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Arminianism -- False Doctrines of the "Pope" of Modern Pelagianism
Response to: Calvinism- False Doctrines of the "Pope" of Geneva ^ | August 13, 2003 | OP

Posted on 08/13/2003 6:04:31 PM PDT by OrthodoxPresbyterian

Arminianism -- False Doctrines of the "Pope" of Modern Pelagianism

Introduction: the Anti-Predestinarian Syllogism

In debates between Reformation Protestants and Arminian neo-Protestants, it is common for Arminians to invoke a peculiar and logically-fallacious syllogism in an effort to deflect attention from the evidentiary insurmountability of the Biblical Case for Reformation Protestantism. This syllogism is constructed in the form of a classic ad hominem Guilt-by-Association argument, according to the following general Form:

Needless to say, it makes little impression upon the Arminian neo-Protestant that the Doctrines of Absolute Predestination were believed by Godly Christians for centuries before Calvin (i.e., 10th-15th Century Waldensian CredoBaptists, the 6th-9th Century Presbyters of Iona, the 4th-10th Century Ambrosian Catholics, Saint Augustine, the Apostles, Jesus Christ Himself, etc). What matters is the argumentative usefulness of being able to lay this charge to the particular account of John Calvin, and thus evade the theological defeat of the UnBiblical Arminian systematic heresy by re-framing the debate as a mud-throwing competition directed against one particular Reformer.

Now, before we proceed, we should observe: the Arminian neo-Protestant assertions against Calvin are not borne out by the Facts of History in the first place.

Uncomfortable Facts about Michael Servetus

Michael Servetus was:

In point of History, Michael Servetus was executed as a matter of State Punishment, as sentenced by the Civil Council of Geneva – which itself was controlled at the time by Calvin’s political enemies, the Libertines. In fact, as the Libertine Party itself rejected Calvin’s doctrine of Predestination, it is more historically accurate to say that Servetus was killed by the Anti-Predestinarian “protestants”, than to attribute the deed to Calvin (who at any rate pleaded for a more merciful execution “by the Sword”, rather than the slow burning-to-death on which the vicious Anti-Predestinarians insisted).

Be that as it may, however, it needs be asked – if it is appropriate for Arminian neo-Protestants to employ such a Syllogism against the Reformer John Calvin, is it not equally appropriate to measure by the same standard the heretical Schismatic who, perhaps more than any other single man, was fundamentally responsible for sundering the Godly unity of Reformation Protestantism into a thousand confused and competing sects – James Arminius? To that Question we now turn:

Arminius – his teachings on Politics, Religion, and the Sword of the State

Phew.... Thank God that America was founded primarily by convinced Calvinists, and not Arminians. Moving along, though, let us now apply the Arminian's Favorite Syllogism -- to Arminius himself.

Arminius at the Bar of the Arminian Syllogism:

Hmmmm. Howzabout that.


TOPICS: Apologetics; Ecumenism; Evangelical Christian; General Discusssion; History; Mainline Protestant; Theology
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Now, we can either discuss the actual Teachings of the Bible (in which case, the Arminians will lose); or, if the Arminians prefer (as they usually do), we can debate the persons of John Calvin and James Arminius.

In which case, they will also lose.

1 posted on 08/13/2003 6:04:31 PM PDT by OrthodoxPresbyterian
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To: RnMomof7; CCWoody; Jean Chauvin; Biblical Calvinist; Dr. Eckleburg
RnMomof7 requested in FReepMail that I write up a short response to those Arminians who continue to insist of exchanging discussions of Christian Theology, for their favorite ad hominem guilt by association smears.

So, I wrote up a short response.

2 posted on 08/13/2003 6:06:49 PM PDT by OrthodoxPresbyterian (We are Unworthy Servants; We have only done Our Duty)
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To: OrthodoxPresbyterian
Bravo, bravo!!
3 posted on 08/13/2003 8:03:48 PM PDT by irishtenor (I AM in shape, round is a shape, ya know.)
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To: irishtenor
Bump for later read
4 posted on 08/13/2003 8:22:04 PM PDT by Gamecock (L=John 6:35-40, Rom 8:32-34, Heb 9:15)
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To: OrthodoxPresbyterian
Well stated... and with the trademark OP sense of humor.

