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Author Topic: My encounter with two radical Protestants  (Read 17582 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: September 03, 2009, 02:04:48 PM »

This week a some friends and I were at a restaurant in Albuquerque. My friends noticed that next to us there were two young men (some where int their twenties) reading bibles next to us. My friends being devout Catholics decided to strike up a conversation with these two men. Well, it turns out that they espoused some rather radical beliefs based on their own personal interpretation of the Scriptures. I am curious as to how my EO bretheren would evaluate the belief system of these men. So please do share and if you have some good scripture passages that would aide me in refuting the errors of these young men, I would certainly appreciate the help.
1. They believe that God created some people specifically to be saved and others specifically to condemn to hell. (Radical Calvinism)
2. They believe that God created evil because it exists and he is sovreign (spelling? lol).
3. They believe that humans are completely evil and corrupt and incapable of choosing any good.
4. They believe that people who have never heard of Christ will certainly go to hell.
5. Of course they are the "sola fide" type but such is easy to refute.
ETC. ETC. ETC.
The conversation got some what heated because I think that Calvinism is a very dangerous mischaracterization of God and I provide the scripture and arguement that I had available at the moment, but any other help would be much appreciated.
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« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2009, 02:37:45 PM »

This week a some friends and I were at a restaurant in Albuquerque. My friends noticed that next to us there were two young men (some where int their twenties) reading bibles next to us. My friends being devout Catholics decided to strike up a conversation with these two men. Well, it turns out that they espoused some rather radical beliefs based on their own personal interpretation of the Scriptures. I am curious as to how my EO bretheren would evaluate the belief system of these men. So please do share and if you have some good scripture passages that would aide me in refuting the errors of these young men, I would certainly appreciate the help.
1. They believe that God created some people specifically to be saved and others specifically to condemn to hell. (Radical Calvinism)
2. They believe that God created evil because it exists and he is sovreign (spelling? lol).
3. They believe that humans are completely evil and corrupt and incapable of choosing any good.
4. They believe that people who have never heard of Christ will certainly go to hell.
5. Of course they are the "sola fide" type but such is easy to refute.
ETC. ETC. ETC.
The conversation got some what heated because I think that Calvinism is a very dangerous mischaracterization of God and I provide the scripture and arguement that I had available at the moment, but any other help would be much appreciated.

They sound like a couple of radical Calvinists to me...

I always start my conversation with such folk with 1 Tim. 2:4: (God) desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

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« Reply #2 on: September 03, 2009, 08:46:10 PM »

This week a some friends and I were at a restaurant in Albuquerque. My friends noticed that next to us there were two young men (some where int their twenties) reading bibles next to us. My friends being devout Catholics decided to strike up a conversation with these two men. Well, it turns out that they espoused some rather radical beliefs based on their own personal interpretation of the Scriptures. I am curious as to how my EO bretheren would evaluate the belief system of these men. So please do share and if you have some good scripture passages that would aide me in refuting the errors of these young men, I would certainly appreciate the help.
1. They believe that God created some people specifically to be saved and others specifically to condemn to hell. (Radical Calvinism)
2. They believe that God created evil because it exists and he is sovreign (spelling? lol).
3. They believe that humans are completely evil and corrupt and incapable of choosing any good.
4. They believe that people who have never heard of Christ will certainly go to hell.
5. Of course they are the "sola fide" type but such is easy to refute.
ETC. ETC. ETC.
The conversation got some what heated because I think that Calvinism is a very dangerous mischaracterization of God and I provide the scripture and arguement that I had available at the moment, but any other help would be much appreciated.

You asked for help from the EO.  I assume then that you are not interested in discussing this with Protestants.  Is that correct?
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« Reply #3 on: September 03, 2009, 10:44:55 PM »

This week a some friends and I were at a restaurant in Albuquerque. My friends noticed that next to us there were two young men (some where int their twenties) reading bibles next to us. My friends being devout Catholics decided to strike up a conversation with these two men. Well, it turns out that they espoused some rather radical beliefs based on their own personal interpretation of the Scriptures. I am curious as to how my EO bretheren would evaluate the belief system of these men. So please do share and if you have some good scripture passages that would aide me in refuting the errors of these young men, I would certainly appreciate the help.
1. They believe that God created some people specifically to be saved and others specifically to condemn to hell. (Radical Calvinism)
2. They believe that God created evil because it exists and he is sovreign (spelling? lol).
3. They believe that humans are completely evil and corrupt and incapable of choosing any good.
4. They believe that people who have never heard of Christ will certainly go to hell.
5. Of course they are the "sola fide" type but such is easy to refute.
ETC. ETC. ETC.
The conversation got some what heated because I think that Calvinism is a very dangerous mischaracterization of God and I provide the scripture and arguement that I had available at the moment, but any other help would be much appreciated.

You asked for help from the EO.  I assume then that you are not interested in discussing this with Protestants.  Is that correct?

Grace and Peace,

I can't speak for Papist but I note that he posted this in the Orthodox/Protestant Forum so I would assume that he/she expects comments from both sides. Perhaps he does want assistance in his dialogues with these individuals but I think we are all big enough to understand that there might be Protestants here who would like to defend this position.
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« Reply #4 on: September 04, 2009, 12:04:48 AM »

LOL at the OP! Hey bro, good luck with that battle! Calvinist are some of the worst arm chair theologians that you will ever encounter. I used to be a five point Calvinist and know exactly how they are in this camp. They think Orthodox and Catholics are some of the worst heretics. They will just smile at you while you try to make valid points all the while they are thinking you are full of BS and you don't even know the basics to form proper doctrinal/theological points to make an informed argument.  They are also some of the worst narcissistic smug people you will ever meet because they think they have everything figured out. They have reduced the bible and Christianity down to an exact formula. Their approach to forming theological beliefs comes from using select verses in a very contrived way.

They think they are God's elect... Roll Eyes They have a very sick twisted view of God himself. They are also stuck in some dream world that Calvin's Geneva was some uber perfect christian society. It's all they talk about half the time if they aren't reading and doing group studies of Calvin's Institutes of Christian religion and other popular theological works of the early reformers. 

 I would read some of Frank Schaeffer's stuff because he came from this kind of background before becoming Eastern Orthodox. Scott Hahn was also from a similar protestant background and he has written some good books that touch on these kind of theological issues. 

I like to burn the Calvinist with a few things that will really make them think. It's almost futile to try to use the bible against them. Very hard to do with a Calvinist. They surely will point to scriptures from that list you brought up to make their case. It just turns into a big battle of quoting verses back and forth and since they think they are right, you will not gain any ground. I would use the early continuum of early christian liturgical worship and beliefs against them. Calvinist tend to be big church history buffs, but they haven't gone back far enough though! They are very analytical usually. I would also focus on church government in the book of Timothy and how those Bishops gave us the bible in the first Nicene council. Ask them why they don't have Bishops! Use church history and christian practice against them. Use simple things in christian worship/practice against them. Ask them if they believe the bible and follow ALL the scriptures. Then turn around and ask why they don't use incense because Malachi 1:11 says that Gods name is great wherever incense is offered in his name. This will make them think a little and they probably have never heard or thought about this before. Quiz them a little bit. Ask them things like..."If Calvinism were true, you realize that would make God a racist?" They will be stumped and ask how so. Tell them, "If Calvinist are God's chosen elect and most true system, why is it Calvinist are mostly white and the vast majority are in North America? Trust me, it works! You have to think outside the box a little because they are only used to having scriptural wars with other protestants lol. Stay away from the strict theological discussions.     
« Last Edit: September 04, 2009, 12:13:18 AM by Nacho » Logged

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« Reply #5 on: September 04, 2009, 12:52:15 AM »

Great advice, Nacho! Thanks!!
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« Reply #6 on: September 04, 2009, 12:57:06 AM »

Based on my 1 experience with a college religious group, I find that reflective questioning usually drives them away in a huff within 2-3 minutes.

Example, if these Calvinists said that God created Evil, I would ask, "What is God?"

If these Calvinists tried to thump the Bible, I would ask, "What is the Bible?"

So reflective questioning is also playing dumb.
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« Reply #7 on: September 04, 2009, 01:24:24 AM »

I would like to share my own story.

I was in Barnes & Noble the other day looking at books in the Christian section (note that this is different from the "Christian Inspiration" section in the next isle, which is mostly fluff).  So after a while I realize that this young man keeps walking back and forth between the isles, sort of "on the prowl."  He eyes me a few times, but opts to leave me alone.  A wise move on his part.

After a while, I realize that he is harassing a group of teenage Christians in the next isle over.  He is asking probing questions about their backgrounds.  "Where do you go to church?"  After figuring out wherever they go, he starts bothering them about their baptism practices.  So I gradually figured out that this guy is a Oneness Pentecostal and he is busy trying to get Trinitarian Protestants to visit his church.  He is engaging them in all sorts of scriptural debates over how one must be baptized.  After a time I became so irritated by him that I thought I should shut him up with a history lesson.

But I stayed quiet, because it immediately occurred to me that I was witnessing some sort of spectacle where religious nut bags were arguing theology in a bookstore, and that they were strangers to one another who were being loud and rather rude.  The last thing I wanted to do was get involved and become a part of the circus.  At that point I couldn't have cared any less about proselytization.  The idea of Christians trying to swap deck chairs over theological issues most people don't understand or care about made me want to vomit.  The whole scene made me want to puke, because it made me feel like so much of what any of us are doing is blowing hot air, loving to listen to ourselves speak (much like this post!  Wink ).  Anyway, it really showed me just how burned-over America is.  People immediately shut down whenever Jesus' name comes up, and with good reason.  The whole thing has been ruined by endless conversion campaigns.  Most Americans are immune to the Gospel; they have no sensitivity or receptivity to it because of things like this.

Sorry for the tone of the post; I just needed to vent some frustrations.

My advice is to generally ignore these conversations, and instead focus on your private prayers and devotion.  Opt instead to quietly seek God's mercy despite the hopelessly loud, banal droning of the human race.  May God have mercy upon us all, and help us to shut up.
« Last Edit: September 04, 2009, 01:28:28 AM by Alveus Lacuna » Logged
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« Reply #8 on: September 04, 2009, 06:25:46 AM »

This week a some friends and I were at a restaurant in Albuquerque. My friends noticed that next to us there were two young men (some where int their twenties) reading bibles next to us. My friends being devout Catholics decided to strike up a conversation with these two men. Well, it turns out that they espoused some rather radical beliefs based on their own personal interpretation of the Scriptures. I am curious as to how my EO bretheren would evaluate the belief system of these men. So please do share and if you have some good scripture passages that would aide me in refuting the errors of these young men, I would certainly appreciate the help.
1. They believe that God created some people specifically to be saved and others specifically to condemn to hell. (Radical Calvinism)
2. They believe that God created evil because it exists and he is sovreign (spelling? lol).
3. They believe that humans are completely evil and corrupt and incapable of choosing any good.
4. They believe that people who have never heard of Christ will certainly go to hell.
5. Of course they are the "sola fide" type but such is easy to refute.
ETC. ETC. ETC.
The conversation got some what heated because I think that Calvinism is a very dangerous mischaracterization of God and I provide the scripture and arguement that I had available at the moment, but any other help would be much appreciated.

Yeah, they certainly sound like some form of Calvinism.

Ask them if they reject the north american mainstream calvinistic doctrine of """common grace""".

Ask them if they are """Supralapsarians""".

Ask them if they follow a dead man by the name of """Gordan Clark""".

Oh, and don't forget to ask them what denomination or nondenominational protestant church they goto.


With these questions, you might be able to pin down what strand/brand/school of calvinism they represent. Once you know what school of thought they are from, then it will be easier to address them.









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« Reply #9 on: September 04, 2009, 06:28:45 AM »

This week a some friends and I were at a restaurant in Albuquerque. My friends noticed that next to us there were two young men (some where int their twenties) reading bibles next to us. My friends being devout Catholics decided to strike up a conversation with these two men. Well, it turns out that they espoused some rather radical beliefs based on their own personal interpretation of the Scriptures. I am curious as to how my EO bretheren would evaluate the belief system of these men. So please do share and if you have some good scripture passages that would aide me in refuting the errors of these young men, I would certainly appreciate the help.
1. They believe that God created some people specifically to be saved and others specifically to condemn to hell. (Radical Calvinism)
2. They believe that God created evil because it exists and he is sovreign (spelling? lol).
3. They believe that humans are completely evil and corrupt and incapable of choosing any good.
4. They believe that people who have never heard of Christ will certainly go to hell.
5. Of course they are the "sola fide" type but such is easy to refute.
ETC. ETC. ETC.
The conversation got some what heated because I think that Calvinism is a very dangerous mischaracterization of God and I provide the scripture and arguement that I had available at the moment, but any other help would be much appreciated.

You asked for help from the EO.  I assume then that you are not interested in discussing this with Protestants.  Is that correct?

Alot of us are former protestants anyway(of some stripe) so it shouldn't really matter.









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http://ancientchristiandefender.blogspot.com/
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« Reply #10 on: September 04, 2009, 06:42:11 AM »

I would like to share my own story.

I was in Barnes & Noble the other day looking at books in the Christian section (note that this is different from the "Christian Inspiration" section in the next isle, which is mostly fluff).  So after a while I realize that this young man keeps walking back and forth between the isles, sort of "on the prowl."  He eyes me a few times, but opts to leave me alone.  A wise move on his part.

After a while, I realize that he is harassing a group of teenage Christians in the next isle over.  He is asking probing questions about their backgrounds.  "Where do you go to church?"  After figuring out wherever they go, he starts bothering them about their baptism practices.  So I gradually figured out that this guy is a Oneness Pentecostal and he is busy trying to get Trinitarian Protestants to visit his church.  He is engaging them in all sorts of scriptural debates over how one must be baptized.  After a time I became so irritated by him that I thought I should shut him up with a history lesson.

But I stayed quiet, because it immediately occurred to me that I was witnessing some sort of spectacle where religious nut bags were arguing theology in a bookstore, and that they were strangers to one another who were being loud and rather rude.  The last thing I wanted to do was get involved and become a part of the circus.  At that point I couldn't have cared any less about proselytization.  The idea of Christians trying to swap deck chairs over theological issues most people don't understand or care about made me want to vomit.  The whole scene made me want to puke, because it made me feel like so much of what any of us are doing is blowing hot air, loving to listen to ourselves speak (much like this post!  Wink ).  Anyway, it really showed me just how burned-over America is.  People immediately shut down whenever Jesus' name comes up, and with good reason.  The whole thing has been ruined by endless conversion campaigns.  Most Americans are immune to the Gospel; they have no sensitivity or receptivity to it because of things like this.

Sorry for the tone of the post; I just needed to vent some frustrations.

My advice is to generally ignore these conversations, and instead focus on your private prayers and devotion.  Opt instead to quietly seek God's mercy despite the hopelessly loud, banal droning of the human race.  May God have mercy upon us all, and help us to shut up.

I take it you don't live in the southern states of America? For this was everyday life for me when I lived in Alabama for 6 years, and I loved it. Everybody isn't gonna like that type of culture, but to each his own. I know that up here in the rust belt, everything seems dead or nominal. To me, keeping it to yourself simply means being nominal and live wicked (live like everyone else with every care in the world except religion. Or talk about anything and everything except for religion and politics). The rust belt is soo boring, nominal, lame, and filled with christians that don't know what they believe or should believe. It's too lame for my taste.......I like the south better. There is more action down there. Up here, we have alot of Roman Catholics and Protestants that are into tarot cards, astrological readings.......ect. I dated a Roman catholic in this area once who thought the devil was God's equal. I dated another Roman Catholic woman who thought it was ok to not tell a priest everything at confession........ect. And she didn't even know the basics of her faith. Oh, and I can't forget the Polish American Roman Catholic woman I dated who was also an Eastern Star, there was never going to be a real future in that relationship, but in the rust belt you will find alot of Roman Catholics, Protestants, and even Eastern Orthodox that are either Masons or Eastern Star.......in the south, that would be an automatic no no, for christians should know better than that. So going at it is sometimes good because it gets people to dig, think, and reflect. For if you never meet anyone to bump heads with about these issues/matters, then you will live the rest of your life in an isolated nominal bubble, and you might die beliving that satan is God's equal or die still messing around with tarot cards, palm readings, Masons/Eastern Star, secular humanism, agnosticism. ........ect.

But each his/her own.









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« Last Edit: September 04, 2009, 07:12:37 AM by jnorm888 » Logged

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« Reply #11 on: September 04, 2009, 10:08:29 AM »

LOL at the OP! Hey bro, good luck with that battle! Calvinist are some of the worst arm chair theologians that you will ever encounter. I used to be a five point Calvinist and know exactly how they are in this camp. They think Orthodox and Catholics are some of the worst heretics. They will just smile at you while you try to make valid points all the while they are thinking you are full of BS and you don't even know the basics to form proper doctrinal/theological points to make an informed argument.  They are also some of the worst narcissistic smug people you will ever meet because they think they have everything figured out. They have reduced the bible and Christianity down to an exact formula. Their approach to forming theological beliefs comes from using select verses in a very contrived way.
That was definitely my experience. For example, we were talking about salvation and I mentioned James 2:24, "See how a man is justified by works and not by faith alone." I also brougth up Romans 2: 5-11
"By your stubbornness and impenitent heart, you are storing up wrath for yourself for the day of wrath and revelation of the just judgment of God, who will repay everyone according to his works:
eternal life to those who seek glory, honor, and immortality through perseverance in good works,
but wrath and fury to those who selfishly disobey the truth and obey wickedness. 
Yes, affliction and distress will come upon every human being who does evil, Jew first and then Greek. 
But there will be glory, honor, and peace for everyone who does good, Jew first and then Greek.There is no partiality with God." It seems clear that works play a part in deification/salvation but they would not have it. They demanded that we take everything that the scriptures say at face value, except, of course, the passages that I provided above.
They think they are God's elect... Roll Eyes They have a very sick twisted view of God himself.
I agree. They think that God creates evil. Such a view is down righty sick and I will not accept that they worship the God of Jesus Christ. The God of Jesus Christ is loving, holy, and merciful. I am nearly certain that radical Calvinists cannot be considered Christian.
I would read some of Frank Schaeffer's stuff because he came from this kind of background before becoming Eastern Orthodox. Scott Hahn was also from a similar protestant background and he has written some good books that touch on these kind of theological issues. 

