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Calvinism debate must be balanced
Baptist Standard ^ | A. J. Conyers

Posted on 04/19/2003 7:55:27 AM PDT by Between the Lines

One cannot help noticing the interest in Calvinism lately expressed among some Baptists has prompted from others a cry of alarm. One group tends to represent the Baptist heritage as passively shaped by Calvinism, and the other wishes to deny the Calvinist (or Reformed) influence completely. The truth is somewhere in-between.

The concern for eliminating the Calvinist influence among Baptists is misguided.

Every body of believers needs to be in touch with the best of its theological tradition. For Baptists, that tradition is Reformed, or Calvinist, thought. Those who wish to look into this view need only discover for themselves the evident Calvinism of the Particular Baptist London Confession of 1644 and the even more pointedly Calvinist nature of the Second London Confession of 1677. These statements, along with the Savoy Confession and the Westmins ter Confession, evidently came from a co mmon stock of doctrinal expression. The words of the 1644 Confession and its successors are suggestive of Calvin's "Institutes" and not at all of, for instance, the early Anabaptist Schleitheim Confession. This is true not only in the ordinary sense of common vocabulary and system, but also in regard to the tone and the habitual focus. Again, one can point to the undisguised Reformed theology of John Gill, Charles Haddon Spurgeon, Andrew Fuller, Isaac Backus, Richard Furman, Basil Manly Sr., James Petigrew Boyce and quite a number of others who were powerfully instrumental in the doctrinal expression of Baptists through the middle part of the twentieth century.

All this has been vigorously preached by the defenders of Calvinist theology, only they have sometimes taken an additional, and unwarranted, step further. They often assume that this put Baptists (especially Southern Baptists) right in line with the most extreme expressions of Calvinism. They assume that Baptists must be advocates of the Canons of Dort, the famous five-point Calvinism that was formulated some half- century after John Calvin himself was dead. Or they align Baptists with the hard-edged Calvinism of early New England Puritan thought. In fact, the Reformed thought that most influenced Baptists, especially in the South, was one that had been softened and moderated by Scottish Common Sense philosophy and by the Baptists' own insistence upon the competence of believers to respond in faith to the gospel.

Interestingly enough, along with this Calvinism moderated by Scottish Presbyterians and Baptists of the American South came a real openness to the strongest and best of Christian thinkers from other traditions. The great Broadus, who set the standard for intelligent and heart-felt preaching among Baptists, remembered with gratitude that the advanced students of Boyce, the founder of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, read from Turrettini (a moderate Reformed thinker) and Thomas Aquinas. E.Y. Mullins, Southern Seminary's president for the first quarter of the 20th century, could adapt Schleiermacher's insights to a basically Reformed worldview.

Some worry about an "aggressive Calvinism" on college campuses. I worry more about a fundamental resistance to any vigorous kind of theological thinking. For the life of me, I cannot see that college campuses are about to be overrun by Calvinists--aggressive or otherwise. If there is genuine theological study going on, which in fact there is, then it is a matter for which we might be grateful. I am concerned about aggressive relativism in ethics and religion; I am concerned about aggressive nihilism in the moral life of college students; I am concerned about aggressive addictions and aggressive sexually transmitted diseases; I am concerned about aggressive indifference in the formation of the intellect among students.

But aggressive Calvinism? I haven't seen that yet. And I do find, however, among our best students an appreciation for the ordered, energetic, biblical teachings of John Calvin and some of his followers. To reject this rich tradition by pretending it has nothing to do with Baptist history would be wasteful and wrongheaded. To confuse the distinctive Baptist form of this tradition with its most radical historical expressions is to miss the Baptist genius that reshaped Calvinism in a way that proved fruitful for the aspiring denomination of Baptist Christians in America.

Laissez faire theology, which forgets its debt to thinkers of the past, may do for a period of time. In fact, that has mostly been the state of things since World War II, after which careful theological teaching was submerged in denominational boosterism and a cult of personality, with results that we have sadly lived with these past two decades. The atheological approach to church life leaves us narrow-minded and unimaginative, merely reciting the prejudices we have gathered like lint over the past 50 years; while a well- wrought theological tradition keeps us alive to conversation partners from every Christian generation, providing a foundation of substance for our mission and our ministry. As P.T. Forsyth once wrote, "The non-theological Christ is popular; he wins votes; but he is not mighty; he does not win souls; he does not break men into small pieces and create them anew."

A.J. Conyers is professor of theology at Baylor University's George W. Truett Theological Seminary in Waco


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1 posted on 04/19/2003 7:55:27 AM PDT by Between the Lines
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To: postmodernism_kills
Calvinism has no place in Baptists Churches, it is antithesis to our heritage of "soul liberty"!

This article goes some way to help explain.


The Deadly Flower (T.U.L.I.P.)
By Dr. Gregory O. Baker

Pastor of FaithWay Baptist Church, President of FaithWay Baptist College

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."–John 3:16.

This is the Gospel message in one verse.

"For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth."–I Tim. 2:3,4.

It is God’s desire that all men be saved.

"For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men."–Titus 2:11.

"The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance."–II Pet. 3:9.

"And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world."–I John 2:2.

The Bible clearly teaches that God’s plan of salvation includes the whole world. In fact, in the verses we’ve just read, expressions like "whosoever believeth" and "all men" and "all should come" and "the whole world" are found repeatedly.

The Bible makes sense. We shouldn’t try to complicate it. There is a movement, a teaching, a system of theology, that does not believe what the Bible says. The proponents of this theory explain the above verses in a different way, and their explanation does away with the all-inclusiveness of God’s salvation.

Some teach that man is in a state of inability to come to the Lord unless God somehow revives or arouses him. They also say that this decision to draw the sinner or to choose him is based on God’s election, God’s picking him and choosing him; and since it is God’s choice, it is unconditional.

They then go a step further and say that if God is only going to draw some based on His sovereign choice, His unconditional choice, then He must have only atoned for those He knew He was going to elect.

They then go a step further and say that if God chose them, if God died for them, if God is drawing them, there is absolutely nothing they can do to refuse or resist. They will have no choice but to respond to God.

They then go one step further and say that if they respond, they must endure (or they must persevere) because they have been chosen by the Lord.

This system is known in modern-day terms as Calvinism. The fathers of this system were Aurelius Augustine and John Calvin.