I will both bookmark this and save it.

Never can tell when the Calvin haters will start a flame war to try to get a thread pulled that debunks their favorite method of avoiding the content of Calvin's teaching.

5 posted on 08/13/2003 8:31:51 PM PDT by drstevej
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To: P-Marlowe
Servetus Charbroil Ping
6 posted on 08/13/2003 8:40:14 PM PDT by drstevej
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To: OrthodoxPresbyterian
Hmmmm. Howzabout that. ~ OP Woody.

P.S. This toast is for you: May our beer not run out, nor our marshmallows, until Arminius is finished burning!
7 posted on 08/13/2003 8:53:25 PM PDT by CCWoody (Recognize that all true Christians will be Calvinists in glory,...)
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To: drstevej
Well stated....

That's not yours to judge. I appreciate your kind sentiments, but this is a Thread about Religion, and you're just an ordained Baptist minister, after all. Haven't you heard:

Now, perhaps if you were someone more qualified to rule over affairs of Religion -- say, a Politician, for example -- I might be able to accept your compliment. But as it is....

Sorry, Steve. No offense.

8 posted on 08/13/2003 8:54:41 PM PDT by OrthodoxPresbyterian (We are Unworthy Servants; We have only done Our Duty)
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To: OrthodoxPresbyterian
Actually, I am an ordained non-denominational minster.

***Now, perhaps if you were someone more qualified to rule over affairs of Religion -- say, a Politician, for example -- I might be able to accept your compliment. But as it is....***

Hillary & Arminius in 2008
9 posted on 08/13/2003 8:59:04 PM PDT by drstevej
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To: CCWoody
P.S. This toast is for you: May our beer not run out, nor our marshmallows, until Arminius is finished burning!

Shhh.... keep this next one just between us...

After all, we Calvinists must always remember to be charitable enough to admit our opponent's worthwhile qualities. So, in fairness to James Arminius, it behooves us to admit -- though his Politics were virtually Stalinist, he did at least have excellent taste in Literature.


10 posted on 08/13/2003 9:07:42 PM PDT by OrthodoxPresbyterian (We are Unworthy Servants; We have only done Our Duty)
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To: OrthodoxPresbyterian
Shhh.... keep this next one just between us... ~ OP Woody.
11 posted on 08/13/2003 9:17:32 PM PDT by CCWoody (Recognize that all true Christians will be Calvinists in glory,...)
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To: OrthodoxPresbyterian
Why don't you ping to the "dark" side :>) (That's a grin, guys)
12 posted on 08/13/2003 9:18:44 PM PDT by irishtenor (I AM in shape, round is a shape, ya know.)
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To: drstevej; CCWoody; jude24; RnMomof7
Actually, I am an ordained non-denominational minster.

Sorry, my bad... rather than Baptist, though, I could have said "credobaptist" minister. That works, right?

Now, perhaps if you were someone more qualified to rule over affairs of Religion -- say, a Politician, for example...
Hillary & Arminius in 2008

LOL. Yes, quite. She is Liberal-Methodist, after all. ;-)

13 posted on 08/13/2003 9:25:10 PM PDT by OrthodoxPresbyterian (We are Unworthy Servants; We have only done Our Duty)
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To: irishtenor; CCWoody
Why don't you ping to the "dark" side :>) (That's a grin, guys) 12 posted on 08/13/2003 9:18 PM PDT by irishtenor

They're currently fuming over the loss of their favorite argument. Trust me... if they had something to say, they'd speak up.

They'll be here soon enough... but give 'em a moment to recuperate. Read what Arminius wrote. Just read it. If you had to jump on a thread and defend that, wouldn't you take a couple of your "Time-Outs" before the next huddle?

