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Thread: Calvinism Debate between Bob Enyart and TNAR's Dr. Larry Bray

  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by zippy2006 View Post
    So God will accomplish what He chooses, and essentially the only difference between God snapping His fingers and turning us into what He wants and molding us is the timeline and the events (there is no difference from our side with respect to human will). Basically I see no difference between the supra and infra positions, since Calvinists believe that the human has absolutely nothing to do with salvation. Is the distinction merely a non-salvific one?

    Correct, the distinction deals primarily with God's will. Supras simply see God's will, infras see more distinction between what is desired and what is allowed. Another way of understanding this: Supras would say nothing can happen apart from His will, and most of us agree, but we distinguish that some things allowed (willed) aren't because God desires them to occur, but rather allows them to occur. Even the open theist must recognize that God allows evil to occur because He could certainly stop any of it at any time. We agree it is not His desire that these things should happen and that He has a reason for allowing for instance:
    Mat 13:24 He put out another parable to them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field.
    Mat 13:25 But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed darnel among the wheat and went his way.
    Mat 13:26 But when the blade had sprung up and had produced fruit, then the darnel also appeared.
    Mat 13:27 So the servants of the householder came and said to him, Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? Then where have the darnel come from?
    Mat 13:28 He said to them, An enemy has done this. The servants said to him, Then do you want us to go and gather them up?
    Mat 13:29 But he said, No, lest while you gather up the darnel you also root up the wheat with them.
    Mat 13:30 Let both grow together until the harvest. And in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, First gather together the darnel and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my granary.
    My New Years Resolution: 1 Peter 3:15
    Omniscient without man's qualification. John 1:3 "Nothing"
    Colossians 1:17 "Nothing" John 15:5 "Nothing"
    Mighty, ALL mighty (omnipotent). Revelation 1:8
    No possible limitation Isaiah 40:25 Joshua 24:15
    Infinite (Omnipresent) Psalm 145:3 Hebrews 4:13

    Is Calvinism okay? Yep

    Now to Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think... Amen. -Ephesians 3:20 & 21

    1Co 13:11 ... when I became an adult, I set aside childish ways. Titus 3:10 Ephesians 4:29-32; 5:11

    Separation of church and State is not atheism "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights..."

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    Okay, but am I right in saying that the supra/infra difference is non-existent when it comes to the salvific? That Calvinists are of one mind that God does not leave men any freedom when it comes to salvation?

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    TOL Legend Lon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zippy2006 View Post
    Okay, but am I right in saying that the supra/infra difference is non-existent when it comes to the salvific? That Calvinists are of one mind that God does not leave men any freedom when it comes to salvation?
    Sort of, It isn't at all that man has no redeeming qualities else he'd/she'd not be redeemed. Also, I agree with Paul in wishing that all fellow men would be saved. God isn't ungracious, for example, that any of our TOL atheists would be doomed by their own volition. In that, perhaps this will simplify: I believe christians have no choice, that is, we are irresistably drawn to Him for one reason or another and grace applied leaves us unable to help but love Him, and that all unbelievers, conversely have complete autonomous choice to remain sinners (by definition of what a sinner is). It is a direct change-over between freedoms and bondages (a complete flip-flop). First, we are bound to sin, unable to do God's will (free to sin, bound in sin). Christ provided for us to be able to do God's will (freed us from sin, freely bound to follow Him). We exchanged both freedom and bondage for a different set of freedom and bondage "He who Christ has set free, is free indeed."
    So, I would say man is free, if we can call it that, to not follow Christ. In coming to Christ, there is an exchange of both freedoms and bondage, he is no longer "free" from God (happily) but is freed from sin (also happily).

    It doesn't matter much, in my estimation, if you believe you have a part in your salvation or not. I think one believing "I chose to hold onto the life-preserver" isn't seeing the big picture. Okay, I would acquiesce that he held to the life-ring but see it as inconsequential to the rescue operation.
    Before embracing Calvinism (and I had reservation), I didn't actually have a problem much with this specifically. I didn't at all tie the idea that our salvation is completely monergistic, with God randomly or injustly "picking and choosing" who He would save. I simply saw that the Calvinist trusted God and that it didn't necessarily follow that I must jump to that conclusion. I knew of no Calvinist that thought God would pick and choose without justice and mercy.

