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Election Discussion #55422
Thu Feb 21, 2019 12:48 AM
Thu Feb 21, 2019 12:48 AM
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Kelowna, British Columbia, Can...
Tom Offline OP
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Hi
I was wondering if I could get the forums take on a discussion on election?

I am having a discussion with an Arminian, that says he has read Calvinist arguments for election, but thinks what we believe is a contradiction of other things we say on the subject. I think this discussion is important, mainly because he seems to be open to truth. However, I am struggling a little bit on how best to answer him. I am reading a few commentaries, but thought it might be helpful to make an inquirey here.
The following is what he said to me after I told him what Calvinists believe about what sends people to hell and how that is related to predestination and how God chooses some and passes by others and leaves them in their trespasses and sins.

Quote
“The reason I asked you was to see where you stand on it and you are consistent. So it was out of His good pleasure, and yes, that is consistent with the Calvinists interpretation of scripture. We see also that it was not because they did good or bad. This is all the info provided to us from this particular text. Oh yea, it was also predetermined before they were born whether they would be elected to eternal life or eternal death.
If the determination for hell was predestined not by behavior, then the cause is not sin and you have clearly stated that the reason is for good pleasure. I’m not disagreeing at all with this although I do not accept it as truth but that’s not our point of contention.”


Tom

Re: Election Discussion [Re: Tom] #55423
Thu Feb 21, 2019 7:45 AM
Thu Feb 21, 2019 7:45 AM
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Pilgrim Offline

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Originally Posted by Tom

Quote
“The reason I asked you was to see where you stand on it and you are consistent. So it was out of His good pleasure, and yes, that is consistent with the Calvinists interpretation of scripture. We see also that it was not because they did good or bad. This is all the info provided to us from this particular text. Oh yea, it was also predetermined before they were born whether they would be elected to eternal life or eternal death.
If the determination for hell was predestined not by behavior, then the cause is not sin and you have clearly stated that the reason is for good pleasure. I’m not disagreeing at all with this although I do not accept it as truth but that’s not our point of contention.”

This is a perfect example of why people embrace error... I'm referring to how the majority use the Bible and formulate doctrine.

1. The doctrines of grace, as is true for EVERY TRUE DOCTRINE, are not formulated from any one particular text/passage of Scripture. Doctrines are discovered... NOT INVENTED...through the study of the whole Bible. And the method of learning what God has revealed in His divinely inspired, inerrant, infallible, authoritative written Word uses the Grammatico-Historico method of interpretation through what we call Systematic Theology; looking everywhere in the whole Bible where it speaks to a particular topic.

2. This Arminian/semi-Pelagian (more likely) believes that God's predestination and election to either salvation or damnation is not based upon behavior, i.e., the cause (reason) for God's determination of the end for each individual is not sin. The answer is, of course, found in the very beginning of the Bible in Genesis chapter 3 and expanded in myriad places throughout the Old Testament and expounded upon in the New Testament, particularly by the Apostle Paul in his letter to the Romans in chapters 1-3. Now, what I write next is from the position of my holding to Infralasarianism, i.e., God predestinated the entire human race on the basis of the Fall. God decreed to create the universe, to create mankind, the Fall of mankind in Adam, to redeem a particular number from the race of Adam in Christ. So, to answer this person's objection, it is on the basis of Original Sin (guiltiness and corruption) that ALL are deemed unworthy of any mercy or grace unto redemption. Election is UNconditional, i.e., NO ONE has any redeeming quality nor act which would commend himself to God. Reprobation is nothing less than God decreeing that those who He determined not to save would receive justice and the necessary punishment being worthy of eternal hell.

3. It is only when one comes to understand the biblical teaching of God; His attributes, particularly His infinite holiness that one can even begin to comprehend the depth of God's love, grace and mercy and the salvation which He has given to the most undeserving in Christ Jesus. The question one should really ask is, "Not how God could hate Esau... but rather how could God love Jacob?"

See R.C. Sproul's two excellent articles here for a more detailed explanation given above:

Double Predestination
The Pelagian Captivity of the Church

See also, from many others articles in the Predestination section on The Highway:

God's Purpose According to Election: Paul's Argument in Romans 9
Has the Potter No Right Over the Clay?
Election: Love Before Time (Something is Wrong Here)


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Re: Election Discussion [Re: Tom] #55424
Thu Feb 21, 2019 8:55 AM
Thu Feb 21, 2019 8:55 AM
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From an article put on The Highway in 2015 TULIP, Gerstner expresses this distinctive, that it is not so much election that is so disagreeable about Reformed theology but rather total depravity. Worth a gander Tom, to gather some ammunition in dealing with these people.

