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Calvinism

stovebolts

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Red said:
Jeff said:
When we look at the verse you posted, does your theology take into account these items?
1. Whence?
a. Sources (Oral traditions or written sources i.e. Jawist Source, Priestly source, Apostolic source or disciples)
b. Historical Author or Sender
2. What / What about?
a. The World of the Text (Implied author <-> Implied Receiver)
3. Whither
a. The World in front of the Text
b. Historical Receiver (Israel, Southern Kingdom, Church in Rome Theophilus etc)
c. Interpreter (Rabbis, School of Alexandria, Augustine, Luther, Calvin etc)

Sorry Steve, but Calvinism does not use oral tradition or Rabbis when it comes to the development of systemic doctrine.
Your style is a bit too eclectic.

Calvinism starts with the 66 Books of the Protestant Bible as its axiom, then explicitly states or logically deduces its doctrine. I refer you to the Westminster Confession of Faith, Chapter 1. I would go on to give the article, but after seeing the confusion of your hermeneutical principles I would suggest you read the entire first chapter of the Westminster Confession several times slowly.

Red,
I’m not trying to be sarcastic here, but please take a moment to actually read what I write. For starters, my name is Jeff (as noted at the end of a few of my posts) and my screen name is StoveBolts. You can call me Stove for short, or Jeff.
Secondly, I don’t think you took the time to read, or if you did, you didn’t understand what I had written. Perhaps this graph will better explain it.


In regard to the Jawist or Priestly source, I am speaking on the writers of sacred scriptures. When I speak on oral account, I believe that you would agree that Adam, Noah or Abram did not write their portions of Genesis, nor do I believe that the presumed author of Genesis has met any of the people mentioned. Furthermore, Luke also gives a second hand account on many items in both his gospel and in Acts. Thus, we speak of the oral word and oral traditions and neither of them are dirty words.
In regard to 3c, I believe that your interpretation of Calvin would be another category that I did not include. We can call that 4a if you want.
But you know what I find extremely ironic? Is how you slam down the law that the 66 books are you axiom and immediately refer me to the Westminster Confession of Faith. Personally, I found the Apostles Creed sufficient, but thank you anyway.

You see Red, scripture is deeper than the written word. It is a living word.

As far as, how did you put it? “Pesky Universalistsâ€Â. I have a hard time faulting the true URist for wanting all men to be saved and it should be our prayers that all men would come to Christ. Would you agree with this?
The last thing that I’ll say to you is this. You have your WCF and it’s based on a need in response to an opposing thought (you could use the chart above and just plug in Calvinism according to Red). If memory serves me, the Apostles Creed was created to affirm that Christ was in deed fully human as the Gnostics believed that Christ was God, and thus, could not have been a man. The second creed of the church (The Nicene Creed )was to affirm that Christ was indeed fully God and reject Arius’ claim that he wasn’t.
My point is this, creed’s and confessions don’t just jump out of thin air and neither did our bibles. Each word was written with a specific purpose for a particular tension in it’s time.
Job says to YHWH, I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye has seen you. (and I’m going to get a lot of mileage out of this scripture in the days to come).
Job didn’t get an answer, why must you insist that Calvinism has all the answers and belittle those who disagree? We must not create doctrine to “Win†arguments for truly, the battle belongs to the Lord.


JM,
I will start on a reply to your last post to me. (hopfully I can tag team Vic's in there too) You bring up some very good points that I hope to address and perhaps we can further address.

Peace,
Jeff
 

stovebolts

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JM said:
Would it be dangerous to base a doctrine on a revealed pattern of God working in the life of an individual? I don’t think so. Using Job to establish a pattern of God’s sovereignty over man along with supporting verses from other books is not dangerous, but needful to practical theological understanding. It gives context. I’d be more tempted to call those who dismiss clear wisdom given from God in hopes of creating a humanistic theology “witch craft.†If we think God’s thoughts after Him we see patterns of wisdom reveal theological truths.

JM,
Perhaps witch craft is a bit harsh? But if we look at the bulk of the wisdom literature (Especially Proverbs and Job), we will see that most of the wisdom literature from the Ancient Near East is / was an accumulation of secular wisdom and then adopted in with a Yahwist touch. I reject the majority of what was posted from the 5 Sola’s site and I’m afraid my explanation would be too lengthy to go into so lets just pass on the conversation ok?

