22

First of all, Calvinists do believe in free will. This point is often mis-understood by non-Calvinists; but the position that men don't actually have free will and control over their own choices is not Calvinism but hyper-Calvinism -- a deterministic view that goes far beyond that of it's namesake Calvin and the general constituency. With that out of the ...


19

I think the issue here is that you are trying to examine one point of doctrine outside of the context of the whole system of doctrines that it fits into. If you take the Calvinistic doctrine of predestination by itself and tack it on to a generic pseudo-protestant view of salvation, you'll end up with a problem such as the one you describe. God becomes ...


17

Calvinists indeed believe they can only make educated guesses about others; if someone you thought was saved falls away, the conclusion is they were never actually saved. But Calvinism teaches that "infallible assurance of faith" is available to believers about themselves. The Grounds of Assurance The Westminster Confession of Faith says in chapter 18: ...


16

Historically, Baptists drew from both the Calvinist (Predestination) and Arminian (Free Will) soteriologies. Early Baptists were first and foremost dissenters - people who disliked the establishment churches of England and Virginia. What drew them together was not soteriology but rather a disdain for establishment church. The Puritans in particular (one ...


16

Because he wants to, and certainly not because of anything they've done or will do. One of the central tenants of this concept for Calvinists is that it's not what you do (or have done, or even will do) that merits you salvation. It is wholly and completely the grace of God, not just that you were chosen, but that you were then called, and then compelled to ...


15

Note that this response has been divided into two parts: the first is the original response, and the second tries to elaborate based on a comment from the OP. Part 1 Great question. This response includes a very brief description of some of the basic points of predestination/election, and some references with in-depth, historic information. Here are a few ...


14

The point of the illustration is to reconcile God's sovereignty in salvation with man's free will to choose salvation. I believe it originated from H.A. Ironside: It has been pictured in this way. Here is a vast host of people hurrying down the broad road with their minds fixed upon their sins, and one stands calling attention to yonder door, the ...


13

Without any question any person who never believes in predestination can still be considered a saved and regenerate predestined Christian by a Calvinist. All that is required to be considered 'predestined' in the eyes of men, is that a person believes in Christ for the forgiveness of their sins. Anyone who truly 'confesses Christ' in this sense will be ...


13

Yes, absolutely. This is a common point of confusion for people who haven't been exposed to much Reformed theology, so let me try to state this briefly and directly. The Calvinistic doctrine of Predestination fits into a larger framework of doctrines, all built on scripture and playing off of each-other. If you try to transplant the doctrines like pieces ...


13

Summary: Calvinists interpret these passages as referring to God's righteousness and justice — that he is a fair judge, consistently judging sin as wrong, whether committed by rich or poor, strong or weak, native or foreigner. They do not indicate that God's gracious gifts – wealth, strength, and even salvation – are distributed equally to all. Calvinists ...


12

"Predestination" It is not that Arminians argue "against" predestination - that would be silly, since the term comes from Scripture; Arminians would have to cross out a whole bunch of verses in their Bibles if that were the case. Clearly "predestination" is a reality. The question is, what does that mean, and how does that work? In general, Calvinists ...


12

The Church excuses them from voting out of concern for the Cardinals themselves. Selecting the Supreme Pontiff can be a great burden of responsibility, and especially so when one is advanced in age. These Cardinals instead take the role of supporting the electors by helping to lead the People of God in prayer during the election. From Pope John Paul II's ...


9

No. Even as a Calvinist, one has to understand that it takes more than one verse to put together a complete picture of how we understand salvation to work. The verse you reference in Timothy is indeed very helpful, but it really only proves the part about his purpose as the author of salvation was conceived before we were. In order to defend the doctrine of ...


9

As a denomination, Southern Baptists haven't taken a stand on this issue. Therefore, it's pretty much up to the individual churches and individuals to decide for themselves what to believe regarding these topics. The argument comes down to Calvinism versus Arminianism. A rough breakdown of the differences can be found at the Wikipedia site on Arminianism. ...