I like to burn the Calvinist with a few things that will really make them think. It's almost futile to try to use the bible against them. Very hard to do with a Calvinist. They surely will point to scriptures from that list you brought up to make their case. It just turns into a big battle of quoting verses back and forth and since they think they are right, you will not gain any ground. I would use the early continuum of early christian liturgical worship and beliefs against them. Calvinist tend to be big church history buffs, but they haven't gone back far enough though! They are very analytical usually. I would also focus on church government in the book of Timothy and how those Bishops gave us the bible in the first Nicene council. Ask them why they don't have Bishops! Use church history and christian practice against them. Use simple things in christian worship/practice against them. Ask them if they believe the bible and follow ALL the scriptures. Then turn around and ask why they don't use incense because Malachi 1:11 says that Gods name is great wherever incense is offered in his name. This will make them think a little and they probably have never heard or thought about this before. Quiz them a little bit. Ask them things like..."If Calvinism were true, you realize that would make God a racist?" They will be stumped and ask how so. Tell them, "If Calvinist are God's chosen elect and most true system, why is it Calvinist are mostly white and the vast majority are in North America? Trust me, it works! You have to think outside the box a little because they are only used to having scriptural wars with other protestants lol. Stay away from the strict theological discussions.     
All very good advice. I remember they began part of their converstation by saying that they "felt bad" for the children in africa who had never heard of Jesus because those people were "going to hell". I was absolutely repulsed by that statement. It reminds of the 700 club episode of south park where the missonary tells the african child, "No, No honey, say it in God's language... English." lol
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« Reply #12 on: September 04, 2009, 10:09:36 AM »

This week a some friends and I were at a restaurant in Albuquerque. My friends noticed that next to us there were two young men (some where int their twenties) reading bibles next to us. My friends being devout Catholics decided to strike up a conversation with these two men. Well, it turns out that they espoused some rather radical beliefs based on their own personal interpretation of the Scriptures. I am curious as to how my EO bretheren would evaluate the belief system of these men. So please do share and if you have some good scripture passages that would aide me in refuting the errors of these young men, I would certainly appreciate the help.
1. They believe that God created some people specifically to be saved and others specifically to condemn to hell. (Radical Calvinism)
2. They believe that God created evil because it exists and he is sovreign (spelling? lol).
3. They believe that humans are completely evil and corrupt and incapable of choosing any good.
4. They believe that people who have never heard of Christ will certainly go to hell.
5. Of course they are the "sola fide" type but such is easy to refute.
ETC. ETC. ETC.
The conversation got some what heated because I think that Calvinism is a very dangerous mischaracterization of God and I provide the scripture and arguement that I had available at the moment, but any other help would be much appreciated.

You asked for help from the EO.  I assume then that you are not interested in discussing this with Protestants.  Is that correct?

Alot of us are former protestants anyway(of some stripe) so it shouldn't really matter.









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That was one of my motives. I was curious about what lead former Calvinists away from error and into Apostolic Chrisitanity.
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« Reply #13 on: September 04, 2009, 10:10:47 AM »

Based on my 1 experience with a college religious group, I find that reflective questioning usually drives them away in a huff within 2-3 minutes.

Example, if these Calvinists said that God created Evil, I would ask, "What is God?"

If these Calvinists tried to thump the Bible, I would ask, "What is the Bible?"

So reflective questioning is also playing dumb.
I tried to go in that direction but I think it short circuited their programing. LOL
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« Reply #14 on: September 04, 2009, 10:30:54 AM »

First off, let's elevate the tone a little, and treat each other as brothers rather than enemies. Ok?

Secondly, you confuse "radical Calvinists" with hyper-Calvinists.  The word radical refers to root: at root, they are Calvinists.  All Christians like to think that we are not superficial, but that the Gospel has made a radical change in us.  We are radically altered by God. So it is a compliment to call someone radical.
But as you were attempting to insult them, I think you meant something else.

Thirdly, I am not particularly a Calvinist.  I am not an expert on Calvinism.  But I think I know a little more than you do, and you would do well to learn something about what you attempting to criticize.

Fourthly, Calvinists do not regard God as the author of evil.  If anything that is a straw-man accusation, but it does apply to hyper-Calvinism (most of what people think of as Calvinism on this forum seems to be hyper-Calvinism).  I could post information on the differences between Calvinism and hyper-Calvinism if youlook.

Fourthly, you really do not know where Calvinists are coming from on this issue, and probably many others. In desiring to know more of where these people are coming from, you might read John Piper's article here that discusses God's desire to save all. http://www.desiringgod.org/ResourceLibrary/Articles/ByDate/1995/1580_Are_There_Two_Wills_in_God/

I find many of your accusations against Calvinists unfounded.  There are, for example, many wonderful and humble Calvinists.  I am not convinced that the OP accurately reported on what these people said, because I am not sure the OP is aware of some of the subtleties at play here.  Do Orthodox and Catholics not regard themselves as God's elect?
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« Reply #15 on: September 04, 2009, 10:32:57 AM »

This week a some friends and I were at a restaurant in Albuquerque. My friends noticed that next to us there were two young men (some where int their twenties) reading bibles next to us. My friends being devout Catholics decided to strike up a conversation with these two men. Well, it turns out that they espoused some rather radical beliefs based on their own personal interpretation of the Scriptures. I am curious as to how my EO bretheren would evaluate the belief system of these men. So please do share and if you have some good scripture passages that would aide me in refuting the errors of these young men, I would certainly appreciate the help.
1. They believe that God created some people specifically to be saved and others specifically to condemn to hell. (Radical Calvinism)
2. They believe that God created evil because it exists and he is sovreign (spelling? lol).
3. They believe that humans are completely evil and corrupt and incapable of choosing any good.
4. They believe that people who have never heard of Christ will certainly go to hell.
5. Of course they are the "sola fide" type but such is easy to refute.
ETC. ETC. ETC.
The conversation got some what heated because I think that Calvinism is a very dangerous mischaracterization of God and I provide the scripture and arguement that I had available at the moment, but any other help would be much appreciated.

You asked for help from the EO.  I assume then that you are not interested in discussing this with Protestants.  Is that correct?

Alot of us are former protestants anyway(of some stripe) so it shouldn't really matter.









ICXC NIKA
That was one of my motives. I was curious about what lead former Calvinists away from error and into Apostolic Chrisitanity.

Most of the Presbyterians I know grew up Catholic, and testify that they left error for truth. Far more Catholics become Presbyterian than Presbyterians become Catholic.
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« Reply #16 on: September 04, 2009, 10:36:38 AM »

desire to save all. http://www.desiringgod.org/ResourceLibrary/Articles/ByDate/1995/1580_Are_There_Two_Wills_in_God/

I find many of your accusations against Calvinists unfounded.  There are, for example, many wonderful and humble Calvinists.  I am not convinced that the OP accurately reported on what these people said, because I am not sure the OP is aware of some of the subtleties at play here.  Do Orthodox and Catholics not regard themselves as God's elect?

Excuse me but I did report on the issue very accurately. I'm not an idiot and they did in fact tell me that God created evil and was the direct source of both good and evil. They also specifically told me that God created some people specifically for the purpose of sending them to hell. That's why I called them radical calvinists rather than your every day run of the mill calvinists. I think that a regular calvinist can be a Christian but not the radical version.
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« Reply #17 on: September 04, 2009, 10:43:33 AM »

desire to save all. http://www.desiringgod.org/ResourceLibrary/Articles/ByDate/1995/1580_Are_There_Two_Wills_in_God/

I find many of your accusations against Calvinists unfounded.  There are, for example, many wonderful and humble Calvinists.  I am not convinced that the OP accurately reported on what these people said, because I am not sure the OP is aware of some of the subtleties at play here.  Do Orthodox and Catholics not regard themselves as God's elect?

Excuse me but I did report on the issue very accurately. I'm not an idiot and they did in fact tell me that God created evil and was the direct source of both good and evil. They also specifically told me that God created some people specifically for the purpose of sending them to hell. That's why I called them radical calvinists rather than your every day run of the mill calvinists. I think that a regular calvinist can be a Christian but not the radical version.


No one called you an idiot. Someone can be unaware of the subtleties of something they have not studied and still be very intelligent and knowledgeable in other areas.  I only have a hazy acquaintance with some Thomist concepts, for example, and if I were to report on a conversation with a Thomist, I would have my doubts that I got it correct. You are, though, confusing "radical" with hyper-Calvinists. If they said that God was the direct source of both good and evil then they are hyper-Calvinists. They also believe in double predestination, which is actually run-of-the-mill Calvinism, found in such places as the Westminster Confession of Faith.  I would not expect you to know all the subtleties of Calvinism. You have demonstrated you don't.

And who are you to determine who can be a Christian?  Why are you ignoring the distinction between radical and hyper-Calvinist?

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« Reply #18 on: September 04, 2009, 10:51:31 AM »

desire to save all. http://www.desiringgod.org/ResourceLibrary/Articles/ByDate/1995/1580_Are_There_Two_Wills_in_God/

I find many of your accusations against Calvinists unfounded.  There are, for example, many wonderful and humble Calvinists.  I am not convinced that the OP accurately reported on what these people said, because I am not sure the OP is aware of some of the subtleties at play here.  Do Orthodox and Catholics not regard themselves as God's elect?

Excuse me but I did report on the issue very accurately. I'm not an idiot and they did in fact tell me that God created evil and was the direct source of both good and evil. They also specifically told me that God created some people specifically for the purpose of sending them to hell. That's why I called them radical calvinists rather than your every day run of the mill calvinists. I think that a regular calvinist can be a Christian but not the radical version.


No one called you an idiot. Someone can be unaware of the subtleties of something they have not studied and still be very intelligent and knowledgeable in other areas.  I only have a hazy acquaintance with some Thomist concepts, for example, and if I were to report on a conversation with a Thomist, I would have my doubts that I got it correct. You are, though, confusing "radical" with hyper-Calvinists. If they said that God was the direct source of both good and evil then they are hyper-Calvinists. They also believe in double predestination, which is actually run-of-the-mill Calvinism, found in such places as the Westminster Confession of Faith.  I would not expect you to know all the subtleties of Calvinism. You have demonstrated you don't.

And who are you to determine who can be a Christian?  Why are you ignoring the distinction between radical and hyper-Calvinist?


Who do I consider to be Chritistian?
Catholics,
Oriental Orthodox
Eastern Orthodox
Assyrian Christians
Most Protestant Groups.

Non Christians?
Mormons
Jehovah's Witnesses,
Oneness Pentacostals
similar cults
Calvinists who believe that God is the direct source of evil.

As for you distinction between radical/and hyper calvinism, it seem like termonology that you have created but such termonology does not interest me.
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« Reply #19 on: September 04, 2009, 11:05:46 AM »

desire to save all. http://www.desiringgod.org/ResourceLibrary/Articles/ByDate/1995/1580_Are_There_Two_Wills_in_God/

I find many of your accusations against Calvinists unfounded.  There are, for example, many wonderful and humble Calvinists.  I am not convinced that the OP accurately reported on what these people said, because I am not sure the OP is aware of some of the subtleties at play here.  Do Orthodox and Catholics not regard themselves as God's elect?

Excuse me but I did report on the issue very accurately. I'm not an idiot and they did in fact tell me that God created evil and was the direct source of both good and evil. They also specifically told me that God created some people specifically for the purpose of sending them to hell. That's why I called them radical calvinists rather than your every day run of the mill calvinists. I think that a regular calvinist can be a Christian but not the radical version.


No one called you an idiot. Someone can be unaware of the subtleties of something they have not studied and still be very intelligent and knowledgeable in other areas.  I only have a hazy acquaintance with some Thomist concepts, for example, and if I were to report on a conversation with a Thomist, I would have my doubts that I got it correct. You are, though, confusing "radical" with hyper-Calvinists. If they said that God was the direct source of both good and evil then they are hyper-Calvinists. They also believe in double predestination, which is actually run-of-the-mill Calvinism, found in such places as the Westminster Confession of Faith.  I would not expect you to know all the subtleties of Calvinism. You have demonstrated you don't.

And who are you to determine who can be a Christian?  Why are you ignoring the distinction between radical and hyper-Calvinist?


Who do I consider to be Chritistian?
Catholics,
Oriental Orthodox
Eastern Orthodox
Assyrian Christians
Most Protestant Groups.

Non Christians?
Mormons
Jehovah's Witnesses,
Oneness Pentacostals
similar cults
Calvinists who believe that God is the direct source of evil.

As for you distinction between radical/and hyper calvinism, it seem like termonology that you have created but such termonology does not interest me.

The terminology is not original with me (I can cite at least one source, if you would like).  Apparently you desire to critique and refute Calvinism but have no desire to learn anything about it.

Is your list of who is and who is not a Christian your own concept or is this official Catholic church teaching? Does the Catholic Church teach that Calvinists who believe that God is the direct source of evil are not Christian? If so, cite the Catechism. If not, how dare you say such a thing?
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« Reply #20 on: September 04, 2009, 11:10:06 AM »

^ The Catholic Church has not ruled on the matter of whether or not Calvinists who believe that God is direcet source of evil can be Christian. That being said, if you believe that God is the direct source of evil, then you have a flawed god and one not worthy of worship. Such a God is most certainly not the God of Jesus Christ described in the bible.

That all being said, I would like any help that my Orthodox or Protestant bretheren can give refuting the errors of Calvinism.
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« Reply #21 on: September 04, 2009, 11:21:56 AM »

^ The Catholic Church has not ruled on the matter of whether or not Calvinists who believe that God is direcet source of evil can be Christian. That being said, if you believe that God is the direct source of evil, then you have a flawed god and one not worthy of worship. Such a God is most certainly not the God of Jesus Christ described in the bible.

That all being said, I would like any help that my Orthodox or Protestant bretheren can give refuting the errors of Calvinism.


I am trying to help you.  It might be good if you knew what the errors of the Calvinists are, so that you can refute them, rather than acting in a manner that indicates you want to know as little as possible about Calvinism.  You told me you were uninterested in a crucial distinction (radical versus hyper) which gives me this impression.

Why, by the way, are you, a Catholic, looking for help on this from the Orthodox and the Protestants? Are you thereby proclaiming Rome isn't up to the task? Something the Orthodox and the Protestants would agree on?

You mean, by the way, a flawed concept of God. You might want to review Catholic teaching that there is only one God, actually, and that we can understand Him in flawed ways, but He is still the same, whether we think of Him accurately or not.  You seem to be saying that God is not worthy of worship if someone does not have a correct view of Him.  I don't think you mean to say this.

You seem very confused.
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« Reply #22 on: September 04, 2009, 11:26:46 AM »

If it were me, after every point I would say: "Oh my, I don't think the Church has ever taught that"... or... "I will have to ask the Bishop about that"... or... "Cross yourself a lot and look concerned for their immortal soul"
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« Reply #23 on: September 04, 2009, 11:32:46 AM »

^ The Catholic Church has not ruled on the matter of whether or not Calvinists who believe that God is direcet source of evil can be Christian. That being said, if you believe that God is the direct source of evil, then you have a flawed god and one not worthy of worship. Such a God is most certainly not the God of Jesus Christ described in the bible.

That all being said, I would like any help that my Orthodox or Protestant bretheren can give refuting the errors of Calvinism.


I am trying to help you.  It might be good if you knew what the errors of the Calvinists are, so that you can refute them, rather than acting in a manner that indicates you want to know as little as possible about Calvinism.  You told me you were uninterested in a crucial distinction (radical versus hyper) which gives me this impression.

Why, by the way, are you, a Catholic, looking for help on this from the Orthodox and the Protestants? Are you thereby proclaiming Rome isn't up to the task? Something the Orthodox and the Protestants would agree on?
No. I am looking for all sources of help in dealing with these two guys.

You mean, by the way, a flawed concept of God. You might want to review Catholic teaching that there is only one God, actually, and that we can understand Him in flawed ways, but He is still the same, whether we think of Him accurately or not.  You seem to be saying that God is not worthy of worship if someone does not have a correct view of Him.  I don't think you mean to say this.
Yes there is only one God. But how far can a person go in mischaracterizing him that he is no longer really really talking about God but of an idol of his own making. I think that anyone goes so far as to worship a non-holy God is worshiping an idol and not God.

You seem very confused.
No, I'm fine.
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« Reply #24 on: September 04, 2009, 11:39:38 AM »



The terminology is not original with me (I can cite at least one source, if you would like). 

I have heard the term hyper-Calvinism/Calvinist used as a theological term to mean the Calvinists who believe, that God created evil, God willy nilly and quite arbitrarily decides who goes to heaven and hell, and all the rest Papist reported.

 I have never heard the phrase "radical Calvinist" used as any type of "official" or semi-official theological term. Rather I've only ever heard it used in the lay sense it's being used here, to mean hyper-high/5 point Calvinism. If indeed "radical Calvinism" is an actual theological term within Calvinism thought, I'm sure no one would use it. I just don't think anyone here is aware that it is an actual term. That's the thing I've found about most Calvinists, including your post, that you assume we should KNOW all these different "schools" of thought, even though no one has ever explained any of this to us.

Quote
Apparently you desire to critique and refute Calvinism but have no desire to learn anything about it.

Wrong. He is trying to learn about it, that's what this whole thread is about. You must remember that most non-Calvinists who've been exposed to Calvinism have only been exposed to the hyper-Calvinism which says God created evil, and actually DOES evil things like arbitrarily send people to hell, gives people cancer, and has not given man free will.  Most people are simply not aware of other milder "flavors" of Calvinism, whether it's 4 point, or low 5 point, high 5 point, hyper, or whatever else. (all of which are terms I've heard at one time or another by Calvinists describing themselves...)

The more moderate forms of Calvinism are not really all that different than Catholicism/Orthodoxy's views on these subjects, even though Calvinists would use radically different terminology. However you've got to admit, the most outspoken and visible Calvinists are of the type of people Papist experienced. And so it's no wonder people find "Calvinism" so disagreeable because it appears there is only one form, even if the appearance is not accurate.

Quote
Is your list of who is and who is not a Christian your own concept or is this official Catholic church teaching?

It's obviously his own opinion since he said flat out said "I feel", in refering to the subject.

Quote
Does the Catholic Church teach that Calvinists who believe that God is the direct source of evil are not Christian? If so, cite the Catechism. If not, how dare you say such a thing?

He dare say such a thing because, well he has that right. Smiley

Secondly, I'm sure there are canons, councils or something written in the history of the Apostolic Church somewhere that says something to the effect that anyone who believes God created evil (thus being the source, cause and the one DOING evil) is not a Christian.  I'm sure this was addressed at some point in Church history pre-schism and certainly post schism/post Reformation. And I KNOW the issue of free will was addressed at some ancient Council though I've forgotten which one.

You make a good point that it's important to remember there are many different forms of Calvinism. However instead of explaining that, you implied Papist was either lying, or just didn't know what he was talking about. When in fact I, and many others have been in conversations with people JUST LIKE the guys he was talking to. These types of Calvinists (whichever "brand" one calls them) are not figments of our imagination, they do exist. However as you rightly pointed out, so do many other types of Calvinists, which is easy to forget sometimes. Especially if we've never been exposed to them.

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« Reply #25 on: September 04, 2009, 01:55:30 PM »

This week a some friends and I were at a restaurant in Albuquerque. My friends noticed that next to us there were two young men (some where int their twenties) reading bibles next to us. My friends being devout Catholics decided to strike up a conversation with these two men. Well, it turns out that they espoused some rather radical beliefs based on their own personal interpretation of the Scriptures. I am curious as to how my EO bretheren would evaluate the belief system of these men. So please do share and if you have some good scripture passages that would aide me in refuting the errors of these young men, I would certainly appreciate the help.
1. They believe that God created some people specifically to be saved and others specifically to condemn to hell. (Radical Calvinism)
Ezekiel 18:23 Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord GOD: and not that he should return from his ways, and live?...32 For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord Jehovah: wherefore turn yourselves, and live....33:11 Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?

Luke 9: 51-6 And it came to pass, when the time was come that He should be received up, He stedfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem,  And sent messengers before His face: and they went, and entered into a village of the Samaritans, to make ready for Him.  And they did not receive Him, because His face was as though He would go to Jerusalem. And when His disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt Thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did?  But He turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. For the Son of man is not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them.

John 12:32 And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto Me.

I Timothy 2:3-4 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

Quote
2. They believe that God created evil because it exists and he is sovreign (spelling? lol).
Gen. 1: -2:3 And God saw every thing that He had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.  Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had made; and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it He had rested from all His work which God created and made.

So creation was finished, and the Creator said every thing was good.

