Why Christianity? discussion

Minor topics > Calvinism vs. Arminianism

Comments Showing 1-38 of 38 (38 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Rod (new)

Rod Horncastle | 469 comments Mod
By default, it seems most of Christianity easily and lazily falls into the Arminianism camp (we say yes or no to salvation). I thought this way for decades.

The other biblical puzzle is Calvinism (God chooses and gives out saving faith to His elect, for His sovereign good pleasure - dead men don't choose).

But it gets more complicated. Many folks get very emotional when approaching this doctrine. But it can be discussed by mature adults. I'm happy to get saved either way. But what does the bible say? Or Show?

Hint: like the parables- God is a little sneaky on this issue.

message 2: by Chad (new)

Chad (chadjohnson) | 63 comments I've never really claimed one view point or the other. I think some aspects of each have merit. Both view points can be summarized in 5 points. Many websites list the view points and the differences so no need to list them here...

Many believers arrive at some sort of mixture of the two views.

I think both are an attempt to explain the unexplainable.

Isaiah 55:8-9 says
"My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts."
Ultimately, I believe God is omniscient and sovereign. I also believe we have free will. I believe it is impossible for us to fully understand the relationship between God’s sovereignty and man’s free will and responsibility.

Scripture is clear that God determines who will be saved (Romans 8:29; 1 Peter 1:2). Ephesians 1:4 tells us that God chose us “before the creation of the world.” The Bible repeatedly describes believers as the “chosen” (Romans 8:33, 11:5; Ephesians 1:11; Colossians 3:12; 1 Thessalonians 1:4; 1 Peter 1:2, 2:9) and the “elect” (Matthew 24:22, 31; Mark 13:20, 27; Romans 11:7; 1 Timothy 5:21; 2 Timothy 2:10; Titus 1:1; 1 Peter 1:1). The fact that believers are predestined (Romans 8:29-30; Ephesians 1:5, 11) and elected for salvation (Romans 9:11, 11:28; 2 Peter 1:10) is clear.

The Bible also says that we are responsible for receiving Christ as Savior. If we believe in Jesus Christ we will be saved (John 3:16; Romans 10:9-10). God knows who will be saved and God chooses who will be saved, and we must choose Christ in order to be saved. How these facts work together is impossible for a finite mind to comprehend (Romans 11:33-36). Our responsibility is to take the gospel to the world (Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 1:8).

Although I enjoy debating the finer points of the differing views, ultimately, I believe we should leave foreknowledge, election, free-will and predestination up to God and simply be obedient in sharing the gospel.

message 3: by Eric (last edited Mar 15, 2018 01:14PM) (new)

Eric Scott | 64 comments I got a whole new perspective when I published a book. It starts with an idea. In Greek that would be logos. Then you start to organize your thoughts to outline how you will get from the preface to the epilogue. You start to write (scriptos) and you edit as you proceed. When you turn the transcript in you can't make any more changes but nobody except you knows the story and how it ends. I see myself living His-story, history. It hasn't happened yet, but it's already in the book. I can change directions, but He knew I would change directions. That doesn't make me change directions, because I can still change back. But He knew I would do that. So I can do what I want and know He knew I would do that. Makes sense to me.

message 4: by Rod (new)

Rod Horncastle | 469 comments Mod
Lots of input. Thanks guys.

message 5: by Rod (new)

Rod Horncastle | 469 comments Mod
I think we humans are free to choose many things. But Salvation isn't one of them. We can choose to sin or not to sin... but our nature does not desire the things of God.

If we are given faith: we are responsible for developing and using that faith. Or throwing it away. But should we assume it is Saving Faith???

Any thoughts.

