Announcement

Collapse

Christianity 201 Guidelines

orthodox Christians only.

Discussion on matters of general mainstream evangelical Christian theology that do not fit within Theology 201. Have some spiritual gifts ceased today? Is the KJV the only viable translation for the church today? In what sense are the books of the bible inspired and what are those books? Church government? Modern day prophets and apostles?

This forum is primarily for Christians to discuss matters of Christian doctrine, and is not the area for debate between atheists (or those opposing orthodox Christianity) and Christians. Inquiring atheists (or sincere seekers/doubters/unorthodox) seeking only Christian participation and having demonstrated a manner that does not seek to undermine the orthodox Christian faith of others are also welcome, but must seek Moderator permission first. When defining ďChristianĒ or "orthodox" for purposes of this section, we mean persons holding to the core essentials of the historic Christian faith such as the Trinity, the Creatorship of God, the virgin birth, the bodily resurrection of Christ, the atonement, the future bodily return of Christ, the future bodily resurrection of the just and the unjust, and the final judgment. Persons not holding to these core doctrines are welcome to participate in the Comparative Religions section without restriction, in Theology 201 as regards to the nature of God and salvation with limited restrictions, and in Christology for issues surrounding the person of Christ and the Trinity. Atheists are welcome to discuss and debate these issues in the Apologetics 301 forum without such restrictions.

Additionally and rarely, there may be some topics or lines of discussion that within the Moderator's discretion fall so outside the bounds of mainstream orthodox doctrine (in general Christian circles or in the TheologyWeb community) or that deny certain core values that are the Christian convictions of forum leadership that may be more appropriately placed within Unorthodox Theology 201. NO personal offense should be taken by such discretionary decision for none is intended. While inerrancy is NOT considered a requirement for posting in this section, a general respect for the Bible text and a respect for the inerrantist position of others is requested.

The Tweb rules apply here like they do everywhere at Tweb, if you haven't read them, now would be a good time.

Forum Rules: Here
See more
See less

Review:Vance's The Other Side of Calvinism

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Review:Vance's The Other Side of Calvinism

    Explanation: The crash interrupted my review of Laurence M. Vance's The Other Side of Calvinism, but I still have most of the stuff written for it. I don't remember where I was in the book when Tweb crashed, though. So, either the stuff below overlaps what I'd posted before or there is a gap. If you think there is a gap, please let me know where I was in the book.

    Drat, too long >10000 characters. I will have to post the second half next Friday evening. Sorry!

    eta: I see the
    ...
    formatting does not work now. Sorry.


    Here goes . . . the first half of what I had intended to post.


    First I will repeat the last paragraph of my last post (if my memory serves):
    Let me summarize some paragraphs, thus: Faith is not a work. The elect are saved by faith and not by works. Salvation by faith is a gift from God. But we should now move on to the next section of this chapter (Chapter 9).

    Second, let me quote V's summary in Chapter 10--Perseverance of the Saints--that covers the first four petals of the TULIP creed:
    The depravity of man is a biblical doctrine, but as we have seen, the Calvinistic doctrine of Total Depravity is not. Likewise, although the doctrine of election is also scriptural, the Calvinistic doctrine of Unconditional Election is certainly not. The third point of Calvinism. Limited Atonement, is so controversial and difficult to defend that many Calvinists reject it. Although salvation is unquestionably by grace, the Calvinistic doctrine of Irresistible Grace, as proven in [Chapter 9], teaches salvation by another Gospel.




    New Testament Salvation (a section of the chapter on Irresistible Grace)


    V summarizes his understanding of the Calvinist position on salvation:
    If men are dead in sin to the extent that they are unable to believe on [sic for in?] Jesus Christ of their own free will, yet God has elected some to salvation, atoned for their sin, and wills for them to be saved, then the only way any of then can and will be saved is by quietly waiting for God to overpower their will and regenerate them so that they can repent and believe the Gospel.

    One of the problems with that, V says, is that many[? my word, based on my understanding of what V says] Calvinists claim or imply that their system is the only one that "teaches salvation is solely the work of God."

    V quotes the following Bible verses to prove that "the imputed righteousness of Christ, which is the basis of our justification and spiritual blessings, is given after a man believes": Romans 4:22-24; "a man has life because he believes; he does not believe because he has life": John 1:12, John 20:31, Romans 1:16, 1 Cor. 1:21, Gal. 3:26; "God saves those who believe": John 3:16, John 6:47, Acts 16:31, Romans 10:9; but not people who don't/won't believe: John 3:18, John 8:24.