    We don't know why we are saved and others are not. If I did, it would mean that I was something special and others were not, wouldn't it? In other words, if we have part in our salvation, would you think it an autonomous quality that somehow made salvation available to us and not others? That we were somehow the 'special ones?' Now of course I didn't believe this as an Arminian either, but to me, it seems the same problem on the other side of the coin.

    My working theory for traversing this: I tend to think God applies the same thing to each of us. If we are wheat, we will grow by what God does. If we are weeds, likewise, we will grow "God causes the rain to fall on the just and the unjust alike." Pharoah, to me is an example of God's applied Grace. He presents Pharoah with Himself the same as He did for Moses. Moses saw grace, Pharoah saw a usurping of his deified status.
    Jesus' analogy of the wheat and tares reveals to us that we live in a world that has two seeds. Both the wheat and the weeds look like each other until the time of harvest when each is shown by their fruit. So, I believe we are told that what changes one soul toward the Father, also turns others away.

    1Pe 2:6b "Behold, I lay in Zion a chief corner Stone, elect, precious, and he who believes on Him shall never be ashamed."
    1Pe 2:7 Therefore to you who believe is the honor. But to those who are disobedient, He is the Stone which the builders rejected; this One came to be the Head of the corner,
    1Pe 2:8 and a Stone-of-stumbling and a Rock-of-offense to those disobeying, who stumble at the Word, to which they also were appointed.

    1Pe 2:9 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for possession, so that you might speak of the praises of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light

    My New Years Resolution: 1 Peter 3:15
    Omniscient without man's qualification. John 1:3 "Nothing"
    Colossians 1:17 "Nothing" John 15:5 "Nothing"
    Mighty, ALL mighty (omnipotent). Revelation 1:8
    No possible limitation Isaiah 40:25 Joshua 24:15
    Infinite (Omnipresent) Psalm 145:3 Hebrews 4:13

    Is Calvinism okay? Yep

    Now to Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think... Amen. -Ephesians 3:20 & 21

    1Co 13:11 ... when I became an adult, I set aside childish ways. Titus 3:10 Ephesians 4:29-32; 5:11

    Separation of church and State is not atheism "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights..."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lon View Post
    Sort of, It isn't at all that man has no redeeming qualities else he'd/she'd not be redeemed. Also, I agree with Paul in wishing that all fellow men would be saved. God isn't ungracious, for example, that any of our TOL atheists would be doomed by their own volition. In that, perhaps this will simplify: I believe christians have no choice, that is, we are irresistably drawn to Him for one reason or another and grace applied leaves us unable to help but love Him, and that all unbelievers, conversely have complete autonomous choice to remain sinners (by definition of what a sinner is). It is a direct change-over between freedoms and bondages (a complete flip-flop). First, we are bound to sin, unable to do God's will (free to sin, bound in sin). Christ provided for us to be able to do God's will (freed us from sin, freely bound to follow Him). We exchanged both freedom and bondage for a different set of freedom and bondage "He who Christ has set free, is free indeed."
    So, I would say man is free, if we can call it that, to not follow Christ. In coming to Christ, there is an exchange of both freedoms and bondage, he is no longer "free" from God (happily) but is freed from sin (also happily).
    But Calvinism is at odds with you here, for it allows absolutely no action on the part of man to influence his salvation, so far as I understand it.

    It doesn't matter much, in my estimation, if you believe you have a part in your salvation or not. I think one believing "I chose to hold onto the life-preserver" isn't seeing the big picture. Okay, I would acquiesce that he held to the life-ring but see it as inconsequential to the rescue operation.
    Before embracing Calvinism (and I had reservation), I didn't actually have a problem much with this specifically. I didn't at all tie the idea that our salvation is completely monergistic, with God randomly or injustly "picking and choosing" who He would save. I simply saw that the Calvinist trusted God and that it didn't necessarily follow that I must jump to that conclusion. I knew of no Calvinist that thought God would pick and choose without justice and mercy.
    But that is precisely what they think Lon. Justice does not exist without ability, and Calvinism denies all ability. I'd suggest they convert to Catholicism if they actually believe God is just, or that man can choose to accept or reject the life vest in some mysterious way, because Calvinism denies it completely.