God didn't create evil, because evil is a parasite, a deprivation, like darkness is only the absence of light. Hell is not created, it is prepared by creatures turning their backs on their creator.

Quote
3. They believe that humans are completely evil and corrupt and incapable of choosing any good.
Genesis 18:17 And the LORD said, Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do;...19 For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgment; that the LORD may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him...27-2 And Abraham answered and said, Behold now, I have taken upon me to speak unto the LORD, which am but dust and ashes: Peradventure there shall lack five of the fifty righteous: wilt thou destroy all the city for lack of five? And he said, If I find there forty and five, I will not destroy it.

Numbers 12:2-8, 11-4 And they said, Hath the LORD indeed spoken only by Moses? hath he not spoken also by us? And the LORD heard it. (Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.) And the LORD spake suddenly unto Moses, and unto Aaron, and unto Miriam, Come out ye three unto the tabernacle of the congregation. And they three came out. And the LORD came down in the pillar of the cloud, and stood in the door of the tabernacle, and called Aaron and Miriam: and they both came forth. And He said, Hear now My words: If there be a prophet among you, I the LORD will make Myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream. My servant Moses is not so, who is faithful in all my house (cf. Heb. 3:2, 3:5). With Him will I speak mouth to mouth, even apparently, and not in dark speeches; and the similitude of the LORD shall he behold: wherefore then were ye not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?...And Aaron said unto Moses, Alas, my lord, I beseech thee, lay not the sin upon us, wherein we have done foolishly, and wherein we have sinned...And Moses cried unto the LORD, saying, Heal her now, O God, I beseech thee.  And the LORD said unto Moses, If her father had but spit in her face, should she not be ashamed seven days? let her be shut out from the camp seven days, and after that let her be received in again.

Job 1:1 There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil....v. 8 And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered My servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?....2:3 And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered My servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? and still he holdeth fast his integrity, although thou movedst Me against him, to destroy him without cause....42:7  And it was so, that after the LORD had spoken these words unto Job, the LORD said to Eliphaz the Temanite, My wrath is kindled against thee, and against thy two friends: for ye have not spoken of me the thing that is right, as my servant Job hath. 8 Therefore take unto you now seven bullocks and seven rams, and go to my servant Job, and offer up for yourselves a burnt offering; and my servant Job shall pray for you: for him will I accept: lest I deal with you after your folly, in that ye have not spoken of me the thing which is right, like my servant Job.

I Kings 3:14 And if thou wilt walk in My ways, to keep My statutes and My commandments, as thy father David did walk, then I will lengthen thy days...11:4 For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with the LORD his God, as was the heart of David his father...15:1 Now in the eighteenth year of king Jeroboam the son of Nebat reigned Abijam over Judah....vv 3-5 And he walked in all the sins of his father, which he had done before him: and his heart was not perfect with the LORD his God, as the heart of David his father. Nevertheless for David's sake did the LORD his God give him a lamp in Jerusalem, to set up his son after him, and to establish Jerusalem: Because David did that which was right in the eyes of the LORD, and turned not aside from any thing that he commanded him all the days of his life, save only in the matter of Uriah the Hittite.

Luke 1:5-6 THERE was in the days of Herod, the king of Judaea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course of Abia: and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elisabeth. And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.

Quote
4. They believe that people who have never heard of Christ will certainly go to hell.

Isaiah 50:2 Wherefore, when I came, was there no man? when I called, was there none to answer? Is my hand shortened at all, that it cannot redeem? or have I no power to deliver?

Quote
5. Of course they are the "sola fide" type but such is easy to refute.

Ask them to tell us the Gospel verse that St. Paul quotes in Acts 20:35.
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« Reply #26 on: September 04, 2009, 02:06:09 PM »

This week a some friends and I were at a restaurant in Albuquerque. My friends noticed that next to us there were two young men (some where int their twenties) reading bibles next to us. My friends being devout Catholics decided to strike up a conversation with these two men. Well, it turns out that they espoused some rather radical beliefs based on their own personal interpretation of the Scriptures. I am curious as to how my EO bretheren would evaluate the belief system of these men. So please do share and if you have some good scripture passages that would aide me in refuting the errors of these young men, I would certainly appreciate the help.
1. They believe that God created some people specifically to be saved and others specifically to condemn to hell. (Radical Calvinism)
Ezekiel 18:23 Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord GOD: and not that he should return from his ways, and live?...32 For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord Jehovah: wherefore turn yourselves, and live....33:11 Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?

Luke 9: 51-6 And it came to pass, when the time was come that He should be received up, He stedfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem,  And sent messengers before His face: and they went, and entered into a village of the Samaritans, to make ready for Him.  And they did not receive Him, because His face was as though He would go to Jerusalem. And when His disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt Thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did?  But He turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. For the Son of man is not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them.

John 12:32 And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto Me.

I Timothy 2:3-4 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

Quote
2. They believe that God created evil because it exists and he is sovreign (spelling? lol).
Gen. 1: -2:3 And God saw every thing that He had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.  Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had made; and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it He had rested from all His work which God created and made.

So creation was finished, and the Creator said every thing was good.

God didn't create evil, because evil is a parasite, a deprivation, like darkness is only the absence of light. Hell is not created, it is prepared by creatures turning their backs on their creator.

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3. They believe that humans are completely evil and corrupt and incapable of choosing any good.
Genesis 18:17 And the LORD said, Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do;...19 For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgment; that the LORD may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him...27-2 And Abraham answered and said, Behold now, I have taken upon me to speak unto the LORD, which am but dust and ashes: Peradventure there shall lack five of the fifty righteous: wilt thou destroy all the city for lack of five? And he said, If I find there forty and five, I will not destroy it.

Numbers 12:2-8, 11-4 And they said, Hath the LORD indeed spoken only by Moses? hath he not spoken also by us? And the LORD heard it. (Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.) And the LORD spake suddenly unto Moses, and unto Aaron, and unto Miriam, Come out ye three unto the tabernacle of the congregation. And they three came out. And the LORD came down in the pillar of the cloud, and stood in the door of the tabernacle, and called Aaron and Miriam: and they both came forth. And He said, Hear now My words: If there be a prophet among you, I the LORD will make Myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream. My servant Moses is not so, who is faithful in all my house (cf. Heb. 3:2, 3:5). With Him will I speak mouth to mouth, even apparently, and not in dark speeches; and the similitude of the LORD shall he behold: wherefore then were ye not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?...And Aaron said unto Moses, Alas, my lord, I beseech thee, lay not the sin upon us, wherein we have done foolishly, and wherein we have sinned...And Moses cried unto the LORD, saying, Heal her now, O God, I beseech thee.  And the LORD said unto Moses, If her father had but spit in her face, should she not be ashamed seven days? let her be shut out from the camp seven days, and after that let her be received in again.

Job 1:1 There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil....v. 8 And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered My servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?....2:3 And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered My servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? and still he holdeth fast his integrity, although thou movedst Me against him, to destroy him without cause....42:7  And it was so, that after the LORD had spoken these words unto Job, the LORD said to Eliphaz the Temanite, My wrath is kindled against thee, and against thy two friends: for ye have not spoken of me the thing that is right, as my servant Job hath. 8 Therefore take unto you now seven bullocks and seven rams, and go to my servant Job, and offer up for yourselves a burnt offering; and my servant Job shall pray for you: for him will I accept: lest I deal with you after your folly, in that ye have not spoken of me the thing which is right, like my servant Job.

I Kings 3:14 And if thou wilt walk in My ways, to keep My statutes and My commandments, as thy father David did walk, then I will lengthen thy days...11:4 For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with the LORD his God, as was the heart of David his father...15:1 Now in the eighteenth year of king Jeroboam the son of Nebat reigned Abijam over Judah....vv 3-5 And he walked in all the sins of his father, which he had done before him: and his heart was not perfect with the LORD his God, as the heart of David his father. Nevertheless for David's sake did the LORD his God give him a lamp in Jerusalem, to set up his son after him, and to establish Jerusalem: Because David did that which was right in the eyes of the LORD, and turned not aside from any thing that he commanded him all the days of his life, save only in the matter of Uriah the Hittite.

Luke 1:5-6 THERE was in the days of Herod, the king of Judaea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course of Abia: and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elisabeth. And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.

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4. They believe that people who have never heard of Christ will certainly go to hell.

Isaiah 50:2 Wherefore, when I came, was there no man? when I called, was there none to answer? Is my hand shortened at all, that it cannot redeem? or have I no power to deliver?

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5. Of course they are the "sola fide" type but such is easy to refute.

Ask them to tell us the Gospel verse that St. Paul quotes in Acts 20:35.

Thank you VERY much. This is great stuff. I have to say you are a wealth of information. I'm going to e mail some of these passages along with comentary to those young men.
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« Reply #27 on: September 04, 2009, 02:06:37 PM »

I'm thinking of pointing those guys to OC.net. I wonder if that might be a good idea.
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« Reply #28 on: September 04, 2009, 02:23:19 PM »

This week a some friends and I were at a restaurant in Albuquerque. My friends noticed that next to us there were two young men (some where int their twenties) reading bibles next to us. My friends being devout Catholics decided to strike up a conversation with these two men. Well, it turns out that they espoused some rather radical beliefs based on their own personal interpretation of the Scriptures. I am curious as to how my EO bretheren would evaluate the belief system of these men. So please do share and if you have some good scripture passages that would aide me in refuting the errors of these young men, I would certainly appreciate the help.
1. They believe that God created some people specifically to be saved and others specifically to condemn to hell. (Radical Calvinism)
2. They believe that God created evil because it exists and he is sovreign (spelling? lol).
3. They believe that humans are completely evil and corrupt and incapable of choosing any good.
4. They believe that people who have never heard of Christ will certainly go to hell.
5. Of course they are the "sola fide" type but such is easy to refute.
ETC. ETC. ETC.
The conversation got some what heated because I think that Calvinism is a very dangerous mischaracterization of God and I provide the scripture and arguement that I had available at the moment, but any other help would be much appreciated.

I would have cut them off midway through point one. You should look very serious, nod a lot, and say, 'Yes, yes, I've been taught that some people will go to hell too ... we must be part of the same Church ... tell me, do you think Calvinists are lower in hell than Methodists, or higher?'


Oh, and I like Marc's option too:  Smiley

Quote

If it were me, after every point I would say: "Oh my, I don't think the Church has ever taught that"... or... "I will have to ask the Bishop about that"... or... "Cross yourself a lot and look concerned for their immortal soul"

Actually, in all seriousness, may I ask why you got into an argument with these people? I mean ... if someone approached me and started to tear down my beliefs, I'd probably argue quite outspokenly too. Don't you think if you approached them, the onus was on you to be a bit cautious? Apologies if I'm misinterpreting the situation (it might be my staid British reluctance to chatting with strangers  Wink )
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« Reply #29 on: September 04, 2009, 02:26:17 PM »


Actually, in all seriousness, may I ask why you got into an argument with these people? I mean ... if someone approached me and started to tear down my beliefs, I'd probably argue quite outspokenly too. Don't you think if you approached them, the onus was on you to be a bit cautious? Apologies if I'm misinterpreting the situation (it might be my staid British reluctance to chatting with strangers  Wink )
Well, I actually didn't want to talk to them at first. LOL. However, my friends started up a conversation with them and and I just couldn't ignore what was being said. I know I probably should have just walked away, but I'm in it now. LOL. Oh well, I suppose the most Christian thing to do would be to offers prayers for them and commend them to the intercession of our Blessed Mother.
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« Reply #30 on: September 04, 2009, 02:31:12 PM »

Dear Papist,
having heard your situation, I came out with this (maybe insane) idea. What is it that makes cult faithful "nervous"? Obviously, the fact that you start judging them and their theology. I had a similar experience with some JWs in the past, but I don't know if my discourse persuaded them: they just left my home smiling and never came back anymore. Who knows what was their destiny? God knows.
I think you could try this: Start a conversation with them, on any sort of aspect they might want to discuss (especially on that "total depravity"-like theory). Let them talk to you, and try to be serious and interested in listening to their words. When they have ended to propose their position, try to say something like "I understand your point, that's interesting. But, what about this verse [quotation] and this one [another quotation]?" Since you have shown interest, but you are still doubting, they won't be so nervous to catch you away, and they'll probably stay open to dialogue, trying to make a new point. Discuss with them softly, offering new prooftexts as if you were discussing only out of pure curiosity. Of course, prepare a list of well-chosen biblical passages on this theme, so that you can have an advantage on them who are used only to selected  prooftexts. If you're good enough at this, i.e. if you can show them how the Bible contradicts their point of view, they will possibly (or simply presumably) open their ears to possibilities different then those they confess as Calvinists.
With all of my heart, I'll pray that you might be able to persuade them, and that you may not get too much emotionally involved and lose control, so that your calm conversation might also be an example for them not to label you "a priori" as an heretic, thus stopping all dialogue at its roots.
Have a good job, preacher! If you manage to save their souls, I'll (virtually) offer a bottle of champagne for having delivered two new souls from the hands of that satan-like "god" they worship!

In Christ,   Alex

PS: we share the same list of "true Christians" except I place RCism at the third rank (no offence) and I consider only Anglo-Catholics, Episcopalians and Lutherans among the Protestants to be fully Christians despite their partial lack of sacramental grace.

In Christ,    Alex
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« Reply #31 on: September 04, 2009, 02:34:02 PM »

Oh, I forgot: I think it was a good thing you started talking to them. Maybe it's one of the chances they might have to change their mind... but if you don't manage, don't be sad: the ways of God are infinite, maybe yours could just be a seed to develop later.
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« Reply #32 on: September 04, 2009, 02:34:13 PM »

Dear Papist,
having heard your situation, I came out with this (maybe insane) idea. What is it that makes cult faithful "nervous"? Obviously, the fact that you start judging them and their theology. I had a similar experience with some JWs in the past, but I don't know if my discourse persuaded them: they just left my home smiling and never came back anymore. Who knows what was their destiny? God knows.
I think you could try this: Start a conversation with them, on any sort of aspect they might want to discuss (especially on that "total depravity"-like theory). Let them talk to you, and try to be serious and interested in listening to their words. When they have ended to propose their position, try to say something like "I understand your point, that's interesting. But, what about this verse [quotation] and this one [another quotation]?" Since you have shown interest, but you are still doubting, they won't be so nervous to catch you away, and they'll probably stay open to dialogue, trying to make a new point. Discuss with them softly, offering new prooftexts as if you were discussing only out of pure curiosity. Of course, prepare a list of well-chosen biblical passages on this theme, so that you can have an advantage on them who are used only to selected  prooftexts. If you're good enough at this, i.e. if you can show them how the Bible contradicts their point of view, they will possibly (or simply presumably) open their ears to possibilities different then those they confess as Calvinists.
With all of my heart, I'll pray that you might be able to persuade them, and that you may not get too much emotionally involved and lose control, so that your calm conversation might also be an example for them not to label you "a priori" as an heretic, thus stopping all dialogue at its roots.
Have a good job, preacher! If you manage to save their souls, I'll (virtually) offer a bottle of champagne for having delivered two new souls from the hands of that satan-like "god" they worship!

In Christ,   Alex

PS: we share the same list of "true Christians" except I place RCism at the third rank (no offence) and I consider only Anglo-Catholics, Episcopalians and Lutherans among the Protestants to be fully Christians despite their partial lack of sacramental grace.

In Christ,    Alex
Great points . I definitely need to take this to prayer, and please do continue praying for me and these men as we continue this dialogue.
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« Reply #33 on: September 04, 2009, 02:35:21 PM »

Oh well, I suppose the most Christian thing to do would be to offers prayers for them and commend them to the intercession of our Blessed Mother.

Yep, that'd be very Christian. But I bet it would also have been very satisfying to see the looks on their faces if you'd done so right in front of them!

It is never easy to walk away from that kind of argument, I know.
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« Reply #34 on: September 04, 2009, 02:35:30 PM »

I think I need to add to my converstion with these men the dangers of "proof-texting". If anyone has some insight on this matter, I think that might be helpful as well.
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« Reply #35 on: September 04, 2009, 02:54:18 PM »

I think I need to add to my converstion with these men the dangers of "proof-texting". If anyone has some insight on this matter, I think that might be helpful as well.

I think it's a gradual learning process, teaching someone what's wrong with proof-texting. At first, people start out all excited, but the more often they hear the many, many, many counter-proof-texts cited, the more they come to realize that proof texting isn't the final answer.

As friendly advice from a Protestant, btw, I'd also suggest you try to keep your counter-examples Scriptural, simply because Scripture is more likely to convince a Protestant than the words of a saint. Indeed, I would go so far as to suggest that, if you're arguing with someone who is proof-texting and you can think of a nice counter-argument by Saint A or Father B, you might be better to pretend for the moment that the argument comes directly from you. I say this not to belittle the importance of the Saints and the Fathers for you, of course. After all, if you argue against someone's proof-text with the argument originally written by a Church Father, how much more satisfying it will be if you do manage to win your opponent's agreement on any point? You will instantly be able to say smugly, 'ah, yes, this came from one of the Church Fathers. I deduce you agree with him.'
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« Reply #36 on: September 04, 2009, 02:55:53 PM »

Well, if you are successful, they will understand by themselves: the Bible says things which seem to be contradictory. You can quote, for example, the words of 2 Peter where the Apostle, while affirming that Paul's letters are "Scripture", they are difficult to understand by private interpretation. Then, you can tell them that since God is a God of order, he has established an authority on Earth, so that it might serve as a guide. Begin to show them how the Holy Spirit at Pentecost founded the Church as a channel of grace, leading to "truth entire"... show them how the Scriptures affirm both oral and written traditions handed down by the apostles to their successors... show them how the first Christian writings outside the Bible witness to an unbroken continuity of faith with the apostles. lLast, but not least, ask them where did the Canon of Scriptures come from. If they don't know, tell them the truth: it's the undivided Catholic Church of the first centuries after the apostles... they same church they condemn as apostates and heretics, as expressed by those churches on Earth which are bound in common at least by the first two ecumenical synods... well it's that church which gave us the Scriptures they are reading. At this point (but my imagination is running too fast) they would be ready to progress on their own, if they want, to find which church among the traditional "catholic" churches (RCC, EOC, OOC...) they want to choose... Presenting them the entirety of one of this faiths isolated from the other would be an error, especially because you might present a terrestrial authority over the Bible. I think they should get it on their own exploring the first witnesses of the Christian faith, the Church Fathers.

In Christ,   Alex

PS(1): In other words, I agree with Liz!
PS(2): Of course I'll pray for you and for your "rescue mission"!
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« Reply #37 on: September 04, 2009, 02:56:17 PM »

I think I need to add to my converstion with these men the dangers of "proof-texting". If anyone has some insight on this matter, I think that might be helpful as well.

I think it's a gradual learning process, teaching someone what's wrong with proof-texting. At first, people start out all excited, but the more often they hear the many, many, many counter-proof-texts cited, the more they come to realize that proof texting isn't the final answer.