14 posted on 08/13/2003 9:29:41 PM PDT by OrthodoxPresbyterian (We are Unworthy Servants; We have only done Our Duty)
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To: OrthodoxPresbyterian
SPOTREP - read later - Calvinism
15 posted on 08/13/2003 9:40:35 PM PDT by LiteKeeper
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To: OrthodoxPresbyterian
Huddle up, guys... Ok, the end around didn't work. What else can we do. What? I know the only thing we have left is a 'Hail Mary', but we can't use that... :>) (Just helping them with their arguements)
16 posted on 08/13/2003 10:24:25 PM PDT by irishtenor (I AM in shape, round is a shape, ya know.)
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To: OrthodoxPresbyterian
Bookmarking it before I even read it.

How's that for a compliment?

17 posted on 08/13/2003 10:41:00 PM PDT by Dr. Eckleburg (There are very few shades of gray.)
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To: Dr. Eckleburg
Bookmarking it before I even read it. How's that for a compliment?

Probably well beyond my worth...
But, I'd say that this is one of my better short pieces.

Purely Apologetic, and distracting me from the larger Theological pieces which still I need to write (condensation of amillenial readings of Revelation of John, and Double-Predestinarian analyses of the Council of Orange, here I come!! eventually...)...

...however, it needed to be said at the moment. ;-)

best, op

18 posted on 08/13/2003 11:06:10 PM PDT by OrthodoxPresbyterian (We are Unworthy Servants; We have only done Our Duty)
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To: OrthodoxPresbyterian
Will you tackle the Institutes? This was quite enlightening and informative.
19 posted on 08/13/2003 11:11:45 PM PDT by CARepubGal
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To: LiteKeeper
Anyone interested in pursuing the starting of a Reformed Episcopal Church, go to my web site for additional information

My youngest brother is Reformed Episcopalian.

We Calvinist Presbyterians, as you know, build most of our bridges with Calvinist Baptists. It's a good and healthy alliance; we're probably the closest of the Reformed Communions.

But I do wish there were more Reformed Episcopalians running around. We Calvinist Presbyterians and Calvinist Baptists get along fairly well, and I don't think that either of our denominations is likely to adopt the aristocratic ecclesiology of Bishops and Episcopacy -- but as a Publik-Skooled Kid, I cannot deny that I envy my younger brother his study of Latin and Greek and Logic and Rhetoric, as required courses in his Reformed Episcopalian Academy. It's almost like what Christian Academy was meant to be... aside from the rest of the Episcopal Church.

Pity there's so few of you. God bless....

best, op

20 posted on 08/13/2003 11:19:51 PM PDT by OrthodoxPresbyterian (We are Unworthy Servants; We have only done Our Duty)
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To: CARepubGal; Dr. Eckleburg
Will you tackle the Institutes? This was quite enlightening and informative. 19 posted on 08/13/2003 11:11 PM PDT by CARepubGal

Thank you... but NO.

I can, if I have great time to spare, tackle the Institutes one chapter at a time -- if that. But not all at once. Not even one Book out of Four at once.

Remember what the Institutes are: a thousand-page version of the Apostle's Creed. That's really all that John Calvin wrote.

God the Father, God the Son, God the Spirit, and the Holy Catholic Church. That's the entire schematic of the Institutes, Books I through IV. That's all Calvin ever intended to do... The Institutes are nothing more (nor less) than a comprehensively holistic commentary on every possible aspect of the Apostle's Creed. Virtually every possible Scripture, and virtually every possible logical Argument, related to the Apostle's Creed is included therein. But since the whole of Scripture concerns the Father, the Son, the Spirit, and the Holy Catholic Church -- analyzing the Institutes amounts to a cross-referenced analysis of the entire Bible, all at once.

I think I am just about ready to take on a single book of Scripture -- the much-misunderstood Revelation of John. But take on the Institutes?? I might as well write a commentary on the Whole Bible. (don't tempt me...)

