Thursday, August 23, 2007

Quick Questions For My Calvinist Friends

Calvinists contend that the elect believe due to the influence of irresistible grace. Arminius and the Remonstrants rejected this partly due to the fact that the Bible plainly says that some do indeed resist the Holy Spirit (Acts 7:51).

The Calvinist tends to retort that this is true only of reprobates. They also divide grace into two categories to alleviate the tension. They call one category "common grace" which has various meanings depending on which Calvinist you ask. The general definition comes from Matt. 5:47, where Jesus says that the Father sends rain on both the just and the unjust. The other kind of grace is "regenerating grace" which is always effectual and only for the elect. Calvinist James White makes some rather dismissive statements concerning this issue in Debating Calvinism,

"The doctrine [of irresistible grace] has nothing to do with the fact that sinners "resist" the common grace of God and the Holy Spirit (they do) or that Christians do not live perfectly in light of God's grace." [197]

He end notes this sentence with the following comment,

"Hence the irrelevance of citing passages such as Acts 7:51." [ibid. 207]

I personally find Mr. White's comments extremely unsatisfying. Just how does one resist "common grace"? Would one of my Calvinist friends please explain? Just how is Acts 7:51 a reference to "common grace"? Such a definition as that given in Matt. 5:47 does not fit the context of Acts 7:51.

So my question is rather simple. When a reprobate resists the Holy Spirit just what exactly is he resisting? If the Holy Spirit has no intentions of regenerating the reprobate and has instead decided to "pass him by", then what on earth is the reprobate resisting? Do you really believe you can resolve the difficulty by saying that he or she is resisting common grace? Just how does one resist the rain? And how does such an interpretation harmonize with the context of Acts 7:51? I invite anyone to explain this to me.

I also want to ask my Calvinist friends how they can harmonize their doctrine of irresistible grace with Isaiah 5:1-4,

"Let me sing now for my well-beloved a song of my beloved concerning his vineyard. My well-beloved had a vineyard on a fertile hill. He dug it all around, removed its stones, and planted it with the choices vine. And he built a tower in the middle of it and also hewn out a wine vat in it; then he expected it to produce good grapes, but it produced only worthless ones."

"And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem and men of Judah, judge between Me and My vineyard. What more was there to do for My vineyard that I have not done for it? Why, when I expected it to produce good grapes did it produce worthless ones?" [NASB]

So according to the Lord Himself, He had done all He could do to His vineyard, and yet it still did not produce acceptable fruit. Shouldn't we be able to answer the Lord, "Sorry, but you obviously didn't do all that you could have done Lord. You could have irresistibly caused your vineyard to produce good grapes." The Calvinist, to be consistent with his doctrine, could object in such a way. So here are my last two questions for my Calvinist friends. Would you feel comfortable saying such a thing to the Lord? Would you contend that God did not give sufficient grace for the Israelites to produce acceptable fruit?

42 comments:

Pizza Man said...

Another interesting thing about Matt 5:43-48 is that it indicates God's universal love.

In the passage Jesus says to love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you. The reason given is that we are God's sons. God shows shows his love by example (sending the sun and rain to both the evil and good).

As God's sons, we are to follow his lead. We are to be perfect, and to show perfect love to enemies, just as God does. "Be perfect as your Father in Heaven is perfect." Matt 5:48

If on the other hand, God does not love everyone (the reprobate), then it would be inconsistent for him to require us to.

www.examiningcalvinism.com said...

Ben,

In your comment on 3:23 PM, that was also Dave Hunt's point.

Your post is fantastic, by the way, and I'd like to add it as a page in the OT section, while quoting you and linking to this Blog post.

It seems to me...that what White calls "Common Grace," I seem to call "Prevenient Grace."

At Isaiah 65:2, God reached out to Israel, though they ultimately rejected Him. Ditto at Jeremiah 18:1-13. I would consider God reaching out to them to be an act of grace. Moreover, at John 16:8, the Holy Spirit is said to the One who convicts the world of its sin. Yes its common to all in the world. Yes its grace, if such conviction may perhaps lead to repentance. So I'm wondering if White would consider Prevenient Grace to be a subset of what he deems "Common Grace".

www.examiningcalvinism.com said...

To answer your question,

It seems to me that Calvinism would ultimately portray the matter as God mocking their depravity. God sees their depravity nature and mock thems, while denying the sufficient grace needed to overcome such depravity. However, White argued with Hunt that grace cannot be withheld because it's undeserved in the first place. Yet, in the Lord's analogy, it doesn't seem that He would want to hear that it's really all of His fault, for failing to do more. God's attitude, it seems, is that He has done enough, and that fact alone makes them accountable and ultimately, guilty. thoughts?

www.examiningcalvinism.com said...

Ok Ben, here is the rough draft:

http://www.examiningcalvinism.com/files/OT/Is5_3.html

Main page:

http://www.examiningcalvinism.com/Old_Testament.html

Thoughts?, Suggestions

Classical Arminianism said...

YOU KNOW I LOVED THIS POST! And you have raised an awesome question; one that cannot be reconciled with Calvinistic thought. Way to go!

Billy

kangeroodort said...

Richard,

I checked out the web page. It looks great. Another good passage is Jer. 13:15-17,

"Hear and pay attention, do not be arrogant, for the LORD has spoken. Give glory to the LORD your God before he brings the darkness…But if you do not listen, I will weep in secret because of your pride; my eyes will weep bitterly, overflowing with tears, because the LORD’s flock will be taken captive.”

With regards to this passage, Walls and Dongell make the following observation,

"Knowing that Judah did not turn and listen, the Calvinist concludes that God had already chosen to withhold his transforming grace from them, though he could easily have granted it. So while the text seems to identify Judah’s pride as the root cause of punishment, the Calvinist instead concludes that Judah’s ability to repent depends on God’s eternally fixed plan. Again, although the text seems to identify salvation as God’s deepest desire, the Calvinist must conclude that at a deeper level God never intended to bestow transforming grace on Jeremiah’s hearers. In other words, the true intentions of God cannot be discerned from his words." [Why I Am Not A Calvinist, pg. 57- emphasis in original]

If you are interested in a related article I wrote with regards to Matt. 23:37, got to http://www.indeathorlife.org/soteriology/freewill/calvin_matthew23_37.php

kangeroodort said...

For some reason the link got cut off on my last post. Hopefully it will work this time:

http://www.indeathorlife.org/soteriology/freewill/calvin_matthew23_37.php

kangeroodort said...

OK. Still did not work. After the last part is calvin_matthew23_37.php

kangeroodort said...

Pizza Man,

You make an excellent point. It is funny to me that Calvinist will say that "common grace" demonstrates that God loves everyone, but does not love everyone the same. God apparently loves the reprobate because he allows them a short time on earth to enjoy the rain, etc. John Wesley well pointed out the absurdity of such a position. If the reprobate are to face an eternity of suffering beyond our imagination then it would have been far better that they had never been born, than to have had a short life of fleeting pleasures.

