John Wesley's theology

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Re: John Wesley's theology

#271

Post by jlay » Fri Dec 23, 2011 7:40 am

And I don't believe that Calvinists are being targeted out of maliciousness or just because they're Calvinists. What I'm saying is- If not Calvinism, then what? To me that question hasn't been answered, not even close
I guess you could go back to the 1st century and ask the same question. 2nd century, 3rd, ......., 15th.

Narnia, I have provided a link in this thread for anyone who wants to go and study on their own the 'then what, of dispensational theology.' As with Arminiamsim, Dispensational theology is really nothing more than a branch birthed out of the same reformed movement. As Bart pointed out, we all have much in common. The focus tends to be on the things we do not agree on, such as the doctrine of election (not election itself), and the doctrine of predestination.
This thread was started as an attack on Wesley, and was shown early on, by myself that Wesley was misrepresented by Whitefield. That post I made and others was ignored, skipped over, whatever, in favor of discussing Calvinism, for whatever reason. I admire Whitefield and Spurgeon in many ways, but feel they often missed the gist and like those here confuse the rejection of the 'doctrine of predestination' with the rejection of predestination itself.
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Re: John Wesley's theology

#272

Post by August » Fri Dec 23, 2011 8:28 am

neo-x wrote:Brother August, I would like to clarify,
I was concerned, given his arguments, and the definitions from earlier, that neo-x was indeed advocating Pelagianism, and I still am to some extent.

**Edit: Just to be clear, I also include Finney and semi-Pelagianism as part of the same question.
Pelagianism says that salvation is by Man's effort alone and God's grace is only present through giving us an example to follow. I definitely never said that. I don't know how you understand Pelagianism, but that right here is something I didn't claim.

Semi-Pelagianism says grace is not necessary for the initial stage of salvation and will be imparted after the person has come to faith in Christ.
This again is something I didn't claim.
Hi neo,

Of course no-one will claim to be pelagian, and I don't for one minute here think that anyone really is. So while I acknowledge and agree with your statements and definitions, my question was different to what you answered.
In fact I said the direct opposite, with God calling us first through his grace in Christ on the cross - he enables us to receive his grace, now those who believe are saved.
No one can come to me unless the father draws him. In Christ God draws all who respond to his message. The only difference here is that my definition of grace is not of what you call "effectual grace/irresistible grace". Grace has to be responded by faith. Faith comes by hearing the gospel, so in fact it is God who institutes faith in us when we are willing to come to God in response to his message which he started.
This is where we part ways, obviously. Where do you read that "God draws all who responds to His message"? That is not drawing at all then. You cannot pull what is already coming towards you. Grace and faith cannot be separated (Eph 2:8,9). In fact your last sentence here is correct, but not consistent with the rest of your paragraph.

If your definition of grace is is different, then my original contention stands. If you can resist it, and despite having been infused with grace, you decline the gospel, then how is that not semi-pelagianism? Semi-pelagianism states that the beginning of faith is a free will act, with grace as a supplementary element. So either prevenient grace in your scheme is of no consequence, and has no influence, because you end up making a free will decision anyway, or the grace is irresistible. By virtue of declining the gospel as a free will act, that is semi-pelagianism, as grace has no influence and is of no consequence if you can resist it by your free will.

So just to clarify, Calvinists also believe that coming to God is a free will act. In fact, it is the first truly free will act a man can do, because through the grace of God, he has been freed from the slavery of sin. For the first time his being is in such a state that he has a heart of flesh that can discern the spiritual, and he can respond joyfully and willingly to the call of the gospel. But just as Lazarus could not deice to come out of the room where he was lying already starting to smell a little, can no man free himself for the deathly wages of sin, or perform a heart transplant on himself. That is why Christ is both the founder and perfecter of our faith, and He assigns it (Rom 12:3).