Quote
Now before we come to unconditional election, may I say something which I know, I’ve said in private conversation with some of you who brought this subject up last week. It is my deep conviction based on many, many encounters, that the main reason people have problems with TULIP and with the Reformed Faith in general is because they do not believe in total depravity. They think it’s the articles we’re coming to, unconditional election and limited atonement, but, every time, just yesterday, when I was speaking on a campus in Ohio, it came out once again, which I don’t have time to mention, but every time it comes out, that the seeming opposition to the decrees reveals an already latent, and perhaps unsuspected opposition to this first doctrine. It’s like a person saying “I have a pain in my shoulder” and the physician says “There’s nothing wrong with your shoulder, you’re suffering from gall bladder trouble.” We think it’s the decree that’s the locus of our problem, but, if we look carefully, almost invariably, we’ll be discovering it’s because we can’t take the insult of man as he is described. And if you think, incidentally, that I have been a little rough on you, you should read George Whitfield, taking you to the tomb of Lazarus, for example, and reminding you, that that cadaver is an exact one-to-one correspondence of your dead soul, and making it very, very plain that you stink in the nostrils of almighty God. I think he would have been somewhat disappointed in the inadequacy of my presentation, and all I can say is that George Whitfield is guilty of understatement. It is impossible, to indicate how utterly gone we are. But, if you do once convince yourself of that particular truth, you’ll be just like Martin Luther. You’ll accept unconditional election, even if it weren’t in the Bible! You’d start putting apocryphal literature in there, just to make sure that it was spelled out. It just had to be! In Bondage of the Will, the way Luther, who was a Calvinist before Calvin, as you know, although some Lutherans as you know, don’t always know that. And Luther who was a Calvinist before Calvin puts it is, “I know Martin Luther well enough to know that he would never ever have found his way out of this miry pit if God hadn’t reach down and lifted him out.” It is as simple as that! And once you get that idea, that you are gone, and the thoughts and intents of your heart are only evil continually, you know full well that if you have a spark of life in you, if there’s the slightest yearning for holiness, any impulse whatever towards Jesus Christ, is because something has happened to you. God has visited you. This is what the theologians call the divine initiative.


The Chestnut Mare
All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by frost.
- - - -JRR Tolkien "Lord of the Rings"
Re: Election Discussion [Re: Tom] #55425
Thu Feb 21, 2019 11:23 AM
Thu Feb 21, 2019 11:23 AM
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Posts: 3,673
Kelowna, British Columbia, Can...
Tom Offline OP
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Just so you know, I had already brought up the fall and totally depravity, I have also brought up double predestination.
Yet, he seems to believe if one is predestinated from the foundations of the earth not to be saved; then sin can't be the cause.
Not really sure, if it is worth saying anymore.
Tom

Re: Election Discussion [Re: Tom] #55426
Thu Feb 21, 2019 8:43 PM
Thu Feb 21, 2019 8:43 PM
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NH, USA
Pilgrim Offline

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Originally Posted by Tom
Just so you know, I had already brought up the fall and totally depravity, I have also brought up double predestination.
Yet, he seems to believe if one is predestinated from the foundations of the earth not to be saved; then sin can't be the cause.

If sin isn't the cause of one needing to be saved, then why would it make any difference whatsoever if God predestined someone not to be saved??? scratchchin Of course, that begs the obvious question... Saved from what?

Of course, Supralapsarians believe that they have the ultimate answer to such a question and that is that God has the right to reject anyone or refuse anyone anything, since He is the Creator and thus do what He so desires with His creation. And by decreeing that some would be saved and others would be damned, God is displaying in the one love, mercy and grace and in the other His infinite holiness, power and justice. The Fall, according to the supra view, is simply the means to that end.

However, in the case of this individual you are conversing with, to admit that God decrees, predestinates, elects, chooses some to be saved and others to be by-passed (which I am confident he would be comfortable saying) and not save, it presupposes that sin is inextricably involved in that predestination to salvation or reprobation to eternal hell. All Rom. 9:11-13 is saying is that neither Jacob nor Esau had committed any actual sin of their own doing as living individuals dwelling on this earth. But it certainly does not mean that either/both were without sin for they were conceived in sin and were guilty before God for rebelling against God in Adam and thus were worthy of eternal damnation (cf. Rom 5:12ff; 1Cor 15:21,22; et al).

Quote
Romans 9:14-24 (ASV) What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid. For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion. So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that hath mercy. For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, For this very purpose did I raise thee up, that I might show in thee my power, and that my name might be published abroad in all the earth. So then he hath mercy on whom he will, and whom he will be hardeneth. Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he still find fault? For who withstandeth his will? Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why didst thou make me thus? Or hath not the potter a right over the clay, from the same lump to make one part a vessel unto honor, and another unto dishonor? What if God, willing to show his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering vessels of wrath fitted unto destruction: and that he might make known the riches of his glory upon vessels of mercy, which he afore prepared unto glory, [even] us, whom he also called, not from the Jews only, but also from the Gentiles?


