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Act 13:48


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#1 Micha6:8

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Posted 02 February 2012 - 08:04 PM

I'm studying the arguments for Calvanism. This verse was used as support for it. I'd like to hear rebuttals against it's use in defense of.

42 So when the Jews went out of the synagogue, the Gentiles begged that these words might be preached to them the next Sabbath. 43 Now when the congregation had broken up, many of the Jews and devout proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas, who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God.

44 On the next Sabbath almost the whole city came together to hear the word of God. 45 But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy; and contradicting and blaspheming, they opposed the things spoken by Paul. 46 Then Paul and Barnabas grew bold and said, “It was necessary that the word of God should be spoken to you first; but since you reject it, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, behold, we turn to the Gentiles.

47 For so the Lord has commanded us:


‘I have set you as a light to the Gentiles,
That you should be for salvation to the ends of the earth.’”

48 Now when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and glorified the word of the Lord. And as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed.


Michael

#2 Joel

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 05:21 PM

I'm just going to quote Wesley here as he correctly points out that the Calvinist view is impossible with the Greek:

  • the original word [tasso] is not once used in Scripture to express eternal predestination of any kind - Tasso would be an unusual word to convey predestination. Προορίζω (proorizo) would be more common. In fact, this would be the only such use of tasso in that sense out of the eight New Testament uses and 65 Old Testament (using the Septuagint) uses. Further, tasso is in the pluperfect, which would be a strange tense for predestination; one would expect something more definitive, like an aorist or perfect tense for predestination.
  • He is not speaking of what was done from eternity, but of what was then done, through the preaching of the Gospel. - In Greek, when you join a perfect participle with an imperfect “to be” verb you get a periphrastic pluperfect. In this verse ησαν is an imperfect to be verb and τεταγμενοι is a perfect participle, so we have a pluperfect. The timing for pluperfects are derived from their contexts. The Gentiles were ordained to eternal life when they heared the gospel and received it with gladness. 'Eternity past' isn't in the context and appears as more of an aside, outside the historical narrative, which is a problem for Calvinists since pluperfects derive their timings from narratives.
  • Not that God rejected the rest: it was his will that they also should have been saved: but they thrust salvation from them. - Verse 48 and 46 parallel each other. “they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were devoted to eternal life” from verse 48 corresponds to verses 46 “but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life”. The Calvinist interpretation is asymmetrical and the Arminian interpretation is symmetrical.



#3 Micha6:8

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Posted 04 February 2012 - 08:19 PM

Thank you Joel. I was having a hard time with that one. I can see I will be on this for quite a long time. I am going to learn it inside and out and be done with the arguments. To tell you the truth, when I learned the beginning of this movement during the restoration and how Calvanist burned those who were Arminians at the stake... I'm speechless. The next argument that John Piper uses and says convinced him of Calvanism is Romans 9. Specifically verses 10-15. I'm sure I'll have much to post. Do you guys know of any resources I can access other than PFRS? I do have the link for CCEL. I intend to be thoroughly versed when I'm done so that I no longer will be toss to and fro...
Michael

#4 Joel

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Posted 04 February 2012 - 09:24 PM

PFRS covers Romans 9 pretty well, but the main point is that Paul is not talking at all about individual elections or salvations. To claim he is distorts the message not only of Romans 9 but the whole book of Romans. Basically romans 9 is all about the line of promise and how just because one is descended from Jacob does not mean they are of that line. Indeed the line "Jacob have I loved and Esau have I hated" is an OT quote - go to the OT text and one sees this is speaking of nations not people and does not even mean "hate" in our usual sense of the word. Likewise the reference to Pharoah is off mark because of two things:

1) In Exodus it is explicit that Pharoah hardened his own heart up to a place where thereafter God reinforced Pharoah's own underlying hardness. This parallels Romans 1 nicely.

2) Paul was not using Pharoah as an example of God "predestining" someone to do sin but rather showing that God raised him up to be leader even though he was sinful.

There is a lot more.

#5 Micha6:8

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 06:27 AM

There is a lot more.


Lay it on me Joel. I'm done with Calvanism. I grew up in it without knowing that's what it was. A straight reading of the bible without presupposistions is what caused me to come away from it. It wasn't PFRS but they did help me understand much better. I must also say that understanding that Adam certainly did die in the day he was created was what broke it for me. The whole original sin issue has also cleared it for me. TULIP seems to stem from that point anyway. But I have been told that maybe I just take what Tim Warner says without hearing others. I know this forum is not platform for any specific ministry so I try not to allude to that and respect TBC. I know I mention him alot.