At the other end of the spectrum is a movement known as Arminianism. People often ask, "Are you a Calvinist or an Arminian?" The answer is, "Neither!"

I reject both Calvinism and Arminianism because the Bible rejects them. They are systems of theology, but they are not biblical.

Are there some truths in them? Yes. But we must take the Bible at face value. Simple as they may be, we need to be sincere enough to accept plain Bible truths.

Jonathan Gordon is a missionary now in the Philippines. In a missions conference with other missionaries, he got into quite a discussion over this subject.

One fellow made a statement to Jonathan: "That’s the problem with you Arminians." People like to put us in pockets: if you don’t believe like this, then you must believe like this. These labels, of course, are not given in the Bible.

CALVINISM IS NOT BIBLE DOCTRINE
Calvinism is not Bible doctrine, and neither is it Baptist doctrine. Calvinism came from Reformation theology, and it has always been at the very heart, the very core, of the denominations which came out of the Reformation.

One time I was talking to a person about Calvinism, and he asked, "What about what Aurelius Augustine said?" I thought, Who really cares? I’m more concerned about what the Apostle Paul said and what Jesus Himself said.

Augustine’s salvation testimony is vague. He was an admirer of Plato. He had been called the first "real" Roman Catholic. He was wrong on baptism, wrong on the church, wrong on scriptural interpretation. He took an allegorical view of the Scriptures. He was wrong about sacraments, wrong on the Lord’s Supper, wrong on merit, wrong on eternal security. Why would we think then that he would be right on this issue?

CALVINISM IS A DEADLY DOCTRINE
I suggest further to you that Calvinism is a very deadly doctrine.

My first exposure to Calvinism came when I was a teenager. The assistant pastor of the church I attended turned out to be a Calvinist. He was teaching Calvinistic views in the adult Sunday school Bible class, and eventually he was dismissed.

I remember asking him, "What about your children? Are they elect?"

He said, "Well, I hope that God has chosen them." Can you imagine that!

Some well-meaning, very sincere people actually believe Calvinism.

A burdened church lady came to a pastor’s wife about someone in her family who was not saved. The pastor’s wife said something to the effect of, "Well, we’re not really sure if we should pray for him to get saved. We don’t know whether he’s been chosen."

Sometimes during prayer time a sincere believer will pray, "Lord, sometimes we don’t know how to pray, but we know that those You have chosen will come to You to be saved."

Folks, that’s a wrong prayer. We do know how to pray. "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."–John 3:16. "For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth."–I Tim. 2:3,4.

"For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men."–Titus 2:11.

THE TULIP IS A DEADLY FLOWER
The deadly flower is the tulip–T-U-L-I-P. To form the system of philosophy or theology around this deadly flower, they’ve created an acrostic:

T stands for Total Depravity.

U stands for Unconditional Election.

L stand for Limited Atonement.

I stands for Irresistible Grace.

P stands for Perseverance of the Saints.

It sounds clever. It may even sound logical. Each point bases itself on the first point, then falls into a systematic order. It is supposed to magnify God. It is supposed to exalt God and His goodness. It is supposed to exalt God’s grace.

I say it does just the opposite. It does not exalt the Lord. It does not exalt His goodness. And it certainly does not magnify His grace.

Some people say, "Well, I’m not a five-pointer; I just believe in four points." Some say, "Well, I’m just a two-pointer." This is clever, but it is also a fallacy!

Dr. David Cummins said in his book This Day in Baptist History: Fundamental Baptists are not two-point or five-point Calvinists any more than I would be considered a one-point Catholic because the local priest and I concur on abortion. Fundamental Baptists are biblicists. Where Calvinists or Arminians agree with the Scripture, they agree with us, but that does not mean we belong to their camp because historically Baptists have always predated both of their positions.Definitions are important. You ask, "Do you believe in total depravity?" Yes, but depending on your definition.

I heard a man preach a fierce and dynamic message on the radio. I thought he was really good as he talked about being born again. But toward the end of his message, he talked about how Jesus was born again when He was resurrected and how we’ll be born again when we’re resurrected. Come to find out this man was Herbert W. Armstrong! Did he believe in being born again? Yes, he did, but not the way I believe the Bible teaches it.

Definitions are important. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is an interesting name. It’s not a church; they’re not of Jesus Christ, and they’re not saints. They use the King James Version of the Bible; however, they surely don’t believe it the same way we believe it.

Calvinists also use terms that we may use, but they turn them in a way that is totally different in meaning.

Total Depravity. I believe in total depravity, but not in total inability. God has given all men enough light to make them responsible to choose. He holds all men responsible for their choices.
Before Jesus Christ went to the cross, He stood on the hills, looked at Jerusalem and said: "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate."–Matt. 23:37,38. Jerusalem made her choice, and God held her people accountable for their choices.

God has given us enough light through preaching, through the Gospel, through creation and through revelation. The Holy Spirit is here convicting and drawing.

Unconditional Election. We reject this. Consider the Scriptures we’ve already read. The Bible says God wants all men everywhere to be saved. In fact, it was Jesus who said, "And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life" (John 5:40).
The Calvinists would have us believe that men cannot come to God unless they have been drawn, picked out, chosen by the Lord.

Limited Atonement. Absolutely not! Jesus Christ died for the sins of the whole world. "For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time."–I Tim. 2:5,6. Jesus Christ died for all men. "But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man."–Heb. 2:9. Jesus Christ tasted death for every man. "And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world."–I John 4:14. Jesus Christ was sent to be the Saviour of the whole world. "All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all."–Isa. 53:6. If all men are sinners, then Christ died for all.
Irresistible Grace. Absolutely not! Placing the word irresistible before grace is a misnomer, a paradox. It’s like Christian rock music–the two just don’t go together.
Grace is unmerited favor. God gives unmerited favor, and some say there are those who can do nothing to refuse it.

Many have had the opportunity to be saved. Many come into this service week after week, and they resist the conviction of the Holy Spirit.

Perseverance. Absolutely not! We do not persevere; God perseveres. We are preserved. It is Jesus our Saviour who keeps us saved.
Peter said we "are kept by the power of God" (I Pet. 1:5).

Paul said, "Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them" (Heb. 7:25).

Jesus said, "I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand" (John 10:28).

