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dialm
November 7th, 2015, 01:04 AM
If you don't like serious Calvinism then go to the popcorn stand.

George Affleck
November 7th, 2015, 01:16 AM
http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-roBtWirobgw/TZ21VMMx0GI/AAAAAAAAECI/HmdPunzTeTk/s1600/Bombs+Away.jpg

dialm
November 7th, 2015, 05:01 AM
http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-roBtWirobgw/TZ21VMMx0GI/AAAAAAAAECI/HmdPunzTeTk/s1600/Bombs+Away.jpg

I said serious Calvinists. (Another Armenian comedian that can't read.)

To the popcorn stand for you.

George Affleck
November 7th, 2015, 07:30 AM
:Popcorn:

dialm
November 7th, 2015, 08:17 AM
Yes. And plenty salty. But nothing from the Fountain.

Do you copy, poppy?

dialm
November 7th, 2015, 02:41 PM
What is said at the water cooler stays at the water cooler.

Interpretation

If you don't like Calvinists you are not going to like heaven.

Ask Mr. Religion
November 7th, 2015, 02:49 PM
Dead...not wounded.

20683
[Click to Enlarge]

AMR

aikido7
November 7th, 2015, 02:52 PM
If you don't like serious Calvinism then go to the popcorn stand.

In other words:

Honest, open discussion is forbidden.

Ask Mr. Religion
November 7th, 2015, 02:53 PM
Arminian argumentation:

20684
[Click to Enlarge]

AMR

dialm
November 7th, 2015, 02:53 PM
Just think about this

Where are the most nonCalvinists located?

Heaven
Hell
other

Go ahead. Be honest.

Ask Mr. Religion
November 7th, 2015, 02:56 PM
The Chart:

20685
[Click to download, or right-click and select 'Save As...']

AMR

dialm
November 7th, 2015, 02:56 PM
Honest, open discussion is forbidden.

It is allowed. The problem might be R-minimum frustration. They can't go up against real compitition.

Ask Mr. Religion
November 7th, 2015, 02:59 PM
Just think about this

Where are the most nonCalvinists located?

Heaven
Hell
other

Go ahead. Be honest.
Most non-Calvinists are but confused Arminians, so I would say that no one knows the true natures of their hearts and am inclined to believe the average Arminian professor of Sola Fide and Solus Christus is going to be shaking my hand in heaven.

Lex orandi, lex credenda

As Sproul often humorously says, the average Arminian is saved...just barely. ;)

AMR

WonderfulLordJesus
November 7th, 2015, 02:59 PM
Why is Calvinism such a bugaboo around here? I've not heard the fundamentalist, real, in-person Christian community arguing about Calvin, can't recall him being mentioned in a sermon the past 20 years, anyway. Actually, nobody's really arguing most of what you see in web forums. I wonder why you don't hear these battles roaring in the congregations? Hmm... Isn't this a bit like the Catholics, still at war against the Reformation, since the 16th century?! It getteth old...

dialm
November 7th, 2015, 03:00 PM
Dead...not wounded.

20683
[Click to Enlarge]

AMR

You are going to have to help me. I know that you got it together. What are you really saying to the keeper of the water cooler paper cups?

In other words

What's up?

dialm
November 7th, 2015, 03:02 PM
Why is Calvinism such a bugaboo around here? I've not heard the fundamentalist, real, in-person Christian community arguing about Calvin, can't recall him being mentioned in a sermon the past 20 years, anyway. Actually, nobody's really arguing most of what you see in web forums. I wonder why you don't hear these battles roaring in the congregations? Hmm... Isn't this a bit like the Catholics, still at war against the Reformation, since the 16th century?! It getteth old...

Respectfully, they can't stay away from cheap joints. They can't afford a high class place like the water cooler.

WonderfulLordJesus
November 7th, 2015, 03:07 PM
Respectfully, they can't stay away from cheap joints. They can't afford a high class place like the water cooler.

Good explanation! Is this sort of like the cults that are all dressed-up, but nowhere to go?

You know, you're making sense. Better watch out that you don't ruin your reputation.

Ask Mr. Religion
November 7th, 2015, 03:16 PM
Why is Calvinism such a bugaboo around here?

Not a few here, including the site owner, are open theists. Openism is the polar opposite of Calvinism, hence the anti-Calvinistic rhetoric.

AMR

WonderfulLordJesus
November 7th, 2015, 03:30 PM
Not a few here, including the site owner, are open theists. Openism is the polar opposite of Calvinism, hence the anti-Calvinistic rhetoric.

AMR

Suppose that and a dime will get you a cup of coffee, or perhaps it would back in Calvin's day. At least all here seem to be on-board with Schismism. Though, being a simple fellow, I much prefer the basic approach of believing things childishly clear in the Bible, trying never to draw my own conclusions contrary, though have more than once suffered being branded heretical for this, guilty of Saymeanism, going around claiming that the Bible means what it says. Very unpopular with Catholics or Adventists, especially, as well as your odd Mormon or Jehovah's Witness, perhaps shouldn't neglect the mention of lack of affection from the disciples of Herbie Armstrong, also. Of course, these things make me happy.

dialm
November 7th, 2015, 04:26 PM
Arminian argumentation:

20684
[Click to Enlarge]

AMR

The Elect are commanded to go out and raise the dead. We join with Christ in being given the power of resurrection. The world is a field of dry bones.

Will these bones live again?

Tell us about it AMR

dialm
November 7th, 2015, 07:40 PM
What kind of a god would claim to know everything about you, make a commitment to you then reject you?

That is no god.

Our God knows us before we were born. Our God has counted every hair on our heads. He knows everything about us. And He loves us. And He has made a commitment to us. A heavenly, sacred marriage commitment. Our God is never going to leave us or forsake us for any reason.

patrick jane
November 7th, 2015, 07:49 PM
What kind of a god would claim to know everything about you, make a commitment to you then reject you?

That is no god.

Our God knows us before we were born. Our God has counted every hair on our heads. He knows everything about us. And He loves us. And He has made a commitment to us. A heavenly, sacred marriage commitment. Our God is never going to leave us or forsake us for any reason.

Hebrews 13:5 KJV - 1 Kings 8:57 KJV - Psalm 27:9 KJV -

aikido7
November 7th, 2015, 07:53 PM
Just think about this

Where are the most nonCalvinists located?

Heaven
Hell
other

Go ahead. Be honest.I cannot say for certain where "Calvinists" are located. I am surprised you are seemingly tuned into divine perfection and know the answer.

George Affleck
November 7th, 2015, 09:35 PM
The popcorn stand has better theology.

dialm
November 8th, 2015, 01:04 PM
The popcorn stand has better theology.

The talk going around is that the popcorn is spiked. With a whole lot of Old Testament funny business. Such as

Is she or isn't she?

Is Israel saved or not?

One can never be sure. R-minimum frustration says that you must earn. So far she hasn't performed to expectation. So to the popcorn stand she sits. Serving her elixir. Looks like you are enjoying.

Let me ask you this

Did Old Testament Israel have any theological probs?

dialm
November 8th, 2015, 01:05 PM
I cannot say for certain where "Calvinists" are located. I am surprised you are seemingly tuned into divine perfection and know the answer.

The Elect are the only ones entitled to Heaven. All others need not apply.

dialm
November 8th, 2015, 01:07 PM
Hebrews 13:5 KJV - 1 Kings 8:57 KJV - Psalm 27:9 KJV -

Amen to your fine scripture choices. Here have a cup. Drink from the fountain that never shall run dry.

disturbo
November 8th, 2015, 01:21 PM
http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-roBtWirobgw/TZ21VMMx0GI/AAAAAAAAECI/HmdPunzTeTk/s1600/Bombs+Away.jpg

I like your post better than the OP!

disturbo
November 8th, 2015, 01:24 PM
What is said at the water cooler stays at the water cooler.

Interpretation

If you don't like Calvinists you are not going to like heaven.

This is what I refer to as 'glob theories". People who pass judgment on others for not being a Calvinist (or anything else for that matter) need some serious help understanding God's Word.

disturbo
November 8th, 2015, 01:26 PM
Just think about this

Where are the most nonCalvinists located?

