with the voice of prophecy. In other words, his very tongue was under the sovereign control of God. And yet, Ciaphas must stand indicted for these words. His heart was full of murder and venom as he spoke and for that he stands condemned. Calvin wisely notes; Caiaphas, therefore, might be said, at that time, to have two tongues; for he vomited out the wicked and cruel design of putting Christ to death, which he had conceived in his mind; but God turned his tongue to a different purpose, so that, under ambiguous words, he likewise uttered a prediction.”

    Regarding the whole matter of the Cross, Christ went as it was written of Him (Luke 23;23) and therefore there was no chance that Judas would not betray Him nor the Jews refrain from crying out “Crucify Him!” I asked you above to consider the choice which Pilate saw himself as having. "What shall I do with Jesus who is called the Christ?" (Matthew 27:22) He saw himself as one who had power to crucify Christ or power to let Him go. (John 19:11) I followed this up with the question: Was there any risk/chance/possibility that Pilate would have said: "The Jews have delivered this Man for envy. That's no reason to crucify Him. I find no fault in Him - let Him go!" You forbore to answer this question and I must pose it again, as it is most relevant to the issue at hand.

    Acts 2:23 distinctly says that Christ was delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain. In Acts 4:28 we read: Jew and Gentile came together For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done. Since The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: He turneth it whithersoever He will. (Proverbs 21:1) and God had determined what was to be done, then Calvin’s observations are correct, unless you can show that the Cross was subject to uncertainty and hit and miss.

    Regards,

    P/s I will forbare to answer your second posting and concentrate on the more serious matter at hand.

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 8/06/2008 1:38 PM  

  • Hi Rose

    Goodnight, Calvin would have done well to have taken his on advice concerning "Calvin himself cautioned against inquiring too deeply into what God had not revealed."
    Because Calvin was "wandering into forbidden labyrinths, and soaring beyond its sphere" Calvin was putting words in God's mouth!

    Goodnight your good at dodging bullets, but this silver bullet you cannot dodge. Calvin distinctly puts the source of all sin at the foot of God: but also the counsels and wills of men are so governed as to move exactly in the course which he has destined . . .

    everything is produced by God, according to Calvin:

    I say, then, that . . . the order, method, end, and necessity of events, are, for the most part, hidden in the counsel of God, though it is certain that they are produced by the will of God . . .

    According to Calvin God even brought about the fall by His will!

    Now. . .God. . .arranges all things…

    As Calvin declared. “The first man fell because the Lord deemed it meet that he should .

    Goodnight it doesn’t get any clearer then that, the fall was God’s will according to Calvin. That means it was God’s will that man sin. Man had NO CHOICE about sin because it was God’s will that he sin, according to Calvin it was produced by God’s will.

    That's ALL things Calvin is saying, that means God was behind every rape and every murder!

    Goodnight, I believe the reason your in denial of plainly what Calvin is saying is that you have those Calvinist spectacles on so every thing looks like tulips!


    At least Calvin was more honest than your being Goodnight, Calvin admitted it was a "HORRIBLE DECREE!"
    That's to say the least!!!

    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at 8/06/2008 11:14 PM  

  • Good morning Rose/Alvin:

    So, simply put Alvin, (for the third time)

    Was there any risk/chance/possibility that Pilate would have said: "The Jews have delivered this Man for envy. That's no reason to crucify Him. I find no fault in Him - let Him go!"?

    Simple question. Simple answer, please

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 8/07/2008 3:29 AM  

  • Hi Rose

    Goodnight, Pilate said what he chose to say of his own free-will, thereby fulfilling Scripture!
    But at the same time God foreknew what he would say, bringing about the way that God could reconcile the world to Himself. Jesus said in the garden "if there is any other way let this cup pass from Me but not My will but yours be done."
    But as I said before "it's one thing to say that God can use sin to bring about His will, it's another to say that God causes sin." And that's what Calvin clearly said, as I have given evidence too.

    according to Calvin:

    I say, then, that . . . the order, method, end, and necessity of events, are, for the most part, hidden in the counsel of God, though it is certain that they are produced by the will of God . . .

    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at 8/07/2008 4:25 AM  

  • OK Alvin,

    Let's look at your answer. Are you saying that God knew beforehand what Pilate would do/say and on that basis, ordained that the Cross should take place?

    If so, you have still two great problems:

    1) If God foresaw something happening from eternity, then it was bound to happen in time, since you foresee an uncertainty. So while Pilate was tormenting himself over the case at hand, it was absolutely certain that he would sell out to the Jews, since God ha foreseen it. Your predictament is still there.

    2) Even if you could get the previous objection solved, your answer makes the Cross(and the redemption it brings) a mere afterthought with God. Had Pilate decided otherwise and released Jesus, then we would not have had our redemption as God desired to have it.

    The reality is, Alvin, that the folk came together to "do whatsoever God's hand and counsel determined beforehand to be done" (Acts 4:28) This is te order that the Scripture sets forth. Turning it on its head does no one any favours.