Under your scheme though, man, while still in his blind, dead, fallen state, has the ability to generate from within himself some faith that demands God draw him. It goes: "Hey God, look at me, I have some faith over here. Now come hand over those keys to heaven.". One should remember that faith is not mere belief (and I may have misstated that in an earlier answer as well). Saving faith is total surrender, it is the giving up of the old self in favor of a new creation in Christ. It is being enveloped in the complete and utter unconditional love of God, as a result of the blood of Christ that appeased the anger of God for our sins. None of that has anything to do with what is in us in our dead sinful state. It has to do with what Christ accomplished on the cross.
Now the term Semi-Pelagianism becomes often vague especially when you are accusing someone outside of Calvinism. My understanding is that most argue this position through "anything which imparts to man a role in salvation greater than Calvinism teaches" is bound to be a heretic. But does the Bibles say the same? The error arises only when you use the definition of effectual grace. Since it is irresistible it cannot be resisted hence everything starts with God, sure, but this moves within the boundary of monergism, and camps a case for absolute determinism. Further more it denies the part where the Bible CLEARLY teaches something else.
Please don't insert red herrings here. The definition of semi-pelagianism is clear...it is that the start of faith is a free will act. For your objection to stand, you need to show from Scripture that prevenient grace 1. exists, and 2. that it can be resisted. Even point 4. of the remonstrance is self-contradictory on that. I know that the standard text trotted out here is Acts 7:51. That is however nothing to do with resisting the internal working of the Spirit, but how Israel resisted the work of the Spirit seen in the prophets, as 7:52 and 53 clearly show. This address is to those who deny Christ, even though it was foretold by prophets who were inspired by the Spirit, and is consistent with how Israel had acted from the time of Moses.

I already discussed what Calvinism believes on determinism, so please don't try and poison the well here.
See Romans 10

8 But what does it say? “The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,”[d] that is, the message concerning faith that we proclaim: 9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. 11 As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.”[e] 12 For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, 13 for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”[f]
No problems here. Of course we agree. This says nothing about how people come to believe in their heart in the first place though. In other places we expressly read that no man can believe unless he has been reborn. John3:3,7, and we see that being born again is the work of Christ alone 1 Pe 1:3, 23.

Don't forget to read this in context, speaking about Israel, so that we can complete this narrative:
Rom 11:5 So too at the present time there is a remnant, chosen by grace.
Rom 11:6 But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works; otherwise grace would no longer be grace.
Rom 11:7 What then? Israel failed to obtain what it was seeking. The elect obtained it, but the rest were hardened,
Rom 11:8 as it is written, "God gave them a spirit of stupor, eyes that would not see and ears that would not hear, down to this very day."
Rom 11:9 And David says, "Let their table become a snare and a trap, a stumbling block and a retribution for them;
Rom 11:10 let their eyes be darkened so that they cannot see, and bend their backs forever."
We read here clearly that some in Israel received salvation(v11) because they were so chosen, by grace and grace alone, even though they tried by works, by obeying the law. God acted against them, and made it impossible for them to respond in any way because they refuse to accept that Christ is the Messiah, even if it was prophesied. So even though they confessed their adherence to the law, seen as works, because it was not through grace, they did not obtain salvation. Good thing we know how the story ends, with God having mercy on His people.
There are clearly something that fall on man as a response to God's call, like having faith. Note, Semipelagian thought teaches that the latter half - growing in faith - is the work of God, while the beginning of faith is an act of free will, with grace supervening only later. I am saying that it is grace that started the whole thing. So no Pelagianism/Semi-Pelagianism is being advocated here by me. If what I am saying is to be termed as Semi-Pelagianism or heretical because we are using a vague definition of Semi-Pelagianism as most Calvinists do, then it is wrong.
Neo, I take your statement in good faith brother, and I believe that you don't regard yourself as pelagian in any way, so please don't accuse me of having a vague definition of semi-pelagiansim because I want to fit things into a box. Throughout this thread I have contended very little for Calvinism as a theological system, trying instead to stay true to the whole of Scripture, as you are. I am truly just trying to understand why the logic you are using doesn't translate to semi-pelagianism.