Heaven
Hell
other

Go ahead. Be honest.

Neither!

patrick jane
November 8th, 2015, 01:28 PM
Neither!

But all MADists go to heaven !

Ask Mr. Religion
November 8th, 2015, 02:20 PM
The Elect are commanded to go out and raise the dead. We join with Christ in being given the power of resurrection. The world is a field of dry bones.

Will these bones live again?

Tell us about it AMR
It starts with understanding the state of the lost is being born in sin. When Adam sinned, all his progeny (us) sinned in Adam. This is where most error begins, the thinking that we are all "innocent" from birth, that the sin of Adam was not imputed to those that came after him. We need to remember we sin because we are sinners, and not that we are sinners because we sin.

Dry bones, indeed:

20696
[Click to Enlarge]

Given that state of affairs...

20698
[Click to Enlarge]

Sadly, this is the sort of spiritual CPR commonly believed:

20691
[Click to Enlarge]

Why is this so? Well, the difference lies in how one views the man who is not yet born again from above:

20692
[Click to Enlarge]

Taking the wrong approach leads to this sort of thinking:

20693
[Click to Enlarge]

The biblical picture, however, is of a man at the bottom of the ocean in the Marianas trench, more than thirty-five thousand feet deep. The weight of the water on top of him is six tons for every square inch. He has been there for a thousand years and the sharks have eaten his heart. In other words, the man is dead and is totally unable to ask any lifeguard to save him. If he is to be saved, then a miracle must occur. He must be brought back to life and to the surface, and then he will not fail to ask the guard to rescue him.

And that is the picture of the sinner. He is dead in his sins and trespasses (Eph. 2:1, 5). He does not want to be made whole, let alone even know that he should be made whole. He is dead.

When Christ called to Lazarus to come out of the grave, Lazarus had no life in him so that he could hear, sit up, and emerge. There was not a flicker of life in him. If he was to be able to hear Jesus calling him and to go to Him, then Jesus would have to make him alive. Jesus did resurrect him and then Lazarus could respond.

These illustrations reveal the most central issue between the Arminian and the Calvinist, what Martin Luther even said was the hinge on which the whole Reformation turned. The Arminian—and I write kindly of him even though we find him outside the teachings of Scripture at this point—believes that Christ died for sin and that no man can make even the smallest contribution to the payment for his sins. So far, so good. “Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe.”

But the real nub of the matter is that the Arminian then goes on to say that the unsaved is able in his own strength, with an assist of the Holy Spirit, to ask Jesus to save him. And once he has asked, then he will be born again.

Generally, these folks have this sort of view about salvation:

20700
[Click to Enlarge]

The biblical Calvinist, however, says no. The Arminian has the cart before the horse. Man is dead in sins and trespasses, not just sick or injured but nevertheless alive. No, the unsaved, the unregenerate, is spiritually dead (Ephesians 2). Then, once he is born again, he can for the first time turn to Jesus, in manifest sorrow for his sins, asking Jesus to save him.

20697
[Click to Enlarge]

So the question is:

- Is God the author of redemption alone or also of faith?
- Does God contribute the substitutionary sacrifice of Christ, and man contribute his faith?
- Or is faith also a gifted instrument of God (Eph. 2:8)?
- Does salvation depend partly on God (the giving of Christ on the cross) or wholly on God (the giving of Christ to die for us plus the giving of our faith)?
- Does man keep just a little bit of glory for himself—claiming the ability to believe? Or does all the glory go to God?

The answer relates to God's glory, something He is very jealous to retain:

20699
[Click to Enlarge]

AMR

aikido7
November 8th, 2015, 03:54 PM
The Elect are the only ones entitled to Heaven. All others need not apply.I’m not surprised. The Jesus in Revelation slaughters all the unfaithful until the blood spilled reaches the level of his horse’s bridle for a distance of 200 miles!

Clearly, this is a Jesus who does not walk his talk. This Jesus sprung from the imagination of John of Patmos. It is far from an accurate portrait.

dialm
November 8th, 2015, 07:18 PM
This is what I refer to as 'glob theories". People who pass judgment on others for not being a Calvinist (or anything else for that matter) need some serious help understanding God's Word.

Are you sure about that? Here let me borrow from brother PJ's verses and apply the text in this manner

R-minimum versus The Elect

Prayer comparison

R-minimum: Lord don't forsake me.
Answer: Maybe I will and maybe I won't.

The Elect: Lord don't forsake me.
Answer: I will never leave thee nor forsake thee.

Now I ask you
Which answer makes you feel like a blob?

dialm
November 8th, 2015, 07:21 PM
I’m not surprised. The Jesus in Revelation slaughters all the unfaithful until the blood spilled reaches the level of his horse’s bridle for a distance of 200 miles!

Clearly, this is a Jesus who does not walk his talk. This Jesus sprung from the imagination of John of Patmos. It is far from an accurate portrait.

I will discuss this in an honest and open manner in some other thread. It is worthy of discussion. But it is not in keeping with this particular thread.

patrick jane
November 8th, 2015, 07:23 PM
I’m not surprised. The Jesus in Revelation slaughters all the unfaithful until the blood spilled reaches the level of his horse’s bridle for a distance of 200 miles!

Clearly, this is a Jesus who does not walk his talk. This Jesus sprung from the imagination of John of Patmos. It is far from an accurate portrait.

The unfaithful that fight and oppose God. I say, lay waste to them.

patrick jane
November 8th, 2015, 07:28 PM
20705

20706

20707

20708

dialm
November 8th, 2015, 07:28 PM
It starts with understanding the state of the lost is being born in sin. When Adam sinned, all his progeny (us) sinned in Adam. This is where most error begins, the thinking that we are all "innocent" from birth, that the sin of Adam was not imputed to those that came after him. We need to remember we sin because we are sinners, and not that we are sinners because we sin.

Dry bones, indeed:

20696
[Click to Enlarge]

Given that state of affairs...

20698
[Click to Enlarge]

Sadly, this is the sort of spiritual CPR commonly believed:

20691
[Click to Enlarge]

Why is this so? Well, the difference lies in how one views the man who is not yet born again from above:

20692
[Click to Enlarge]

Taking the wrong approach leads to this sort of thinking:

20693
[Click to Enlarge]

The biblical picture, however, is of a man at the bottom of the ocean in the Marianas trench, more than thirty-five thousand feet deep. The weight of the water on top of him is six tons for every square inch. He has been there for a thousand years and the sharks have eaten his heart. In other words, the man is dead and is totally unable to ask any lifeguard to save him. If he is to be saved, then a miracle must occur. He must be brought back to life and to the surface, and then he will not fail to ask the guard to rescue him.

And that is the picture of the sinner. He is dead in his sins and trespasses (Eph. 2:1, 5). He does not want to be made whole, let alone even know that he should be made whole. He is dead.

When Christ called to Lazarus to come out of the grave, Lazarus had no life in him so that he could hear, sit up, and emerge. There was not a flicker of life in him. If he was to be able to hear Jesus calling him and to go to Him, then Jesus would have to make him alive. Jesus did resurrect him and then Lazarus could respond.

These illustrations reveal the most central issue between the Arminian and the Calvinist, what Martin Luther even said was the hinge on which the whole Reformation turned. The Arminian—and I write kindly of him even though we find him outside the teachings of Scripture at this point—believes that Christ died for sin and that no man can make even the smallest contribution to the payment for his sins. So far, so good. “Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe.”

But the real nub of the matter is that the Arminian then goes on to say that the unsaved is able in his own strength, with an assist of the Holy Spirit, to ask Jesus to save him. And once he has asked, then he will be born again.

Generally, these folks have this sort of view about salvation:

20700
[Click to Enlarge]

The biblical Calvinist, however, says no. The Arminian has the cart before the horse. Man is dead in sins and trespasses, not just sick or injured but nevertheless alive. No, the unsaved, the unregenerate, is spiritually dead (Ephesians 2). Then, once he is born again, he can for the first time turn to Jesus, in manifest sorrow for his sins, asking Jesus to save him.