As friendly advice from a Protestant, btw, I'd also suggest you try to keep your counter-examples Scriptural, simply because Scripture is more likely to convince a Protestant than the words of a saint. Indeed, I would go so far as to suggest that, if you're arguing with someone who is proof-texting and you can think of a nice counter-argument by Saint A or Father B, you might be better to pretend for the moment that the argument comes directly from you. I say this not to belittle the importance of the Saints and the Fathers for you, of course. After all, if you argue against someone's proof-text with the argument originally written by a Church Father, how much more satisfying it will be if you do manage to win your opponent's agreement on any point? You will instantly be able to say smugly, 'ah, yes, this came from one of the Church Fathers. I deduce you agree with him.'
Thank  you Liz. Your posts are charitable and useful.
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« Reply #38 on: September 04, 2009, 06:27:37 PM »

This week a some friends and I were at a restaurant in Albuquerque. My friends noticed that next to us there were two young men (some where int their twenties) reading bibles next to us. My friends being devout Catholics decided to strike up a conversation with these two men. Well, it turns out that they espoused some rather radical beliefs based on their own personal interpretation of the Scriptures. I am curious as to how my EO bretheren would evaluate the belief system of these men. So please do share and if you have some good scripture passages that would aide me in refuting the errors of these young men, I would certainly appreciate the help.
1. They believe that God created some people specifically to be saved and others specifically to condemn to hell. (Radical Calvinism)
Ezekiel 18:23 Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord GOD: and not that he should return from his ways, and live?...32 For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord Jehovah: wherefore turn yourselves, and live....33:11 Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?

Luke 9: 51-6 And it came to pass, when the time was come that He should be received up, He stedfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem,  And sent messengers before His face: and they went, and entered into a village of the Samaritans, to make ready for Him.  And they did not receive Him, because His face was as though He would go to Jerusalem. And when His disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt Thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did?  But He turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. For the Son of man is not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them.

John 12:32 And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto Me.

I Timothy 2:3-4 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

Quote
2. They believe that God created evil because it exists and he is sovreign (spelling? lol).
Gen. 1: -2:3 And God saw every thing that He had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.  Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had made; and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it He had rested from all His work which God created and made.

So creation was finished, and the Creator said every thing was good.

God didn't create evil, because evil is a parasite, a deprivation, like darkness is only the absence of light. Hell is not created, it is prepared by creatures turning their backs on their creator.

Quote
3. They believe that humans are completely evil and corrupt and incapable of choosing any good.
Genesis 18:17 And the LORD said, Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do;...19 For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgment; that the LORD may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him...27-2 And Abraham answered and said, Behold now, I have taken upon me to speak unto the LORD, which am but dust and ashes: Peradventure there shall lack five of the fifty righteous: wilt thou destroy all the city for lack of five? And he said, If I find there forty and five, I will not destroy it.

Numbers 12:2-8, 11-4 And they said, Hath the LORD indeed spoken only by Moses? hath he not spoken also by us? And the LORD heard it. (Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.) And the LORD spake suddenly unto Moses, and unto Aaron, and unto Miriam, Come out ye three unto the tabernacle of the congregation. And they three came out. And the LORD came down in the pillar of the cloud, and stood in the door of the tabernacle, and called Aaron and Miriam: and they both came forth. And He said, Hear now My words: If there be a prophet among you, I the LORD will make Myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream. My servant Moses is not so, who is faithful in all my house (cf. Heb. 3:2, 3:5). With Him will I speak mouth to mouth, even apparently, and not in dark speeches; and the similitude of the LORD shall he behold: wherefore then were ye not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?...And Aaron said unto Moses, Alas, my lord, I beseech thee, lay not the sin upon us, wherein we have done foolishly, and wherein we have sinned...And Moses cried unto the LORD, saying, Heal her now, O God, I beseech thee.  And the LORD said unto Moses, If her father had but spit in her face, should she not be ashamed seven days? let her be shut out from the camp seven days, and after that let her be received in again.

Job 1:1 There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil....v. 8 And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered My servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?....2:3 And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered My servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? and still he holdeth fast his integrity, although thou movedst Me against him, to destroy him without cause....42:7  And it was so, that after the LORD had spoken these words unto Job, the LORD said to Eliphaz the Temanite, My wrath is kindled against thee, and against thy two friends: for ye have not spoken of me the thing that is right, as my servant Job hath. 8 Therefore take unto you now seven bullocks and seven rams, and go to my servant Job, and offer up for yourselves a burnt offering; and my servant Job shall pray for you: for him will I accept: lest I deal with you after your folly, in that ye have not spoken of me the thing which is right, like my servant Job.

I Kings 3:14 And if thou wilt walk in My ways, to keep My statutes and My commandments, as thy father David did walk, then I will lengthen thy days...11:4 For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with the LORD his God, as was the heart of David his father...15:1 Now in the eighteenth year of king Jeroboam the son of Nebat reigned Abijam over Judah....vv 3-5 And he walked in all the sins of his father, which he had done before him: and his heart was not perfect with the LORD his God, as the heart of David his father. Nevertheless for David's sake did the LORD his God give him a lamp in Jerusalem, to set up his son after him, and to establish Jerusalem: Because David did that which was right in the eyes of the LORD, and turned not aside from any thing that he commanded him all the days of his life, save only in the matter of Uriah the Hittite.

Luke 1:5-6 THERE was in the days of Herod, the king of Judaea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course of Abia: and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elisabeth. And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.

Quote
4. They believe that people who have never heard of Christ will certainly go to hell.

Isaiah 50:2 Wherefore, when I came, was there no man? when I called, was there none to answer? Is my hand shortened at all, that it cannot redeem? or have I no power to deliver?

Quote
5. Of course they are the "sola fide" type but such is easy to refute.

Ask them to tell us the Gospel verse that St. Paul quotes in Acts 20:35.

Thank you VERY much. This is great stuff. I have to say you are a wealth of information. I'm going to e mail some of these passages along with comentary to those young men.

Piper deals with most of these passages in the link I referenced earlier. Not great stuff.

Why do you people condemn proof texting but then attempt to use proof texting against people you call Calvinists?
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« Reply #39 on: September 04, 2009, 06:45:41 PM »

Truthstalker,

While I may agree with you about the difference between "radical" versus "hyper". In my dealings with different kinds of people, I have noticed that the word "radical" is sometimes used as "going beyond the norm". So there seems to be more than just one sense of the word.

So for now, let us agree that what he means by "radical" is the same or at least similar to what you mean by "hyper".


Different schools of thought have different lingo, so it's not important for us to use the "same" lingo in order to know what someone is trying to say.

So for me it's a non issue, and not the thing to waste alot of time on.

There are calvinists that believe what the op described, and this is why I asked him to ask them if they were Supra, followers of Gordon Clark, if they rejected the mainstream calvinistic doctrine of common grace......ect.

I personally know a handfull of calvinists that follow Gordan Clark and John Piper that would fit the bill of the OP.







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"loving one's enemies does not mean loving wickedness, ungodliness, adultery, or theft. Rather, it means loving the theif, the ungodly, and the adulterer." Clement of Alexandria 195 A.D.

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« Reply #40 on: September 04, 2009, 06:48:03 PM »

This week a some friends and I were at a restaurant in Albuquerque. My friends noticed that next to us there were two young men (some where int their twenties) reading bibles next to us. My friends being devout Catholics decided to strike up a conversation with these two men. Well, it turns out that they espoused some rather radical beliefs based on their own personal interpretation of the Scriptures. I am curious as to how my EO bretheren would evaluate the belief system of these men. So please do share and if you have some good scripture passages that would aide me in refuting the errors of these young men, I would certainly appreciate the help.
1. They believe that God created some people specifically to be saved and others specifically to condemn to hell. (Radical Calvinism)
2. They believe that God created evil because it exists and he is sovreign (spelling? lol).
3. They believe that humans are completely evil and corrupt and incapable of choosing any good.
4. They believe that people who have never heard of Christ will certainly go to hell.
5. Of course they are the "sola fide" type but such is easy to refute.
ETC. ETC. ETC.
The conversation got some what heated because I think that Calvinism is a very dangerous mischaracterization of God and I provide the scripture and arguement that I had available at the moment, but any other help would be much appreciated.

You asked for help from the EO.  I assume then that you are not interested in discussing this with Protestants.  Is that correct?

Alot of us are former protestants anyway(of some stripe) so it shouldn't really matter.









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That was one of my motives. I was curious about what lead former Calvinists away from error and into Apostolic Chrisitanity.

Most of the Presbyterians I know grew up Catholic, and testify that they left error for truth. Far more Catholics become Presbyterian than Presbyterians become Catholic.

Yeah, but we all know that alot of prespyterians that eventually become Roman Catholic or Eastern Orthodox, tend to be highly educated. Alot of lay Roman Catholics in certain regions of America don't know what they believe nor why they believe it. So there's a difference.






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« Last Edit: September 04, 2009, 06:49:26 PM by jnorm888 » Logged

"loving one's enemies does not mean loving wickedness, ungodliness, adultery, or theft. Rather, it means loving the theif, the ungodly, and the adulterer." Clement of Alexandria 195 A.D.

http://ancientchristiandefender.blogspot.com/
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« Reply #41 on: September 04, 2009, 06:58:13 PM »



The terminology is not original with me (I can cite at least one source, if you would like). 

I have heard the term hyper-Calvinism/Calvinist used as a theological term to mean the Calvinists who believe, that God created evil, God willy nilly and quite arbitrarily decides who goes to heaven and hell, and all the rest Papist reported.

 I have never heard the phrase "radical Calvinist" used as any type of "official" or semi-official theological term. Rather I've only ever heard it used in the lay sense it's being used here, to mean hyper-high/5 point Calvinism. If indeed "radical Calvinism" is an actual theological term within Calvinism thought, I'm sure no one would use it. I just don't think anyone here is aware that it is an actual term. That's the thing I've found about most Calvinists, including your post, that you assume we should KNOW all these different "schools" of thought, even though no one has ever explained any of this to us.

Quote
Apparently you desire to critique and refute Calvinism but have no desire to learn anything about it.

Wrong. He is trying to learn about it, that's what this whole thread is about. You must remember that most non-Calvinists who've been exposed to Calvinism have only been exposed to the hyper-Calvinism which says God created evil, and actually DOES evil things like arbitrarily send people to hell, gives people cancer, and has not given man free will.  Most people are simply not aware of other milder "flavors" of Calvinism, whether it's 4 point, or low 5 point, high 5 point, hyper, or whatever else. (all of which are terms I've heard at one time or another by Calvinists describing themselves...)

The more moderate forms of Calvinism are not really all that different than Catholicism/Orthodoxy's views on these subjects, even though Calvinists would use radically different terminology. However you've got to admit, the most outspoken and visible Calvinists are of the type of people Papist experienced. And so it's no wonder people find "Calvinism" so disagreeable because it appears there is only one form, even if the appearance is not accurate.

Quote
Is your list of who is and who is not a Christian your own concept or is this official Catholic church teaching?

It's obviously his own opinion since he said flat out said "I feel", in refering to the subject.

Quote
Does the Catholic Church teach that Calvinists who believe that God is the direct source of evil are not Christian? If so, cite the Catechism. If not, how dare you say such a thing?

He dare say such a thing because, well he has that right. Smiley

Secondly, I'm sure there are canons, councils or something written in the history of the Apostolic Church somewhere that says something to the effect that anyone who believes God created evil (thus being the source, cause and the one DOING evil) is not a Christian.  I'm sure this was addressed at some point in Church history pre-schism and certainly post schism/post Reformation. And I KNOW the issue of free will was addressed at some ancient Council though I've forgotten which one.

You make a good point that it's important to remember there are many different forms of Calvinism. However instead of explaining that, you implied Papist was either lying, or just didn't know what he was talking about. When in fact I, and many others have been in conversations with people JUST LIKE the guys he was talking to. These types of Calvinists (whichever "brand" one calls them) are not figments of our imagination, they do exist. However as you rightly pointed out, so do many other types of Calvinists, which is easy to forget sometimes. Especially if we've never been exposed to them.



Good post.  One reason I do not call myself a Calvinist is because the term really has little meaning anymore, and the meaning it does have is technical enough that it is confusing.  But all Calvinists, as far as I know, do believe that God sovereignly elects some to go to heaven.  If I look at it closely enough as an issue in the nuanced versions, and compare it to Catholicism, it isn't really all that different. Where it is different is the idea of double predestination, which is the belief that God elects some to go to heaven (the doctrine of election) and deliberately chooses others to go to hell (the doctrine of probation).  The Westminster Confession of Faith, the most widely known Calvinist confession, contains both.  Various Reformed denominations adhere to the WCF in varying degrees, from requiring ministers to subscribe to each single point of it to almost ignoring it.

For me, whether someone is a Christian or not is whether they confess Christ as savior and believe in their heart that God raised Him from the dead.  More narrowly, whether they subscribe to the Nicene creed.  More specifically, whether they are making a sincere effort, given these two restrictions, to obey God.

I find myself in the rather awkward position of attempting to defend something that I admittedly know little about, even if my denomination is technically Calvinistic.  Somehow I am the token practicing Calvinist, albeit a poor one both in ability to defend it or practice Christian charity.  At the same time I am very tired of hearing Calvin, or Calvinism, used as the whipping boy of this forum by people who seem to be almost totally ignorant of it, even those who claim to be former Calvinists.

Calvinism and Orthodoxy and Catholicism are in agreement on many, many issues.

And it seems to be a rule that the most obnoxious people in any denomination, or political party, come to typify that denomination or political party.  I have to remember sometimes that there are some really great posters on this forum.  There are others who sort of even them out, and unfortunately those are the ones I tend to remember.  There is a principle observed more often than it should be in the breach that if you make someone angry, you already lost whatever argument you had with him.
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« Reply #42 on: September 04, 2009, 07:04:41 PM »

This week a some friends and I were at a restaurant in Albuquerque. My friends noticed that next to us there were two young men (some where int their twenties) reading bibles next to us. My friends being devout Catholics decided to strike up a conversation with these two men. Well, it turns out that they espoused some rather radical beliefs based on their own personal interpretation of the Scriptures. I am curious as to how my EO bretheren would evaluate the belief system of these men. So please do share and if you have some good scripture passages that would aide me in refuting the errors of these young men, I would certainly appreciate the help.
1. They believe that God created some people specifically to be saved and others specifically to condemn to hell. (Radical Calvinism)
2. They believe that God created evil because it exists and he is sovreign (spelling? lol).
3. They believe that humans are completely evil and corrupt and incapable of choosing any good.
4. They believe that people who have never heard of Christ will certainly go to hell.
5. Of course they are the "sola fide" type but such is easy to refute.
ETC. ETC. ETC.
The conversation got some what heated because I think that Calvinism is a very dangerous mischaracterization of God and I provide the scripture and arguement that I had available at the moment, but any other help would be much appreciated.

You asked for help from the EO.  I assume then that you are not interested in discussing this with Protestants.  Is that correct?

Alot of us are former protestants anyway(of some stripe) so it shouldn't really matter.









ICXC NIKA
That was one of my motives. I was curious about what lead former Calvinists away from error and into Apostolic Chrisitanity.

Most of the Presbyterians I know grew up Catholic, and testify that they left error for truth. Far more Catholics become Presbyterian than Presbyterians become Catholic.

Yeah, but we all know that alot of prespyterians that eventually become Roman Catholic or Eastern Orthodox, tend to be highly educated. Alot of lay Roman Catholics in certain regions of America don't know what they believe nor why they believe it. So there's a difference.






ICXC NIKA

So the smart Protestants become RC or EO, and the stupid RC and EO become Protestant?  We don't know that. I've seen the claim but no data.  We do know that there is a lot of movement out of the RC and EO into Protestant churches, but then there are a lot more of you than us, at least for now. South America is quickly becoming Protestant and Europe is becoming Muslim or secular.

I suspect most believers in most churches have not really thought through their faith, whether RC, EO or Protestant.  The ones who would move on the basis of intellectual grounds probably are the more educated.  But where is the data? Or is this just an internet rumor?
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« Reply #43 on: September 04, 2009, 07:05:54 PM »

I think I need to add to my converstion with these men the dangers of "proof-texting". If anyone has some insight on this matter, I think that might be helpful as well.

There is a flawed concept that the "clear" passages should always interpret the unclear passages of scripture. All you have to do in this regard is just show how subjective this principle is......for the passage that might be clear to you, may not be so clear to them, and the passage they think is clear, may not be clear to you.

So pointing that out should slow things down a little.





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« Last Edit: September 04, 2009, 07:07:13 PM by jnorm888 » Logged

"loving one's enemies does not mean loving wickedness, ungodliness, adultery, or theft. Rather, it means loving the theif, the ungodly, and the adulterer." Clement of Alexandria 195 A.D.

http://ancientchristiandefender.blogspot.com/
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« Reply #44 on: September 04, 2009, 07:14:39 PM »

This week a some friends and I were at a restaurant in Albuquerque. My friends noticed that next to us there were two young men (some where int their twenties) reading bibles next to us. My friends being devout Catholics decided to strike up a conversation with these two men. Well, it turns out that they espoused some rather radical beliefs based on their own personal interpretation of the Scriptures. I am curious as to how my EO bretheren would evaluate the belief system of these men. So please do share and if you have some good scripture passages that would aide me in refuting the errors of these young men, I would certainly appreciate the help.
1. They believe that God created some people specifically to be saved and others specifically to condemn to hell. (Radical Calvinism)
2. They believe that God created evil because it exists and he is sovreign (spelling? lol).
3. They believe that humans are completely evil and corrupt and incapable of choosing any good.
4. They believe that people who have never heard of Christ will certainly go to hell.
5. Of course they are the "sola fide" type but such is easy to refute.
ETC. ETC. ETC.
The conversation got some what heated because I think that Calvinism is a very dangerous mischaracterization of God and I provide the scripture and arguement that I had available at the moment, but any other help would be much appreciated.

You asked for help from the EO.  I assume then that you are not interested in discussing this with Protestants.  Is that correct?

Alot of us are former protestants anyway(of some stripe) so it shouldn't really matter.









ICXC NIKA
That was one of my motives. I was curious about what lead former Calvinists away from error and into Apostolic Chrisitanity.

Most of the Presbyterians I know grew up Catholic, and testify that they left error for truth. Far more Catholics become Presbyterian than Presbyterians become Catholic.

Yeah, but we all know that alot of prespyterians that eventually become Roman Catholic or Eastern Orthodox, tend to be highly educated. Alot of lay Roman Catholics in certain regions of America don't know what they believe nor why they believe it. So there's a difference.






ICXC NIKA

So the smart Protestants become RC or EO, and the stupid RC and EO become Protestant?  We don't know that. I've seen the claim but no data.  We do know that there is a lot of movement out of the RC and EO into Protestant churches, but then there are a lot more of you than us, at least for now. South America is quickly becoming Protestant and Europe is becoming Muslim or secular.

I suspect most believers in most churches have not really thought through their faith, whether RC, EO or Protestant.  The ones who would move on the basis of intellectual grounds probably are the more educated.  But where is the data? Or is this just an internet rumor?

It's simply an issue of catechesis and church history, nothing more and nothing less. For a number of decades after vatican 2, there was poor catechesis. And I know this personally for in the rust belt I dated a few Roman Catholic women.....so I know about the horrible catechesis of this town. It seems like eversince J.F.K. became president, Roman Catholics in the rust belt became nominal quick........I guess they thought being a bad Roman Catholic was the way of getting ahead in America. Of making it to the top.

But back on topic...... the number of protestants in the 3rd world are mostly Pentecostal.......not Prespyterian. But the emotional fad of pentecostalism doesn't always last long, and so they become prespyterian or Baptist, and then from there Roman Catholic or Eastern Orthodox......you see, they eventually become educated in christian doctrine and the history of christianity and so leave protestantism.

So it's an issue of """catechesis""" and church history.

What kind of Prespyterian are you? Are you PCUSA? OPC? or PCA? I heard that the PCA did a study on it once.