Calvanism in my life led me to think that when I was struggling with sin as a young man that I wasn't "saved". I even got re-baptised once. I know what OSAS did for me and it did the opposite of help. I was never taught right from the beginning and I don't know but it seems there were some things that I was going to have to go through before I was humble enough to receive it. When I read 1 Tim 4:6-8 I can't understand how Calvanist teaching could possible stand but they do. John Piper jumps right down to verse 18 and does it. But I feel I must painstakingly go through all of it. Every argument and every rebuttal of every passage of scripture. All the history and trace it all back to the beginning for myself. I refuse to leave myself without an answer to the questions anymore. And not for arguments sake but for peace in my heart and help others who struggle with it as well. I'm ready for "meat". So for however long it takes I will pick "T.U.L.I.P."s.

By the way. Thank you for the article by Wesley. Understanding that scripture is symmetrical and should be viewed that way is awesome. So understanding when I read something that is out of balance in my understanding of it should show me that I am not viewing it correctly and that I not try to find a way to make it fit with that asymmetrial viewpoint. "Harmonizing" was they way it was said to me in the past but when I read that Joel, the light went on.
Michael

#6 henrydmilligan

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 02:29 PM

Thanks for the testimony Michael.

I never believed full Calvinism, but was taught OSAS. I initially believed it but when studying the scriptures found that the evidence leaned away from that view. The more scripture i learned the more i became convinced it was a false doctrine. In my experience the lie from Satan was that it didn't matter if i gave into the sin, cause i was "saved" already.

To me its just another example as you gave one in your life of how those doctrines can both give false confidence and destroy real confidence in the Lord.

#7 Ben

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 05:28 PM

Hey Michael,
One of the things that helped me understand Romans 9-11 better was when PFRS gave me a grasp of what the "church" is and what "Israel" is. Another thing that helped me view these chapters from a non Calvinistic lens was going back to all the OT quotations and phrases that Paul uses and interpreting it that light. Take for example the potter and clay analogy that Paul uses. If free will get's mentioned the Calvinist will immediately go to this this verse and with his fists held high he'll scream "the sovereignty of God, The sovereignty of God!" but if we take these verses in context we realize that the very thing that the Calvinist would have you believe about this passage is the very premise that Paul is arguing against. Which is that every time the potters metaphor is used throughout the OT(Isaiah 45,29,64,Jer 18) it contradicts the objection in verse 19 and instead asserts that when men do evil, they are indeed resisting God and it is for this resisting that they are being hardened and not the other way around. Calvinists get their understanding throughout these chapters by interpreting these verses in a vacuum without regard for the OT foundation as they do throughout the whole NT. One of the other things that helped me get the context of Rom 9-11 was the fact that Paul is addressing issues that deal with Israel exclusively and Paul does not start bringing the gentiles into focus until Rom 11:13 when he says, "Now I am speaking to you gentiles." There are other clues that this is the case throughout the start of chap 9 until 11:13 such as Paul saying "even by OUR father Isaac" and all the OT citations that deal with Israel. This is one of the main problems with the reformed interpretation of these chapters. They misuse the term "Israel" and apply it to the church and then throughout this whole series of thoughts they believe Paul is teaching Calvinism. From the very start of Romans 9 they think that Paul is stating that "Israel" is now the whole church of gentiles and Jews and then it snowballs from there. Even though in 9:6 Paul is not talking about gentiles at all when he says "For not all those from Israel are this Israel" In fact Paul's beginning argument deals with the fact that Ishmael and Isaac were physical descendants and Ismael was of the flesh and Isaac was according to the promise. The distinction that Paul starts of with is between natural birth and the supernatural birth but both were physical. It's not between physical birth and spiritual birth.

You might already be aware of some of these things but I thought I would throw them out there if it might help.
Ben
Proverbs 2:1-5
My son, if you receive my words, And treasure my commands within you, So that you incline your ear to wisdom,
And apply your heart to understanding; Yes, if you cry out for discernment, And lift up your voice for understanding, If you seek her as silver, And search for her as for hidden treasures; Then you will understand the fear of the Lord, And find the knowledge of God.

#8 Micha6:8

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 07:22 PM

Ben that is very helpful.
Here is an interesting one that John Piper states. Rev 13:8 8 All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. Now Mr. Piper is stating that everyone's name that is written in the book was written before the foundation of the world and that is the only reason you won't worship the beast. If your name wasn't written there before the foundation of the world you will worship the beast. It is the book that was written before the foundation of the world.

