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June 29, 2009

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As near as i can tell from the scripture God is talking to HIS people..("My sheep"..."The ones whom that Father has given Me"..."The elect" ..etc. If so...then it seems that there is no ambiguity at all....and both His decretive will..AND His soveriegn will are intact.

If God really desired the salvation af "all" (every last human being)...then there is no doubt all would be saved. However the scripture is very clear that not all will be justified before Him. There really is only one alternative. There is no room for either Armianism or Universalism.

Also...the antecedent of "any" (...is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish) ...is "us"....NOT all.) There really appears to be only one alternative...since both univeralism and Arminianism are clearly rejected.

Juxtaposing God's soverignty and our love of "free will" to choose will always haunt our fallen minds until the very day we stand before Him. So will the very idea that One man can pay for the debt of us all. The pride in us from the fall seems to be too overpowering for us to accept that unconditional (from God's standpoint at least) love without the Holy Spirit's strength. Truly "oh wretched man that i am"....


Praise the Lord for grammar! I never SAW that "us" was the antecedent so that the LONG version would be that God isn't willing that any of us, his elect, should perish. That clarifies the issue.
Thank you!

Hi Greg,

There is a problem with your example that God desires all people to remain sexually pure to demonstrate that God desires some things but doesn't secure them. The problem is this: it is possible for someone to remain sexually pure.

However, according to Calvinism, it is SOLELY up to God to regenerate a person, and that person will NEVER desire to be regenerate without God first regenerating him. So it is also SOLELY initiated by God.

Therefore, since God is the sole initiator of regeneration which makes salvation possible (according to Calvinism), it makes no sense for Him to desire the salvation of all when He alone is the only one who can bring to pass His desire.

Perhaps a good (though imperfect) illustration is the following. I have a rock on my sidewalk in front of my house. I can desire that the rock will move off the sidewalk, but it will never do so itself. Only I can move it, so desiring that it move while never intending to move it is rather pointless.

This is why this verse (1 Tim 2:4) is frequently interpreted differently by most Calvinists (including James White, for example). They necessarily conclude that God doesn't desire the salvation of ALL people, but that He must desire it for only some of each KIND of people (some kings, some Ethiopians, some women, some children, some poor beggars, etc.).

Unfortunately for them (and perhaps you agree), this is a poor handling of this scripture. You seem to suggest that He can desire something that only He can fulfill, yet He has no intention of fulfilling this desire for some.

Congratulations on being among the elect! Please have pity on the rest of us that have not been elected.

:(

Incidentally, I think this whole conundrum is caused because of a misinterpretation of Romans 3:9-18, "...there is no one righteous, not even one." This is often interpreted to refer to all people; in fact, it would be considered rank heresy to a Calvinist to think otherwise. However, I contend that this is not the meaning intended by Paul.

Paul is quoting from Psalm 14. If you read that passage carefully, you will observe that those who reject God ("fools," vs 1) are being contrasted with those who do not ("the godly," vs 5-6). It is the fool who rejects God, but the righteous trusts Him. It would be proper to translate this as "all fools" instead of "all people" or "there is no one righteous, not even one of those fools".

In other words, it is by FAITH that we are saved, not by works. The antecedent to God's work in the heart is faith in Him, but the fool refuses to believe.

That comment from Jim is exactly why I combat this unbiblical doctrine of unconditional election.

Yes, God is the only one who can circumcise the heart, but He has promised to do this for all who exercise faith or put their trust in Him. While the grace of God is involved to draw a person to this point, not everyone responds with faith. You have to want out of the cage... and the good news is that you CAN want out of it before you are regenerate. You may be powerless to get out, but that doesn't mean you can't WANT out. And that is good news for folks like Jim.

Nevertheless, God's window of grace is not unlimited. At best, it is limited by our short lifespan, but as we can see by the example of Pharoah, God may close the window on us before our death too. This is where His sovereignty comes into play.

Heb 3:7-8: "So, as the Holy Spirit says: 'Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion, during the time of testing in the desert...'"

>>"...the very idea that One man can pay for the debt of us all"

The very idea. If you owe me money and get your friend to pay I accept. But is your account clear?
No. You owe your friend in some sense or other or he was repaying you for something even if that something is 'just' the love of a friend. But the main thing is your account with me can be cleared by your friend's payment.