For the Institutes, being nothing more nor less than a thousand-page version of the Apostle's Creed, is already very nearly that, as it is. Maybe if I had a couple of days to spare, at least (grin).

best, op

21 posted on 08/13/2003 11:48:29 PM PDT by OrthodoxPresbyterian (We are Unworthy Servants; We have only done Our Duty)
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To: OrthodoxPresbyterian; Cvengr; A.J.Armitage; dsc; connectthedots; lockeliberty; Wrigley; Law; ...
Servetus-shishkabob Bump.
22 posted on 08/14/2003 12:15:29 AM PDT by Dr. Eckleburg (There are very few shades of gray.)
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To: OrthodoxPresbyterian
OP, thank you! Work has prevented me from tackling some of the more egregious piffle that has been thrown about in the last week, but I will be addressing it. This is a great help!
23 posted on 08/14/2003 3:01:34 AM PDT by nobdysfool (Let God be true, and every man a liar...)
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To: OrthodoxPresbyterian
I do like the term credobaptist for the reasons you mention.
24 posted on 08/14/2003 4:44:02 AM PDT by drstevej
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To: OrthodoxPresbyterian
I find your 3 assertion argument a bit humerous. (referencing the first 'syllogism')

Leave it to a Calvinist to imply such an argument from past threads.

The Calvinist viewpoint seems to make themselves victims of such assumed implications.
25 posted on 08/14/2003 6:28:08 AM PDT by Cvengr
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To: OrthodoxPresbyterian; drstevej; RnMomof7; CCWoody; Jean Chauvin; Biblical Calvinist; ...
Ergo, John Calvin was not Christian; therefore his doctrines were not Christian; therefore his doctrines must be rejected.

For the record, y'all know I don't play over here much anymore, but if some Arminians are really saying that Calvin wasn't a Christian because of the Servetus incident, then they're just being goofy.

Admittedly, at first reading the Servetus story sounds like a "gotcha" for Calvin. But that's wishful thinking on the part of some Arminians.

Calvin's actions regarding Servetus, whether right or wrong, have no bearing on the rightness or wrongness of his theology. The only perfect "theologian" (if you can really call Him that) was Christ. Every other one has/had human failings.

And that's all I've got to say about that.

26 posted on 08/14/2003 6:45:36 AM PDT by Corin Stormhands (HHD)
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To: OrthodoxPresbyterian
We Calvinist Presbyterians, as you know, build most of our bridges with Calvinist Baptists.

Don't they make a lot of noise when you pound the nails in, though?

27 posted on 08/14/2003 6:46:48 AM PDT by Alex Murphy (Athanasius contra mundum!)
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To: P-Marlowe; Corin Stormhands
***For the record, y'all know I don't play over here much anymore, but if some Arminians are really saying that Calvin wasn't a Christian because of the Servetus incident, then they're just being goofy.***

Ping to Marlowe
28 posted on 08/14/2003 7:01:43 AM PDT by drstevej
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To: Corin Stormhands
Calvin's actions regarding Servetus, whether right or wrong, have no bearing on the rightness or wrongness of his theology. The only perfect "theologian" (if you can really call Him that) was Christ. Every other one has/had human failings.

Nicely said, Corin!

29 posted on 08/14/2003 7:16:49 AM PDT by Alex Murphy (Athanasius contra mundum!)
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To: drstevej
Ping to Marlowe

Why are you pinging me here? You know you often accuse me of "playing to the Jury" but this little screed by OP is essentially nonsense (accusing Arminius of advocating murder) and nothing more than a silly attempt to " play to the jury", only in this case the jury seems to be absent.

Let us remember that Calvin stated that he was responsible for the "extermination of Michael Servetus". He even wrote an apologetic for the execution of heretics. Arminius' postion as stated by OP merely recognizes that the power granted to the State is ordained of God and the ruler (no matter how much of a despot he is) is instrument of God's judgement.

Now while that teaching is clearly consistent with Romans 13, there is a problem that both Arminius and Calvin both shared. They saw the State as an instrument for cleansing and purifying the church, and failed to recognize that the State is almost universally an instrument of corruption and greed by those who seek temporal power.