I certainly do not read it that way. I read it was the Lamb that was slain from the foundation of the world and the name of the book is "The Book of Life". Do you guys see any merit to what Mr. Piper says about this verse?
Michael

#9 Joel

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 09:14 PM

That is correct. Piper is incorrect - the Greek shows that it is the Book of Life OF the Lamb WHO was slain. The Lamb was slain (sacrifice predetermined from the start that it would occur) and the book in question is the record of those receieivng salvation from the Lamb - the Book of Life. Nothing here actually speaks to when someone's name is entered in the Book, only that those who are not in the Book at the time the events occur are susceptible to the Antichrist deception.

#10 Ben

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 10:34 PM

Hey Michael,

I know many in the evangelical arena consider John Piper to be a voice of authority concerning Christian doctrine, but any pastor who would praise Rick Warren for his teaching and allow him to be a part of their ministry is seriously lacking in the discernment department. Piper is without a doubt a false teacher. Here is a quick example of just how far of the reservation he has gone in communicating who the God of the Bible is.






With that being said it is important to have a good defense for the blatant twisting of scripture that these men employ. Here is the verse in Rev

" and all the ones dwelling on the land will worship him, whose names have not been written in the book of life of the lamb [the one] having been slain from the foundation of the world."

I fully agree that the phrase "from the foundation of the world" applies to "the lamb" and not to "the book of life"

The book of life as it is described in the Scriptures does not fit the Calvinist agenda anyways,

Names can be blotted out.

Exodus 32:30-33 Now it came to pass on the next day that Moses said to the people, “You have committed a great sin. So now I will go up to the Lord; perhaps I can make atonement for your sin.” 31 Then Moses returned to the Lord and said, “Oh, these people have committed a great sin, and have made for themselves a god of gold! 32 Yet now, if You will forgive their sin—but if not, I pray, blot me out of Your book which You have written.”
33 And the Lord said to Moses, “Whoever has sinned against Me, I will blot him out of My book.

Rev 3:5 He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.6 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”’

There are also refrences to names being blotted out from under heaven(deut 9:14, 29:20)
Ben
Proverbs 2:1-5
My son, if you receive my words, And treasure my commands within you, So that you incline your ear to wisdom,
And apply your heart to understanding; Yes, if you cry out for discernment, And lift up your voice for understanding, If you seek her as silver, And search for her as for hidden treasures; Then you will understand the fear of the Lord, And find the knowledge of God.

#11 Micha6:8

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 08:58 AM

Hi Ben & Joel

I have to say I am very confused as to how someone like Mr. Piper who says they love God so much but totally misses the point. I listened to Mr. Piper give his testimony on how he became a Calvanist. He states he grew up a "free will'er". He goes on to talk about college in California where in a bible class his Arminianism was challenged. He states he wrote in a paper for this class that Romans 9 was a tiger prowling around seeking to devour "free will'ers" like him.

I found that statement so shocking for someone who is acclaimed as a scholar to miss the truth of Rom 9. I'm nobody. I haven't stood in a pulpit or written books. How is it that I get and he doesn't. What he says speaks to me. And it scares me. This is why it scares me. Either he has been deceived or he is lying. It disturbs me greatly. I have peace in the truth of what God is showing me through my study but it leaves me asking how such a wrong turn can be taken.

I don't know who Rick Warren is. These things are new to me. All I've ever known is what I grew up with, which was wrong, Tim Warner recently and the pointing to the ECF. My limited exposure to scholars and other viewpoints is now being challenged.

The issue that John Piper states from the very beginning of his seminar was telling to me. He stated that Rom 8 was not for argument. It was for way of life. Rom 8:29-30 are the links that hold verse 28 and if those links are broken he has no ministry. So in other words what I hear is his decree that no one should argue over it and that what he says about Rom 8:28 is the only way that is truth. He builds a false wall of defense and then tells you that there is no way past it. He goes on with tragic hospital stories of church members and how Rom8:28 is the only way you can cope with suffering knowing the soveriegnty of God through Rom 8:28. So he is serious about his ministry centered on that passage and only the way he views it and I can see there will be no changing his mind. Oh how ironic that he openly displays his free will.
Michael

#12 Ben

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 01:55 PM

Hey Michael,

yea with guys like Piper it can be very hard to understand the reasons why they are so far off theologically. Here is Justin Martyrs answer to this question

“Sound doctrine does not enter into the hard and disobedient heart; but, as if beaten back, enters anew into itself.” (Fragments of lost writings of Justin chap 16)

It's very burdensome for me to think about how much damage Piper is doing to his listeners with the false doctrines that preaches and it’s even more troublesome when he seems to display a servant’s heart that is set towards God. I would like to think that falling prey to deception is the primary culprit in these cases and not a deliberate agenda to deceive but ultimately we cannot see inside someone's heart and know their direct motives. It's hard for me to understand how someone who has been studying the Scriptures for nearly all of their adult life does not eventually arrive at the doctrines that were upheld by the earliest Christians.