But lets talk about Job can we? (I’m running out of time so I’ll try and be quick without scriptural reference, read Job yourself or I’ll post more tomorrow)
First, we do find out that Job is a great man of God. As far as wisdom goes, he is very wise and amongst the wisest, if not so himself.
We quickly find Satan coming in the presence of YHWH and what does YHWH say? “Have you seen my servant Job?â€Â. And Satan replies, “You place a hedge around him, take the hedge away and he will curse you.â€Â. So YHWH allows Satan some authority over Job.
This first part shows us that Satan is indeed under the authority of YHWH, but I also think it’s good to note that monotheism was not the normative then and that YHWH was considered more as the head of the deity (kind of like Zeus) than truly monotheistic and the story of Job brings the point that YHWH is indeed a single entity as Job echo’s that he needs a redeemer, that is to say, God Himself and he even toys with the thought that he would rather die than to know that God was not just... (most people see this as prophetic, but it’s not)
Now, we can fast forward to the arguments between Job and his friends, and what we see, is conventional wisdom. (kind of reminds me of some of the debates that go on here lol). This is wisdom against wisdom at it’s highest and is actually fun to discern the arguments. (but that’s for another day).
And then along come Elihu, professing to speak for God himself. Interesting that YHWH didn’t have Elihu offer a bull through Job for forgivness… but oh well.
And it climaxes, Job comes face to face with his redeemer, YHWH himself… and Job is humbled for he says, “I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye has seen youâ€Â. But notice, wisdom came by the ear, but knowledge comes through the encounter.

So the text clearly defines that all things are under YHWH’s control, even Satan. What impact does this have on free will? I think we need to define what free will is because if we think that we can do anything we please; scripture has another thing to say and were not looking outside of our little boxes. So how does this effect choice? Perhaps our choices are limited, but they certainly are not dictated. We see the conditional covenant in Deut 28 and the question has to be asked, “Why was it conditional if they didn’t have a choice.†You see, I don’t think it’s a dichotomy, I think it’s a paradox and we can all stay up all nite long trying to figure it out, but it’s only wisdom and intellectual words (and I’m not saying that this is wrong, it’s actually stimulating on occasion), but where’s the encounter if choice isn’t a factor and if our doctrines are forged for the purpose to be smarter than the others guys so that we can win an intellectual argument with secular wisdom, then I think Job has a lot to teach us in that matter.

In earlier scripture YHWH sates, “I AMâ€Â. That is, I will be who you need me to be. YHWH has many names, for he serves many purposes and wears many hats. Sometimes YHWH is the warrior, sometimes he’s wisdom, and sometimes he’s the redeemer and some times he present, even when he’s not present. But what it comes down to is this, God is love, and we all need a little bit of that.

This isn’t actually what I intended on writing, it just kind of came out…. Sorry for not proof reading, but time is short. Perhaps tomorrow will free up a bit.

Peace,
Jeff
 

JM

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Jeff,

JM,
Perhaps witch craft is a bit harsh? But if we look at the bulk of the wisdom literature (Especially Proverbs and Job), we will see that most of the wisdom literature from the Ancient Near East is / was an accumulation of secular wisdom and then adopted in with a Yahwist touch.

We part ways here.

~JM~
 
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Solo

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JM said:
The Bible is the word of God, it's not secular wisdom, but God breathed.
I totally agree. Perhaps CoC is a cult like Oscar says.......Hmmmm, or maybe Stovebolts is out on a limb by himself. ;-)
 

stovebolts

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Solo said:
I totally agree. Perhaps CoC is a cult like Oscar says.......Hmmmm, or maybe Stovebolts is out on a limb by himself. ;-)

Is it a salvation issue Solo :wink: BTW, your comment was uncalled for. If you have an issue with me, then make a formal debate request and I will respond accordingly, but stop with the mild slights and insinuations.

