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The Value of Evangelism in Reformed Theology

wondering

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Maybe you're right. I heard others use Romans 1 to prove one can be saved without the gospel. *Stunned my the first time I heard it ... lol*

But, if you can't be saved without hearing the gospel and God determines (at least to some extent, I would say completely) who hears the gospel ( Acts 16:6), then God in some cases determines who is saved or not saved which fits nicely with my understanding of God choosing who is saved. I assume you agree that God determines who is and who is not saved in these circumstances and God determines who is and is not saved in regards to the age of accountability.
I also assume since so many people die before the age of accountability (abortions, miscarriages, mentally incompetant, early death, ... ), that you agree that the majority of people in heaven are there because God was the only determining factor. (unless you think there are a lot more people in heaven from hearing the gospel than those that got in via the 'age of accountability' or because is was the "libertarian free will" decision of another (example: "libertarian free will" decision of mother to abort child so her "libertarian free will" caused fetis to be 'saved'.
Your last sentence explains well:

Libertarian free will: The mother makes the moral choice to abort a baby. She is thus responsible for her decision.
Compatible free will (calvinism): GOD makes the choice to abort the baby since God determines or predestines everything.

Which of the above sounds more logical to you?
 

wondering

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Considering that this is my thread and my question, I suppose I should be the first to respond...

  • What do they do to be saved?
They do the same thing all have done and must do, they believe in Christ!

  • How does the percentage of those that have never heard the gospel and are saved compare to the percentage of those who have heard the gospel and are saved?
Rom 10:13....“Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” 14How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard?

Those who have not heard the gospel cannot be saved. Thus, there is no % of those who have not heard and yet are saved! 100% of those saved have heard the gospel in one way or another.

  • If the percent in question '2' shows more people are saved that never heard the gospel than are saved that have heard the gospel, then evangelism results in a greater number of people in hell from an Arminian perspective. If that be the case (maybe it's not), then how does an Arminian justify evangelism? (I suppose an Arminian can make the same claim as a reformed person and say results are secondary to obeying God, but from a human standpoint, why bother if the goal of evangelism is to see more people saved. Granted, maybe more people saved after hearing gospel than would have been otherwise. But, it would be important to know.
This question is precluded by the negation of its foundation, namely, question 2!


Doug
Does God not allow for those that have not heard the gospel?
A South American member of a primitive tribe believes in God and worships Him but
has never heard the gospel and does not know the name of Jesus.

Is Jesus not God?
The Trinity is ONE, not 3 Gods.
Isn't he worshipping the one true God that created the universe?

Is everyone on earth going to hell because they have not heard?
All the American Indians are banished from the sight of God even though many of them worshipped
the Great Spirit?

What does Romans 1:19-20 mean anyway?

Think about this.
We shouldn't put God in a box.
 

jerry63935

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I’m grateful he is reaching out to the lost (elect).
lost yes but it is taught some are destined for hell period ..no chance for salvation at all .the elect are those who God chooses to save
 

jasonc

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Does God not allow for those that have not heard the gospel?
A South American member of a primitive tribe believes in God and worships Him but
has never heard the gospel and does not know the name of Jesus.

Is Jesus not God?
The Trinity is ONE, not 3 Gods.
Isn't he worshipping the one true God that created the universe?

Is everyone on earth going to hell because they have not heard?
All the American Indians are banished from the sight of God even though many of them worshipped
the Great Spirit?

What does Romans 1:19-20 mean anyway?

Think about this.
We shouldn't put God in a box.
there's a reason Jesus died ,when a sincere religion can be acceptable to God .why the cross then ?

many of those American Indians were barbaric and cannabilistic.

the ais,timucua,caloosa ate their prisoners in tribal warfare
 

TibiasDad

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Definition of Libertarian Free Will: To make choices spontaneously, that is that the choices we make are in no wise conditioned by or determined by any prior prejudice, inclination, or disposition.
I think that this is a strawman definition that makes it impossible for any other possibility outside of absolute determinism at one extreme or Pelagic heresy on the other!

There are always influences and conditions.There are always dispositions; goodness gracious, we wouldn't be human if we didn't have dispositions or inclinations. We don't live in a void, but these things do not necessitate our decisions! Yes, they influence us strongly, and yes, they increase the probability of one decision over another, but they do not preclude any other decision but "our strongest desire"!

My greatest desire is not always the final choice. There are times that I really want to do something I enjoy, but responsibilities that are necessary but not enjoyable to me take precedence. It may be more important, but not more desirable!

Doug
 

JLB

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lost yes but it is taught some are destined for hell period ..no chance for salvation at all .the elect are those who God chooses to save

If someone loses something, it therefore means it first belonged to them.


This is what Jesus taught us, in the parable of the lost sheep, the lost coin, and the prodigal son.

