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 Questions That Must Be Answered For the Arminian and Non-Reformed

quoted from this link:
http://www.geocities.com/johnandursula/questions

Questions That Must Be Answered

When it comes to the issue of Calvinism, what most people are familiar with, and what Calvinists spend much time answering, is objections or questions against Calvinism. However, I thought of questions that I believe must be answered by those who reject Reformed theology. If you are not Reformed, please look these questions over carefully. I hope these questions might even help put things in perspective as you see what the implications are if one denies the Reformed position. May God bless you as you continue to study these difficult issues:

1. Why do you believe in Christ, while your unbelieving neighbor doesn’t?

2. What does it mean, from an non-Reformed position, that God is sovereign, and can that position be reconciled with the overall teaching of Scripture?

3. Can God fail?

4. Does God fail?

5. If there is a person God has determined to save, but they have the power to thwart His plan to save them, doesn’t that mean that God isn’t sovereign, omnipotent, or omniscient?

6. Has God ordained all things that come to pass? If not, then how is that things come to pass, and how can it be said that God is sovereign over those things?

7. Is God obligated to show mercy to any person? If so, then how can [it be] undeserved? Wouldn't salvation then be based on the merit of the individual?

8. Was salvation actually accomplished or potentially provided for on the cross? If salvation were merely potentially provided for, then:

a. Why would Jesus have had to die if it only provided the possibility of salvation without actually saving people? In other words, if it was just belief in God or in Jesus that would save a person, then why would Jesus have to die, especially since people already believed in God prior to the coming of Jesus, and even believed in Jesus during His ministry?

b. What would happen if no one ever "accepted" Jesus? Do you really think it is possible that Jesus could have died in vain?

c. How many people do you think would eventually be saved?

9. If Christ really died a substitutionary death on the cross, whereby He died in the place of specific individuals, and actually propitiated and expiated that person’s sins, how could it be possible for God to send that person to hell for the very sins that Christ already was punished for on his behalf? NOTE: Many respond by saying because those people did not believe. But isn’t unbelief a sin? And if God did not pay for their sin of unbelief, then how is it that Christ paid the price for all of our sins? Also, this is related to question 8a, above. In terms of belief, the Calvinist maintains the death of Christ actually purchased the faith of the person.

10. How can salvation be possible to those who, from the perspective of God's omniscience, are certain to be lost?

11. Between the Reformed and non-Reformed view, which view of salvation actually accomplishes and secures the salvation of more people, and as such is much more honoring to God?

12. If God has chosen to save a person, died for a person, effectually called/regenerated that person, and gave that person the gifts of faith and repentance, is it conceivable that that person could perish (i.e., lose his salvation)? Does God do this for every single individual who ever has or ever will live?

13. If the only thing God did was to merely give every single person a chance/opportunity to be saved, how many people would actually be saved?

14. On what basis did God choose you for salvation?

15. How is it that God knows the future? Does He know the future because He has decreed and determined what the future will be, or does He know it because He can see the future that somehow happens without His direct involvement in determining the future?

Edit: grammer check

 2007/9/5 18:53
awakenwithin
Member



Joined: 2007/1/31
Posts: 985
AZ

 Re: Questions That Must Be Answered For the Arminian and Non-Reformed

Question Brother.
Do you think people misunderstand Calvinism?

Can we be in the Middle? Can you not be neither?

What if one agrees but not with the name of Calvinism?

These are questions are about God being sovereign, more so if you are Cavinism or not?

The question that hits me... My pastor brought this up a few weeks ago.. How I am I better to chose Christ and not someone else? How was I able to pray and not my brother? Why do I have faith and not him. If will just and sinful as he was?
Can you see Christ and turn from him?
many have told me you can

Brother what is so important about knowing if God called us, or we had free will?

We are all a body right? Have had faith in Christ?

Would it be that if we think one way or another we have different veiw of who God is?

Therfore in some ways our picture of God has changed?

So maybe one way in more humbling and hard for us to handle?

blessing
charlene




_________________
charlene

 2007/9/5 19:29Profile
Logic
Member



Joined: 2005/7/17
Posts: 1791


 Re: Questions That Must Be Answered For the Arminian and Non-Reformed

Quote:
Abe_Juliot wrote:

1. Why do you believe in Christ, while your unbelieving neighbor doesn’t?

Because I choose to believe.
The neighbors don't, they hold the truth in unrighteousness (they know the truth but suppress it), because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God has showed it to them.
Quote:
2. What does it mean, from an non-Reformed position, that God is sovereign, and can that position be reconciled with the overall teaching of Scripture?