I believe he also made the point that such pleasures would only intensify the suffering of eternity as the reprobate remembered the good that he had in his life on earth. I think an example of this would be the rich man whose suffering was compounded because he wanted water to cool his tongue.

www.examiningcalvinism.com said...

Hey Ben,

Yes, I am interested, and tonight I will work on the Jeremiah verse, and I will also check out your article on Matthew 23:37. I also just completed the rough draft on a "What I believe..." article. I still have to restate some minor things, but when I'm done, I will post it for you to review and comment.

www.examiningcalvinism.com said...

Ben,

What's ironic is that the rich man at Luke 16:19-31 didn't seem to know anything about Calvinistic Fatalism. The rich man could have said, "Abraham, don't bother to send back a dead person to my brothers. Heck, if they're elect, they're elect, and if they're not, then it won't matter anyway."

J.C. Thibodaux said...

I'd also read that passage in Isaiah 5 and wondered about it; I checked up once on what Calvinists say to, "What more was there to do for My vineyard that I have not done for it?"

Their answer as far as I have seen: "Regeneration, that's what!" They conclude that what God did was only the things needed from an 'outward human perspective.' Kind of a silly reply to an obviously rhetorical question, especially since in Calvinist theology, regeneration is the only thing that can produce true spiritual fruit. This view essentially leaves them holding the position that God did everything for Israel except the one thing that could have actually saved them, and still yet asking them what more He could have done.

www.examiningcalvinism.com said...

JCT,

Good point, and I'd like to adapt that response into the write-up. What I suggested that such a thing to did even appear on the radar of what God would ever considering doing.

www.examiningcalvinism.com said...

Sorry for the typo:

Retry:

Good point, and I'd like to adapt that response into the write-up. What I suggested was that, such a thing, did even appear on the radar of what God would ever considering doing. When God said, "what else," it doesn't seem to be within the scope of what God would think of doing.

www.examiningcalvinism.com said...

Ben,

Here is the link to "What I believe" which I've just added to the main page:

http://www.examiningcalvinism.com/files/Articles/believe.html

Micah said...

1. All men apart from the special work of the Holy Spirit "resist" God.

2. "Common grace" is not "prevenient grace" and is simply defined as "The grace of God given to the creation as a whole. God still allows the sun to shine upon the unsaved. He feeds them, allows them to work, and have joy. It is common grace that "restrains" the wrath of God until a later time." This is different from saving grace, which God gifts to the elect.

Thus it is not wrong to say that God has a general love for His creation kosmos but a special redemptive love for the elect. How God can do this while remaining just is explained further in #3.

3. Pizza man writes: "If...God does not love everyone (the reprobate), then it would be inconsistent for him to require us to..." Scripture clearly states that God hates evil doers (Psa 5:5) and yet loves and redeems his elect. Since all have sinned and all are justly condemned by God of their sins, God as the judge can graciously apply the work of Christ's atonement to whomever He wills. We do not know, nor can we, apart from faith who the elect are, God however has chosen graciously to save some of those whom He rightly could have condemned and hated for their evil deeds.

4. As Dr. White notes in Debating Calvinism, "Irresistible Grace" does not mean that people don't resist God, rather it means that the elect will, in time, be drawn to saving faith in Christ. Thus Dr. White is correct in noting that Acts 7:51 don't apply. People 'resist' God all the time in that they willingly break his Laws etc. But we also know, from Scripture, that God "will accomplish all (His)good pleasure" and that everything He plans comes to pass (Isa 46:9-11), therefore it is not as if God is hoping that neutral people will somehow get smart enough to choose Christ, rather, God sovereignly, graciously, and justly saves some of His enemies from the doom they rightly deserve.

5. "When a reprobate resists the Holy Spirit just what exactly is he resisting" - breaking the Laws of God, His commands. God commands "all people everywhere should repent", yet only some do. The ones who do not are "resisting".

6. While quoting Isa 5:1-4 one could just as well quote any passage in the Bible where God is shown providing graciously for people who ultimately reject Him. It is not as if the Calvinist has never before read such verses and GASP is stumped, rather, we understand that God can show his mercy and kindness to people all the time and yet they continue to rebel against Him. This is the nature of mankind and only serves to show just how gracious God is to His elect, who were "children of wrath just as the rest." In fact, Romans 1 seems to sum up exactly what is occurring in Isa 5:1-4, Rom 1:21 For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened...

One must recognize, however that Scripture often user anthropomorphisms of God so that we might understand Him better. For example Isa 5:4 says "...when I expected it to produce good grapes did it produce worthless ones..." but later in Isa we learn that God says, "Remember the former things long past, For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like Me, Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things which have not been done, Saying, 'My purpose will be established, And I will accomplish all My good pleasure'..." (Isa 46:9-10)

Is this a contradiction? No, more of a logical conundrum easily explained when we recognize that Scripture, in expressing how gracious God is to Israel, they none-the-less rebelled against Him. As it is written, Rom 10:21 But as for Israel He says, "ALL THE DAY LONG I HAVE STRETCHED OUT MY HANDS TO A DISOBEDIENT AND OBSTINATE PEOPLE."

But to the elect He says: Rom 10:20 And Isaiah is very bold and says, "I WAS FOUND BY THOSE WHO DID NOT SEEK ME, I BECAME MANIFEST TO THOSE WHO DID NOT ASK FOR ME."

7. Shouldn't we be able to answer the Lord, "Sorry, but you obviously didn't do all that you could have done Lord. You could have irresistibly caused your vineyard to produce good grapes."

To the contrary, God makes it clear in Isa 5 and elsewhere that God does provide men and women everywhere with ample evidence of His existence, goodness, mercy and justice, but because men are sinful, they continue to reject Him . Unless God graciously and supernaturally changes the hearts of these spiritually dead individuals they will not turn to Him. God did everything He says He did, and yet Scripture tells us time and again that Israel revolted against Him. The only way the Arminian can be consistent in this is to say that when helping Israel in Isa 5:1-4, that God had no idea that Israel would turn from Him. But notice further, however, that God predicts these revolts in the Law (Deu 31:20).

Finally, notice something further, your retort is the same as that of Paul's detractor in Romans 9, Why does He still find fault? For who resists His will?"

My reply to you is the same as his, On the contrary, who are you, O man, who answers back to God? The thing molded will not say to the molder, "Why did you make me like this," will it?

So my questions in return to you are as follows:

1. What do you make of Isa 46:9-11 wherein it is made clear that everything God plans comes to pass. Given your application of Isa 5:1-4 you seem to indicate that not everything God wants happens... can you explain how God can be sovereign at all while not knowing nor planning the outcome of the events therein?

2. What do you make of Romans 9:18-21 wherein God's grace in election, and justice in hardening is shown? Can you not see the similarity between the cry of Paul's antagonist and your own to the Calvinist?

3. Finally, what was it about you that caused you to believe in Christ and be saved whereas someone else with exactly the same chances and opportunities rejects him?

Thanks for your time,

Micah Burke

Micah said...