    V avers contra the Primitive Baptists that the word of God is the necessary means whereby anyone is saved and cites these verses: Romans 10:17, 1 Cor. 4:15, James 1:21, 1 Peter 1:23. Let me point out Romans 10:1-16 and 10:18-20. And also look at the verses in Psalm 19 that come before its fourth verse.

    Whether or not V's position on all those questions is correct or not, Calvinists do have a problem with their arguments. IMO they have not made others' positions seem untenable and their own positions tenable.


    Infant Salvation in Irresistible Grace (Chapter 9)


    Obviously the Bible cannot answer all the questions people may have, particularly this question: Would any infant, imbecile, or heathen ever get to heaven? And if the answer is yes, then which one or ones? Why those and, if that is the case, not others?

    V shows at least one Calvinist who averred that all infants, all imbeciles, and all heathen is in heaven or will go there. And consider what the Westminster Confession of Faith has to say on the subject: "Elect infants, dying in infancy, are regenerated, and saved by Christ, through the Spirit, who worketh when, and where, and how he pleaseth: so also are all other elect persons who are uncapable [sic]of being outwardly called by the ministry of the Word." (section X.III). Will the proof texts for that quoted passage be adequate to prove it? Let's see.

    But before we examine those texts, let me point out that Gordon H. Clark in his commentary on the Westminster Confession of Faith, says that the Bible does not answer the question, declaring, "For all the Confession says, all may be lost or all may be saved." I think he meant also that the answer might lie between those extremes, but we would never know what the answer is.

    Now, the proof texts plus my counterpoints: Luke 18:16--Jesus didn't say that the Kingdom belongs to the children that He called for. Acts 2:38,39--The last verse certainly does seem to clinch the Calvinist argument. But the promise is conditional. The first verse spells what one must do or go through to get the gift of the Holy Spirit. Maybe the children will grow up and thus become able to receive the Holy Spirit. Maybe some far-away people will get the Good News someday (not now).

    Again obviously those questions posed above cannot be answered with a diligent search of the Bible. So why go on with the section on infant salvation? It seems to show that the Calvinists are wrong at least here. It seems to me the speculative nature of Calvinist theology if not downright inconsistency with the Bible can be clearly seen. For one thing, as we'll see, Calvinists appear to preach that God uses two means of salvation, one of which is specific to infants, imbeciles and heathen. Proof texts and my counterpoints: John 3:3,5--Jesus' words to Nicodemus certainly does not answer those questions above; also recall Clark's words above. 1 John 5:12--no comment except to express puzzlement why that was cited. Romans 8:9--If the Spirit of God is in you, sin no longer rules you. It is the Spirit of God that rules you. If it does not live in you, you do not belong to Christ. What about the poor person who is unable to understand the Bible or the Good News? No go?


    There are more verses, but I think the paragraph just above shows the lack of support for the Calvinist position. But V goes further, citing John 8:24, John 14:6, and Acts 4:12, to assert, "That any man in the Church Age could be eternally saved without believing on Jesus Christ is a direct contradiction and overturn of Scripture."

    There is more in the infant salvation section, but I am not interested in any minority position taken by a Calvinist or a few Calvinists. I cry, On to evangelism!


    Evangelism, a section of Chapter 9


    How tough it would be for a Calvinist to go from answering questions regarding infant salvation to questions regarding evangelism? You can preach to your wee bairn until you're blue in the face, but it will just coo and gurgle back at ye. Then why try to win souls? At least one Calvinist has noted that the duty of evangelism seems at least at first glance to be a big round peg that won't fit into a small square hole (Calvinism) (my metaphor).