Luke 8
6 And some fell on the rock, and as it grew up, it withered away, because it had no moisture. 7 And some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up with it and choked it. 8 And some fell into good soil and grew and yielded a hundredfold." As he said these things, he called out, "He who has ears to hear, let him hear."

message 6: by Robert (new)

Robert Core | 303 comments Rod - once Faith is attained, if we define it as believing Jesus is the Son of God, who was resurrected to pay for our sins, then he becomes our default Master and will not abandon us. But it gets tricky as we can progress under the guidance of the Holy Spirit and experience peace on earth, or continue to largely go our own way (in the seed analogy, not grow into a mature plant) and our lives will still be in the sewer.

message 7: by [deleted user] (new)

Instantaneous revelations of the truths of John 16:13…”he will guide you into all truth” do not allow for first-hand experiences that are spread-out over the time intervals described in Hebrews 11:1…”Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” and inferred in John 16:13.

God is in a timeless reality (Isa. 46:9-10).

Psalm 22, Isaiah 9:6, and Isaiah 53 require divinely timeless foresight.

God created time at the Big-Bang beginning of the universe along with the laws of physics, chemistry, and mathematics…and with the material particles and energy that form our galaxies, stars, and planets.

God created time so that He would have a context…an environment…wherein He could compose life-scripts for us that enable us to have a personal relationship with Him…but also enable us to experience first-hand the lessons of a knowledge of good and evil…through durations of time having events and circumstances…rather than split-second, instantaneous revelations of “all truth.”

Where the confusion comes in is when we try to understand the timelessness of God from our perspective of our four dimensions of space and time…brilliantly and lovingly constructed for our benefit.

Abraham in his God-composed journey of faith life-script has total free-will choice…he can quit at any time…as can we…otherwise Abraham is in part a mechanical robot.

The resolution of the two seemingly unmixable realities of divine timeless foresight…and our lack of foresight as non-divine beings yet possessing the free-will capacity to love God…is found within the biblical narrative stories of faith that only God could compose and orchestrate to positive outcomes.

That God could blend together these seemingly disparate realities…His timeless foresight and foreknowledge…and our free-will…within the biblical narrative stories of faith and our Christian walks of faith today…is actually a compelling apologetic evidence for the existence of God, the divine origin of the Bible, and the truth of Christianity.

In my opinion…when articulated in this way…this seeming conflict disappears.

message 8: by Rod (new)

Rod Horncastle | 469 comments Mod
Does God really know exactly what is going to happen? Or does He direct it through angels and demons?

message 9: by Robert (new)

Robert Core | 303 comments Rod - God really does know what is going to happen (big picture), but is open-ended as to the timeline. Humans can hasten the end of times through bad choices or prolong it's advent indefinitely through some attempt at cooperation amongst the Nations. Either way, God knows his ultimate creation will eventually come a-cropper to such an extent that he'll have to initiate the Second Coming.

message 10: by Rod (new)

Rod Horncastle | 469 comments Mod
Yep, that's the direction I'm leaning in. Except the elect are chosen somehow.

message 11: by Eric (new)

Eric Scott | 64 comments We get the word "chosen" in our Bibles from eklektos in the Greek Septuagint. But the original Hebrew concept involved joining in covenant together. It's kind of like we take a bride today.
I understand it as extending a marriage proposal. It stays out there until my gal accepts or rejects my offer after I choose her. If she rejects it I can leave it pending or withdraw it. If she accepts it and chooses me too, I'm betrothed or engaged (obligated). We form a union when we consumate a marriage. She goes into my tent/hut (ohel) and I go into her tent/body (ohel).
If that's accurate, God's chosen people are those God chooses (everyone) who choose him back (elect). He chose me but I can elect not to follow. I can't follow without submission. I move in with him and he moves into me (Holy Spirit).
Is that Calvinism or Arminianism?

message 12: by [deleted user] (new)

You all are missing the point. The seeming conflicts between THE SCRIPTURES that Calvinism and Arminianism refer to...are resolved within the biblical narrative stories of faith.

Jesus is the Word of God...scripture cannot be in conflict...Jesus cannot be split apart.

God's life-scripts for the people of faith in the Bible are controlling...they supersede everything else.

This is why philosophical atheism has been attacking these biblical stories for 400 years...using Scientism and naturalistic bias against miracles...which has successfully seeped into Christendom to the point that many churchgoers discount these stories...thinking they are fiction.

This is very damaging. It partially explains people's question as to what is wrong with the modern Christian church.