Utilizing Calvin and Arminius' views and reverting them back to the first 3 Centuries after Christ, the persecution of the early Christians is at least as equally justified under this premise as the burning of Michael Servetus. Since the Christian Church was in essence in active rebellion against the power of the State, it can be argued that the Christian Church itself was in a similar state of Apostacy and heresy and insurrection as Servetus was when he fell into the hands of Calvin and his City Government. So by that reasoning the persecution of the Church by the Ceasers was nothing less than God himself ridding the Christian Church of evildoers, heretics and insurrectionists.

IMHO both Arminius and Calvin were corrupted by the power that flowed from the illicit and adulterous marriage between the Church and the State. The Church (the true church) is the bride of Christ. The false Church is the bride of the power of the State.

30 posted on 08/14/2003 7:25:38 AM PDT by P-Marlowe (Milquetoast Q. Whitebread is alive!)
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To: OrthodoxPresbyterian; LiteKeeper; bonfire; Jerry_M; the_doc
Pity there's so few of you. God bless.... ~ OP Woody.

P.S. "J", have you been looking through that 1662 prayerbook link I sent you? The 39 Articles in the back used to be what all us Episcopalians were all about.
31 posted on 08/14/2003 7:38:05 AM PDT by CCWoody (Recognize that all true Christians will be Calvinists in glory,...)
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To: CCWoody
Here is a link to the The History & Founding Principles of the Reformed Episcopal Church to include an explanation of the Declaration of Principles.

The Mission & Foundational Beliefs of the Reformed Episcopal Church which includes the Declaration of Principles and the 39 Articles. I think you will find this enlightening.

32 posted on 08/14/2003 7:51:24 AM PDT by LiteKeeper
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To: Corin Stormhands
I agree with Corin.

As usual. :>)

33 posted on 08/14/2003 7:55:50 AM PDT by xzins
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To: Corin Stormhands
I agree with Corin.

As usual. :>)

34 posted on 08/14/2003 7:56:09 AM PDT by xzins
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To: xzins
Double blessing? Second work of agreement?
35 posted on 08/14/2003 8:07:07 AM PDT by Corin Stormhands (HHD)
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To: Corin Stormhands
Well, I'm on a different computer at my daughter's place in New Jersey.

It isn't at all the same

36 posted on 08/14/2003 8:08:52 AM PDT by xzins
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To: Corin Stormhands
Calvin's actions regarding Servetus, whether right or wrong, have no bearing on the rightness or wrongness of his theology.

To hear amny Calvinists speak, this comment would be hard to surmise. Why is it so difficult for Calvinists to comsider the real possibility that Calvin's theology contains errors? Once again, I am not an Arminian; I'm just a mere Christian.

The only perfect "theologian" (if you can really call Him that) was Christ. Every other one has/had human failings.

Calvin's personal failings are quite well known. Would you please identify a few of his theological 'failings'? Surely you must know of some aspect of his teaching with which you disagree; of is his theology 'perfect'?

37 posted on 08/14/2003 8:26:26 AM PDT by connectthedots
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To: OrthodoxPresbyterian
Good response, thanks for taking the time to defend the faith once delivered to the saints. Soli Deo Gloria!
38 posted on 08/14/2003 8:26:46 AM PDT by AZhardliner (Presbyterian Pastor (PCA))
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To: P-Marlowe
IMHO both Arminius and Calvin were corrupted by the power that flowed from the illicit and adulterous marriage between the Church and the State. The Church (the true church) is the bride of Christ. The false Church is the bride of the power of the State.

Well stated.

39 posted on 08/14/2003 8:27:44 AM PDT by connectthedots
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To: connectthedots
***Why is it so difficult for Calvinists to comsider the real possibility that Calvin's theology contains errors? ***

CTD, this is a ludicrous statement. I disagree with Calvin on many points. I know of no Calvinist, including Calvin, who view his views as without error.

Leave your hatred behind.
40 posted on 08/14/2003 8:33:25 AM PDT by drstevej
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To: connectthedots; xzins; drstevej
Surely you must know of some aspect of his teaching with which you disagree; of is his theology 'perfect'?

Well, of course as a Wesleyan, I disagree with some aspects of Calvin's teaching.

However, that was not the point of my post. Nor will I be drawn back into the debate.