As I said earlier, if you want to contend for both grace starting something in you, and your ability to resist it by free will, then you need to show how that is not contradictory. Or how it doesn't translate to semi-pelagianism. I know, and I already contended for, the fact that unregenerate man can and does resist the Spirit. Until he doesn't any more. But your position leaves man in some semi-regenerate or half-born position, where he may, for some reason or other, accept or decline the gospel. I just don't see such a state in Scripture. In Scripture, man is either fallen and dead in sin, or he is regenerate, has faith and is continuing to work out his faith together with the Spirit.
I agree man can not come to God on his own merit or effort unless God calls him first. But there are secondary causes which clearly do not contradict the bible, rather Calvinism. In such it is a case against Calvinism, not God or the scripture.
Can you elaborate on those secondary causes, that are not also from God? If you truly hold to your first sentence, then we have much less to disagree about. I also think that your view of Calvinism may be slightly warped (Hey, if you say I misdefine semi-pelagiansim, then I can say you misdefine Calvinism :)).
Believe and you shall be saved. You gotta believe, if you want to be saved. You have free will (limited as it is), not irresistible grace, and it can respond to God's call, which has enabled you through Christ's work on the cross. If you say I am wrong then I am only contradicting TULIP, not the scriptures. Hope it helps.
Not really no, it doesn't help. Calvinists agree with you, even the free will bit, up to the point where you want to put a tension between free will and grace. If grace was not the cause of the atonement that was produced on the cross through the work of Christ, then what was, exactly? This is nothing to do with TULIP, bother, it has to do with salvation through grace or by works. I don't particularly like TULIP, I think it is a distraction.

Ok, now just to continue the whole 1 John 2:2 discussion, as we have now been told repeatedly that this passage proves universal atonement, and we have not responded. You may or may not agree with my exegesis below, and accuse me of misreading, or making it too complicated. So be it. We cannot just make assertions about Scripture, we have to study and meditate and pray on it, and try to understand the full meaning of it in the context of the whole counsel of Scripture. If that means going past a superficial reading, then we must do so, since we are to handle the Word of God with care and reverence, and not as some newspaper comic strip.

There are a few things at work here, and you want to continuously appeal to a "simple reading" of the text. We believe we are rendering a simple reading of the text, and we should also agree that it cannot say something different or contradictory to what is mentioned in the direct context, the context of NT soteriology, the work and offices of Christ and what John says elsewhere.

Neo, now to be honest, and you may very well have a small stroke here, you don't believe either that "world" here means "world". Because you keep adding a qualifier, and that qualifier is "faith". So really what you are saying is that Jesus was the propitiation of the sins of the world, but by world you mean "those who have heard the gospel and believe, and have faith". If that is not the case, and I am misrepresenting you, then we are left with the options that you are either saying that propitiation doesn't really mean propitiation, or you are a universalist. Having interacted with you a lot over the last few days, I would say that my first characterization of your position is right, and my latter two completely wrong.

To understand what propitiation means, we need to see where it comes from. It means, from the Greek, "to appease anger". What anger is being appeased? The anger of God against sin, as seen from the time of the fall. To understand the role of Jesus in appeasing this anger, we need to look to where there is a very complete description of the whole history of atonement, which includes appeasing God by blood. The role of Jesus as a High Priest, after the order of Melchizedek, is found here, and directly relates to propitiation as established through the eternal decree of God. We find that whole description in Hebrews 7-10. I can get into more detail about that if needed, but I would ask that people go and read that for themselves, since it is too long to quote here. What is abundantly clear from that section of Scripture is that God was fully appeased by the blood that Christ shed. He is no longer angry, and Christ stands between us and God as the offering that appeased God. Jesus completely satisfied and appeased God, nothing else is needed, no more blood, no more priests. Jesus is the last one, and He still holds the office of High Priest, and will do so eternally.

In there we find that the propitiation was done once, and there is no need to do it again.
Heb 9:28 so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.
Note that the plain reading here says "the sins of many", and since this is directly relevant to the propitiation, this sets some context for how we should read "world" in 1 John 2:2. This rendering would agree with yours, which is "those who believed", the "many" for which Christ poured out His blood (Matt 26:28), which of course, takes us back to Hebrews 7-10 and the required blood offering for appeasement and atonement.

We may then read "world" here as is the case in some other places where "world" is used, as something other than "every person in the human race", as we see from the context of the determinant, which is propitiation, the blood offer to appease the anger of God.

