What's Wrong With Calvinism?

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Re: What's Wrong With Calvinism?

#31

Post by puritan lad » Mon Jan 17, 2011 1:12 pm

jlay wrote:[PL, I'm curious as to why you don't think redemption (the cross) can be universal in its effects, yet salvation conditional and exclusive.
Redemption, by definition, would be actual redemption, an actual substitutionary payment for sins. Therefore, a redemption that is "universal in its effects" would mean that everyones sins have been actually paid for (not possibly paid for, or potentially paid for). If everyone's sins are actually paid for, the result is universal salvation. According to Scripture, Christ's work produces actually redemption and salvation, not conditional, potential redemption and salvation. Christ "gave himself to us to redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar (chosen) people, zealous of good works" (Titus 2:14)? "He entered once for all into the Holy Place, taking ... his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption" (Hebrews 9:12), so "...that we might be made the righteousness of God in him" (2 Corinthians 5:21). Has this been accomplished for every single person on the planet? Who did Christ "secure an eternal redemption" for?
jlay wrote:[The Bible teaches universal redemption in its statement that Jesus Christ, "by the grace of God, tasted death for every man," and that He "gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time." (Hebrews 2:9; 1 Timothy 2:5-6)
The terms "all", "everyone", and "whole world" are rarely universal in scope. This isn't only the case in Scripture, but in common everyday usage, ie. "The whole world mourned the loss of Princess Diana". (Not really). In the Hebrews passage, the term "man" is not there in the Greek. A better translation of this passage is "tasted death for all" or even "tasted death for any". Neither, particularly the second, demands a universal application.

In 1 Timothy 2, we get a glimpse of what many of the "all" passages refers to. Paul is defending his ministry to the Gentiles (see 1 Timothy 2:7-8). These passages refer to all types of men (not just Jews), not all men in particular.
jlay wrote:[Again, "He is the propitiation for our [the church's] sins and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world." (1 John 2:2)
1 John 2:2 is the most popular passage challenging Particular Redemption. I first would disagree with your interpretation here. "He is the propitiation for our [Jews] sins and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world [all types of men]." I think this interpretation has more biblical basis. Compare with this passage out of John's gospel, with an almost identical construction:

“He did not say this of his own accord, but being high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the nation, and not for the nation only, but also to gather into one the children of God who are scattered abroad.” (John 11:51-52)

The heart of John’s Epistles concerns the Judaist heresy. Over and over again, he warns that “No one who denies the Son has the Father. Whoever confesses the Son has the Father also.” (1 John 2:23). It also appears as if he was writing to Jewish Christians in particular, those who had been “anointed by the Holy One” (1 John 2:20) and knew the truth (1 John 2:21). John was writing to those who had the “old commandment … from the beginning” (1 John 2:7), most likely referring to Jewish converts (the Gentiles did not have the old commandment from the beginning).

So when John tells us that Christ “is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only”, he is using the pronoun “ours” to refer to Jewish Christians. Those who push this passage to favor unlimited atonement must assume that “ours” and “the whole world” consists of a dividing line between Christians and non-Christians, and that is a huge assumption.

The phrase “the world”, as I suggested above, is used to describe all types os men, not "all men without exception". For example, if “the world” in 2 Corinthians 5:19 were meant to refer to every single individual on planet earth, we are stuck with universal salvation.

Secondly, I would point out that 1 John 2:2 itself only gives us two options, Calvinism or Universalism. We are clearly told that Christ is the propitiation for sins, not the "possible" propitiation or the "potential" propitiation. If He is the actually propitiation for sins, then he is so for either "the whole world without distinction" (Calvinism), or "the whole world without exception" (Universalism).
jlay wrote:[Contrast that with: "Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son."
No problem here, except you and I would clearly disagree on the source of our faith. The ability to believe itself is a gift of God, and clearly He does not give it to everyone. In fact, one of the most objective proofs of limited atonement is that not all people get to hear the gospel.
jlay wrote:["Yet salvation is a matter of one's personal decision regarding Christ."
I disagree. Salvation is a matter of Christ's personal decision regarding us.
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Re: What's Wrong With Calvinism?