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 8/07/2008 4:36 AM  

  • Oops:

    Should read: 1) If God foresaw something happening from eternity, then it was bound to happen in time, since you cannot foresee an uncertainty. Etc.,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 8/07/2008 4:37 AM  

  • Hi Rose



    Goodnight, as I see it mate you are in a bigger pickle then me!

    Calvin has God as the One who causes all sin, He produced it!

    Me, I see God as One who cannot go against His character. He cannot sin or make anyone sin. So therefore what He foreknew since everything is before Him at one time the beginning and the end. He lets us know about His foreknowledge for our benefit. He can ordain something to happen but at the same time not be the cause of how it happens. He knew the Nation Israel would reject their messiah and hang Him on a tree, He had already ordained it to happen. But at the same time He did not cause it to happen because that would be sin, but allowed men in their free-will to choose to do it by rejecting Him, and thus in their ignorance brought about God’s will. Just like Judas, Jesus called him friend even though He knew what Judas was going to do. Did God make Judas do it? No, Judas made his choice, but then regretted what he had done. Jesus could say it would have been better for him if he had never been born. Did Jesus love Judas? Yes! John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that includes Judas.
    But to go as far as Calvin did by saying that God made Adam fall, and that God produces every act is to attack God’s very character, for God cannot sin or cause anyone to sin. And God is love!
    Calvin went way beyond his bounds by putting words in God’s mouth and then calling it a “horrible decree.”

    goodnight, Goodnight!

    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at 8/07/2008 5:58 AM  

  • So, Alvin, Was the Cross then an afterthought with God?

    Yes, or no, could Pilate have said no to the Jews and let Jesus go?

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 8/07/2008 6:45 AM  

  • So, Alvin, Was the Cross then an afterthought with God?

    Yes, or no, could Pilate have said no to the Jews and let Jesus go?

    Regards,



    Hi Rose


    Abraham sent his servant to get his son Isaac a wife, we take up the story here.

    Abraham,
    “The Lord God of heaven, who took me from the land of my family, and who spoke to me and swore to me, saying, ‘To your decendants I give this land,’ He will send His angel before you, and you shall take a wife for my son from there.
    And if the women is not willing to follow you, then you will be released from this oath; only do not take my son back there.

    Servant,
    Then he said, “Oh Lord God of my master Abraham, please give me success this day, and show kindness to my master Abraham.
    Now let it be that the young woman to whom I say, ‘Please let down your pitcher that I may drink,’ and she says, ‘Drink, and I will also give your camels a drink’-let her be the one You have appointed for Your servant Isaac.

    And it happened, before he had finished speaking, that behold, Rebekah, who was born to Bethuel, son of Milcah, the wife of Nahor, Abraham’s brother, came out with her pitcher on her shoulder.

    And the servant ran to meet her and said, “Please let me drink from your pitcher.”
    So she said, “Drink, my lord.” Then she quickly let her pitcher down to her hand, and gave him a drink.
    And when she had finished giving him a drink, she said, “I will draw water for your camels also, until they have finished drinking.

    So Goodnight, Was Rebekah then an afterthought with God?

    Yes, or no, could Rebekah have said no to Abraham’s servant and let Rebekah go?



    So they said, “We will call the young woman and ask her personally.”

    Then they called Rebekah and said to her, “Will you go with this man?
    And she said, “I will go.”


    Genesis 24:7,8,12-15,17-19; 24:57,58

    regards

    By Blogger alvin, at 8/08/2008 12:01 AM  

  • Good morning Rose/Alvin:

    Alvin: I wish that you would answer my questions which I posing you.

    1) Was the Cross an afterthought with God? Yes or No?

    It would appear to be so from your previous answer in that you have God responding to Pilate's deeds. However, I am posing you the question first and hoping that you can come up with something that fits the Acts 4:28 comments where the wicked came together against Christ to "do whatsoever God's hand and counsel determined beforehand to be done" (Acts 4:28)

    2) Second unanswered question: Yes, or no, could Pilate have said no to the Jews and let Jesus go?

    Sorry for insisting on these answers, but I feel compelled to because Calvin gives his honest assessment of the relationship between God's sovereignty and man's sin. You insist on rubbishing Calvin but you will not answer the obvious questions that I am asking and that is because Calvin takes the Scriptural line and you do not want to admit it.

    So, I would appreciate, for clarity sake, a simple "yes" or "no" answer to the the questions posed. You can always explain your answers afterwards, but a blunt "yes" or "no" will suffice for the moment.

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 8/08/2008 5:34 AM  

  • Goodnight is focusing on one of the central conundrums of the Christian faith, where God, before the foundation of the world, knew all that would be. Christians who hold to God's complete omniscience, and how to God's omnipotence -- unlike some of the very watered down views of God as found in Open Theism, are faced with the issue: God could have created the world and ordered it in such as way that events would have happened differently -- but he did not. How you choose to explain it is very paradoxical and usually ends up as contradictory. Alvin's challenge to is to answer Goodnight's questions -- and to answer it is difficult, and so people usually avoid it.

    Tangentially, I wrote a short story back in February exploring the issues of human freedom in a "predetermined" world where the future is fixed. How would freedom work?

