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philologos
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Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
Reading, UK

 Re:

Mike's quote:Going back to the other thought about "The ancient man approached God . . . as the accused person approaches his judge. For the modern man the roles are reversed. He is the judge: God is in the dock. "

Trying to tie these together with the key word "unconditional" doesn't seem all that difficult. It brings to mind for some reason David's "What is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man that You visit him?" (Psalm 8:4)

Hi Mike
I generally try to keep out of these Calvinsim/Arminian debates other than to ask questions of those who have 'sorted it out'. However just a comment or two. As I understand it, Calvinism is a very tightly knit series of argument where each one is integrally part of another. (Finney's theology is the same but from a different direction) If a person feels the need to suspend judgment on a particular part of the theology the whole thing grinds to a halt.

Unconditional election is part of a package deal which includes the heart of orthodox Calvinism; The ULI of TULIP.

Unconditional election (please correct me if you are a card-carrying Calvinist and I am misrepresenting your view)is a theological term which puts God's choice of who will be 'saved' into the sovereign counsels of God's will. Without reference to faith or response or obedience God chose who would be saved. He based it on His own sovereign will and nothing must be added to this statement if it is to remain 'unconditional' election. Technically, to say 'He elected me because..' undermines the word 'unconditional'. There can be no 'reason' why God did this other than that He decided to do so. To enquire further is an impertinance. The 'double predestination' held by some Calvinists is the logical counterpart to this, namely that God 'unconditionally elected' the others to 'damnation'; this is likewise 'unconditional' This fate was determined before the worlds were made.

Linked to 'unconditional election' is the L of 'limited atonement' (sometimes called 'particular redemption). This teaches that Christ only died for the 'unconditionally elected' and that no sacrifice or redemption has been provided for any who were not 'unconditionally elected'. They cannot be saved; no blood has been shed for them. Christ's death was 'limited' to provide 'atonement' only for the 'unconditionally elected'. Christ will see of the His travail and be satisfied as His travail was only for those who will inevitably be saved.

Linked to the UL of 'unconditional election' and 'limited atonement' is the I of 'irresistable grace'. Those who were 'unconditionally elected' and for whom Christ died 'particularly' will not be able to resist grace; they will be saved. They will respond in faith because they were predestined to do so as part of the unconditionally elected. The fifth letter P is 'perserverance of the saints'.. (you will be used to the logic of this now..)those who were unconditionally elected will come to faith and their faith will not fail, consequently they have the guarantee of 'eternal security'.

This is the package deal of classical Calvinism. You take it or you leave it. Strictly speaking, I can't even add the phrase 'it's your choice'. ;-)

Now all this will have steam coming from the ears of some of our forum. Please remember that I am trying to explain what others believe. These are not my views. If I have misrepresented classical Calvinism, please forgive me and correct me. WKIP



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Ron Bailey

 2003/12/12 15:22Profile









 Re:

RE:
They cannot be saved; no blood has been shed for them. Christ's death was 'limited' to provide 'atonement' only for the 'unconditionally elected'.

Heaven, for those who follow this teaching, will be a very small room indeed.

Jake

 2003/12/12 16:04
rookie
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Joined: 2003/6/3
Posts: 4792


 Re:

Thankyou Ron,

I am beginning to get the feel for this platform. I need listen and reflect upon what one is saying. Thankyou for clearly stating Calvin's thoughts.

This is my understanding based on what I understand God has revealed to man through the Scriptures.

First God says in Scripture, "Say to them; "As I live, says the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his evil ways! FOR WHY SHOULD YOU DIE, O house of Israel?' Ezekiel 33:11.

Also, "Yet you say, "The way of the Lord is not fair" O house of Israel, I will judge every one of you according to his own ways." Ezekiel 33:20

Also, "The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance." 2 Peter 3:9.

In these three verses God clearly shows us His desire for His creation. Especially note what Peter says, "The Lord...not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance." Knowing what Scripture teaches us about the nature of fallen man, again we know that it is imposible for man to know God unless God reveals Himself to man. Knowing this fact, again knowing this fact, points man to God for His grace. When Peter writes that God is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance, who is responsible for enabling man to repent? Does not Scripture prove that all begins with God. He is the Creator. It is only through God's grace that man can come to repentance.

So God declares, "I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live, Turn, turn from your evil ways!' God in His nature can not lie. If He says He desires that the wicked should turn to Him, He will also provide the grace to enable the wicked to turn. By faith those who turn to Him are snatched from the devil's hand.

O House of Israel, I will judge every one of you according to HIS OWN WAYS.

back at you.
Jeff


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Jeff Marshalek

 2003/12/12 16:28Profile
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 Re: Pastoral thoughts on doctrine

I would like to address the second point of this sermon. The theme or reason for holding onto the doctrine of election is based on that the church must remain entrenched in the definitions presented by the men of the church. The doctrine of election will hold our eyes on God and thus while the world changes we will always be anchored to the only truth.