    We don't know why we are saved and others are not.
    Rather, Calvinistic doctrine is very clear that there is no reason one human is saved and another is not. And by "no reason" I mean that the decision was made without any reference at all to the humans themselves. God may have chosen, but His choice had nothing to do with anything we did or failed to do. We are, quite literally, inanimate pawns in a game of God on Calvinism.

    If I did, it would mean that I was something special and others were not, wouldn't it? In other words, if we have part in our salvation, would you think it an autonomous quality that somehow made salvation available to us and not others? That we were somehow the 'special ones?' Now of course I didn't believe this as an Arminian either, but to me, it seems the same problem on the other side of the coin.
    The distinction has always rested on gift vs merit. There is no merit in accepting a gift. If I am offered $1,000,000 and I accept it, it does not therefore follow that I merited the money, or that I deserved it more than someone else.

    My working theory for traversing this: I tend to think God applies the same thing to each of us. If we are wheat, we will grow by what God does. If we are weeds, likewise, we will grow "God causes the rain to fall on the just and the unjust alike." Pharoah, to me is an example of God's applied Grace. He presents Pharoah with Himself the same as He did for Moses. Moses saw grace, Pharoah saw a usurping of his deified status.
    Jesus' analogy of the wheat and tares reveals to us that we live in a world that has two seeds. Both the wheat and the weeds look like each other until the time of harvest when each is shown by their fruit. So, I believe we are told that what changes one soul toward the Father, also turns others away.

    1Pe 2:6b "Behold, I lay in Zion a chief corner Stone, elect, precious, and he who believes on Him shall never be ashamed."
    1Pe 2:7 Therefore to you who believe is the honor. But to those who are disobedient, He is the Stone which the builders rejected; this One came to be the Head of the corner,
    1Pe 2:8 and a Stone-of-stumbling and a Rock-of-offense to those disobeying, who stumble at the Word, to which they also were appointed.

    1Pe 2:9 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for possession, so that you might speak of the praises of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light

    If you are here implying that the human being has some part to play in salvation, in the marriage covenant, then your view is decidedly unCalvinistic. Read the Scriptures from a bird's eye view and see if they imply human responsibility, and then honestly ask yourself if justice can exist when 'ought' is enforced in the absence of 'can.'

    The Catholic position affirms a mystery, something we cannot understand. It affirms that man, in some mysterious way, plays an active role in his relationship with God and therefore his salvation; it affirms human responsibility just as the Scriptures do on each page. Calvinism avoids the mystery but in the process loses everything.

    Mark 8:36


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    Quote Originally Posted by zippy2006 View Post
    But Calvinism is at odds with you here, for it allows absolutely no action on the part of man to influence his salvation, so far as I understand it.
    I'm not understanding. There is something redeemable in man but God does the redeeming.

    Quote Originally Posted by zippy2006 View Post
    But that is precisely what they think Lon. Justice does not exist without ability, and Calvinism denies all ability. I'd suggest they convert to Catholicism if they actually believe God is just, or that man can choose to accept or reject the life vest in some mysterious way, because Calvinism denies it completely.
    Well, except you kicked out your Calvinist Jansenists. I'm not sure they want us, yet. Perhaps partials like Amyraldians and Thomists.

    Quote Originally Posted by zippy2006 View Post
    Rather, Calvinistic doctrine is very clear that there is no reason one human is saved and another is not. And by "no reason" I mean that the decision was made without any reference at all to the humans themselves. God may have chosen, but His choice had nothing to do with anything we did or failed to do. We are, quite literally, inanimate pawns in a game of God on Calvinism.
    No, this isn't part of Westminster, but "...by His Holy counsel..."


    Quote Originally Posted by zippy2006 View Post
    The distinction has always rested on gift vs merit. There is no merit in accepting a gift. If I am offered $1,000,000 and I accept it, it does not therefore follow that I merited the money, or that I deserved it more than someone else.
    Agreed. This is right up the line with the Calvinist stance.


    Quote Originally Posted by zippy2006 View Post
    If you are here implying that the human being has some part to play in salvation, in the marriage covenant, then your view is decidedly unCalvinistic. Read the Scriptures from a bird's eye view and see if they imply human responsibility, and then honestly ask yourself if justice can exist when 'ought' is enforced in the absence of 'can.'
    We've spoken at great length concerning this particular.

