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Regeneration and Faith #55432
Sat Feb 23, 2019 8:41 PM
Sat Feb 23, 2019 8:41 PM
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Tom Offline OP
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I am sure this has aspect of my question has been brought up before. However, I have not found it.


On the issue of which comes first "regeneration" or "faith" I believe both Scripture and Reformed theology says regeneration precedes faith.
I also believe that words like "quickened", "regeneration" and "born again" mean the same thing.
However, something I have noticed that is quite common by Arminian's especially by those who are educated in the Greek say against the Reformed position is both the Greek and grammatical structure prove the Reformed position is false (I recently saw this used against an excellent article written by RC Sproul on this issue). They often try to show this by using these arguments going where Reformed readers like myself have very little knowledge of.
I am actually a little tired of not being able to have an answer to their arguments.
Does anyone know of any articles, blogs etc..., where these Arminian arguments are addressed?

Tom

Re: Regeneration and Faith [Re: Tom] #55433
Sat Feb 23, 2019 8:49 PM
Sat Feb 23, 2019 8:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Tom
However, something I have noticed that is quite common by Arminian's especially by those who are educated in the Greek say against the Reformed position is both the Greek and grammatical structure prove the Reformed position is false (I recently saw this used against an excellent article written by RC Sproul on this issue).

Can you give one or more examples where they claim the "Greek and grammatical structure prove the Reformed position is false"?

There are a number of articles on The Highway that deal with regeneration... Just do a search using The Highway Search box for "regeneration". My guess is that among several, A.W. Pink's series on regeneration would address the subject of where regeneration appears; before or after faith. Of course, the most fundamental argument which cannot be circumvented is the fact that if man is as spiritually dead as Scripture says he is, then without the prior regeneration of the Spirit, faith would be impossible.


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Re: Regeneration and Faith [Re: Pilgrim] #55434
Sun Feb 24, 2019 12:16 AM
Sun Feb 24, 2019 12:16 AM
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I will see if I can dig up an example.

I will look at a few of the articles in the meantime.
I guess you don't remember any Arminians using arguments like that?

Tom

Re: Regeneration and Faith [Re: Tom] #55435
Sun Feb 24, 2019 7:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Tom
I guess you don't remember any Arminians using arguments like that?

nope for a couple of reasons. 1) I honestly can't remember if I have ever had any dialog with an "Arminian" in the historical sense of the word. Non-Reformed (non-biblical professing christians), In my own personal experience, have always been semi-Pelagians. Doubtless there are some true Arminians; followers of Jacobus Arminius and the teachings which his followers presented to the Synod of Dordt in 1618 in their Remonstrance, but I have not personally met any. And 2) the idea that the Greek NT grammatically supports their contention that regeneration follows faith simply is untrue. It's a novel and understandable position one would take in order to circumvent what Scripture teaches about the Fall, the dominance of sin due to a depraved/corrupt nature which Paul refers to as being dead in sin (Eph 2:1-5) which is repeated in myriad passages throughout the entire Bible.

It's just another way those who hate the idea that God is God and does all HIS pleasure with His creation, including human beings try to invent a way to justify their hatred of that truth. And, likewise, they cannot because they will not and they will not because they cannot embrace the fact that ALL human beings are born depraved; spiritually dead and are under the just condemnation of God and destined to eternal hell unless God has chosen to show them mercy and the Spirit recreates their will, grants them the knowledge of the truth, brings deep conviction of sin upon them in revealing their most odious and incurable condition and leads them to Christ with an insatiable desire to be reconciled to God and receive Christ's perfect righteousness.

Arminianism, semi-Pelagianism, Pelagianism all, if taken to their logical end result in Open Theism which basically advocates a "god" that is of depraved men's imagination, that is not Omnipotent, Omniscient nor Omnipresent, ... and that man is unfettered (undetermined) in all things; thoughts, words and deeds, i.e., it is the quintessential definition of "free-will".


