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Predestination and Calvinism

OzSpen

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The question assumes that God's has wrath and it needed to be appeased.
I don't think that is correct.
I don't think that God was so ticked off at mankind, because man regularly fails to be perfect, that He killed His only begotten son in order to get over His anger.
In fact, I don't think anything that man does is of such great significance that it causes an emotional response in God.

Jim,

Could you have a blind spot here?

“The LORD is a jealous and avenging God; the LORD is avenging and wrathful; the Lord takes vengeance on his adversaries and keeps wrath for his enemies.” (Nahum 1:2 ESV)

“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.” (Romans 1:18 ESV)

“From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty.” (Revelation 19:15 ESV)

Are rebel, sinful, unregenerate human beings adversaries of God? Of course! Unrighteous people suppress the truth, but God's wrath is revealed against them. The ungodly nations, in the end result, will experience the wrath of the Almighty God.

It should be obvious that to get into His presence, the ungodly need to appease God's wrath. We are told in 1 John 2:2 (ESV) how Jesus did that for all humanity - not to promote Universalism - but to make salvation accessible to all.

Oz
 

OzSpen

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One perspective is that, at its beginning, the Church was based on the Faith.
Then the devil invented theology.

iakov the fool

Are you inferring that the devil invented the Calvinistic theology of God's sovereignty? Please correct me if that is NOT what you are inferring.

I do not agree that it is invented by the devil, but that it is based on inconsistent exegesis of the biblical text.

Oz
 

Jim Parker

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Could you have a blind spot here?
I don't think so.

Nahum is speaking to Israel in the context of the Covenant with Israel. One of God's duties in that covenant was to bring curses on Israel if they violated the agreement. That would be experienced by Israel as God's wrath.

Paul is describing the consequences of men's evil practices. As he said at Gal 6:7 (RSV)" Do not be deceived; God is not mocked, for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap."
It should be obvious that to get into His presence, the ungodly need to appease God's wrath.
To get into God's presence, the ungodly need only repent, believe and then "take up their crosses and follow" Jesus.

The idea that we need to be saved from God's wrath contains the idea that we need to be saved from God. God is not now, has never been, nor will ever be the enemy of any man. Those who seek Him find Him and are united to Him in Christ. (2 Peter 1:4) God is the lover of mankind (John 3:16) not mankind's executioner.

Those who reject God are separated from Him by their own choice. What they choose is hell.

jim
 

Jim Parker

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Are you inferring that the devil invented the Calvinistic theology of God's sovereignty? Please correct me if that is NOT what you are inferring.
Neither. I suggesting, in a semi-joking manner, that the devil invented theology so that people would argue about it and the Kingdom of Heaven would be divided against itself. So far, the devil has been pretty successful.

I do not agree that it is invented by the devil, but that it is based on inconsistent exegesis of the biblical text.
Well, God is not the author of confusion, right? (Of course right!)

In the early church, that inconsistency was overcome by the bishops getting together and determining the proper exegesis thereby doing theology based upon the consensus of the Church Fathers and the seven Ecumenical Councils. It reflected the understanding among the early Christians that they shared a common corporate faith. This approach is referred to by Vincent of Lerins: “Moreover, in the catholic Church itself, all possible care must be taken, that we hold that faith which has been believed everywhere, always, by all.” (A Commonitory 2.6; Nicaean and Post Nicaean Fathers Second Series, Volume XI, p. 132).

It is my contention that, if it divides the Church, it is very likely a stratagem of the enemy of our souls.

jim
 
B

beloved57

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The wrath of God abides on that person because he/she has not sought forgiveness from the Lord who appeases the wrath of God (1 John 2:2 ESV).

Oz
Then you contradict yourself. You said Christ removed Gods Wrath from all people.
 

OzSpen

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I don't think so.

Nahum is speaking to Israel in the context of the Covenant with Israel. One of God's duties in that covenant was to bring curses on Israel if they violated the agreement. That would be experienced by Israel as God's wrath.

Paul is describing the consequences of men's evil practices. As he said at Gal 6:7 (RSV)" Do not be deceived; God is not mocked, for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap."

To get into God's presence, the ungodly need only repent, believe and then "take up their crosses and follow" Jesus.

The idea that we need to be saved from God's wrath contains the idea that we need to be saved from God. God is not now, has never been, nor will ever be the enemy of any man. Those who seek Him find Him and are united to Him in Christ. (2 Peter 1:4) God is the lover of mankind (John 3:16) not mankind's executioner.