So much for material debt. It's not true for a moral debt. If you do wrong, nothing your friend does can clear your balance sheet. No worldly notion of justice admits such a thing. That ultimate justice (were there such a thing) would be different is one of the craziest things about Christianity.

As I see it.
RonH

God "desires" all to be saved, but only "elects" some.

We know that desires can conflict. It sounds like God has an even stronger desire for some to be damned.

Consider some similar statements:

The car dealer: "I desire everyone in town to be driving a car from this dealership."

The landlord: "I desire that the rental prices be affordable to all my tenants."

But perhaps the best parallel:

The wealthy father: "I desire that all of my children have enough to eat."

However, to parallel the fact that only some are elected, we must imagine that, despite this wealthy father's "desire", some of his children starve.


RonH writes: "If you do wrong, nothing your friend does can clear your balance sheet."

Good point, Ron. What you said is true if the friend you speak of is another human like you. Another human like you or I cannot pay our moral fines against God. It is only God Himself who can pay the fine, but in order to do so, He had to stoop down and become a lowly human and become the perfect sacrifice which was predicted in Genesis and by all the animal sacrifices in the OT which could not take away sin.

V11) I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.

V26) But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you.

In the above verses from John 10, Jesus tells the Pharisees that he did not die for them, and this is the reason they do not believe.

Faith is a characteristic of those whom Christ died for, not a condition for the self righteous to meet in order to save themselves.

The problem is this. It is posible for someone to remain sexually pure.>

You are jesting of course? Have you actually considered what sexually (or morally or ethically)..."pure" means in relation to a Holy God?? Will 94% do it?

Time and time again we find that for most Arminains the commandment to "Be ye holy as I am holy"...is actually only a suggestion instead of a command...don't we? I guess that is one reason Arminianism is so insidious. It sounds perfectly rasonable to fallen people.

As for God requiring us to "be" something (holy)....that we cannot possible accomplish in and of ourselves....THAT is exactly what God has said. That is what the "bad" news is all about. Until we get that much straight....we will never ever see much value in God's mercy in sending His Son to GIVE us the required perfection. It would be the anti gospel to to suggest that we can be "pure". We only fool ourselves if we think we can "pull it off"..

Augustine got it right in his famous petition.."Oh God commandest what thy will and grant what thou does command". If God does not command it...it ain't agoin to ever come to pass.

Frank,

You said: "I guess that is one reason Arminianism is so insidious. It sounds perfectly rasonable to fallen people."

Are you saying that those who are non-Calvinists are merely "fallen people"? That the reasoning of non-Calvinists is insidious? This comes across as if you don't believe these people are saved or perhaps that you are a higher level of saved? I think it is unwise to write this way about part of the body of Christ that believes differently than you do.

Ryan, Paul's point in the context of the Romans passage is not about fools versus non-fools. His point is to say that the Jews (who have the prophets and the Law) are no better off than the Gentiles. They did not live up to the Law, even though they had it and knew who God was. From Chapter 3:

What shall we conclude then? Are we [Jews] any better [than the Gentiles]? Not at all! We have already made the charge that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under sin. As it is written: "There is no one righteous, not even one"

He's not just talking about the fools among the Jews. Notice he includes himself in the "we." He's talking about all Jews here (and all Gentiles).

Regardless of Psalm 14, this is the point he's making here--Jews and Gentiles (i.e., all people) are sinners in need of rescue. He's not contrasting fools with non-fools here, he's saying that all fall into the category of those who have rebelled against God.

Does God desire that all be saved?

Summary of the answer: Sort of, but the sense in which God desires that all be saved isn’t efficacious and will be eternally frustrated; he simply isn’t saving the vast majority of people although that is within his ability.

Further Elaboration on the Answer???: If you’re worried that this threatens free will, just read up on soft determinist literature (Hume, Locke, Edwards, etc.) and be sure not to be persuaded by J.P. Moreland, William Lane Craig, Peter van Inwagen, or Timothy O’Connor that libertarian free will exists (that would mean soft determinism is false). Will damnation, pain, suffering, and evil ever be wiped out from the universe, you ask? No. Those things will simply be quarantined by God, and have a future just as long as God’s future. This is just. It will never be true, of course, that everything in existence is reconciled to Christ, that God’s saving and loving rule extends to every corner of reality. But is it really all that counterintuitive that evil would stain reality for eternity?