Folks, let’s embrace the Bible!

FIVE POINTS OF BIBLE TEACHING
Point 1: The lost condition of all mankind. All men are lost.

Point 2: The opportunity for all to repent, to trust Christ and be saved. The opportunity to be saved is available for everyone.

Point 3: Total atonement is available to all through the shed blood of Christ. His blood was shed for all men.

Point 4: The unsaved person’s ability to reject Christ. All men have the ability to reject Christ (even as Adam and Eve had the ability to sin in the Garden of Eden) and turn from the Lord.

Point 5: The security of every believer. Someone once prayed:

Dear Saviour, I thank You that You were crucified with Your arms outstretched, showing You extend a welcome to everyone. I thank You that the old Devil was not allowed to tie Your hands behind Your back, nor were they just folded on Your breast, but they were outstretched wide to invite the whole world to Your heart for salvation.

Let’s always remember: "For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost" (Luke 19:10). He didn’t come to save that which was chosen but that which was lost. All men everywhere are lost, and Jesus came to save them all.

That’s why the TULIP is such a deadly flower. An unconditional election to Heaven, a predestination to Heaven while letting others go to Hell (which simply is a predestination to Hell, even though the Calvinist doesn’t like to say that), makes the God of grace a monster God. It makes God a respecter of persons, and the Bible says God is no respecter of persons.

In fact, there is not one biblical statement that God acts to insure salvation to a chosen few. You do find this: Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish"!

Man is lost, and man is being reproved today by the Holy Spirit.

Some people want to pull out a theology book or see what Mr. So-and-so said on a topic, but we need to first look in the Bible. That’s the only place to find the right answers.

THE MINISTRY OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
The Bible tells us about the ministry of the Holy Spirit: "And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment" (John 16:8).

Man is lost. And God is giving him enough light to respond through the ministry of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is reproving the world–convicting the world of sin, of righteousness and of judgment that is to come.

The Holy Spirit is reproving, and mankind today is being drawn. "And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me" (John 12:32). When Jesus Christ was lifted up on that cross and died for the sins of the world, He was saying, "I am drawing all men unto Me." "That was the true Light [Jesus Christ], which lighteth every man that cometh into the world."–John 1:9. "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. It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me."–John 6:44,45. The Bible says that man is lost; he is being reproved by the Holy Spirit; he is being drawn because Christ was lifted up. Man has enough light to respond because the Light has lightened every man that comes into the world. Since the Bible says that the Father must draw them, then God is teaching all men.

Does God have a plan for salvation? Absolutely! And His plan is found in the Bible. "In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will."–Eph. 1:11. God is working all things according to the counsel of His own will! "And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day."–John 6:40. The will of God is for those who will believe on the Lord Jesus Christ to be saved. He is working all things after the counsel of His own will.

God has commanded us to repent–that’s a Bible command. For God to command us to do something that we don’t have the ability to do would make Him a monster–like a parent who constantly forces his children to do things they can’t possibly do correctly, and then laughs at them and punishes them because of it. But God has commanded all men everywhere to repent.

You say, "Has He given us the means by which we can repent?" Yes!

There are two groups of people in the world today: Jews and Gentiles. As the church age was in its beginning stages in the book of Acts, we find the apostles dealing with those two groups of people. Some were dealing with Jews only; some were dealing with Gentiles only; some were dealing with Jews and Gentiles (sometimes called Greeks).

"Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins."–Acts 5:31. When Jesus Christ was crucified, God gave repentance to Israel. As we move through Acts, we see more attention taken away from the Jews and given to the Gentiles. "When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life."–Acts 11:18. God had granted repentance to all men through the Lord Jesus Christ.

The major problem with unconditional election is, it does not follow the Bible order. In the Bible, regeneration follows repentance; repentance does not follow regeneration. Yet those people who believe in this other system say, "Unless God quickens this person, he can’t be saved!"

Wait a second. The Bible says that God never gives anybody anything until he first repents. So they do not follow the Bible order: repentance precedes regeneration.

Someone says, "That’s just Universalism." No, all men everywhere are not in the family of God, not in a universal brotherhood; but all men could be saved, for it is God’s plan for all to be saved!

ELECTED "IN HIM" TO SALVATION
Let’s look at some crucial verses concerning election. "According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love."–Eph. 1:4. This verse causes a lot of trouble. The Bible does not say that He chose us before the foundation of the world, as a lot of people interpret it.

It says He chose us "in him" before the foundation of the world.

The "in him" is absolutely vital and crucial. All those in Christ participate in election. "He hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world."

Romans 8:1 says, "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus." We are chosen "in him before the foundation of the world."

Someone asks, "When did we get in Christ?" When you got saved, when you trusted Christ as your Saviour. "In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise."–Eph. 1:13. I was in Christ in 1967. God expands time, and He can’t be bottled up in my little window of time. He transcends time. A day to the Lord is as a thousand years, and a thousand years is as a day!

To us, but not to God, Jesus Christ was slain two thousand years ago on the cross. We date history as 1999, but Revelation 13:8 says, "And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world."

As far as God is concerned, it was before the foundation of the world. We did not exist then, but you know what? Jesus existed before the foundation of the world. We who are saved were already in Christ–as far as the foreknowledge of God was concerned–before the foundation of the world.

When we are saved, we are in Christ. We became elect before the foundation of the world. "Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied."–I Pet. 1:2. It is not that God before the foundation of the world elected those who would be saved. It is that God before the foundation of the world knew who would be saved and elected them to much more than salvation.

Salvation was the beginning, but this is God before the foundation of the world knowing in His foreknowledge who would be saved. He elected us to far more than salvation. He elected us to the resurrection, to an inheritance incorruptible, undefiled, etc.

Jesus Christ did not elect me to salvation, but He elected me at my salvation.

The fatalist will come back and say, "I was chosen." I was not; it was God’s plan.

The TULIP doctrine is a deadly flower!

MAN HAS A CHOICE
God is drawing all men. He is extending His grace. But we still don’t have to accept it. God has elected all who will repent. He wants all to repent. We live in the age of grace, and a long-suffering God is going the extra mile. His mercy is freely offered, but He will condemn all those who reject Him. And only God knows when you will have your last opportunity or when an unsaved person will have his final opportunity to be saved. Man makes the choice.