This teaching from Jesus Christ completely destroys the false doctrine of Calvinism which teaches that if a person turns away from Christ they were never His to begin with.


Would you like me to post the scripture and discuss it?



JLB
 

Fastfredy0

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Re: example: "libertarian free will" decision of mother to abort child so her "libertarian free will" caused fetis to be 'saved'.
Your last sentence explains well:

Libertarian free will: The mother makes the moral choice to abort a baby. She is thus responsible for her decision.
Compatible free will (calvinism): GOD makes the choice to abort the baby since God determines or predestines everything.
Just so I understand you. You are saying that person "A" and determine whether person "B" is saved is not via person's "A' "libertarian free will" as the example of person "A" aborts baby "B"?

Which of the above sounds more logical to you?
Well, you've misrepresent Compatible free will (calvinism) when you said "God makes the choice to abort the baby." Calvinism and semi-pelagians and pelagians would say God allowed the evil to occur just like He allowed His son to be crucified. The part that you wrote about God ordained that he would allow the event to occur is accurate from a reformed standpoint.
I would say the more logical course is that God allowed the abortion to take place as Revelation trumps everything else and you have Eph. 1:11, Exodus 4:11, Lamentations 3:37-38; Psalm 33:10; Psalm 33:15; Proverbs 8:14; Proverbs 16:9; Proverbs 19:21; Proverbs 16:33 ... I could go on ... that seems enough.
From my small minds point of view/logic it seems best the have a perfect God guide all things as opposed to having immoral sinners determine any part of the outcome of God's creation. Let's see, the omnisapience of God determines the best outcome or sinful man... yep, I stay with God doing a better job.
 

Fastfredy0

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I think that this is a strawman definition that makes it impossible for any other possibility outside of absolute determinism at one extreme or Pelagic heresy on the other!

There are always influences and conditions.There are always dispositions; goodness gracious, we wouldn't be human if we didn't have dispositions or inclinations. We don't live in a void, but these things do not necessitate our decisions! Yes, they influence us strongly, and yes, they increase the probability of one decision over another, but they do not preclude any other decision but "our strongest desire"!

My greatest desire is not always the final choice. There are times that I really want to do something I enjoy, but responsibilities that are necessary but not enjoyable to me take precedence. It may be more important, but not more desirable!
I think the definition is accurate and not a strawman. Below are similar ones I found presenting man as somehow
  1. morally autonomous,
  2. free from constraints of human nature
  3. choose to act contrary to circumstances

Here's a definition from gotquestions.org:
Libertarian free will is basically the concept that, metaphysically and morally, man is an autonomous being, one who operates independently, not controlled by others or by outside forces. According to this view, a person who freely made a particular choice could have chosen differently, even if nothing about the past prior to the moment of choice had been different.” In the libertarian free will paradigm, the power of contrary choice reigns supreme. Sounds about the same to me

Theopedia says:
Libertarian free will means that our choices are free from the determination or constraints of human nature and free from any predetermination by God. Sounds about the same to me

Libertarian Freedom is the ability to choose to act contrary to circumstances, prior causes, one's desires, and one's fallen nature.


Give me your definition please as a foundation to your critical belief system and confirm it with an arminian source that concurs if you could, please.


To be fair I will give what I believe is 'reforms' definition of "free will" from three sources with which I concur:
  1. To make choices spontaneously, that is that the choices we make are in no wise conditioned by or determined by any prior prejudice, inclination, or disposition. R.C. Sproul
  2. Augustine’s Definition - one always chooses that which he desires most at the time
  3. Johnathon Edwards Definition - A man never, in any instance, wills anything contrary to his desires [greatest perceived pleasing of chooser], or desires anything contrary to his Will. The Determination of the Will, supposes an effect, which must have a cause.
 

jerry63935

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Would you like me to post the scripture and discuss it?
actually NO i have done email exchanges with a calvinist. who tried every way he could through scripture.to convert me to calvinism . i was in carm many years banned for days at a time for the way i replied back to the cat calls. strawman answers false teachers etc. i will only discuss certain subjects with certain ones in here. i really have no idea why you posted this ( If someone loses something, it therefore means it first belonged to them. ) the discussion is about reformed theology ..NOT osas or osnas that is another dead end discussing .its like a mule looking at a new gate btw reformed teaches pos perseverance of the saints. those who are really saved will stick with it
 

TibiasDad

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Does God not allow for those that have not heard the gospel?
A South American member of a primitive tribe believes in God and worships Him but
has never heard the gospel and does not know the name of Jesus.

I understand where you are coming from, and I certainly don't seek to put God in a box, but God is the one who lays down the parameters of how one becomes saved, and that is “If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.” For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (Rom 10:9-13)

Cornelius (Acts 10) was a believer in "God", which we assume to be the Jewish understanding of God, and the Corinthians in Acts 19 had only received John's baptism, but didn't know anything about the Holy Spirit. But they did not have a whole picture of what the gospel was all about. God knew the sincerity of their hearts, and sent messengers, Peter and Paul, to tell them what they needed to hear. Another modern day example is that of many Muslims who were converted by means of visions.