    V is evidently well versed in Calvinist literature, yet he has not shown any good argument from it to consider evangelism as a necessary part of Calvinism. It seems, at least to me, that we are indeed commanded to bring the Good News to people including the heathen. Would any Calvinist dare to challenge that assertion? V does believe that evangelism and Calvinism do not go together. By the way, part of V's own position is this: "The free offer of salvation in the Gospel is the heart of evangelism." And he asserts that anyone following the TULIP system punctiliously in every way must reject any offer that is part of evangelizing (my slightly inexact paraphrase). Anyone who totally accepts the doctrine of Irresistible Grace should be challenged to explain why it would nevertheless be worthwhile to try to win souls and proclaim the Good News to the non-elect. V, however, seems to show by numerous quotations that as a rule Calvinists insists that there is "no conflict between soul winning and [Calvinist] doctrines of grace." He even says that the Westminster Confession has the same dichotomy in Section VII.3; perhaps he is right in that it does not mention any necessity for human evangels to bring the Gospel to the ignorant. Let me note that V asserts that the best example of a human evangel is Paul. Presumably V thinks that if one is faced by an opportunity to bring the GoodNews to some ignorant person, one should take it.

    Romans 10:14 and 10:17 and 1 Thess 2:16 appear fatal to the Calvinist position--I mean, either the assertion that Calvinists do not do evangelizing or the assertion that evangelism has a natural place in Calvinism.

    V asserts that the theology and ministry of "Paul was rather unlike the theology and ministries of modern Calvinists," citing Romans 11:14, 1 Cor. 4:15, 1 Cor. 9:22, Phile. 10.
    The greater number of laws . . . , the more thieves . . . there will be. ---- Lao-Tzu

    [T]he truth Iím after and the truth never harmed anyone. What harms us is to persist in self-deceit and ignorance -ó Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

  • #2
    Summary of Chapter 9 (The Other Side of Irresistible Grace)


    * Calvinists do not have a convincing reason to think that evangelism fits in their system.
    * [I'm going to skip this part because it concerns a position that apparently only a few Calvinists take.]
    * Some of the Irresistible Grace tar pits are in Revelations 22:17 ("Whosoever will") and John 3:15, 16; Acts 10:43; Romans 10:11 ("Whosoever believes").
    * [The reason to skip (see above) applies here also.]
    * V thinks the story of the Bethesda pool in John 5:2-8 refutes the Calvinist position. Interestingly, to bolster his argument, he cites Romans 5:6 (impotent), 2 Cor. 4:4 (blind), Eph. 2:12 (halt), Isa. 1:6 (withered).
    * V quotes John Wesley: Calvinism "represents our Lord as a hypocrite, a deceiver of the people, a man void of common sincerity, as mocking his helpless creatures by offering what he never intends to give, by saying one thing and meaning another." I am baffled. If one could infer all those from what Calvinists preach, I just don't see how. Could someone please help me out? For one thing, it seems to me that from a human perspective the offer of heavenly life is conditioned on one's believing. Regeneration in the Calvinist system does indeed have to precede the acceptance of the offer, though. Right?



    Chapter 10 Perseverance of the Saints


    Is it, God perseveres, or will persevere, with the saints,
    the saints persevere with whatever,
    or something else?

    Also, the Roman Catholic Church, V says, has misinterpreted saint (Calvinists and others interpret that as a born-again "child of God").

    V claims that the Perseverance petal is not necessary, like the Limited Atonement petal was not. So, if he's correct, why spend much time on the perseverance petal? Because Calvinism does not do well with that, based on V's dissection of it.

    First we need to pin down what Calvinism originally meant by perseverance of the saints. Someone suggested that it should be "Preservation of the Saints." V says he would not argue against this definition: "The doctrine declares that once God has begun the work of salvation in any person, He will persevere therein to the end and will never let any of his own be lost."

    But many of V's quotations of the Calvinist literature show that definitions offered by Calvinists diverge considerably from that definition quoted above. In a few instances Calvinists combine both perseverance and preservation. Someone named Pink claims that these two ideas could not be put asunder because "[Divine preservation] is accomplished via [Christian perseverance]." V disagrees, insisting that these two ideas are really completely unrelated.

    (I am skipping much material). V draws some inferences from all those later definitions.
    1)The saint will persevere.
    2) Only those who persevere in the faith are the true Christians.
    3 Those who do not persevere are lost.
    4) But real Christians can return to the faith before their demise after getting lost. (Here, I had a sudden dream of a dad driving his family to a vacation place and getting lost because he would not ask for directions. Eventually the family does find the right way because the dad finally does give in and ask for directions.)
    5) Christians not returning to the faith were never saved in the first place.
    V says that all those inferences do not mean that Perseverance of the Saints is the same as eternal security. Now, many people including Calvinists mistakenly think that is what is meant by Perseverance of the Saints. The rest of the doctoral Calvinists disagree. Pink, for example, called the idea "once saved, always saved" a lullaby. I'm amused that Arminians associate that with the Calvinists; V quotes a fella who "terms John Walvoord's defense of eternal security against Arminianism as a defense, 'not of the orthodox doctrine, but of a travesty of it worse than the Arminian doctrine itself.'"