Stephen preached and got those Jewish folks so upset in Acts, chapter 7: "Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye" (vs. 51). Why did he rebuke them so, if they were doing what God wanted them to do by resisting Him?

Man has a choice. If he dies and goes to Hell, it’s not because God has willed it but because man has rejected Christ.

The word predestination gets a lot of people nervous. It deals with God’s promises to His children. "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified."–Rom. 8:28—30. Notice the progression: (1) foreknowledge; (2) predestination; (3) calling; (4) justification; and (5) glorification. All of these are part of the blessing we’ve already talked about.

In eternity past–long before we came into being–was foreknowledge. In eternity future–somewhere out there, and only God knows when this age will conclude–is glorification.

Foreknowledge to glorification: glorification is based on justification; justification is based on calling; calling is based on predestination. But wait a second: predestination is based on foreknowledge.

God knows who will be saved. In His foreknowledge, God has predestinated all who would call upon Him to be justified and someday to be glorified. That’s God plan and not difficult to understand.

Bible election is based on foreknowledge; and any modern interpretation of election that does not start with foreknowledge will lead to confusion, to misunderstanding and perhaps, though not always, to heresy.

There will be a great white throne judgment where all the unsaved dead will stand before the Lord. The books will be opened, and another book will be opened, and the unsaved will be judged from those things. God will condemn them and cast them into the lake of fire, where they will be forever and ever.

How could God condemn them if they did His will? if they weren’t chosen? if they weren’t elect? if they did not have the ability to be saved? God will condemn them because they have rejected His own Son. Christ settles the issue of Calvinism.

Let’s not leave our great heritage. Let’s intensify our fervor for souls with a compassionate heart for lost humanity.

Let’s remember that we do make a difference with our parents and our families, with our friends and our neighbors. God has given us the responsibility; may we do our part in bringing others to salvation.

Let’s be wary and be warned of the deadly flower, the T.U.L.I.P., of Calvinistic theology!

3 posted on 04/19/2003 8:12:33 PM PDT by FreeRep
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To: FreeRep
Nice essay. What do you make of this verse, then?

Romans 8:29-30

29 For whom he foreknew, he also foreordained to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren:
30 and whom he foreordained, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.

4 posted on 04/21/2003 11:57:48 AM PDT by jboot
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To: jboot
29 For whom he foreknew, he also foreordained to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren

I am interested in why you did not stress the word foreknew, and just jumped straight into emphasizing the word foreordained?

5 posted on 04/21/2003 12:14:09 PM PDT by ponyespresso (I find your lack of faith...disturbing - Darth Vader)
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To: ponyespresso
I am interested in why you did not stress the word foreknew (rather than or in addition to foreordained)

Because it is significant. In the essay above, "foreordained" is made subject to (and inferior to) "forknew". I do not disagree with the role and importance of foreknowledge, yet it does not diminish the fact that our salvation was part and parcel of God's sovereign will, not ours. The names of the believers were already written in the book of life before the foundation of the world. The soul of the one foreknown did not exist when this decision was made, and could have no part in it. The fact that they were foreknown stands, but does not take precedence over their predestination, or in any way detract from the sovereignity of God.

It is rather unique (and slightly amusing) to see someone put an Arminiean spin on Rom. 8:29-30, though.

6 posted on 04/21/2003 12:47:48 PM PDT by jboot
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To: jboot
OK, whatever.

I am interested in why you did not stress the word foreknew (rather than or in addition to foreordained)

Now I'm interested in knowing why you felt you had to change my quote?

7 posted on 04/21/2003 1:23:32 PM PDT by ponyespresso (I find your lack of faith...disturbing - Darth Vader)
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To: jboot
Correctly or mistakenly, many Southern Baptists find predestination and other doctrines difficult to comprehend and even provoking. We see how the Presbyterian and reforms churches are slowly declining, rightly or wrongly and don't want to follow that pattern.


Here is a good article....

Southern Baptists may wake up one Sunday soon and find they really aren't
Southern Baptists unless they are Presbyterians.

A growing movement is sweeping the denomination's seminaries over the role
and impact of historic Calvinist beliefs, especially the idea that
salvation is predetermined by God and there is nothing humans can do to
change who will be saved and who will be damned.

Most Southern Baptists - who make up the nation's largest Protestant
denomination - are evangelical, believing any sinner who seeks salvation
through Jesus Christ will receive eternal life.

The fight is being fueled by a wave of "Five Point Calvinism" that some
believe is washing over Baptist seminaries and infecting pulpits, and has
led to schism in some congregations. Five Point Calvinism is based on the
teaching of 16th-century Protestant reformer John Calvin and his views of
unconditional election and limited atonement, meaning God's choice of
certain individuals for salvation is conditioned only on God's sovereign
will and that Jesus' redeeming work on the cross was only to save those
already elected by God.

Churches in the Calvinist, or Reformed, tradition include Presbyterian
denominations, the Reformed Church in America and the United Church of
Christ.

For Baptists, at issue is this central question: If God has already
predetermined who goes to hell and who goes to heaven even before they're
born, why preach the Gospel? Why send missionaries to India? Why, indeed,
evangelize?

"The logical conclusion (of predestination) is that evangelism is useless,"
said W.R. Estep, professor emeritus of church history at Southwestern
Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas, arguing that a strong belief in
predestination would pull the rug out from under Baptist evangelism.

Baptists, he said, have traditionally believed in the absolute freedom of
the human will to choose or reject salvation.

"Generally, Baptists have always held that God's plan of salvation was that
in Christ all people would have an opportunity to accept the invitation to
belief and to the Christian life and to become a disciple."

Some lay members, too, are concerned.

Kelly McGinley, a member of First Baptist Church of North Mobile, Ala.,
said she does not believe in Calvinism and would be upset if her pastor
started to teach it.

"It would give all those who don't like going to church something else to
make fun of us for," she said. "It might cool some people going to church.
. It's very scary."

Others argue, however, that the denomination needs to recover a notion of
the sovereignty of God and dismiss the fear that Calvinism leads to a
waning of evangelistic fervor.

"Our Lord died particularly for the sins of his elect people, accomplishing
their salvation from beginning to end - and for no one else," said the Rev.
Fred Malone, pastor of First Baptist Church in Clinton, La.