20697
[Click to Enlarge]

So the question is:

- Is God the author of redemption alone or also of faith?
- Does God contribute the substitutionary sacrifice of Christ, and man contribute his faith?
- Or is faith also a gifted instrument of God (Eph. 2:8)?
- Does salvation depend partly on God (the giving of Christ on the cross) or wholly on God (the giving of Christ to die for us plus the giving of our faith)?
- Does man keep just a little bit of glory for himself—claiming the ability to believe? Or does all the glory go to God?

The answer relates to God's glory, something He is very jealous to retain:

20699
[Click to Enlarge]

AMR

Very good information AMR. So as a believing Calvinist I would like to understand something

When a Calvinist witnesses to the lost it isn't in vain. Is that right?

patrick jane
November 8th, 2015, 07:32 PM
Since this is a water cooler thread I'm posting random images. I don't think a purpose or subject was stated for this thread.


20709

20710

20711

20712

20713

Zeke
November 8th, 2015, 08:05 PM
The unfaithful that fight and oppose God. I say, lay waste to them.


Gee that would include Saul then wouldn't it! by by Pauline doctrine under you're command.

aikido7
November 8th, 2015, 08:54 PM
I will discuss this in an honest and open manner in some other thread. It is worthy of discussion. But it is not in keeping with this particular thread.Dividing people into the elect and the condemned came from YOUR comment.

Such all-too-human scapegoating of others was not part of Jesus’s teachings.

It starts with de-humanization, mockery, name-calling. And can end with people being packed into crowded railroad cars and taken to the camps.

We should be aware of history by this point in time.

Ask Mr. Religion
November 9th, 2015, 12:16 AM
When a Calvinist witnesses to the lost it isn't in vain. Is that right?

No it is not in vain. We are admonished to make ourselves a living testimony of our faith and tell all that any who call upon the Lord will be saved.

God uses these actions as but one of the means by which His ends are accomplished, for He ordained the very means for His ends. We do not know who the unregenerate elect are, so we promiscuously share the Good News to all persons of every stripe. It is God who does the saving, not ourselves. God grants faith using the means of our obedience, the foolishness of preaching, what He has commanded.

A caution is needed here, however. It is one thing to proclaim that any who call upon the Lord will be saved and not turned away. It is indeed quite another thing, and grievous error, to begin that proclamation of the Good News with "God loves YOU!" While there is sense of God's love for all mankind, in that He restrains evil, pours out the rain upon the evil and the good. Yet that love is not a saving love, a love before time wherein God has set His preference upon another, that is reserved only for those that call upon the Lord, His chosen children.

Some of the most dedicated and admired evangelists since the time of the Reformation were Calvinists (Jonathan Edwards, George Whitefield, Charles Spurgeon, etc.). And they were consistent with their doctrine. They realized that God not only ordains whomsoever will be saved; He ordains the means by which they will be saved -- namely, the preaching of the gospel. The Spirit moves the believer to spread the gospel, for that is his commission and one of the chief ends for which he was saved.

Then Arminians embrace a contradiction. And no matter how they dress it up with pithy sayings or sanctimonious platitudes, in the end it's still a contradiction. Thank goodness that logical consistency and sound reasoning aren't requisites to salvation in Christ.

Yes, the gospel is to be preached to all men and women. Moreover, it should be delivered persuasively and with conviction (Acts 18:28; 2 Cor 5:11). We do not know who the elect are, whose eyes the Spirit will open and whose stone heart God will replace. That is a secret not revealed to us (Deuteronomy 29:29).

As in the parable of the seed and the sower (Matthew 13:1-9), the evangelist is not to be a "soil sampler". Instead, he scatters the seed on all ground, preaching the good news of God's Kingdom to all men. Yet it is only the good soil that may receive the word in such a way that it takes root (c.f., Ezekiel 26:24-17 and John 3:1-12). The soil is not good in and of itself (Jeremiah 17:9; Romans 3:10-18). God makes it good (Matthew 12:33). And His word does not return to Him void, but accomplishes the purpose for which it is sent (Isaiah 55:11).

Anti-Calvinists can bash Calvinism and try to set it against evangelism, but history will sharply rebuke them. Calvinism has been and continues to be a strong motivation for preaching to the lost. I mentioned Edwards, Whitefield, and Spurgeon because they are well known (if in name only) to most Arminians. But the evangelistic zeal of Calvinism did not live and die with them. There is also William Burns, who led spiritual revival in China. Rowland Hill, who preached in England prior to Spurgeon. Robert Murray M'Cheyne of Scotland. David Brainerd, William Carey, John Flavel, Benjamin Keach, John Rippon, Christmas Evans, John Clifford, Archibald Brown, J. B. Moody, H. B. Taylor, I. M. Haldeman, Jeremiah Burroughs, George S. Bishop, T. T. Eaton, and Martin Lloyd-Jones. Latimer, Knox, Wishart, Perkins, Rutherford, Bunyan, Owen, Charnock, Goodwin, Watson, Henry, Watts and Newton.

The list goes on and on an on, completely shattering the anti-Calvinist's misguided notions about Calvinism and evangelism. The truth is that wherever Calvinism is embraced wholeheartedly, the gospel of Jesus Christ thunders forth with Spirit and conviction. Only in Arminian caricatures, wrought from warped and vain imaginations, do we find Calvinists ignoring the Great Commission.

AMR

dialm
November 9th, 2015, 01:32 AM
Dividing people into the elect and the condemned came from YOUR comment.

Such all-too-human scapegoating of others was not part of Jesus’s teachings.

It starts with de-humanization, mockery, name-calling. And can end with people being packed into crowded railroad cars and taken to the camps.

We should be aware of history by this point in time.

The message of Jesus Christ is love and hope. That can only be achieve by the in filling of the Holy Spirit. We must be born again. This is when the healing can begin. When we have a right relationship with God.

We are being presented with a clear simple choice here in this thread

There is a god being offered to us that will turn his back on us.

There is another God who is being offered to us that will never turn His back on us.

Let me ask you a direct question-Which God would you choose?

dialm
November 9th, 2015, 01:51 AM
Since this is a water cooler thread I'm posting random images. I don't think a purpose or subject was stated for this thread.


20709

20710

20711

20712

20713

At the water cooler friends meet for a good time in the Lord. Let the Water and the Spirit flow Patrick Jane

dialm
November 9th, 2015, 02:01 AM
No it is not in vain. We are admonished to make ourselves a living testimony of our faith and tell all that any who call upon the Lord will be saved.

God uses these actions as but one of the means by which His ends are accomplished, for He ordained the very means for His ends. We do not know who the unregenerate elect are, so we promiscuously share the Good News to all persons of every stripe. It is God who does the saving, not ourselves. God grants faith using the means of our obedience, the foolishness of preaching, what He has commanded.

A caution is needed here, however. It is one thing to proclaim that any who call upon the Lord will be saved and not turned away. It is indeed quite another thing, and grievous error, to begin that proclamation of the Good News with "God loves YOU!" While there is sense of God's love for all mankind, in that He restrains evil, pours out the rain upon the evil and the good. Yet that love is not a saving love, a love before time wherein God has set His preference upon another, that is reserved only for those that call upon the Lord, His chosen children.

Some of the most dedicated and admired evangelists since the time of the Reformation were Calvinists (Jonathan Edwards, George Whitefield, Charles Spurgeon, etc.). And they were consistent with their doctrine. They realized that God not only ordains whomsoever will be saved; He ordains the means by which they will be saved -- namely, the preaching of the gospel. The Spirit moves the believer to spread the gospel, for that is his commission and one of the chief ends for which he was saved.

Then Arminians embrace a contradiction. And no matter how they dress it up with pithy sayings or sanctimonious platitudes, in the end it's still a contradiction. Thank goodness that logical consistency and sound reasoning aren't requisites to salvation in Christ.

Yes, the gospel is to be preached to all men and women. Moreover, it should be delivered persuasively and with conviction (Acts 18:28; 2 Cor 5:11). We do not know who the elect are, whose eyes the Spirit will open and whose stone heart God will replace. That is a secret not revealed to us (Deuteronomy 29:29).