Question: how could or would human writers coming from the realm of worldly conventional normalcy and thinking...invent the idea of God displacing our ways with His higher ways starting with the ancient story of Abraham...where with each step Abraham takes going from Haran to Canaan...God is displacing whatever normative life Abraham would have lived back in Haran...with a new life-script beyond anything Abraham could possibly have dreamed up?

This concept is anathema to humanism.

These biblical narrative stories are in the Bible for a reason. This concept of displacement in my opinion is a central biblical truth that has not been recovered fully from the time of the Protestant Reformation.

God has divinely timeless foresight that is perfect...we can't have Psalm 22, Isaiah 9:6 and 53...along with all of the other pinpoint accurate prophecies in the Bible...without this.

Abraham and Isaac on Mount Moriah is a prophetic fore-glimpse of what God plans to do 2,000 years later at Calvary...centuries before the Passover Lamb of God sacrifice is even introduced at the beginning of the Exodus out of Egypt.

Abraham absolutely has free-will choice throughout his adventure of faith following God's lead...otherwise he is a robot.

My point above is that only God is brilliant enough to blend together these two contrasting realities regarding time...and that this is actually a strong apologetic argument for the existence of God and the divine origin of the Bible.

The atheistic contention that these biblical stories are human invented literary fiction is nonsensical upon closer scrutiny...because this concept of displacement within the story-lines as a universal through-line is way too unconventional and contrary to the humanistic pride of going our own way...to be the invention of human writers starting in or around 1,450 B.C. and consistently part of every positive life-script through Peter and Paul in the New Testament.

I think Calvinism and Arminianism are both wrong...in that they polarize some group of scriptures against another group of scriptures...which God skillfully synthesizes in the biblical narrative stories of faith.

This will sound arrogant...but I do not think that either of these two men understood a God-composed journey of faith life-script.

I think we have the freedom and the duty to express such thoughts.

Your thoughts?

message 13: by Rod (new)

Rod Horncastle | 469 comments Mod
Eric, I'm not convinced that God chooses everyone. Please convince me buddy.

message 14: by Rod (new)

Rod Horncastle | 469 comments Mod
Barton. Fun argument.

Many people misunderstand Calvinism: it was a defence of the Bible doctrines, as opposed to a pushed forth doctrine (like the Catholic Pope or Dogma of Mary) TULIP is interesting that way.

It is one thing to prepare to conquer another country, and totally different to prepare to defend a country. Such is much of Calvinism - a hearty defence of the sovereignty of God and His plan.

Does God sit with His fingers crossed that A pathetic few will slip into Jesus minuscule Kingdom? Probably not.
But it is God's acting behaviour throughout scripture that causes me to see him grabbing His elect... and changing their nature. Dead men don't choose.

message 15: by Tyrone (new)

Tyrone Wilson | 75 comments Barton wrote: "You all are missing the point. The seeming conflicts between THE SCRIPTURES that Calvinism and Arminianism refer to...are resolved within the biblical narrative stories of faith.

Jesus is the Word..."

Excellent! I do not believe the scriptures are in conflict in any way. Man gets a little puffed up and ascribes meanings and definitions, unintentionally perhaps, to what God meant or hand in mind.

History has shown that man will use the Bible to justify almost anything or support almost any cause, regardless of how heinous it might be. But the fact of the matter is God sent His Son, Christ Jesus, to die for the sins of all mankind, and that is consistent with His character. The Bible, then, must be interpreted consistent with God's character.

message 16: by Robert (new)

Robert Core | 303 comments Eric - there is a certain segment of the population that are evil from birth. These are the devil's due and NOTHING will make them the chosen. Prisons for the criminally insane are full of them, but some are cagey enough to terrorize the public with Satan's work. The rest of us have free will (choice) and given that we are communicating on this board, have chosen the Lord as Master.

message 17: by Robert (last edited Mar 17, 2018 12:18PM) (new)