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« Last Edit: September 04, 2009, 07:32:02 PM by jnorm888 » Logged

"loving one's enemies does not mean loving wickedness, ungodliness, adultery, or theft. Rather, it means loving the theif, the ungodly, and the adulterer." Clement of Alexandria 195 A.D.

http://ancientchristiandefender.blogspot.com/
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« Reply #45 on: September 04, 2009, 07:18:45 PM »

I think I need to add to my converstion with these men the dangers of "proof-texting". If anyone has some insight on this matter, I think that might be helpful as well.

There is a flawed concept that the "clear" passages should always interpret the unclear passages of scripture. All you have to do in this regard is just show how subjective this principle is......for the passage that might be clear to you, may not be so clear to them, and the passage they think is clear, may not be clear to you.

So pointing that out should slow things down a little.





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It is not a flawed concept.  There are passages that are clear to all (or the Bible is totally unreadable).
This argument will not work.  "Proof-texting" is wrong when a passage is wrenched out of context and used in a totally different sense than you would expect. For example:

Judas went out and hung himself....Go thou and do likewise....what you do, do quickly....

Calvinists, it is to be hoped, are very careful in making sure they understand and use texts correctly.
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« Reply #46 on: September 04, 2009, 07:39:41 PM »



The terminology is not original with me (I can cite at least one source, if you would like). 

I have heard the term hyper-Calvinism/Calvinist used as a theological term to mean the Calvinists who believe, that God created evil, God willy nilly and quite arbitrarily decides who goes to heaven and hell, and all the rest Papist reported.

 I have never heard the phrase "radical Calvinist" used as any type of "official" or semi-official theological term. Rather I've only ever heard it used in the lay sense it's being used here, to mean hyper-high/5 point Calvinism. If indeed "radical Calvinism" is an actual theological term within Calvinism thought, I'm sure no one would use it. I just don't think anyone here is aware that it is an actual term. That's the thing I've found about most Calvinists, including your post, that you assume we should KNOW all these different "schools" of thought, even though no one has ever explained any of this to us.

Quote
Apparently you desire to critique and refute Calvinism but have no desire to learn anything about it.

Wrong. He is trying to learn about it, that's what this whole thread is about. You must remember that most non-Calvinists who've been exposed to Calvinism have only been exposed to the hyper-Calvinism which says God created evil, and actually DOES evil things like arbitrarily send people to hell, gives people cancer, and has not given man free will.  Most people are simply not aware of other milder "flavors" of Calvinism, whether it's 4 point, or low 5 point, high 5 point, hyper, or whatever else. (all of which are terms I've heard at one time or another by Calvinists describing themselves...)

The more moderate forms of Calvinism are not really all that different than Catholicism/Orthodoxy's views on these subjects, even though Calvinists would use radically different terminology. However you've got to admit, the most outspoken and visible Calvinists are of the type of people Papist experienced. And so it's no wonder people find "Calvinism" so disagreeable because it appears there is only one form, even if the appearance is not accurate.

Quote
Is your list of who is and who is not a Christian your own concept or is this official Catholic church teaching?

It's obviously his own opinion since he said flat out said "I feel", in refering to the subject.

Quote
Does the Catholic Church teach that Calvinists who believe that God is the direct source of evil are not Christian? If so, cite the Catechism. If not, how dare you say such a thing?

He dare say such a thing because, well he has that right. Smiley

Secondly, I'm sure there are canons, councils or something written in the history of the Apostolic Church somewhere that says something to the effect that anyone who believes God created evil (thus being the source, cause and the one DOING evil) is not a Christian.  I'm sure this was addressed at some point in Church history pre-schism and certainly post schism/post Reformation. And I KNOW the issue of free will was addressed at some ancient Council though I've forgotten which one.

You make a good point that it's important to remember there are many different forms of Calvinism. However instead of explaining that, you implied Papist was either lying, or just didn't know what he was talking about. When in fact I, and many others have been in conversations with people JUST LIKE the guys he was talking to. These types of Calvinists (whichever "brand" one calls them) are not figments of our imagination, they do exist. However as you rightly pointed out, so do many other types of Calvinists, which is easy to forget sometimes. Especially if we've never been exposed to them.



Good post.  One reason I do not call myself a Calvinist is because the term really has little meaning anymore, and the meaning it does have is technical enough that it is confusing.  But all Calvinists, as far as I know, do believe that God sovereignly elects some to go to heaven.  If I look at it closely enough as an issue in the nuanced versions, and compare it to Catholicism, it isn't really all that different. Where it is different is the idea of double predestination, which is the belief that God elects some to go to heaven (the doctrine of election) and deliberately chooses others to go to hell (the doctrine of probation).  The Westminster Confession of Faith, the most widely known Calvinist confession, contains both.  Various Reformed denominations adhere to the WCF in varying degrees, from requiring ministers to subscribe to each single point of it to almost ignoring it.

For me, whether someone is a Christian or not is whether they confess Christ as savior and believe in their heart that God raised Him from the dead.  More narrowly, whether they subscribe to the Nicene creed.  More specifically, whether they are making a sincere effort, given these two restrictions, to obey God.

I find myself in the rather awkward position of attempting to defend something that I admittedly know little about, even if my denomination is technically Calvinistic.  Somehow I am the token practicing Calvinist, albeit a poor one both in ability to defend it or practice Christian charity.  At the same time I am very tired of hearing Calvin, or Calvinism, used as the whipping boy of this forum by people who seem to be almost totally ignorant of it, even those who claim to be former Calvinists.

Calvinism and Orthodoxy and Catholicism are in agreement on many, many issues.

And it seems to be a rule that the most obnoxious people in any denomination, or political party, come to typify that denomination or political party.  I have to remember sometimes that there are some really great posters on this forum.  There are others who sort of even them out, and unfortunately those are the ones I tend to remember.  There is a principle observed more often than it should be in the breach that if you make someone angry, you already lost whatever argument you had with him.

This forum is much like a salad bowl........for you get a little mix of everything. So why are you angry?






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"loving one's enemies does not mean loving wickedness, ungodliness, adultery, or theft. Rather, it means loving the theif, the ungodly, and the adulterer." Clement of Alexandria 195 A.D.

http://ancientchristiandefender.blogspot.com/
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« Reply #47 on: September 04, 2009, 08:04:10 PM »

I think I need to add to my converstion with these men the dangers of "proof-texting". If anyone has some insight on this matter, I think that might be helpful as well.

There is a flawed concept that the "clear" passages should always interpret the unclear passages of scripture. All you have to do in this regard is just show how subjective this principle is......for the passage that might be clear to you, may not be so clear to them, and the passage they think is clear, may not be clear to you.

So pointing that out should slow things down a little.

ICXC NIKA

It is not a flawed concept.  There are passages that are clear to all (or the Bible is totally unreadable).
This argument will not work.  "Proof-texting" is wrong when a passage is wrenched out of context and used in a totally different sense than you would expect. For example:

Judas went out and hung himself....Go thou and do likewise....what you do, do quickly....

Calvinists, it is to be hoped, are very careful in making sure they understand and use texts correctly.


It is flawed. To say it is not is to ignore the obvious subjectivity of the principle. To say it is not is to also believe that the obviously flawed principle is "infallbile".

But if you listen to R.C. Sproul on the radio, then you would know...or at least should know as a good practicing Prespyterian......that there is no such thing as an "infallible" hermeneutic.


Truthstalker,

That principle is flawed at it's very foundation, and you know it.

How in the world can you use an "absolute" universal statement such as "There are passages that are clear to all"?

Have you spoke to all 6 billion people on the planet about this? All it takes to prove you wrong in this regard is "one" example.

And I will be that one example for you:


These are the (unquestionable) clear passages that should interprete the unclear passages. Would you agree? If not, then the principle is flawed.

John 1:9
"That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world"

John 12:32
"And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto Me."

1 Tim 2:3
"For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth."

1 John 2:2
"And He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world."

Romans 5:18
"Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life."

Romans 11:19-23
"You will say then, "Branches were broken off so that I could be grafted in." 20Granted. But they were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but be afraid. 21For if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either.

22Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God: sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you, provided that you continue in his kindness. Otherwise, you also will be cut off. 23And if they do not persist in unbelief, they will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again."



John 15:1-6
“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. 2 Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. 3 You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. 4 Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.
5 “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned."



Hebrews 10: 26-35
"If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, 27but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. 28Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29How much more severely do you think a man deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God under foot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified him, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace? 30For we know him who said, "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," and again, "The Lord will judge his people." 31It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

32Remember those earlier days after you had received the light, when you stood your ground in a great contest in the face of suffering. 33Sometimes you were publicly exposed to insult and persecution; at other times you stood side by side with those who were so treated. 34You sympathized with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions.

35So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. 36You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised."



Hebrews chapter 6:1-12
"Therefore leaving the elementary teaching about the Christ, let us press on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, 2of instruction about washings and laying on of hands, and the resurrection of the dead and eternal judgment.
3And this we will do, if God permits.
4For in the case of those who have once been enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit,
5and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come,
6and then have fallen away, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance, since they again crucify to themselves the Son of God and put Him to open shame.
7For ground that drinks the rain which often falls on it and brings forth vegetation useful to those for whose sake it is also tilled, receives a blessing from God;
8but if it yields thorns and thistles, it is worthless and close to being cursed, and it ends up being burned. 9But, beloved, we are convinced of better things concerning you, and things that accompany salvation, though we are speaking in this way.
10For God is not unjust so as to forget your work and the love which you have shown toward His name, in having ministered and in still ministering to the saints.
11And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence so as to realize the full assurance of hope until the end,
12so that you will not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises."




Quote
(or the Bible is totally unreadable)


It is not an either or situation. Just because we all know that some scriptures are seen as being clear to some and not to others doesn't mean the Bible is totally unreadable. All it means is we need help with our interpretation of Scripture, and since the Church is our Mother, she is there to help us in the correct understanding.


Quote
"Proof-texting" is wrong when a passage is wrenched out of context and used in a totally different sense than you would expect. For example:

Judas went out and hung himself....Go thou and do likewise....what you do, do quickly....

Calvinists, it is to be hoped, are very careful in making sure they understand and use texts correctly.


So Calvinists are the only ones who are very careful in making sure they understand and use texts correctly? Are you saying Lutherians don't do that? Are you saying high church Anglicans don't do that? Are you saying Weslyian and classical Arminians don't do that? Are you telling me that the Cambellites(churches of christ) don't do that? Are you telling me the Seventhday Adventists don't try and do that? Are you telling me the Calminian Baptists don't do that?

It seems to me that everyone tries to do that but alot of different groups come up with different conclusions when reading a passage. What about Romans 5:12?

What about being born of "water and Spirit" as found in the Gospel of John? What about Eph 2:8? I can go on and on and on.


Truthstalker, the principle is flawed. Just admit it.










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« Reply #48 on: September 04, 2009, 08:23:05 PM »

This week a some friends and I were at a restaurant in Albuquerque. My friends noticed that next to us there were two young men (some where int their twenties) reading bibles next to us. My friends being devout Catholics decided to strike up a conversation with these two men. Well, it turns out that they espoused some rather radical beliefs based on their own personal interpretation of the Scriptures. I am curious as to how my EO bretheren would evaluate the belief system of these men. So please do share and if you have some good scripture passages that would aide me in refuting the errors of these young men, I would certainly appreciate the help.
1. They believe that God created some people specifically to be saved and others specifically to condemn to hell. (Radical Calvinism)
Ezekiel 18:23 Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord GOD: and not that he should return from his ways, and live?...32 For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord Jehovah: wherefore turn yourselves, and live....33:11 Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?

Luke 9: 51-6 And it came to pass, when the time was come that He should be received up, He stedfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem,  And sent messengers before His face: and they went, and entered into a village of the Samaritans, to make ready for Him.  And they did not receive Him, because His face was as though He would go to Jerusalem. And when His disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt Thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did?  But He turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. For the Son of man is not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them.

John 12:32 And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto Me.

I Timothy 2:3-4 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

Quote
2. They believe that God created evil because it exists and he is sovreign (spelling? lol).
Gen. 1: -2:3 And God saw every thing that He had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.  Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had made; and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it He had rested from all His work which God created and made.

So creation was finished, and the Creator said every thing was good.

God didn't create evil, because evil is a parasite, a deprivation, like darkness is only the absence of light. Hell is not created, it is prepared by creatures turning their backs on their creator.

Quote
3. They believe that humans are completely evil and corrupt and incapable of choosing any good.
Genesis 18:17 And the LORD said, Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do;...19 For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgment; that the LORD may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him...27-2 And Abraham answered and said, Behold now, I have taken upon me to speak unto the LORD, which am but dust and ashes: Peradventure there shall lack five of the fifty righteous: wilt thou destroy all the city for lack of five? And he said, If I find there forty and five, I will not destroy it.

Numbers 12:2-8, 11-4 And they said, Hath the LORD indeed spoken only by Moses? hath he not spoken also by us? And the LORD heard it. (Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.) And the LORD spake suddenly unto Moses, and unto Aaron, and unto Miriam, Come out ye three unto the tabernacle of the congregation. And they three came out. And the LORD came down in the pillar of the cloud, and stood in the door of the tabernacle, and called Aaron and Miriam: and they both came forth. And He said, Hear now My words: If there be a prophet among you, I the LORD will make Myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream. My servant Moses is not so, who is faithful in all my house (cf. Heb. 3:2, 3:5). With Him will I speak mouth to mouth, even apparently, and not in dark speeches; and the similitude of the LORD shall he behold: wherefore then were ye not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?...And Aaron said unto Moses, Alas, my lord, I beseech thee, lay not the sin upon us, wherein we have done foolishly, and wherein we have sinned...And Moses cried unto the LORD, saying, Heal her now, O God, I beseech thee.  And the LORD said unto Moses, If her father had but spit in her face, should she not be ashamed seven days? let her be shut out from the camp seven days, and after that let her be received in again.

Job 1:1 There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil....v. 8 And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered My servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?....2:3 And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered My servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? and still he holdeth fast his integrity, although thou movedst Me against him, to destroy him without cause....42:7  And it was so, that after the LORD had spoken these words unto Job, the LORD said to Eliphaz the Temanite, My wrath is kindled against thee, and against thy two friends: for ye have not spoken of me the thing that is right, as my servant Job hath. 8 Therefore take unto you now seven bullocks and seven rams, and go to my servant Job, and offer up for yourselves a burnt offering; and my servant Job shall pray for you: for him will I accept: lest I deal with you after your folly, in that ye have not spoken of me the thing which is right, like my servant Job.

I Kings 3:14 And if thou wilt walk in My ways, to keep My statutes and My commandments, as thy father David did walk, then I will lengthen thy days...11:4 For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with the LORD his God, as was the heart of David his father...15:1 Now in the eighteenth year of king Jeroboam the son of Nebat reigned Abijam over Judah....vv 3-5 And he walked in all the sins of his father, which he had done before him: and his heart was not perfect with the LORD his God, as the heart of David his father. Nevertheless for David's sake did the LORD his God give him a lamp in Jerusalem, to set up his son after him, and to establish Jerusalem: Because David did that which was right in the eyes of the LORD, and turned not aside from any thing that he commanded him all the days of his life, save only in the matter of Uriah the Hittite.

Luke 1:5-6 THERE was in the days of Herod, the king of Judaea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course of Abia: and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elisabeth. And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.

Quote
4. They believe that people who have never heard of Christ will certainly go to hell.

Isaiah 50:2 Wherefore, when I came, was there no man? when I called, was there none to answer? Is my hand shortened at all, that it cannot redeem? or have I no power to deliver?

Quote
5. Of course they are the "sola fide" type but such is easy to refute.

Ask them to tell us the Gospel verse that St. Paul quotes in Acts 20:35.

Thank you VERY much. This is great stuff. I have to say you are a wealth of information. I'm going to e mail some of these passages along with comentary to those young men.

Piper deals with most of these passages in the link I referenced earlier. Not great stuff.

Why do you people condemn proof texting but then attempt to use proof texting against people you call Calvinists?

Because it's about the right interpretation. Anyone can deal with a text, but if it's noval, then it really doesn't matter what they say for it's not in keeping with the historic christian Faith, and mind of the Fathers.

"interpretations" all have a history you know, if an interpretation is new then it's most likely false.......well the probability of it being false is high.






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« Last Edit: September 04, 2009, 08:28:31 PM by jnorm888 » Logged

"loving one's enemies does not mean loving wickedness, ungodliness, adultery, or theft. Rather, it means loving the theif, the ungodly, and the adulterer." Clement of Alexandria 195 A.D.

http://ancientchristiandefender.blogspot.com/
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« Reply #49 on: September 04, 2009, 08:54:59 PM »



The terminology is not original with me (I can cite at least one source, if you would like). 

I have heard the term hyper-Calvinism/Calvinist used as a theological term to mean the Calvinists who believe, that God created evil, God willy nilly and quite arbitrarily decides who goes to heaven and hell, and all the rest Papist reported.

 I have never heard the phrase "radical Calvinist" used as any type of "official" or semi-official theological term. Rather I've only ever heard it used in the lay sense it's being used here, to mean hyper-high/5 point Calvinism. If indeed "radical Calvinism" is an actual theological term within Calvinism thought, I'm sure no one would use it. I just don't think anyone here is aware that it is an actual term. That's the thing I've found about most Calvinists, including your post, that you assume we should KNOW all these different "schools" of thought, even though no one has ever explained any of this to us.

Quote
Apparently you desire to critique and refute Calvinism but have no desire to learn anything about it.

Wrong. He is trying to learn about it, that's what this whole thread is about. You must remember that most non-Calvinists who've been exposed to Calvinism have only been exposed to the hyper-Calvinism which says God created evil, and actually DOES evil things like arbitrarily send people to hell, gives people cancer, and has not given man free will.  Most people are simply not aware of other milder "flavors" of Calvinism, whether it's 4 point, or low 5 point, high 5 point, hyper, or whatever else. (all of which are terms I've heard at one time or another by Calvinists describing themselves...)

The more moderate forms of Calvinism are not really all that different than Catholicism/Orthodoxy's views on these subjects, even though Calvinists would use radically different terminology. However you've got to admit, the most outspoken and visible Calvinists are of the type of people Papist experienced. And so it's no wonder people find "Calvinism" so disagreeable because it appears there is only one form, even if the appearance is not accurate.

Quote
Is your list of who is and who is not a Christian your own concept or is this official Catholic church teaching?

It's obviously his own opinion since he said flat out said "I feel", in refering to the subject.

Quote
Does the Catholic Church teach that Calvinists who believe that God is the direct source of evil are not Christian? If so, cite the Catechism. If not, how dare you say such a thing?

He dare say such a thing because, well he has that right. Smiley

Secondly, I'm sure there are canons, councils or something written in the history of the Apostolic Church somewhere that says something to the effect that anyone who believes God created evil (thus being the source, cause and the one DOING evil) is not a Christian.  I'm sure this was addressed at some point in Church history pre-schism and certainly post schism/post Reformation. And I KNOW the issue of free will was addressed at some ancient Council though I've forgotten which one.

You make a good point that it's important to remember there are many different forms of Calvinism. However instead of explaining that, you implied Papist was either lying, or just didn't know what he was talking about. When in fact I, and many others have been in conversations with people JUST LIKE the guys he was talking to. These types of Calvinists (whichever "brand" one calls them) are not figments of our imagination, they do exist. However as you rightly pointed out, so do many other types of Calvinists, which is easy to forget sometimes. Especially if we've never been exposed to them.