#32

Post by Maytan » Mon Jan 17, 2011 2:26 pm

I'm not sure I can agree with you, Puritan Lad. I'm inclined to side with jlay here.

For example, Romans 1:20 and John 15:22 (among others that I'm unaware of, I'm sure) speak of being 'without excuse'. Now, if God really does 'pick and choose', then they DO have an excuse. "You never chose me!"

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Re: What's Wrong With Calvinism?

#33

Post by puritan lad » Mon Jan 17, 2011 3:24 pm

Maytan,

You are assuming that 1.) Natural man has the ability to become a Christian without the new birth and 2.) Natural Revelation is sufficient knowledge of God for salvation. Both are false. Natural man cannot receive Christ unless the Father draws (literally "drags" by force.) (John 6:44). Natural Revelation, which all men have (per the Romans passage), makes man without excuse, and that is essentially all that it does. Salvation requires special, divine revelation, such as Peter received (Matthew 16:17)

To clarify, Orthodox Calvinism teaches that:

All men need to come to Christ
All men should come to Christ
All men MAY (are permitted to) come to Christ
All men are commanded to come to Christ (there is no excuse not to)
No man CAN (has the ability or even desire to) come to Christ unless the Father draws him.
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Re: What's Wrong With Calvinism?

#34

Post by Maytan » Mon Jan 17, 2011 3:44 pm

I appreciate the response. A few things, though:
puritan lad wrote:You are assuming that 1.) Natural man has the ability to become a Christian without the new birth
I'm not quite sure how I was doing this.
and 2.) Natural Revelation is sufficient knowledge of God for salvation.
Or this.

I was stating that the Bible says man is without excuse for not following (rejecting) Christ. I'm not quite sure how I stated anything pertaining to salvation, unless it was because I said I was inclined to agree with jlay. In which case, perhaps I didn't read his post quite clearly.
Natural man cannot receive Christ unless the Father draws (literally "drags" by force.) (John 6:44). Natural Revelation, which all men have (per the Romans passage), makes man without excuse, and that is essentially all that it does. Salvation requires special, divine revelation, such as Peter received (Matthew 16:17)
Alright, that makes much more sense to me. Thank you.

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Re: What's Wrong With Calvinism?

#35

Post by B. W. » Mon Jan 17, 2011 3:51 pm

puritan lad wrote:Secondly, I would point out that 1 John 2:2 itself only gives us two options, Calvinism or Universalism. We are clearly told that Christ is the propitiation for sins, not the "possible" propitiation or the "potential" propitiation. If He is the actually propitiation for sins, then he is so for either "the whole world without distinction" (Calvinism), or "the whole world without exception" (Universalism).
Actually the bible calls those born again – Christians (Acts 11:26) and Followers of the way (Acts 9:2). Nowhere in the bible does it say when one is born again they become Calvinist! Therefore, you are in error here regarding 1 John 2:2 referring to becoming Calvinist!

And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.” 1 John 2:2 NKJV

Here is what Paul says…

Romans 3:25, 26, “…whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, 26 to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.” NKJV

Our Faith is to be in Christ alone – not Calvinism and not Universalism but in Christ alone.

Κοσμου is the word Kosmos or as used in 1 John 2:2 Kosmou and the writer of 1 John uses this word most often to denote the world / order of human beings. Word was used this way in Matt 4:8. This word Kosmou is used about 52 times in the NT. About 96% of its use refers to the world of human beings and Kosmou is used in 1 John 2:16, 1 John 3:17, and 1 John 4:5 so from the very writer that uses this word spelled kosmou – he refers to the entire world of men!

Does this imply Universalism – no as Romans 3:25-26 states – only those who have faith in Jesus Christ from out of the entire world become born again Christians and they do not become Calvinist or Universalist.

We are supposed to be transformed into the image of Jesus (Romans 8:29) not a Calvinist! So the correct two options in 1 John 2:2 is become Christian (Rom 8:28) or remain pagan (lost).