--zadok

If Calvinism is the obvious reading of Scripture, why have most Christians--in fact, all of them prior to the 16th century--not been Calvinists? Given the perspicuity of Scripture, and given the fact that Calvinists claim that their view is "the Gospel," and given the fact that getting the Gospel right is central to our understanding of Scripture, how does one account for this 1500-year gaping hole in historical theology?

I find the reformed tradition on this issue, at least as presented by Greg here, to be impoverished and depressing. It does not seem to take seriously personal responsibility - our ability to reject and thwart grace (within God's sovereign will) or the reality of human cooperation and consent to grace. Jaroslav Pelikan, witnessing the patristic tradition, suggests that the Annunciation is the supreme model of 'the relation between necessity and free will or between divine sovereignty and human freedom'.

In short, this explanation appears unbiblical and out of step with tradition. No wonder Paul taught that the "pillar and foundation of truth" is the Church (1 Timothy 3:15).

Reply to Cheryl who stated:

FRank, You said: "I guess that is one reason Arminianism is so insidious. It sounds so reasonable to fallen people".

You asked: Are you saying that those who are non Calvinists are merely "fallen people"?

Not sure what direction is headed but ...if you are humnan...you are fallen...and it makes no difference what brand of theology you adhere to.

You asked: That the reasoning of non Calvinists is insideous?

Yes and no. If a non Calvinist (or Mormon, or JW...or any other claiming the name of Christ including "calvinist") trusts in anything found in themselves for salvation...then it doesn't get any more insideous than that. On the other hand..Calvin never saved anybody that I know of.

You stated: This comes across as if you don't believe these people are saved or perhaps you are on a higher level of saved.

I never judge someone's salvation. I DO judge what they claim is the gospel and how it is applied to fallen people.....and yes..believe it or not I have found it is possible to be wrong about this....ultimately VERY wrong. It matters...not just for winning an argument but without a clear understanding of Who God is and who YOU are as one fallen person on this planet....you will never ever truly worship Him as God. You will merely be worshipping a miserable idol of your vain imagination.

There is no "higher" level of salvation as near as I can tell. You either are "in Christ" or you are not. I am not concerned with "rewards" as it is clear that the Judge of all the earth will do right.

I'll bet this sounds pretty arrogant, huh?

For it is evident that God will in truth be “in all” when there shall be no evil in existence, when every created being is at harmony with itself, and every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord; when every creature shall have been made one body. Now the body of Christ, as I have often said, is the whole of humanity (Gregory of Nyssa).

--zadok

Because it took the Catholic Church 1500 years to hi-jack the Gospel to the degree that the corrective measures started by Calvin were necessary in the public square.

The boy with his finger in the dyke is not necessary until there is a hole in it.

Good points from both spectrums. We should bear in mind that, by Grace alone, Through faith alone, In Christ alone -- Christ plus nothing else; is not a Calvinist, nor arminian position. Jesus + Calvinism does not equal salvation, Jesus plus Arminianism does not equal salvation.

And I only say that because it seems like some of the comments here are demonising counter-persective. Until someone claiming to be Christian says something like "Jesus isint Lord", we should reserve such stern-ness.
Careful not to put too much in your theology at the expense of Jesus Christ. But let me be careful, dont take that as me trying to minimize theology.

Ive always said if you want to prove a calvinist wrong, become a Christian. :D

To the non-christian, i mean.

Deuteronomy 30:11 seems to directly contradict Calvinism though, at least for the Jews.

"Now what I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you or beyond your reach." (NIV)

Clarification please?

I want to respond to some of the other comments, but I think I can respond quickly to RyanC's question.

Deut 30:11 assumes Deut 30:6 which says, "Moreover the LORD your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, to love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, so that you may live." But going back a bit further to Deut 10:16 we read, "So circumcise your heart, and stiffen your neck no longer."

My conviction is that we must desire circumcision of heart, but this is a work that only God can do via the Holy Spirit, and it is through this work that walking in God's requirements becomes a labor of love and not a burden or beyond our reach. So even in the law, in Deut, we see that the people had to respond to God's grace (and many of them did not, according to Hebrews), and given our response of Faith, God gives us the grace to fulfill His requirements.

It’s pretty clear from Greg’s treatment of freedom elsewhere that the thinks it is a sufficient condition for being free that one act in accordance with one’s choices. Just listen to his radio show on free will and Calvinism.