Good post.  One reason I do not call myself a Calvinist is because the term really has little meaning anymore, and the meaning it does have is technical enough that it is confusing.  But all Calvinists, as far as I know, do believe that God sovereignly elects some to go to heaven.  If I look at it closely enough as an issue in the nuanced versions, and compare it to Catholicism, it isn't really all that different. Where it is different is the idea of double predestination, which is the belief that God elects some to go to heaven (the doctrine of election) and deliberately chooses others to go to hell (the doctrine of probation).  The Westminster Confession of Faith, the most widely known Calvinist confession, contains both.  Various Reformed denominations adhere to the WCF in varying degrees, from requiring ministers to subscribe to each single point of it to almost ignoring it.

For me, whether someone is a Christian or not is whether they confess Christ as savior and believe in their heart that God raised Him from the dead.  More narrowly, whether they subscribe to the Nicene creed.  More specifically, whether they are making a sincere effort, given these two restrictions, to obey God.

I find myself in the rather awkward position of attempting to defend something that I admittedly know little about, even if my denomination is technically Calvinistic.  Somehow I am the token practicing Calvinist, albeit a poor one both in ability to defend it or practice Christian charity.  At the same time I am very tired of hearing Calvin, or Calvinism, used as the whipping boy of this forum by people who seem to be almost totally ignorant of it, even those who claim to be former Calvinists.

Calvinism and Orthodoxy and Catholicism are in agreement on many, many issues.

And it seems to be a rule that the most obnoxious people in any denomination, or political party, come to typify that denomination or political party.  I have to remember sometimes that there are some really great posters on this forum.  There are others who sort of even them out, and unfortunately those are the ones I tend to remember.  There is a principle observed more often than it should be in the breach that if you make someone angry, you already lost whatever argument you had with him.

This forum is much like a salad bowl........for you get a little mix of everything. So why are you angry?






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I don't think I'm angry. Do I post like I am? But a lot of obnoxious things have been posted, even on this thread, about Calvinists and Calvinism in general.  I can see that someone talking like that when "witnessing" would simply turn someone off.  Read the thread as if the comments about Calvinists were addressed to you personally and see how you would feel.
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« Reply #50 on: September 04, 2009, 09:00:06 PM »

Quote
Truthstalker, the principle is flawed. Just admit it.

The principle is intuitively obvious.  We don't need an infallible authority to tell us what every verse means. You argue that the whole Bible is murky and needs a church to interpret it - especially since the church has officially interpreted only very limited parts of it.

How about

Jesus stepped into a boat.


Where is the ambiguity?

The Bible is clear enough that we know what we should do.  There are parts that transcend human understanding, but that doesn't mean the whole thing is meaningless unless a priest tells us what it means.
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« Reply #51 on: September 04, 2009, 09:10:19 PM »

Quote
So Calvinists are the only ones who are very careful in making sure they understand and use texts correctly? Are you saying Lutherians don't do that? Are you saying high church Anglicans don't do that? Are you saying Weslyian and classical Arminians don't do that? Are you telling me that the Cambellites(churches of christ) don't do that? Are you telling me the Seventhday Adventists don't try and do that? Are you telling me the Calminian Baptists don't do that?

I didn't say Calvinists are the only ones who do so.  Please don't put words in my mouth. I have enough trouble with my own.


Quote
Because it's about the right interpretation. Anyone can deal with a text, but if it's noval, then it really doesn't matter what they say for it's not in keeping with the historic christian Faith, and mind of the Fathers.

"interpretations" all have a history you know, if an interpretation is new then it's most likely false.......well the probability of it being false is high.

And Calvinists do look at how a text has been interpreted historically, with the earliest interpretations being given a higher place.  That may be a surprise to you. One problem is that justification wasn't really an issue in the early church, nor were some of the other issues that divide Protestants, Orthodox and Catholics.  I can't find anything that strongly supports universal primacy of Rome, for example, although some things suggest it, and some speak against it.  Due to the experience of being in what they saw (and often still see) as the compromised and corrupted Catholic Church, Calvinists had a deep suspicion of church authority and its demonstrated inability to pass on the teachings of the Bible or of the early church.  Calvinists regard the early church as being, like the Jews, a "people of the book" - Sola Scriptura being a return to the foundational teachings of the church rather than a novelty.  The Bible speaks more loudly and clearly than any teaching of man.
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« Reply #52 on: September 04, 2009, 10:23:01 PM »

The rust belt is soo boring, nominal, lame, and filled with christians that don't know what they believe or should believe. It's too lame for my taste.......I like the south better. There is more action down there. Up here, we have alot of Roman Catholics and Protestants that are into tarot cards, astrological readings.......ect. I dated a Roman catholic in this area once who thought the devil was God's equal. I dated another Roman Catholic woman who thought it was ok to not tell a priest everything at confession........ect.

Thank you for your response.  I was really surprised by what you had to say, and I'm really going to think about it.  Do I really prefer a tepid, lukewarm evening at the bookstore, or one full of theological debate and passion?  Some things about it might seem irritating, sure.  But do I really want a world where nobody really cares?  Where everyone is just getting along and moving along?

Thanks again, and God bless you!
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« Reply #53 on: September 05, 2009, 01:25:18 PM »



The terminology is not original with me (I can cite at least one source, if you would like). 

I have heard the term hyper-Calvinism/Calvinist used as a theological term to mean the Calvinists who believe, that God created evil, God willy nilly and quite arbitrarily decides who goes to heaven and hell, and all the rest Papist reported.

 I have never heard the phrase "radical Calvinist" used as any type of "official" or semi-official theological term. Rather I've only ever heard it used in the lay sense it's being used here, to mean hyper-high/5 point Calvinism. If indeed "radical Calvinism" is an actual theological term within Calvinism thought, I'm sure no one would use it. I just don't think anyone here is aware that it is an actual term. That's the thing I've found about most Calvinists, including your post, that you assume we should KNOW all these different "schools" of thought, even though no one has ever explained any of this to us.

Quote
Apparently you desire to critique and refute Calvinism but have no desire to learn anything about it.

Wrong. He is trying to learn about it, that's what this whole thread is about. You must remember that most non-Calvinists who've been exposed to Calvinism have only been exposed to the hyper-Calvinism which says God created evil, and actually DOES evil things like arbitrarily send people to hell, gives people cancer, and has not given man free will.  Most people are simply not aware of other milder "flavors" of Calvinism, whether it's 4 point, or low 5 point, high 5 point, hyper, or whatever else. (all of which are terms I've heard at one time or another by Calvinists describing themselves...)

The more moderate forms of Calvinism are not really all that different than Catholicism/Orthodoxy's views on these subjects, even though Calvinists would use radically different terminology. However you've got to admit, the most outspoken and visible Calvinists are of the type of people Papist experienced. And so it's no wonder people find "Calvinism" so disagreeable because it appears there is only one form, even if the appearance is not accurate.

Quote
Is your list of who is and who is not a Christian your own concept or is this official Catholic church teaching?

It's obviously his own opinion since he said flat out said "I feel", in refering to the subject.

Quote
Does the Catholic Church teach that Calvinists who believe that God is the direct source of evil are not Christian? If so, cite the Catechism. If not, how dare you say such a thing?

He dare say such a thing because, well he has that right. Smiley

Secondly, I'm sure there are canons, councils or something written in the history of the Apostolic Church somewhere that says something to the effect that anyone who believes God created evil (thus being the source, cause and the one DOING evil) is not a Christian.  I'm sure this was addressed at some point in Church history pre-schism and certainly post schism/post Reformation. And I KNOW the issue of free will was addressed at some ancient Council though I've forgotten which one.

You make a good point that it's important to remember there are many different forms of Calvinism. However instead of explaining that, you implied Papist was either lying, or just didn't know what he was talking about. When in fact I, and many others have been in conversations with people JUST LIKE the guys he was talking to. These types of Calvinists (whichever "brand" one calls them) are not figments of our imagination, they do exist. However as you rightly pointed out, so do many other types of Calvinists, which is easy to forget sometimes. Especially if we've never been exposed to them.



Good post.  One reason I do not call myself a Calvinist is because the term really has little meaning anymore, and the meaning it does have is technical enough that it is confusing.  But all Calvinists, as far as I know, do believe that God sovereignly elects some to go to heaven.  If I look at it closely enough as an issue in the nuanced versions, and compare it to Catholicism, it isn't really all that different. Where it is different is the idea of double predestination, which is the belief that God elects some to go to heaven (the doctrine of election) and deliberately chooses others to go to hell (the doctrine of probation).  The Westminster Confession of Faith, the most widely known Calvinist confession, contains both.  Various Reformed denominations adhere to the WCF in varying degrees, from requiring ministers to subscribe to each single point of it to almost ignoring it.

For me, whether someone is a Christian or not is whether they confess Christ as savior and believe in their heart that God raised Him from the dead.  More narrowly, whether they subscribe to the Nicene creed.  More specifically, whether they are making a sincere effort, given these two restrictions, to obey God.

I find myself in the rather awkward position of attempting to defend something that I admittedly know little about, even if my denomination is technically Calvinistic.  Somehow I am the token practicing Calvinist, albeit a poor one both in ability to defend it or practice Christian charity.  At the same time I am very tired of hearing Calvin, or Calvinism, used as the whipping boy of this forum by people who seem to be almost totally ignorant of it, even those who claim to be former Calvinists.

Calvinism and Orthodoxy and Catholicism are in agreement on many, many issues.

And it seems to be a rule that the most obnoxious people in any denomination, or political party, come to typify that denomination or political party.  I have to remember sometimes that there are some really great posters on this forum.  There are others who sort of even them out, and unfortunately those are the ones I tend to remember.  There is a principle observed more often than it should be in the breach that if you make someone angry, you already lost whatever argument you had with him.

This forum is much like a salad bowl........for you get a little mix of everything. So why are you angry?


ICXC NIKA

I don't think I'm angry. Do I post like I am? But a lot of obnoxious things have been posted, even on this thread, about Calvinists and Calvinism in general.  I can see that someone talking like that when "witnessing" would simply turn someone off.  Read the thread as if the comments about Calvinists were addressed to you personally and see how you would feel.

Calm down, we don't venerate John Calvin so why should we pretend like we do? And no one is treating you bad on these boards, nor is anyone saying things about John Calvin that a good number of Calvinists say about the Pope, Arminianism, Semi-Pelagianism......ect.

You guys are way more harsh. My lay Roman Catholic apologist friend had to put up with this nonsense at a mostly Calvinistic christian rap forum:
http://www.soundclick.com/player/single_player.cfm?songid=1197432&q=hi&newref=1

Now if you were a Roman Catholic at a mostly Calvinistic board, how would you feel if you listened to this song? The calvinist that did this song is someone I have known for 4 years. Now no one on this board ever did this to you, so calm down.

Also, how would you feel if you were an Arminian Protestant, and you had to hear this song:
http://www.holyculture.net/archives/5411

How would you feel? No one on this board is doing this to you, so calm down.

I had friends who were treated real bad on other boards, and you are being treated like a King compared to them, so calm down.

And there is no point in me putting myself in your shoes for I am already a member at a Roman Catholic rap forum as well as a member of  a mostly Calvinistic protestant rap forum. So I already know how it is, and I know that you are not being treated as bad as you may think.








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« Last Edit: September 05, 2009, 01:34:54 PM by jnorm888 » Logged

"loving one's enemies does not mean loving wickedness, ungodliness, adultery, or theft. Rather, it means loving the theif, the ungodly, and the adulterer." Clement of Alexandria 195 A.D.

http://ancientchristiandefender.blogspot.com/
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« Reply #54 on: September 05, 2009, 01:51:32 PM »



The terminology is not original with me (I can cite at least one source, if you would like). 

I have heard the term hyper-Calvinism/Calvinist used as a theological term to mean the Calvinists who believe, that God created evil, God willy nilly and quite arbitrarily decides who goes to heaven and hell, and all the rest Papist reported.

 I have never heard the phrase "radical Calvinist" used as any type of "official" or semi-official theological term. Rather I've only ever heard it used in the lay sense it's being used here, to mean hyper-high/5 point Calvinism. If indeed "radical Calvinism" is an actual theological term within Calvinism thought, I'm sure no one would use it. I just don't think anyone here is aware that it is an actual term. That's the thing I've found about most Calvinists, including your post, that you assume we should KNOW all these different "schools" of thought, even though no one has ever explained any of this to us.

Quote
Apparently you desire to critique and refute Calvinism but have no desire to learn anything about it.

Wrong. He is trying to learn about it, that's what this whole thread is about. You must remember that most non-Calvinists who've been exposed to Calvinism have only been exposed to the hyper-Calvinism which says God created evil, and actually DOES evil things like arbitrarily send people to hell, gives people cancer, and has not given man free will.  Most people are simply not aware of other milder "flavors" of Calvinism, whether it's 4 point, or low 5 point, high 5 point, hyper, or whatever else. (all of which are terms I've heard at one time or another by Calvinists describing themselves...)

The more moderate forms of Calvinism are not really all that different than Catholicism/Orthodoxy's views on these subjects, even though Calvinists would use radically different terminology. However you've got to admit, the most outspoken and visible Calvinists are of the type of people Papist experienced. And so it's no wonder people find "Calvinism" so disagreeable because it appears there is only one form, even if the appearance is not accurate.

Quote
Is your list of who is and who is not a Christian your own concept or is this official Catholic church teaching?

It's obviously his own opinion since he said flat out said "I feel", in refering to the subject.

Quote
Does the Catholic Church teach that Calvinists who believe that God is the direct source of evil are not Christian? If so, cite the Catechism. If not, how dare you say such a thing?

He dare say such a thing because, well he has that right. Smiley

Secondly, I'm sure there are canons, councils or something written in the history of the Apostolic Church somewhere that says something to the effect that anyone who believes God created evil (thus being the source, cause and the one DOING evil) is not a Christian.  I'm sure this was addressed at some point in Church history pre-schism and certainly post schism/post Reformation. And I KNOW the issue of free will was addressed at some ancient Council though I've forgotten which one.

You make a good point that it's important to remember there are many different forms of Calvinism. However instead of explaining that, you implied Papist was either lying, or just didn't know what he was talking about. When in fact I, and many others have been in conversations with people JUST LIKE the guys he was talking to. These types of Calvinists (whichever "brand" one calls them) are not figments of our imagination, they do exist. However as you rightly pointed out, so do many other types of Calvinists, which is easy to forget sometimes. Especially if we've never been exposed to them.



Good post.  One reason I do not call myself a Calvinist is because the term really has little meaning anymore, and the meaning it does have is technical enough that it is confusing.  But all Calvinists, as far as I know, do believe that God sovereignly elects some to go to heaven.  If I look at it closely enough as an issue in the nuanced versions, and compare it to Catholicism, it isn't really all that different. Where it is different is the idea of double predestination, which is the belief that God elects some to go to heaven (the doctrine of election) and deliberately chooses others to go to hell (the doctrine of probation).  The Westminster Confession of Faith, the most widely known Calvinist confession, contains both.  Various Reformed denominations adhere to the WCF in varying degrees, from requiring ministers to subscribe to each single point of it to almost ignoring it.

For me, whether someone is a Christian or not is whether they confess Christ as savior and believe in their heart that God raised Him from the dead.  More narrowly, whether they subscribe to the Nicene creed.  More specifically, whether they are making a sincere effort, given these two restrictions, to obey God.

I find myself in the rather awkward position of attempting to defend something that I admittedly know little about, even if my denomination is technically Calvinistic.  Somehow I am the token practicing Calvinist, albeit a poor one both in ability to defend it or practice Christian charity.  At the same time I am very tired of hearing Calvin, or Calvinism, used as the whipping boy of this forum by people who seem to be almost totally ignorant of it, even those who claim to be former Calvinists.

Calvinism and Orthodoxy and Catholicism are in agreement on many, many issues.

And it seems to be a rule that the most obnoxious people in any denomination, or political party, come to typify that denomination or political party.  I have to remember sometimes that there are some really great posters on this forum.  There are others who sort of even them out, and unfortunately those are the ones I tend to remember.  There is a principle observed more often than it should be in the breach that if you make someone angry, you already lost whatever argument you had with him.

This forum is much like a salad bowl........for you get a little mix of everything. So why are you angry?


ICXC NIKA

I don't think I'm angry. Do I post like I am? But a lot of obnoxious things have been posted, even on this thread, about Calvinists and Calvinism in general.  I can see that someone talking like that when "witnessing" would simply turn someone off.  Read the thread as if the comments about Calvinists were addressed to you personally and see how you would feel.

Calm down, we don't venerate John Calvin so why should we pretend like we do? And no one is treating you bad on these boards, nor is anyone saying things about John Calvin that a good number of Calvinists say about the Pope, Arminianism, Semi-Pelagianism......ect.

You guys are way more harsh. My lay Roman Catholic apologist friend had to put up with this nonsense at a mostly Calvinistic christian rap forum:
http://www.soundclick.com/player/single_player.cfm?songid=1197432&q=hi&newref=1

Now if you were a Roman Catholic at a mostly Calvinistic board, how would you feel if you listened to this song? The calvinist that did this song is someone I have known for 4 years. Now no one on this board ever did this to you, so calm down.

Also, how would you feel if you were an Arminian Protestant, and you had to hear this song:
http://www.holyculture.net/archives/5411

How would you feel? No one on this board is doing this to you, so calm down.

I had friends who were treated real bad on other boards, and you are being treated like a King compared to them, so calm down.







ICXC NIKA

I'm not upset.  One of the saddest things I know is how Christians treat other Christians on internet forums, regardless of who is slamming whom.  If the world is to know Christians by our love, what kind of a witness are we giving?  And I'm not saying this is something I have not been guilty of, whether with or without intention.  It is all too easy to say something cutting to a perfect stranger and not realize how much it does or does not hurt.  We are not to be stumbling blocks to each other.

There are several things that do find disturbing, however.  One is that somehow you are convinced I am a Calvinist, despite my denial.  I have some major criticisms of Calvinism that I have not gone into here, and about which I probably won't, because that belongs more on a Reformed forum than here. You are making the error of treating me not as a person but as a member of a group.  You are trying to figure out if I am OPC, PCA, PCUSA, reformed Baptist or something else, and somehow that knowledge will help you discuss things with me.  Not sure why, as there is an overlapping spectrum within each denomination. I see a lot of the criticism of Calvinism here as immature, ignorant, wide of the mark and more a bad reflection of Orthodox apologetics than anything wrong with Calvinism. If you want to hit me you might as well aim at me, not some stereotype born of internet impressions and scanty reading, mainly from your own side, of someone else's beliefs. I am not necessarily representative of any one group. I doubt I am.  A second thing that bothers me is your attempt at excusing the poor behavior here on the basis that "my group" treats others worse.  If you are the true church you should be angels in comparison, not making "us" morally equal. We sinned badly, so you are justified in sinning, because your sin is less? This is moral relevance and God is absolute in His goodness. It is ok to offend me because someone else, who I don't even know, offended someone else, who I don't know? Think clearly.

A Catholic or Orthodox who actually knew Calvinism better than a Calvinism, including its strengths and flaws, would gain a respectful hearing with a Calvinist. One who could care less as to what the language is that they use is in no position to "witness" to them.  Paul became all things to all men.  Compare the contempt displayed towards Calvinists here to the way Paul reached people.
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« Reply #55 on: September 05, 2009, 02:00:27 PM »

about evil : As Darkness is the absence of light , and cold the absence of heat , so is evil the absence of good , or the lack of good.I think it says somewere that He created evil , well he created Lucifer indeed , but in Isaiah 14 or Ezekiel 28 , it says that Lucifer was without blame and rightfull untill inquity was born in him.Also evil is the opposition to good and the contrary of good , evil is destructive.
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« Reply #56 on: September 05, 2009, 02:21:22 PM »

Quote
The principle is intuitively obvious.  We don't need an infallible authority to tell us what every verse means. You argue that the whole Bible is murky and needs a church to interpret it - especially since the church has officially interpreted only very limited parts of it.