I just noticed you said, in jest, in a previous post that Calvinists should, in debate, say:

1) If the Arminian begins making a strong case, quoting Rom. 9:20 will usually put them in their place..."Who are you O' man to talk back to me...er, I mean...God!"

The problem with your joke here is that it is exactly correct in that Arminians who argue as you have in this post are arguing against God's sovereignty, choice in election and graciousness. Your words echo exactly the antagonist in Paul's letter thus it is not surprising to find Calvinists returning to Romans 9 to find you speaking there. And notice in Romans 9:19 that the antagonist is actually "answering" Paul where he writes, "You will say to me then...", so your backhanded comment suggesting that Calvinists misuse the passage is without basis. Yet I also notice you don't actually deal with the passage you just joke about Calvinists using it...

Jesus' boy said...

Four Unanswerable Questions

There are four lies being told in Orlando today. Modern, man-centered, Christ dethroning religionist would have us believe; God loves everyone; it is God’s will for everyone to be saved; Christ died for everyone; and the Holy Spirit draws the saved and condemned alike. These are well established suppositions, rarely questioned for their truthfulness. To call them into question is to unmask the faulty foundation of a false gospel and kindle the wrath of those desperate to protect their traditions.

1) “What sayeth the Scripture?”

Psalm 11:7
“The Lord is righteous, He loves righteousness”

Romans 9:13
“Jacob I have loved, but Esau I have hated”

God’s love is a holy love. He can no more love unrighteousness than He can cease to be holy. God’s love is for Christ, in Christ, and through Christ. Everything outside of Christ is under the condemnation and wrath of God. He has loved His elect with an everlasting love, having chosen them in Him before the foundation of the world.

Question #1: If God loves all men, those who receive eternal life as well as those who suffer eternal damnation, what does the love of God have to do with anyone’s salvation?

2) What does the Bible say about God’s will and salvation?

Ephesians 1:5
“Having predestined us according to the good pleasure of His Will”

“Having made known to us the mystery of His Will according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself.”

Romans 9:15-18
“I will have mercy upon whomever I will have mercy, and I will have compassion upon whomever I will have compassion. So then it is not of him who wills, or of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy. Therefore, He has mercy on whom He wills, and whom He wills He hardens”.

John 5:21
“For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whom He wills”

Question #2: If God wills for all men to be saved, what does the will of God have to do with anyone’s salvation?

3) What do the Scriptures say about the purpose of Jesus’ death on the cross?

Did He die for all men?

John 10:11
“I am the Good Shepherd, the Good Shepherd gives His life for the sheep”

Titus 2:14
“Who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people”.

Galatians 1:4
“who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father”

If Christ purposed to die for all men1 did He not have the power to accomplish His purpose?

God forbid!

Did He die to make men savable or did He die to accomplish the salvation of a chosen people?

Question #3: If Christ shed His precious blood for all men, what does the work of Christ on the cross have to do with anyone’s salvation?

4) What does God say about the work of the Holy Spirit in redemption?

Are sinners dead (Ephesians 2:1) in need of regeneration, or just sick in need of a little reformation?

Titus 3:5
“He saved us, not because of deeds done by us in righteousness, but in virtue of His own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal in the Holy Spirit”.

2 Corinthians 3:6
“The written code kills, but the Spirit gives life”

Question #4: If the Holy Spirit draws the saved and the condemned alike, what does the Holy Spirit have to do with anyone’s salvation?

The Truth: Salvation is of the Lord! Don’t believe a lie, it will damn your soul.

Greg Elmquist

Jesus' boy said...

The Gospel Vs Arminianism

The Five Points of Arminianism Vs The Five Points of Grace

Arminian Point 1:
Free-Will or Human Ability

Although human nature was seriously affected by the fall, man has not been left in a state of total spiritual helplessness. God graciously enables every sinner to repent and believe, but He does not interfere with man’s freedom. Each sinner posses a free will, and his eternal destiny depends on how he uses it. Man’s freedom consists of his ability to choose good over evil in spiritual matters; his will is not enslaved to his sinful nature. The sinner has the power to either cooperate with God’s Spirit and be regenerated or resist God’s grace and perish. The lost sinner needs the Spirit’s assistance, but he does not have to be regenerated by the Spirit before he can believe, for faith is man’s act and precedes the new birth. Faith is the sinner’s gift to God; it is man’s contribution to salvation.

True Gospel Point 1:
Total Inability or Total Depravity

Because of the fall, man is unable of himself to savingly believe the gospel. The sinner is dead, blind, and deaf to the things of God; his heart is deceitful and desperately corrupt. His will is not free, it is in bondage to his evil nature, therefore, he will not - indeed he cannot - choose good over evil in the spiritual realm. Consequently, it takes much more than the Spirit’s assistance to bring a sinner to Christ - it takes regeneration by which the Spirit makes the sinner alive and gives him a new nature. Faith is not something man contributes to salvation but is itself a part of God’s gift of salvation - it is God’s gift to the sinner, not the sinner’s gift to God.

Arminian Point 2:
Conditional Election

God’s choice of certain individuals unto salvation before the foundation of the world was based upon His foreseeing that they would respond to His call. He selected only those whom He knew would of themselves freely believe the gospel. Election therefore was determined by or conditioned upon what man would do. The faith which God foresaw and upon which He based His choice was not given to the sinner by God (it was not created by the regenerating power of the Holy Spirit) but resulted solely from man’s will. It was left entirely up to man as to who would believe and therefore as to who would be elected unto salvation. God chose those whom He knew would, of their own free will, choose Christ. Thus the sinner’s choice of Christ, not God’s choice of the sinner, is the ultimate cause of salvation.

True Gospel Point 2:
Unconditional Election

God’s choice of certain individuals unto salvation before the foundation of the world rested solely in His own sovereign will. His choice of particular sinners was not based on any foreseen response of obedience on their part, such as faith, repentance, etc. On the contrary, God gives faith and repentance to each individual whom He selected. These acts are the result, not the cause of God’s choice. Election therefore was not determined by or conditioned upon any virtuous quality or act foreseen in man. Those whom God sovereignly elected He brings through the power of the Spirit to a willing acceptance of Christ. Thus God’s choice of the sinner, not the sinner’s choice of Christ, is the ultimate cause of salvation.

Arminian Point 3:
Universal Redemption or General Atonement

Christ’s redeeming work made it possible for everyone to be saved but did not actually secure the salvation of anyone. Although Christ died for all men and for every man, only those who believe on Him are saved. His death enabled God to pardon sinners on the condition that they believe, but it did not actually put away anyone’s sins. Christ’s redemption becomes effective only if man chooses to accept it.

True Gospel Point 3:
Particular Redemption or Limited Atonement

Christ’s redeeming work was intended to save the elect only and actually secured salvation for them. His death was substitutionary endurance of the penalty of sin in the place of certain specified sinners. In addition to putting away the sins of His people, Christ’s redemption secured everything necessary for their salvation, including faith which unites them to Him. The gift of faith is infallibly applied by the Spirit to all for whom Christ died, therefore guaranteeing their salvation.