So, Greg endorses the following:

SD: If a person acts in accordance with their desires, then that person acts freely.

But SD is false. A person whose desires are manipulated capriciously by an evil demon or a mad scientist may very well act in accordance with those desires, but they are not responsible for those desires and ought not to be blamed for their actions. So, this case refutes SD.

Since SD is false, it is of no use explaining free will and Calvinism.

--zadok

<"now what I am commanding you today is not too difficult or beyond your reach.

Clarification please>

"We can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me" Phil 4:13

Question is...do we believe it?

Francis....

What is the point In your assumption that most were not "Calvinist" before the 16th century? Are we down to counting noses in order to determnine correct doctrine?? If God choses to pass over all those who end up rejecting the gospel....what is that to us?....since not e4ven one of us DESERVES to be saved in the first place. As near as I can tell the Apostle Paul was the first "Calvinist".....As long as Arminians cut out chapter 9 of
Romans they are home free as far as i'm concerned. Proceed at your own risk though.

* * "A person whose desires are manipulated capriciously by an evil demon or a mad scientist may very well act in accordance with those desires, but they are not responsible for those desires and ought not to be blamed for their actions"

You could also ask the question is a person under the spell of hypnosis responsible for the actions performed while under it. Even further, say, you drink a potion that makes you desire A everytime you drink it. Are you absolved of any actions carried out post-potion drinking? I think then, the question then becomes, were you responsible for the authorization of being siezed by an agent. And if so, why arent you responsible for all subsequent actions?

A practical scenario, are drunk drivers responsible for the deaths they cause from drunk driving?
(If we are assuming in your scenario you can be siezed by a demon if you are somehow willing)

Zadok,

I am confused with your hypo, are you saying external coercion, either by a scientist or demon, proves "Calvinism" false?

"A person whose desires are manipulated..... Is he responsible for hbis actions?"


What has that to do with the question at hand?? The ONLY thing "manipulating" most of us is our unwillingness to admit what we already know to be true.

What kind of question is that???? Unless someone forced him to consume the alcohol or drugs against his will...yes of course he is responsible for every last belch and hit and run he commits.

I think the thing that we are missing here is that almost all of us are forgetting that since the fall NO ONE has ever loved God enough to do what is truly righteous. That is why the fall is so serious. Now... We all sin because we WANT to sin. Virtually no one's arm is twisted into doing something that they already do not have a desire to do.

Free will has nothing to do with it. Its our nature (since the fall) to love our sin more than God. that is the problem...and we are helpless to do anything about it unless God does something ...well...gracious for us. WE call it regeneration. After and only after God does that for us can we even begin to truly seek Him. The Calvinist creed.."Regeneration PROCEEDS faith" culls any Arminainism from the get go.

After re-reading zadok's comment, I think I get what you are suggesting.
I dont think it disproves what you may be suggesting it does if i am understanding you correctly.

Lets say, a stranger gives you seven million dollars. You now have *new* desires for things that you could never previously afford. Expensive cars, yachts, etc. Because you are now capable of indulging in these new desires because you have been given the capacity do so, are you not responsible for induling them?

Likewise, If God has now given you new desires that you were previously incapable of indulging, by acting upon them, you are exersizing your *free will* to do so. So free will is not comprimised, in any sense. No more so than free will is comprimized in purchasing two ferraris after recieveing 7 million dollars.

>Ive always said if you want to prove a calvinist wrong, become a Christian. :D

How do you become a Christian?

By confessing Jesus as Lord!

which obviously, involves repentance.

>If Calvinism is the obvious reading of Scripture, why have most Christians--in fact, all of them prior to the 16th century--not been Calvinists? Given the perspicuity of Scripture, and given the fact that Calvinists claim that their view is "the Gospel," and given the fact that getting the Gospel right is central to our understanding of Scripture, how does one account for this 1500-year gaping hole in historical theology?

Posted by: Francis Beckwith | June 29, 2009 at 01:14 PM


>>The Council of Ephesus 431 AD established Augustinianism (re published as Calvinism)as being the true Doctrines of Sin and Grace.

Simply put, if it isn't Augustinian or Calvinistic concerning Sin & Grace, it isn't Christianity.

