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May 17, 2014

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Although my conversion experience aligned well with Calvinistic principles, I soon became heavily influenced by Arminian friends.

Ironically, it wasn't until I heard a Doctor of theology teaching against the Calvinistic doctrine of Limited Atonement that I became a five point Calvinist, right there on the spot.

But as an Arminian, my biggest problem with Calvinism stemmed from a gross misunderstanding of what the doctrines of sin and grace were.

I believe there are many today in like condition that have never heard nor understood these glorious truths.

I have understood these "glorious truths" completely ever since beating myself up as a relatively new Christian and NOT believing in the TULIP. I thought I was the only Christian not to believe in Calvinism. Thank God I didn't get "persuaded". I am a Biblicist--not an Armenian as they have it wrong also. Calvinism has done much to damage the church in my opinion and is getting a renewed stranglehold on many of what used to be Bible-believing churches.

So Tom Price, there are only 3 possibilities as to how people are saved.

1) they save themselves. (Pelagianism)

2) Both God and they cooperate to save them. (Semi-Pelagianism/Arminianism)

3) God alone saves them (Augustinianism/Calvinism).

Take your pick.

Dave--Nowhere in scripture will you find God ever "choosing" someone for salvation. God chooses or elects people "in Christ" meaning that when a person responds to the word of God (their choice) and trusts in Christ, they become chosen "in Christ." "Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." God gives evidence of himself to all mankind. That's why almost everyone everywhere instinctively "knows" there is a God. When they hear the word of God, which is the power of salvation to all who respond, they either respond or they don't. Salvation is all of God in the sense he initiates the general call and the word of God is his, but he gave us a will to choose. That's very clear throughout all of scripture.

Let's say I'm god for a moment and I desire that everyone get $100. The method I choose is to offer the $100 to everyone who will come to my house to get it. Those who won't come won't get $100. I post numerous signs stating my intention. I even put directions up showing the way to my house. Everyone who comes knocking at my door gets $100. The rest don't. Giving the $100 was entirely initiated and planned by me. People had nothing to do with it and wouldn't have ever known about it if I hadn't initiated it. It's a free gift I offer to everyone, but not everyone will get it because not everyone will respond because many will have their reasons. (They don't believe the offer, it isn't enticing enough, it's too far a trip, whatever.)

God says he wants "all men to be saved," and I believe him. I believe in a God that's sovereign enough and in control enough that people's responses won't mess up his ultimate kingdom plan any more than Adam and Eve did.

Re: Tom Price, Your reply places you in the Semi-Pelagian/Arminian category listed as #2 above.

Those who hold this position also believe that Jesus' death on the cross doesn't save anyone. It only makes it possible for them to save themselves by meeting certain conditions. This is also known as salvation by works.

Sorry Dave but it doesn't mean that at all. Again, I know it's a favorite past time to put names on people, but since I DO know that Jesus' death on the cross is what saved me, I obviously am not one of your favorite names. Please don't make any straw men to kick around. That would be like me saying (which is actually what I'm afraid might be the case) that Calvinists, who pridefully think they are "special" enough in God's sight to have been "chosen" for salvation, are actually NOT believing in the God or Jesus of the Bible and therefore will NOT be saved themselves! I love my Lord by choice, not by force.

PS--Calvinists don't believe Jesus' death can save everyone but only those whom God elects. That's the "L". My Bible says Christ died for everyone, not the limited few.

Re: Tom Price, according to your stated position, you had to do something in order for Jesus's atonement to save you. It was laying dormant until you activated it by _______ (fill in the blank).

This is salvation by works.

FAITH. Just like the Bible says.

The Bible (Jesus among others) also says we must repent. So I guess by your definition that's a work also. Guess I "worked" in a lot of ways. I repented (like I was told to do), exhibited faith (as I was instructed to do), believed on the Lord Jesus (which the Bible tells me to do)--why I even cried out to him one Sunday morning to save me. I guess it was all that practice "working" that prepared me to spend a great deal of my time these days "working" in the harvest fields. (Don't know why I do so though if they're already elected one way or the other.) We'll discuss these things further in heaven, assuming I see you there since "few are chosen" and there's no way you can know for sure if you are one of the elect.