Those who reject God are separated from Him by their own choice. What they choose is hell.

jim

Jim,

No matter how you try to get around the wrath of God, it is a biblical teaching. The verb hilaskomai (I propitiate, appease) occurs twice in the NT at Luke 18:13 (ESV) and Heb 2:17 (ESV). The noun form hilasmos (i.e. propitiation) also is found twice in 1 John 2:2 (ESV); 1 John 4:10 (ESV). The adjectival form, hilasterion (propiatory) is in Rom 3:25 (ESV) and Heb 9:5 (ESV).

We cannot get away from the wrath of God because the Scriptures have much to say about it, examples being in John 3:36; Rom 1:18; 2:5; 5:9; Eph 5:6; 1 Thess 1:10; Heb 3;11; and Rev 19:15.

The NT represents Christ's death as appeasing God's wrath, with God being set forth as a propitiatory sacrifice (Rom 3:25). If we go to Heb 9:5 we find that the mercy seat in the tabernacle and temple are representative of a propitiatory place. John is clear about declaring Christ as the propitiation for our sins (1 John 2:2 ESV; 1 John 4:10 ESV). What could be clearer than Heb 2:17 (ESV), where Christ propitiates the sins of the people.

The publican's prayer in Luke 18:13 (ESV) is literally, 'God be propitiated to me the sinner', which transliterated from Greek is: ho theos hilaskomai egō, ho hamartōlos’. The verb, 'be propitiated', hilaskomai, is included.

Therefore we can safely conclude that the biblical teaching is that by his death, Christ appeased God's wrath against sin. In fact, the word, 'atonement' does not appear in the NT. The work, katallage, does appear in Rom 5:11 and it has been translated as 'atonement' (e.g. KJV; NKJV change it to 'reconciliation') when it should be 'reconciliation' as in the ESV and most of the other main translations, including the Douay-Rheims (with help from Thiessen 1949:326-327).

Oz

Bibliography
Thiessen, H C 1949. Introductory lectures in systematic theology. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company.
 

OzSpen

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Then you contradict yourself. You said Christ removed Gods Wrath from all people.

No I didn't. We were talking about unbelievers and I said, 'The wrath of God abides on that person [the unbeliever] because he/she has not sought forgiveness from the Lord who appeases the wrath of God (1 John 2:2 ESV).

[edited]
Oz
 
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Jim Parker

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Therefore we can safely conclude that the biblical teaching is that by his death, Christ appeased God's wrath against sin.
Wouldn't the wrath be against sinners rather than sin?

Or, we can safely conclude that, by His incarnation, death, resurrection and ascension, Christ has delivered mankind from the wages of sin, which is death, has freely offered eternal life to whoever would believe (Ro 6:23, Jn 3:16) and that all of mankind will be raised from the dead immortal and incorruptible (1 Cor 15:53).

Where we spend eternity is up to us. (John 5:28-29; Ro 6:2-10; Mat 25:31-46)

The idea that death is the punishment for sin improperly introduces a juridical understanding of God's dealing with mankind. Jesus' sacrificial death becomes an infinitely big fine that somebody had to pay of else God was going to throw all of mankind into hell so God the father killed God the son to satisfy the demands of justice.

To put it another way, God was so angry at mankind for their constant sinning which is an insult to His infinite dignity that insisted on an infinitely valuable sacrifice as punishment for offending Him. That makes the cause for the redemption of mankind the assuaging of God's offended dignity.

Scripture says it was an act of love.
The juridical view make it an impersonal transaction in which God's damaged dignity is restored.

I pick "an act of love."

jim
 

childeye

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One perspective is that, at its beginning, the Church was based on the Faith.
Then the devil invented theology.

iakov the fool
Apparently the devil was already inventing theology in the garden of Eden.
 

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That is a clear view of the problem.
If man has no free will and God is completely sovereign over everything that happens then no man is guilty of any sin because God predestined all men to sin.
And because no man can resist God's sovereign will, God is responsible for all of man's sins.
Therefore, God is guilty of all the sin of mankind because He willed it and He is totally unjust to punish any human being for what He, God, forces every man to do.

Imho

iakov the fool
Jim Parker,
I find many problems with Calvinism.
The more I learn about it, the more abhorrent it becomes.

1. It changes the character of God.
We learn from the Word that God is a God of love.
He created, from the beginning of time, a plan of salvation since we are not pure creatures in our nature.
This also because He is a just God and cannot be in the presence of sin.

The Calvinist will tell me God is a just God. He is NOT just, if He does not offer ME, His creation, the opportunity to save myself.