I can picture a Roman Catholic bishops writing the same thing in the 1400-1500's. Their doctrine of election was somewhat different, yet they could argue the same way. And then God comes along and messess everything up by raising up a man such as Luther. The world was moving into the Age of Enlightenment. As Solomon says, there is nothing new under the sun.

in Christ
Jeff


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Jeff Marshalek

 2003/12/12 16:58Profile
philologos
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 Re:

Hi Jake
Our mutual friend Robert Barclay's 5th and 6th Propositions were aimed at this expression of the Calvinism of his day.

Barclay referred to 'universal redemption'. By this he did not mean 'universalisim' which teaches that all men (and in its extreme form, Satan himself) will ultimately be saved. Barclay was strongly defending the teaching that the benefits of Christ's death were available to all.

As I mentioned in my post, these are not my views. I am trying to state them as honestly as I can until someone comes along who will do the job from personal conviction.


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Ron Bailey

 2003/12/12 17:04Profile
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 Re:

Jeff wrote:I am beginning to get the feel for this platform. I need listen and reflect upon what one is saying. Thankyou for clearly stating Calvin's thoughts.

Whether Calvin and his fellow-travellers will share your gratitude at my 'clear statements', I wait to see. ;-)


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Ron Bailey

 2003/12/12 17:13Profile
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 Re: Pastoral thoughts on doctrine

I would like to address point 3. The focus of this thought is that the teaching of election prevents us from reversing roles with our Creator. I submit to you that there are 3 ways to teach the sheep about the doctrine of election.

The first, and probably most taught way is to tell the sheep who have confessed Christ as their savior that they were predestined by God to be believers. That as I have read of Calvin's thoughts, provided by Agent 001, the sheep are saved by the sacrifice on the cross. That the blood of Christ has done its work, and so on.

I have heard of another group of teachers who feed the sheep in a similar way. "Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance, and do not begin to say to yourselves, "We have Abraham as our father." For I say to you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones." Luke 3:8.

The truth as I see it is that this way of teaching the sheep can easily lead them to the same conclusions that the Pharisee had arrived at. You see this teaching can easily lead to the promotion of man. How would a sheep of this fold react to Mordecai's statement. "For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father's house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?" Esther 4:13-14

The 2nd way to teach the doctrine of election is more correct than the first. The pastor teaches the sheep that they are the elect. And that since they are the elect, according to Romans 8:29, "For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to BE CONFORMED TO THE IMAGE OF HIS SON..." I know a few Mennonite brothers who live this way. You see Scripture clearly teaches that those who are the elect will be conformed to the image of His Son. They are taught that if your are one of the elect your life will begin to look alot like Jesus'. So here is the problem with this method. They begin to live under the law. And they struggle to know God in the middle of all their toil. Yet I know of some wonderful brothers who carry those burdens, and there heart is good. They are seeking hard after God.

The third way to teach the doctrine of election is taught in Hebrews chapter 8. The writer is addressing those who are believers and yet have problems similar to the Mennonites. The more perfect way is to know our High Priest. "Therefore it is necessary that this One also have something to offer...For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. None of them shall teach his neighbor, and none his brother, saying, Know the Lord, for all shall know Me..." Hebrews 8;1-11. If men would look to the High Priest so that He would write His words in their hearts, and no other man would have to continually intercede to correct a brother. If you know Christ as He has offered in the New Covenant, there would be no longer need of worrying about the focus of the sheep. Those who hear His voice are His sheep. They know His voice. They will always have the right view. He will increase and the believer will decrease.

more to come
Jeff


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Jeff Marshalek

 2003/12/12 17:40Profile
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 Re: Pastoral thoughts on doctrine

In addressing point 4, the author writes about the risk taking of an individual who holds on to the doctrine of election. This thought of risk taking is not compatible with what is taught in Scripture. What risk did Joshua take when Jesus came to him and told him exactly what to do in the taking of Jericho? What risk did Moses take when he lifted up his staff to part the Red Sea? What risk did Peter take when he healed a certain lame man at the gates of the temple? I believe rather that God speaks and we learn to trust as He leads us by the Holy Spirit. The problem is not of risk taking, the real problem is unbelief or disobedience. How many today who do works for God know Him? To the world it may seem a risk, but to those who have walked with Jesus there is no risk.

In Christ
Jeff


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Jeff Marshalek

 2003/12/12 18:13Profile
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 Re: Pastoral thoughts on doctrine

And finally point 5. The author writes,"when God planned in eternity to pluck us out of our bondage to sin, he had Christ in mind as the way he would do it. God planned before the foundation of the world to save us through the death and resurrection of Christ."

Andrew Murray speaks to this point, "A preaching that insists upon salvation by faith chiefly as pardon and acceptance must produce feeble Christians. The fulness of faith is indispensable to the full Christian life." The Holiest of All pg 420


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Jeff Marshalek

 2003/12/12 18:20Profile
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 Re:

Thanks Ron,

I guess I am reaching more for personal conviction in a sense, not sure where my leanings fall in this I don't think I 'hold' to a particular camp. Maybe I was attempting to get someone to push me into one or the other ;-)

It just seems so beyond me trying to figure out the ways of God in this matter and why it matters if I have an understanding (albiet limited) or not in daily practice. Something tells me it does.
For now I think I will take the advice of Jeff and "listen and reflect" for awhile, my brain hurts.


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Mike Balog

 2003/12/13 1:15Profile





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