As in the parable of the seed and the sower (Matthew 13:1-9), the evangelist is not to be a "soil sampler". Instead, he scatters the seed on all ground, preaching the good news of God's Kingdom to all men. Yet it is only the good soil that may receive the word in such a way that it takes root (c.f., Ezekiel 26:24-17 and John 3:1-12). The soil is not good in and of itself (Jeremiah 17:9; Romans 3:10-18). God makes it good (Matthew 12:33). And His word does not return to Him void, but accomplishes the purpose for which it is sent (Isaiah 55:11).

Anti-Calvinists can bash Calvinism and try to set it against evangelism, but history will sharply rebuke them. Calvinism has been and continues to be a strong motivation for preaching to the lost. I mentioned Edwards, Whitefield, and Spurgeon because they are well known (if in name only) to most Arminians. But the evangelistic zeal of Calvinism did not live and die with them. There is also William Burns, who led spiritual revival in China. Rowland Hill, who preached in England prior to Spurgeon. Robert Murray M'Cheyne of Scotland. David Brainerd, William Carey, John Flavel, Benjamin Keach, John Rippon, Christmas Evans, John Clifford, Archibald Brown, J. B. Moody, H. B. Taylor, I. M. Haldeman, Jeremiah Burroughs, George S. Bishop, T. T. Eaton, and Martin Lloyd-Jones. Latimer, Knox, Wishart, Perkins, Rutherford, Bunyan, Owen, Charnock, Goodwin, Watson, Henry, Watts and Newton.

The list goes on and on an on, completely shattering the anti-Calvinist's misguided notions about Calvinism and evangelism. The truth is that wherever Calvinism is embraced wholeheartedly, the gospel of Jesus Christ thunders forth with Spirit and conviction. Only in Arminian caricatures, wrought from warped and vain imaginations, do we find Calvinists ignoring the Great Commission.

AMR

Another fine posting that bears repeating. Amen to it.

The Reformation began as an attemp to remove certain doctrines. Almost as soon as the Reformation began, the enemy started sowing chaff. There are two different products being grown in the field. One is wheat and one is not wheat. They cannot be separated until the harvest.

dialm
November 9th, 2015, 02:19 AM
Let me ask you another question AMR. (Maybe it is rhetorical but maybe not so don't feel like it is necessary that you answer.)

Shouldn't the antiCalvinist receive the kind of God that they preach?

In other words, wouldn't it be fair for God to turn His back on them after all?

dialm
November 9th, 2015, 10:45 AM
Don't worry. I wouldn't want anything bad to happen to the R-minimums. There are a lot of Calvinists in their ranks. Besides maybe one of them can actually earn their way if give enough time? How much should we give them? So far they have had about 2000 years. So far all losers. But the Elect are admonished to be patient. Not everyone is smart you know.

Ask Mr. Religion
November 10th, 2015, 12:28 AM
Let me ask you another question AMR. (Maybe it is rhetorical but maybe not so don't feel like it is necessary that you answer.)

Shouldn't the antiCalvinist receive the kind of God that they preach?

In other words, wouldn't it be fair for God to turn His back on them after all?


I have yet to meet an actual historic Arminian as described and condemned at Dordt. The teachings of Arminius were modified along the way such that today's "Arminian" is nothing like that described in the time of Dordt.

Instead, these average "Arminian" folks are quick to claim they are saved by faith alone, by grace alone. I believe them and do not consign them to eternal damnation, for who can know the heart of another but God? Sadly, most just stop thinking very much about the matter beyond that. In other words, if a true Arminian were to consistently hold to his Arminianism, then he would believe that man contributes to his salvation. However, not everyone who claims to be an Arminian consistently holds in the depths of their heart to Arminianism. If we could peek in at their prayers you would likely find them praying very much like a Calvinist prays. They are just not very consistent folks.

The average Arminian is but a "Calvinist in Training." ;) Would not many of us be found in that camp before we embraced the doctrines of grace? Average Arminians are very confused Arminians with a heterodox understanding of the faith that has a very real tendency of leading them into real heresy. Why? The logical implications of any arminian/semi-palegian doctrine is "works-based salvation". If you can get the average Arminian to admit that they are born fallen in Adam and they are contributing even a teeny, tiny bit to their salvation by their "free-will", that might open the door to their studying more about what exactly this brand of Arminianism is that they claim. When and if they do, they will see rank semi-Pelagianism at best, full blown Pelagianism at worst, is actually what they have been embracing.

What worries me is when encountering the one who has had many of his misunderstandings explained time and again, yet the fellow becomes so enraged so as to exclaim "If that is the God of the Bible you worship, I would rather be in Hell" or "I could never worship the God you describe" and so on. For me, this is an attitude coming dangerously close, and perhaps passing into the sin that cannot be forgiven, meaning the claimed faith of these folks should be questioned.

AMR

dialm
November 10th, 2015, 01:44 AM
I have yet to meet an actual historic Arminian as described and condemned at Dordt. The teachings of Arminius were modified along the way such that today's "Arminian" is nothing like that described in the time of Dordt.

Instead, these average "Arminian" folks are quick to claim they are saved by faith alone, by grace alone. I believe them and do not consign them to eternal damnation, for who can know the heart of another but God? Sadly, most just stop thinking very much about the matter beyond that. In other words, if a true Arminian were to consistently hold to his Arminianism, then he would believe that man contributes to his salvation. However, not everyone who claims to be an Arminian consistently holds in the depths of their heart to Arminianism. If we could peek in at their prayers you would likely find them praying very much like a Calvinist prays. They are just not very consistent folks.

The average Arminian is but a "Calvinist in Training." ;) Would not many of us be found in that camp before we embraced the doctrines of grace? Average Arminians are very confused Arminians with a heterodox understanding of the faith that has a very real tendency of leading them into real heresy. Why? The logical implications of any arminian/semi-palegian doctrine is "works-based salvation". If you can get the average Arminian to admit that they are born fallen in Adam and they are contributing even a teeny, tiny bit to their salvation by their "free-will", that might open the door to their studying more about what exactly this brand of Arminianism is that they claim. When and if they do, they will see rank semi-Pelagianism at best, full blown Pelagianism at worst, is actually what they have been embracing.

What worries me is when encountering the one who has had many of his misunderstandings explained time and again, yet the fellow becomes so enraged so as to exclaim "If that is the God of the Bible you worship, I would rather be in Hell" or "I could never worship the God you describe" and so on. For me, this is an attitude coming dangerously close, and perhaps passing into the sin that cannot be forgiven, meaning the claimed faith of these folks should be questioned.

AMR

Excellent viewpoint.

Here is something that they always bring up

John 3:16 (Which is only one of the most important single verses in the Bible.) The argument is that since God loves everyone the Calvinist is wrong.

I'm a Christian. I really want to love everyone. I want to have compassion for everyone. I want everyone to do good.

But I only want to be married to the right person. Not just anyone. Because the relationship of marriage is different then any other relationship.

They actually expect God to have to put up with a wife not of His choosing.

Ask Mr. Religion
November 16th, 2015, 03:35 PM
The Arminian embraces contradiction easily.

They have no answer to John 3:16 other than a humanistic notion that man is able and therefore must be persuaded. And when man comes to an inner grasp of that which he is being persuaded, he will perhaps choose rightly.

The moment we start asking about "how much" God loves those people or start asking questions of decree and hidden things is when we get into trouble. We don't need to know, as creatures, how God really "feels" about people in order to be sorrowful that the wicked should perish. God, as He is in Himself, is not our example. We are creatures. It is enough to know that what has been revealed is the repentance of sinners and a desire that men would come to salvation.

Anthony Burgess, the Westminster divine agrees:



...grant the Text [Eze. 33:11] to be comprehensive of Eternal death, as many other places are; such that, God would not have any to perish, but come to the knowledge of the truth, 1 Tim. 2.:4. Then the answer is known, which may easily be made good, though it be not my work now, God has an approving will, and an effective or decreeing will.

God’s approving will is carried out to the objects, as good in it self; but Gods Effective will is, when He intends to bring a thing about.

God had an approving will, that Adam should stand, therefore He gave him a command, and threatened him if he did fall; yet He had not an effective will, to make him to stand, for then who could have hindered it?