Malone is part of the Founders Conference, a loose-knit network of Southern
Baptist Calvinists who say their five-point doctrine was the theology of
most early leaders of what became the Southern Baptist Convention.

To many Christians who adhere to Calvinist precepts, however, the zeal to
evangelize is not quenched by belief in predestination.

"It was the most freeing thing that ever happened to me, to discover that
there was nothing I could do to win God's grace, that it had all been done
for me already," said Bob Norman, a member of Grace Fellowship Presbyterian
Church in Mobile, Ala.

Scholars say the debate goes back to the 17th century, when the Baptist
movement was first being formed.

According to Timothy George, dean of the Beeson School of Divinity at
Samford University in Birmingham, at that time there were two "streams" of
thought - the General Baptist tradition and the Particular Baptist
tradition.

The General Baptist tradition, George said, received some of the same
influences that shaped the Methodist movement and held that salvation was
by faith through grace, but that a person's free will to choose God's
redemption was necessary.

"Like (Methodist founder) John Wesley, they placed more emphasis on free
will, less emphasis on predestination," George said.

The Particular Baptist tradition, he said, involves a belief in "partial
redemption," or the belief that God has destined some people for salvation
and others for damnation. George said that when the Southern Baptist
Convention was founded in 1845, the vast majority of Baptists were
Particular Baptists, or Reformed Baptists.

"That was the founding doctrine of Southern Baptist life until the early
20th century, and there are some who want to recover that and see what it
has to offer to us today," he added.

But that direction has led to error in the past, George added. Deep within
the Baptist "consciousness" is a fear that Calvin's doctrine of
predestination will engender "hyper-Calvinism," an attitude of indifference
to those who are not saved and a reluctance to invest in evangelism or
missions work.

Estep, however, calls the movement "superficial intellectualism."

"It gives the person who thinks he's a Calvinist an intellectual frame of
reference and gives him a superior attitude toward others. He is not only
elect, but he has a system of theology that is not from his own research
but it looks good, is a consistent system and relieves him of the
responsibility of evangelism."

There have been churches in the Southern Baptist Convention that have
disintegrated or divided over the issue, Estep said. When preachers begin
to talk about predestination, their congregations conclude that missions
and evangelism programs are going to suffer.

"But I'm not sure that the Baptists in the pews know anything about Calvin
and care anything about these issues that the preachers get involved in,"
Estep added.

San Antonio Express-News
August 30, 1997
RELIGION NEWS SERVICE
8 posted on 04/21/2003 6:57:27 PM PDT by FreeRep (Proud to be American (John 3:16))
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To: ponyespresso
Now I'm interested in knowing why you felt you had to change my quote?

Sorry, I was in a hurry and stuck it in as an afterthought, and then decided that it was bad nettiquette to quote your entire post, so I summarized the latter half. Kinda sloppy on my part...

9 posted on 04/22/2003 5:35:58 AM PDT by jboot
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To: FreeRep
"It was the most freeing thing that ever happened to me, to discover that there was nothing I could do to win God's grace, that it had all been done for me already," said Bob Norman, a member of Grace Fellowship Presbyterian Church in Mobile, Ala.

This is exactly why I not only believe in, but embrace predestination. It is the crowning pinnacle of assurance to the believer-if God Himself chose us, how can we be seperated from Him? How can we extract ourselves from His grip?

The real concern about Calvinism expressed in these articles is not that it is doctrinally incorrect, but rather is that lazy, unregenerate people will use it as an excuse to shelve the great commission. This fails to take into account the work of the Holy Spirit. A believer who has become a son of the Kingdom through the blood of Christ and who has tasted the gift of the Holy Spirit will be moved to fulfill the commission by the same God who foreordained his salvation! If anyone is not, the work of sanctification has not begun in him and he must be careful to examine himself:

2 Corinthians 13:5
5 Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you--unless indeed you fail the test?

Or:

Hebrews 12:14
Pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord.

I'm not sure that people who would be daunted into abandoning the great commission by a simplistic (and invalid) logical exercise should be evangelizing and making disciples, anyway. They are not yet ready for the meat of the word (Heb. 5:12).

10 posted on 04/22/2003 6:00:07 AM PDT by jboot
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To: jboot
Good point, I get back to you on that.

What is see is that the Presbyterian Church and reformed churches are losing thousands of members per year for the past forty years. Attendance has also declined very sharply in the past years. The growth rate of the SBC and mainline Baptist churches has increased. It is about 8% per year or about 900,000> individuals, +/- some. We need to look at why, the Calvinistic churches , are declining, and if it’s rabid Calvinism, we don’t want that.
11 posted on 04/22/2003 9:43:15 AM PDT by FreeRep (Proud to be American (John 3:16))
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To: FreeRep
We need to look at why, the Calvinistic churches , are declining, and if it’s rabid Calvinism, we don’t want that.

I am surprised to hear of Calvinism as a pulpit topic, even in a Reform church. It seems a little bit...heavy for Sunday morning fare. I've never had a discussion about predestination end "cleanly" with everyone on the same page, which is a pity. Were I a pastor, I don't think that I would present it to the congregation at large, unless I had a very Spirit-filled group of people who were all ready for it.
Not bloody likely these days...

I was introduced to Calvinist teaching in a SBC, but in an advanced discipleship course, not from the pulpit.

12 posted on 04/22/2003 10:21:52 AM PDT by jboot
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To: jboot
I agree with you, and I also think it could be that when we consider foreknowledge of something, we automatically consider this to be linear in space and time when it isn't?. We in our linear thinking always assume things and one thing we assume when we hear the word 'foreknowledge' is the linear concept of it. Most of us assume that all this happened prior to the beginning of the physical universe. That's could not necessarily be totaly correct. Don't misunderstand, this is not a dive into metaphysics, but just a recognition that applying linear logic to eternal concepts isn't always correct in God's universe and sometimes the scriptures show that apparent contradictory position.

I read something interesting on predestination(foreknowledge=proginosko)in scripture as "know" the hebrew word is "Yada" has a *pregnant* meaning which goes beyond mere cognition and is used in a sense practically synonymous with love, to set regard upon, to know with particular interest, delight , affection. Interesting!