Robert Core | 303 comments Barton - God created indivuals with scientific aptitude. Part of that nature is to make observations about intruiging natural aspects and make a hypothesis about how they operate or came about. Tests are then conducted to determine if the inquisitor should proceed or go back to the drawing board. It is not surprising, then, that the scientifically inclined treat epistemological matters the same way. If Christianity cannot stand up to close scrutiny, maybe it's false. I, like many truth seekers, found it lacking early in life but, upon subjecting what I thought to be true to rigorous examination, found Jesus to be the real deal and the rest just noise. I don't believe this is uncommon so we shouldn't worry about what's wrong with Christianity, just realize the culture has an alluring siren song, but that it wears thin eventually.

message 18: by Eric (new)

Eric Scott | 64 comments I just erased a lengthy post. All I really want to say is:
I believe God exists outside our bounds of time, space and matter.
Hence, I believe God created "everything" and is not bound by time, space and matter.
Hence, God knows Alpha to Omega, A to Z, beginning to end.
Hence, what we consider an "event" is not a material event to God.
Hence, His ways are above our ways and we cannot comprehend HOW He does what He does and knows what He knows.

message 19: by Eric (last edited Mar 17, 2018 07:46PM) (new)

Eric Scott | 64 comments Rod wrote: "Eric, I'm not convinced that God chooses everyone. Please convince me buddy."

Hey Bro., You've seen I'm not one to take the Dallmann bat and beat you up with abundant verses that prove I know the TRUE Jesus and you don't. Rather I'll point back to the prior post that caught you attention. I believe God chooses to offer His life rope to any and all, and would turn no one away. But some/many/most are not able, disposed toward, or inclined to choose to accept it.
God made a choice and we get to choose whether to accept his offer or not. I'm a simple guy. I like a simple gospel.

message 20: by Rod (new)

Rod Horncastle | 469 comments Mod
My problem is: I can find many verses to prove both. But then wordplay factors in. Same goes for bits of God's omniscience. (Which is not a clearly defined term)

message 21: by Eric (new)

Eric Scott | 64 comments Rod wrote: "My problem is: I can find many verses to prove both. But then wordplay factors in. Same goes for bits of God's omniscience. (Which is not a clearly defined term)"

I concede your point. But you have sincere Christian people demanding "pick the inference you choose" and I'll tell you if you picked the TRUE Jesus. I can respect and dialog with a Calvinist or Arminian until he get's insistent or belligerent.

message 22: by Rod (new)

Rod Horncastle | 469 comments Mod
Yeah, I don't find it a Salvation issue. Joyfully, many ignore it altogether- that's often wise (and lazy).

But for anyone who dares call themselves a theologian: this issue must be brutally tackled. Or they shouldn't be allowed at the adult table.

message 23: by Robert (new)

Robert Core | 303 comments Rod - the Salvation issue is carefully and narrowly defined. Almost all of the theological issues we discuss don't even remotely touch upon it. We just have fun batting our Biblical interpretations off one another. As metaphysics is based on belief rather than proof all observations are just a matter of opinion (mine better than others, of course!!!!!) anyway.

message 24: by [deleted user] (new)

Good discussion...the kind I like when it is free of rancor.

I am not a theological or a historian...but I have read that the Jews were split prior to the ministry of Jesus...whether the Messiah would be an eternal ruler/king after Isaiah 9:6 or a suffering servant after Isaiah 53.

Both scriptures in hindsight are perfectly correct...we just need the benefit in hindsight of seeing the advents of Jesus split into two...which would not be apparent trying to synthesize these scriptures in 15 A.D. for example.

The brilliant answer that Jesus gives to the thorny question about the resurrection from the dead...that at the burning bush God says He is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob...and thus the God of the living and not the dead...is an example of the resolution of a seeming conflict...occurring within the example of a narrative event...rather than a doctrinal statement in scripture.

I like Eric's view...like my own...that God is in a timeless reality (Isa. 46:9-10) and we are not.

My rationale for this resolving of the Calvinism/Arminian debate is that God specifically created time along with the material particles and energy at the Big Bang creation of the universe...to make the transition from split-second, instantaneous revelations and pronouncements of God...in His reality...to our reality of time so that the biblical faith described in Hebrews 11:1...having intervals and durations of time...allow us to experience first-hand through personal experience the knowledge of good and evil.