By figuring that if man had free will to choose his own destiny, it would diminish God's sovereignty. This doctrine figures that if God gives an authority to man as freedom to choose or even free will it would diminish His sovereignty or He would not have any ability to perform his own will over that of mans.
While in reality, this magnifies God's sovereignty by showing His ability to have government over what man has authority of.
Quote:
3. Can God fail?

He failed to persuade my grandpa to repent and to be saved from HIS wrath.

If god wanted my grandpa in hell by not choosing him to be saved, then that god is a devil.
Quote:
5. If there is a person God has determined to save, but they have the power to thwart His plan to save them, doesn’t that mean that God isn’t sovereign, omnipotent, or omniscient?

No.
Quote:
6. Has God ordained all things that come to pass?

No. [b]ordain :[/b] to select for or appoint to from a willing intent.
God does not ordain sin.
Example:
Adam's sin came to pass, He did not ordain that Adam would sin.
Quote:
If not, then how is that things come to pass, and how can it be said that God is sovereign over those things?

How is it that God would select for or appoint to from a willing intent that man would do anything which is against, contrairy, or contradict Him, Furthermore, why would God select for or appoint to from a willing intent that wich He hates?
Quote:
7. Is God obligated to show mercy to any person?

Yes,
God's character obligates Him.
God's Word obligates Him.
Quote:
If so, then how can [it be] undeserved? Wouldn't salvation then be based on the merit of the individual?


I am obligated to Love my wife.
Even while she is angry at me with out a cause.
I till show mercy to her, for that is what turns her heart back to me.
Quote:
8. Was salvation actually accomplished or potentially provided for on the cross?

potentially provided for on the cross.

I was not saved when Jesus hung on that tree.
Quote:
a. Why would Jesus have had to die if it only provided the possibility of salvation without actually saving people?

So He [b]could[/b] save people.
Furthermore, It isn't the atonement that saves, it is the relationship that one has with Him that saves.
Quote:
In other words, if it was just belief in God or in Jesus that would save a person, then why would Jesus have to die, especially since people already believed in God prior to the coming of Jesus, and even believed in Jesus during His ministry?

It is not the belief in Him, but what He has done to provide salvation that makes the way for a relationship with Him.
Quote:
b. What would happen if no one ever "accepted" Jesus?

That would proove that He wasn't God.
Fact of what He did and WHo He is are what causes people to "accepted" Jesus.
Quote:
c. How many people do you think would eventually be saved?

Just me. :-P
Quote:
9. If Christ really died a substitutionary death on the cross, whereby He died in the place of specific individuals, and actually propitiated and expiated that person’s sins, how could it be possible for God to send that person to hell for the very sins that Christ already was punished for on his behalf?

Because that peson did not take advantage of what Christ did on the cross.

The Children of Israel had to aply the blood to the door posts, so we must aply the blood to ourselves.
Quote:
10. How can salvation be possible to those who, from the perspective of God's omniscience, are certain to be lost?

The still have a choice.
[b]Example[/b]
I am at Olive Guarde and I invite the Whole world to come and dine w/me.
I already know who will come, therefore I only prepair tables for those who I know will come.
Those who do not come still have an invitation, they can still choose to come, they still have a chance to come.
Quote:
11. which view of salvation actually accomplishes and secures the salvation of more people, and as such is much more honoring to God?

Mine!
Yours makes god out to be a devil, if not a tirant.
Quote:
12. If God has chosen to save a person, died for a person, effectually called/regenerated that person, and gave that person the gifts of faith and repentance, is it conceivable that that person could perish (i.e., lose his salvation)?

You are asuming that one can not be deceived.
Just as one can divorse from his wife, one can divorce from his God.
Quote:
13. If the only thing God did was to merely give every single person a chance/opportunity to be saved, how many people would actually be saved?

Just me. 8-)
Quote:
14. On what basis did God choose you for salvation?

Only by His grace through my faith.
Quote:
15. How is it that God knows the future?

He's GOD
Quote:
Does He know the future because He has decreed and determined what the future will be, or does He know it because He can see the future that somehow happens without His direct involvement in determining the future?

He does not decree everything, He lets man choose his own way. therefore HE He know it because He can see the future that somehow happens without His direct involvement in determining the future as in Adam sinning.

 2007/9/5 20:26Profile









 Re:

Quote:
Do you think people misunderstand Calvinism?



Yes... sadly it is true.

Quote:
Can we be in the Middle? Can you not be neither?



I am part of a non- denomination (a denomination) that has made an effort to stay in the middle. I have close brothers and sister that have tried to stay in the middle. These issues have no middle ground.