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Re: Regeneration and Faith [Re: Tom] #55436
Mon Feb 25, 2019 1:29 AM
Mon Feb 25, 2019 1:29 AM
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Oops my bad, lol. I should have known not to call them Arminians. Although many call themselves Arminians they are actually Semi-Pelagians.
I am a little bit surprised that you have not heard this kind of argument before though. Over on Face Book I have heard this a few times and only now I decided to look into to respond to it.
I also agree that the logical conclusion of their position is 'Open Theism'.
One thing I have come to realize unfortunately is that few are willing to listen to a position that they deem "unfair", until the Holy Spirit shows them the truth. They don't even understand they are looking horizontally, when they should be looking vertically. If you get my meaning.
Let me add, that I have even read one say that if they found out that Calvinism was true, they could not in good conscience serve a God like that.

Tom

Last edited by Tom; Mon Feb 25, 2019 1:37 AM.
Re: Regeneration and Faith [Re: Tom] #55437
Mon Feb 25, 2019 12:04 PM
Mon Feb 25, 2019 12:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Tom

I am a little bit surprised that you have not heard this kind of argument before though. Over on Face Book I have heard this a few times and only now I decided to look into to respond to it.

I don't do Facebook nor any other "social media" online. grin

Originally Posted by Tom

One thing I have come to realize unfortunately is that few are willing to listen to a position that they deem "unfair", until the Holy Spirit shows them the truth.

The Holy Spirit HAS shown them the truth... It's called THE BIBLE. igiveup


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Re: Regeneration and Faith [Re: Pilgrim] #55438
Tue Feb 26, 2019 1:05 AM
Tue Feb 26, 2019 1:05 AM
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Quote
The Holy Spirit HAS shown them the truth... It's called THE BIBLE.

I think you probably know what I am talking about in this case.
In my particular case, when God lead me to the doctrines of grace years ago (In fact The-Highway was used in this process) more than 20 years ago I was seeing these truths in Scripture. I embraced them, because I couldn’t argue with what I believed the Scripture’s clearly taught. However, truths such as the Reformed doctrine of election, I actually didn’t like, nor in my mind did I think they were fair. Even though I tried my hardest to make sure I was not misunderstanding the issues I was seeing in Scripture, secretly hoping I was. In fact I lost sleep over the issues, because a lot of the people in my life whom I was closest to did not like Calvinism. It actually cost me a lot not to walk away from the issues and just remain “status quo”. Of course walking away, would have cost me even more in terms of my conscience (to put it mildly), but in other ways it may have been a lot easier.
It was probably more than two years after I had actually embraced these doctrines before my mind went from “it’s not fair”, to realizing after reading Romans 9 for perhaps the 100th time, a “eureka moment” happened, where I realized my problem was I had been looking at the matter through eyes that got their perspective from the world’s sense of fairness; rather than through the eyes of my Lord. Funny thing is, I wasn’t even aware I had being doing this.

Understand here, I thought these doctrines were not fair; but I still embraced them anyway, because He is God and I am not. However, I still had those thoughts that plagued me. Yet, if I didn’t think they were fair back then, I can only imagine how many feel the same way and it is only the Holy Spirit that can break through.
Of course, when one understands these things, they quickly understand that if they got what is fair; they would go to hell.
One of the biggest things understanding these things through the eyes of my sovereign Lord, is it helps me in things like evangelism (My job is to proclaim truth, not necessarily for results. Something that I still learning, sigh…). Also, that Romans 8:28-29 as understood through the Reformed hermeneutics has been a huge sense of relief to me in terms of His providential care for me and all Christians. Lying in a hospital bed for 9 days not really knowing if I was going to live or die, can get one thinking about that.
Aside note here; I found out my own brother who dislikes Calvinism and The-Highway; actually went to the board to ask for prayer for me; when I was in hospital.
Sorry, I didn’t mean for this to become as long as it is.


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