Like my mother used to say at breakfast on cold winter mornings before we went off to school..."oatmeal will stick to your ribs."

Spiritual lessons learned about good and evil will stick to our ribs if learned first-hand through a Hebrews 11:1 journey of faith spread-out over time...which in the judgment of God cannot be learned as well in a micro-second in a timeless environment.

Correct me if I am wrong...but the journeys of faith recorded in the Bible pull together the seemingly contrary notions of predestination, election, free-will choice, and the assurance of the eternal security of our salvation...in a way that only a God having timeless foresight...and Himself having created time for our benefit...could do.

I think in the right hands and articulated much better than I can here...this line of reasoning could be a very compelling apologetic argument for the divine origin of the Bible...something too complex for human invented literary fiction.

Certainly too complex and sophisticated for material particles and energy to be the explanatory origin for these biblical concepts...coming from the philosophical atheism of naturalism and Scientism.

message 25: by Rod (new)

Rod Horncastle | 469 comments Mod
Good point.

I do think the truth is hidden and revealed in the journeys of faith throughout scripture. Many just don't like what's there.

message 26: by Chad (new)

Chad (chadjohnson) | 63 comments Robert wrote: "Eric - there is a certain segment of the population that are evil from birth. These are the devil's due and NOTHING will make them the chosen."

I disagree with this statement. Everyone, given the opportunity, can accept the grace and forgiveness that God offers.

Evil is usually thought of as that which is morally wrong, sinful, or wicked; however, the word evil can also refer to anything that causes harm, with or without the moral dimension. The word is used both ways in the Bible. Anything that contradicts the holy nature of God is evil (see Psalm 51:4). On the flip side, any disaster, tragedy, or calamity can also be called an “evil” (see 1 Kings 17:20, KJV).

Evil behavior includes sin committed against other people (murder, theft, adultery) and evil committed against God (unbelief, idolatry, blasphemy). From the disobedience in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 2:9) to the wickedness of Babylon the Great (Revelation 18:2), the Bible speaks of the fact of evil, and man is held responsible for the evil he commits: “The one who sins is the one who will die” (Ezekiel 18:20).

Essentially, evil is a lack of goodness. Moral evil is not a physical thing; it is a lack or privation of a good thing. As Christian philosopher J. P. Moreland has noted, “Evil is a lack of goodness. It is goodness spoiled. You can have good without evil, but you cannot have evil without good.” Or as Christian apologist Greg Koukl has said, “Human freedom was used in such a way as to diminish goodness in the world, and that diminution, that lack of goodness, that is what we call evil.”

Sometimes people ask the question, why do bad (or evil) things happen to good people? The biblical answer is there are no “good” people. The Bible makes it abundantly clear that all of us are tainted by and infected with sin (Ecclesiastes 7:20; Romans 3:23; 1 John 1:8). Romans 3:10-18 could not be clearer about the non-existence of “good” people: “There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one. Their throats are open graves; their tongues practice deceit. The poison of vipers is on their lips. Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness. Their feet are swift to shed blood; ruin and misery mark their ways, and the way of peace they do not know. There is no fear of God before their eyes.” Every human being on this planet deserves to be thrown into hell at this very moment. Every second we spend alive is only by the grace and mercy of God. Even the most terrible misery we could experience on this planet is merciful compared to what we deserve, eternal hell in the lake of fire.

A better question would be “Why does God allow good things to happen to bad people?” Romans 5:8 declares, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Despite the evil, wicked, sinful nature of the people of this world, God still loves us. He loved us enough to die to take the penalty for our sins (Romans 6:23). If we receive Jesus Christ as Savior (John 3:16; Romans 10:9), we will be forgiven and promised an eternal home in heaven (Romans 8:1). What we deserve is hell. What we are given is eternal life in heaven if we come to Christ in faith.

message 27: by Eric (new)

Eric Scott | 64 comments Chad wrote: "A better question would be “Why does God allow good things to happen to bad people?..."