JM, Perhaps in my haste to get back to this thread, you have misunderstood me and after reading my post, I can see how . I will attempt to refine my earlier statments and articulate it with a bit more thought and attention.
 

stovebolts

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5 Sola's said:
Job 26:6-14 and states,
Notice that God formed the crooked serpent.
And summarizes all the scriptures into this one basket

From what we have studied so far, it is clear that God creates men wicked for the purpose of condemning them. The reasons are as follows: First, so that God would show His power and that His name would be declared in all the earth. The second reason is found in Romans 9, that ever-so-faithful passage that will always convince me of the supralapsarian position so long as it is in the Bible:

First, how does Job 26-6-14 fit into the above statement? Job was not considered a wicked man in the eyes of God. Job was innocent, pure and righteous in the eyes of God (Job 1:8). As I have attempted (poorly at best) to show, is that God was revealing his nature as a God that deserves being honored regardless of our situation.

JM said:
The Bible is the word of God, it's not secular wisdom, but God breathed.

It has long been known that wisdom literature has been around a long, long time. Take a look at Egyptian or Babylonian wisdom literature and its secular usage that some would argue predates Job. Now, I won't deny that the Bible is the word of God or that wisdom isn't God breathed, but what I will challenge is a possible notion that God gave his God breathed wisdom only to his elect.
( Proverbs 3:19, Proverbs 8:22-31 ) God is also the giver of wisdom ( Proverbs 2:6-8 ) and Judge ( Proverbs 3:11-12 Proverbs 5:21 Proverbs 6:16-19 , Proverbs 10:3 , Proverbs 29 , Proverbs 11:1 , Proverbs 28 and Proverbs 12:2 ) of wisdom. Finally, God is the source of all wisdom, secular or not. ( Job 38 )

Looking at Job and the arguments from his friends, it is quite clear that Godly / secular knowledge was being used in a theological sense against Job ( Job 4:1-7 as noted by the source of their common beliefs Job 4:12-21 and as a direct refute to the 5 Sola’s statement, Job 5:7 ) as Job’s own theological understanding was expanded to wrestle with the idea that God may not be a fair God ( Job 9:21-23 ), yet with Job’s monotheistic belief, there was no other God to serve so his hope was placed in Sheol ( Job 10:18-22 , Job 19:26 ). It was beyond their theological scope to understand that God would allow a righteous, innocent man to suffer and thus, Job must repent from his sins. ( Job 5:8-16 emphasis on Job 5:17) Make no mistake, Job was a righteous man in the eyes of God ( Job 1:8) and his experience caused him to become closer to God as he realized that nobody else could save him but God ( Job 19:25 ), as his friends thought that God was to lofty to have a personal relationship with man. Theologically, this does set the stage for Christ for Christ does suffer as an innocent, righteous man. Furthermore, we can see Paul’s conversion in Job as well since Paul was a righteous, zealous man of God before he had his encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus. Paul had heard of God, but he had not encountered God.

When Job encounters God, he finds out that God has set a natural order to things and though he never directly received an answer to his question, job was content and humble. (Job 42:1-6)

But through this all, we have not touched on Job’s faith. I believe that Job stood on his own faith and testifies many times to his own faith and God responded accordingly ( Job 42:17-17 ).
Satan makes the claim ( Job 1 Job 2 ) that God was protecting him, yet God took the hedge away, and there stood Job, naked to the world.

So you see, the purpose was not of Job to be condemned, but that God could show himself worthy of praise and worship under any circumstance.

Lunch break’s over.

*Edited to change Job 1:9 to Job 1:8
 
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BenJasher

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Hey Jeff! Not seen you around in a while. How ya been?


JM said:
The Bible is the word of God, it's not secular wisdom, but God breathed.

True. And no one is arguing that point. But as in the example of the wisdom literature, consider the "pattern" for the tabernacle God showed to Moses. If you look at the history of Egypt at the time of the Exodus, you will find that Egypt was littered with temples that were basically the same thing that Moses built in the wilderness.

Do you think that Moses would be familiar with those Egyptian temples? I can't say for certain that he was. But it would seem asinine that a member of the Royal household of Egypt would not be familiar with the pattern of those temples.

So the "pattern" that YHWH showed to Moses was not the outer court, inner court, and Holy of Holies pattern. As I said, he was already familiar with that pattern. It was, therefore, something else.

But that doesn't endanger the idea that the word of God is inspired.