The urgency of the preaching of the gospel is predicated on the need of hearing and believing in Christ. If it were not necessary, there would be no real need to evangelize. We just can't believe in
"God", but must have some true light as to who that God is.

Now, I do not, as you suggest, put God in a box as to how he gets the gospel to people, and he is quite capable of speaking to people in his own way, but the general rule of thumb for the church is preach Christ crucified and resurrected as the only name under heaven by which we can be saved.

Doug
 
Last edited:

TibiasDad

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I think the definition is accurate and not a strawman. Below are similar ones I found presenting man as somehow
  1. morally autonomous,
  2. free from constraints of human nature
  3. choose to act contrary to circumstances

Here's a definition from gotquestions.org:
Libertarian free will is basically the concept that, metaphysically and morally, man is an autonomous being, one who operates independently, not controlled by others or by outside forces. According to this view, a person who freely made a particular choice could have chosen differently, even if nothing about the past prior to the moment of choice had been different.” In the libertarian free will paradigm, the power of contrary choice reigns supreme. Sounds about the same to me

Theopedia says:
Libertarian free will means that our choices are free from the determination or constraints of human nature and free from any predetermination by God. Sounds about the same to me

Libertarian Freedom is the ability to choose to act contrary to circumstances, prior causes, one's desires, and one's fallen nature.


Give me your definition please as a foundation to your critical belief system and confirm it with an arminian source that concurs if you could, please.


To be fair I will give what I believe is 'reforms' definition of "free will" from three sources with which I concur:
  1. To make choices spontaneously, that is that the choices we make are in no wise conditioned by or determined by any prior prejudice, inclination, or disposition. R.C. Sproul
  2. Augustine’s Definition - one always chooses that which he desires most at the time
  3. Johnathon Edwards Definition - A man never, in any instance, wills anything contrary to his desires [greatest perceived pleasing of chooser], or desires anything contrary to his Will. The Determination of the Will, supposes an effect, which must have a cause.

Well, with all due respect, no of this discounts my argument in my last post. God gives man the right to "choose this day whom you will serve" given he has sufficient evidence to adjudicate an either or set of options. (And there are always two options regarding belief in God's promises.)

Yes man is, in his unimpeded nature, incapable of making any true choice toward God and righteousness. But when God moves toward him, through the gospel, and the light that shines on every man who comes into the world illuminates the true darkness within man's heart and reveals the enmity that is between man and God, then man is given the choice to believe what has been revealed or reject it. The grace of God is greater than the power of sin, and can overcome and enable man's heart to grasp the truth and decide.

Freedom does not mean we choose without aid or influence from outside sources, but merely that the choice is man's to make, and not predetermined by God previously made choice, nor does God override our choice, like a Dominion voting machine, to gain the result he desires.


Doug
 

TibiasDad

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I can ask you a question: Do you believe the once you are saved you can't lose your salvation in which case I ask why did God take away your 'free will' to change your mind?

or .... if you believe a saved person can change his mind and no longer believe, I ask ...
  1. how many times can he change his mind? If not many times (70 x 7), then why did God take away his 'free will' and why is he still responsible if his "libertarian free will" was taken away?
  2. Given the hypothetical that one was born in 2000 and God, looks into the future and sees that one would believe salvifically 2020. (something like "for if the miracles had occurred in Sodom which occurred in you, it would have remained to this day) ... but God decides (or if you want a "free will" determinant, a mass killer decides) that you die in 2019 ... how does that work, was the guy just unlucky? Was his "libertarian free will" overridden by the mass murder (or God)? How does one have "libertarian free will" when it could be controlled by another man who has a conflicting "libertarian free will".
Finally, when one goes to hell or heaven ... I assume we both believe your not leaving. Has "libertarian free will" been abolished and "determinism" now rules? Are those in heaven no longer free to love God; rather, forced to?

No I do not believe that one once saved is always saved.

I do not venture any guess on the limit of God's patience with any particular person. I believe that he told me personally that, at seventeen years of age, I had fiddled around too much with his grace and that if I didn't get serious and make Christ the focal point of my life and quit living for myself that I would not hear from him again! I will not hold that standard for everyone, but when you've been told every day of your life about the gospel, I think seventeen years is a more than gracious opportunity to, as we say in my neck of the woods, pee or get off the pot!

But I've known many who were aware of the truth for many more years than I that eventually came to believe. God is not willing that any should perish, and is slow to anger a rich in mercy. I do not presume to know his ways with all men.

Regarding your hypothetical question, it is self-stultifying! If God foresees something, then it necessarily comes to pass or else he was incorrect in his foresight.