My main point, is to look at the total picture, if a Church or Churches(SBC) are growing can this not be a sign that God has particular interest, delight , affection for them and not to get to hang-up on a single point?
But, just don't get me started on Calvin theology on "Church and State" : )

I like the (SBC) Statement on God's Purpose of Grace.*

*Election is the gracious purpose of God, according to which He regenerates, justifies, sanctifies, and glorifies sinners. It is consistent with the free agency of man, and comprehends all the means in connection with the end. It is the glorious display of God's sovereign goodness, and is infinitely wise, holy, and unchangeable. It excludes boasting and promotes humility.All true believers endure to the end. Those whom God has accepted in Christ, and sanctified by His Spirit, will never fall away from the state of grace, but shall persevere to the end. Believers may fall into sin through neglect and temptation, whereby they grieve the Spirit, impair their graces and comforts, and bring reproach on the cause of Christ and temporal judgments on themselves; yet they shall be kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation.

13 posted on 04/22/2003 1:56:56 PM PDT by FreeRep (Proud to be American (John 3:16))
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To: FreeRep
I think we are on the same track, and much trouble has been caused by projecting our linear nature onto God. On a side note: I can't speak for the "when" of foreknowledge, but Paul was convinced that he was "set aside" and called by God "even from his mother's womb" (Gal 1:15).

At any rate, Calvinism is not truly doctrine but is rather an exegetical philosophy. This puts it in the category of "advanced topics", at least as far as I'm concerned. I agree that we shouldn't get hung up on this issue, so long as sound doctrine is being taught (i.e. hyperarmenianism takes far more liberty with scripture than hypercalvinism). Compared to Salvation and Sanctification, Predestination and Election are supplementary doctrine. You can be saved and live a full life serving God having never seriously considered them. (Luther would not like me for saying that.)

14 posted on 04/23/2003 5:41:50 AM PDT by jboot
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To: FreeRep
We see how the Presbyterian and reforms churches are slowly declining, rightly or wrongly and don't want to follow that pattern....

What is see is that the Presbyterian Church and reformed churches are losing thousands of members per year for the past forty years. Attendance has also declined very sharply in the past years. The growth rate of the SBC and mainline Baptist churches has increased. It is about 8% per year or about 900,000> individuals, +/- some. We need to look at why, the Calvinistic churches , are declining, and if it’s rabid Calvinism, we don’t want that.

Just as not every self-identified Christian is in fact a Christian so, too, is not every self-identified Presbyterian or Reformed church actually Reformed. A closer look at church growth by denomination shows that it's the liberal "Presbyterian" denominations, such as the PC-USA, that are in decline, whereas the conservative Presbyterian denominations such as the Orthodox Presbyterian and the Presbyterian Church in America are among the fastest-growing in America.

The teachings and practices of these two groups differ in many ways, but there's no doubt that those presbyterian denominations that are more Calvinistic are the ones that are growing, whereas the less Calvinistic presbyterian denominations are the ones seeing the large membership declines.

In pointing out this, however, I don't want to implicitly support the false notion that denominational growth equates with orthodoxy. It doesn't.

15 posted on 04/23/2003 6:12:14 AM PDT by Stop Legal Plunder
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To: jboot
Ping
16 posted on 04/23/2003 6:14:08 AM PDT by Stop Legal Plunder
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To: Stop Legal Plunder
A closer look at church growth by denomination shows that it's the liberal "Presbyterian" denominations, such as the PC-USA, that are in decline, whereas the conservative Presbyterian denominations such as the Orthodox Presbyterian and the Presbyterian Church in America are among the fastest-growing in America.

This does not suprise me. I would agree that it is not orthodoxy in itself that causes churches to grow, but it seems to help. On the other hand, liberal theology will empty churches in a single generation.

17 posted on 04/23/2003 7:02:00 AM PDT by jboot
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To: FreeRep
Your sources please. And don't refer to the Presbyterian Church USA as Reformed. They have become liberal mush. That is why they are having a drop in membership.

The Presbyterian Church in America, founded in 1973 has grown every year. (see below)

Numbers reflect 1971-2001 data
Presbyteries 16 to 63
Churches 260 to 1227
Members 41,232 to 306,784

The reason we are growing is simple, we are not ashamed of the Gospel, we are not ashamed of scripture, even doctrines that makes some Christians uncomfortable.

18 posted on 04/23/2003 7:20:12 AM PDT by Gamecock (5 SOLAS)
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To: Gamecock; jboot; Stop Legal Plunder
That's good news, Gamecock, about the 'Presbyterian Church of America'.

According to the 2002 Yearbook of American and Canadian Churches, "the Presbyterian Church in America is up 42 percent".

However, online search shows that's not the trend for most Churches. Pew Research Council, Adherents.com and World Book, shows that the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) with a 11.6 percent loss and the United Church of Christ, which dropped 14.8 where in major decline.

Also, membership statistics from 'The National Council of Churches' show decrees memberships in reformed churches. The research findings indicate severe membership losses because they found that 74% of pastors and lay leaders do
not think evangelism should be on their congregation's agenda. Is that because of theological perspective? or denominational heredity? or population trends? The old adage--your viewpoint is determined by your point of viewing.

But your are right. According to 'Religious Congregations and Membership, Glenmary Research Center and the 'Association of Statisticians of American Religious Bodies, the majority of churches that are growing, are those that are conservative. Those
that are declining, most were moderate or liberal churches. And the more liberal the denomination, the more they were losing.

19 posted on 04/23/2003 1:34:25 PM PDT by FreeRep (Proud to be American (John 3:16))
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To: FreeRep
Thanks to the sources, I need to bookmark them.

I couldn't find the data on the The National Council of Churches, but do they only report "member" churches? I did notice they have the PCUSA the Reformed Church in America, and the United Church of Christ. All of these, by virtue of their membership, are highly suspect for having liberal theology, or more accurately, humanism. Just look at the issues on the left side of the home page!

I know that the PCUSA is going down the tubes, and has been for years, again, I think it is the liberalism. Just do a search on FR for Presbyterian and you will see several discussions on that very topic.

Is that because of theological perspective?

If you are referring to Calvinism, please allow me to gently set the record straight. We are often accused of not practicing evangelism. We take the Great Commission very seriously. Yes, we think that all events are predestined, but as far as the elect goes, we don't know who they are!