At least one of Jesus' parables had it's origin in the crude folk tales of the people at that time. (Lazarus and the Rich man) Did that take away from the authority of that parable? No. Did it mean that Luke was not inspired of God when he recorded that parable? No.
 

Drew

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On the matter of any distinction between secular wisdom and the wisdom that is embodied in the word of God: I am not sure such a distinction can even be drawn. When human beings develop medecines, is the wisdom that is used in that effort "secular"? Well, that type of wisdom is not really expressed in the Scriptures, even if there is indeed Biblical wisdom that should motivate us to develop medecines to treat the sick.

I am always leery of the drawing of a "line" such that the "sacred" lies on one side and the "secular" on the other - shouldn't it ideally all be sacred? If knowledge serves the purpose of bettering the lives of our fellow men, is this knowledge not worthy to be called sacred. One problem is that the word "secular" can and is used by some evangelicals as a kind of a smear. When used this way to denigrate the advancements in science, technology, literature, art, etc., I think a real dis-service is done.

Of course, we can meaningfully talk about doctrines and facts that are expressed in the Scriptures as distinguished from items of knowledge we gain from purely non-scriptural sources. But even here, one needs to be careful. As I have tried to argue elsewhere, even Scriptural knowledge does not stand isolated from our knowledge of the world as gained empirically.

Maybe I misunderstand Ben Jasher's post, but I suspect I am saying something in a similar spirit.
 

JM

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Nothing more then imitations from the pagans. Much has been written on this topic and I’m certain you both have read or could find articles so I won’t need to go into it. But I will say both of you state from a secularized humanistic viewpoint. You both are seeking “original sources†and missing the source of everything in the world, God. “Think God’s thoughts afterHim.â€Â

~JM~
 

stovebolts

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Hey son of Jasher,
Ive been doing well my good friend and brother in Christ. Between work and the kids, I've been really busy.
Your ears must of been tickling, I was just thinking about you the other day lol.

Anyway, I'm editing my last post. I put Job 1:9 instead of 1:8. You know how that goes, mind types what it thinks... lol.

BTW, great post! Addionally, It's an interesting study when you get into all them "High Places" (archeologically speaking).

Jeff
 

Drew

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People that have been following another thread may know that JM simply will not answer a clear well-posed question as to whether it is even possible that he is mistaken in respect to the beliefs that he holds about God.

I think that bringing this matter up is relevant as as any refusal to admit to fallibility suggests that JM is required , in specific virtue of his infallibility, to conclude that those who disagree with him are mistaken, without need to actually engage the arguments of the other.

I will ask you again, JM:

Is it even possible that one or more of your beliefs about God and the way He works in the World are mistaken?

It is not possible (for me anyway) to discuss the nature of the distinction (if any) between secular knowledge and sacred knowledge with someone who will not admit to the mere possiblity of holding incorrect knowledge in his own mind.

Is it part of Calvinism to believe that one is infallible in matters of Christian doctrine? I surely expect not. If it is, that is a real fastball down the heart of the plate, one which I will all too eagerly jump all over....
 

stovebolts

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JM said:
Nothing more then imitations from the pagans. Much has been written on this topic and I’m certain you both have read or could find articles so I won’t need to go into it. But I will say both of you state from a secularized humanistic viewpoint. You both are seeking “original sources†and missing the source of everything in the world, God. “Think God’s thoughts after Him.â€Â

~JM~

JM, if you are replying to my last post where I'm referencing Job, then you have to admit that these "Imitations" were widely accepted as YHWH's truth and from that measuring stick, God still called Job righteous... (Job 1:8) After all, Job had taught these same doctrines until his own theology was Challenged...
 

JM

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StoveBolts, my last comment stands.

____________________________________

Drew,

People that have been following another thread may know that JM simply will not answer a clear well-posed question as to whether it is even possible that he is mistaken in respect to the beliefs that he holds about God.

I'm not taking the bate Drew.



"'The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God,....neither can he know them' (1 Cor. 2:14). He may have more insight into the things of the world than a believer, but he does not see the deep things of God. A swine may see an acorn under a tree, but he cannot see a star."

THOMAS WATSON

I think that bringing this matter up is relevant as as any refusal to admit to fallibility suggests that JM is required , in specific virtue of his infallibility, to conclude that those who disagree with him are mistaken, without need to actually engage the arguments of the other.