1. Natural unregenerate men are slaves to sin or they're not. Their entire heart, soul, strength, and mind is in complete bondage to sin or it isn't.(Rom 1-3, Jn 8)
2. Election and Salvation is of the Lord according to His mercy or it isn't. (Rom 9-11, Psa 89)
3. Eternal Redemption for God's elect people is finished (purchased and sure of victory) by the work of Jesus at the cross or it isn't. (Rom 3-5, Isa 53, Jn 17)
4. God's powerful and effectual calling (regeneration: death to life through the gospel) upon His elect is always victorious or it isn't. (Rom 6-8, Jn 6)
5. This following verse says it all for the fifth point. "We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not." (1Jn 5:18) This verse is true or it isn't.
a. "...sinneth not": He does not live in sin, nor is he under the power and dominion of sin... though he does not live utterly without it. (see Jn 1-3)
b. "...keepeth himself": They are kept by the power of God. Therefore they keep themselves by the power of God. The child of God takes the whole armour of God, puts his hand to the plow, and does not look back.
c. "...that wicked one toucheth him not": Though we face tribulation, distress, persecution, famine, nakedness, peril, and sword... the devil shall not separate us from the love of God.


Rom 8:37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.

Quote:
What if one agrees but not with the name of Calvinism?



The name Calvinism or Calvinist does not need to be used. I prefer not to use it. But many of the articles that have posted that have been written by others have the name in it. We need it not... Just scripture alone.

These doctrines are all over the bible.

Spurgeon said this,

"It is no novelty, then, that I am preaching; no new doctrine. I love to proclaim these strong old doctrines that are called by nickname Calvinism, but which are truly and verily the revealed truth of God as it is in Christ Jesus. By this truth I make my pilgrimage into the past, and as I go, I see father after father, confessor after confessor, martyr after martyr, standing up to shake hands with me . . . Taking these things to be the standard of my faith, I see the land of the ancients peopled with my brethren; I behold multitudes who confess the same as I do, and acknowledge that this is the religion of God's own church." (Spurgeon's Sovereign Grace Sermons, Still Waters Revival Books, p. 170).

"I have my own opinion that there is no such thing as preaching Christ and Him crucified, unless we preach what nowadays is called Calvinism. It is a nickname to call it Calvinism; Calvinism is the gospel, and nothing else. I do not believe we can preach the gospel if we do not preach justification by faith without works; nor unless we preach the sovereignty of God in His dispensation of grace; nor unless we exalt the electing unchangeable eternal, immutable, conquering love of Jehovah; nor do I think we can preach the gospel unless we base it upon the special and particular redemption of His elect and chosen people which Christ wrought out upon the cross." (Charles Spurgeon, The New Park Street Pulpit, Vol. 1, 1856).

Spurgeon quoted Whitefield in saying,

"George Whitefield said, "We are all born Arminians." It is grace that turns us into Calvinists. (Charles Spurgeon, Sermons, Vol. 2, p. 124).

I have made a diligent effort to declare these truths to others... Because they are very humbling. I have Eternally more to thank God for. May we not let a day go by, that we have not wept at our Lord's feet. Let us give Him praise and worship for who He is and what He has done by His everlasting mercy upon us for His glory. Oh, Lord help us all by thy grace to abide in you and continually rejoice in thy mercy.

God bless you my dear elect sister. You are dearly loved by the Lord. -Abraham

Edit: clarification and simplified answer made on the second question. ...and grammer check.

 2007/9/5 20:52
BeYeDoers
Member



Joined: 2005/11/17
Posts: 370
Bloomington, IN

 Re: Questions That Must Be Answered For the Arminian and Non-Reformed

1. God has very plainly revealed Himself in creation, and Christ has been preached to me (Rom. 1 and 10).

2. It depends on what you mean by sovereign. He is the creator, upholder, and sustainer of all things. He is self sufficient and acts only in accordance with His will. He needs not consent nor help of any other. This is clearly taught by scripture.

3. no

4. no

5. This question starts with a false premise.

6. no; the second part of the question is a false premise

7. God is not "obligated" to do anything; but He can't contradict Himself. If He chooses and promises to have mercy, then He can't not. But I'm not sure what this has to do with the discussion, other than setting up more false premises.

8. Jesus was slain before the foundation of the world. It has and always will be accomplished. The question is, will you repent and believe so you can attain it?
a. this question makes no sense. There is no remission without the shedding of blood.
b. "accepting" Jesus is not a biblical concept
c. what?