    By Blogger Earl, at 8/08/2008 7:30 AM  

  • Hi Rose

    Goodnight,

    I have clearly shown where Calvin contradicts himself by saying one thing and then saying another. He planted the cause for all sin at God's feet.
    I gave the Scriptural line with Rebekah, to go beyond that is to end up where you and Calvin are, putting words in God's mouth!

    If Calvin would have stopped with this comment: I deny that God is the author of evil

    But Calvin didn't, but put all this in God's mouth and then had the gaul to call it a "Horrible Decree of God."

    Calvin:
    I say, then, that . . . the order, method, end, and necessity of events, are, for the most part, hidden in the counsel of God, though it is certain that they are produced by the will of God . . .

    According to Calvin God even brought about the fall by His will!

    Now. . .God. . .arranges
    all things…

    As Calvin declared. “The first man fell because the Lord deemed it meet that
    he should .




    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at 8/08/2008 7:42 AM  

  • Alvin: You disappoint me on this one. I had hoped that either you would grasp the nettle as Calvin as done or at least had the honestly to affirm what is effectively your belief i.e.

    1) Yes, The Cross was an afterthought with God - Thank you unbelieving Jews, traitous Judas and wicked Pilate for giving God the opportunity to provide us with a Saviour

    2) Yes: Pilate could have wrecked God's plan by facing down the Jews and letting the Passover Lamb go free without shedding one drop of His blood for our sins.

    It might mollify things somewhat if I add that you were left to carry the can on your own, although your persistent attacks on Calvin would suggest that you were the man for the job. Alas! it was not to be as indicated above.

    Thank you Earl for summarising the debate here. If I get a chance, I'll look up your short story.

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 8/08/2008 8:00 AM  

  • Pointnine,
    Thanks so much for the words. I am glad that you find RR amenable. (I shake my head a lot too) :~)

    By Blogger Rose~, at 8/08/2008 10:38 AM  

  • Goodnight, if you don't read the short story, it's no big loss. The story is not that good. I just had fun writing it.

    Alvin -- just try answering Goodnight's distilled questions. It's easy to throw rocks at other views rather than carefully state your own -- which you'll discover has its own problems.

    By Blogger Earl, at 8/08/2008 11:26 AM  

  • Hi Rose

    Let's sum things up!

    I showed where Calvin went way beyond his bounds by not taking his own advice but laid ALL sin at God's feet every rape every child molestation, every murder.

    Now. . .God. . .arranges all things…If God merely foresaw human events, and did not also arrange and dispose of them at his pleasure, there might be room for agitating the question, how far his foreknowledge amounts to necessity; but since. . .he has decreed that they are so to happen. . .it is clear that all events take place by his sovereign appointment. (Calvin, op.cit.,III:xxiii,6.)



    As though that were not enough Calvin had Servetus put to death for being a heretic but at the same time Augustine believed all kinds of heresy. But yet Calvin used Augustine as a authority in his Institutes 400 times without saying anything negative against Augustine. Calvin even believed many of these heresies himself, making himself out to be a hypocrite, and a heritic.
    Evidence:
    One can’t read five pages in Calvin’s Institutes without seeing the name of Augustine. Calvin quotes Augustine over four hundred times in the Institutes alone. He called Augustine by such titles as “holy man” and “holy father.” (Vance, op. Cit; citing Calvin, op. Cit.,139,146,148-49.)
    This shows simply that Calvin embraced the counsel of Augustine, even though Augustine believed such errors as: Infant baptism for regeneration (infants who die unbaptized are damned), the necessity of baptism for the remission of sins (martyrdom does the same), purgatory, salvation in the Church alone through its sacraments and persecution of those who reject Catholic dogmas. Augustine also fathered acceptance of the Apocrypha (which he admitted even the Jews rejected), allegorical interpretation of the Bible (thus the creation account, the six days, ect. In Genesis are not necessarily literal), and rejection of the literal personal reign of Christ on earth for a thousand years (we are now in the millennial reign of Christ with the Church reigning and the devil presently bound).
    Wow!!! We know Augustine was as Earl's word nicely nail's "wandering into forbidden labyrinths, and soaring beyond its sphere" that was where Augustine was by rejecting the milk of the word. And that's where Calvin found his "horrible decree" they were in the same "sphere."



    In conclusion, we have Calvinist who want to quote one side of Calvin's mouth but not the other. And want to give advice on not going beyond the bounds as they see Calvin not doing. Of course you have to be wearing those special spectacle’s to keep things looking like tulips.
    We conclude with Calvin putting all the blame on God:
    Evedence
    Calvin himself states:
    The decree, I admit, is dreadful; and yet it is impossible to deny that God foreknew what the end of man to be before he made him, and foreknew, because he had so ordained by his decree. (Op.cit.,III:xxiii,7)




    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at 8/08/2008 5:43 PM  

  • ...but Alvin, you miss the point of Goodnight's question and argument, how do you handle the questions about Pilate?

    That is where the rubber meets the road. Give it a shot.