    V wrote a section titled Arminianism, which I don't think we need to take it all in. However, let me note that V sees agreement--surprise--between Arminians and Calvinists on perseverance. But he stresses that salvation is not of works (Romans 4:5, Eph. 2:8-9, Titus 3:5). Aside from believing on Jesus Christ (John 3:16, John 6:47, Acts 16:31, Romans 10:9), persevering in good works is not what is required for salvation. Calvinists who take that way are said to "back load the Gospel."

    In the next section Proof Texts, V asserts that no text affirms that believers will always or finally persevere in the faith. So, he simply compares Arminian commentaries with Calvinist ones to demonstrate the differences between Arminianism and Calvinism in this area are trivial, except for one to be mentioned later.

    Because lordship salvation has been connected with Calvinism, V discusses lordship salvation and concludes that it has several errors. This section comes after the section titled Perseverance, which I hope we can skip.

    After the section on lordship salvation is the section Preservation. V points out that perseverance by man is work, implying that God's grace is insufficient, needing a man's perseverance to complement it. To the contrary, consider this: When Paul became too proud, God gave him a "thorn in the flesh" that was so unbearable Paul begged the Lord to take it away three times. But the Lord said, "My grace is enough for you. When you are weak, my power is made perfect in you" (2 Cor. 12:7-10).

    V says that the word perseverance appears just once in the Scriptures: Ephesians 6:18 (remember, he is using the KJV; I used Bible Gateway to search in New Century Version and the search failed to find that word in that version. I would take with a grain of salt argument based on word searches). But preservation or another form is in 1 Thes. 5:23, 2 Tim. 4:18, Jude 1.

    Highlight
    Calvinist John Murray says, "Union with Christ is really the central truth of the whole doctrine of salvation."
    Both "Arminians and Calvinists claim that a man must continue believing throughout his life in order to be saved." 2 Timothy 2:12 is their proof text. V says, however, that the next verse (v.13) is fatal to their position.


    Arminius


    V says this section is necessary because both Calvinists and Arminians misrepresent his positions, especially on the doctrine of perseverance. He did not believe "the teaching that one can lose his salvation unless he does something."

    So far did his followers depart from Arminius' positions that one might wonder whether Arminus would today be considered an Arminian (my jest).




    We can now begin to wind up our review of V's book with this quotation:
    If a man's salvation depends on his perseverance then his Total Depravity would only be partial, or else he might have the Total Inability to persevere.
    If a man's salvation depends on his perseverance then he could never be the subject of Unconditional Election, for salvation would be conditional.
    If a man's salvation depends on his perseverance, a Limited Atonement was a failure, for some of the "elect" may not persevere long enough to benefit from it.
    If a man's salvation depends on his perseverance, Irresistible Grace could never have been applied, for the grace of God would prove to be resistible.
    If a man's salvation depends on his perseverance, Perseverance of the Saints is impossible, for no one will or can ever persevere in the absolute holiness which God requires.
    (the formatting of the passage above is mine, though each sentence is what V wrote) . Realize that the argument presented in the indented statements above assumes that it is the man who persevere, not God.



    There's one more section, but I may get more thoughts, so I'm putting it off to next Friday.
    The greater number of laws . . . , the more thieves . . . there will be. ---- Lao-Tzu

    [T]he truth Iím after and the truth never harmed anyone. What harms us is to persist in self-deceit and ignorance -ó Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

    Comment


    • #3
      SUMMARY
      There is no concluding chapter or section, just the last two sentences of the present section of the present chapter ("The Other Side of the Perseverance of the Saints"):
      We have seen that the word of God is not bound by Total Depravity, Unconditional Election, Limited Atonement, and Irresistible Grace. We can now add Perseverance of the Saints to the list of the philosophical speculations and theological implications of the other side of Calvinism.