Re: Tom Price, Faith is a fruit of the Holy Spirit. So, in order to have faith, the true type of faith that repents of sin, God must first give to you the Holy Spirit. So, faith and repentance are among the characteristics or traits of those whom God saves.

Ga 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,

Also Jo 1:12ff But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

1:13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

When Jesus says, "Whosoever believes will be saved", he is not presenting a hoop for you to jump through in order to save yourself. He is showing how to identify yourself and others as being among his elect. "You will know them by their fruits".

So in essence, you believe and repent because God saves you. It's not the other way around. That is, God doesn't save you because you believe and repent. For spiritually dead sinners cannot believe nor do they want to repent. Only born again, saved sinners, can believe and repent in a true and lasting sense.

Also, to say that you are saved because you chose to believe, is to transfer your God given faith from Him, giving credit to yourself. One should rather say something like, "I awakened to belief in Christ as my Savior and repent daily in thanksgiving".

Dave, I've heard all the Calvinistic scripture twisting and out-of-context exegesis countless times before. I prefer the simplicity of the straight-forward Word of God. Let's not frustrate each other any longer and just leave it at that.

People who argue against Reformed theology often don't understand what TULIP even means. I wasn't raised a Calvinist, I got there by reading the Bible. Arminianism doesn't make sense logically, nor does it square with the whole of Scripture. Calvinism not only makes sense Biblically, but it makes sense logically. It also makes sense practically; life makes much more sense when viewed through a Calvinist lens.

The worst thing we as Calvinists could do is give too much credit to God. I'll take that any time over Arminianism!

OK Tom, Just the Bible as you prefer.

Romans 9 :11ff

11 (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;)

12 It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger.

13 As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.

14 ¶ What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid.

15 For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.

16 So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.

17 For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth.

18 Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth.

19 Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will?

20 Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?

21 Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?

22 What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction:

23 And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory,

24 Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?

You prove my earlier point Dave. Not even one of those references say ANYTHING about picking or choosing specific people for SALVATION--only for the work and purposes of God's plan. Yes, God is Sovereign over his creation. Yes, salvation is all of God. Yes, God gives light to everyone and they choose to respond (obey) or not.

A few of the errors of Calvinism (per scripture)--
God is not willing that any should perish (2 Peter 3:9)
God desires that everybody be saved (1 Timothy 2:4)
Christ made provision for everybody’s salvation (1 Timothy 2:6, 4:10; 1 John 2:2)
God lets us choose whether to believe and be saved or to reject the truth and be eternally lost (Matthew 11:28; John 3:16-18; John 3:36)
The Holy Spirit can be resisted (Acts 7:51)
God’s purpose can be rejected (Luke 7:30)

I firmly believe in Corporate Election--
--God chose Jesus Christ to be the one to suffer for sins (Is 42:1; Mt 3; Mt 17).
--God calls all people into a relationship with Him (Mt 22:8-14), but only some respond by faith, those who do become elect in Him, Christ the Elect One.
--The Bible never mentions God choosing specific individuals to be saved. It does say we are elect IN HIM (Eph 1:4). (In every, or nearly every, case where elect or chosen are used in scripture, it says people are "elect in Him" or "chosen in Him"--not BY Him.
--People are “predestined” to a position as heirs with Christ, not salvation.

I'll always be a Biblicist, not a Calvinist.

Hi Tom, you really haven't helped yourself out by removing individual election from the process since how else would you get a corporate body without individuals comprising that body? The problem with your "Bibilcist"-ism is that it fails to deal honestly with the Bible.

You say the bible never mentions specific individuals to be saved? It mentions the apostles....Jesus kept them all, except that son of perdition...

Jhn 17:12 "While I was with them, I was keeping them in Your name which You have given Me; and I guarded them and not one of them perished but the son of perdition, so that the Scripture would be fulfilled".
Not only were individuals specifically called out for salvation, one was identified as reprobate.

In All Possible Worlds we end up with those very same – necessary – Means and Ends as we find in this World: God, Who is Immutable Love, All-Sufficiency Himself, makes of Himself, is Himself the Means and the Ends. In all Worlds it is the case that such is the state of affairs, the Anselmian Perfect Being ending all conceivable regression. Here we find an incurable line in those who cannot see into the truth of God’s words in Genesis, who cannot see into Eden’s possible Worlds.