9. Heb. 10. If you don't repent, you trample the Son of God under foot, counting His sacrifice not good enough for them. How much better it would be had they not even heard, than to hear and reject! And let us remember, that no one is condemned because of what Christ did or did not do, but because they are monsters of iniquity...they love their sin and want to remain therein, INSPITE of Christ's sacrifice! How great is the love of God, to sacrifice even for those who will not believe!

10. False premise again. This author continues to assume Calvinism, then ask the question so that no other answer is possible.

11. God determines His glory, not man.

12. False premise.

13. Not sure what this has to do with anything.

14. False premise, but I will address it anyway. God did not choose me (specifically) to be saved, but chooses to save me out of His mercy and grace, on the merits of Christ.

15. The more I read this article, the more I think the author is hyper-Calvinist...that God directs EVERYTHING, including sin. Omniscience does not necessitate orchestration. If it did, then it has to work both ways. He would have to cause Adam to sin if He likewise causes man to be saved.

-------------------------------------------

Abe, I'm not sure what you are trying to do here. If you are trying to show the folly of Arminianism and the superiority of Calvinism, this artice does a HORRIBLE job. False premise after false premise, it hopelessly misrepresents both "sides" of the issue.

I personally consider myself more Wesleyan in soteriology than either Calvinistic or Arminian.

Some last thoughts: Ravenhill said, "Your theology can be straight as a gunbarrel and just as empty." We are not called by Christ to be Statements of Faith, but rather simply obedient to Him. Looking through history, it seems that Arminians pray like Calvinists and Calvinists preach like Arminians. And people are saved to the glory of God regardless. Praise Him!


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Denver McDaniel

 2007/9/5 23:40Profile
rookie
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Joined: 2003/6/3
Posts: 4792


 Re: Questions That Must Be Answered For the Arminian and Non-Reformed

I will answer the first question, for there is too much to respond to in this mannner...

Quote:
1. Why do you believe in Christ, while your unbelieving neighbor doesn’t?



Proverbs 1:

20 Wisdom calls aloud outside;
She raises her voice in the open squares.
21 She cries out in the chief concourses,
At the openings of the gates in the city
She speaks her words:
22 “How long, you simple ones, will you love simplicity?
For scorners delight in their scorning,
And fools hate knowledge.
23 Turn at my rebuke;
Surely I will pour out my spirit on you;
I will make my words known to you.
24 Because I have called and you refused,
I have stretched out my hand and no one regarded,
25 Because you disdained all my counsel,
And would have none of my rebuke,
26 I also will laugh at your calamity;
I will mock when your terror comes,
27 When your terror comes like a storm,
And your destruction comes like a whirlwind,
When distress and anguish come upon you.
28 “Then they will call on me, but I will not answer;
They will seek me diligently, but they will not find me.
29 Because they hated knowledge
And did not choose the fear of the LORD,
30 They would have none of my counsel
And despised my every rebuke.
31 Therefore they shall eat the fruit of their own way,
And be filled to the full with their own fancies.
32 For the turning away of the simple will slay them,
And the complacency of fools will destroy them;
33 But whoever listens to me will dwell safely,
And will be secure, without fear of evil.”

This section of Scripture is parallel to what Paul wrote in Romans 1.

Do you see this precept?

In Christ
Jeff


_________________
Jeff Marshalek

 2007/9/6 0:52Profile
ccchhhrrriiisss
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Joined: 2003/11/23
Posts: 4499


 Re:

Hi Logic...

I really enjoyed your responses! I don't know that I have ever read a more insightful rebuttal to these sort of doctrinal questions. Thanks!

The more that I study the views of Calvinism, the more I am convinced that many Calvinists do not understand the ETERNAL viewpoint of God. He has always known the end from the beginning. Before He created us, He knew who would ultimately choose to accept His offer to fellowship with Him. Yet this time-confined place called LIFE is burdened with the concept of FREE WILL. If predestination prevented our free will from making any difference in our eternal condition, then Christ would have died in vain.

Thanks for sharing your articulate response! I am neither Calvinist or Arminianist. I am simply a believer who freely chooses to love and serve the one true Living God. But God already knew that -- even before He created the Universe, didn't He?

:-)


_________________
Christopher

 2007/9/6 0:56Profile









 Re:

Quote:
Do you think people misunderstand Calvinism?

Can we be in the Middle? Can you not be neither?

What if one agrees but not with the name of Calvinism?



Calvinist or Arminian...

reminds me of

Pharisee or Saducee

I am neither even though I believe parts of both camps doctrine. This is a false dichotomy though, wordly theology camps that I have seen many brothers dragged way off into error in both directions by. Give me a break, I reject both as a whole and accept some parts of each.