2. I can never know if I am truly saved.
If Calvinism believes that IF I turn from God it means I was never saved to begin with - then HOW could I possibly know whether or not I AM saved since I must wait till the end of my life to see if I've been able to persevere. The Word tells me I have a CHOICE to persevere and will stay saved as long as I am in Christ.

3. Jesus' atonement was only for the elect few.
Why would any atonement be necessary in that case? God would have made me to be saved from the beginning. He, being God, could have figured out another way to save me without killing a part of Himself. For instance, He could have just not placed the Sin Nature in the selected few and just in the ones that were to be condemned.

From the cross Jesus said: Father forgive THEM for THEY know not what they do.
SO, He meant just the select few! Jesus was speaking about EVERYONE.
Of course, if speaking to a Calvinist, we'd have to stop right here and explain the word EVERYONE. English is a tough language.

4. Man is depraved.
Well, what kind of a God would make a creature that is so depraved that it could not even perceive Him unless He wanted it to? If God made man depraved - or He allowed this depravity, is He not responsible for it?

5. Eternal Security
No Choice to be saved (and KNOW IT)
No choice to be unsaved

This is a lie straight out of hell and will cause one to stumble time after time since we cannot know if we are truly regenerated or not, can only hope to be, and if we are and believe in eternal security, we can then sin all we want to and still be saved. This is incomprehensible to me and goes against everything JESUS said when He was walking on this earth to teach us how to live. Truly, if I were a Calvinist, I'd have to wonder WHY Jesus even had to be among us anyway. They'll say we're into works. Have they ever read Mathew 5, 6, 7, 22,-25, etc etc.

6. Where is satan in all this?
I never hear talk of satan. I guess it's because everything is on God. Which means that God also created evil and sustains evil. If God does not give me the opportunity to be a member of His family, then HE is the cause of my sin, HE is responsible FOR SIN and if I end up in hell, HOW is He a just God??

There must be more. It's just that I haven't had my coffee yet.

Wondering
 

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Deborah,

Regarding Matt 22:14 (ESV), 'Many are called, but few are chosen'. The fact that it is included in NT Scripture doesn't indicate it's intended only for a Jewish audience. This parable of the wedding feast applies to humanity.

Ellicott's commentary on this verse does not agree with your interpretation:


And neither do I.

Oz
I see Deborah didn't reply --
I agreed with her and it's because I DO believe she mentioned Mathew 22:12 and did mention about how we are to be wear the correct clothing to the wedding feast, which would be Jesus.

So, yes, not only is the call for the Jew, but for the whole world, and the few are chosen by "what we wear" which must be the Christ.

Just to clarify. I do believe Deborah13 would agree with this.

Wondering
 

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Wondering,

What I wrote in #541 was meant to be in agreement with your assessment in #539. What we have to be careful about with parables is that they are not meant to provide minute details of each part of the story. The general principle of a parable is that there is one main point to be made.

Oz
I couldn't agree with you more.

I've often said that the bible is a complete CONCEPT.
When we pick at verses, we will always run into trouble.
Any one, particular verse MUST conform to the complete CONCEPT.

The writers of the books and letters and gospels could not have been so careful in every single minute sentence they wrote because they DID NOT KNOW that some would be inventing such heretical theories around what they wrote. They meant and believed that the concept put forth would be accepted and put into practice.

For instance, John, who knew Jesus for years, could not have written so much about the love Jesus had for man - but then some will say that God predestines some to hell - a total contradiction to John.

I really have a difficult time with this.

Wondering
 

wondering

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The wrath of God abides on that person because he/she has not sought forgiveness from the Lord who appeases the wrath of God (1 John 2:2 ESV).

Oz
And John 3:36 which beloved57 is quoting says exactly the same thing.
"...he who DOES NOT obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him." NASB

And
"He who BELIEVES in the Son has eternal life..." NASB

Sounds like a choice to me.
The wrath of God is on those WHO DO NOT OBEY THE SON.

Wondering
 

OzSpen

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Wouldn't the wrath be against sinners rather than sin?

Read the Book brother: 'In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins' (1 John 4;10 ESV).

Jesus appeased the wrath (propitiated) of God for our SINS.

Oz
 

OzSpen

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I see Deborah didn't reply --
I agreed with her and it's because I DO believe she mentioned Mathew 22:12 and did mention about how we are to be wear the correct clothing to the wedding feast, which would be Jesus.

So, yes, not only is the call for the Jew, but for the whole world, and the few are chosen by "what we wear" which must be the Christ.

Just to clarify. I do believe Deborah13 would agree with this.