Thus Christ’s tears over Jerusalem (How often would I have gathered thee, and thou wouldest not?) were not Crocodiles’ tears (as some say the Calvinists make them) for though Christ, as God, had not decreed the conversion of the Jews, yet the thing it self was approved of, and commanded, and he as the Minister of the New Testament, affectionately desired it:

So here in the Text, God by this pathetical expression, does declare, how acceptable and desireable a thing it is in itself, that the Jews should be converted; how distasteful and unpleasant their damnation was: therefore mark the expression, He does not say, I do not will the death of the wicked, but I have no pleasure in it:

And if that of the Arminians be true, that God does effectually will the conversion of all, why then are not all converted? Who hath resisted his will? but I intend grapes, and not thorns; practical not controversal matter from this Text.

Src: Spiritual Refining, Sermon 66, “Showing that the Damnation of Wicked Men is unpleasing to God, and that which He delights not in.” p. 403-408


Notice the distinction that Burgess makes about the kind of will it is that expresses a desire in God that is real. It is the same distinction we've been making all along about a type of love for the lost that is expressed in the manner than Calvin did - a love for the world at large, a love expressed to those who hear the Gospel, and a love specifically for the elect. Yet the first two types of love are what Burgess calls a "pathetical expression" - the thing is true in itself that the Jews should be converted. Thus, Burgess notes that it is real concern for people based on a revealed desire (that is God has revealed a call to sinners to repent).

That revealed desire that God has for men to repent is sufficient for us. It is sufficient that God has called us to preach to sinners and that He has loved the world and sinners and sent the Gospel into the world to redeem.

The difference between the Calvinist and Arminian view of general love is the realm in and extent to which it is exercised. For the Calvinist it is confined to the temporal realm, is non-saving in nature, and effects exactly what it seeks. For the Arminian general love operates in the realm of salvation and fails to effect what it seeks. By the Arminian doctrine of universal love there is no salvation offered in the gospel. There is but the possibility of salvation but not actual salvation.

God is good and doeth good. Holy Scripture teaches no such idea as ineffectual divine goodness. The only basis for sinful men to receive and rest upon Christ for salvation depends on the fact that God is effectually good, that He has mercy on whom He will have mercy.

AMR

dialm
November 17th, 2015, 01:37 AM
AMR,

If it were really left for man to choose he would never choose right. Even the law of probability would not help. It would always be 100% man choosing wrong. Man is so lost that we don't even need the devil. Mankind is so locked into a lost position that he thinks it is the norm. He recoils from the truth.

nikolai_42
November 18th, 2015, 11:10 AM
Excellent viewpoint.

Here is something that they always bring up

John 3:16 (Which is only one of the most important single verses in the Bible.) The argument is that since God loves everyone the Calvinist is wrong.

I'm a Christian. I really want to love everyone. I want to have compassion for everyone. I want everyone to do good.

But I only want to be married to the right person. Not just anyone. Because the relationship of marriage is different then any other relationship.

They actually expect God to have to put up with a wife not of His choosing.

The marriage parallel there is a sticky wicket. Just ask Hosea...

Ask Mr. Religion
November 18th, 2015, 04:53 PM
AMR,

If it were really left for man to choose he would never choose right. Even the law of probability would not help. It would always be 100% man choosing wrong. Man is so lost that we don't even need the devil. Mankind is so locked into a lost position that he thinks it is the norm. He recoils from the truth.
I agree. Unfortunately, the contrary view starts by assuming the original sin of Adam, our federal representative, is not imputed to all his progeny. All are constituted sinners by Adam's act of disobedience.Hence, all deserve nothing but justice from God, not mercy.

Calvin is instructive here:


“because all have sinned” εφ ω παντες ημαρτον (aorist active indicative)

"Observe the order which he keeps here; for he says, that sin preceded, and that from sin death followed. There are indeed some who contend, that we are so lost through Adam’s sin, as though we perished through no fault of our own, but only, because he had sinned for us. But Paul distinctly affirms, that sin extends to all who suffer its punishment: and this he afterwards more fully declares, when subsequently he assigns a reason why all the posterity of Adam are subject to the dominion of death; and it is even this—because we have all, he says, sinned. But to sin in this case, is to become corrupt and vicious; for the natural depravity which we bring, from our mother’s womb, though it brings not forth immediately its own fruits, is yet sin before God, and deserves his vengeance: and this is that sin which they call original. For as Adam at his creation had received for us as well as for himself the gifts of God’s favor, so by falling away from the Lord, he in himself corrupted, vitiated, depraved, and ruined our nature; for having been divested of God’s likeness, he could not have generated seed but what was like himself. Hence we have all sinned; for we are all imbued with natural corruption, and so are become sinful and wicked. Frivolous then was the gloss, by which formerly the Pelagians endeavored to elude the words of Paul, and held, that sin descended by imitation from Adam to the whole human race; for Christ would in this case become only the exemplar and not the cause of righteousness. Besides, we may easily conclude, that he speaks not here of actual sin; for if everyone for himself contracted guilt, why did Paul form a comparison between Adam and Christ? It then follows that our innate and hereditary depravity is what is here referred to."

The guilt and corruption of Adam's first Sin are imputed to his posterity without the person ever having acted. We are all born in Sin. Guilt implies that the person is culpable for sin and stands under wrath and, as Paul notes, all die. Corruption implies that a person is born a sinner. A person is conceived in sin. He is at enmity with God and all actual sin flows out of this corruption that is imputed. The clear symmetry of Adam and Christ in Romans 5 forms much of the reasoning behind this proper view. For if we believe that a person is not actually guilty and corrupt until they sin then it would correspond to a view of Christ's righteousness that would require some mediate action on the part of the person responding to the Gospel.

See also: http://www.the-highway.com/fall_Sproul.html

AMR

George Affleck
November 18th, 2015, 10:57 PM
The Arminian embraces contradiction easily.



What a great statement!

dialm
November 19th, 2015, 07:23 AM
The marriage parallel there is a sticky wicket. Just ask Hosea...

Oh really. And what is the problem?

dialm
November 19th, 2015, 07:24 AM
What a great statement!

You can have some water now.

nikolai_42
November 19th, 2015, 08:21 AM
Oh really. And what is the problem?

I hope this isn't a rabbit trail. I don't want to distract from AMR's meaty posts. This is just something that came to mind as I was reading.

Not so much a problem, just an observation that that phrase "the right person" takes on a different color of meaning when the Lord and His purposes are factored in. It tends to take on an understanding that there is one right person out there for everyone. But realizing who Israel was as God's chosen - how they treated Him and yet He continued with them - is a humbling thing. Hosea got to experience that rejection within the marriage relationship in a very real way.

The words of Jesus "You have not chosen me, but I have chosen you..." (John 15:16) only serve to underscore the way we as sinners find ourselves redeemed by a God of love and mercy. "While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us..." (Romans 5:8) further hammers home the one-sided nature of Godly love - we didn't love Him but He loved us.

And bearing in mind these two facts :

1. The marriage relationship is a picture of Christ and the church (Eph 5)
2. Jesus said that Moses only granted divorce because of the hardness of man's heart (Matthew 19:8) - and the only valid excuse is for marital unfaithfulness

...shows that if we in Christ, the love we have for our spouse should be far less dependent on who they are than on who Christ is. So if there is indeed one specific person God has for marriage, then it is in spite of who they are naturally and we are called to love them regardless of how they might make us feel.

I don't know that this is anything earth shattering (to you, anyway), but I've heard the phrase "the right one" so often that I tend to read it with certain presuppositions.

Again, don't pay much heed if this is too much of a distraction from what you are discussing already. Just act as though I'm one of those annoying guys at the water cooler who likes to chime in with their opinion on everything...

dialm
November 19th, 2015, 08:50 AM
I hope this isn't a rabbit trail. I don't want to distract from AMR's meaty posts. This is just something that came to mind as I was reading.

Not so much a problem, just an observation that that phrase "the right person" takes on a different color of meaning when the Lord and His purposes are factored in. It tends to take on an understanding that there is one right person out there for everyone. But realizing who Israel was as God's chosen - how they treated Him and yet He continued with them - is a humbling thing. Hosea got to experience that rejection within the marriage relationship in a very real way.