I never said the whole Bible was murky. I just said the principle was flawed. The Scriptures I posted above I do see as clear, so it should be obvious that I don't view the whole Bible as murky. I just know that if you want to play the game of interpreting so called "clear" scripture with the "unclear" ones then you would have to leave whatever Prespyterian church you go to, for you can't agree with me when it comes to those scriptures I posted above and still remain a Prespyterian/calvinist in good standing.

You can't. It's that simple.


Quote
How about

Jesus stepped into a boat.


Where is the ambiguity?


I can't speak for the rest of humanity(6 billion people)...as if I can really know the minds of all humans with 100% absolute certainty, and as if all humans have the same level of comprehension, in every age and stages of life.

So no, I will not speak for all humans, and no, I refuse to use "universal absolute" statements, instead I would like to stick with "partial absolute" statements.......for we know in part, and we will keep learning for all eternity......Lord willing.

You see, not only is there a flaw in the principle we are talking about, there is also a flaw in "inductive logic"......... "empiricism".

But just because there is a flaw in something doesn't mean we can't use it. For I still use the flawed method we are talking about. And I still use the flawed method of "inductive logic".

The only difference is, I am willing to admit their limitations, because they are not perfect systems.....so they must be modified.

Now with that said, I will say that with 100% absolute certainty this passage is clear according to us(you and I). For this is what we can know at this point in time with 100% absolute certainty.

But I will not speak for all of humanity(6 billion people).......for that would be speculating about things we really can not know with full 100% absolute certainty.



Quote
The Bible is clear enough that we know what we should do.  There are parts that transcend human understanding, but that doesn't mean the whole thing is meaningless unless a priest tells us what it means.

Once again, you are speaking about things you can not really know with full 100% absolute certainty. You say the Bible is clear enough, if that was so, then why are Lutherians and the Reformed divided over certain Biblical interpretations? If what you say is true, then why are Baptists and Prespyterians divided over certain Biblical interpretations? Well ok, maybe the problem is not the Bible....but if this was the case, then you must agree with me, that there seems to be a human element of "subjectivity" involved.

If there wasn't then we should all automatically agree.....because everything is so clear that it is impossible for anyone to disagree.

I'm sorry Truthstalker, but this isn't realistic.

THE PRINCIPLE:
The "clear" passages should always interpret the unclear passages of scripture"

Truthstalker, I can see the pink Elephant in the room, can you? Are you telling me that there is no hint of subjectivity in that principle?

Are you telling me that every passage I think is clear will always be the same passage you think is clear? Is this what you are telling me? If so, then you must leave Prespyterianism because the verses I posted above don't fly with Calvinism, they go against the very grain of your system..........so you can't use those passages as the clear passages to interpret the ""unclear"" ones. You can't!

You Can't agree with me that those passages should be used as the clear ones to interprete the unclear "calvinistic" proof texts.

So will you now admit to yourself that there is "subjectivity" involved? If you are truely a "STALKER" of "TRUTH", then eventually you must come to terms with this......for this is true.


Lord Jesus, have mercy on me, a sinner










ICXC NIKA
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« Reply #57 on: September 05, 2009, 02:42:18 PM »

Quote
The principle is intuitively obvious.  We don't need an infallible authority to tell us what every verse means. You argue that the whole Bible is murky and needs a church to interpret it - especially since the church has officially interpreted only very limited parts of it.

I never said the whole Bible was murky. I just said the principle was flawed. The Scriptures I posted above I do see as clear, so it should be obvious that I don't view the whole Bible as murky. I just know that if you want to play the game of interpreting so called "clear" scripture with the "unclear" ones then you would have to leave whatever Prespyterian church you go to, for you can't agree with me when it comes to those scriptures I posted above and still remain a Prespyterian/calvinist in good standing.

You can't. It's that simple.


Quote
How about

Jesus stepped into a boat.


Where is the ambiguity?


I can't speak for the rest of humanity(6 billion people)...as if I can really know the minds of all humans with 100% absolute certainty, and as if all humans have the same level of comprehension, in every age and stages of life.

So no, I will not speak for all humans, and no, I refuse to use "universal absolute" statements, instead I would like to stick with "partial absolute" statements.......for we know in part, and we will keep learning for all eternity......Lord willing.

You see, not only is there a flaw in the principle we are talking about, there is also a flaw in "inductive logic"......... "empiricism".

But just because there is a flaw in something doesn't mean we can't use it. For I still use the flawed method we are talking about. And I still use the flawed method of "inductive logic".

The only difference is, I am willing to admit their limitations, because they are not perfect systems.....so they must be modified.

Now with that said, I will say that with 100% absolute certainty this passage is clear according to us(you and I). For this is what we can know at this point in time with 100% absolute certainty.

But I will not speak for all of humanity(6 billion people).......for that would be speculating about things we really can not know with full 100% absolute certainty.



Quote
The Bible is clear enough that we know what we should do.  There are parts that transcend human understanding, but that doesn't mean the whole thing is meaningless unless a priest tells us what it means.

Once again, you are speaking about things you can not really know with full 100% absolute certainty. You say the Bible is clear enough, if that was so, then why are Lutherians and the Reformed divided over certain Biblical interpretations? If what you say is true, then why are Baptists and Prespyterians divided over certain Biblical interpretations? Well ok, maybe the problem is not the Bible....but if this was the case, then you must agree with me, that there seems to be a human element of "subjectivity" involved.

If there wasn't then we should all automatically agree.....because everything is so clear that it is impossible for anyone to disagree.

I'm sorry Truthstalker, but this isn't realistic.

THE PRINCIPLE:
The "clear" passages should always interpret the unclear passages of scripture"

Truthstalker, I can see the pink Elephant in the room, can you? Are you telling me that there is no hint of subjectivity in that principle?

Are you telling me that every passage I think is clear will always be the same passage you think is clear? Is this what you are telling me? If so, then you must leave Prespyterianism because the verses I posted above don't fly with Calvinism, they go against the very grain of your system..........so you can't use those passages as the clear passages to interpret the ""unclear"" ones. You can't!

You Can't agree with me that those passages should be used as the clear ones to interprete the unclear "calvinistic" proof texts.

So will you now admit to yourself that there is "subjectivity" involved? If you are truely a "STALKER" of "TRUTH", then eventually you must come to terms with this......for this is true.


Lord Jesus, have mercy on me, a sinner










ICXC NIKA

None of those Scriptures contradicts Calvinism. You underestimate it.  Did you read the Piper article I linked?

To answer you I would have to dig into the doctrine of perspicuity.  Here is one source more knowledgeable than I: http://www.tms.edu/tmsj/tmsj15i.pdf
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« Reply #58 on: September 05, 2009, 02:48:26 PM »



The terminology is not original with me (I can cite at least one source, if you would like). 

I have heard the term hyper-Calvinism/Calvinist used as a theological term to mean the Calvinists who believe, that God created evil, God willy nilly and quite arbitrarily decides who goes to heaven and hell, and all the rest Papist reported.

 I have never heard the phrase "radical Calvinist" used as any type of "official" or semi-official theological term. Rather I've only ever heard it used in the lay sense it's being used here, to mean hyper-high/5 point Calvinism. If indeed "radical Calvinism" is an actual theological term within Calvinism thought, I'm sure no one would use it. I just don't think anyone here is aware that it is an actual term. That's the thing I've found about most Calvinists, including your post, that you assume we should KNOW all these different "schools" of thought, even though no one has ever explained any of this to us.

Quote
Apparently you desire to critique and refute Calvinism but have no desire to learn anything about it.

Wrong. He is trying to learn about it, that's what this whole thread is about. You must remember that most non-Calvinists who've been exposed to Calvinism have only been exposed to the hyper-Calvinism which says God created evil, and actually DOES evil things like arbitrarily send people to hell, gives people cancer, and has not given man free will.  Most people are simply not aware of other milder "flavors" of Calvinism, whether it's 4 point, or low 5 point, high 5 point, hyper, or whatever else. (all of which are terms I've heard at one time or another by Calvinists describing themselves...)

The more moderate forms of Calvinism are not really all that different than Catholicism/Orthodoxy's views on these subjects, even though Calvinists would use radically different terminology. However you've got to admit, the most outspoken and visible Calvinists are of the type of people Papist experienced. And so it's no wonder people find "Calvinism" so disagreeable because it appears there is only one form, even if the appearance is not accurate.

Quote
Is your list of who is and who is not a Christian your own concept or is this official Catholic church teaching?

It's obviously his own opinion since he said flat out said "I feel", in refering to the subject.

Quote
Does the Catholic Church teach that Calvinists who believe that God is the direct source of evil are not Christian? If so, cite the Catechism. If not, how dare you say such a thing?

He dare say such a thing because, well he has that right. Smiley

Secondly, I'm sure there are canons, councils or something written in the history of the Apostolic Church somewhere that says something to the effect that anyone who believes God created evil (thus being the source, cause and the one DOING evil) is not a Christian.  I'm sure this was addressed at some point in Church history pre-schism and certainly post schism/post Reformation. And I KNOW the issue of free will was addressed at some ancient Council though I've forgotten which one.

You make a good point that it's important to remember there are many different forms of Calvinism. However instead of explaining that, you implied Papist was either lying, or just didn't know what he was talking about. When in fact I, and many others have been in conversations with people JUST LIKE the guys he was talking to. These types of Calvinists (whichever "brand" one calls them) are not figments of our imagination, they do exist. However as you rightly pointed out, so do many other types of Calvinists, which is easy to forget sometimes. Especially if we've never been exposed to them.



Good post.  One reason I do not call myself a Calvinist is because the term really has little meaning anymore, and the meaning it does have is technical enough that it is confusing.  But all Calvinists, as far as I know, do believe that God sovereignly elects some to go to heaven.  If I look at it closely enough as an issue in the nuanced versions, and compare it to Catholicism, it isn't really all that different. Where it is different is the idea of double predestination, which is the belief that God elects some to go to heaven (the doctrine of election) and deliberately chooses others to go to hell (the doctrine of probation).  The Westminster Confession of Faith, the most widely known Calvinist confession, contains both.  Various Reformed denominations adhere to the WCF in varying degrees, from requiring ministers to subscribe to each single point of it to almost ignoring it.

For me, whether someone is a Christian or not is whether they confess Christ as savior and believe in their heart that God raised Him from the dead.  More narrowly, whether they subscribe to the Nicene creed.  More specifically, whether they are making a sincere effort, given these two restrictions, to obey God.

I find myself in the rather awkward position of attempting to defend something that I admittedly know little about, even if my denomination is technically Calvinistic.  Somehow I am the token practicing Calvinist, albeit a poor one both in ability to defend it or practice Christian charity.  At the same time I am very tired of hearing Calvin, or Calvinism, used as the whipping boy of this forum by people who seem to be almost totally ignorant of it, even those who claim to be former Calvinists.

Calvinism and Orthodoxy and Catholicism are in agreement on many, many issues.

And it seems to be a rule that the most obnoxious people in any denomination, or political party, come to typify that denomination or political party.  I have to remember sometimes that there are some really great posters on this forum.  There are others who sort of even them out, and unfortunately those are the ones I tend to remember.  There is a principle observed more often than it should be in the breach that if you make someone angry, you already lost whatever argument you had with him.

This forum is much like a salad bowl........for you get a little mix of everything. So why are you angry?


ICXC NIKA

I don't think I'm angry. Do I post like I am? But a lot of obnoxious things have been posted, even on this thread, about Calvinists and Calvinism in general.  I can see that someone talking like that when "witnessing" would simply turn someone off.  Read the thread as if the comments about Calvinists were addressed to you personally and see how you would feel.

Calm down, we don't venerate John Calvin so why should we pretend like we do? And no one is treating you bad on these boards, nor is anyone saying things about John Calvin that a good number of Calvinists say about the Pope, Arminianism, Semi-Pelagianism......ect.

You guys are way more harsh. My lay Roman Catholic apologist friend had to put up with this nonsense at a mostly Calvinistic christian rap forum:
http://www.soundclick.com/player/single_player.cfm?songid=1197432&q=hi&newref=1

Now if you were a Roman Catholic at a mostly Calvinistic board, how would you feel if you listened to this song? The calvinist that did this song is someone I have known for 4 years. Now no one on this board ever did this to you, so calm down.

Also, how would you feel if you were an Arminian Protestant, and you had to hear this song:
http://www.holyculture.net/archives/5411

How would you feel? No one on this board is doing this to you, so calm down.

I had friends who were treated real bad on other boards, and you are being treated like a King compared to them, so calm down.



ICXC NIKA

I'm not upset.  One of the saddest things I know is how Christians treat other Christians on internet forums, regardless of who is slamming whom.  If the world is to know Christians by our love, what kind of a witness are we giving?  And I'm not saying this is something I have not been guilty of, whether with or without intention.  It is all too easy to say something cutting to a perfect stranger and not realize how much it does or does not hurt.  We are not to be stumbling blocks to each other.

There are several things that do find disturbing, however.  One is that somehow you are convinced I am a Calvinist, despite my denial.  I have some major criticisms of Calvinism that I have not gone into here, and about which I probably won't, because that belongs more on a Reformed forum than here. You are making the error of treating me not as a person but as a member of a group.  You are trying to figure out if I am OPC, PCA, PCUSA, reformed Baptist or something else, and somehow that knowledge will help you discuss things with me.  Not sure why, as there is an overlapping spectrum within each denomination. I see a lot of the criticism of Calvinism here as immature, ignorant, wide of the mark and more a bad reflection of Orthodox apologetics than anything wrong with Calvinism. If you want to hit me you might as well aim at me, not some stereotype born of internet impressions and scanty reading, mainly from your own side, of someone else's beliefs. I am not necessarily representative of any one group. I doubt I am.  A second thing that bothers me is your attempt at excusing the poor behavior here on the basis that "my group" treats others worse.  If you are the true church you should be angels in comparison, not making "us" morally equal. We sinned badly, so you are justified in sinning, because your sin is less? This is moral relevance and God is absolute in His goodness. It is ok to offend me because someone else, who I don't even know, offended someone else, who I don't know? Think clearly.

A Catholic or Orthodox who actually knew Calvinism better than a Calvinism, including its strengths and flaws, would gain a respectful hearing with a Calvinist. One who could care less as to what the language is that they use is in no position to "witness" to them.  Paul became all things to all men.  Compare the contempt displayed towards Calvinists here to the way Paul reached people.

You are correct, I do want to know what prespyterian denomination you come from because it will help me in my discussions with you. You already know what I am, so why can't I know what group you belong to?

You are also correct in that I am trying to pin down your theology according to the group you belong to. But as an individual, you may differ from the "official" teachings you are suppose to believe in. You mentioned some names like Piper, and a few other people, and that helps me pin down what you "might" believe in. The more you talk, the more I will know......so please, keep talking. Eventually I will know what you believe as an individual member of an evangelical prespyterian group.

You seem unwilling to let me know what you believe vs what you don't believe. So, let me be more direct.

Do you believe in the 5 Solas? Yes or no?

Do you believe in T.U.L.I.P.? Yes or no?

This alone should give me all the information I need.

Oh, why are you still upset with "Papist" using the word "Radical" instead of the word "Hyper"? Why is that such a big deal to you? He is not """Reformed""" so he doesn't have to use the same lingo. He can know that in the Reformed Protestant world, they are called "Hyper", but why can't he still use the word "Radical" if he thinks the word "Radical" is the same as the word "Hyper"?

It has been my experience that a "Hyper" calvinists is any Calvinist to the "right" of another Calvinist........so, it really doesn't matter to me for it's not like a "Hyper-Calvinist" will actualy admit that they are "Hyper" anyway.....I mean, it's a pejorative term and who wants to admit that they are a "pejorative term"? I don't know. You might find someone on the internet that might admit it, but as the norm in real life situations.......not to many people will admit that they are a "pejorative term".

Instead, they will almost likely use the term for someone to the "right" of them.

I don't know......but anyway......




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« Reply #59 on: September 05, 2009, 03:01:25 PM »

Quote
The principle is intuitively obvious.  We don't need an infallible authority to tell us what every verse means. You argue that the whole Bible is murky and needs a church to interpret it - especially since the church has officially interpreted only very limited parts of it.

I never said the whole Bible was murky. I just said the principle was flawed. The Scriptures I posted above I do see as clear, so it should be obvious that I don't view the whole Bible as murky. I just know that if you want to play the game of interpreting so called "clear" scripture with the "unclear" ones then you would have to leave whatever Prespyterian church you go to, for you can't agree with me when it comes to those scriptures I posted above and still remain a Prespyterian/calvinist in good standing.

You can't. It's that simple.


Quote
How about

Jesus stepped into a boat.


Where is the ambiguity?


I can't speak for the rest of humanity(6 billion people)...as if I can really know the minds of all humans with 100% absolute certainty, and as if all humans have the same level of comprehension, in every age and stages of life.

So no, I will not speak for all humans, and no, I refuse to use "universal absolute" statements, instead I would like to stick with "partial absolute" statements.......for we know in part, and we will keep learning for all eternity......Lord willing.

You see, not only is there a flaw in the principle we are talking about, there is also a flaw in "inductive logic"......... "empiricism".

But just because there is a flaw in something doesn't mean we can't use it. For I still use the flawed method we are talking about. And I still use the flawed method of "inductive logic".

The only difference is, I am willing to admit their limitations, because they are not perfect systems.....so they must be modified.

Now with that said, I will say that with 100% absolute certainty this passage is clear according to us(you and I). For this is what we can know at this point in time with 100% absolute certainty.

But I will not speak for all of humanity(6 billion people).......for that would be speculating about things we really can not know with full 100% absolute certainty.



Quote
The Bible is clear enough that we know what we should do.  There are parts that transcend human understanding, but that doesn't mean the whole thing is meaningless unless a priest tells us what it means.

Once again, you are speaking about things you can not really know with full 100% absolute certainty. You say the Bible is clear enough, if that was so, then why are Lutherians and the Reformed divided over certain Biblical interpretations? If what you say is true, then why are Baptists and Prespyterians divided over certain Biblical interpretations? Well ok, maybe the problem is not the Bible....but if this was the case, then you must agree with me, that there seems to be a human element of "subjectivity" involved.

If there wasn't then we should all automatically agree.....because everything is so clear that it is impossible for anyone to disagree.

I'm sorry Truthstalker, but this isn't realistic.

THE PRINCIPLE:
The "clear" passages should always interpret the unclear passages of scripture"

Truthstalker, I can see the pink Elephant in the room, can you? Are you telling me that there is no hint of subjectivity in that principle?

Are you telling me that every passage I think is clear will always be the same passage you think is clear? Is this what you are telling me? If so, then you must leave Prespyterianism because the verses I posted above don't fly with Calvinism, they go against the very grain of your system..........so you can't use those passages as the clear passages to interpret the ""unclear"" ones. You can't!

You Can't agree with me that those passages should be used as the clear ones to interprete the unclear "calvinistic" proof texts.

So will you now admit to yourself that there is "subjectivity" involved? If you are truely a "STALKER" of "TRUTH", then eventually you must come to terms with this......for this is true.