      MY CONCLUDING REMARKS
      I do think V has taken off the last petal ("P"). But . . . here let me repeat the last part of my last post:
      If a man's salvation depends on his perseverance then his Total Depravity would only be partial, or else he might have the Total Inability to persevere.
      If a man's salvation depends on his perseverance then he could never be the subject of Unconditional Election, for salvation would be conditional.
      If a man's salvation depends on his perseverance, a Limited Atonement was a failure, for some of the "elect" may not persevere long enough to benefit from it.
      If a man's salvation depends on his perseverance, Irresistible Grace could never have been applied, for the grace of God would prove to be resistible.
      If a man's salvation depends on his perseverance, Perseverance of the Saints is impossible, for no one will or can ever persevere in the absolute holiness which God requires.
      Now, what about the rest of Calvinism? The indented section just above cannot be used by itself to refute that.

      Consider the negation of a premise that was discussed before: One's salvation does not depend on his perseverance. So, what is the implication for Calvinism? It seems to me we need to add one or more premises before we reach a conclusion from that or those plus the "not" premise.

      In any case, V gives us a whole bookful of evidence that Calvinists do not agree on this or that point of Calvinism, and there are many such points. Also, it would appear Calvinists generally have not adduced adequate Scriptural support for their positions on all the petals, at least in V's eyes.

      Per the author, I think a fairly standard Calvinist position on what is meant by Total Depravity is that man is unable to do what God commands him to do, time after time, such as to repent and believe the gospel (Mark 1:15). There is nearly unanimous agreement that man is depraved, but V seems to think that the inability discussed above is not always total. If so, I would agree that the Total Depravity petal falls out. If that goes, then so do the other petals (based on section The Importance of Total Depravity in Chapter 6 [Total Depravity]). What do I think? I confess to some uncertainty. I need more time to think things through. For one thing it's not clear to me what V has got against the notion of "a sovereign, eternal decree of election."

      But when I started V's book--soon after that I started the pre-crash precursor of this thread--I was a Calvinist. Now, at the end of this review, I am no longer a Calvinist--perhaps later I will come back, but I rather doubt that. One reason is that I got the impression from what I had read that Calvinism is the result of logical, sound, thorough exegesis, but V's book convinced me to think otherwise.

      I don't know what tag to apply to my present set of Christian beliefs except to say it's Protestant. Incidentally, in one of V's blogs (sorry I can't tell you the URL), he said he was an independent Baptist.
      The greater number of laws . . . , the more thieves . . . there will be. ---- Lao-Tzu

      [T]he truth Iím after and the truth never harmed anyone. What harms us is to persist in self-deceit and ignorance -ó Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Truthseeker
        V points out that perseverance by man is work, implying that God's grace is insufficient, needing a man's perseverance to complement it.
        Vance may "point out" this, but he is incorrect. Perseverance is not a separate work, whether we're talking theologically or otherwise. If I told you go to and "persevere," you would have to ask me: Persevere in doing what? It's really more of a tense modifier, like saying "continually." Grammatically it's a verb, but semantically more like an adverb. Perseverance is simply what men experience: When God has saved someone, changing his heart and bringing the indwelling Holy Spirit, that person will not only profess faith initially, but will persevere in the profession of that faith, and in the experience of a life reflecting union with Christ. As R.C. Sproul says on the matter,

        "Our confidence in the perseverance of the saints does not rest upon our confidence in the saints' ability, in themselves, to persevere... I prefer to speak of the preservation of the saints. The reason true Christians do not fall from grace is that God graciously keeps them from falling. Perseverance is what we do. Preservation is what God does. We persevere because God preserves. ("Chosen By God," 1986, pp 174-175)

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by RBerman View Post
          Vance may "point out" this, but he is incorrect. Perseverance is not a separate work, whether we're talking theologically or otherwise. If I told you go to and "persevere," you would have to ask me: Persevere in doing what? It's really more of a tense modifier, like saying "continually." Grammatically it's a verb, but semantically more like an adverb. Perseverance is simply what men experience: When God has saved someone, changing his heart and bringing the indwelling Holy Spirit, that person will not only profess faith initially, but will persevere in the profession of that faith, and in the experience of a life reflecting union with Christ. As R.C. Sproul says on the matter,