The words of Jesus "You have not chosen me, but I have chosen you..." (John 15:16) only serve to underscore the way we as sinners find ourselves redeemed by a God of love and mercy. "While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us..." (Romans 5:8) further hammers home the one-sided nature of Godly love - we didn't love Him but He loved us.

And bearing in mind these two facts :

1. The marriage relationship is a picture of Christ and the church (Eph 5)
2. Jesus said that Moses only granted divorce because of the hardness of man's heart (Matthew 19:8) - and the only valid excuse is for marital unfaithfulness

...shows that if we in Christ, the love we have for our spouse should be far less dependent on who they are than on who Christ is. So if there is indeed one specific person God has for marriage, then it is in spite of who they are naturally and we are called to love them regardless of how they might make us feel.

I don't know that this is anything earth shattering (to you, anyway), but I've heard the phrase "the right one" so often that I tend to read it with certain presuppositions.

Again, don't pay much heed if this is too much of a distraction from what you are discussing already. Just act as though I'm one of those annoying guys at the water cooler who likes to chime in with their opinion on everything...

Maybe Calvinists are the most romantic people on earth as the Elect would represent the right bride. But don't forget that not all Israel can be classified as romantic.

nikolai_42
November 19th, 2015, 09:50 AM
Maybe Calvinists are the most romantic people on earth as the Elect would represent the right bride. But don't forget that not all Israel can be classified as romantic.

How the Elect looks to God and how they look to us are two very different things. But if we can see them from God's vantage point, I suspect they are all (the Elect, that is) in that "most romantic" category...

A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.
And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.
Ezekiel 36:26-27

dialm
November 29th, 2015, 05:26 AM
How the Elect looks to God and how they look to us are two very different things. But if we can see them from God's vantage point, I suspect they are all (the Elect, that is) in that "most romantic" category...

A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.
And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.
Ezekiel 36:26-27

Have you noticed the love letters written by the Frenchman? (France is a lovely country. Maybe it is all the vineyards? but I suspect it is knowledge of God's true intent.)

Crucible
November 30th, 2015, 12:07 AM
The entirety of the Reformation was built on the theological basis of predestination.

Methodists and every other non-catholic church want to try and have one foot in, one foot out, trying to have the best of both worlds.

Ask Mr. Religion
December 1st, 2015, 03:42 PM
The entirety of the Reformation was built on the theological basis of predestination.
Er, no.

The Reformation's material principle, meaning the substance or stuff of the Reformation, concerned the debate over the gospel in which the doctrine of justification sola fide (by faith alone)—against growing and unchecked Pelagianism—took center stage. Along with the importance of faith, the Reformers saw that this faith was a gift of God, namely, that it was sola gratia (by grace alone). Historians then go on to say that the shape of the debate about the gospel was determined or outlined by the doctrine of sola scriptura (Scripture alone), sometimes also called the formal principle of the Reformation.

AMR

Ask Mr. Religion
December 26th, 2015, 01:14 PM
A good introduction to some of the basics of the Reformed faith can be found in my posts scattered about in this thread:

http://www.theologyonline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=114680

AMR

Ask Mr. Religion
January 16th, 2016, 01:54 PM
God’s foreknowledge seems a stumbling block to some that may have incorrect understandings about what God knows and why He knows what He knows.

Knowledge of all things is properly attributed to God (2 Cor. 12:2–3; cf. Acts 2:23; Rom. 8:29; 11:2; 1 Peter 1:2). The idea of foreknowledge can be used in two ways: as an expression of knowledge of all things, even prior to their happening in time, and as an act of choice or ordaining. The former is the subject for consideration here.

The idea of foreknowledge relates to the things known by God and the order in which they stand to each other as they are, whether they be to us past, present, or future. All of these things God knows equally vividly from eternity. Things that to us are yet future have been known by God from eternity; His knowledge of the future is so real that when events become “past” to us (based on their actual occurrence in time), God knows them in the same way He always did. Nothing is altered in His knowledge by the passage of time; His understanding is infinite and unchanging.

Some have objected to the premise of God’s perfect and complete knowledge of all things prior to their occurrence. Such challengers point to passages in Scripture that appear to suggest God’s lack of knowledge: God’s fearing or being afraid (Gen. 3:22–23; Ex. 13:17; Deut. 32:26–27); His repentance (1 Sam. 15:10–11); a change or alteration of His mind (Num. 14:27,30; 1 Sam. 2:30); or His testing of men’s hearts to discover their contents (Judg. 3:1,4; 2 Chron. 32:31; Dan. 12:10).

However, each of these passages speaks of God in a figurative fashion, or anthropomorphically. Thus these passages do not describe the nature of God as He is. Rather, God condescends to speak at our level, that is He accommodates our finitude, to express reality in human terms. This idea could be likened to a father’s talking to a newborn. The father babbles in “baby talk” to accommodate himself to the baby’s level.

In other places of Scripture God is directly said not to do these things, for He is not a man (1 Sam. 15:29). Such traits would destroy God’s immutability. How, for example, could God in His omnipotence and true nature properly be termed afraid in the sense that we ourselves experience fear? Furthermore, the abundance of scriptural evidence in favor of God’s knowledge overwhelmingly demonstrates the truth of the doctrine of His foreknowledge.

Scripture attests that God knows all things in all details, whether past, present, or future. He understands all the ways and actions of men, even before their occurrence (1 Sam. 2:3; Ps. 139:2–4; 147:5; Isa. 40:13–14,28; Acts 15:18; Rom. 11:36; Heb. 4:13; 1 John 3:20).

The countless miraculous predictions in Scripture necessitate a detailed knowledge of all things. By His holy prophets God foretold the free actions of men, what they would do and what they should do, long before they were born (Gen. 15:13–14; 18:18–19; Deut. 31:16–18; 1 Kings 13:2; 22:28; Matt. 24:5; Mark 13:6; 14:30; Acts 20:29; 2 Thess. 2:3,4; 1 Tim. 4:1; 2 Tim. 3:1; 2 Peter 2:1). Thus God perfectly knew from eternity all of the free actions of men before they performed them. This knowledge extends even to those things that deal with the secrets of men’s hearts (Deut. 31:21; 1 Sam. 16:7; 23:12; 1 Kings 8:39; 2 Kings 8:12–13; Job 31:4; Ps. 38:9; 94:11; Prov. 15:11; Isa. 48:4; Jer. 17:9–10; Ezek. 11:5; Matt. 6:4,6,8; Luke 16:15; Acts 1:24; Rev. 3:15).

Some wrongly view God’s foreknowledge of all men’s actions as the logical, a priori cause of His predetermining all things. God’s knowledge, they incorrectly assume, caused Him to shape His plan for eternity. However, while both God’s foreknowledge and His predeterminate counsel occur from eternity (temporally considered), God’s foreknowledge must be viewed as coming after His predetermination (logically considered). God’s knowledge of all men’s future free actions did not cause Him to adapt His workings accordingly—for this would have placed God below man, as One reactive and subject rather than determinate and sovereign. Surely, what is not pre-decreed cannot be certain and therefore cannot be known. Yet upon the determination of God’s sovereign counsel out of eternity, His foreknowledge extends to a grasp of all things—also from eternity.

The above has been adapted from John Owen, Vindiciae Evangelicae, ch. 5, freely available here (https://archive.org/details/vindi00owen) or from Amazon here (http://www.amazon.com/Vindiciae-Evangelicae-Vindicated-Socinianism-Examined/dp/1514293935).

AMR

Ask Mr. Religion
January 16th, 2016, 02:58 PM
There is but one true God. These thoughts from Haykin (http://www.andrewfullercenter.org/blog/2007/04/thinking-about-god/) (modified a wee bit) are worth meditating upon.

Within the borders of the universe that humanity inhabits, there are two types of beings. First, there are those beings that are dependent on another. This category encompasses everything from elephants to snails, from angels to demons, from human beings to viruses.