When I said earlier that the text said "our sins", you accused me of reading a Calvinist presupposition into it. I did not, as the text clearly says "1Jn 2:2 He is the propitiation forour sins,". Who is John talking to here? The specific audience is not known, but we can easily see that it is a group of Christians, from the early part of 1 John 1. He is arguing here against docetism, a belief that denied that Christ came in the flesh, and held by some gnostic groups in Asia Minor. With that understanding, and given his use of propitiation which John would not have misunderstood, he is saying that Jesus, having come in the flesh, and through that has fully satisfied the anger of God, is the ONLY such propitiation in the world. Those who want to be "cleansed from unrighteousness" (1:9) have nowhere else in the world to go, they must go to God through Jesus, as He is the appeasement, and that the very nature of propitiation made it necessary that Jesus come in the flesh. That God is available to do this for any ethnic group on the planet, not just the "little children" that John is addressing here, prohibits John's own audience, not the docetists, from claiming Jesus as high priest as their exclusive property. Jesus is the High priest for all those who believe in Him.(Jo 10:14-16, 25-29).

Sorry for the long post, but there was a lot to clear up, some more questions, and I wanted to address 1 John 2:2.
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Re: John Wesley's theology

#273

Post by RickD » Fri Dec 23, 2011 8:36 am

This is why we need to stick with word words actually mean. We cannot simply redefine words to mean whatever we want them to mean in order to satisfy our own theological boxes (and we all have them). What you have both described is, by definition, not predestination. It is ratification. It is a divine "stamp of approval" that is contingent upon the choice of the individual.
and, here's where a lot of the disagreement lies. PL, your meaning of predestination, is different than mine. I'm not changing the meaning, I just disagree with the way you define predestination.
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24 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.


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Re: John Wesley's theology

#274

Post by August » Fri Dec 23, 2011 8:36 am

The Gospel offer? What, offer someone a lie? "Christ died for you...well maybe,...if you are elect. If you are reprobate then he didn't die for you. And if reprobate, I asked you to believe that Christ died for you, I would be asking you to believe a lie. And since few will find the narrow road, odds are, Christ didn't die for you."

Saying the gospel offer is available to all, is trying to have one's cake and eat it too. FWIW, I believe 100% in election, and in universal atonement.
Sorry brother, but this is just more emotionalism in my opinion. I explained how the gospel was viewed in the time of Calvin, and you guys keep on acting as if we have never heard nor addressed these objections. And you insist on presenting the Middletown Bible Church as some kind of authority before which we must all succumb, despite their shallow misrepresentations and cherry-picking.

If you want to start something about the gospel offer, then do so in a separate thread, and we can have it out there.

**Edit: Fixed the quotes.
Acts 17:24-25 (NIV)
"The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands. [25] And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else."

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Re: John Wesley's theology

#275

Post by DannyM » Fri Dec 23, 2011 8:45 am

jlay wrote:This thread was started as an attack on Wesley, and was shown early on, by myself that Wesley was misrepresented by Whitefield. That post I made and others was ignored, skipped over, whatever, in favor of discussing Calvinism, for whatever reason.
The thread was an attack on Wesley’s theology, not on Wesley himself. There’s misrepresentation number 1. The posts you (and others) made was not skipped over, ignored, but rather trampled on by the sudden, and in hindsight inevitable, attacks on Calvinism. Let’s not be in any doubt about what has dominated this thread.
jlay wrote: I admire Whitefield and Spurgeon in many ways, but feel they often missed the gist and like those here confuse the rejection of the 'doctrine of predestination' with the rejection of predestination itself.
As far as I can tell, Wesley’s predestination isn’t predestination at all. At least not in the biblical sense. It ranks alongside your green door red door thing, brother. But I’ll come back to that because I want to go into depth on this. Wesley has not been forgotten. Many bright days ahead. :)
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Re: John Wesley's theology

#276

Post by 1over137 » Fri Dec 23, 2011 8:56 am

neo-x wrote:
puritan lad on Thu Dec 22, 2011 12:14 am

neo-x wrote:
if you were to write to your fellow country men, would you refer to your country's people who are abroad as "the whole world"?

Yes. We do this all the time. The "whole world" mourned the loss of Princess Diana. (Does that mean that every single person mourned? I have to admit, as part of my sinful heart, that I hardly gave it a second thought.)
Hey guys, goodmorning to all :wave:

Now, back to the issues. PL, What I would really like to see is if you can string up the statement like 1 John 2:2, for example, "The "whole world" mourned the loss of Princess Diana." is not even close to what John is saying. However if you would say "Britain and the whole world mourned the loss of Diana" Then you are making a group distinction here, just like the construct of John's statement "our" and the "world" or else you would write "The British all over the world, mourned Diana."