    Quote Originally Posted by zippy2006 View Post
    The Catholic position affirms a mystery, something we cannot understand. It affirms that man, in some mysterious way, plays an active role in his relationship with God and therefore his salvation; it affirms human responsibility just as the Scriptures do on each page. Calvinism avoids the mystery but in the process loses everything.
    To me, it is simply asserting that mystery or otherwise, we take God's counsel and don't offer it but trust. I'd think the end result is the same for both here.
    Quote Originally Posted by zippy2006 View Post
    Mark 8:36

    I'm not understanding the context.
    -Lon
    My New Years Resolution: 1 Peter 3:15
    Omniscient without man's qualification. John 1:3 "Nothing"
    Colossians 1:17 "Nothing" John 15:5 "Nothing"
    Mighty, ALL mighty (omnipotent). Revelation 1:8
    No possible limitation Isaiah 40:25 Joshua 24:15
    Infinite (Omnipresent) Psalm 145:3 Hebrews 4:13

    Is Calvinism okay? Yep

    Now to Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think... Amen. -Ephesians 3:20 & 21

    1Co 13:11 ... when I became an adult, I set aside childish ways. Titus 3:10 Ephesians 4:29-32; 5:11

    Separation of church and State is not atheism "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights..."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lon View Post
    Rather, Calvinistic doctrine is very clear that there is no reason one human is saved and another is not. And by "no reason" I mean that the decision was made without any reference at all to the humans themselves. God may have chosen, but His choice had nothing to do with anything we did or failed to do. We are, quite literally, inanimate pawns in a game of God on Calvinism.
    No, this isn't part of Westminster, but "...by His Holy counsel..."
    Another aid to furthering these conversations would be to focus on meaning and logic rather than wording. When the Calvinist says "by His Holy counsel" they mean nothing other than what I've already stated, namely that man plays absolutely no part in his salvation and it falls completely on God.

    The distinction has always rested on gift vs merit. There is no merit in accepting a gift. If I am offered $1,000,000 and I accept it, it does not therefore follow that I merited the money, or that I deserved it more than someone else.
    Agreed. This is right up the line with the Calvinist stance.
    It isn't at all. AMR confirms here that Calvinism rejects even the idea that man can accept a gift.


    The Catholic position affirms a mystery, something we cannot understand. It affirms that man, in some mysterious way, plays an active role in his relationship with God and therefore his salvation; it affirms human responsibility just as the Scriptures do on each page. Calvinism avoids the mystery but in the process loses everything.
    To me, it is simply asserting that mystery or otherwise, we take God's counsel and don't offer it but trust. I'd think the end result is the same for both here.
    There is no such thing as trust on Calvinism, for the human being is not capable of such an action which implies freedom.

    Points:

    1. Calvinists believe that there is absolutely nothing about man that influences God's decisions about whether he will be saved. Man cannot reject salvation, man cannot accept the gift of Christ, man can do absolutely nothing with respect to salvation.

    2. It logically follows that God's decision concerning who is saved is arbitrary with respect to man. "God's Holy counsel" is logically disconnected from any factor that applies to a particular man whatsoever. This is essentially equivalent to random/arbitrary choice regarding salvation, for whatever variables God takes into account to determine salvation, none of them are minutely related to any particular trait of any particular man, most importantly including his acceptance of a gift.

    3. The Calvinistic God renders permanent judgment, sending some to Hell and some to Heaven, without taking into account anything about the particular people being judged. This is obviously unjust.

    You seem to be rejecting Calvinistic doctrine and claiming that it is something that it isn't. I'd suggest either converting, assenting to the three points above, or addressing them. I'm glad that you are beginning to question the serious problems of Calvin's ideas, but you are trying to sit in the middle where no middle exists, precisely because the middle is orthodoxy and Calvinism, by its very nature, has rejected moderation and resorted to extremes, such as is evident by AMR's post. AMR believes that a marriage covenant can be properly modeled by monergism, or maybe he simply rejects the marriage covenant altogether.


  7. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by zippy2006 View Post
    It isn't at all. AMR confirms here that Calvinism rejects even the idea that man can accept a gift.
    Er, no. I argue in that post, via the rope analogy, that the spiritually dead, can do nothing until they are quickened from said death. Once so quickened from their spiritual death, they will (not may) believe. The reference you use of mine above is describing nothing more than regeneration, which, as argued therein, must logically come before faith. Nothing else is in view in the analogy and I would appreciate your not importing more freight into my words than they can bear.