For God’s absolute sense of justice to be served – all humanity is offered the propitiation for sins but not all will accept his offer. The problem we discussed before on this topic and ended is that you view choice as some sort of evil work of man.

My position was that God, due to his nature of being absolutely just offered a word to humanity that permits a choice to be made when before, there was none, in doing so, God is absolutely Just!

We are to be followers of Christ – not Calvin, not Luther, not this or that denomination…
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Re: What's Wrong With Calvinism?

#36

Post by puritan lad » Mon Jan 17, 2011 4:02 pm

"Nowhere in the bible does it say when one is born again they become Calvinist! Therefore, you are in error here regarding 1 John 2:2 referring to becoming Calvinist!"
Nor did I ever say this. What I said was that, with regards to the atonement in 1 John 2:2, Calvinism and Universalism were the only options (if you assume that the propitiation was an actual propitiation). The Arminian scripture would have to read something like this:

He is the potential propitiation for our sins and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world, anyone who chooses to make use of it." (1 John 2:2)

But nowhere did I suggest that all Christians become Calvinists. As a matter of common observation, that is not true.

And Calvinists do follow Christ, at least this one does.
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Re: What's Wrong With Calvinism?

#37

Post by B. W. » Mon Jan 17, 2011 4:07 pm

puritan lad wrote:
"Nowhere in the bible does it say when one is born again they become Calvinist! Therefore, you are in error here regarding 1 John 2:2 referring to becoming Calvinist!"
Nor did I ever say this. What I said was that, with regards to the atonement in 1 John 2:2, Calvinism and Universalism were the only options (if you assume that the propitiation was an actual propitiation). The Arminian scripture would have to read something like this:

He is the potential propitiation for our sins and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world, anyone who chooses to make use of it." (1 John 2:2)

But nowhere did I suggest that all Christians become Calvinists. As a matter of common observation, that is not true.

And Calvinists do follow Christ, at least this one does.
That's good to hear - you had me a bit worried for a moment!
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Re: What's Wrong With Calvinism?

#38

Post by puritan lad » Mon Jan 17, 2011 4:12 pm

I have to admit that the section of the quote you used, taken by itself, does demand some questions without the rest of it. We were discussing the extent of the atonement, not the preconditions for justification.

The Bible says to take a wife of harlotry. Context matters :)
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Re: What's Wrong With Calvinism?

#39

Post by jlay » Mon Jan 17, 2011 4:32 pm

Redemption, by definition, would be actual redemption, an actual substitutionary payment for sins. Therefore, a redemption that is "universal in its effects" would mean that everyones sins have been actually paid for (not possibly paid for, or potentially paid for).
I would agree your assessment that in this explanation that everyone's sins have been paid for.
According to Scripture, Christ's work produces actually redemption and salvation, not conditional, potential redemption and salvation. Christ "gave himself to us to redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar (chosen) people, zealous of good works"

And here is where i see the scritpure disagreeing. It is very obvious that the condition is one exercising their own personal belief/faith/trust as mentioned on mulitple occassions in the scriptures.