Arminian Point 4:
The Holy Spirit Can Be Effectually Resisted


The Spirit calls inwardly all those who are called outwardly by the gospel invitation; He does all that He can to bring every sinner to salvation. But inasmuch as man is free, he can successfully resist the Spirit’s call. The Spirit cannot regenerate the sinner until he believes; faith (which is man’s contribution) proceeds and makes possible the new birth. Thus, man’s free will limits the Spirit in the application of Christ’s saving work. The Holy Spirit can only draw to Christ those who allow Him to have His way with them. Until the sinner responds, the Spirit cannot give life. God’s grace, therefore, is not invincible; it can be, and often is, resisted and thwarted by man.

True Gospel Point 4:
Efficacious (or Irresistible) Grace

In addition to the outward general call to salvation which is made to everyone who hears the gospel, the Holy Spirit extends to the elect a special inward call that inevitably brings them to salvation. The internal call (which is made only to the elect) cannot be rejected; it always results in conversion. By means of this special call the Spirit irresistibly draws sinners to Christ. He is not limited in His work of applying salvation by man’s will, nor is He dependent upon man’s cooperation for success. The Spirit graciously causes the elect sinner to cooperate, to believe, to repent, to come freely and willingly to Christ. God’s grace, therefore, is invincible; it never fails to result in the salvation of those to whom it is extended.

Arminian Point 5:
Falling from Grace

Those who believe and are truly saved can lose their salvation by failing to keep up their faith, etc. All Arminians have not been agreed on this point; some have held that believers are eternally secure in Christ - that once a sinner is regenerated, he can never be lost.

True Gospel Point 5:
Perseverance of the Saints

All who are chosen by God, redeemed by Christ, and given faith by the Spirit are eternally saved. They are kept in faith by the power of Almighty God and thus persevere to the end.

According to Arminianism:

Salvation is accomplished through the combined efforts of God (who takes the initiative) and man (who must respond) - man’s response being the determining factor. God has provided salvation for everyone, but His provision becomes effective only for those who, of their own free will, “choose” to cooperate with Him and accept His offer of grace. At the crucial point, man’s will plays a decisive role; thus man, not God, determines who will be recipients of the gift of salvation.

According to the Gospel:

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.

Jesus' boy said...

The Jesus Of Arminianism

WHICH JESUS?

“But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that cometh preacheth another jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.”
2 Corinthians 11:3-4

The apostle Paul spoke of those who would come preaching another jesus; of those who would receive another spirit and accept another gospel. The question we pose to you, the reader, is:
‘Which spirit have you received, which gospel do you believe and WHICH JESUS HAVE YOU ACCEPTED?’

THE ‘JESUS’ OF ARMINIANISM:

The ‘jesus’ of Arminianism is the most popular and adored of all the counterfeit christ’s. This jesus is another false messiah who died, not for God’s chosen people, but for every individual ever born. His death was not to secure the salvation of anyone but was to make salvation potential for everyone, dependant upon their free will choice of Him. This jesus is not the effectual Savior of His people but the potential Savior of every person, thus making man’s free-will decision for God that which will ultimately decide his eternal destiny. It is not Christ and His Work that makes the difference between saved and lost but a free-will act of man. The jesus of Arminianism achieved nothing on the cross for any for whom he died unless they accept what he has done, thereby making it a valid and effectual act. The jesus of Arminianism is a false jesus and no Savior at all.

THE TRUE JESUS:

There is only one True Jesus, the Jesus of the Bible: the One Whom God gives testimony to. The One Who died, was buried and rose again “according to the Scriptures” (see 1 Corinthians 15:1-4). There is only one Savior whom God recognizes as His Son and only His Son saves: the Jesus Who is not only the Son of God but IS God Himself. The true Jesus IS the Second Person of the Trinity (1 John 5:6,7), unlike the Mormon jesus. The resurrected body of the true Jesus was made up of ‘flesh and bones’ (Luke 24:39) and the true Jesus is not already secretly on earth for His coming will be seen by all (Acts 1:9-11 cf. Luke 17), unlike the JW’s jesus. The true Jesus is seated at the right hand of the Father and does not appear at the beck and call of Roman Catholic priests upon their altars as bread and wine. Nowhere in Scripture can it be demonstrated that the sufferings of the true Jesus continued in hell for the redemption of man, as they did for the false jesus of the Faith Movement. The true Jesus died on the cross at Calvary and His shed blood, that is his physical death, DID atone for all the sins of everyone for whom He died. His sacrifice was a once and for all substitutionary sacrifice that requires no repetition and no supplementary act on the part of man in order for it to become effective. His physical death IS sufficient to cover every sin—past, present and future—of all those whom God gave to Him.

The jesuses promoted in the false gospels of religion failed to fully atone for sin by their ‘death’ on the cross. The true Jesus’ atonement for His people was fully efficacious for the redemption of everyone for whom He poured out His blood:

“Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to His cross”
Colossians 2:14

“…but now once in the end of the world hath He appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself”
Hebrews 9:26

“…we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once and for all”
Hebrews 10:10

“For by one offering He hath perfected forever them that are sanctified”
Hebrews 10:14

“…unto Him (Jesus) who loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood”
Revelation 1:5

All these Scriptures testify to the fact of the all-sufficiency and all-efficiency of Jesus’ once and for all sacrifice for His sheep on the cross. As the different gospels preached by these false religions are no Gospel at all, so too, their different jesuses are no Jesus at all and, therefore, no Saviour at all! It is of crucial importance that we believe in the right Jesus. In fact it is a matter of life and death. The jesus you have is identified by the doctrine you believe in. There are billions of people on this earth but only one you and one me. So too, there is only ONE God and ONE Lord Jesus Christ. There is only ONE Savior and if one does not abide in His doctrine, if one does not believe in the only Gospel which reveals the Righteousness of Christ, without which no one can be saved, then one is without God and without hope:

“Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God…”
2 John 9

“For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth…For therein is the Righteousness of God revealed…”
Romans 1:16,17

Imagine a room full of different jesuses. Above their heads are written: ‘The jesus of the Mormons’; ‘The jesus of the Faith Movement’; ‘The jesus of Roman Catholicism’; ‘The jesus of Arminianism’ etc. The characteristics, the attributes, the history and the redemptive work of the jesus you follow must be in accord with the Jesus of the Bible or you have accepted the wrong jesus (1 Corinthians 15:1-4). Why error is so deadly in this matter of who the Savior is and what He has done, is that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.

If one does not hold to the truth about Jesus, how can one be said to have the True Jesus at all?

The doctrine which distinguishes and identifies the jesus you believe in must be in accord with the Scriptures or you have been taught, and do follow, one of the many counterfeit saviors. The true Jesus is the One whose physical death upon the cross, alone fully atoned for the sins of everyone for whom He died. Only this Jesus is the real Savior; only this Jesus provides salvation for His people, the ones whom God chose before the foundation of the world and gave to His Son (Ephesians 1:4 & John 17:2,3). Accept any other jesus, however much he might resemble the true Jesus, however sincerely you believe him to be the true Jesus, and you have embraced a satanic counterfeit who will lead you to an eternal hell.