    By Blogger Earl, at 8/08/2008 6:16 PM  

  • Hi Rose

    ...but Earl, if you would have been paying attention you would have seen the biblical answer from Rebecah’s story. But instead Goodnight and yourself insist on following Calvin’s inconsistisies and treading where angels shouldn't even go!
    ..."wandering into forbidden labyrinths, and soaring beyond its sphere"

    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at 8/08/2008 6:42 PM  

  • Alvin,

    I don't know if I follow the forbidden labyrinths because you paint things that I don't recognize. For instance:

    A Calvinist can’t even know he is a child of God until he persevere’s unto the end because he could just have a spurious faith...

    I've heard this over and over by some non-Calvinists. There's lots of assumptions made on our behalf. Have you ever had people tell you what you believe -- contrary to your beliefs? I've made that mistake to several people who participate in this group, and I've had to listen and adjust my understanding.

    Paying attention is a two way street, my dear brother in Christ. I confess that I have not paid too much attention because the conversation fell into the pattern of not dialog, but talking bast each other, not listening. For where I have failed in this in this conversation, and I have done that, I ask your forgiveness, Rose's forgiveness, and others in this discussion. But I ask you ask listen and actually engage in a given and take dialog.

    I'm going to let this rest. Think about it. Some other time when we interact, maybe by God's grace we can interact better.

    Blessings to you, my brother in Christ.

    By Blogger Earl, at 8/08/2008 9:42 PM  

  • Good morning Rose/Earl/Alvin:

    It is a pity that we did seem to past as ships in the night in this debate. I fought long and hard to get simple “Yes” or “no” answers to basic questions, but as the above posts show, I fought in vain. Perhaps Rose might like to host a debate either on this blog here or on the UoG blog, say, on the Pilate question. If I may be so bold to word the question, it would be this:

    Yes or No – Answer first and then qualify afterwards, Could Pilate have said “No” to the Jews’ demand to have Christ crucified and let Him go?

    I think it would be more profitable if we could have someone in to take the non Calvinist part who has interests other than just seeking to tear Calvin apart whether in truth or in falsehood. We need not waste time seeking to correct falsehoods about Calvin (whose name need not be even mentioned in such a debate) such as that which appears in the latest offering i.e. that
    ” Calvin used Augustine as a authority in his Institutes 400 times without saying anything negative against Augustine.”

    After a few minutes searching, I can easily prove that this claim is pure nonsense as the following quotes prove:

    How extravagant the view which Augustine sometimes takes!”
    For there is no solidity in Augustine’s speculation,
    While I embrace such soberness with all my heart, I cannot see the least danger in simply holding what Scripture delivers. when Augustine was not always free from this superstition, as when he says, that…”
    To these I might, in my turn, oppose Augustine.

    The definition which Augustine somewhere gives,— viz., that it is obstinate perverseness, with distrust of pardon, continued till death, — scarcely agrees with the words of Christ, that it shall not be forgiven in this world.

    Please excuse my forbearing to give the references from the Institutes as it would take too long. A simple use of “Google” will help those who want to see it for themselves. Calvin frequently criticises Augustine in his writings, but the above show the most absurd claims that are being made about him that simply do not stand the least scrutiny.

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 8/09/2008 6:08 AM  

  • I see the quotes where Calvin criticised Augustine in the Institutes have got jumbled up a bit: they read as follows...

    ”How extravagant the view which Augustine sometimes takes!”

    ”For there is no solidity in Augustine’s speculation,”

    ”While I embrace such soberness with all my heart, I cannot see the least danger in simply holding what Scripture delivers. when Augustine was not always free from this superstition, as when he says, that…”

    ”To these I might, in my turn, oppose Augustine.”

    ”The definition which Augustine somewhere gives,— viz., that it is obstinate perverseness, with distrust of pardon, continued till death, — scarcely agrees with the words of Christ, that it shall not be forgiven in this world.”

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 8/09/2008 6:12 AM  

  • Hi Rose,


    Earl said:



    Alvin,

    I don't know if I follow the forbidden labyrinths because you paint things that I don't recognize.



    Earl that came from Goodnight’s post to you, quoting Calvin.


    Earl: I tend to agree with you here. Calvin himself cautioned against enquiring too deeply into what God had not revealed. The discussion of predestination---a subject of itself rather intricate---is made very perplexed, and therefore dangerous, by human curiosity, which no barriers can restrain from wandering into forbidden labyrinths, and soaring beyond its sphere, as if determined to leave none of the Divine secrets unscrutinized or unexplored. (Insitutes)

    Regards,

    8/01/2008 4:18 PM




    I was just pointing out that Calvin like Augustine had soared beyond their sphere, by putting words into God’s mouth concerning the “Horrible decree of God.” Calvin had contradicted his own warning by doing just what he warned against! So my point being you all wandered into the forbidden labyrinths, and soared beyond the sphere by putting words into God’s mouth “The Horrible decree of God,” that Augustine and Calvin came up with.



    Earl your quoting me here: For instance:

    A Calvinist can’t even know he is a child of God until he persevere’s unto the end because he could just have a spurious faith...


    Earl, if you’ve been following our debates on this subject you would know these facts have already been documented from Calvin’s writings.