Once we are in eternity, the rules have changed. I believe that we will have true freedom, and there will be no desire for anything contrary to righteousness. I do think we can choose between X and Y, but X and Y have nothing to do with sin or something other than God. We are there because we chose to be there by believing in God's promises, and thus is an enduring act of our free will.


Doug
 

Fastfredy0

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Cornelius (Acts 10) was a believer in "God", which we assume to be the Jewish understanding of God, and the Corinthians in Acts 19 had only received John's baptism, but didn't know anything about the Holy Spirit. But they did not have a whole picture of what the gospel was all about. God knew the sincerity of their hearts, and sent messengers, Peter and Paul, to tell them what they needed to hear. Another modern day example is that of many Muslims who were converted by means of visions.
Ah, very good point. I never thought of that in conjunction with those who had not heard the gospel.
 

Fastfredy0

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Yes man is, in his unimpeded nature, incapable of making any true choice toward God and righteousness.
I assume this speaks to the depravity of man (“None is righteous, no, not one; 11 no one understands; no one seeks for God., John 3:20, etc.) If so, we are agreed. Aside that we being agreed makes us right (LOL)
God gives man the right to "choose this day whom you will serve" given he has sufficient evidence to adjudicate an either or set of options. (And there are always two options regarding belief in God's promises.)
We agreed here too. Just I would say those God enlightens all believe and you say it depends on man's "libertarian free will".
Aside: If "libertarian free will" be true and in order to use it one must moved to neutrality to make the decision ... statistically speaking one would think 1/2 of those that hear the gospel would be saved or God didn't move them to a position of neutrality.
I assume you are speaking of "prevenient grace" as the definition of this 'movement to neutrality'.

You still haven't given me a definition of "libertarian free will" using a quote of an Arminian author or website. Interesting ...
 

Fastfredy0

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I believe that he told me personally that, at seventeen years of age, I had fiddled around too much with his grace and that if I didn't get serious and make Christ the focal point of my life and quit living for myself that I would not hear from him again! I will not hold that standard for everyone, but when you've been told every day of your life about the gospel, I think seventeen years is a more than gracious opportunity to, as we say in my neck of the woods, pee or get off the pot!
Thanks for the testimony. I appreciated it.

Regarding your hypothetical question, it is self-stultifying!
I had to look up "self-stultifying" :) I don't agree, but won't entertain the question, no sense going further.

Thanks for the civil interaction.
 

TibiasDad

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You still haven't given me a definition of "libertarian free will" using a quote of an Arminian author or website. Interesting ...

free will​

n.
1. The ability or discretion to choose; free choice: chose to remain behind of my own free will.
2. The power of making choices that are neither determined by natural causality nor predestined by fate or divine will.

[Middle English fre wil, translation of Late Latin līberum arbitrium : Latin līberum, neuter of līber, free + Latin arbitrium, will.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


free will​


n
1. (Philosophy)
a. the apparent human ability to make choices that are not externally determined
b.
the doctrine that such human freedom of choice is not illusory. Compare determinism1
c. (as modifier): a free-will decision.
2. the ability to make a choice without coercion: he left of his own free will: I did not influence him.
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014

free′ will′​


n.
1. free and independent choice; voluntary decision.
2. the doctrine that the conduct of human beings expresses personal choice and is not simply determined by physical or divine forces.

free•will​

(ˈfriˈwɪl)

adj.
voluntary: a freewill contribution.
[1525–35]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.

ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Switch to new thesaurus
Noun1.free will- the power of making free choices unconstrained by external agencies
discretion
power, powerfulness - possession of controlling influence; "the deterrent power of nuclear weapons"; "the power of his love saved her"; "his powerfulness was concealed by a gentle facade"
self-determination - determination of one's own fate or course of action without compulsion
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


Doug
 

TibiasDad

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Just I would say those God enlightens all believe and you say it depends on man's "libertarian free will".

No, God still needs to enlighten first, and God gives us the choice. The ability to choose means nothing in itself, the choice made is all that matters; believe or refuse to believe. The only difference is the question of Irresistibility!


Doug
 

wondering

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lost yes but it is taught some are destined for hell period ..no chance for salvation at all .the elect are those who God chooses to save
WHERE exactly does the N.T. state what you've written above?
Where is it taught that some are destined for hell, period, because God determines this?
Where does it state that for some there is no chance for salvation at all?
Where does it say that God CHOOSES to save some?

Please back up your posts with scripture....
 

wondering

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there's a reason Jesus died ,when a sincere religion can be acceptable to God .why the cross then ?

many of those American Indians were barbaric and cannabilistic.

the ais,timucua,caloosa ate their prisoners in tribal warfare
Well, of course I'm not speaking about those.
Read Romans 1:19....and tell me of whom it is speaking.
 
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