    There is no such thing as trust on Calvinism, for the human being is not capable of such an action which implies freedom.

    Points:

    1. Calvinists believe that there is absolutely nothing about man that influences God's decisions about whether he will be saved. Man cannot reject salvation, man cannot accept the gift of Christ, man can do absolutely nothing with respect to salvation.

    2. It logically follows that God's decision concerning who is saved is arbitrary with respect to man. "God's Holy counsel" is logically disconnected from any factor that applies to a particular man whatsoever. This is essentially equivalent to random/arbitrary choice regarding salvation, for whatever variables God takes into account to determine salvation, none of them are minutely related to any particular trait of any particular man, most importantly including his acceptance of a gift.

    3. The Calvinistic God renders permanent judgment, sending some to Hell and some to Heaven, without taking into account anything about the particular people being judged. This is obviously unjust.

    You seem to be rejecting Calvinistic doctrine and claiming that it is something that it isn't. I'd suggest either converting, assenting to the three points above, or addressing them. I'm glad that you are beginning to question the serious problems of Calvin's ideas, but you are trying to sit in the middle where no middle exists, precisely because the middle is orthodoxy and Calvinism, by its very nature, has rejected moderation and resorted to extremes, such as is evident by AMR's post. AMR believes that a marriage covenant can be properly modeled by monergism, or maybe he simply rejects the marriage covenant altogether.
    This is why we rarely interact on important matters. No matter what the topic along these lines, you cannot help but drawing first blood and becoming ugly in your discourse. I get that you have an opinion and are passionate about it, but I just don't have the inclination to respond when met with this level of uninformed vitriol. Being the sinner that I am would eventually lead me to meeting you on your own terms and I am confident no one will be edified from such behavior. I am struggling mightily to not get down in the mud with you or anyone else. I fail at this much too often for my own liking and personal embarrassment, so this time I won't be taking the ugly bait you have set out for me.

    zippy2006, I don't know what has happened to you. Your calumnious stridency in the past couple of years seems to rule your behavior and it is genuinely disappointing to observe. Rather than seeking to wound, I would that we discuss sacred topics in the manner they deserve, and along the way, edify one another.

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  8. #23
    TOL Legend Lon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zippy2006 View Post
    Another aid to furthering these conversations would be to focus on meaning and logic rather than wording. When the Calvinist says "by His Holy counsel" they mean nothing other than what I've already stated, namely that man plays absolutely no part in his salvation and it falls completely on God.

    It isn't at all. AMR confirms here that Calvinism rejects even the idea that man can accept a gift.
    No, he'd agree with this. What he disagrees with is that man can do so without God, that is, He is the primary agent (active) and we the receivers (passive). This is monergism.


    Quote Originally Posted by zippy2006 View Post
    There is no such thing as trust on Calvinism, for the human being is not capable of such an action which implies freedom.
    Salvation is a gift from God, not of anything we've done.

    Quote Originally Posted by zippy2006 View Post
    Points:

    1. Calvinists believe that there is absolutely nothing about man that influences God's decisions about whether he will be saved. Man cannot reject salvation, man cannot accept the gift of Christ, man can do absolutely nothing with respect to salvation.
    I quoted the wheat and tares as well as the passage from Peter concerning the cornerstone. God reveals Himself to man and those who come are foreknown, thus God's actions enable man to come to Him.

    Quote Originally Posted by zippy2006 View Post
    2. It logically follows that God's decision concerning who is saved is arbitrary with respect to man. "God's Holy counsel" is logically disconnected from any factor that applies to a particular man whatsoever. This is essentially equivalent to random/arbitrary choice regarding salvation, for whatever variables God takes into account to determine salvation, none of them are minutely related to any particular trait of any particular man, most importantly including his acceptance of a gift.
    Simple foreknowledge should have you on page with us here. He knows, and it isn't arbitrary.

    Quote Originally Posted by zippy2006 View Post
    3. The Calvinistic God renders permanent judgment, sending some to Hell and some to Heaven, without taking into account anything about the particular people being judged. This is obviously unjust.
    Quote Originally Posted by zippy2006 View Post
    No again, He foreknows who responds, even in the RC.
    You seem to be rejecting Calvinistic doctrine and claiming that it is something that it isn't. I'd suggest either converting, assenting to the three points above, or addressing them. I'm glad that you are beginning to question the serious problems of Calvin's ideas, but you are trying to sit in the middle where no middle exists, precisely because the middle is orthodoxy and Calvinism, by its very nature, has rejected moderation and resorted to extremes, such as is evident by AMR's post. AMR believes that a marriage covenant can be properly modeled by monergism, or maybe he simply rejects the marriage covenant altogether.