A different approach may be helpful here. We would say a scriptural approach, sharing in part some similarity to the link HERE. The non-canonized doctrine of the man that was Calvin disagrees with point four in the opening piece which states, “All who hear the Gospel are summoned by God to repent and to believe….” as Calvinism is quite clear: just because you have heard the News of His Grace “for you” does not mean the evangelist or the speaker was addressing you or speaking about you specifically. Saying "you" is often the saying of an untruth, a lie, in nearly every communicated message of the Gospel. Don't mistake the message of the Gospel as applying to you merely because you heard it or merely because the evangelist addressed it to "you", for in a crowd of thousands of you-s who heard the Gospel that day there were many and varied you-s from whom God withholds – forever – necessary Grace. The Gospel becomes – in this or that ear – a Lie. Sobering. Never canonized, that is Calvinism’s forebodingly dark and weighty error preached to every creature, to every nation, to every You, to Every-Man, to the All-Men of Romans five.

Fortunately scripture houses a very dissimilar descriptive and we declare to Every-Man, to All-Men, the glorious News of Immutable Love's Grace to a World, of those Means and Ends which are – in all possible Worlds - no more and no less than God Himself. "You can freely enter!" finds no syntax which is a Lie, an Untruth, neither in the You nor in the Can nor in the Freely nor in the Enter. Some would even take the line of Grace’s reach to yet further degrees, to yet wider dimensions and declare that All-Men were made by one man unrighteous and now All-Men have been made by One Man righteous, justified before God as a man who awakes to find himself ransomed finds Joy, and finds that the now sighted man's volitional cutting-off is the only means to end such Joy. Such a descriptive would not change the initial truth of the initial syntax, and would simply upsurge the borders of Grace’s reach to that of Romans five.

We can rejoice in His Means, in His Ends, which for Every-Man, for Every-Self is – in all possible Worlds – no less and no more than Love Himself, no less and no more than All-Sufficiency Himself.

All Selves, all You-s, All-Men, all Woman, all Children can be assured that the declaration of Grace's Door into Himself finds no Ear, no Self, no You to whom and for whom that declaration is an Untruth, a Lie. Tell every creature, every man, every woman, every nation of Grace's Means and Grace's Ends – which are Himself – and one will find no ear into which such News of His Door can be found to be an Untruth, a Lie. "You are Grace's beloved, invited into Himself, Himself your Ends, and this by All-Sufficient Means, Himself your Means." That is the state of affairs for all You-s, All-Men, Every-Man. There are no exceptions. The non-canonized doctrine of Calvinism offers a solemn and weighty error which makes of this News of Grace – ultimately – a lie should it be found leveled upon this or that You, this or that Ear, for Love's withholding of Grace from many and various You-s was to Calvin’s thinking the actualized state of affairs. The correction of such waywardness is to simply declare the Truth of Immutable Love's Grace poured into all insufficiency, as that peculiarly wonderful News of Christ's work will forever outshine such an error and all other error besides. Truth and Grace find what cannot be otherwise as Christ, Love's Eternally Sacrificed Self, actualizes to the bitter ends of Time and Physicality.


If you are a You, if you are a Self, if you are a human being, such News of such Means and such Ends applies to you as you are that one whom God calls “My-Beloved”. There is no such entity as a World in which some other Means, some other Ends, short of All-Sufficiency Himself, is found satisfactory or fitting. That is why – in all Worlds - Immutable Love spreads His arms wide and pours Himself out for His Beloved. Within the Triune God such ceaseless reciprocity finds no first, no last, as Love begets Love ad infinitum, though the created order that is Time and Physicality find in Him their First and their Last, their A and their Z. Whether we speak of this World or of some other World the grammar never changes for such are the necessary Means, the necessary Ends. The Anselmian Maximally Great Being – the Necessary Being – necessarily traverses all conceivable actualities.

What does it look like should God be love? Should Immutable Love fill the properties of Time and Physicality to their bitter ends we would find Him in Word’s Corporeal, high on a hill, arms spread wide, pouring Himself out for – and into – such a World, such a Beloved.

You are – we are – that Beloved.

In this World.

It is plausible that there are other Worlds. It is plausible that they will be curiously recognizable to us, for we in this World – it will have been said – Beheld His Face.

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