    Calvin,

    . . .experience shows that the reprobate are sometimes affected in a way similar to the elect, that even in their own judgment there is no difference between them . . .Not that they truly perceive the power of spiritual grace and the sure light of faith; but the Lord the better to convict them, and leave them without excuse, instills into their minds such a sense of his goodness as can be felt without the Spirit of adoption.

    Still it is correctly said, that the reprobate believe God to be propitious to them, inasmuch as they accept the gift of reconciliation, though confusedly and without due discernment . . .Nor do I even deny that God illumines their minds to the extent, that they recognize his grace; but that conviction he distinguishes from the peculiar testimony which he gives to his elect in this respect, that the reprobate never obtain to the full result or to fruition. When he shows himself propitious to them, it is not as if he had truly rescued them from death, and taken them under his protection. He only gives them a manifestation of his present mercy. In the elect alone he implants the living root of faith, so that they persevere even to the end.

    There is nothing to prevent His giving some a slight knowledge of his gospel, and imbuing others thoroughly. (Calvin, op.cit.,III:ii,11-12)

    Earl, here we have Calvin soaring into other sphere’s that he himself warned against! He accuses God of tricking the reprobates so that he can “the better convict them.” Calvin goes so far as to say the reprobate “believes God to be propitious to them, inasmuch they accept the gift of reconciliation.”

    That he shows himself propitious to them, but not as though he had rescued them from death. Other words Calvin is saying God tricks them into thinking they are saved, and Calvin lays all the blame at God’s feet! This is pure blasphemy!!!



    In spite of many differences of opinion among Calvinists today, Calvinism is generally explained by the acronym, TULIP. Philip F. Condon writes that “a tulip is a beautiful flower, but bad theology. The fruit of the flower is appealing; the fruit of the theology is appalling . . . works, as an inevitable result, are necessary for salvation. To be fair, Classical Calvinists usually object to this by describing the gospel message as not ‘faith + works =justification,’ but ‘faith = justification + works’ . . . This is no more than a word game. It is best seen in the old Calvinist saying: ‘You are saved by faith alone, but the faith that saves you is never alone . . . .(Philip F. Congdon, “Soteriological Implications of Five-point Calvinism” Journal of the Grace Evangelical Society, Autumn 1995), 8:15, 55-68) (DH)

    By Blogger alvin, at 8/09/2008 6:31 PM  

  • I don't mind debating on topics. Let me offer a suggestion if you really are interested in a future debate on any topic of Calvinism or Reformed Theology.

    (1) Use one of the recognized confessions or catechisms used by an offical group (I will defend confessional documents of the PCA, OPC, ARPC, RPCNA -- as well as the Baptist London Confession, and the Three Forms of Unity of Dutch Reformed Churches). My preference of this list is the Westminster Confession and Catechisms:
    The Westminster Confession of Faith
    The Westminster Larger Catechism
    The Westminster Shorter Catechism
    The Belgic Confession
    The Heidelberg Catechism
    The Cannons of Dort
    The London Baptist Confession (With minor revisions by Spurgeon)

    (2) When we Calvinists are asked to explain a theory, I would also like the opposing side to offer their explanation. Debate is a two way street.

    (3) I do not debate the writings of John Calvin or others. Their writings have no official standing in Reformed (Calvinistic) denominations.

    The reason for rule (1) and (3) is because there are strict formulations for Reformed Theology. These are the "quality control" documents that church bodies will identify. The same goes for other confessional groups, such as Lutherans. When I comment on the disagreements I have with Lutheranism, I go to the official Confession and Catechisms of Lutheranism -- and not the writings of Martin Luther. Conservative Lutherans, who hold to the classic teaching of Lutheranism, do not hold to everything Luther wrote. The same is true for Reformed people or Calvinists.

    Point number (2) is what makes a debate a debate. If the one side will not respond to the pointed questions of the other, then it is a diatribe and not a debate.

    If you do want a debate, and you would like me to participate in it, I can be contacted at earl.flask@gmail.com. I don't generally go reading blogs so I will not discover debates in general.

    By Blogger Earl, at 8/09/2008 8:09 PM  

  • Goodmorning Rose/Alvin/Earl:

    Before I leave this particular debate (but hoping that Rose will open up a fresh debate on the Pilate issue) are you going to retract your unfounded statement that:

    ”Calvin used Augustine as a authority in his Institutes 400 times without saying anything negative against Augustine.”

    I gave you a number of quotes (by no means after a thorough search)which proves that you have been building allegations on false foundations.

    Earl: I much prefer it too when there is a keeping to the official Church Confessions. I do not see myself bound to defend every last statement of Calvin (although a sense of justice usually propels me towards defending him when he is unjustly charged, even if I do not particularly agree with some statment or other) - nor for that matter do I see myself bound to defend every last statement of the WCF. But your point holds good.

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 8/10/2008 4:05 AM  

  • Hi Rose



    Goodnight you said:

    Before I leave this particular debate (but hoping that Rose will open up a fresh debate on the Pilate issue) are you going to retract your unfounded statement that:

    ”Calvin used Augustine as a authority in his Institutes 400 times without saying anything negative against Augustine.”