    As given above, I believe it is a problem of grasping what is being said.
    As I said, it is inconsequential to your salvation whether or not you believe you had something to do with it or not. I know I was a believer when I thought I had a part in it. I was mistaken but it is not a huge issue other than understanding for me that God had everything to do with it and me, not so much. In the end, we are simply arguing how much we took part in our salvation, not denying it of each other.

    For me it is as simple as this: The rescuer gets a medal for saving two people, one is satisfied and the other is saying because he held on, he should get a medal too for taking part in his own rescue. We can argue about that all day, but both are standing saved upon the deck and the Rescuer still gets full credit for both rescues.

    The other part of this that gets sticky, is what happens to all the rest in the water yet to be rescued. I believe they all get the life-ring tossed to them, many multiple times. As long as they are treading water thinking they can swim forever having fun in the water, their end is their own. If God drags some, it only reveals His gracious tenacity that one will not perish on His watch, it in no way means anything bad against Him. I've been appauled that anyone would think so because the basic difference is that you believe God is frantically trying to pull all out of the water whereas I believe He simply focuses His rescue attempt to those He knows He will save. Whether that is arbitrary or not, it doesn't matter (I don't think it is due to foreknowledge among other things).
    My New Years Resolution: 1 Peter 3:15
    Omniscient without man's qualification. John 1:3 "Nothing"
    Colossians 1:17 "Nothing" John 15:5 "Nothing"
    Mighty, ALL mighty (omnipotent). Revelation 1:8
    No possible limitation Isaiah 40:25 Joshua 24:15
    Infinite (Omnipresent) Psalm 145:3 Hebrews 4:13

    Is Calvinism okay? Yep

    Now to Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think... Amen. -Ephesians 3:20 & 21

    1Co 13:11 ... when I became an adult, I set aside childish ways. Titus 3:10 Ephesians 4:29-32; 5:11

    Separation of church and State is not atheism "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights..."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ask Mr. Religion View Post
    It isn't at all. AMR confirms here that Calvinism rejects even the idea that man can accept a gift.
    Er, no. I argue in that post, via the rope analogy, that the spiritually dead, can do nothing until they are quickened from said death. Once so quickened from their spiritual death, they will (not may) believe. The reference you use of mine above is describing nothing more than regeneration, which, as argued therein, must logically come before faith. Nothing else is in view in the analogy and I would appreciate your not importing more freight into my words than they can bear.
    Incorrect. My point bears precisely what it intended to, and your response only confirms that. Man can do nothing beforehand, and he can resist nothing after. On Calvinism, man cannot change anything in the way of salvation. He does not receive a gift, it is forced upon him; he does not reject a gift, for it is refused him.

    This is why we rarely interact on important matters. No matter what the topic along these lines, you cannot help but drawing first blood and becoming ugly in your discourse. I get that you have an opinion and are passionate about it, but I just don't have the inclination to respond when met with this level of uninformed vitriol. Being the sinner that I am would eventually lead me to meeting you on your own terms and I am confident no one will be edified from such behavior. I am struggling mightily to not get down in the mud with you or anyone else. I fail at this much too often for my own liking and personal embarrassment, so this time I won't be taking the ugly bait you have set out for me.

    zippy2006, I don't know what has happened to you. Your calumnious stridency in the past couple of years seems to rule your behavior and it is genuinely disappointing to observe. Rather than seeking to wound, I would that we discuss sacred topics in the manner they deserve, and along the way, edify one another.

    AMR
    The reason we rarely interact is because your enormous pride is unable to confront direct arguments that show your position to be inadequate. When I answered directly one of your posts on this topic, you deleted the thread and cut off all contact with me under the guise of "me being vitriolic." I have done nothing of the sort. I have set out numbered arguments that you are again unable to answer, and so you hide behind a lazy and false assertion that I am being too mean to you, even though your own posts are blindingly more condescending than my own.