The kingdom of God is not in word but in power, the pharisees and saducees could not inherit eternal life through their doctrines and neither can Calvinists or Arminians.

In Christ - Jim

 2007/9/6 10:20
hmmhmm
Member



Joined: 2006/1/31
Posts: 4991
Sweden

 Re:

Jim has a very god point i belive, i see booth camps literately ignoring 100 of scriptures or make them mean something else that "suits" their doctrine, interesting i read just today these eleven questions :-) so just to even this out i post them.

God bless you all

11 Questions on Calvinism & the Calvinist's Worldview

1. It is often said by Calvinists that dead men can't respond. As you say, "you are dead in your trespasses & sins." Eph. 2:1.

In Romans 6, it says that "in the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus."

If being dead in sin means one can't respond to God then does being dead to sin mean that the Christian cannot respond to sin?

2. Even though God does perfectly know all human thoughts, can man have thoughts that have never been thought before (i.e. ex-nihilo thoughts)?

If these thoughts are not free (e.g., they are determined) then has God caused all thoughts, including evil ones, which would make God the author of sin and evil and man not responsible?

If, on the other hand, these thoughts are free, then how can God remain sovereign according to the Calvinist definition of sovereignty?

3. The Bible says in 1 Timothy 2:4, "God our Savior wants all men to be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth."

It also states that God wants all men to be saved in 2 Peter 3:9, Matthew 23:37 and in Ezekiel 33:11 and 18:30. Obviously not all men are saved.

How does Calvinism explain this? Does the God of Calvinism have two wills that are in direct contradiction and hence have a multiple personality disorder?

4. Calvinism excludes individual faith from the salvation process, classifying such faith as a work.

How can Calvinists classify faith as a work when Paul specifically excludes faith from works in Romans 3:27-28 and 4:5?

5. Jonah 2:8 says that "those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs."

If, as Calvinism teaches, God determined before time began who would be reprobates, and therefore does not extend the grace to them by which they could be saved, how logically can we understand this verse's statement that these reprobates, "forfeited the grace that could be theirs.?"

6. The Bible says in John 6:44, "no one can come to me unless the Father who sent Me draws him." The same word "draw" is used in John 12:32 which says, "But I, when I am lifted up from the earth will draw all men unto myself." Matthew 23:37 says that men can resist God's will.

How do you answer this problem in Calvinism?

7. You say that even the "good" acts of sinners are "bad" because they come from a completely depraved nature. Is it a "bad" act to rationally apprehend the truthfulness of apologetics?

If so, why has God commanded us to practice apologetics to sinners, which causes them to do a bad act? Doesn't that mean that God causes sinners' bad acts?

If you say "yes," doesn't that make God a bad guy?

8. When Calvinism is shown to have logical contradictions, Calvinists usually reply that God's thoughts are unsearchable, and therefore the logical problems that Calvinism has, for example divine election and human responsibility, exhaustive sovereignty and human free will, and God's having two contradictory wills, are solved by invoking the phrase, "well that's a mystery."

If you can solve your logic problems by copping out with the term mystery, why can't the Arminian types, atheists and others pull the same move?

9. The Bible says in 2 Thessalonians 2:10 that reprobates "perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved."

From your Calvinistic worldview, how can it logically be said that a reprobate refuses to love the truth and so be saved, when your God determines that the reprobate can't love the truth, can't be saved, and therefore doesn't refuse God at all?

10. You have said that nothing thwarts the will of God, and you also have said that a man's will cannot be free or else God would not be absolutely sovereign.

Doesn't this mean that God determines (or is the cause of) evil and the evil acts of men for his sovereign pleasure?

11. In Romans 9 where God says, "I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy" why do you automatically assume that God does not want to have mercy on all but only have mercy on the select few when God clearly tells us in Romans 11:32 that, "God has bound all men over to disobedience so that He may have mercy on them all?"

If you say that all means all classes of men, but not all men in every class, then why does it not mean all classes of men but not all men in every class in Romans 3:23 where it says, "all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God?"


_________________
CHRISTIAN

 2007/9/6 10:34Profile
tjservant
Member



Joined: 2006/8/25
Posts: 1658
Indiana USA

 Re: Questions That Must Be Answered For the Arminian and Non-Reformed

" God will not hold us responsible to understand the mysteries of election, predestination, and the divine sovereignty. The best and safest way to deal with these truths is to raise our eyes to God and in deepest reverence say, "0 Lord, Thou knowest." Those things belong to the deep and mysterious profound of God's omniscience. Prying into them may make theologians, but it will never make saints."

A.W. Tozer


_________________
TJ

 2007/9/6 10:36Profile





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