          "Our confidence in the perseverance of the saints does not rest upon our confidence in the saints' ability, in themselves, to persevere... I prefer to speak of the preservation of the saints. The reason true Christians do not fall from grace is that God graciously keeps them from falling. Perseverance is what we do. Preservation is what God does. We persevere because God preserves. ("Chosen By God," 1986, pp 174-175)
          Hey, RBerman! Welcome back! My first replier in this thread! Actually, V did say something somewhat similar to your reply. In fact, he did quote Sproul. Next week if not today I will review what V wrote and . . . well, I'm not sure what I will decide to do. But, do I understand correctly that you want us to hold onto the P petal?
          The greater number of laws . . . , the more thieves . . . there will be. ---- Lao-Tzu

          [T]he truth Iím after and the truth never harmed anyone. What harms us is to persist in self-deceit and ignorance -ó Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Truthseeker View Post
            Hey, RBerman! Welcome back! My first replier in this thread! Actually, V did say something somewhat similar to your reply. In fact, he did quote Sproul. Next week if not today I will review what V wrote and . . . well, I'm not sure what I will decide to do. But, do I understand correctly that you want us to hold onto the P petal?
            Sort of. I'm not wed specifically to the "P" petal being "Perseverance" (which I believe was Boettner's idea) rather than "Preservation" (Sproul's preferred substitution). More generally, I don't think that TULIP is the best way to explain the concept of God's sovereignty over all things. I affirm what the "P" ought to be understood to teach, but Vance's confusion is a good example of why "Perseverance" as an abstract idea is not the best way to teach the point. I'd rather just say that Christ never loses any sheep that are truly his.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by RBerman View Post
              I'd rather just say that Christ never loses any sheep that are truly his.
              I don't understand. Do all things not belong to God?
              The greater number of laws . . . , the more thieves . . . there will be. ---- Lao-Tzu

              [T]he truth Iím after and the truth never harmed anyone. What harms us is to persist in self-deceit and ignorance -ó Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Truthseeker View Post
                I don't understand. Do all things not belong to God?
                Not in the sense Jesus means when he speaks of "my sheep" as opposed to strangers, wolves, and robbers in John 10, for instance. This of course is related to Old Testament terminology which spoke of "my (Yahweh's) people" in contrast to other people. Possessives are very flexible words with a variety of meanings. Similarly, God is in one sense the Father of everything in creation (even rocks and stars and water), but in another sense is only the Father of Jesus and those in Jesus, who have been given the power to be called "sons of God."

                Comment


                • #9
                  Familial language throughout the New Testament typically pertains to believers and their relationship to (or with) God and, subsequently, believers' relationship to each other as those who have been reconciled to God (the Father) through Christ. (Believers are brothers and sisters as a result of their reconciliation with God.) While we may generically refer to all humankind as "children of God", we cannot in the Johannine sense. For example, in John's gospel the devil is the father of the rebellious Jews (8:38,44). And in First John, two groups of "children" are set in contrast, one of God and one of the devil:
                  By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother. (3:10 ESV)
                  We know that we are from God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one. (5:19)

                  For John, only those born of God may properly be called children of God.
                  [T]o all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. (John 1:12,13)

                  Sometimes familial language is used in relation to non-believers in the NT, however. For example, in Matthew Jesus refers to unbelieving Jews being cast out from the banquet table of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven as "sons of the kingdom" (8:11,12). Yet later in his explanation of the parable of the wheat and tares to his disciples (13:36-43), Jesus uses the same expression with reference to the righteous ("the good seed", vv.38,43) who will be included in the kingdom of their Father at the end of the age.

                  To reiterate, the authors of the NT generally reserve familial language for believers.
                  Last edited by The Remonstrant; 02-02-2014, 07:56 AM.
                  For Neo-Remonstration (Arminian/Remonstrant ruminations): <https://theremonstrant.blogspot.com>

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I take it RBerman and I are in essential agreement on this point.
                    Last edited by The Remonstrant; 02-02-2014, 01:39 AM.
                    For Neo-Remonstration (Arminian/Remonstrant ruminations): <https://theremonstrant.blogspot.com>

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by The Remonstrant View Post
                      I take it RBerman and I are in essential agreement on this point.
                      100%.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by RBerman View Post
                        I affirm what the "P" ought to be understood to teach, but Vance's confusion is a good example of why "Perseverance" as an abstract idea is not the best way to teach the point. I'd rather just say that Christ never loses any sheep that are truly his.
                        OK, but why don't you explain what the petal should be and give us proof texts from the Bible?