I like that a lot Chad. And I believe you are on the right track there.

message 28: by Robert (new)

Robert Core | 303 comments Chad - Christians are such basically decent people that even at their worst - when they were on the streets running and gunning, they were redeemable. One needs to talk to a psychiatrist at Bellevue or some equally desolate institution to get a glimpse at the nature of the truly evil. It's not a matter of choice, as you and your Christian philosophers believe, it pervades the entire fabric of the afflicted. It cannot be treated in any matter and it really can't even be understood by the best researchers. It truly is from hell.

message 29: by Chad (new)

Chad (chadjohnson) | 63 comments Robert wrote: "It's not a matter of choice, as you and your Christian philosophers believe, it pervades the entire fabric of the afflicted."

Clearly, exactly whom Jesus died for is a point of disagreement among Bible believing Christians and one of the reasons we started this thread. Some Christians believe that Jesus died only for the elect; this is the doctrine of limited atonement, the L in Calvinism’s TULIP. Other Christians believe that Jesus died for everyone who has or ever will live; this is the doctrine of unlimited atonement, held by Arminians and most four-point Calvinists, or Amyraldians.

These two views actually create an unnecessary dilemma and creates a tension where none need exist. We know that God’s love is infinite (Psalm 107:1) and that Christ’s power is infinite (Colossians 1:16–17). This is another one of those great mysteries... God's love is infinite (unlimited), His Son died for all, but yet it is limited, because not all will be saved.

In short, the offer of salvation is universal—to all who will believe (Romans 10:11, 13). We also know that, regardless of how broad Christ’s atonement is, it is limited in some respect—it is effective only for those who believe (John 3:18).

I believe Jesus died for all. And I also believe, that even the most evil person could be saved by God's infinite grace.

I understand that there are some truly evil people in the world. And if given the opportunity to accept Christ as their Lord and Savior they would probably laugh in your face and then put a bullet in your head if they could.

I also believe that demons are real and terrorize this world by influence and sometimes even by possession. The Bible gives some examples of people possessed or influenced by demons. From these examples we can find some symptoms of demonic influence and gain insight as to how a demon possesses someone. Here are some of the biblical passages: Matthew 9:32-33; 12:22; 17:18; Mark 5:1-20; 7:26-30; Luke 4:33-36; Luke 22:3; Acts 16:16-18. In some of these passages, the demon possession causes physical ailments such as inability to speak, epileptic symptoms, blindness, etc. In other cases, it causes the individual to do evil, Judas being the main example. In Acts 16:16-18, the spirit apparently gives a slave girl some ability to know things beyond her own learning. The demon-possessed man of the Gadarenes, who was possessed by a multitude of demons (Legion), had superhuman strength and lived naked among the tombstones. King Saul, after rebelling against the LORD, was troubled by an evil spirit (1 Samuel 16:14-15; 18:10-11; 19:9-10) with the apparent effect of a depressed mood and an increased desire to kill David.

I also believe that by the power of Jesus, demonic influence and demonic possession can be overcome. I believe demons can influence Christians... but I do not believe a demon can possess a Christian. Of course I do not know for sure, but I believe those people who are truly evil in this world, are quite likely, possessed by a demon.

Pretty sure I've opened another bag of worms with this post...

message 30: by Robert (new)

Robert Core | 303 comments Chad - thanks for your input. I don't believe you've opened a can of worms because, as you point out, some things we mortals will never know. I believe, like you, that a Christian cannot be taken over, once committed to Jesus, by a Demon, but they might bring some to the table with them. Many Christians are inflicted by some form of mental illness, but not the evildoer sort. Can they pray and relieve themselves of that demon? Frankly, I don't know, but many treat their malady as an old friend, even an asset, and don't want to get rid of it badly enough. If they're really honest about their affliction, and pray hard and constantly, then God may cast out the demon. What do you think?

message 31: by Chad (new)

Chad (chadjohnson) | 63 comments Robert wrote: "Chad - thanks for your input. I don't believe you've opened a can of worms because, as you point out, some things we mortals will never know. I believe, like you, that a Christian cannot be taken o..."

I pretty much agree with everything you said in this post. First time for everything!

I think a clear distinction should be made though.