By Moreno Dal Bello

Jesus' boy said...

Arminian Grace

(to the tune of “Amazing Grace”)

v1
Arminian “grace!”
How strange the sound,
Salvation hinged on me.
I once was lost then turned around,
Was blind then chose to see.

v2
What “grace” is it that calls for choice,
Made from some good within?
That part that wills to heed God’s voice,
Proved stronger than my sin.

v3
Thru many ardent gospel pleas,
I sat with heart of stone.
But then some hidden good in me,
Propelled me toward my home.

v4
When we’ve been there ten thousand years,
Because of what we’ve done,
We’ve no less days to sing our praise,
Than when we first begun.

Jesus' boy said...

I Accepted Jesus - Am I Saved?

Question - Does man have a free will to accept or reject Christ?

Answer -

The problem with the term “free will” is that Bible teachers and Theologians use this term (or idea) to teach a doctrine that includes an action on our part (using our free will) to seal or complete the action of Salvation. We either accept or decline the offer of Salvation made to us from God. This kind of thinking begun with wrong Bibical ideas regarding on how to be Saved. It starts out with the premise that Christ went to the cross and made the payment for every sin commited by man in the history of mankind. People have created this doctrine by using a verse here or there in Scripture and then proceed to ignore what else the Bible teaches on this subject.

They then reach a conclusion that this is the method for Salvation. When we compare Scriptures that deal with how we can become Saved, we quickly see that this is false doctrine. But for those who teach “free will”, this is the foundation they use. If you do not accept this gift from God, if you do not reach out and take advantage of this offer of Salvation, then you have rejected Christ and will be sent to Hell. This man-made doctrine has no Bibical Truth in it!

What the Bible teaches about Salvation is this. First, Christ had to pay for every sin of those He came to Save (past, present, or future) at the time of the cross. Jesus was found guilty for all of those sins and then paid the price which is the equivelent of spending an eternity in Hell. Notice that Christ did all of the work required. Secondly, the Bible teaches that the person to be Saved is spiritually dead. They will NEVER reach out to God.

Romans 3:11 tells us “There are none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.”

The book of Ezekiel chapter 37, tells us we are just a valley of dry bones with no water of the Gospel whatsoever. To teach that all of us have a “free will” to choose or decline God’s offer for Salvation because all of mankind’s sins have been already paid for is deceptive, a lie, and will lead many to the Judgment Throne of God on the last day.

This was never the way to become Saved. How terrible for those who think they are Saved only to find out differently.

Jesus' boy said...

The Arminian Prayer
`Lord, I thank thee I am not like those poor presumptuous Calvinists.

Lord, I was born with a glorious free will; I was born with power by which I can turn to thee of myself; I have improved my grace.
If everybody had done the same with their grace that I have, they might all have been saved.
Lord, I know thou dost not make us willing if we are not willing ourselves. Thou givest grace to everybody; some do not improve it, but I do.
There are many that will go to hell as much bought with the blood of Christ as I was; they had as much of the Holy Ghost given to them; they had as good a chance, and were as much blessed as I am.
It was not thy grace that made us differ; I know it did a great deal, still I turned the point; I made use of what was given me, and others did not - that is the difference between me and them.’

Jesus' boy said...

For whom did Christ die?

“The Father imposed His wrath due unto, and the Son underwent punishment for, either:
1. All the sins of all men, or

2. All the sins of some men, or
3. Some of the sins of all men.
In which case it may be said:
a. That if the last be true, all men have some sins to answer for, and so none are saved.

b. That if the second be true, then Christ, in their stead suffered for all the sins of all the elect in the whole world, and this is the truth.
c. But if the first be the case, why are not all men free from the punishment due unto their sins?
You answer, Because of unbelief. I ask, Is this unbelief a sin, or is it not? If it be, then Christ suffered the punishment due unto it, or He did not.
If He did, why must that hinder them more than their other sins for which He died? If He did not, He did not die for all their sins!”
Dr. John Owen (1616-1683), Vice Chancellor of Oxford University (cf. “The Death of Death in the Death of Christ,” Works, vol. 10, pp. 173-174).

John Owen: “Neither let any deceive your wisdoms, by affirming that they are differences of an inferior nature that are at this day agitated between the Arminians and the orthodox divines of the reformed church
… you will find them hewing at the very root of Christianity
… one church cannot wrap in her communion [Augustine] and Pelagius, Calvin and Arminius
… The sacred bond of peace compasseth only the unity of that Spirit which leadeth into all truth. We must not offer the right hand of fellowship, bur rather proclaim … ‘a holy war,’ to such enemies of God’s providence, Christ’s merit, and the powerful operation of the Holy Spirit” (”A Display of Arminianism,” Works, vol. 10, p. 7).

www.examiningcalvinism.com said...

Is there any way to have "Jesus'boy"'s "spam" deleted?

www.examiningcalvinism.com said...

Micah,

I would like to address a few of your points.

You wrote: “2. Thus it is not wrong to say that God has a general love for His creation kosmos but a special redemptive love for the elect.”

I sagree that God has a general love for all mankind, in terms of rain, ect., as you correctly pointed out, but is John 3:16 about rain? John 3:16 is about Jesus being given to the world for salvation. In fact, Galatians 4:4-5 adds that Jesus came to redeem those who were “under the Law.” Who do you suppose is “under the Law”? I answeer, "the world." When I was a 4-Calvinist, I could not reconcile this. If you can, please do so.

You wrote: “7. … The only way the Arminian can be consistent in this is to say that when helping Israel in Isa 5:1-4, that God had no idea that Israel would turn from Him.”

Question: Was God was playing dumb?
Answer: God was expressing His expectations to Israel, not His lack of omniscience.

You wrote: “Finally, notice something further, your retort is the same as that of Paul's detractor in Romans 9, Why does He still find fault? For who resists His will?”

Don’t you think that that was Israel’s response? “Sorry God, we’re depraved just like you made us. Can’t you help. Come again.” By God’s answer, it doesn’t seem like He takes that argument very well, does it?

You wrote: “3. Finally, what was it about you that caused you to believe in Christ and be saved whereas someone else with exactly the same chances and opportunities rejects him?”

First of all, you would agree that anyone who is saved is saved “by grace through faith.” (Eph 2:8) I do believe that faith requires a choice, whether to believe in Him or not, which obviously speaks to our will, and given our depraved will, God’s grace is essential, which Arminian’s teach as Prevenient Grace, and insist that Regenerative Grace is reserved only for those who are in Christ, and that a person is not in Christ until after he believes, as per Ephesians 1:13: “hears…believes…sealed in Him.”

Thanks for your consideration,
Richard Coords

kangeroodort said...

Hello Micah,

Thank you for stopping by and for leaving such a detailed response. I do not have time right now to address everything you said, but I wanted to make a few quick comments. I will try to address the rest later next week as well as answer some the questions you posed.

You wrote that common grace can be defined basically as I defined it in my post. You also added that it has to do with God restraining the evil in the world to some extent. Are you suggesting that this is the grace that men resist? How does one resist common grace as you have defined it?