Assuming too much, jumping to conclusions, yikes already.

I will ask you again, JM:

Is it even possible that one or more of your beliefs about God and the way He works in the World are mistaken?

As a sinful man it’s absolutely “within the limits of ability, capacity, or realization†to be mistaken, however, I posted before, “Possibilities are NOT facts. That is why they are only possibilities. 2) Where does Scripture state the possibilities or that possibilities have more authority than facts clearly stated?†You ignored this. How does it feel to have someone always pussy footin’ around the issues? When you were asked directly, by several posters, if you were an open theist…what was your answer?

It is not possible (for me anyway) to discuss the nature of the distinction (if any) between secular knowledge and sacred knowledge with someone who will not admit to the mere possiblity of holding incorrect knowledge in his own mind.

It’s not possible to discuss the nature of God’s word with someone who doesn’t hold the Bible as the final authority, but will resort to “possibilities†in place of facts and philosophy in place of theology. We can’t even agree on the nature of God…what is there to discuss?

Nothing.

Is it part of Calvinism to believe that one is infallible in matters of Christian doctrine? I surely expect not. If it is, that is a real fastball down the heart of the plate, one which I will all too eagerly jump all over....

Is it part of Open Theism to believe that God is fallible and will change His mind while we work things out here on earth? Yes it is.

~JM~
 

Drew

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JM said:
Drew said:
I will ask you again, JM:

Is it even possible that one or more of your beliefs about God and the way He works in the World are mistaken?

As a sinful man it’s absolutely “within the limits of ability, capacity, or realization†to be mistaken, however, I posted before, “Possibilities are NOT facts. That is why they are only possibilities. 2) Where does Scripture state the possibilities or that possibilities have more authority than facts clearly stated?†You ignored this. How does it feel to have someone always pussy footin’ around the issues? When you were asked directly, by several posters, if you were an open theist…what was your answer?
I can tell you one area where JM not only can be mistaken, but in fact is mistaken (with one caveat) - that is in his representation of the facts.

1. I have never argued that the Scripture declares possibilities and not facts. The informed reader will know this, although I am happy to prove this if asked.

2. I have on several occasions stated that I am sympathetic to open theism. I have not come to a final conclusion and am satisfied to operate in a state of uncertainty - a state which I assert is more consonant with the way real learning takes place in the world - we slowly gather information and come to a conclusion at the appropriate time.

My caveat: It is possible that I have been asked if I am an open theist by one of 2 individuals that I have had on "ingore" for quite some time now. I consider their posts to be inconsequential and I do not waste time on them.

So I am not pussyfooting on anything - I clearly and publically declare that I think that open theism is more likely correct than not. I should not have to declare that I do not believe that the Scriptures speak only of possibilities - I have done so in the past. Anyone want to challenge me to post the proof? Please,....make my day.

I have answered all questions you suggest that I have dodged - except perhaps from those on "ignore". Now please simply answer the question I have asked you.

When you write:

As a sinful man it’s absolutely “within the limits of ability, capacity, or realization†to be mistaken, however, I posted before, “Possibilities are NOT facts.
you seem to come within a hair of admitting fallibility, but then you draw back with with "Possibilities are NOT facts" clause. Please just be clear with us all so you know where you stand on the matter of your fallibility.

In case I need to repeat, I will answer the question myself:

It is possible that I am mistaken in respect to any of the beliefs that I hold about God.

What about you, JM?
 

JM

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As you have wrote in response to me in the past, that's one way to interpret what I wrote, but that's only one possible interpretation.

~JM~
 

Drew

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Sometimes these little back and forths can take on a life of their own. I suspect that other posters are not interested in our little punch-counter-punch action.

However, in all seriousness, I think it is highly relevant to know if a poster believes that they are infallible in matters of doctrine. So why not simply answer the question? If you admit fallibility, I will drop the issue. If you claim infallibility, then you are telling us something vitally important about your view about the nature of faith.

If, for whatever reason, you do not wish to admit fallilbility yourself, then please answer the following alternative question:

Is there any human being alive today who is infallible in matters of Christian doctrine?
 
B

BenJasher

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I tend to agree with Drew.

Just because something is "secular", meaning it is not Biblical, doesn't make it ungodly.
 
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