Not sure you can link Hebrews 9:12 and 2 Cor. 5:21 in this way. Especially considering the audience of these two very different books.
Has this been accomplished for every single person on the planet? Who did Christ "secure an eternal redemption" for?
Obviously in Hebrews the writer is speaking here to Hebrews with emphasis of understanding that what all the sacrifices (that couldn't redeem man) have led up to the ultimate sacrifice. (which could) And it does tie back to chapter 2.
If we go back to Heb 2, we can clearly see the writer opening the eyes of the Hebrews to the idea of gentiles being saved. The point here seems to be that, all, even those outside of Israel are to be redeemed.
The terms "all", "everyone", and "whole world" are rarely universal in scope. This isn't only the case in Scripture, but in common everyday usage, ie. "The whole world mourned the loss of Princess Diana". (Not really). In the Hebrews passage, the term "man" is not there in the Greek. A better translation of this passage is "tasted death for all" or even "tasted death for any". Neither, particularly the second, demands a universal application.
Yes, but does either deny it? Specifically in this context, why do we have reason to take those words in the way you are saying? The context of 1 Tim. doesn't appear to be selective.
So when John tells us that Christ “is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only”, he is using the pronoun “ours” to refer to Jewish Christians. Those who push this passage to favor unlimited atonement must assume that “ours” and “the whole world” consists of a dividing line between Christians and non-Christians, and that is a huge assumption.
Very likely you are right about the use of ours. Not that I see it affects the rest of the passage though.
For example, if “the world” in 2 Corinthians 5:19 were meant to refer to every single individual on planet earth, we are stuck with universal salvation.
How so? In what way does this exclude universal redemtion.
No problem here, except you and I would clearly disagree on the source of our faith. The ability to believe itself is a gift of God, and clearly He does not give it to everyone. In fact, one of the most objective proofs of limited atonement is that not all people get to hear the gospel.
That depends. The potential or ability for faith is clearly a gift from God. The response of faith is also a gift. I just see that He has left in our hands. The hearing of the gospel? What about those who came before Christ that were saved? Was not their faith reckoned to them as righteousness? What does one hearing the gospel have to do with whether they have the capacity to believe it? It also doesn't account for those who do hear the gospel and do not beleive. They are clearly condemned for their own decision to reject what they heard. Otherwise God is condemning them for what they have no capacity for in the first place.
Salvation is a matter of Christ's personal decision regarding us.
I don't necessarily disagree with that. Just in how you are seeing it appropriated. In your case I can't help but see that we're right back to eeny meeny miny mo.
No man CAN (has the ability or even desire to) come to Christ unless the Father draws him.
Of course, and God desires all men to be saved. 1 Tim 2:4
Nor does he take any pleasure in the death of the wicked? Rather, He is pleased when they turn from their ways and live. Ezekiel18:23
And of course, God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. John 3:17

And to clarify, universal redemption in the way it is being discussed here is in NO WAY universalism.
Salvation requires special, divine revelation, such as Peter received (Matthew 16:17)
I think you are manipulating the words to your own end. Because Paul clearly shows that God will, and has already revealed Himself to all of mankind. Romans 1:19-20. "since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. " Yes it is divinely revealed. Even to those who choose not to trust it for themselves. They deny it, and suppress the truth in unrightreousness.
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Re: What's Wrong With Calvinism?

#40

Post by 7777777 » Mon Jan 17, 2011 5:00 pm

Maytan wrote: And likewise, God never stops loving us.
Who's "us"?
Maytan wrote:
7777777 wrote:That's exactly what I'm saying. No, God does not love each and every one of us. The gift of salvation is only for those that believe.
That's a pretty big claim. Especially with such a heavily quoted verse like John 3:16 being out there. I'm inclined to believe God *does* love all of us.
Then, what is the difference between a believer and non-believer? Do you think God feels differently towards the two? This myth that God loves everybody just gives atheists the courage to stay atheists. They reason, "God won't send me to Hell. After all, He loves me." This "Jesus loves everybody" is the biggest crock in Christianity.

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Re: What's Wrong With Calvinism?

#41

Post by Maytan » Mon Jan 17, 2011 5:29 pm

7777777 wrote:Who's "us"?
Everyone, of course.
Then, what is the difference between a believer and non-believer?
Just that: belief, faith if you will. John 14:6. God loving us doesn't automatically get us into heaven, we have to accept him and profess our sins while asking for forgiveness.
Do you think God feels differently towards the two?
I'm not extremely well-versed in scripture, so I can't say I can answer this for sure. If I had to guess, I'd say yes. Puritan Lad said it nicely, I think; though I'm not sure I'm yet in agreement on the whole 'choosing' thing.
puritan lad wrote:2.) There is a sense that God does love everyone (providentially). He gives us all life, blessings, and make the rain and sun fall on all. But the special redeeming love is only for the elect, those whom He chose as His children. As such, there is a sense that God hates and abhors the wicked (Psalm 5:5-6). This hate is not the malevolent hate that we humans are prone to, but it is a very real hate nonetheless. (The common mantra "God loves the sinner, but hates the sin" draws an unbiblical distinction, for what is there in a sinner except for sin? There is nothing in us that moves God to love us, only His own amazing grace.)
This myth that God loves everybody just gives atheists the courage to stay atheists. They reason, "God won't send me to Hell. After all, He loves me."
Except that God (well, Jesus) states that "no man cometh unto the Father but by me." Never stating that God loving us is a free ticket into heaven. Thus, believing that we'll get into heaven regardless of whether or not we reject Christ is an utter misconception.
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Re: What's Wrong With Calvinism?