The problem is not about every single person being counted; the implication is that there are non-English people mourning Diana - and that can include anyone when you say the world, not just English. In the context of John it would be the elect and the others, us and them. jesus paid the price not only for us but for them as well. It is not about scattered elect For they would be one group. John would have written "Us and others like us, all over the world" or simply "the elect all over the world".

As I said earlier , nice try but no, that is misrepresenting the position and then knocking it down. As a matter of fact, John seems to be opposing almost the same idea as Calvinism which said that only "us" are saved. He actually wrote that we have to understand that not only "us" but Jesus paid the price for "all".

If you apply your meaning of the word "world" in Rom 12:2 it becomes absolutely pointless and ridiculous
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Is Paul saying do not be like the elect scattered all over the world. If TULIP is scriptural then it has to be consistent all the way.

apply it to 1 John 2:15
"Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him."
what? is John saying do not love the elect scattered all over the world? If you love the world (meaning the elect as you said that he implied some verses earlier) you do not love the father????

Please do explain.
In Romans 12:2 the word αἰῶνι (age) is used and not the word kosmos (http://biblos.com/romans/12-2.htm).

In 1 John 2:15 the word kosmos is indeed used (http://biblos.com/1_john/2-15.htm).
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Re: John Wesley's theology

#277

Post by jlay » Fri Dec 23, 2011 9:28 am

As far as I can tell, Wesley’s predestination isn’t predestination at all. At least not in the biblical sense. It ranks alongside your green door red door thing, brother. But I’ll come back to that because I want to go into depth on this. Wesley has not been forgotten. Many bright days ahead
I have no green door, red door. It is simply a breakdown of what men like Ironside and others have explained over the years.

You have yet to show where the example fails to preserve soverignty, election and predestination. If you want to do that, have at it. Saying Wesley's predestintion is not predestination at all is as arbitrary as me saying Calvin's is.
Sorry brother, but this is just more emotionalism in my opinion.
Well, you know what they say about opinions... :mrgreen:
IMO, I think it is a very fair criticism. And a logical conclusion to limited atonement. I do not see how one can honestly present the gospel as universal KNOWING full well you would be asking some people to believe a lie. In fact we should commend the reprobate for not believing.

I do not see how it is unreasonable to conclude Calvinism....
-As savior, Christ died, was buried and rose again.
-Christ died for our sins accordings to the scriptures. (1 cor 15:3)
(No one is going to disagree at this point.)
-This gospel is NOT universal, but only effective for the elect.
-Christ did NOT die for the sins of the reprobate. Even if a reprobate accepts the truth of the gospel message, he is without hope. Because one's cooperative, volitional belief is not faith in the Calvin sense.
-Presenting the gospel universally is asking some if not most to believe a lie.
Last edited by jlay on Fri Dec 23, 2011 9:31 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: John Wesley's theology

#278

Post by puritan lad » Fri Dec 23, 2011 9:29 am

neo-x wrote: If you apply your meaning of the word "world" in Rom 12:2 it becomes absolutely pointless and ridiculous

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will.


Is Paul saying do not be like the elect scattered all over the world. If TULIP is scriptural then it has to be consistent all the way.

apply it to 1 John 2:15

"Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him."

what? is John saying do not love the elect scattered all over the world? If you love the world (meaning the elect as you said that he implied some verses earlier) you do not love the father????

Please do explain.

neo-x,

Following this reasoning, you have God telling us to hate the very world that he loves. Are we to hate every single person on the planet?

I'm afraid you'll have to try again.
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Re: John Wesley's theology

#279

Post by August » Fri Dec 23, 2011 9:31 am

jlay wrote:Well, you know what they say about opinions... :mrgreen: I
Hey!! Watch it. y[-(
IMO, I think it is a very fair criticism. And a logical conclusion to limited atonement. I do not see how one can honestly present the gospel as universal KNOWING full well you would be asking some people to believe a lie. In fact we should commend the reprobate for not believing.