Total Depravity...Yes i think the fact that regenerated folk now TRY...or WORK out their salvation is not because of a need to please God...but the joy (great or small) that now comes from getting a mere inkling of what it is we have been saved....FROM. (God's wrath).....How can you not love someone who has given you all that have...and even though you have despised the Giver...He STILL has had mercy upon you???? Do calvinists believe in "works"?? You bet they do. Christ's and His alone.

Pro life...You've got it!....but do not expect to be welcomed with open arms into most of what passes for "Christianity"today. Both Catholicism and Arminianism do not want to hear it.....

Pro-Life, dont you mean if it isint Biblical, rather than Augustinian or calvinistic?

I be very hesitant to dismiss the entire bulk of Arminiasm and Catholcism, or any denomination for that matter, but there are Biblical principles regarding the things we are discussing here that are central to the Bible, not a particular theology, per say.

Pro Life, Augustinianism is not Calvinism.

Augustine accepted the deuterocanonical books as part of the Old Testament canon, the deposit of sacred tradition, apostolic succession, the gracious efficacy of the sacraments, the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist, baptismal regeneration, and the infusion of God’s grace for justification.

This is why it is not surprising that the Council of Ephesus, which dealt mostly with the Nestorian heresy, was hardly "Calvinist." In fact, if you read its canons carefully, it is loaded with references to bishops, patriarchs, the pope, Scripture, and holy tradition, and even calls Mary "Mother of God."

Apparently, none of this seemed odd, unbiblical, or non-Christian to any of those who participated in this Ecumenical Council. If Augustine was a sort of proto-Calvinist, why is it that when the present Catholic Catechism discusses justification and grace it quotes promiscuously from Augustine's writings? Are you suggesting that the present Catholic Church is Calvinist? If so, then you have truly stumbled upon a wonderful discovery that could very well lead to ecclesiastical unity.

>Pro-Life, dont you mean if it isint Biblical, rather than Augustinian or calvinistic?

Posted by: Total Depravity | June 29, 2009 at 04:52 PM

>> Is there one cult that doesn't claim they are Biblical?

Concerning salvation, there are only three possible explanations about how we are saved,

1) we save ourselves = our works = our glory

2) we and God work together to save us = our works & God's works = our glory along side of God.

3) God alone saves us = God's Grace alone = God's glory alone.

Pelagianism occupies the first slot (condemned by the Council of Ephesus as heresy).

Arminianism & semi-Pelagianism occupy the second slot.

Augustinianism and Calvinism occupy the third slot. Established as the true doctrines of Sin & Grace at Ephesus in 431.

Only one is true.

Right again pro life. Again the one main reason folks hesitate to embrace calvinism is because it suggests that salvation "Is of the Lord"

As Dr Sproul has said... Almost everyone who thinks they are Christian believes that God is soveriegn...but when you flesh out the true ramifications of a soveriegn holy God(at least the One of Holy scripture)...Catholocism and Arminianism will always seem "kinder and gentler" to the fallen race.

Just curious, but besides establishing a theological doctrine, does it serve any purpose to be a Calvinist or an Arminian? I mean, does either view really effect how we live as Christians and how we approach our Almighty God? Just some questions I've been throwing around in my head for a while.

As to the point of men being free and unencumbered from any influence to really be responsible for their own decisions, I would like to remind everyone that the biblical position is that there are two types of people, those who are slaves to the flesh, and those who are slaves to the spirit. No man is free to think for himself unencumbered.


Francis is playing a little slight of hand when it comes to Augustine. Pro Life is right that Augustinianism is Calvinism when it comes to soteriology, it is in the modern term *monergism*, set up and against synergism. Calvinists hold to a monergistic justification, and a synergistic sanctification.

For Ryan C, here is a mockery of an Arminian prayer by Charles Spurgeon for you that'll set the differences of how one approaches God--by a monergistic view or synergistic view.

“Lord, I thank thee I am not like those poor presumptuous Calvinists Lord, I was born with a glorious free-will; I was born with power by which I can turn to thee of myself; I have improved my grace. If everybody had done the same with their grace that I have, they might all have been saved. Lord, I know thou dost not make us willing if we are not willing ourselves. Thou givest grace to everybody; some do not improve it, but I do. There are many that will go to hell as much bought with the blood of Christ as I was; they had as much of the Holy Ghost given to them; they had as good a chance, and were as much blessed as I am. It was not thy grace that made us to differ; I know it did a great deal, still I turned the point; I made use of what was given me, and others did not-that is the difference between me and them.”