    8/10/2008 4:05 AM




    Goodnight below are the three post I made concerning “Calvin quotes over four hundred times in the Institutes alone.” The first one is a quote, and the documentation is given. The next two post were not quotes but were my own words, and only the last post did I choose the wrong words “anything negative” when I should have put:

    As though that were not enough Calvin had Servetus put to death for being a heretic but at the same time Augustine believed all kinds of heresy. But yet Calvin used Augustine as a authority in his Institutes 400 times without disapproving of any of Augustine’s heresies. Calvin even believed many of these heresies himself, making himself out to be a hypocrite, and a heritic.



    From Dave Hunt’s book “ What Love Is This” page 48.

    Augustinian teachings which Calvin presented in his Institutes included the sovereignty that made God the cause of all (including sin), the predestination of some to salvation and others to damnation, election and reprobation, faith as an irresistible gift from God—in fact, the key concepts at the heart of Calvinism. Nor can we find where Calvin disapproved of any of Augustine’s heresies.



    All the quotes from Augustine and Calvin that I have given also had the documentation given.



    My three posts and dates and times below:





    Howbeit, to prove conclusively that Calvin was a disciple of Augustine, we need look no further than Calvin himself. One can’t read five pages in Calvin’s Institutes without seeing the name of Augustine. Calvin quotes Augustine over four hundred times in the Institutes alone. He called Augustine by such titles as “holy man” and “holy father.” (Vance, op. Cit; citing Calvin, op. Cit.,139,146,148-49.)



    8/03/2008 12:58 AM



    I think I’ve already shown that Calvin was in the same sphere as Augustine whom he quoted in his Institutes 400 times. And that Augustine believed much heresy and that Calvin carried on some of those beliefs such as infant baptism and combining church and state in an ungodly union.

    8/03/2008 11:34 PM



    As though that were not enough Calvin had Servetus put to death for being a heretic but at the same time Augustine believed all kinds of heresy. But yet Calvin used Augustine as a authority in his Institutes 400 times without saying anything negative against Augustine. Calvin even believed many of these heresies himself, making himself out to be a hypocrite, and a heritic.

    8/08/2008 5:43 PM







    Goodnight, are you saying Calvin didn’t say these things?



    Calvin,

    . . .experience shows that the reprobate are sometimes affected in a way similar to the elect, that even in their own judgment there is no difference between them . . .Not that they truly perceive the power of spiritual grace and the sure light of faith; but the Lord the better to convict them, and leave them without excuse, instills into their minds such a sense of his goodness as can be felt without the Spirit of adoption.

    Still it is correctly said, that the reprobate believe God to be propitious to them, inasmuch as they accept the gift of reconciliation, though confusedly and without due discernment . . .Nor do I even deny that God illumines their minds to the extent, that they recognize his grace; but that conviction he distinguishes from the peculiar testimony which he gives to his elect in this respect, that the reprobate never obtain to the full result or to fruition. When he shows himself propitious to them, it is not as if he had truly rescued them from death, and taken them under his protection. He only gives them a manifestation of his present mercy. In the elect alone he implants the living root of faith, so that they persevere even to the end.

    There is nothing to prevent His giving some a slight knowledge of his gospel, and imbuing others thoroughly. (Calvin, op.cit.,III:ii,11-12)



    Calvin,

    Now. . .God. . .arranges all things…If God merely foresaw human events, and did not also arrange and dispose of them at his pleasure, there might be room for agitating the question, how far his foreknowledge amounts to necessity; but since. . .he has decreed that they are so to happen. . .it is clear that all events take place by his sovereign appointment. (Calvin, op.cit.,III:xxiii,6.)

    By Blogger alvin, at 8/10/2008 10:03 AM  

  • Hi Rose



    It is amazing how diligent Calvin was to correct and persecute even to the death those who disagreed with his extreme views on sovereignty and predestination but was apparently able with no trouble to overlook the many heresies of Augustine. At least we don’t find anything in his writings except praise for this man who held to so much that was unbiblical. In fact, as we have seen, Calvin not only praised Augustine, he looked to him as the authority justifying his own beliefs and policies at Geneva. (Dave Hunt “What Love Is This”p.80)

    By Blogger alvin, at 8/10/2008 10:06 AM  

  • Hi Rose



    Earl, here is a little history on the “Westminster Assembly” for everyone:

    Charles I succeeded James. There were debates in Parliament over Calvinism, with it’s proponents gaining the upper hand. The Long Parliament ordered the printing of a book by John Owen which denounced Arminianism and upheld limited atonement. It was in the context of this tumultuous background and the continued partnership of the church with the state that the Westminster Assembly was convened by Parliament. The Parliament “waged a civil war against the King . . . abolished episcopacy, ejected two thousand royalist ministers . . . summoned the Westminster Assembly, executed Archbishop Laud, and eventually executed the King himself in 1649.” (Vance,op,cit.,167)