It is out job as believers to spread the Word to all, so those who are meant to come to Christ hear the word through us. To us evangelism is actually very low stress, because the Holy Spirit does all the work, we just have to talk. I don't have to beat myself up if I don't "win" a soul. I've had people who I thought I've done a terrible job with, come to Christ. I've jokingly said that a room of circus chimps would have been just as effective, because the Holy Spirit was working on them. Conversely, I've done what I though was a great job, and not brought some to Christ, but if they watched the resurrection themselves, they would still not believe.

Those that are declining, most were moderate or liberal churches. And the more liberal the denomination, the more they were losing.

Most profound thing I've read on FR today.<><

20 posted on 04/23/2003 2:26:29 PM PDT by Gamecock (5 SOLAS)
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To: FreeRep
**Calvinism has no place in Baptists Churches, it is antithesis to our heritage of "soul liberty"! **




Someone should have told the authors of the 1644 and 1689 confessions..both of which were calvinist..seems the Arminians stole the church and are whinning now that it seeks its historic roots

http://www.mtsbc.org/old_baptist_documents1.htm
21 posted on 04/23/2003 2:31:53 PM PDT by RnMomof7
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To: Gamecock
That's good news about the 'Presbyterian Church of America'. I'm happy when I hear about church growth. According to the ‘2002 Yearbook of American and Canadian Churches’ the Presbyterian Church in America up 42 percent.

However, a online search shows that's not the trend. Pew Research Council, Adherents.com and World Book, shows that the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) with a 11.6 percent loss and the United Church of Christ, which dropped 14.8 percent.

Also, membership statistics from 'The National Council of Churches' show decline in memberships in reformed churches.
Acording to 'Religious Congregations and Membership, Glenmary Research Center and the 'Association of
Statisticians of American Religious Bodies, the growing Churches are those that are conservative. Those
that are declining, most were moderate or liberal churches. And the more liberal the denomination, the more they were losing.
The research findings indicate severe membership losses because they found that 74% of pastors and lay leaders do
not think evangelism should be on their congregation's agenda. Is that because of theological perspective? or denominational
heredity? or population trends?

The old adage--your viewpoint is determined by your point of viewing.

22 posted on 04/23/2003 4:15:19 PM PDT by FreeRep (Proud to be American (John 3:16))
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To: FreeRep
SORRY About My Double Post. Computer went down. You guys are exceptional.

<><


23 posted on 04/23/2003 4:22:38 PM PDT by FreeRep (Proud to be American (John 3:16))
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To: RnMomof7
Hi, RnMomof7. I agree we need to get back SBC roots, and I am no Arminian, just worried about Church evangelism.
24 posted on 04/23/2003 4:32:02 PM PDT by FreeRep (Proud to be American (John 3:16))
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To: RnMomof7
Hiya Mom! (BTW: RN=Reformed Nurse? ;-))

Two great "Calvinist" quotes by a guy that Baptists love to quote:

1. "I do not come into this pulpit hoping that perhaps somebody will of his own free will return to Christ. My hope lies in another quarter. I hope that my Master will lay hold of some of them and say, "You are mine, and you shall be mine. I claim you for myself." My hope arises from the freeness of grace, and not from the freedom of the will."

2. "The old truth that Calvin preached, that Augustine preached, that Paul preached, is the truth that I must preach to-day, or else be false to my conscience and my God. I cannot shape the truth; I know of no such thing as paring off the rough edges of a doctrine. John Knox's gospel is my gospel. That which thundered through Scotland must thunder through England again."

Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Peace unto you <><

25 posted on 04/23/2003 4:39:45 PM PDT by Gamecock (5 SOLAS)
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To: postmodernism_kills
Baptists should acknowledge and embrace their Calvinist heritage.

Calvin believed in infant baptism.

26 posted on 04/23/2003 4:58:59 PM PDT by P-Marlowe
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To: P-Marlowe
And Peter, the "first Pope" was married, what's your point?
27 posted on 04/23/2003 5:08:21 PM PDT by Gamecock (5 SOLAS)
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To: Gamecock
The first Pope was Gregory. What's your point?
28 posted on 04/23/2003 6:07:32 PM PDT by P-Marlowe
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To: P-Marlowe
Note the Parenthesis. That reflects a quote. Many Catholics refer to Peter as the "first Pope." Even though he is often refered to as the Bishop of Jeruselum, He is just often listed in Catholic references as the first Pope ( http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/12272b.htm ).

My point is why are you beating up someone when there are just as many seemingly contradictions in your denomination? (ie, why can Peter be married and priests can't?)

29 posted on 04/23/2003 6:31:19 PM PDT by Gamecock (5 SOLAS)
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To: Gamecock; P-Marlowe
Parenthesis=Quotation make
30 posted on 04/23/2003 6:32:43 PM PDT by Gamecock (5 SOLAS)
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To: Gamecock
My point is that Baptists don't believe in infant baptism, but baptism after repentance. Thus they cannot embrace their Calvinist Heritage as Calvin would have thought them heretics and vice versa.
31 posted on 04/23/2003 6:34:33 PM PDT by P-Marlowe
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To: Gamecock
Marlowe is not Catholic.
32 posted on 04/23/2003 6:35:08 PM PDT by drstevej
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To: Gamecock
My point is why are you beating up someone when there are just as many seemingly contradictions in your denomination?

What denomination to you assume that I am?

33 posted on 04/23/2003 6:36:12 PM PDT by P-Marlowe
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To: Gamecock
It's always a good idea to check someone's profile page before making any rash conclusions about them. Check mine out and then guess my denomination.
34 posted on 04/23/2003 6:38:40 PM PDT by P-Marlowe
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To: P-Marlowe; drstevej
I've been to your home page before, even bookmarked some of your links. During this thread I confused you with someone else.

Mea Culpa.

35 posted on 04/23/2003 6:43:41 PM PDT by Gamecock (5 SOLAS)
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To: P-Marlowe
***What denomination to you assume that I am?***

Calminian Ex-Mo ???
36 posted on 04/23/2003 6:46:01 PM PDT by drstevej
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To: Gamecock; drstevej
Mea Culpa.

Its cool. There are worse things than being Catholic. You could always be a [FR 5th Amendment]. :-)

BTW did you push this button:

I found it on my son's website. It's pretty cool too.