                        [Typed in the halftime of the Super Duper Bowl. Great sin. So I will not be in heaven. But at least the 'Hawks are winning.]
                        The greater number of laws . . . , the more thieves . . . there will be. ---- Lao-Tzu

                        [T]he truth Iím after and the truth never harmed anyone. What harms us is to persist in self-deceit and ignorance -ó Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Truthseeker View Post
                          OK, but why don't you explain what the petal should be and give us proof texts from the Bible?

                          [Typed in the halftime of the Super Duper Bowl. Great sin. So I will not be in heaven. But at least the 'Hawks are winning.]
                          Heh.

                          Do you really want to derail your book review with Round 201 of "Let's debate Calvinism again"? Do you think such a discussion will have a different outcome this time than any of the other times? All I was trying to do was show how Vance mischaracterizes the point about perseverance/preservation, not debate whether the point, if accurately described, is true.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I think it's possible V was not confused and did report accurately what a wide variety of Calvinists said what the P petal means.



                            I'm indifferent to whether someone becomes a follower of Christ then strays away, as long as some people do make it to heaven. However, the wide variety of Calvinist "teachings" on the P petal makes me suspect that Calvinism does not really represent the Bible as well as Calvinists claim.



                            To be sure, probably after one familiarizes himself with the Calvinist literature, he could rank the Calvinist writers/teachers/preachers from best to worst. Though, I have no idea who is the best Calvinist and V does not say who he thinks is the best. His familiarity with the literature is probably far greater than mine is.
                            The greater number of laws . . . , the more thieves . . . there will be. ---- Lao-Tzu

                            [T]he truth Iím after and the truth never harmed anyone. What harms us is to persist in self-deceit and ignorance -ó Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Truthseeker View Post
                              I think it's possible V was not confused and did report accurately what a wide variety of Calvinists said what the P petal means.
                              Anything is possible, but my first post in this thread addressed how Vance confuses the issue by treating "perseverance" as a separate thing for men to do, rather than as a way of describing what men experience. If you didn't find my explanation persuasive (You haven't really addressed the substance of my comment as best I can tell), then I don't have anything else to say on the matter at present.

                              I'm indifferent to whether someone becomes a follower of Christ then strays away, as long as some people do make it to heaven. However, the wide variety of Calvinist "teachings" on the P petal makes me suspect that Calvinism does not really represent the Bible as well as Calvinists claim.
                              I have trouble connecting those two comments in your last sentence here. Why would "diversity in the views of those who call themselves Calvinists" reflect negatively on whether some subset of those collected views was Biblical? Choose pretty much any theological issue of which you can think, and the more detail you look for, the more diversity you'll discover between those who hold similar views. Is that somehow evidence against the general view itself? If you were to focus on the points on which self-described Calvinists agree, a different picture would emerge.

                              To be sure, probably after one familiarizes himself with the Calvinist literature, he could rank the Calvinist writers/teachers/preachers from best to worst. Though, I have no idea who is the best Calvinist and V does not say who he thinks is the best. His familiarity with the literature is probably far greater than mine is.
                              I'm not even sure what a "best Calvinist" would mean. Some write well for a general audience. Some expound theological detail for academic audiences. Some know the historical fineries. Some know the modern non-Calvinists most in need of refutation on either the scholarly or popular level. And so on.

                              Comment

                              Related Threads

                              Collapse

                              Topics Statistics Last Post
                              Started by Ana Dragule, 11-13-2020, 01:47 AM
                              2 responses
                              33 views
                              1 like
                              Last Post seanD
                              by seanD
                               
                              Started by Thoughtful Monk, 11-11-2020, 03:18 PM
                              6 responses
                              55 views
                              1 like
                              Last Post Thoughtful Monk  
                              Started by mossrose, 11-08-2020, 03:50 PM
                              1 response
                              29 views
                              5 likes
                              Last Post Sparko
                              by Sparko
                               
                              Started by Faber, 11-06-2020, 11:51 AM
                              1 response
                              5 views
                              0 likes
                              Last Post Faber
                              by Faber
                               
                              Started by mossrose, 11-01-2020, 04:09 PM
                              4 responses
                              77 views
                              1 like
                              Last Post mossrose  
                              Working...
                              X