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Old 12-29-2008, 04:49 AM
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Hello Bill. Welcome to the Boards. A few suggested readings for you:

There is a book written by a U.R.C. ordained gent named Michael Horton. "What's so Amazing about Grace ?"

Next--- Ask your Pastor, or one of the Deacons for a copy of the "3 Forms of Unity".

Get a copy of "The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination" by L. Boettner.

Look for "The Sovereignty of God" by A.W. Pink.

There are sections about Predestination-Sin-Regeneration-Faith (and many other things) in a book titled "Systematic Theology" by Louis Berkhof.

After you have read those and have kept reading your Bible and praying... then put on your seatbelt and Helmet and get a copy of "The Holiness of God" by R.C. Sproul.... { I wanted to hide under the chair after reading about half of that book--- the "World" says "I'm OK-You're OK",,, not according to The Lord God on High! God is Love, but He is also the thrice Holy God!}

... Then, when you get some more $ in your wallet (or break your piggy bank) , get Sproul's book titled: "Saved from What ?"

These will help you to Think and Ponder and Dwell upon the deep things mentioned in Scripture. Just as "Christian" in Bunyan's "Pilgrim's Progress" did when he left The City of Destruction and made his way along the path to "The Celestial City"... The Christian Walk is not easy and there are many things along the way that are beyond our understanding... But, we are told to stay on "The Path"! John 14:6 !
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  #12  
Old 12-29-2008, 09:46 AM
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Well, since we're recommending books on this topic, here's mine:

The Other Side of Calvinism, by Lawrence Vance. Unlike Sproul, Vance is a 100% KJV defender and promoter.

Before I started believing in the final authority of the KJV, I was a strict 5 point calvinist. After dropping my NIV I started to get "on the fence" about Calvinism. After reading this book, I completely dropped all 5 points (even the fifth point is wrong -- I believe in the preservation of the saints by Christ, not the perseverence of the saints).
  #13  
Old 12-29-2008, 09:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Diligent View Post
Well, since we're recommending books on this topic, here's mine:

The Other Side of Calvinism, by Lawrence Vance. Unlike Sproul, Vance is a 100% KJV defender and promoter.

Before I started believing in the final authority of the KJV, I was a strict 5 point calvinist. After dropping my NIV I started to get "on the fence" about Calvinism. After reading this book, I completely dropped all 5 points (even the fifth point is wrong -- I believe in the preservation of the saints by Christ, not the perseverence of the saints).
This would be a great addition to SwordSearcher !
  #14  
Old 12-29-2008, 01:39 PM
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Default Predestination.

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I have been going to a reformed church (United Reformed Church) for less than a year and am a beginner in the Calvinist/Reformed faith. One factor regarding predestination and faith is that God is not governed by time as His creation is and He sees the past, present, and future simultaneously. It seems to me that this is why God can predestine people and His foreknowledge doesn't make people into robots. Does it seem to anyone that the consideration of God's independence from His creation of time reconciles any other conflicts.
We know that God is not governed by time being that He created time for us. God is also the beginning and the end of all life as we know and do not know. You say God does not make people into robots and I agree with you, but answer this simple question please. If God has predestined a man or woman to believe where is the choice in that? Is there any scripture to back this thought up to? I believe that God has never been independent from His creation and has no desire but to have fellowship with His creation. If a man or woman was not predestined then could they ever repent? Does God ever hear their prayer? God does know who will reject Him and who will accept Him but it is us who get to make that choice. I believe that when God speaks of predestination He is speaking of His predestined plan for man to have fellowship with Him. That plan was through Jesus who was predestined, prophesied about since the fall of man.
  #15  
Old 12-29-2008, 03:41 PM
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We know that God is not governed by time being that He created time for us. God is also the beginning and the end of all life as we know and do not know. You say God does not make people into robots and I agree with you, but answer this simple question please. If God has predestined a man or woman to believe where is the choice in that? Is there any scripture to back this thought up to? I believe that God has never been independent from His creation and has no desire but to have fellowship with His creation. If a man or woman was not predestined then could they ever repent? Does God ever hear their prayer? God does know who will reject Him and who will accept Him but it is us who get to make that choice. I believe that when God speaks of predestination He is speaking of His predestined plan for man to have fellowship with Him. That plan was through Jesus who was predestined, prophesied about since the fall of man.
Answer me this question, if those who God doesn't predistinate (by the way God predestines men that He FOREKNEW!) are not called, then what did those that are called "do" to recieve the gift of Salvation and what did those that are not called not "do"? And ultimately wouldn't it be logical to say that God damned the unchosen to Hell even before they were born and before they even commited a sin? Does this make God a respector of persons?

For Jesus' sake,
Stephen
  #16  
Old 12-29-2008, 06:35 PM
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The doctrine of election is pretty straight forward and backed by scripture, so to me that does not make it a doctrine, but simple God's will.

We have to first admit that our understanding of virtually everything is somehow warped and twisted and affected by our own sinful nature. To that end we must rely on scripture.

In Psalms 50:21 ..."thou thoughtest that I was altogether such an one as thyself: "
Isaiah 55:8 "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD."
Isaiah 55:9 "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts."

God has ways and thoughts that are to us incomprehensible, unresolvable, and inscrutable.

Paul points out in Romans 11:33-36 "∂ O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and the knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past tracing out!
Ro*11:34 For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor?
Ro*11:35 or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again?
Ro*11:36 For of him, and through him, and unto him, are all things. To him be the glory for ever. Amen." (all bold emphasis are mine)

How could you think of God as 'unjust' for choosing to save some, because in reality there are none who deserve to be saved?