37 posted on 04/23/2003 6:48:07 PM PDT by P-Marlowe
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To: P-Marlowe
There are worse things than being Catholic

I have a statement on my site: There will be some Catolics in Heaven, some Presbyterians in Hell.

Cool link

38 posted on 04/23/2003 6:53:53 PM PDT by Gamecock (5 SOLAS)
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To: jboot
Well-said. A joyous bump for God's total and unfettered sovereignty.
39 posted on 04/23/2003 11:02:41 PM PDT by Dr. Eckleburg (There are very few shades of gray.)
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To: Gamecock
If you are referring to Calvinism, please allow me to gently set the record straight. We are often accused of not practicing evangelism. We take the Great Commission very seriously. Yes, we think that all events are predestined, but as far as the elect goes, we don't know who they are! It is out job as believers to spread the Word to all, so those who are meant to come to Christ hear the word through us. To us evangelism is actually very low stress, because the Holy Spirit does all the work, we just have to talk. I don't have to beat myself up if I don't "win" a soul. I've had people who I thought I've done a terrible job with, come to Christ. I've jokingly said that a room of circus chimps would have been just as effective, because the Holy Spirit was working on them. Conversely, I've done what I though was a great job, and not brought some to Christ, but if they watched the resurrection themselves, they would still not believe.

I speak as a Calvinist actively involved in evangelism through Campus Crusade.

Similarly, of the CCC staff I've gotten to know, there are three Calvinists, one Arminian, and two that I don't know.

So why would a Calvinist preach the gospel? Because if we don't, it doesn't hurt God, or the unbeliever. God can get someone else to do it. No, it harms only ourselves.

16 For if I preach the gospel, I have nothing to boast of, for I am under compulsion; for woe is me if I do not preach the gospel.
17 For if I do this voluntarily, I have a reward; but if against my will, I have a stewardship entrusted to me.
18 What then is my reward? That, when I preach the gospel, I may offer the gospel without charge, so as not to make full use of my right in the gospel.
-I Cor. 9:16-18 [NASB]
I've jokingly said that a room of circus chimps would have been just as effective, because the Holy Spirit was working on them. Conversely, I've done what I though was a great job, and not brought some to Christ, but if they watched the resurrection themselves, they would still not believe.

That's the attitude I try to pass on to those I've had the privilege to teach -- that it's not as high-stakes as they think.

40 posted on 04/24/2003 6:08:40 AM PDT by jude24 ("Facts? You can use facts to prove anything that's even REMOTELY true!" - Homer Simpson)
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To: jude24
So why would a Calvinist preach the gospel? Because if we don't, it doesn't hurt God, or the unbeliever. God can get someone else to do it. No, it harms only ourselves

Another good point! Never thought about it from that perspective.

41 posted on 04/24/2003 7:20:01 AM PDT by Gamecock (5 SOLAS)
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To: FreeRep
Hi, RnMomof7. I agree we need to get back SBC roots, and I am no Arminian, just worried about Church evangelism.

The greatest missionaries were Calvinists look it up.

I attend a bible Presbyterian church. We fund several international Missionaries and we currently have one Teen team on a mission trip..One teen team in a small town near us going door to door, and one team that worked the streets and flop houses in the inner city last week .All doing as Christ commanded..Taking the gospel to all men.

If you are a Baptist you need instead to be concerned for what passes as evangelism in the Baptist churches in this country today

The gosple of easy believeism , every man making God after his own image and sermons that are seminars..

Size is more important than truth in far too many Arminian churches that call themselves "Baptist"

42 posted on 04/24/2003 10:57:28 AM PDT by RnMomof7
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To: P-Marlowe
Calvin believed in infant baptism.

Just proves that Calvinists are not puppets:>)

There are different strains of calvinism.. Augustine and Luther were predestinarian and considered "calvinist"

Calvin believed an taught Baptism not as regenerating like the RC's, but as an outward sign of God's covenant with the church..Baptists and some that will tell you they are charasmatic Calvinists believe it is an outward sign of Salvation (a believers sacrament)

But do note neither group believe it has any saving effect ..and all Calvinists believe in the 5 solas

43 posted on 04/24/2003 11:05:00 AM PDT by RnMomof7
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To: RnMomof7
***every man making God after his own image and sermons that are seminars****

Will, all I can say is, I’m not God and I don’t judge their hearts.

I attend a small bible southern baptist church and our church is not Arminian.
Hard-Believism, Easy Believism… I just believe in Believism.

*Salvation involves the redemption of the whole man, and is offered freely to all who accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, who by His own blood obtained eternal redemption for the believer. In its broadest sense salvation includes regeneration, justification, sanctification, and glorification. There is no salvation apart from personal faith in Jesus Christ as Lord.* (SBC Statement of Faith)

44 posted on 04/24/2003 1:39:54 PM PDT by FreeRep (Proud to be American (John 3:16))
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To: FreeRep
Do you ever view TBS ?

nuf said:>)
45 posted on 04/24/2003 8:56:26 PM PDT by RnMomof7
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To: Between the Lines
Faith is not a work, it is counted as a work (Christ's finished work) in God's eyes, but is still not a work. The work is through Christ; the free will's decision to accept the gift (Christ's finished work) is done through faith.

Rom 4:5 And to the one who does not work but trusts him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness
46 posted on 06/15/2003 10:43:20 PM PDT by God is good (God Bless America)
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Comment #47 Removed by Moderator

Comment #48 Removed by Moderator

Comment #49 Removed by Moderator

To: Michael Townsend
Are you aware of the Biblical fact [Ephesians 1:3-14] that even before the foundation of the world, God [chose] elected and predestinated all those whom He purposed to bring to eternal salvation in Christ?

No, God predestined those, who were to choose His grace, to the adoption and the benefits of it. Predestination has to do with the grace of adoption, not salvation. Your arguments that God did not love the whole world are the same old psuedo-scholarly arguments I have heard parroted and will reject till the day I die. Yes God does love the whole world, his atonement had to cover all sin, otherwise his atonement is incomplete. Calvinism is a flawed system made up by a man and is unbiblical. The only time in the Bible the question "what must I do do be saved" is asked is answered: "believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved." Belief precedes salvation. End of story.

50 posted on 12/25/2003 7:25:06 PM PST by God is good (Till we meet in the golden city of the New Jerusalem, peace to my brothers and sisters.)
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