41 posted on 08/14/2003 8:37:53 AM PDT by Corin Stormhands (HHD)
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To: Corin Stormhands
Let's say something really outrageous like, "God's in control and prayer changes things!"
42 posted on 08/14/2003 8:43:41 AM PDT by xzins
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To: xzins
"Every time I think you're out, they pull you back in." 8~)
43 posted on 08/14/2003 9:07:06 AM PDT by Dr. Eckleburg (There are very few shades of gray.)
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To: drstevej
CTD, this is a ludicrous statement. I disagree with Calvin on many points. I know of no Calvinist, including Calvin, who view his views as without error.

I was not referring to you (I've read your church's doctinal statement and found little with which to disagree), but one could hardly dispute the fact that there are those who accept everything Calvin says strictly on faith; i.e., if Calvin said it, it must be true.

Leave your hatred behind.

I don't hate Calvin or Calvinism. I simply think 'Total Depravity' and 'Unconditional Election' as propounded by many Calvinists is not Biblical. I have noted that Calvin was not at the Synod of Dort (he had been dead for many years when that meeting was conducted), so it would not be fair to credit/blame Calvin for its results. I have also stated that many Calvinists seem to have 'out Calvined' Calvin. How is recognizing that some Calvinists have misinterpreted or misconstrued some of Calvin's writing 'hatred'. If anything, it is offering a bit of a defense for Calvin the person and some of his writings.

While I may disagree with Calvin on predestination, and especially unconditional election, at least Calvin admitted that he was troubled by his conclusions concerning predestination as it applies to the eternal salvation or condemnation of individuals. It seems to me that Calvin was not so sure opf himself. How is this exprseeing a 'hatred' for Calvinism?

44 posted on 08/14/2003 9:09:24 AM PDT by connectthedots
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To: OrthodoxPresbyterian
In debates between Reformation Protestants and Arminian neo-Protestants, it is common for Arminians to invoke a peculiar and logically-fallacious syllogism in an effort to deflect attention from the evidentiary insurmountability of the Biblical Case for Reformation Protestantism.

Huh? My head is still spinning.
45 posted on 08/14/2003 9:12:12 AM PDT by Conservative til I die (They say anti-Catholicism is the thinking man's anti-Semitism; that's an insult to thinking men)
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To: Dr. Eckleburg
I am one of the unfettered in terms of the world, but a bondservant of our Lord Jesus Christ.

No allegiance to either Calv/Arm camp BECAUSE I'm not satisfied with either answer at this point.


46 posted on 08/14/2003 9:14:44 AM PDT by xzins
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To: Dr. Eckleburg
Besides, what about "God's in control and prayer changes things" is anything you'd disagree with? It was a humorous aside to Corin.
47 posted on 08/14/2003 9:47:07 AM PDT by xzins
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To: Conservative til I die
It's a good thing one doesn't have to accept or understand Calvinism, or Arminianism to be saved. If so, Heaven would be a fairly lonely place. The Gospel message is really pretty simple; so simple even a child can understand it.
48 posted on 08/14/2003 10:33:06 AM PDT by connectthedots
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To: connectthedots
That's the truest thing you've said in this entire discussion.

A Calvinist would simply add that if one possesses a true and abiding faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior it is because God graced that person with the gift of faith.

All glory to God.

49 posted on 08/14/2003 10:42:53 AM PDT by Dr. Eckleburg (There are very few shades of gray.)
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To: xzins
I thought my "Godfather" reply was "humorous," too. It must be the sun. I'll do better.

The internet is so amazing. Every day I get lost in its vast accessability.

A wonderful site I came across this morning is...

http://www.bloomingtonrpchurch.org/refdocpre/index.html

Listed on the church's website is Boettner's "Reformed Doctrine of Predestination" broken down into chapters.

It makes for wonderful reading; very clarifying and edifying on a hot summer afternoon.

After all, what is there to do in New Jersey but wish you were back home?
50 posted on 08/14/2003 10:54:06 AM PDT by Dr. Eckleburg (There are very few shades of gray.)
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