I have often seen that those who object to predestination of the elect do so on the basis that they can't understand or believe in a God who would create a person to be destined for Hell. While I understand the concern, I would respectfully suggest that as God, before the foundation of time, considers and contemplates creating the spirit and flesh that a particular man is to be, forsees that that person will not choose Him and forsees Hell for that person, then God could choose not to create that man. In fact, God could only create people who by His foreknowledge would by their free will choose Him. Thus avoiding Hell altogether for billions but still being true to the Armenian concept that God only wants men to love Him by their own free choice. This, He did not do. He is under no compulsion to create a man. A man is not preesxistent and has no right to exist at all. Accordingly, whether free will or predestination are accurate, God does create men whom God does not have to create and some of those created men will in fact go to Hell. Further, if God creates or ordains all the characteristics of a man---- his intellect, desires, character, personality traits, who his parents, family, etc. will be, aren't the choices the man makes all predetermined to some extent by his chemical makeup, the spiritual nature he's given, the enviroment he's exposed to and the stimulus applied to him; all of which are from God. I do believe in free will. I believe that natural man freely chooses against God ( according to his fallen nature ) and that a regenerated man born of the Spirit and possesser of a new heart freely chooses for God. Finally, I am perplexed by the often repeated criticism that God doesn't want robots who are created to love Him. Every thoughtful reader of the Bible will concede that the Bible is clear that men by nature are haters and enemies of God. Why is it so objectionable that God would, by the sovereign act of the second birth, create men who by nature love Him. If loving God by nature is robotic then God is a robot because he loves not by choice, but because that is His very nature.
| 2007/4/24 17:05||Profile|
| Re: predestination|
Praise to Jesus Christ.
If God is a robot then I am proud to be a robot. I could never love by choice, but by His Choice I now have the desire of my heart that only God new would satisfy my hunger and His. I love because He gave His life for me and in doing this He first love me.
1Jo 4:19 We love him, because he first loved us.
Gal 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
In Christ: Phillip
| 2007/4/25 0:49||Profile|
I saved this explaination written by a sister a few years back at SI
This analogy is a VERY simple look at Predestination and Election. I did not intend it to be for salvation, regeneration, sanctification, etc. It basically states in my opinion, that on the topic of predestination/election that we were chosen as a whole (the church), yet have the individual will to choose to serve our Lord and Master. Once again the analogy was not to serve as an end all be all for salvation and etc. BTW, desire is not enough..the analogy did cover a living faith, meaning a day to day belief in Jesus Christ, and not just believe but living the Word, not just reading it or knowing it.
Let me explain myself perhaps a little more clearly.
ELECTION--God's choice of those who believe in Christ is an important doctrine to the apostle Paul (Rom 8:29-33, 9:6-26, 11:5,28; Col 3:12; 1Thess 1:4; 2Thess 2:13; Titus 1:1). Election refers to God's choice in Christ of a people in order that they should be holy and blameless in his sight. Paul sees election as expressing God's love as God receives, as His own, all who receive His Son, Jesus. I feel that the doctrine of election involves these following truths: ( I may split up over several posts.)
1. Election is Christocentric ie, election of humans occurs only in union with Jesus Christ. Jesus himself is first of all the elect of God. Concerning Jesus, God states, "Here is my servant whom I have chosen". Christ, as the elect, is the foundation of our election. Only in union with Christ do we become members of the elect. NO ONE is elect apart from union with Christ through faith.
If the analogy were carefully read, you would see that if one does not maintain that union with Christ, he/she is no longer part of the elect and have abandoned ship.
2. Election is "in Him...through His blood" (Eph. 1:7). God purposed before creation to form a people through Christ's redemptive death on the cross. Thus election is grounded in Christ's sacrificial death to save us from our sins(Act 20:28, Rom 3:24-26).
3. Election in Christ is primarily corporate, that is the election of a people. The elect are called "the body of Christ", "My church","A people belonging to God" and the "bride" of Christ. Therefore, election is corporate and embraces individual persons only as they identify and associate themselves with the body of Christ, the true church. This was true already of Israel in the OT.