    Once again the deck was stacked. Westminster was not a gathering of those representing all true believers, but only the Calvinists, who had gained the upper hand in Parliament. Today’s boast is that “all of the Westminster divines were Calvinists.” (William S. Barker, “The Men and Parties of the Assembly.” In John L. Carson and David W. Hall. Eds., To Glorify And Enjoy God: A Commemoration of the 350th Anniversary of the Westminster Assembly,52;cited in Vance, op.cit.,171)

    Furthermore as Vance wisely comments, “ . . . like the Synod of Dort, the presence of government officials at an ostensibly religious assembly raises some questions about it’s legitimacy.” (Vance, op. cit.,172) Expenses of the members were borne by the state. Even Calvinist admit, “The Assembly was a creature of Parliament and was never able to escape from Parliamentary supervision.” (John T. McNeil, The History and Character of Calvinism (Oxford University Press, 1966),324)

    Logan confesses, “ . . .the Assembly . . . was clearly and completely subservient to the political authority of Parliament.” (Samuel T. Logan, “The Context and Work of the Assembly,” in Carson and Hall, op. cit.,36) De Witt also declares that the Assembly “was answerable, not to the King of Kings, but to the Lords and Commons of the English Parliament.” (John R. de Witt, “The Form of Church Government,’ in op. cit.,148) Schaff points out that “the Assembly . . . clung to the idea of a national state church, with a uniform system of doctrine, worship, and discipline, to which every man, women, and child in three Kingdoms should conform.” (Philip Schaff, The Creeds of Christendom Barker Book House, 1990), 1:730)

    Bettany writes: and in 1648 showed their continued intolerance by enacting that all who denied God, or the Trinity, or the atonement, or the canonical books of Scripture, or the resurrection of the dead and a final judgment were to ‘suffer the pains of death, as in case of felony, without benefit of clergy.’ . . . A long catalogue of heresies of the second class was specified, to be punished by imprisonment . . .(G.T. Bettany, A Popular History of the Reformation and Modern Protestantism (Ward, Lock and Bowden, Ltd, 1895), 114-20)

    (DH p.87,88)





    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at 8/10/2008 10:08 AM  

  • Alvin: There is no doubt that Calvin quoted Augustine favourably in the Institutes because many of the things which Augustine wrote were Biblical and would be endorsed by any Evangelical Christian. So that is not the matter in dispute. While I am glad that you now acknowledge that you used the wrong words in your allegation against Calvin yet in your latest posting, you go and say practically the same thing again! I quote:

    ”At least we don’t find anything in his writings except praise for this man who held to so much that was unbiblical.

    Not only “in the Institutes” but now also in “his writings” – again this is pure and unsubstantiated rubbish. I have shown from “his writings” where he accuses Augustine at times as being of being extravagant, superficial etc.,


    Regarding your various other quotes, I cannot take the time to check them all out and see that they are in context etc., and why Hunt saw fit to leave bits out (as represented by the 3 dots …) i.e. was it purely to save space? Hunt’s book, which he advertised with the accolade that it would be possibly the “Book of the Century” :o) is riddled with error. I reviewed it soon after it was published (www.corkfpc.com/6reasonshunt.html) and I found major discrepancy in one of his quotes. I don’t think that you have used the quote, but having given us one of Calvin’s sovereignty quotes from Book 3:23, Hunt closed the quote off and left it hanging there and accused Calvin of indicting God with sin. However, the next paragraph reads thus:

    "When you hear the glory of God mentioned, understand that his justice is included. For that which deserves praise must be just. Man therefore falls, divine providence so ordaining, but he falls by his own fault. The Lord had a little before declared that all the things which he had made were very good, (Genesis 1:31.) Whence then the depravity of man, which made him revolt from God? Lest it should be supposed that it was from his creation, God had expressly approved what proceeded from himself Therefore man’s own wickedness corrupted the pure nature which he had received from God, and his ruin brought with it the destruction of all his posterity. Wherefore, let us in the corruption of human nature contemplate the evident cause of condemnation, (a cause which comes more closely home to us,) rather than inquire into a cause hidden and almost incomprehensible in the predestination of God." (3:23:8)

    Alvin. You are a police man are you not? You know all about taking statements from the accused. If you tampered with someone’s statement and took out the bits that would hinder a prosecution and presented it as the whole confession, you would be prosecuted for perverting the course of justice. This is what Hunt has done and you are, I trust in good faith, but repeating his conclusions. Good faith is commendable but when it is placed in the writings of a man who did not think twice about doing anything he could to blacken Calvin’s name, then it becomes unsatisfactory to say the least. You can read my review for yourself in the link above. I don’t normally use other peoples blogs to promote my own site, but I trust that Rose will overlook it just this once in the circumstances.

    I have read the part of Calvin’s works that deal with this most controversial of subjects. On reflection, I see him honestly upholding the sovereignty of God and at the one and the same time also uphold man’s responsibility. In order to see it explained probably and taken away from the poisoned atmosphere that you do your best to bring the name of Calvin into, as fuelled by Hunt, I sought to introduce a classic NT verse which teaches both. From this verse (Acts 2:23) I also brought in Pilate, since it appears that the whole issue rested in his hands. As any reader of the comments will see, I tried in vain to draw you out in the matter. You refused to give a simple “Yes” or “no” answer to a question which would either justify Calvin’s position or condemn him outright. You still have not done so because the answer that we all know is true is that Pilate was always going to sacrifice Christ. The difference between you and Calvin here is that Calvin had the guts to say so.