[From Charles Spurgeon's sermon "Free Will-A Slave"]

So, Ryan C, is it by grace alone through faith alone? Or not?


Francis, your choice of the word "promisuously" seems errant, wouldn't maybe "prodigiously" fit what you intended? At any rate, the Catholic Catechism that quotes from Ausgustine is the problem, not Augustines doctrines. Augustinianism as scheme pitted against Pelagianism, or even Semi Pelagianism is at serious theological odds, and the Roman church has been up to a lot of wordsmithing in the catechism--in my opinion. If the Roman Church would indeed truly commit to Augustine's soteriology[monergistic regeneration], we would indeed have cause for unity. And that would be a great day.

>How do you become a Christian?

Posted by: Pro Life | June 29, 2009 at 03:52 PM

By confessing Jesus as Lord!

Posted by: Total Depravity | June 29, 2009 at 04:14 PM

which obviously, involves repentance.

Posted by: Total Depravity | June 29, 2009 at 04:14 PM

>>How do works and repentance differ. If repentance means to stop doing the wrong things and start doing the right things?

Isn't this salvation by works?

Apparently there has been some confusion about my refutation of Greg’s way of “solving” the free will/Calvinism problem. Greg endorsed the following:

SD: If a person acts in accordance with her desires/choices, then that person acts freely.

Notice this is a conditional, in the form of “If p, then q.” To refute a conditional like this, we only have to come up with a case where p holds and q does not. So, can we come up with a case where a person acts in accordance with her desires, but nevertheless does not act freely? Yes. Someone whose choices/desires are wholly manipulated by an evil demon may nevertheless act in accordance with those choices (on the condition that they are not externally constrained). According to SD above, that person would therefore be acting freely. But that is false. The person is not acting freely. So, SD is false.

--zadok

If thats the way you see it, Zadok, in either case your desires are being manipulated. You cant get around it. And then, we have an entirely different genre of free-will.

Pro-Life, absolutely not. By confessing Jesus as Lord, and confessing your sin to Him, you are simply ackowledging what the Bible has allready demonstrated for us. Essentially, putting your trust in Him and receiving his gift of salvation. Apart from a God-given change of heart, you are ultimately powerless to change your behavior, but that does not impede you from repenting to Him on day 1.

Brad, the Council of Orange, which condemned Pelagianism, was not merely about what gets you into heaven. It also dealt with what gets heaven into you, which was the understanding of justification until the Reformation. This is why you cannot make Augustine into a Calvinist, even in terms of soteriology.

Take for example, the Canons of the Council of Orange (AD 529), which, with papal sanction, rejected as heretical Pelagianism and semi-Pelagianism. Having its origin in the Catholic monk Pelagius (ca. 354–ca. 420/440), the first heresy affirms that human beings do not inherit Adam’s sin (and thus denies the doctrine of original sin) and by their free will may achieve salvation without God’s grace. On the other hand, semi-Pelagianism maintains that a human being, though weakened by original sin, may make the initial act of will toward achieving salvation prior to receiving the necessary assistance of God’s grace. The Council of Orange, in contrast, argued that Adam’s original sin is inherited by his progeny and can be removed only by the sacrament of Baptism.

By the means of Baptism God’s unmerited grace is infused for the remission of sins. Then the Christian’s sanctification continues throughout his lifetime, entirely the work of the infusion of grace with which the Christian cooperates, for the Christian “does nothing good for which God is not responsible, so as to let him do it.” Even though Protestant thinkers sometimes portray the Council of Orange’s canons as a sort of paleo-Reformed document, it is the Reformation notion of imputed righteousness that, ironically, puts the Reformers partially in the Pelagian camp. This is because the Reformers and Pelagians agree that God’s infused grace is not necessary for justification.

In order for Augustine to have been a Calvinist concerning soteriology he would have had to reject the very basis by which he argued against the Pelagians and semi-Pelagians.

TD> Apart from a God-given change of heart, you are ultimately powerless to change your behavior,

>>This is true but goes even deeper. Apart from regeneration (spiritual life) we cannot believe in Christ in the saving sense.

Jesus says "whosoever believes will be saved"

Most see belief as a condition they must meet in order to save themselves.

It should however be understood as being a fruit of the spirit and evidence God has saved you through regeneration, which precedes faith.

Are you saved because you believe, or do you believe because you are saved?

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