You answered my question:

"When a reprobate resists the Holy Spirit just what exactly is he resisting"

with,

- breaking the Laws of God, His commands. God commands "all people everywhere should repent", yet only some do. The ones who do not are "resisting".

The problem with this answer is that Stephen does not say that the people were resisting God's laws through disobedience. He says that they were resisting the Holy Spirit Himself. Let me frame the question another way. What are the intentions of the Holy Spirit that the people are resisting? If he is working to bring them to repentance and they are resisting Him, then they are resisting the Holy Spirit's efforts to truly save them. If the Spirit has no intentions of bringing them to repentance, then again, what are they resisting? If the Spirit is not really trying to accomplish something in their hearts, then they are resisting nothing.

You wrote,

"Unless God graciously and supernaturally changes the hearts of these spiritually dead individuals they will not turn to Him. God did everything He says He did, and yet Scripture tells us time and again that Israel revolted against Him."

God said "What more could I have done?" This is a rhetoric question which should obviously be answered "nothing". All you have done is said that God did not do all He could have. In fact, God negelected to do the one thing that could make a difference in your scheme--irresistibly regenerate them. I don't see how your comments solve the problem here.

You then say,

"The only way the Arminian can be consistent in this is to say that when helping Israel in Isa 5:1-4, that God had no idea that Israel would turn from Him. But notice further, however, that God predicts these revolts in the Law (Deu 31:20)."

I fail to see how God's forknowledge has anything to do with whether or not God meant what He said when He told the Israelites that there was nothing more that He could have done to bring forth the desired fruits in them.

You wrote,

"To the contrary, God makes it clear in Isa 5 and elsewhere that God does provide men and women everywhere with ample evidence of His existence, goodness, mercy and justice, but because men are sinful, they continue to reject Him ."

The context of Isaiah 5 would seem to go far beyond the "general revelation" that you want to compare it with. God worked diligently to ensure that His vineyard would produce fruit. He then asked, "What more could I have done?" Would you agree that this question seems out of place if God is only speaking of His general revelation revealed in Scripture? I agree that sinful men reject such revelation, but according to Calvinism there is something more that God can and must do before they can produce acceptable fruit. The problem again is that God implies that there was nothing more that He could have done that He did not, in fact, do.

You wrote,

"Finally, notice something further, your retort is the same as that of Paul's detractor in Romans 9, Why does He still find fault? For who resists His will? My reply to you is the same as his, On the contrary, who are you, O man, who answers back to God? The thing molded will not say to the molder, "Why did you make me like this," will it?

You later wrote,

"Your words echo exactly the antagonist in Paul's letter thus it is not surprising to find Calvinists returning to Romans 9 to find you speaking there. And notice in Romans 9:19 that the antagonist is actually "answering" Paul where he writes, "You will say to me then...", so your backhanded comment suggesting that Calvinists misuse the passage is without basis."

Of course the only way that you can say such things is if Paul was addressing an objection to unconditional election. I obviously do not believe that this was the basis for Paul's comments. Therefore, I am not impressed with your using Paul's words against me.

If you want to discuss Paul's meaning in this passage, then I would be happy to do so, but your pressuppositons regarding Rom. 9 will not help you with regards to Isa. 5 and Acts 7. You have still not explained how God can say that He did all He could do to produce fruit in Israel when Calvinism denies this. You accuse me of talking back to God but seem to be unaware that you are, in essence, replying to God, "Yes, You could have done more for your vineyard. In fact, You negelected to do the very thing that needed to be done in order for Your vineyard to produce fruit." Now which one of us is talking back to God here?

So with all that you have said I still fail to see how you have adequately answered my questions. You have only succeeded in producing a theological smokescreen without any real substance.

www.examiningcalvinism.com said...

Ben,

I think that you have hit the nail on the head, because it is indeed the Calvinist, and not the Arminian, who is ultimately talking back to God, when Calvinism would absolutely require that there is something more that could be done, and with God's knowledge is routinely done, via Irresistible Grace upon the alleged, elect sheep. So once again, using the anthropomorphism defense, a Secret Will theory must be invoked by the Calvinist. Such secrecy theories are precisely why I could not remain a Calvinist in good faith (as well as having to routinely torture words like all, anyone and world.) If Micah has no problem with reconciling this with his conscience, then so be it, but I couldn't. To what do we attribute the difference, if not free will?

By the way, as the argument develops, I have updated the Isaiah 5:3 write-up:

http://www.examiningcalvinism.com/files/OT/Is5_3.html

J.C. Thibodaux said...

There's got to be some netiquette law against pasting successive whole articles in the comments of someone else's blog. Looks like "Jesus' boy" Chris has taken to using cheap repetitive rhetoric to vent his frustrations. Maybe he's imitating John Owen...

Classical Arminianism said...

I do not even know what to say about "Jesus' boy," except that I devoted a short post to his ungodly, arrogant, mean-spirited, and ignorant comments demonstrated on this comment page. I rarely, thank the Lord!, come across over zealous Calvinists such as him. He is probably young, which explains his eager-beaver zeal; and probably a relatively "new" Calvinist -- they tend to be the worst!

If he EVER leaves comments such as these on my blog, I will not hesitate to delete every single one of them. It is too bad that you (I am guessing) do not have the ability to delete them (?)

Your bro in Christ,

Billy

www.examiningcalvinism.com said...

Consider the following quote from Calvinist, Erwin Lutzer:

“Arminianism said man was sick; Calvinism said man was dead. If he is only sick, common grace might help him to recover by enabling him to make a right choice. But if he is spiritually dead, he needs the Give of Life to make the choice for him….” (The Doctrines That Divide, p.180)

To the Calvinist, the choice is between two graces. Either the lost need Common Grace to enable them to believe, or the lost need Regenerative Grace in order to irresistibly believe. To the Calvinist, the answer to which grace is truly necessary, depends upon how "dead in sin" that you feel that the lost truly is. To the Arminian, the alternative is not between Common Grace and Irresistible Grace, but Prevenient Grace and Irresistible Grace. Perhaps the Calvinist will feel that this distinction is merely splitting hairs, but the undeniable fact is that the Holy Spirit does in fact convict the world of its sin, as per John 16:8, and the power of the Gospel is living and active, as per Hebrews 4:12. So on the one hand, there really is a preceeding grace, via the Holy Spirit and the power of the faith-producing Gospel, and on the other hand, you have Calvinistic Irresistible Grace which apparently, from Isaiah 5:1-5, is completely foreign to the scope of God's involvement with the lost. So while the Calvinist wants to frame the debate as Arminianism denying the deadness of man, it is the Calvinist that underestimates John 16:8 and Hebrews 4:12. So when the Calvinist insists that man is dead, remind them that the Gospel is "alive" and produces "faith." (Hebrews 4:12 and Romans 10:17)

kangeroodort said...