The doctrine of election is not new to the New Testament, the Old Testament has many examples of God's will to chose. Out of all the people in the world God chose Israel. Out of all the people in the world God chose Abraham and made him the father of a great nation.

Psalms 105: 43 "And he brought forth his people with joy, and his chosen with singing."
Psalms 135:4 "For the LORD hath chosen Jacob unto himself, and Israel for his peculiar treasure."
Deut. 7:6 "For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God: the LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be a peculiar people unto himself, above all peoples that are upon the face of the earth."
Deut. 14:2 "For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God, and the LORD hath chosen thee to be a peculiar people unto himself, above all peoples that are upon the face of the earth."

The same is shown in the New Testament.

Romans 8: "Who shall lay anything to the charge of Godís elect? It is God that justifieth;"
Col. 3:12 "∂ Put on therefore, as Godís elect, holy and beloved, a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering;"
John 15:16 "Ye did not choose me, but I chose you, and appointed you, that ye should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should abide: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you." Jesus said to his deciples. Then prays,
John 17:9 "I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for those whom thou hast given me; for they are thine:"
Acts 13:48 "And as the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of God: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed."
Romans 9:11 "for the children being not yet born, neither having done anything good or bad, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth," almost like Jacob I love, Esau I hated.

There are hundreds more, but am I theologically qualified to argue the point? These are scriptures I read and they are very clear to understand.

By the Grace of God was I chosen before eternity past to have my name written in the book of life. That makes me tremble in awe, and fills me with love to worship Jesus and His Father and even more personally the Holy Spirit in me.

That is not doctrine, that is fact backed by scripture.

Praise His name. Amen.
  #17  
Old 12-29-2008, 08:17 PM
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This thread has very quickly gone from Dan to Beersheba and back again. May I offer a few random observations?

1. The orginal post pointed out a bizarre teaching (or, to be charitable, a bizarre implication) in Calvinist thinking: that one must be regenerated by the Holy Spirit before one can receive Christ. Traditional Anglican (hereafter TA) was absolutely correct in noting this, and noting it with disapproval. It's a rather subtle point: I was a conservative Presbyterian for the first 13 years of my Christian life, and I never heard this stupid idea expressed, even in my training classes as a deacon. (I know the various Presbyterian groups like I know the little corpuscles floating through my bloodstream: as a young man, and a new Christian, I was "present ath the creation" of the Presbyterian Church in America, out of the old PCUS. My former spouse was a graduate of Covenant College, then a Reformed Presbyterian school; her father had attended the Reformed Episcopal school in Philadelphia.) Anyway, I didn't even know of this theological grotequerie until I heard Ruckman discuss it, many years later.

2. If TA says he's not a Five-Point Calvinist, then he simply isn't. To try to pigeonhole his beliefs by examining his denomination (assuming one understands the denomination's positions in the first place) is simply unfair. I'm an independent Baptist: that doesn't mean that I believe in faith-promise giving or Bob Jones University!

3. By virtue of spending quite a few years with the Lord's people, I happen to be personally acquainted with both Lawrence Vance and R.C. Sproul. Vance is a friend, Sproul an acquaintance: I sat down and discussed theology with Sproul when he spoke at my church, back in my Presbyterian days. Sproul is a lovely man, a valiant warrior for God, and utterly unreliable as a theologian (once you get past the fundamentals). Vance's book, recommended by Diligent, is the best I've read on the subject.

4. My grandfather was a Southern Baptist preacher, back in the days when the Southern Baptists were orthodox. He always referred to Presbyterians as "Baptists who've moved to town!" He had a point: saved Baptists and saved Presbyterians (or saved REs) are united by far more than divides them.

5. Did I ever mention that I once had a cat named Elvis?

  #18  
Old 12-29-2008, 08:46 PM
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I am trying really hard to discover why a forum designed and populated by bible believing brothers and sisters is trying so hard to get me to not believe what I read in the very bible they say is Godís providentially appointed Word for the whole world. Something is very wrong.
  #19  
Old 12-29-2008, 08:57 PM
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I am trying really hard to discover why a forum designed and populated by bible believing brothers and sisters is trying so hard to get me to not believe what I read in the very bible they say is Godís providentially appointed Word for the whole world. Something is very wrong.
You mean like this verse?
Revelation 22:17 And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.
Brother, I was a hard-line Calvinist at one point, so I know the logic-box inside-out that traps a believer into the system of Calvinism.

It comes down to understanding predestination. There is predestination, but our choice to believe the Gospel is not what is predestinated by God. I tried to deal with this in this post before.

Bringing this back on topic (hi VR!), the obvious verse is:
Ephesians 1:13 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,

This is another one of those verses that 5-point Calvinism doesn't want you to believe. According to Calvin, Paul got this one backwards. I prefer Paul over Calvin.

Brother Gord, I really do suggest Vance's book. He goes through Calvinism with a fine-tooth comb and if there are any questions you have about the matter that Vance doesn't address, I'd be surprised.

Hope this helps.
  #20  
Old 12-29-2008, 09:11 PM
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...
Brother Gord, I really do suggest Vance's book. He goes through Calvinism with a fine-tooth comb and if there are any questions you have about the matter that Vance doesn't address, I'd be surprised.

Hope this helps.
Ok, thanks, I'll have to wait on the purchase till my wife get's back to work, but I surely will get a copy. In the meantime, prayerful patience for me please.
 

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