Wondering

The clothing being worn, in my view, is not the point of the parable of the Wedding Feast. The main point of the whole parable is the last verse: 'For many are called, but few are chosen' (Matt 22:14 ESV).

Oz
 

OzSpen

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And John 3:36 which beloved57 is quoting says exactly the same thing.
"...he who DOES NOT obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him." NASB

And
"He who BELIEVES in the Son has eternal life..." NASB

Sounds like a choice to me.
The wrath of God is on those WHO DO NOT OBEY THE SON.

Wondering

Wondering,

I've already used John 3:36 (ESV) in support of God's wrath in my post #569.

I've always believed it's a choice (Josh 24:15 ESV; Acts 16:31 ESV), but God does the drawing (John 6:44 ESV). God's love is towards all (John 3:16 ESV) and Jesus died for all (1 John 2:2 ESV) to make salvation available to all.

But I'm one of those out-of-fashion Reformed/Classical Arminians in my doctrine of biblical salvation.

Oz
 

wondering

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The clothing being worn, in my view, is not the point of the parable of the Wedding Feast. The main point of the whole parable is the last verse: 'For many are called, but few are chosen' (Matt 22:14 ESV).

Oz
But then HOW are the few chosen?
If not by "wearing" the Lord?

W
 

wondering

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Wondering,

I've already used John 3:36 (ESV) in support of God's wrath in my post #569.

I've always believed it's a choice (Josh 24:15 ESV; Acts 16:31 ESV), but God does the drawing (John 6:44 ESV). God's love is towards all (John 3:16 ESV) and Jesus died for all (1 John 2:2 ESV) to make salvation available to all.

But I'm one of those out-of-fashion Reformed/Classical Arminians in my doctrine of biblical salvation.

Oz
We agree on this OZ.
We have a habit of speaking past each other...

I believe I am also a classical Arminian (although I may not really know all this entails...)

W
 

OzSpen

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I couldn't agree with you more.

I've often said that the bible is a complete CONCEPT.
When we pick at verses, we will always run into trouble.
Any one, particular verse MUST conform to the complete CONCEPT.

The writers of the books and letters and gospels could not have been so careful in every single minute sentence they wrote because they DID NOT KNOW that some would be inventing such heretical theories around what they wrote. They meant and believed that the concept put forth would be accepted and put into practice.

For instance, John, who knew Jesus for years, could not have written so much about the love Jesus had for man - but then some will say that God predestines some to hell - a total contradiction to John.

I really have a difficult time with this.

Wondering

Wondering,

We face a few problems in 2016 with the theology you are raising here and I can only rely on my many years of living in Australia and 7 years in the USA and Canada:
  • Many people struggle with understanding the Bible and its overall message because sound expository preaching has been blown out the window by contemporary topical sermons. I had one preacher tell me recently, "I'm through preaching most of most sermons in 2 years and then I begin repeating them". My response (as a preacher) was: "I will never ever in my lifetime have preached through the entire Bible. Preaching from Genesis to Revelation would take more than 50 lifetimes". I've just spent 3 expository sermons working through James ch 2. The next one begins James 3.
  • I've met people who struggle with the context of verses because their pastors and Bible teachers (in church Bible studies) don't preach and teach like that.
  • Another difficulty we face with interpreting passages is that we are dealing with an English translation of Middle Eastern languages. We know the meaning in English (unless it comes with an Aussie accent and meaning) but that may not be exactly what the term means in the original language. Then there is the added problem that some pastors have not learned the original languages to be able to explain the words and phrases.
  • This is especially evident by how we use 'love' today. Even in English there are a number of views, e.g. love of my wife, my children, my parents, erotic love, other-centred love, etc. What did agape of God and agape of one another mean in the first century. How should agape be translated today to convey the meaning of the 'love of God' to the world of sinners (e.g. John 3:16 ESV). This is how the Amplified Bible attempted to translate the nuances of this verse: 'For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He [even] gave up His only begotten (unique) Son, so that whoever believes in (trusts in, clings to, relies on) Him shall not perish (come to destruction, be lost) but have eternal (everlasting) life' (John 3:16 Amp). That is an attempt to prize out the meaning of agape, but most of the other versions I checked on BibleGateway assumed we knew what 'loved' meant. Many don't understand the unique meaning of agape as a selfless, other-centred, sacrificial and unconditional type of love. It is not like parental, friendship or erotic love.
  • I am right with you in rejecting the view that the God of other-centred, sacrificial love could damn people to eternal suffering - all in the name of agape. It's an oxymoron of attempted understanding.
  • I not only have a difficult time with double-predestination, but I reject it as inconsistent with the God revealed in Scripture.
Oz
 
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