#42

Post by jlay » Mon Jan 17, 2011 6:25 pm

Then, what is the difference between a believer and non-believer?
You are answering the very question you are asking. It is like asking what is the difference one who uses credit cards and one who doesn't. Obvioulsy belief is the difference. It certainly isn't sin. For ALL have sinned.
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Re: What's Wrong With Calvinism?

#43

Post by puritan lad » Mon Jan 17, 2011 6:45 pm

jlay wrote:It is very obvious that the condition is one exercising their own personal belief/faith/trust as mentioned on mulitple occassions in the scriptures.
If you are saying that the condition for justification is one exercising their own personal belief/faith/trust, I disagree. Belief is the result, as well as the identifying mark, of justification, not the condition. Ultimately, we'll have to establish how such belief is obtained.
jlay wrote:How so? In what way does this [“the world” in 2 Corinthians 5:19] exclude universal redemption.
I'm not sure what your question is here. If God has reconciled every single individual to himself, then we have universalism.
jlay wrote:That depends. The potential or ability for faith is clearly a gift from God. The response of faith is also a gift. I just see that He has left in our hands.
What has he left in our hands? Either Jesus saves, or else he helps us save ourselves. Which is it?
jlay wrote:The hearing of the gospel? What about those who came before Christ that were saved? Was not their faith reckoned to them as righteousness?
They were saved the same way all saints are saved, through the gospel of Jesus Christ. (Galatians 3:8, 1 Corinthians 10:1-4)
jlay wrote:What does one hearing the gospel have to do with whether they have the capacity to believe it?
So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ. (Romans 10:17) It is the preaching of the Word that is the means by which God has chosen to save. If only the modern church would grasp this fact.
jlay wrote:Of course, and God desires all men to be saved. 1 Tim 2:4
We dealt with this above. Paul is defending his ministry to the Gentiles (1 Timothy 2:7-8)
jlay wrote:Nor does he take any pleasure in the death of the wicked? Rather, He is pleased when they turn from their ways and live. Ezekiel18:23
True, but I do not see universal redemption here.
jlay wrote:And of course, God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. John 3:17
True, but the world, as I have shown, does not mean every single man without exception. Christ came to save all types of men, not to "possibly" save everyone without exception.
jlay wrote:And to clarify, universal redemption in the way it is being discussed here is in NO WAY universalism.
Universal redemption and universalism are synonyms, unless Christ's redemption doesn't really redeem anyone. That's the problem with so-called universal redemption. No one is really redeemed by it. While it sounds nice to hear that Christ died to save everyone, what it really teaches is that Christ death was effective in the salvation of no one.
jlay wrote:I think you are manipulating the words to your own end. Because Paul clearly shows that God will, and has already revealed Himself to all of mankind.
No manipulating necessary. Natural Revelation is not effective in terms of justification, unless Scripture is mistaken about darkened minds, dead men, and blind people. (See John 14:17) Romans 1 makes no mention of redemption.

"The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned." (1 Corinthians 2:14)
Last edited by puritan lad on Mon Jan 17, 2011 6:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What's Wrong With Calvinism?

#44

Post by Maytan » Mon Jan 17, 2011 6:51 pm

I'm a bit perplexed as to why all your quotes say 'Maytan', when I'm not the speaker you're quoting. :p

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Re: What's Wrong With Calvinism?

#45

Post by puritan lad » Mon Jan 17, 2011 6:57 pm

Maytan wrote:I'm a bit perplexed as to why all your quotes say 'Maytan', when I'm not the speaker you're quoting. :p
Oops. Slow Down PL. Thou Shalt Not Bear False Witness...

Fixed it.
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