4. The election to salvation and holiness of the body of Christ is always certain. But the certainty of election for individuals remain conditional on their personal living faith in Jesus Christ and perseverance in union with Him. Paul demonstrates this as follows:
a.) God's eternal purpose for the church is that we should "be holy and blameless in His sight" (Eph 1:4). This refers both to forgivness of sins, and to the church's sanctification and holiness. God's elect people are being led by the Holy Spirit toward sanctification and holiness (Rom 8:14; Gal 5:16-25). Paul repeatedly emphasizes this paramount purpose of God (Eph 2:10, 3:14-19, 4:1-3,13-24; 5:1-18.)
b.)Fulfillment of this purpose for the corporate church is certain: Christ will "present her to Himself as a radiant church...holy and blameless (Eph 5:27).
c.) Fulfillment of this purpose for individuals in the church is conditional. Christ will present us "holy and blameless in His sight" only if we continue in the faith. Paul states this to us clearly: Christ will "present you holy in His sight without blemish...if you continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel" (Col 1:22-23).
5. Election to salvation in Christ is offered to all (John 3:16-17; 1 Tim 2:4-6; Titus 2:11)and becomes actual for particular persons contingent on their repentance and faith as they accept God's gift of salvation in Christ. At the point of faith, the believer is incorporated into Christ's elect body (the church) by the Holy Spirit (1 Col 12:13), thereby becoming one of the elect. Thus, both God and humans have a decision in election.
PREDESTINATION--Predestination means "to decide beforhand" and applies to God's purposes comprehended in election. Election is God's choice "in Christ" of a people (the true church) for Himself. Predestination comprehends what will happen to God's people (all genuine believers in Christ).
1.) God predestines his elect to be : called (Rom 8:30); justified (Rom 3:24; 8:30); glorified (Rom 8:30); conformed to the likeness of His Son (Rom 8:29); holy and blameless (Eph 1:4); adopted as God's children (Eph 1:5); redeemed (Eph 1:7); recipients of an inheritance(Eph 1:14); for the praise of His glory (Eph 1:12; 1Pet 2:9);recipients of the Holy Spirit (Eph 1:13; Gal 3:14) and created to do good works (Eph 2:10).
2.) Predestination, like election, refers to the corporate body of Christ(the true spiritual church), and comprehends individuals only in association with that body through a living faith in Jesus Christ.
Thank you for your time.
Yours in Christ,
| 2007/4/25 1:11||Profile|
Observation... this applies to [b]some[/b], definately not [b]all[/b]... but I've noticed a spirit of arogance involved in this discussion. Not out and out arrogance, but it's there. It seems to be more so with those who favor a Calvinistic view of scripture. Almost like "we have this revelation" type of attitude.
I'm not calling anyone out for this, and I know too well that I fall into this trap too when I discuss certain issues.
I just want everyone to check their hearts and make sure that we're all discussing this issue in love.
I've noticed arrogance in two topics more than any others... predestination and Bible versions. In Bible version debates it comes from both side. In predestination it seems to come more from the Calvinists.
Just want to mention this.
| 2007/4/25 9:10|
I'm gonna be very honest in this post. A couple days ago I put a link in one of my posts to a 4 part series on why Calvinism is a false doctrine. I asked everyone involved in the conversation to give a listen to the series and then let me know what they thought. Two reasons for this... # 1 I'm just not good at explaining my position yet, and this guy is. # 2 I honestly wanted to hear the responses because I want to learn, and I want to be able to look at both sides honestly.
So far, 1 person indicated they were listening to it. No one else has indicated that, and there have been no comments made. Just more spreading of what I seriously consider a false doctrine... and a dangerous one at that.
So I ask again, please listen to this series on Calvinism and reply to these message on this forum. I think the Calvinism that is being expressed on this forum is something to be concerned about. I see a lot of "scripture massaging" to fit doctrine, I see a lot of double-speak, and a lot of inconsistant arguments.
