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Thread: One on One: God's foreknowldge - Knight and Urizen

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    ...then I woke up. Knight's Avatar
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    Exclamation One on One: God's foreknowldge - Knight and Urizen

    This thread may prove to be evidence that I am spreading myself too thin. However, I really want to discuss Calvinism, God's foreknowledge etc. with Urizen who seems to be a really cool, reasonable self proclaimed Calvinist.

    Therefore, let's have at it!

    Urizen lets start by having you tell me where you stand on these issues in general terms and we can focus in and let the conversation go wherever it wishes. Sound good?

    So, you call yourself a Calvinist. What does that mean to you?
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    Trainee Urizen's Avatar
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    At it's most most basic level a Calvinist is one who hold to a monergistic view of salvation. That is to say that all the work of salvation is done by God alone rather than man playing any active role in his own salvation. From there I would say that I hold to what are generally termed the "Five Points of Calvinism" but with an important caveat, that I feel the way these points are typically phrased oftentimes sacrifies doctrinal clarity for sake of maintain the TULIP ancronym. So I'll take them each point by point:

    Total Depravity - That is to say that without the work of the Holy Spirit no one would ever come to faith (or more succiently that Regeneration precedes Faith). I dislike the phrasing here though because "Total Depravity" seems to imply that everyone is running about raping and mudering and pillaging all the time which isn't what it means, so I prefer in this case Spurgeon's phrasing of it as "Human Inability" (or if one wished to try to keep the acronym then Loraine Boettner's "Total Inability").

    • Romans 3:10-11 "None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God."
    • John 6:44 "No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day."
    • 1 Corinthians 2:14 "But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them."


    Unconditional Election This is the belief that God, in his wisdom and for his own reasons, selected those who would grant his grace to. Now, we have to be careful here because Calvinists can sometimes make it sound as if God selected on whim and without reason which would make God into some sort of bizarre monster, contrary to this actual Calvinist is teaching is that God has perfectly good and just reasons for his selection, but that he has not seen fit to give us an account of those reasons.

    • Romans 9:16 "So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy."
    • Ephesians 1:4 "Even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him."
    • John 1:13 "born not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God."
    • Exodus 33:19 "I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion."


    Limited Atonement - And here we enter into worst phrased of all the parts of TULIP, not because what it's saying is untrue, but because it focuses things all wrong. In this case I prefer to the phrase Definite Atonement, which is to say that Christ's death definitively took away the penalty of sins for those on whom he's chosen to have mercy, rather than simply making it a possibility for those who might decide to choose him. Now, yes, therefore in some sense this atonement is limited, but I really can't say to how few or how many, and tend in my beliefs to err on side of believing in a God who is quite generous with his grace.

    • John 10:14-15 "I am the good shepherd, and I know My own and My own know Me, even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep."
    • John 10:27-28 "My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand."
    • Acts 20:28 "shepherd the church of God that He obtained with the blood of His own Son."
    • Ephesians 5:25 "love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her."
    • John 17:9 "I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine."
    • John 6:44 "No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.
    • John 6:65 "And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father."


    Well, I'm now running a bit low on time right now, so I'll have to cover the two other points a bit later tonight.

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    ...then I woke up. Knight's Avatar
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    Urizen?
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    Urizen... if you ever come back and want to discuss this just let me know.
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