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Re: Election Discussion [Re: chestnutmare] #55427
Thu Feb 21, 2019 10:07 PM
Thu Feb 21, 2019 10:07 PM
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Posts: 3,673
Kelowna, British Columbia, Can...
Tom Offline OP
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Chestnutmare

Thank you very much, I can see why RC Sproul had John Gerstner as a mentor. He sure had a way with words, no wonder RC was such a great theologian. That section you quoted is excellent!

While we are on the subject of mentors; I would like to tell you that I consider Jeff a mentor of mine. He might consider me a bit of a pest over the years and perhaps I am guilty as charged, lol. However, a lot of what he has said over the years, has rubbed off on me. Though there have been times over the years, I have been tempted to leave The Highway; I know that if I did I would be poorer for it. I thank the Lord for the ministry of The Highway.

Thanks again
Tom

Re: Election Discussion [Re: Pilgrim] #55428
Sat Feb 23, 2019 12:42 AM
Sat Feb 23, 2019 12:42 AM
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Posts: 3,673
Kelowna, British Columbia, Can...
Tom Offline OP
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Tom  Offline OP
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Just to let you know, although I should not have been surprised at his responce and his subsequent "likes", the folllowing was his responce on why he believes the beliefs of Calvinists are inconsistent; despite my protests.
Quote
Tom Hardy, just admit it, God ordaining man to sin before he was ever born and cannot do otherwise makes it so that it isn't sin that condemned him. It was God who condemned him first and for no reason.


I thought I would add here, that as I was thinking about what this person said. I believe the answer is found in what many call the Infralasarianism view. However, although I have studied the matter a fair amoung and plan on studying it more (I am presently reading 'The Reformed Doctrine of Predestionation' by Loraine Boetner). Much of it goes a little above my head; so I am relectant to use it is a conversation on a matter such as this.
That said, it is clear from Scripture, that when Adam sinned, we all sinned (Rom. 5:12) and God predestined out of His good pleasure and will, some to be chosen in Christ and some to be passed by and left in their trespasses and sins. My understanding on these matters may be limitted, in how to answer what this person said above. However, what is more important is whether or not these things are taught in the Scriptures and to that I must answer an unapologetic yes!
The thing that I need wisdom in knowing is whether or not it is worth my while to even try to answer him?
Tom

Last edited by Tom; Sat Feb 23, 2019 3:43 AM.
Re: Election Discussion [Re: Tom] #55430
Sat Feb 23, 2019 8:11 PM
Sat Feb 23, 2019 8:11 PM
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NH, USA
Pilgrim Offline

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1. Whether you choose to continue in a conversation with this person or to end the conversation is something that is left to your judgment according to the wisdom which the Spirit has given you.

2. It really doesn't matter if man was guilty of sin or not when it comes to God's sovereign will and choice to do with human beings; His own creation. Doesn't the "Potter" have the right to do with creation as He pleases? God's answer to this question through the inspiration of the Spirit to Paul was a resounding YES; a)

Quote
Romans 9:18-20 (ASV) "So then he hath mercy on whom he will, and whom he will be hardeneth. Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he still find fault? For who withstandeth his will? Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why didst thou make me thus?


b) God's decree to save and to damn was made in ETERNITY and not by some alleged perceiving into a yet non-existent future based upon the alleged non-existent individual's free-will choice. And to further destroy such silliness, IF in a non-existent future, there are yet uncreated non-existent humans, who ALL are descendants of Adam, are allegedly seen making some totally FREE, i.e., self-determined choice to ask Jesus into their hearts or to scoff at the idea, then 1) there is no guarantee that what God allegedly saw at some point that it will actually be the choice made since the choice is 100% FREE, i.e., the person could change to do something other than what was allegedly seen. 2) And to further entertain such nonsense, if God based His decision upon such perceived acts, then the election can not be said predestination, but POST-destination and thus God's sovereign will is not FREE but dependent upon an alleged choice by some non-existent individual in a yet non-existent future. The sum of it all is that God's omnipotence, omnipresence and omniscience is totally abrogated... even more simply, the very nature of God which consists of His divine attributes is non-existent and thus there is no God which is revealed in Scripture. 3) And, consider if what your nemesis contends is true, then it is all a mute issue since once God has decreed something it MUST infallibly come to pass.

God knows all things BECAUSE he has ordained/decreed all things.

Quote
Acts 2:22-24 (ASV) Ye men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God unto you by mighty works and wonders and signs which God did by him in the midst of you, even as ye yourselves know; [him [Jesus], being delivered up by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye by the hand of lawless men did crucify and slay: whom God raised up, having loosed the pangs of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it.


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Re: Election Discussion [Re: Tom] #55431
Sat Feb 23, 2019 8:36 PM
Sat Feb 23, 2019 8:36 PM
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Kelowna, British Columbia, Can...
Tom Offline OP
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Good response


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