    Answer the arguments or stop with the whining and false accusations and make your retreat without the silly excuses. Clearly the idea that you are wrong does not belong to your logical set of possibilities, but this is a theology forum where we interact rather than hide behind (false) ad hominem attacks.

    If you honestly want to try to sustain such a notion, then feel free to point out precisely where I have been vitriolic, for I am calling your tired bluff. /endrant

    Edit: This is not to say that I am never vitriolic, for at times I am, usually in reply to more or less similar posts. But with you it has not generally been so, and surely not of late. This assertion of yours has turned into an empty defensive technique and I am growing quite tired of it. It's as if you write a two page long reply filled with arguments and condescension alike, and expect the person to bow down. I answer each of your points with a reason and if there is any edge involved it is nothing vitriolic, but is rather pressure pushing back at your condescension.
    Last edited by zippy2006; October 28th, 2011 at 08:50 AM.

  10. #25
    TOL Legend Lon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zippy2006 View Post
    This assertion of yours has turned into an empty defensive technique and I am growing quite tired of it. It's as if you write a two page long reply filled with arguments and condescension alike, and expect the person to bow down. I answer each of your points with a reason and if there is any edge involved it is nothing vitriolic, but is rather pressure pushing back at your condescension.
    Consider: This thread is a testament to what AMR is experiencing (I believe). It is hard to read some of your posts in there as a Calvinist because your rebuttals at times have been harsh and what appears either faulty assessment &/or animosity toward Calvinism in general.
    Quote Originally Posted by zippy2006 View Post
    In my opinion this is the root of the problem with Calvinism, and also why it is a very dangerous denomination indeed, at least as far as ideas go. We should run, not walk, from such a perverse idea as represented here, just as a number of ex-Calvinists have. And we are not getting this idea from some crazy Calvinist who isn't in accord with Reformed thought, but rather from someone who has spent an impressive amount of time studying and learning about the Reformed tradition and is easily the strongest representative of Calvinism on TOL.

    -zip
    Quote Originally Posted by zippy2006 View Post
    ...one of many interconnected problems in Calvinism...blatantly false and even absurd -zip
    Quote Originally Posted by zippy2006 View Post
    ...you must logically conclude that God is the author of evil. Assuming the proof holds (as I am quite sure it does) the conclusion is simple: Calvin was wrong. At that point I think you must throw out Calvin and trust to God's goodness...if you don't think that it is yet time to abandon Calvin, then pray tell what must happen before you do? -zip
    Quote Originally Posted by zippy2006 View Post
    I'd suggest either converting, assenting to the three points above, or ... beginning to question the serious problems of Calvin's ideas...Calvinism, by its very nature, has rejected moderation and resorted to extremes, such as is evident by AMR's post. AMR believes that a marriage covenant can be properly modeled by monergism, or maybe he simply rejects the marriage covenant altogether.

    The statements tend to be unequivocal, which can be frustrating or unpalatable to some (hard to address/respond to what appears staunch and unalterable). For me, I have simply thought that it a needed challenge of patient explanation but it isn't easy to read such for one holding to a particular theology. Each of us have our own strengths and weakenesses and so, for me, it was with what patience and ability I may possess that I endeavored.
    In Him,
    -Lon
    My New Years Resolution: 1 Peter 3:15
    Omniscient without man's qualification. John 1:3 "Nothing"
    Colossians 1:17 "Nothing" John 15:5 "Nothing"
    Mighty, ALL mighty (omnipotent). Revelation 1:8
    No possible limitation Isaiah 40:25 Joshua 24:15
    Infinite (Omnipresent) Psalm 145:3 Hebrews 4:13

    Is Calvinism okay? Yep

    Now to Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think... Amen. -Ephesians 3:20 & 21

    1Co 13:11 ... when I became an adult, I set aside childish ways. Titus 3:10 Ephesians 4:29-32; 5:11

    Separation of church and State is not atheism "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights..."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lon View Post
    Consider: This thread is a testament to what AMR is experiencing (I believe). It is hard to read some of your posts in there as a Calvinist because your rebuttals at times have been harsh and what appears either faulty assessment &/or animosity toward Calvinism in general.
    Oddly enough, the quotes you give don't make the point you wish to make, although I think you could find quotes from me that do make that point. In particular I claimed that you will find very few such posts addressing AMR himself.