And second, there is that one being upon whom all of this depends. He alone is self-existent—the great Yahweh (Jehovah), who told Moses that His name is I AM THAT I AM (Ex. 3:14; Rev. 1:4). All other beings draw their sustenance and existence from Him. He is utterly unique in that He has no need of anything outside Himself. He alone possesses what all of us students of theology call aseity, the attribute of self-existence (John 1:4; 5:26). Because He gives life to all of creation, from the greatest object to the smallest particle, He is to be confessed as the one and only Creator and God (1 Cor. 8:6).

The Bible’s confession of God’s uniqueness is also found in the statement that He is holy (Isa. 6:3; Rev. 4:8). The holiness of God means first that He is completely different from His creation. God is the Creator, unique and in total control of all that He has made. We human beings are limited in what we can do. Our knowledge is finite, never exhaustive. And our lives on this earth are relatively short in duration and often plagued by painful experiences—"nasty, brutish, and short," (per Thomas Hobbes). This is not so for God. He is immortal, can do all that His good pleasure decides, and has absolutely no logical limitations. Accordingly, to say that God is holy is to speak of His uniqueness, His otherness from His creation.

Men and women worship many gods. Being made in the image of the true God, we human beings have an unquenchable desire to worship. But being fallen, human beings inevitably worship gods of their own making. John Calvin, the French Reformer, rightly observed that the human mind is "a perpetual factory of idols" (Institutes of the Christian Religion, 1.11.8; also Rom. 1:18–25). The sole remedy is God’s gift of spiritual sight, by which, when it is given like a ray of light from heaven, people are awakened to know the true God and know themselves as His creatures.

God is thus sovereign over His creation. He gives life and takes it away, raises up nations and mountains and casts them down, and brings suns to light and extinguishes them. And none can hinder Him. What He has decided will surely come to pass, and in this exercise of sovereignty is His glory.

Human beings have the privilege and duty of acknowledging this sovereignty of God. However, they can do so only when God so inclines their hearts. By nature human beings are rebels, despising God's authority, with some going against what they instinctively know and claiming that God does not exist.

But, of course, God does exist! Of that fact the Christian is more certain than of anything else he or she knows. And it is the Christian’s "sweet delight"—to borrow a phrase from Jonathan Edwards, the eighteenth-century gospel preacher—to submit to this great God, to acknowledge his utter dependence upon Him, and to live for Him and His glory. As such, Christian talk about God is far more than a philosophical discussion about His existence. It is joy itself, for the Christian has come to know the one and only true God, and in knowing Him has found meaning for life and, yes, also life eternal (1 John 5:20)—in which he will forever enjoy knowing, loving, and communing with the triune God, basking in His smile and feasting in His presence.

AMR

Grosnick Marowbe
January 16th, 2016, 04:11 PM
Neither Calvinism nor Arminianism grasp the ultimate truth of
The Grace Gospel. (Paul's Gospel)

Ask Mr. Religion
January 16th, 2016, 05:12 PM
The word eternity is easily pronounced but hardly understood. This is due in part to man’s frailty of nature, as a creature bound to time. Eternity, being in conflict with time, is an attribute of God that largely exceeds man’s mind. Eternity is a perpetual duration without succession, having neither beginning nor end; time has both. Eternity and time differ in much the same way as the sea and rivers: the sea never changes place and is always one water, but the rivers glide along and are swallowed up by the sea. Such is time in relation to eternity.

This difficulty in understanding eternity is increased because the term is used to describe things that are only partially perpetual and not properly eternal. Eternity can be used of something having a long duration but possessing an end (Gen. 17:8; Lev. 6:20; Deut. 15:17) or of something having no end though having a beginning (aeviternity)—such as angels and souls.

Nonetheless, when eternity is used of God, it means something further; as the Scriptures attest "even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God" (Ps. 90:2). Therefore, eternity in this sense refers to the duration of God’s essence. When God is called eternal, all possibility of beginning and ending—any flux and change—is excluded. Consequently, the eternity of God is best understood negatively, as a denial that God has any measure of beginning, end, or succession. Endless time is just more of an elongation of time. But eternity differs qualitatively. It differs essentially, not merely accidentally. Eternity is an essential, changeless state of being that transcends moment-by-successive-moment reality.

God is without beginning as the everlasting God (Gen. 21:33; Rom. 16:26; cf. Gen. 1:1; Dan. 7:9). This is necessary according to God’s existence and status as Creator, for, if God does exist, and He has not received His being from another, then He must exist from eternity.

God is without end. This aspect refers to immortality, which is spoken of in Scripture more frequently than the other aspects of God’s eternity. He shall endure forever (Ps. 9:7; James 1:17; Rev. 4:9–10). His years are numberless (Job 36:26–27). This is evident by the name He gives Himself (Ex. 3:14) and the fact that He is life in His own essence (Dan. 6:26; John 5:26; cf. Acts 17:28; 1 Tim. 6:16).

God is without succession. He is always the same (Ps. 102:27; Heb. 1:10–12) and has no new progression of quantities or qualities in Himself. Of a creature, it may be said that “he was,” “he is,” or “he will be,” but of God it can only be said that “He is.” There is no increase in His knowledge (Acts 15:18) or fluctuation in His decrees (Eph. 1:4). There is no abrogation of any of His attributes. Furthermore, if God were not eternal, all His other attributes would be maimed beyond recognition. God would not be immutable (Job 37:23; Mal. 3:6), infinitely perfect (Job 11:7; Ps. 41:13), omnipotent (Isa. 2:22; Rev. 1:8), or the first cause of all.

The eternity of God holds a word for both the unbeliever and the Christian. For the unbeliever, God’s eternity is a terror. What a folly and boldness there is in sin, since an eternal God is offended thereby! All sin is aggravated by God’s eternity. The blackness of the pagan idolatry was in exchanging the glory of the incorruptible God for things contrary to His immortal nature (Rom. 1:23). It is dreadful to lie under the stroke of this eternal God, who is the “living God, and an everlasting king . . . the nations shall not be able to abide his indignation” (Jer. 10:10). God’s eternity makes His punishment more dreadful than His power alone: His power makes it sharp, but His eternity renders it perpetual—ever to endure is the sting at the end of every lash.

But for the Christian the reality that God “remainest forever” (Lam. 5:19–20) is the fountain of comfort. Peace is found in fellowship with the ever merciful, good, wise, and faithful God. His eternity governs His covenant with His people—thereby He swears by Himself (Heb. 6:13,16,17; Rev. 14:6; Rev. 4:3), and so the believer may proclaim, “This God is our God for ever and ever” (Ps. 48:14) and “Thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations” (Ps. 90:1; Gen. 49:26). Moreover, the eternity of God ensures that the enjoyment of God in heaven will be as fresh and glorious after many ages as it was at first.

—The above has been adapted from Stephen Charnock, "A Discourse upon the Eternity of God," in The Existence and Attributes of God, available here (http://tinyurl.com/ztr6yy3) or here (https://www.monergism.com/existence-and-attributes-god-ebook).

dialm
January 17th, 2016, 01:36 AM
The entirety of the Reformation was built on the theological basis of predestination.

Methodists and every other non-catholic church want to try and have one foot in, one foot out, trying to have the best of both worlds.

(If we are going to say that the Methodist are part of the Reformation then they are the tail and not the head.)

How much does freedom play in predestination? Look at all the obstacles placed between mankind and home, (freedom). Everything is set up to stop our march and yet the march is not extinguished. As long as there is breath there will be the march until our square peg finally fits into the round slot predetermined by God.

We are predestined for freedom but we are responsible for our actions. I have been told that this is a contradiction. I also desire the best of both worlds. That comes at a price. And the price is

Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.

That is freedom

(Naturally change is opposed. People get used to things the way they are. The ones demanding change are often misunderstood. But this is not freedom. The Reformation is not home it is change. We are not home yet. Some day. Some day we will be. Some day.)

Ask Mr. Religion
January 17th, 2016, 12:43 PM
“If there were so few self-conscious Calvinists in the 1950s,” the pastor-historian asks, “how did we get so many today?”