Calvinism says
-As savior, Christ died, was buried and rose again.
-Christ died for our sins accordings to the scriptures. (1 cor 15:3)
-This gospel is NOT universal, but only effective for the elect.
-Christ did NOT die for the sins of the reprobate. Even if a reprobate accepts the truth of the gospel message, he is without hope.
-Presenting the gospel universally is asking some if not most to believe a lie.
Ok, to be fair, can you list the same for your position, and how it overcomes what you state?
Acts 17:24-25 (NIV)
"The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands. [25] And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else."

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Re: John Wesley's theology

#280

Post by narnia4 » Fri Dec 23, 2011 9:37 am

Ok jlay I'll go back and try to dig up your link.

I do sympathize with the point that BW and Canuckster have been making all along, that if you're defining a term in a different way then you're going to be talking past each other and the entire conversation is a non-starter. That's problem an advantage that the Calvinist has here, there will still be misunderstandings but the basic tenets are pretty well-defined. If an individual have a systematic understanding and define your own terms however you see fit, it seems to me like this person would be more likely to commit an error in reasoning.

And just an aside, I know that William Lane Craig is very popular on forums with an apologetic bent, so I'm pretty surprised that no one has brought up Molinism or tried to defend it (I believe Plantinga holds to it as well).
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Re: John Wesley's theology

#281

Post by DannyM » Fri Dec 23, 2011 9:47 am

jlay wrote:
As far as I can tell, Wesley’s predestination isn’t predestination at all. At least not in the biblical sense. It ranks alongside your green door red door thing, brother. But I’ll come back to that because I want to go into depth on this. Wesley has not been forgotten. Many bright days ahead
I have no green door, red door. It is simply a breakdown of what men like Ironside and others have explained over the years.

You have yet to show where the example fails to preserve soverignty, election and predestination. If you want to do that, have at it. Saying Wesley's predestintion is not predestination at all is as arbitrary as me saying Calvin's is.
And you are yet to produce anything resembling a decent argument against Calvinism. Of course you are not alone there, but let's not get carried away with ourselves, eh. Let's remember the current state of play in this thread, and that those who want to object to Calvinism are floundering.

As for Wesley and green and red doors and what have you, all in good time, my friend.

It is Christmas time and I'm feeling merry. :)
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Re: John Wesley's theology

#282

Post by jlay » Fri Dec 23, 2011 10:50 am

Danny,

There are many things in Calvinism that most of us here would agree with.

I think many good things have been raised regarding the determined views Calvinsm holds regarding election and predestination. I know you don't agree with them.

Narnia,

Good point regarding Molinism.
Ok, to be fair, can you list the same for your position, and how it overcomes what you state?
The state as I presented it, is that some are asked to believe a lie. That being that the gospel is presented universally, although one secretly doesn't believe it is universal. Offer it as if it were for everyone, secretly knowing it isn't.
1st- The one who holds UA believes the gospel truly is universal, for ALL men.
2nd- Christ did die for the sins of all sinners. Not just elect sinners. At least not in the Calvin definition of elect.
Presenting the gospel to all, believing it is truly available for all.
I would think the results of UA would be self-evident. That the soverign will of God permits that grace is afforded to all. And that He desires that all repent. So, I am sincerely curious, how do you see it that my presenting the gospel is asking some to believe a lie?

If it is God's desire, then why is it some will not? Is God's will being thwarted? Hardly. I don't pretend to have every answer. Nor would I pretend, grit my teeth, and concede to reformed definitions, all the while in cognative dissonance.

He, blessed be His Name, has not confined Himself within the narrow limits of any school of doctrine, high, low, or moderate. He has revealed Himself. He has told out the deep and precious secrets of His heart. He has unfolded His eternal counsels, as to the Church, as to Israel, the Gentiles, and the wide creation. Men might as well attempt to confine the ocean in buckets of their own formation as to confine the vast range of divine revelation within the feeble enclosures of human systems of doctrine. It cannot be done, and it ought not to be attempted. Better far to set aside the systems of theology and schools of divinity, and come like a little child to the eternal fountain of Holy Scripture, and there drink in the living teachings of God's Spirit.

Nothing is more damaging to the truth of God, more withering to the soul, or more subversive of all spiritual growth and progress than mere theology, high or low—Calvinistic or Arminian. It is impossible for the soul to make progress beyond the boundaries of the system to which it is attached. If I am taught to regard "The Five Points" as "the faith of God's elect," I shall not think of looking beyond them; and then a most glorious field of heavenly truth is shut out form the vision of my soul. I am stunted, narrowed, one-sided; and not only so, but I am in danger of getting into that hard, dry state of soul which results from being occupied with mere points of doctrine instead of with Christ.