Rich,

I can delete Jesus' Boy's comments, but I think they are harmless. They have no substance and are just an angry rant. To be fair, I believe I visited his blog which had a post on Arminianism being heresy. I told him about my blog and asked him to come over and tell me what a heretic I am. It seems that he did just that, so I will not delete his posts. Of course, I was hoping that he would interact with some of my posts rather than just cut and paste canned and inaccurate attacks on Arminianism. I think the fact that he did not address the questions posed in this post speak volumes. I may write a few responses to his spam, but it is quite low on my priority list right now.

As a side note, I think Jeff Paton responded to his "Jesus of Arminianism" thing at his web-site. I will try to find the link.

Having just briefly looked at some of Jesus' Boys spam again, I would like to point out an inconsitency that I would love for him to resolve.

He says,

"God’s love is a holy love. He can no more love unrighteousness than He can cease to be holy. God’s love is for Christ, in Christ, and through Christ. Everything outside of Christ is under the condemnation and wrath of God. He has loved His elect with an everlasting love, having chosen them in Him before the foundation of the world."

Here he rightly deduces [though I think he is quoting somebody] that we are elect "in Christ" and that anyone outside of Christ will be condemned.

He later writes,

"Consequently, it takes much more than the Spirit’s assistance to bring a sinner to Christ - it takes regeneration by which the Spirit makes the sinner alive and gives him a new nature. Faith is not something man contributes to salvation but is itself a part of God’s gift of salvation - it is God’s gift to the sinner, not the sinner’s gift to God."

Here he says that one cannot exercise faith in Christ until first regenerated. Faith is just part of the salvation package.

My question then is: How does one have life before he comes to be in Christ Jesus? Jesus' Boy first says that we are condemned outside of Christ. He later says that we are regenerated before we can believe. So now we have people who are still condemned in their sins being regenerated before coming to be in Christ. How can one be condemned in sin and regenerated at the same time? The Bible is clear that it is only through "faith" that we come to be "in Christ" in whom alone is life, and in whom there is no condemnation (Eph. 1:13; Rom. 8:1).

So Jesus' Boy, please explain how you can reconcile your two statements with the testimony of Scripture.

J.C. Thibodaux said...

Oh my gosh, sorry to stray from topic, but have you guys checked the site http://www.crosstv.com/ out yet? It's like TBN for Calvinists!

www.examiningcalvinism.com said...

Ben,

There's another quote from Erwin Lutzer that I'm also currently evaluating:

Erwin Lutzer: “Now (and here it gets tricky) Calvinism goes on to say that God grants the inclination and ability to choose Christ to some, namely, the elect. God does not coerce anyone, if that means he saves a man against his will.” (The Doctrines That Divide, p.191)

http://examiningcalvinism.blogspot.com/2007/08/what-is-gospel.html

I challenge Lutzer's statement that indeed Calvinism absolutely does require that God involuntarily, unconsciously and unilaterally coerces individuals via "regeneration" against their depraved will, such that by the implication of "force," does the spiritually brainwashed individual now unfailingly and irresistibly come to Christ. I have plenty of lost friends in which I would love for God to give them Irresistible Grace, but the question remains whether God operates in such a manner, and I believe that you have sufficiently demonstrated from Isaiah 5:1-5 that He does not.

Terry Tiessen said...

Kangeroodort,

Over at the ClassicalArminianism blog, you asked if I would respond to your query, which you raise at greater length here, and I’m happy to make a few comments for what they are worth.

First, let me say that I agree with you that Acts 7:51 is speaking about special grace. To resist the Holy Spirit is to resist in one’s heart the inner working of the Holy Spirit which accompanies an act of divine revelation, whether general or special. In this case, I take the revelation concerning which the Holy Spirit was doing a work of illumination and conviction to be a special (not universal) revelation.

Your reference to Isaiah 5 is an excellent parallel, which is possible because the Holy Spirit did the same sort of ministry in people’s lives in the Old Testament period as he does in the New. In both of these texts, it is very clear that the Holy Spirit does not always work irresistibly. This is something that Calvinists have always recognized and taught. When we speak about “irresistible grace,” we are referring to the effective work of the Spirit whereby people dead in sin are enlivened so that they can respond. When the Spirit does this work, it always produces a positive response (repentance and faith) and it is therefore dubbed “irresistible.”

Like many other Calvinists, I’m not fond of the term “irresistible” and I don’t use it to describe what God does in people’s hearts. Many of us prefer to speak of “effectual calling” because “irresistibility” sounds coercive, as though people are being saved against their will. This is not the case. As Luther demonstrated so well, sinners, whose will is in bondage, do not want to come to God unless God frees them from that bondage so that they can will what is good. When God frees people in this way, it is always effective, God’s call is then “effectual.”

But there are many cases in which the call of God is ineffectual, it is resisted. In fact, scarcely anyone who comes to faith in Christ in adulthood can testify that they never resisted the Spirit’s conviction and drawing prior to the time at which they yielded to God’s grace. This is why we never give up hope even when people seem adamantly opposed to God and have been that way for many years. We do not know whether or not God purposes to draw a person to himself effectively during their life time and so we keep praying and witnessing concerning Christ.

What I hear God saying in Isaiah 5 is not that he had done all that he could (as you suggest) but that he had done enough to constitute resisters guilty and justify his anger. I can understand your puzzlement here. Theologians within the Calvinist tradition have also seen the difficulty and some have attempted to explain the reason for God’s distress at the unbelief of the non-elect and to demonstrate God’s justice in condemning sinners for not repenting and believing when they are unable to do so because of their self-incurred disability.

That is another large subject and I must not get into it in what has already been a rather lengthy blog comment. I have spoken to it at length in a chapter entitled “Who is Able to Believe?” in Who Can Be Saved?

Shalom,
Terry

kangeroodort said...

Terry,

Thanks for stopping by and leaving your thoughtful comments. I know that we could go on and on about this but I do want to address what you said.

You wrote,

"Your reference to Isaiah 5 is an excellent parallel, which is possible because the Holy Spirit did the same sort of ministry in people’s lives in the Old Testament period as he does in the New. In both of these texts, it is very clear that the Holy Spirit does not always work irresistibly."

I agree that Isaiah is a good parallel passage and perhaps one of which Stephen had in mind when he told the religious leaders that they always resist the Holy Spirit. You say that Isaiah 5 demonstrates that the Holy Spirit doesn't always work irresistibly. I would say that it demonstrates that God never works irresistibly.

You wrote,

"When we speak about “irresistible grace,” we are referring to the effective work of the Spirit whereby people dead in sin are enlivened so that they can respond. When the Spirit does this work, it always produces a positive response (repentance and faith) and it is therefore dubbed “irresistible.”

Again, my problem here is that you are affirming that God could have done more for His vineyard. God seems to indicate that there was nothing more that could be done. If God could have made His grace effectual, then there was certianly more that He could have done. God had no reason to expect good grapes if it were impossible for his vineyard to produce good grapes because He had not divinely enabled His vineyard to produce.

