18

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

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 ...


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 ...


10

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 ...


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

[...] 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 ...


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 ...


7

Against the Calvinist doctrine on predestination, the Council of Trent's 6th session (Decree on Justification) says: CANON IV.—If any one saith, that man's free-will moved and excited by God, by assenting to God exciting and calling, nowise co-coperates towards disposing and preparing itself for obtaining the grace of Justification; that it can not refuse ...


7

Do all Christians believe in predestination? No. Do all Christians believe in free-will? No. Does the Bible teach predestination? Yes Does the Bible teach Free-Will? Yes Romans informs us that salvation is about God's choice. Romans 10 informs of of man's responsibility to believe or man's choice. Is Jesus God? Yes. Is Jesus Man? Yes. ...


7

The pastoral reason this debate matters so much is because of the related doctrine of assurance (which itself is intimately related to justification by faith alone). To put it bluntly, if our salvation depends on the eternal decree of God, then our assurance is based not on our own performance but entirely on the grace of God. If salvation depends even ...


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

Augustine is certainly the major patristic source that Calvin uses, for all topics. For his use of the Fathers in general, he was not particularly invested in finding out what they believed: the witness of Scripture was paramount. He did not take the practice of the Church in that era as normative. In his use of Augustine, Calvin wished to insulate himself ...


6

From Calvin's Institutes of the Christian Religion, Book 2, Chapter 2, Section 4 Moreover although the Greek Fathers, above others, and especially Chrysostom, have exceeded due bounds in extolling the powers of the human will, yet all ancient theologians, with the exception of Augustine, are so confused, vacillating, and contradictory on this subject, ...


6

John Piper passionately argues in his 2003 sermon Palm Sunday Tears of Sovereign Mercy that this doesn't contradict the doctrine of foreordination: There is something not quite right about this objection to Jesus’ sovereignty. He can make praise come from rocks. And so he could do the same from rock-hard hearts in Jerusalem. What’s more, all this rejection ...


6

TL;DR We could summarize the Church’s teaching as follows: God has perfect foreknowledge of who will be elect (which is the same thing as to say that he predestines them). However, although salvation is entirely His work, He works in a manner that does not interfere with man’s freedom (including man’s freedom to reject God) in any way. The Parameters that ...


5

The quote is from C.S.Lewis in "Mere christianity", book 4, chapter 3 "Time And Beyond Time".


5

Calvin says in his commentary on Philippians 1:28. but Paul in another instance, too, speaks of them as a manifest token or proof, (2 Thessalonians 1:5,) and instead of ἔνδειξιν, which we have here, he in that passage makes use of the term ἔνδειγμα This, therefore, is a choice consolation, that when we are assailed and harassed by our enemies, we have an ...


4

While I'm taking a risk by quoting just one verse--and only a portion of a verse at that--to support my contention, I'll venture forth, going where angels fear to tread: "There is none that seeketh after God" (Romans 3:11b). Whether my following statement does or does not reflect a Reformed, Calvinist perspective, I do not know, but here goes: Dead men ...


4

Calvinists from Calvin to the present day have interpreted this verse as relating to man's assurance, not God's will. John Calvin specifically responds to those who say this verse implies that the "stability of our calling and election depends on good works," saying: [P]urity of life is not improperly called the evidence and proof of election, by which ...


4

From wikipedia (great source, I know): Predestination Predestination, in theology, is the doctrine that all events have been willed by God. Predeterminism Predeterminism is the idea that all events are determined in advance. Predeterminism is the philosophy that all events of history, past, present and future, have been already decided or are ...


4

To begin, let's be sure that we understand what double predestination means in Calvinism. You have it right, that God chooses both who is elect and who is non-elect, but it's important to note that in Calvinist double predestination, God actively saves the elect, but passively passes over the reprobate: God positively or actively intervenes in the lives of ...


4

From John Calvin's Commentary on John chapter 3 John Calvin made much about the love of God in John 3:16 arguing that the cause is the love of God for us, not any good in ourselves, or any quality that belongs to us, but the cause is God's love! Our believing then is a result of God's saving love being applied to our lives, through faith, which is itself a ...


4

Theology has the idea of the Ordo Salutis, or Order of Salvation. A Christian branch like Reformed Theology (of which Presbyterianism is a part) will have a particular way of organising the various doctrines of salvation. The Order of Salvation shows the logical order of these doctrines: how one doctrine leads to and interacts with the others. Note that it ...


3

Your quote describing predestinarianism is clearly referring to a certain interpretation of Romans 9. Romans 9, after all, uses similar verbiage: You will say to me then, “Why [then] does he still find fault? For who can oppose his will?” But who indeed are you, a human being, to talk back to God? Will what is made say to its maker, “Why have you ...


3

I will first concisely explain the traditional Arminian and Calvinist views, directly addressing (in bold type) the OP's question in the section on Calvinism. I will then introduce one helpful and popular way of comparing the distinctions between traditional Arminian, Calvinist, and Universalist views. At last, I will provide two example alternate views, ...


3

According to the definition of free will that you provide, Calvinists do not believe in free will. The basic text for this question is Calvin's Treatise against Pighius, but it is also addressed in his Institutes: 7. That man is necessarily, but without compulsion, a sinner establishes no doctrine of free will In this way, then, man is said to have ...


3

This perhaps isn't a typical answer to the question, but it does provide the opinion of one well-known Calvinist, George Whitefield. Whitefield was once asked if he expected to see his Arminian friend John Wesley in heaven. He replied: I fear not, for he will be so near the eternal throne and we at such a distance, we shall hardly get sight of him. ...


3

Isn't the point of Christ that we were formerly unable through our goodness (lack of it) to initiate a relation with God, so that Christ's role was to initiate this relation, to create this mediation? And once that is in effect, we have the choice to accept this relation or reject it? Isn't the point of Christianity precisely that since we cannot merit ...


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