I do know that when Jesus said "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves" He wasn't exaggerating. It's easy to get caught up in thinking that someone’s message must be genuine because they appear to be proclaiming the name of Jesus and to glorify God, but even Jesus warned of this in Matt 24 when He said "many will come in my name saying, I am the Christ, and will deceive many" implying that even though people will come confessing that He is indeed "the Christ" it is all a facade used to deceive.

Paul also mentions to the Romans in chap 16 to avoid people who bring in doctrines contrary to the ones they were teaching and says something about these people I find very prevalent to today's preachers. "for with smooth words and flattering speech, they deceive the hearts of the simple"

The other thing about Piper and a lot of these other reformed teachers is that they are not consistent with their message. They mix free will in with their fatalism to create of shmorgishborg of confusion.

Ben






Proverbs 2:1-5
My son, if you receive my words, And treasure my commands within you, So that you incline your ear to wisdom,
And apply your heart to understanding; Yes, if you cry out for discernment, And lift up your voice for understanding, If you seek her as silver, And search for her as for hidden treasures; Then you will understand the fear of the Lord, And find the knowledge of God.

#13 Joel

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 08:30 PM

An important thing to remeber is that you cannot get to Calvinism from any literal understanding of the Scriptures. You have to approach them from a more symbolic-allegorical mindset. You also need to not apply any history to the Scriptures at all.

I suspect Calvinism is appealing to people for the same reasons Plato appealed to ancient people. It makes you not responsible for your own actions, says that if you are "in the right" it is because God specially chose you and deliberately did not choose others (appeals to elitism) and by making God unknowable frees you from having to learn about him in any real way.

#14 LoganMM

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 09:11 PM

Before I had any understanding of the errors of reformed theology, I recieved a book by John Piper on the commands of Christ. It was upon reading this book i began to have questions about him. The premise of the book was good, the idea was to set out every command of Christ so as to follow them and to be able to teach those we are discipling to obey them. There was one glaring omission from this book however, there was absolutely NO mention of the sermon on the mount, which is generally acknowledged to be Jesus' foundational teaching(at least with regards to commands). I have absolutely no idea why this was omitted, but I think it is telling that he didn't recognize the sermon on the mount as a fulfillment of Jesus being "that prophet" foretold by Moses. THe fact that it mirrors Moses' own giving of the law so closely, and the fact that Jesus gives His disciples several commands should necessitate it's inclusion to ANY list of Jesus' commands, and especially one that claims to be exaustive.

As I said this was the my first question mark, there have been many since then. The whole Rick Warren thing was in my opinion John Piper's coffin nail. Rick Warren is a wolf and the fact that Piper invited him to speak at his conference, knowing he(warren) has occult leaders teaching from his pulpit, IMO makes Piper at the least a fool, at worst an apostate. I wouldn't recomend his work to anyone, and yet when I try to tell people that Piper is not who he claims to be, almost NOBODY wants to hear it. The same thing goes for Billy Graham, who is on record saying that there are more ways to God than just Jesus Christ. You can show people the video clips and they still won't believe it.



Sorry if my comments are completely tangential:) this was an interesting topic Michael. I am thankful for hungry people like you(all), there are few enough in this world we live in.

#15 Ben

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 08:32 PM

While I'm not a Wesleyan by any means I do like this quote of his,
Ben


John Wesley
Calvinists, who deny that salvation can ever be lost, reason on the subject in a marvelous way. They tell us, that no virgin's lamp can go out; no promising harvest be choked with thorns; no branch in Christ can ever be cut off from unfruitfulness; no pardon can ever be forfeited, and no name blotted out of God's book! They insist that no salt can ever lose its savor; nobody can ever "receive the grace of God in vain"; "bury his talents"; "neglect such great salvation"; trifle away "a day of grace"; "look back" after putting his hand to the gospel plow. Nobody can "grieve the Spirit" till He is "quenched," and strives no more, nor "deny the Lord that bought them"; nor "bring upon themselves swift destruction." Nobody, or body of believers, can ever get so lukewarm that Jesus will spew them out of His mouth.