Imagine the silliness of a farmer cultivating the land, watering the ground, and all the while knowing that he did not put seed in the ground. Nothing springs forth. Now could the farmer rightly be angry that his crop did not produce? Could he truly say that he did all that was necessary? Did he not neglect the most important thing? While the Lord's harvest produced poor grapes, if your doctrine is true, he did not do the most important thing and he knew full well that his vineyard could not produce unless He did. The bottom line for me is that God said He did all that was necessary, and you say that He did not.

You wrote,

"What I hear God saying in Isaiah 5 is not that he had done all that he could (as you suggest) but that he had done enough to constitute resisters guilty and justify his anger."

Is this what you honestly hear when you read this passage, or is it what you are forced to hear because of your commitment to Calvinism? If he had not enabled His crop to produce good fruit, how can you say that He had "done enough to constitute resisters guilty and justify his anger"??

You wrote,

"I can understand your puzzlement here. Theologians within the Calvinist tradition have also seen the difficulty and some have attempted to explain the reason for God’s distress at the unbelief of the non-elect and to demonstrate God’s justice in condemning sinners for not repenting and believing when they are unable to do so because of their self-incurred disability."

I know that they have tried. I have read some of these attempts. I personally think that the "tension" is further evidence that Calvinism is not a sufficiently Biblical theological system.

I appreciate the feedaback and that you felt I was worth the effort. I know you must be very busy. I will have to consider buying your book when I can next afford to treat myself. Thank you for your very gracious tone. I hope you will consider responding to some of my other posts if and when you get the opportunity.

God Bless,
Ben

Jnorm888 said...

I think most Calvinists would say that God gives the "desire" to a person so that they would irresistibly choose God, faith.....ect

Because it's an internal thing they wouldn't call it force. They would see force as something external to the person making them choose something.

They will say over and over that a person will choose what they "want"

So to them God puts the "want" in the person so that they will choose God.


That's how most of them would see it. Now I do see it as force but from their perspective it isn't seen as force.



INLOVE Jnorm

Westwind said...

I never have had a Calvinist of any level of education or experience come forward and offer an explanation why effectual grace cannot be resisted but sanctifiying grace can be resisted. As I've argued in the past ( http://www.ovrlnd.com/theology/arminianthought.html ):

1) Within Calvinist theology, common grace is given to all with the goal of sustaining the good, but never with salvation in mind. Only effectual grace has the goal of justification in view. Hence within Calvinist theology there are differing kinds of grace. Therefore to the Arminian mind, the Calvinist apologist must make a case from the Bible that differing kinds of grace do indeed abound and the Arminian apologist needs to set forth that there is but one kind of grace that operates within differing modes.

2) Within Arminian thought, there is only one kind of grace which is said to go before, or, operate ahead of, (hence the term "prevenient") that enables all good and righteous acts and thoughts, thereby providing to our Lord all the glory of such acts and thoughts—for it is His doing. Ultimately within Arminians thought, prevenient grace has the goal of sanctification but its more immediate goal is justification and these two different goals can be thought of as simply modes of operation by the same kind of grace that always goes before encouraging and enabling. Within the Arminian system of thought, prevenient grace is said to be offered to all. In this sense prevenient grace is irresistible because the offer of grace to all cannot be denied. Nevertheless because prevenient grace has justification and sanctification in view and not all are justified and neither is sanctification ever complete or perfect even for the most holiest of saints, prevenient grace is also said to be resistible in both its justification and sanctification modes of operation. Positively, in acceptance, prevenient grace is said to be passive and negatively, in rejection, the heart is said to be active—a volitional stand against God and the willful suppression of truth (cf. Paul's argument in Romans 1). Consequently, arguments against prevenient grace that hold as a premise that the human will as the basis of salvation, are simply in error—although they are very common. So common that I'll state it again: arguments against freewill are not addressing Arminian theology. The only people who give a hoot about freewill are underinformed lay persons, philosophers, and Calvinist apologists who believe they are addressing Arminian soteriology in a meaningful way when they talk about free will but are, in fact, not.

3) In Calvinist thought, one must be regenerated before being able to exercise faith. This prompts a question: is regeneration by grace and is this grace not "going before"? Remember prevenient simply means "going before."

Furthermore, as stated above, to the Arminian mind there is an inner ambiguity within Calvinist thought that says, in effect, there are different kinds of grace. Some kinds of grace are resistible and some kinds are not. This is clearly illustrated when we consider that the elect may not resist saving grace, but for some reason they can resist sanctifying grace. Herein we have two different kinds of grace within the same individual. As an additional note: in all the Calvinist systematics I have read, I have never heard of a Reformed thinker argue that even common grace is resistible. This is one area I would like to confirm from those who have conducted similar surveys because if true, if the Calvinist scheme of grace is never resistible, howbeit that sanctification is resistible? I'm wide open for folks to share and teach me.

Ultimately, Arminian thinkers hold that Calvinist apologists need to first build an argument of differing kinds of grace from the discipline of biblical theology before assuming differing kinds of grace that operate differently depending upon the situation and they need to do this as an a priori before basing other arguments upon it—especially so when Calvinist apologists seek to prove other points supported by this premise to Arminians who will, in turn, reject these arguments because of the unproven premise.

In contrast to Calvinist thought, in Arminian thought grace is said to always be going before. In point of fact, grace is said to always operate preveniently: it is going before we are justified drawing and empowering our faith. Following justification, grace continues to move preveniently, preparing the way for "righteous responses" to and with our acts of faith, generating elements and fore-tastes of God's perfection within us. When we "improve" upon grace, it moves on ahead, preveniently improving us still further toward the glory which our Lord has for us. In every act of grace, our Lord's action is first, our faith is responsitory.

Therefore, in so far as grace is concerned, Arminian thought has a unifying principle as to how grace always operates.

jar61 said...

I am completely overwhelmed by the dogmatic perspective of 5 Point Calvinism....

A few comments:

1. He created man in his perfect image. As such the progenitors of Adam and Eve were intended to be perfect and in God's will.

2. If by one man sin came intothe world how much more does grace abound? To accept Calvinisitc thought is to say the effects of sin were and are moreinfluential then the grace of God... ergo... the power of sin over Gods creation is and was more incompassing than God's grace... is that correct?

3. JOhn 3:16.... whosoever? whosoever? whosoever?


4. A few free will passages:
John : 3.16, 1.29, 2. 4.14

IJohn 2.1-6

ROmans 10.4,5-21, 11.11-24

Galatians: 3.21

Heb 2.9, 10.29, 9.28


2Peter 2.1, 3.9

Acts 1.8, 17.30

jar61 said...

Joh 1:29 The next day John sees Jesus coming to him and says, Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!

Joh 4:14 but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst, but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.

1Jn 2:1 My little children, I write these things to you so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.

Gal 3:21 Is the Law then against the promises of God? Let it not be said! For if a law had been given which could have given life, indeed righteousness would have been out of Law.
Gal 3:22 But the Scripture shut up all under sin, so that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.

Pe 2:1 But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who secretly will bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing on themselves swift destruction

kangaroodort said...

jar61,

Just thought I would let you know that this blog has been moved to worpress. You may want to check out the new blog when you get the chance.

Arminian Perspectives

Laws of attractions said...

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