Ok, so I'm going to post solely at Byblos request. I will do this in sections because I don't how large amounts of time. My father in law had a stroke yesterday and he has been hospitalized, so it might be difficult for me to complete all my thoughts on Calvinism in a short period of time. Again, I will do this in parts and allow you guys to discuss it.
According to this Calvinist center for theology and apologetics website (http://www.reformed.org/calvinism/index.html) where the Calvinist doctrine is. There is a disclaimer
“This description of the Five Points of Calvinism was written by Jonathan Barlow who acknowledges that not all those bearing the name "Calvinist" would agree with every jot and tittle of this document.”
Now, to be honest. This is good enough. If there is another writing elsewhere that you think is better, fine. But this is what I've been shown, and this is what I'm going to work with.
There some scripture that I want cite before I start. I want to make it very clear that this IS THE WORD OF GOD. It does not “contain” the word or “becomes” the word God. There is no such thing that the bible awakens you in some kind of spiritual experience. The Bible IS the word of God and it is DIRECT communication. The bible is what brings us to life. So, lets go ahead and read it here.
1 John 4:1-6
Quick translation? Every spirit and every teaching that teaches that Jesus is God in the flesh IS FROM GOD. Anything else is NOT from God. I want to make that VERY clear. The doctrine MUST say Jesus IS GOD IN THE FLESH. Because he is FULLY God and FULLY Man.1 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2 By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God; 3 and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world. 4 You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world. 5 They are from the world; therefore they speak as from the world, and the world listens to them. 6 We are from God; he who knows God listens to us; he who is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.
Need that proof? Take a look in Philippians 2:5-11
It is very important that we understand who it is that we worship in Jesus Christ. That is the name which is above EVERY name.5 Have this attitude [e]in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be [f]grasped, 7 but [g]emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. 8 Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death [h]on a cross. 9 For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Ok, now I'm going to go ahead look at the Calvinist doctrine in what they call the 5 points known as “TULIP”. Now right off the bat, I personally have an issue. Maybe its just me, but in light of reading the 2 scriptures I just showed. Perhaps any doctrine should start with Jesus Christ don't you all think? It might be picky, but I think its important to point out that Jesus Christ is clearly not the focal point of the doctrine until they prove otherwise.
Lets take a look at the according to Calvinism:
Salvation is accomplished by the almighty power of the triune God. The Father chose a people, the Son died for them, the Holy Spirit makes Christ's death effective by bringing the elect to faith and repentance, thereby causing them to willingly obey the Gospel. The entire process (election, redemption, regeneration) is the work of God and is by grace alone. Thus God, not man, determines who will be the recipients of the gift of salvation.
Now, the holy spirit is an entirely different subject and I SHOULD make a thread for when you ACTUALLY receive it. I actually planned to do that 1st but Byblos thinks otherwise. But in short, You receive the holy spirit AFTER Baptism. If you need that proof, thats an entirely different thread and discussion. I encourage you all to read up about baptism before I talk about it, for those of you who disagree or think that baptism is “salvation by works”. There are churches or individuals who believe that you only need to call upon the name of the Lord or only need to believe to be saved, and that again is another subject in connection with baptism.
In any case, lets move onto the first point of Calvinism known as T for Total depravity or sometimes known as Total Inability which is as follows
Total Depravity is probably the most misunderstood tenet of Calvinism. When Calvinists speak of humans as "totally depraved," they are making an extensive, rather than an intensive statement. The effect of the fall upon man is that sin has extended to every part of his personality -- his thinking, his emotions, and his will. Not necessarily that he is intensely sinful, but that sin has extended to his entire being.
The unregenerate (unsaved) man is dead in his sins (Romans 5:12). Without the power of the Holy Spirit, the natural man is blind and deaf to the message of the gospel (Mark 4:11f). This is why Total Depravity has also been called "Total Inability." The man without a knowledge of God will never come to this knowledge without God's making him alive through Christ (Ephesians 2:1-5).
Lets look at Mark 4:9 & 12 NASB
Well, look at what we found here. It says that we MAY see or perceive & not see or understand. It does NOT say that we CANNOT perceive or understand. Now, this is Jesus directly talking, folks. You know who Jesus is now, right? Lets look further into the explanation in verse 169 And He was saying, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”
12 so that WHILE SEEING, THEY MAY SEE AND NOT PERCEIVE, AND WHILE HEARING, THEY MAY HEAR AND NOT UNDERSTAND, OTHERWISE THEY MIGHT RETURN AND BE FORGIVEN.”
Take notice here, guys. You hear the word, and RECEIVE it with joy. It wasn't forced or without consent. It doesn't say anything about the holy spirit. Its just plain communication. Need an example of God plainly communicating with his creation to bring us to reason? God and creation working it out together? Lets look at Isaiah chapter 1 where God wants to reason with sinners16 In a similar way these are the ones on whom seed was sown on the rocky places, who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with joy
Notice how he tells us “If we consent and obey”?18 “Come now, and let us reason together,”
Says the LORD,
“Though your sins are as scarlet,
They will be as white as snow;
Though they are red like crimson,
They will be like wool.
19 “If you consent and obey,
You will eat the best of the land;
20 “But if you refuse and rebel,
You will be devoured by the sword.”
Truly, the mouth of the LORD has spoken.
This tells us we HAVE A CHOICE.
Also, if the doctrine of Calvinism is true. Why would God need to reason and ask for the consent of dead people who are dead in their sins and trespasses? Clearly God does here with the vile people of Sodom and Gomorrah because they have the ABILITY to reason and give consent. He still does today through the word of God and the saving grace of Jesus Christ.
Total depravity or inability? Total nonsense, imo. Next up is Unconditional Election. When? Not sure. Like I stated, my father in law is hospitalized and actually as I was writing this my wife called me and told me he was in the ICU. Do you all mind praying for me? His name is Roy, and he taught me a great deal of the bible and I love him dearly.