They use reams of paper to argue that if one ever got lost he was never found. John 17:12; that if one falls, he never stood. Rom. 11:16-22 and Heb. 6:4-6; if one was ever "cast forth," he was never in, and "if one ever withered," he was never green. John 15:1-6; and that "if any man draws back," it proves that he never had anything to draw back from. Heb. 10:38,39; that if one ever "falls away into spiritual darkness," he was never enlightened. Heb 6:4-6; that if you "again get entangled in the pollutions of the world," it shows that you never escaped. 2 Pet 2:20; that if you "put salvation away" you never had it to put away, and if you make shipwreck of faith, there was no ship of faith there!! In short they say: If you get it, you can't lose it; and if you lose it you never had it. May God save us from accepting a doctrine, that must be defended by such fallacious reasoning!

Proverbs 2:1-5
My son, if you receive my words, And treasure my commands within you, So that you incline your ear to wisdom,
And apply your heart to understanding; Yes, if you cry out for discernment, And lift up your voice for understanding, If you seek her as silver, And search for her as for hidden treasures; Then you will understand the fear of the Lord, And find the knowledge of God.

#16 Roger Samsel

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 09:51 PM

Awesome quote!
"For error is plausible, and bears a resemblance to the truth, but requires to be disguised; while truth is without disguise, and therefore has been entrusted to children." - Irenaeus

#17 Micha6:8

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 07:45 AM

Yes it is and so I must remember it.

While I am still studying what Calvanism teaches I have found there are differences in Arminianism and Calvanism themselves. What a historically naive christian I am. I see there is much I just don't know. Do any of you have links to any websites that have correct theology explaining the differences between all the branches of Calvanism and Arminianism? Not being lazy, there is just so many opinions that are blurring things for me. I see some of have traveled this road before.
Michael

#18 Biff205

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 01:50 PM

Dear Micah 6:8,

Allow me to give you a "different" way of thinking or looking at what Calvinists say...

T.U.L.I.P.
T = Total Depravity.
U = Unconditional Election.
L = Limited Atonement.
I = Irresistible Grace.
P = Perseverance of the Saints.

First off, every TRUE Calvinist I know are TULIP Calvanists, meaning that if one of these fail then all fail.
Secondly, every Calvinist I know who deals with the subject cannot see any other way than either/or.
But there are other ways to look at this as well. It doesn't have to be "either/or".

In the area of our being "Totally Depraved", I agree that there is nothing we can do to save ourselves, but what does that have to do with being Totally Depraved? If it weren't for THE WORD OF GOD and our Hearing it, then none of us would be saved...

Romans 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

HMMM!? God says that the Faith needed to save ourselves comes by Hearing God speak - and that He even gives us the ability to Hear Him speak..
Does this end "Total Depravity"? Did Christ die for our sins? The message is: "HEAR"! Ask yourself: "Does this mean that we are depraved in hearing too"?

IF interested in more of this kind of teaching then by all means go here....

http://www.intergate...rn2.htm#warning

Biff

#19 Joel

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 02:06 PM

Yes it is and so I must remember it.

While I am still studying what Calvanism teaches I have found there are differences in Arminianism and Calvanism themselves. What a historically naive christian I am. I see there is much I just don't know. Do any of you have links to any websites that have correct theology explaining the differences between all the branches of Calvanism and Arminianism? Not being lazy, there is just so many opinions that are blurring things for me. I see some of have traveled this road before.


The Society for Evangelical Arminians covers some of this stuff. So does the PFRS section on Calvinism (http://www.pfrs,org).

The important thing to remember is that Calvinism logically requires double predestination (meaning that if some are predestined for salvation then the rest must be predestined for damnation). Talk to any Calvinist long enough about the logical outcomes of their philosophy and they either wind up having to deny Calvinism or embrace all 5 points of TULIP - none of them are self-sustaining.

#20 Micha6:8

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 02:03 PM

Thank you again Joel. When I began studying this issue I started with PFRS. Which is what prompted this whole study for me. I was told I had accepted a biased side of the issue from Tim and, make sure your sitting down, I was told I needed to hear it from someone who presented it fairly. I was given a 10 hour seminar by John Piper. So far and I can presume for the rest of his seminar Mr. Piper is far from fair. And seeing that he maligns the word of God like he does I have to take breaks very often.

Biff
I thank for your website reference. I have read a lot of it. I will have to disagree with part one of the book The Normal Christian Life that is on there. In part one it states we have all sinned before we were born through Adam. If that is true that would make Jesus a sinner as he was born just like I was through a descendent of Adam. The entire chapter of Ezekiel 18 takes care of the issue of "original sin". I can't blame my sin on anyone. I inherited a rebellious nature, not the sin.

Other than that one point I like your site.
Michael




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