Here's the link: http://www.jamesknox.com/sermons/bibleschoolclasses/bibleschoolclasses.shtml
| 2007/4/25 13:48|
I can't really tell if your comment about arrogance was directed at my posting but I will aplologize in advance if it came off that way. I have downloaded the series you recommend and will listen with interest. You may be a little strong in your expression that the predestination viewpoint is heresy ( ie., dangerous false doctrine ) It is a viewpoint that was held strongly by St. Augustine, St. Thomas Acquinas, George Whitfield, Jonathan Edwards, the Puritan preachers, Charles Spurgeon and on and on. This comment isn't meant to say that this list makes the doctrine true but merely is meant to address whether it is "dangerous".
| 2007/4/25 14:32||Profile|
Krispy, I am listening to the first part of James Knox's sermon on Calvinism (as a part of his "Sects, cults and heresy's" series) and I am shocked at his lack of understanding of true Calvinism.
He launches into the same old attacks that have been launched at Calvinism for countless years. He adds nothing to the debate other than to say that Calvinism makes God the author of sin--which no true Calvinist believes. Mr. Knox picks up the 'Calvinist straw man' and beats on it.
He said, "No Calvinist wants their doctrine presented that way." Exactly! Because no one wants their beliefs to be twisted and misrepresented.
Let me give you an example. Mr. Knox says concerning Irresistible grace, "you are going to get saved whether you want to or not. In fact you will be saved before you know it."
This is false and I know of no one who believes this, but Mr. Knox tells everyone that this is what a Calvinist believes. Mr. Knox might believe what he is saying, but he is speaking untruth. Irresistible grace says that it is God who works in an unbeliever to bring them to repentance. I and other Calvinists affirm that no one ever is saved "whether they want to or not". All who desire Christ will be saved and no one is drug to the cross 'against their desires".
I am saddened by this type of 'preaching' by a man of God. It is pure speculation and it does more damage to the debate than it does to help understand.
For me, this is why it is so difficult to discuss the Doctrines of Grace with other people. Many people have been fed lies about Calvinism for so long that they consider it heresy.
If Calvinism is heresy then I join such heretics as:
C. J. Mahaney
Carl F. H. Henry
James Petigru Boyce
James White (theologian)
John F. MacArthur
John Gill (theologian)
John L. Dagg
John Piper (theologian)
R. Albert Mohler, Jr.
and countless others.
| 2007/4/25 14:38||Profile|
whyme... as I stated, I was calling no one out. It was not in any way aimed at you or anyone else. It was just a general observation.
Now, please be clear on one point... a heresy is any teaching that is unscriptural. I did not call anyone a heretic. That is different. I also dont think that Calvinism is 100% heresy.
I do believe that Calvinism in it's purest form is heresy.
Please notice that I have called those who I have been discussing this issue with "brother". That is not a term I use lightly.
I do find it very telling that you listed St. Augustine & St. Thomas Acquinas as believers in what later became Calvinism. St. Augustine & St. Thomas Acquinas & Calvin were all [b]Catholics[/b].
While Spurgeon did have Calvinistic leanings, he was far from being a pure Calvinist. Same can be said for Matthew Henry.
But in the end, it matters not to me who believed in what. I'm not impressed that Spurgeon believed in baptism by emersion. I'm impressed that scripture teaches baptism by emersion. There may come a day when I may be the only one in the world who believes in some particular doctrine... but as long as I know it's scriptural, I'm going to stand by it. Everyone else can believe what they want.
I'd rather be a fool in the eyes of man than a fool in the eyes of God.
By the way... thank you for downloading and listening to the messages. I look forward to hearing your thoughts on it. I'm seriously interested.
| 2007/4/25 14:42|
I am sorry Krispy but I am not listening anymore to that guy. The best thing for him to do is to actually study Calvinism or ask a Calvinist what he/she believes instead of preaching what he 'thinks' Calvinism is.
| 2007/4/25 14:45||Profile|
Jay... sad to say... but again I disagree. I've listened to this series twice, and from my own discussions with Calvinists, he is stating what I have heard Calvinists say.
Perhaps you are not a pure Calvinist.
Pastor Knox is reading directly from a Calvinist apologetics book. It's straight from the horse's mouth, so to speak. So how can he be misrepresenting it?
Thats an argument we all use when we see our pet doctrines come under attack... "it's being misrepresented". I feel and sometimes say the same thing in the Bible version debate.
I dont think you're giving it an honest look.
| 2007/4/25 14:47|