    Quote 1: I stand behind that, and the language was intentionally used to reflect the exact same wording that AMR has used against other theories such as the Exchanged Life idea. The quote is not vitriolic, but is rather descriptive, and I even note that it is my opinion. That's what I think of Calvinism. I wasn't attacking Calvinists, and it is clear that I am attacking the belief system itself.

    Quote 2: A comment made to an ex-Calvinist who was expressing his sentiments. I note that Calvinistic doctrine is "blatantly false and even absurd." Not vitriolic, not personal.

    Quote 3: Qualified by "assuming the proof holds." I will also stand behind that statement. If my proof that Calvinism is incorrect and evil holds, then you should abandon it etc.

    Quote 4: You left out the last option I gave in "I'd suggest either converting, assenting to the three points above, or..." What was it? "or answer the points." What part of that is vitriolic or uncalled for? I may have redacted "I'm glad you've begun to question the serious problems of Calvinism," but the rest I stand by, and even that statement is far from vitriolic. I think you are sitting in an untenable middle ground that is contrary to Calvinistic doctrine, and that is what I expressed.

    The statements tend to be unequivocal, which can be frustrating or unpalatable to some (hard to address/respond to staunch). For me, I have simply thought that it a needed challenge for patient explanation but it isn't easy to read such for one holding to a particular theology. Each of us have our own strengths and weakenesses and so, for me, it was with what patience and ability that I endeavored.
    In Him,
    -Lon
    My statements are often unequivocal (though those were not, notice the "in my opinion" and "if the proof holds"). They are of course open to argument and rebuttal, but I believe them and speak them so. Note also that I have stood up for Calvinism when it was being wrongly mistreated imo. If someone is ragging on Calvinism because it is Settled, or believes in election, or othersuch things that are not particular to Calvinism, I will point that out.


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    Quote Originally Posted by zippy2006 View Post

    My statements are often unequivocal (though those were not, notice the "in my opinion" and "if the proof holds"). They are of course open to argument and rebuttal, but I believe them and speak them so. Note also that I have stood up for Calvinism when it was being wrongly mistreated imo. If someone is ragging on Calvinism because it is Settled, or believes in election, or othersuch things that are not particular to Calvinism, I will point that out.

    Okay, but it does look rather staunch and adverse as well as a representing a frustration from characterizations, that lead me sympathetically toward AMR. If I turned the tables and voiced similar assessments of the RC, would that tend to be troublesome to you?
    We embrace our respective theologies to a certain personal degree.
    My New Years Resolution: 1 Peter 3:15
    Omniscient without man's qualification. John 1:3 "Nothing"
    Colossians 1:17 "Nothing" John 15:5 "Nothing"
    Mighty, ALL mighty (omnipotent). Revelation 1:8
    No possible limitation Isaiah 40:25 Joshua 24:15
    Infinite (Omnipresent) Psalm 145:3 Hebrews 4:13

    Is Calvinism okay? Yep

    Now to Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think... Amen. -Ephesians 3:20 & 21

    1Co 13:11 ... when I became an adult, I set aside childish ways. Titus 3:10 Ephesians 4:29-32; 5:11

    Separation of church and State is not atheism "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights..."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lon View Post
    Okay, but it does look rather staunch and adverse as well as a representing a frustration from characterizations, that lead me sympathetically toward AMR. If I turned the tables and voiced similar assessments of the RC, would that tend to be troublesome to you?
    We embrace our respective theologies to a certain personal degree.
    I understand that. I think Calvinism does a very great disservice to God, and that obviously bothers you to some extent. That's why we are in dialogue, and that is the difference between you and AMR. And to be quite honest, I don't have nearly as many problems with your or AA's Calvinism as I do with AMR's flavor.

    Many do criticize the Catholic Church with much more anger than I do Calvinism. If they are not open to dialogue, I ignore them. If it is someone I respect who is open to dialogue, then we can usually mete out their main problems, which are often due to misunderstandings. For years now I have struggled with Calvinism, and only relatively recently have I taken a strong position and come to believe that, rather than a misunderstanding, it is in fact a deep flaw in the system itself. It is precisely whether they are mischaracterizations that is at stake, and I am more than willing to explore that idea.

    But I think our discussion will bear fruit, so I don't find it overly necessary to explain myself. I will continue to try to be more irenic, but it must be understood that I have a strong dislike for Calvinism and I have a number of reasons why. If those reasons are not addressed my problems with it will not go away.


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