    As I said above, it was my intention to end the debate when I asked Rose if she would host the debate properly and let it be purely conducted along Scriptural grounds. This therefore will be my last posting on this particular thread.

    Rose: Thank you indulging me in this debate. Sorry this posting is so long, but it is always a million times easier to let the hares out than it is to try and gather them up again. Will you host the debate proposed above?

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 8/10/2008 11:24 AM  

  • Alvin,

    I don't care how your history reads about the WCF. I know that is unfeeling -- but I don't care. The issue is the content of the confessions.

    Do you know how the Chalcedon creed came about? -- how we determine the nature of Christ? Or the Nicene Creed? Nothing stacked in those counsels? Guess again. The issue is the content of those creeds -- not the bickering of the bishops and politicians -- although that is interesting in many ways, for instance to see how God worked using very sinful people to preserve his church.

    If you want to debate -- talk about content and substance.

    So Alvin, I am interested in substance, ideas. That's what is in those creeds. I am not interested in fallacious ad hominen attacks.

    Goodnight, I agree with you about the confessions. I don't strictly hold to all of them (such as the London Baptist Confession). But why I don't defend John Calvin comes from some experience I had previously (with another FG person) who misinterpreted Calvin. I produced a long quote from Calvin's Institutes showing this person's interpretation was wrong -- and I got no acknowledgment whatsoever. When I see the same behavior of another FG person, I am severely tempted to make improper generalizations about FG people in general along with its founder. I have to work against that bias, because I have come across some that are fair.

    The other thing is that I disagree with various things John Calvin writes in his Institutes (what? and I am a Calvinist?). However, some virulent anti-Calvinists want to overgeneralize Calvinism, or Reformed people by applying their reading and misreading of Calvin -- and declare this is how all Calvinists believe. You and I have hung around Calvinists enough to know lots of those kinds of assertions are hooey. Also, given my past history, I don't find that a worthwhile use of my time.

    Defending the content of the Confessions, I do find useful, because I have taken a public position at my church of subscribing to them, and from time to time I need to do that.

    Well, this is the end of my involvement in this discussion here. Bye you all.

    By Blogger Earl, at 8/10/2008 4:03 PM  

  • Hi Rose


    Goodnight,

    To sum things up, since you weren’t able to. I gave you the answer to your questions, you just couldn’t see them because of your Calvinist glasses.
    Just as Rebekah wasn’t an afterthought neither was the cross, as I stated. And just as Rebekah could have said NO because she had a free will, Pilate could have said NO, because he also had a free will. But here is the difference between the two. Rebekah I believe was convinced by God to go with the servant. Where as Pilate was not convinced by God to do what he did concerning the Christ, because God cannot tempt someone to sin. God is a God of love, that’s His character and He wants what’s best for everyone that means even Pilate, or Judas who He called friend. But by rejecting Jesus, Pilate hardened his own heart and came to his own conclusion. Pilate won’t be able to say at the judgment that God was the cause of his sin.

    If what Calvin said was true, then Pilate just as Adam would be able to say that God caused them to fall.


    As Calvin declared “The first man fell because the Lord deemed it meet that he should . (Calvin, op.cit.,III:xxiii,8)




    “Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man . . .”(James 1:13-14)


    Also Goodnight, produce for us ONE rebuke that Calvin gave Augustine concerning his heresy. With the documintaion. Not just a pat on the hand.

    In conclusion I believe Vance was correct:

    The stumbling block for the Calvinist is the simplicity of Salvation, so upon rejecting this, a mysterious, arcane, incomprehensible, decree of God.
    (The Other Side of Calvinism page 35)

    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at 8/11/2008 10:47 AM  

  • Alvin: I am hoping that Rose will host a debate on the matter that you now have plainly and at long last given a plain and simple answer to i.e. that it was possible that Pilate could have said "no" to the Jews and forbear to sacrifice God's Passover Lamb who was sacrificed for us. I know that she is thinking about doing this and perhaps the fact that you have since given us your view now will encourage her to do so.

    If this should be taken up, I will concentrate my initial arguments along the line that you then believe it was possible for Pilate to frustrate the purposes of God in having Christ sacrificed at that time and indeed, it was possible that Christ would not have been crucified at all, thus leaving us without a blood purchased redemption. I hope that should such a debate take place here that we can both conduct it along Scriptural grounds alone. This certainly would be my intention.

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 8/11/2008 11:09 AM  

  • Hi Rose

    Goodnight, I'm filled up to the gills with Calvinism. It makes me angry just to read about it. And for me to give pitiful stuff that Calvin said and for you to just brush it aside is beyond me!
    Calvin clearly put the first cause at God's feet. You can ignore that but that's the facts. And that attacks the very nature of God, that He would cause man to sin.

    By Blogger alvin, at 8/11/2008 11:41 PM  

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