Demons can cause mental illness.
Not all mental illness is caused by demons.

I most definitely think Christians bring a lot of baggage to the table after giving their life to Christ... but slowly, over time and through sanctification, we unpack that baggage and submit it to Christ and His authority... and in doing so lives are changed. Sometimes... even most of the time, we so desperately want our baggage to stay with us... I like what you said, like an old friend, we don't want to submit it to His authority.

Have you ever watched that show Hoarders? It would be similar to that. We have all this stuff... anger, bitterness, lust, bad habits, idols... that we just can't let go of. Just like the people in Hoarders can't let go of their garbage... Christians, often times have trouble letting go of theirs.

Until we count the cost of following Christ, and start to systematically remove those things hindering our relationship with him, we're stuck with our baggage (or garbage) in an over crowded house with no room to welcome others in. And we certainly can't grow our relationship with Jesus, because he wants to come in and not only clean up... but also patch holes and remodel.

message 32: by Rod (new)

Rod Horncastle | 469 comments Mod
Fun twist on the conversation.

Is a God who never allows demons to repent: unfair? Did He give them this nature?

message 33: by Rod (new)

Rod Horncastle | 469 comments Mod
So, did Jesus die for Judas and Jezebel? Pay their debt? Hoping... with fingers crossed? Has God had His fingers crossed for centuries that Jesus' eternal Kingdom wouldn't be a party of one? That would be a bad plan.

message 34: by [deleted user] (new)

Good discussion.

Can I interject again the notion that God arbitrates the seeming conflict between the Calvinist and Arminian interpretations... through the biblical narrative stories of faith.

In the biblical narrative stories of faith God is blending His timeless foresight with our free-will choices stuck in the God-invented dimension of time...so that our experiences are spread-out over time (Heb. 11:1) that will stay with us for all eternity...rather than split-second, instantaneous revelations from God coming from His timeless environment.

This is unimaginatively brilliant on God's part...and profoundly functional for us beyond human invention.

I think this is one of the underlying reasons why philosophical atheism has tried so hard...and partially been successful...of attacking the credibility of the biblical narrative stories of faith containing the miraculous...over the last 400 years of the Scientific Revolution.

We now know through the Big-Bang that the Creator God must be an independent agent because He introduced the laws of physics, chemistry, and mathematics along with the material particles and energy...invented these along with the dimension of time...all still expanding outward at the speed of light.

This tells us that the natural world does not have to be a "closed system" according to the incorrect philosophy of Scientism.

The aim of spiritual darkness to undermine the biblical narrative stories of faith...actually gives us a tip-off as to what is really important.

This is why I think the biblical narrative stories of faith are controlling in this doctrinal dispute.

God blends together the seemingly unblendable...mixing His higher ways and thoughts with our willing free choice to go along with His program...mixing a timeless reality played out within the intentionally designed realm of our four dimensions of space and time.

This actually becomes an apologetic argument for the existence of God and the divine origin of the Bible...as this is way beyond the imaginative creativity of human literary fiction.

I think this is a concept that has been missed in Christendom...since the start of the Protestant Reformation.

So this question...do the biblical narrative stories of faith resolve the Calvinist/Arminian dispute?

Does Abraham exercise free-will choice to follow God in his God-composed journey of faith life-script...while somehow as a mystery God inserts His higher ways and thoughts into the life of Abraham that is a blessing to the future "children of faith" as numerous as the dust of the earth?

Your thoughts?

message 35: by Rod (new)

Rod Horncastle | 469 comments Mod
I might have to read that 3x Barton.

message 36: by Robert (new)

Robert Core | 303 comments This board is getting odd - I find myself agreeing essentially with Chad and Barton. Must be getting old and losing my combative edge. If I start agreeing with Rod about science, it's time for assisted living!

message 37: by [deleted user] (new)

To Robert...excellent...you made me laugh...classic humor!

message 38: by Rod (new)

Rod Horncastle | 469 comments Mod
I haven't given up on this discussion-- I just need some serious computer time to explore it more. I'm still a nasty Calvinist!!!

I did hear some interesting things from James White this week.

back to top