Mark Dever offers up twelve reasons (http://www.capitolhillbaptist.org/audio/2013/10/where-did-all-these-calvinists-come-from/):

Charles Spurgeon
Martyn Lloyd-Jones (aka, "The Doctor" as he was an M.D.)
The Banner of Truth Trust
Evangelism Explosion
The inerrancy controversy
Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) (My denomination, not to be confused with the liberal PC(USA))
J. I. Packer
John MacArthur and R. C. Sproul
John Piper
Reformed rap
Influential parachurch ministries
The rise of secularism and decline of Christian nominalism

See the full article here:

http://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/where-did-all-these-calvinists-come-from

AMR

Ask Mr. Religion
January 17th, 2016, 05:25 PM
What exactly saves you by being calvinist?
"Calvinist" is an accurate label in theological discussions for those that see God's redemptive plan for His children as being monergistic (https://www.monergism.com/search?keywords=synergism&format=All).

See previous post in this same thread here (http://www.theologyonline.com/forums/showthread.php?p=4512535#post4512535).


How can a calvinist them self know they are saved?The better question is how can any believer know they are saved. It is certainly not a Calvinist only issue. The answer is something along these lines:

http://www.theologyonline.com/forums/showthread.php?p=4317394#post4317394

Scripture commands us, “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?” (2 Cor. 13:5). We need a practical, experiential, and well-tested knowledge of our spiritual condition. Christ pressed this question upon His hearers in His parables (Matt. 7:24–27; 13:1–9,18–23; 25:1–13). John gives us tests by which a Christian can know with assurance that they are saved by Christ, particularly obedience and love (1 John 2:3–5; 3:10,14).

What is assurance? Assurance is a joyous, strong certainty of one’s present and future salvation. We must not confuse assurance and presumption, which is a delusion based on self-love, self-righteousness, and self-flattery (Prov. 16:2). We must also be careful not to confuse faith and assurance. One may have justifying faith without assurance. Assurance is an effect of faith or grows out of faith (Eph. 3:12). Faith is a direct act of the soul toward Christ, taking Him and clinging to Him. Assurance is a reflective act of the soul, perceiving of one’s own faith by the power of the Holy Spirit.

It is possible for a Christian to have an assurance of his salvation. We see in Scripture that God’s people have enjoyed it. David called God his God and thanked Him for forgiving his sins (Ps. 31:14; 32:1). Paul showed his assurance, and based it not on a special revelation from God but on grounds that belong to all the people of God (Rom. 8:31–39). The Christian may have certainty and assurance because the promises of God are yes and amen in Christ (2 Cor. 1:20), and the Spirit of God who renews the heart can also bear witness that we are children of God (Rom. 8:16).

There are signs of grace by which a man may know whether he is in a state of grace or not. A man who lives in the habit of unrepentant sins should be assured that he is presently in a damnable condition, and will be so as long as he lives that way (Gal. 5:19–21). God’s sanctifying grace produces a supernatural life within us. It is the infused principle of a holy life, a new creation produced by regeneration (2 Cor. 5:17; 2 Peter 1:4). The Bible commends seeking assurance when it gives us descriptions of the characteristics of true saving grace in distinction from counterfeits (Matt. 5:3–10). Scripture commands us to make our calling and election sure (2 Peter 1:10). We have examples of godly believers who used their graces as comforting signs of God’s love to them (2 Kings 20:3; Neh. 13:14,22; 2 Cor. 1:12; 2 Tim. 4:7–8). Our Savior lays down the principle that “the tree is known by his fruit” (Matt. 12:33).

Therefore, examine your life for the signs of God’s saving grace with wisdom and caution. Do not demand sinless perfection of yourself (1 John 1:8). Also, do not require great spiritual maturity as proof of conversion. On the other hand, do not make signs of grace out of qualities that unbelievers can have, like receiving baptism and the Lord’s Supper, having right doctrinal beliefs, and exercising great ability in Christian service. Test yourself by the true standard, the Word of God (Ps. 119:105).

As you look for evidences of saving grace, never forget to keep looking to Christ alone as your peace with God and basis of your salvation. Deal honestly with yourself, and fight against self-love and self-flattery. If your soul is full of darkness and despair, do not be quick to judge yourself but wait until you can think more clearly. While you examine yourself, pray to God for His Spirit to enlighten your eyes. If you discover that you are not saved, do not delay until you see more signs of grace in yourself, but trust Christ immediately to save you without any worthiness on your part. If the Spirit of God does show you evidences that you are saved, do not resist Him in unbelief, but submit to Him and glorify Him as the Spirit of adoption (Rom. 8:15).

—Above has been adapted from Anthony Burgess (d. 1664), Spiritual Refining, available here (http://quod.lib.umich.edu/e/eebo/A30243.0001.001?view=toc).

AMR

Ask Mr. Religion
January 21st, 2016, 06:48 PM
God’s Love and Justice

The love of God is the peculiar benevolence He possesses as the loving God Himself (1 John 4:8). His intra-trinitarian love is the delight that God has toward Himself (cf. John 5:20). This is the basis for the love God expresses toward His creatures, which can be classified as either general or special. The general love of God relates to God’s desire to bless all His creatures (Ps. 145:9), while the special love of God has the elect particularly as its object (John 3:16; Eph. 5:25).

This is God’s special fatherly delight in His elect as He views them through the lens of Christ Himself (John 16:27; Col. 2:10). This love causes the elect to be accepted for the sake of God’s beloved Son (Eph. 1:4–6). Redemption appointed, redemption accomplished, and redemption applied all flow from this steadfast, ceaseless love of the triune God (Lam. 3:22; cf. Rom. 5:8; 1 John 4:10).

The justice or righteousness of God is His continual perfection according to the standard of what is pure and right—which is Himself. Exercised toward His creatures, the justice of God consists in the execution of judgment, either by reward or punishment, according to what is deserved, as determined by the standard of His holy law. All His works are just (Gen. 18:25; Ps. 7:9).

God’s justice is wholly retributive, whether in His rewarding or in His punishing. This is opposed to justice by way of mutual exchange or remunerative justice. Since men’s works are vile and filthy (Isa. 59:2–12; Rom. 3:10–18), there can be no proportionate relationship between man’s work and God’s remuneration. God is never constrained by or indebted to anyone; rather, He executes His justice according to His perfect standard.

Furthermore, because God acts not in response to man but according to His own way, God is just both in damning some (Ps. 51:4; 119:137; Nah. 1:2–3; Rom. 2:5–6) and delivering others (Rom. 3:21–22). “His work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment” (Deut. 32:4).

The love and justice of God are not incompatible; both are natural to Him to the superlative degree. God’s love is always exercised within the bounds of justice, and He always enforces His justice in a loving manner. His love is wholly just, and His justice is entirely loving—this is the nature of God. All God's attributes inhere one another, none being more to be elevated than another. God is His attributes.

This means that, on the one hand, while He is loving God will not suffer men to trample on His holy law. For Him to allow the propagation of sin to continue would not be love. He must and will punish sin to the fullest degree. This should engender fear of sinning against a righteous God who “hatest all workers of iniquity” (Ps. 5:5–6). Noting God’s justice, men must fear and tremble, allowing the terror of the Lord to move them to seek remission for their great sins through the blood of Christ.

On the other hand, this means that God, within His justice, exercises His wondrous love through His Son, Jesus Christ. We see the love of the Father in sending the Son; the love of the Son in bearing His people’s sin; and the love of the Spirit in applying the benefits of salvation. All three Persons exercise the depths of eternal, sovereign, infinite, immutable love. No man, when gazing on this fountain, can help but stand captivated in amazement at the majestic love of the holy God.

The love and justice of God are understood best by observing the contours of the gospel. Therein God displayed publicly His righteousness (Rom. 3:21–26) and demonstrated His love (Rom. 5:8). Calvary’s cross is where God’s love and justice meet (Ps. 85:10). Within Christ, God’s justice is not against but for His people. Christ’s people are so fully united to Him that God’s justice will not permit them to receive anything but that which is Christ’s wage: eternal life in glory. Additionally, within Christ, God’s love is unrestrained in bestowing His gifts (Zeph. 3:17; James 1:17). The exercising of His justice and His love come together in the gospel, both for God’s glory and for His people’s good.

—The above has been adapted from Wilhelmus à Brakel, The Christian’s Reasonable Service, vol. 1, ch. 3, available here (http://www.abrakel.com/p/christians-reasonable-service.html).

AMR