9

Perhaps the two "common" responses are not "intellectually satisfying", but at the very least, they are both highly biblical: And He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation." {Mark 16:15} and for "Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved." How then will they call on Him in whom they have not ...


9

More or less, yes, but the question is slightly misleading by the word 'only' (but about that later). As this discussion is so complex and visited by so many people with so many quotations, etc., I prefer to try and give you a summary view from many years studying many books on the subject. Mine is not the 'only view' but really on this question you can ...


8

The problem you raise is only a problem because a doctrine has been cherry-picked and used out of context. Taken in step with and understanding of God's Covenant relationship with men and the whole counsel of Scripture, this becomes a non issue. And no, your suggestions are not particularly in line with Reformed theology, at least not as a motivation for ...


8

Short Answer: No, John 6:44 does not imply that there is no free will when it comes to salvation. What the text itself implies (theology aside) is that a person can only come to Jesus if the Father draws him. It says nothing about whether free will plays a part in salvation, or (if so) how it does. (In fact, it doesn't even really say anything about ...


8

[...] does the mere act of seeking God mean that the person must be elect? Yes. Reformed theology must be understood wholesale. If you pick and choose some ideas and don't put them in the context of all the other ideas it stops making much sense. This has to do with the presuppositions involved. From a Reformed perspective the answer to this question is ...


8

The typical Calvinist response to this question is captured well by Wayne Grudem in his Systematic Theology: [1 Timothy 2:4 and 2 Peter 3:9] speak of God's revealed will (telling us what we should do), not his hidden will (his eternal plans for what will happen). The verses simply tell us that God invites and commands every person to repent and come to ...


7

I found a great explanation by John Piper on why some people are "predestined" to hell: https://soundcloud.com/askpastorjohn/god-glorified-predestination-hell Summary As preface to the question, he makes the following qualifying points: Nobody is in hell that doesn't deserve to be there, and isn't in active rebellion to God. The idea that there could be ...


7

To be fair to Calvin, why not go straight to the horses mouth. Calvin did not believe this kind of verse (1 Tim 2:3) implied God's desire to save every man. Here is where we discover limited atonement as proposed by Calvin and is various different ways supported by the most eminent Calvinists that have ever lived, including in my mind one of the greatest ...


7

After learning a bit more, I felt compelled to answer the question myself. These answers are not universally held, but they are some that I have heard, and they seem to appeal to the text more than to presuppositions. Answer #1: In 1 Timothy 2:4, "all men" does not mean "every single person that was ever born," but rather "all sorts of men, even kings and ...


6

In Support Proverbs 16:33 The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the LORD. Even the dice fall according to God's plan. Ephesians 1:11 In [Christ] we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will God works everything according to ...


6

In Calvinism, it's a paradox. God absolutely chooses whether a person can be saved, but a person is also responsible for his choice to serve and obey God. Obviously, it's crazy to deny any free will at all - Christian or Non-Christian, we make choices every day, some good and some bad. Total Depravity tells us that we will always (and effectively this means ...


6

This response addresses the question from a Reformed perspective, informed by concepts such as monergistic regeneration and sola gratia. The Westminster Assembly, in the Confession (quoted below), taught that the elect were chosen by God "before the foundations of the earth." Regarding your question as to God's choice of the elect & the sins of the ...


6

I found this summary of reformed theology very helpful: http://www.reformedreader.org/t.u.l.i.p.htm Reformed theology emphasizes the doctrines of grace, best known by the acronym TULIP, though this does not correspond to the best possible names for the five doctrines. ... U stands for unconditional election. An emphasis on election bothers ...


6

It's clear from the writings of John Bunyan that he believed in the Reformed doctrines of predestination and irresistible grace. He makes an extensive defense of these and related doctrines in his work, Come and Welcome to Jesus Christ, in which he analyzes John 6:37: All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no ...


6

Scripture gives this answer: Genesis 18:18-19 King James Version (KJV) 18 Seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him? 19 For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and ...


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