A disciple of the high school of doctrine will not hear of a world-wide gospel—of God's love to the world—of glad tidings to every creature under heaven. He has only gotten a gospel for the elect. On the other hand, a disciple of the low or Arminian school will not hear of the eternal security of God's people. Their salvation depends partly upon Christ, and partly upon themselves. According to this system, the song of the redeemed should be changed. Instead of "Worthy is the Lamb'," we should have to add, "and worthy are we." We may be saved today and lost tomorrow. All this dishonors God, and robs the Christian of all true peace.
C.H.Mackintosh, "One Sided Theology," The Mackintosh Treasury


I think this says a lot. If you think the confines of Calvinism most gloriously represent the nature of God's soverignty then so be it. Obviously I believe otherwise. If Calvinsm be the true framework to contain the mysteries of God, then so be it. As I stated a long time ago in another thread. If Calvinism is true, then my rejection of it means very little. I'm either an elect who is greatly confused, or a reprobate that trust in a Christ that will not save him. Either way, in this framework, God's will is being done.
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"I'm not saying scientists don't overstate their results. They do. And it's understandable, too...If you spend years working toward a certain goal and make no progress, of course you are going to spin your results in a positive light." Ivellious

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Re: John Wesley's theology

#283

Post by Byblos » Fri Dec 23, 2011 11:09 am

jlay wrote:I do not see how it is unreasonable to conclude Calvinism....
-As savior, Christ died, was buried and rose again.
-Christ died for our sins accordings to the scriptures. (1 cor 15:3)
(No one is going to disagree at this point.)
-This gospel is NOT universal, but only effective for the elect.
-Christ did NOT die for the sins of the reprobate. Even if a reprobate accepts the truth of the gospel message, he is without hope. Because one's cooperative, volitional belief is not faith in the Calvin sense.
-Presenting the gospel universally is asking some if not most to believe a lie.
How exactly does one go about knowing who are the elect and who aren't without preaching the Gospel to all?
Let us proclaim the mystery of our faith: Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again.

Lord I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.

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Re: John Wesley's theology

#284

Post by B. W. » Fri Dec 23, 2011 11:19 am

puritan lad wrote:Rick and B.W.,

This is why we need to stick with word words actually mean. We cannot simply redefine words to mean whatever we want them to mean in order to satisfy our own theological boxes (and we all have them). What you have both described is, by definition, not predestination. It is ratification. It is a divine "stamp of approval" that is contingent upon the choice of the individual.
Glad we can agree on this and sorry I missed reading your definitions on page 9 – too many posting and post catching up on, so I missed it.

Like I said earlier, I will answer your responses on page 16 first before I go and respond to your opinions and responses here. It was up too late last night to go into anymore details and I was tired too. With Christmas coming, I’ll be out and in all day doing things so maybe a bit later on that I’ll respond to pages 16 post before this one.

We are both two 'old tough birds' to try the tactics of overwhelming another with a myriad of informational overload to respond too and we both know the value of going slow over these matters.

Be Blest Brother… and Have a Merry Christmas

PS -- Please send me a PM if you like regarding how your family is doing as I wonder how they are since I last prayed for your family years ago. Any praise reports or new news that needs prayer?
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Re: John Wesley's theology

#285

Post by B. W. » Fri Dec 23, 2011 11:49 am

jlay wrote: ...This thread was started as an attack on Wesley, and was shown early on, by myself that Wesley was misrepresented by Whitefield. That post I made and others was ignored, skipped over, whatever, in favor of discussing Calvinism, for whatever reason. I admire Whitefield and Spurgeon in many ways, but feel they often missed the gist and like those here confuse the rejection of the 'doctrine of predestination' with the rejection of predestination itself.
Following Jlays comments - I do not reject predestination itself only the logic construct of the Neo-Calvinist doctrine regarding predestination. I said it before; it needs a courageous Calvinist brave enough to revise it within their own ranks due to the bickering and strife it creates between fellow believers. That in itself is a good reason for revision. I think what Paul wrote long ago may apply here today – 1 Corinthians 1:10-13..
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Old Polish Proverb:
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