Lord Jesus, have mercy on me, a sinner










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None of those Scriptures contradicts Calvinism. You underestimate it.  Did you read the Piper article I linked?

To answer you I would have to dig into the doctrine of perspicuity.  Here is one source more knowledgeable than I: http://www.tms.edu/tmsj/tmsj15i.pdf

I have a book by Piper, and I have alot of friends that are into Piper. Look, I know how different Calvinists try and harmonize the scriptures......alot of different groups do it.
So it's not about that. Arminians do the same with Calvinistic proof texts.......so that wasn't the point Truthstalker. That wasn't the point.

The point is, you can't understand those verses as is at face value in it's common and christian historical patristic ussage and still be a Calvinist. You can't use those passages as the primary passages to interpret the common calvinistic proof texts. You can't do it for you would have to leave Calvinism if you did.

Have you ever read what Martin Luther had to say about some of the passages? His interpretation is different for some of those passages. His interpretation differs from the common Calvinistic interpretations. Hae you ever read alot of the eastern Church fathers when it comes to those passages? The common calvinistic interpretation disagrees with what alot of eastern church fathers had to say about those very same passages.

So it's not about the mental gymnastics that calvinists do to a text.....to make it fit their system of thought......it's not about that. Instead it's about using those scriptures (at face value) to interprete the scriptures that alot of calvinists use.

You don't see calvinists using mental gymnastics when it comes to their proof texts, no! They want people to take their proof texts at face value.....as is. But when it comes to the proof texts of Arminians, they don't want people to look at them at face value. Instead, they want people to follow their mental gymnastics when it comes to those texts.

So no, it is not about that.......instead, it is about taking those scriptures at face value to interprete common Calvinistic proof texts. And this is something you can't do, because you can't see those scriptures as being the "clear" passage to interpret the scriptures that most calvinists cling to as proof texts.

You can't understand those passages the same way I do and still be a Calvinist.


That's the point!






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« Reply #60 on: September 05, 2009, 03:06:35 PM »

Quote
You are correct, I do want to know what prespyterian denomination you come from because it will help me in my discussions with you. You already know what I am, so why can't I know what group you belong to?

I don't know what you are.  I don't know much about Antiochean Orthodoxy or how closely one must adhere to the official line to be AO (if that is a term).

Apparently I didn't make myself clear on this thread.  It is not what I believe but what I believe Calvinism to be that I am attempting to explain.

Quote
This alone should give me all the information I need.

For what?  Your little questionnaire suggests unspoken motives and is alarming.

Quote
Oh, why are you still upset with "Papist" using the word "Radical" instead of the word "Hyper"? Why is that such a big deal to you? He is not """Reformed""" so he doesn't have to use the same lingo. He can know that in the Reformed Protestant world, they are called "Hyper", but why can't he still use the word "Radical" if he thinks the word "Radical" is the same as the word "Hyper"?

I think I spoke clearly to this.  I'm disgusted more than upset.  He wants to refute something without bothering to know anything about it.  Calvinism has a lot of terminology and concepts that he should clearly understand if he wants to discuss those concepts with Calvinists.  He won't bother to learn, so the conversation will end in failure.  He is unwilling to see that. Or learn. People make a big deal out of these things. You may recall that one letter once was a big commotion: homoiousion and homoousion.  It is still a big deal.  To communicate with someone you have to learn what they mean when they use a word.
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« Reply #61 on: September 05, 2009, 03:13:50 PM »

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You can't do it for you would have to leave Calvinism if you did.

"Patiently."  I have explained several times that I am not a Calvinist. 

I haven't read any Piper except for that one article. Really. I've skimmed some stuff on monergism.com but I haven't gotten into it.  One can be Presbyterian without being a Calvinist.  That may be a shock to you.

Your claim that one cannot view those verses as clear and still be a Calvinist is absurd. Flat out absurd.

Different men of good will can come to different conclusions about the reading of a text with a clear conscience.
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« Reply #62 on: September 05, 2009, 03:31:39 PM »

Quote
You are correct, I do want to know what prespyterian denomination you come from because it will help me in my discussions with you. You already know what I am, so why can't I know what group you belong to?

I don't know what you are.  I don't know much about Antiochean Orthodoxy or how closely one must adhere to the official line to be AO (if that is a term).

Apparently I didn't make myself clear on this thread.  It is not what I believe but what I believe Calvinism to be that I am attempting to explain.

Quote
This alone should give me all the information I need.

For what?  Your little questionnaire suggests unspoken motives and is alarming.

Quote
Oh, why are you still upset with "Papist" using the word "Radical" instead of the word "Hyper"? Why is that such a big deal to you? He is not """Reformed""" so he doesn't have to use the same lingo. He can know that in the Reformed Protestant world, they are called "Hyper", but why can't he still use the word "Radical" if he thinks the word "Radical" is the same as the word "Hyper"?

I think I spoke clearly to this.  I'm disgusted more than upset.  He wants to refute something without bothering to know anything about it.  Calvinism has a lot of terminology and concepts that he should clearly understand if he wants to discuss those concepts with Calvinists.  He won't bother to learn, so the conversation will end in failure.  He is unwilling to see that. Or learn. People make a big deal out of these things. You may recall that one letter once was a big commotion: homoiousion and homoousion.  It is still a big deal.  To communicate with someone you have to learn what they mean when they use a word.

Those fighting over the words "homoiousion" and "homoousion" were of the Same Church.....they were fighting and arguing.

But Reformed Protestantism is not the same church/group as Roman Catholicism......they are two different animals now. So no, it's not the samething.....they both developed their own vocab.


And about my motives, you can't know my motives for you are not God. I mean what I say, and I say what I mean. I want to know what you believe.....point blank. I am a pretty blunt person......so stop getting all gnostic on me.

I want to know what you believe because I know that not every protestant is the same. If you were an Arminian, then it wouldn't make sense if I spoke to you as if you were a Calvinist. If you were a Mormon, then it wouldn't make sense if I spoke to you as if you were a Seventh Day Adventist.

Do you now understand why I want to know what you are? I also know that not every Calvinist is the same, so if I am speaking with a Calvinist, then I want to know what they are......I want to know if they follow Gordan Clark or Van Till? I want to know if they are Supra or Infra? I want to know if they follow Federal Vision, NPP, Auburn Ave, and Norman Shepard or if they follow the more traditional forms of Reformed Protestantism.

I want to know if they are full/hyper preterists or partial preterists. I want to know if they believe in 4 points or all 5. I want to know if they are Dispy or Covenantal? I want to know if they are Calminian or not.

So do you now understand why it is good to know what someone is and isn't? I see it as common courtesy, so why are you so scared? Why are you chicken?

You know that I'm an Orthodox Christian, and the Antiochians share the same faith as the Greeks and Russians. We are in communion with eachother so I mean come on. You already know what I am, so why are you scared? We know what Liz is, she's Anglican! We know what David is, he's a Baptist from England. And we know that someone else is a Messianic Jew.

We know that Papist is a Roman Catholic......so why are you scared. It makes things alot easier if we know what you are.......if you want us to get you right, then admit what you are.....and go from there.

Gee! Why is this so hard?







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« Reply #63 on: September 05, 2009, 03:42:34 PM »

Quote
You can't do it for you would have to leave Calvinism if you did.

"Patiently."  I have explained several times that I am not a Calvinist. 

I haven't read any Piper except for that one article. Really. I've skimmed some stuff on monergism.com but I haven't gotten into it.  One can be Presbyterian without being a Calvinist.  That may be a shock to you.

Your claim that one cannot view those verses as clear and still be a Calvinist is absurd. Flat out absurd.

Different men of good will can come to different conclusions about the reading of a text with a clear conscience.

What country do you live in? Because in America the OPC and PCA are both very strict. I guess they will allow you to join.....maybe. I know when I tried joining the PCA back in 2001 in Alabama I had to go through a class, and the things they tought in that class were things I whole heartedly disagreed with. I was engaged at the time with a calvinist who was PCA and so I tried to join her church back then, but couldn't.....because it was too false!!!! And so we never got married. (sidenote: the people were nice, very very nice, but I couldn't force myself to accept what went against my very being and what I knew to be true....well that as well as her elder and his wife thought it would be a better idea if she marriad another calvinist, so she dumped me. Which was wise for we were unequally yoked...but that's a different story for a different time)

I know of another person who is PCA and she doesn't accept everything she is suppose to and she told me that if you wanted to be in leadership then you would have to accept everything. But the PCA is conservative. But still you won't tell me. So are you PCUSA? They are real liberal so if you belong there, then yeah.......you can pretty much believe anything.

But you still won't tell me what denomination you are from.....so what gives? I mean, how am I suppose to talk to you if you refuse to let me know what you are......ok, so you claim not to be a calvinist.....all right......so what are you then? Please tell......for I really want to know?

What are you?


Quote
Your claim that one cannot view those verses as clear and still be a Calvinist is absurd. Flat out absurd.

It is not absurd, there is no way you can be a calvinist and believe you can fall from grace!

There is no way you can be a calvinist and believe that grace is resistable!

There is no way you can be a Calvinist if you don't believe in the doctrine of Total Inability!

There is no way you can be a Calvinist and believe that election is conditional!

So it is not absurd!!!

What I said is very very very true!!! They can not understand those scriptures as is, in the same way I do as being clear and still be a Calvinist in good standing!

Impossible!!!



Quote
Different men of good will can come to different conclusions about the reading of a text with a clear conscience.

Then the principle is flawed, because the principle is subjective. But you keep fighting this obvious fact.







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« Reply #64 on: September 05, 2009, 04:18:52 PM »

The rust belt is soo boring, nominal, lame, and filled with christians that don't know what they believe or should believe. It's too lame for my taste.......I like the south better. There is more action down there. Up here, we have alot of Roman Catholics and Protestants that are into tarot cards, astrological readings.......ect. I dated a Roman catholic in this area once who thought the devil was God's equal. I dated another Roman Catholic woman who thought it was ok to not tell a priest everything at confession........ect.

Thank you for your response.  I was really surprised by what you had to say, and I'm really going to think about it.  Do I really prefer a tepid, lukewarm evening at the bookstore, or one full of theological debate and passion?  Some things about it might seem irritating, sure.  But do I really want a world where nobody really cares?  Where everyone is just getting along and moving along?

Thanks again, and God bless you!

As people we are all wired differently, so what you may like, may not necessarily be what someone else may like.......and vice versa.

You don't have to be like me, and I don't have to be like you. we should just both be ourselves, and try to emulate Jesus and the Saints the best way we can, and as much as possible.

I am a little crazy, so please, don't emulate me in the book stores.  Wink

I don't do it as much any more.......I guess old age slows you down.......as well as more and more bookstores closing down due to the rise of the internet, But I had my theological and historical fights in bookstores many years ago.......especially in Alabama.







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« Reply #65 on: September 05, 2009, 04:27:42 PM »

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Truthstalker, the principle is flawed. Just admit it.

The principle is intuitively obvious.  We don't need an infallible authority to tell us what every verse means. You argue that the whole Bible is murky and needs a church to interpret it - especially since the church has officially interpreted only very limited parts of it.

How about

Jesus stepped into a boat.


Where is the ambiguity?

The Bible is clear enough that we know what we should do.  There are parts that transcend human understanding, but that doesn't mean the whole thing is meaningless unless a priest tells us what it means.


I think this discussion is getting a bit heated/off track. Why should it matter if Truthstalker is reluctant to define his beliefs for us? It's quite a private matter for some people. I don't go over everything I believe here either.

To return to something from earlier: I must admit I object on principle to the claim that anything can be 'intuitively obvious'. The phrase is meaningless.

Quote

How about

Jesus stepped into a boat.



Ok then.

1) Jesus stepped into a boat.
The boat is clearly an allusion to the Ark of the Old Testament, and the Ark is usually interpreted as a symbol of the Church.

2) Jesus stepped into a boat. This sentence does not tell us to whom that boat belonged, therefore clearly the Bible is teaching us that all property is theft, and common ownership is right.

3) Jesus stepped into a boat. This indicates that boats during this period were either moored to steps, or had steps inside them. Yet the archaeological evidence disagrees - perhaps the Bible is wrong?!

4) Jesus stepped into a boat. This phrase clearly refutes the doctrine that God is omnipresent, for did clearly Jesus had to 'step' in order to be in the boat.

.... etc.

My examples are absurd, but I hope they show you how there is ALWAYS room for ambiguous readings. None is ever so ridiculous that someone won't think of it, and cling to it.
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« Reply #66 on: September 05, 2009, 04:50:58 PM »

Liz,



He claims to be an evangelical prespyterian, but not a calvinist.

Yet, he wants to teach Papist about Calvinism, and he is getting upset about something he shouldn't be upset about. Papist wants to use the term "Radical Calvinists" to talk about the people he met, but Truthstalker wants him to use the term "HyperCalvinists" when talking about them.

Now I agree with the term "Hypercalvinists", but he shouldn't be stuck on that when Papist knows what he means by it. He should just move on and explain to him what he thinks calvinism is and isn't.

Not that I think all calvinists are the same....because there are many different schools of thought when it comes to calvinism........but anyway.

To each his/her own.






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« Last Edit: September 05, 2009, 04:56:43 PM by jnorm888 » Logged

"loving one's enemies does not mean loving wickedness, ungodliness, adultery, or theft. Rather, it means loving the theif, the ungodly, and the adulterer." Clement of Alexandria 195 A.D.

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« Reply #67 on: September 05, 2009, 05:03:21 PM »

Liz,



He claims to be an evangelical prespyterian, but not a calvinist.

Yet, he wants to teach Papist about Calvinism, and he is getting upset about something he shouldn't be upset about. Papist wants to use the term "Radical Calvinists" to talk about the people he met, but Truthstalker wants him to use the term "HyperCalvinists" when talking about them.

Now I agree with the term "Hypercalvinists", but he shouldn't be stuck on that when Papist knows what he means by that. He should just move on and explain to him what he thinks calvinism is and isn't.

Not that I think all calvinists are the same....because their are many different schools of thought when it comes to calvinism........but anyway.

To each his/her own.




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Basically, yes, you're right. But the fact remains that he does seem upset, whether or not that's justified.

I think the onus here is on Papist to use the correct terminology. Radical means 'at root', not 'extreme'. To use a parallel example, it's as if someone decided to call the Orthodox 'anachronistic' or 'superannuated' - terms that imply a negative judgement, and which are not synonyms for the approved term.

If someone used those terms in front of me to refer to the Orthodox, I would get annoyed, so I can understand Truthstalker getting annoyed about incorrect epithets applied to Calvinists, even though he's not one.

Also, it's sometimes very hard to explain what something 'is and isn't' until you've got your terminology all sorted out.
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« Reply #68 on: September 05, 2009, 09:39:16 PM »

Ok. They are not radical calvinists. They just adhere to some strange doctrines about God that appear to be contrary to the Christian view of God. Now, I am not so concerned about the termonology here as I am about the souls that could be lost as a result of the doctrine that ascribes evil to God.
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Note Papist's influence from the tyrannical monarchism of traditional papism .
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« Reply #69 on: September 05, 2009, 10:33:46 PM »

   
All very good advice. I remember they began part of their converstation by saying that they "felt bad" for the children in africa who had never heard of Jesus because those people were "going to hell". I was absolutely repulsed by that statement. It reminds of the 700 club episode of south park where the missonary tells the african child, "No, No honey, say it in God's language... English." lol
[/quote]

You should have asked them why they were not therefore preparing immediately to go to Africa to share the gospel with these children

Likely response: if God chooses to turn their hearts of stone to hearts of flesh so that they can come to faith he will provide the messenger to announce the good news to them.

Your next response: how do you know that my question to you about going to Africa yourself isn't God's predestinating will to put a missionary calling into your heart?

Likely response - hemming and hawing (when it comes to becoming a foreign missionary themselves, most protestants (especially modern calvinists*) begin to change the conversation - they see the hypocrisy that they are so sure those who haven't heard the gospel will not be saved, then their professed concern for these folk and finally their total unwillingness to consider foreign missions as a calling for themselves. That's alway something for someone else to do)

*ironic since many missionaries/evangelists of the past such as George Whitfield, Jonathan Edwards, Adonirom Judson and others were calvinists
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« Reply #70 on: September 05, 2009, 10:54:36 PM »


I agree. They think that God creates evil. Such a view is down righty sick and I will not accept that they worship the God of Jesus Christ. The God of Jesus Christ is loving, holy, and merciful. I am nearly certain that radical Calvinists cannot be considered Christian.
I












I knew Calvinists who believed that God ordained the Fall (for the greater glory of revealing His saving grace), but stop short of positing that God created evil and satan's rebellion. They left that question unanswered. The most I ever heard someone of that hard core persuasion go was to say that if God is all sovereign and ordained the Fall, then logic would lead you to conclude .... (don't finish sentence, raise eyebrow, everyone gets uneasy, change subject).

I think these guys were confused, even as hard-core calvinists if they were saying God created evil.

jnorm888, Did Gordon Clark go that far?



Fixed quote tags as requested...  -PtA
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« Reply #71 on: September 05, 2009, 10:57:21 PM »

Dear Moderator
could you please get my reply out of the blue box in the post above (I don't know how I did that)?
thanks!
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« Reply #72 on: September 05, 2009, 11:03:18 PM »

Papist,

Here are some verses concerning common grace you might consider:

 "The Lord is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works" (Ps. 145:9). "He doth execute the judgment of the fatherless and widow, and loveth the stranger, in giving him food and raiment. Love ye therefore the stranger: for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt" (Deut. 10:18-19). "Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; that ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven" (Matt. 5:44-45).
 God "causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous"
(Matt. 5:45)

I took these off monergism.com.  Logically, God would not command us to do anything that is against His nature.  If He commands us to do good to all men, then He must desire and do good to all men.
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« Reply #73 on: September 05, 2009, 11:15:05 PM »

First off, let's elevate the tone a little, and treat each other as brothers rather than enemies. Ok?

Secondly, you confuse "radical Calvinists" with hyper-Calvinists.  The word radical refers to root: at root, they are Calvinists.  All Christians like to think that we are not superficial, but that the Gospel has made a radical change in us.  We are radically altered by God. So it is a compliment to call someone radical.
But as you were attempting to insult them, I think you meant something else.

Thirdly, I am not particularly a Calvinist.  I am not an expert on Calvinism.  But I think I know a little more than you do, and you would do well to learn something about what you attempting to criticize.

Fourthly, Calvinists do not regard God as the author of evil.  If anything that is a straw-man accusation, but it does apply to hyper-Calvinism (most of what people think of as Calvinism on this forum seems to be hyper-Calvinism).  I could post information on the differences between Calvinism and hyper-Calvinism if youlook.

Fourthly, you really do not know where Calvinists are coming from on this issue, and probably many others. In desiring to know more of where these people are coming from, you might read John Piper's article here that discusses God's desire to save all. http://www.desiringgod.org/ResourceLibrary/Articles/ByDate/1995/1580_Are_There_Two_Wills_in_God/

I find many of your accusations against Calvinists unfounded.  There are, for example, many wonderful and humble Calvinists.  I am not convinced that the OP accurately reported on what these people said, because I am not sure the OP is aware of some of the subtleties at play here.  Do Orthodox and Catholics not regard themselves as God's elect?


the OP was reporting on what he genuinely recollected from the conversation. Whether accurately ascertained exactly what they believed  or perceived some of it as worse that it actually is held by these fellows, the point is that the OP relates what he got from the conversation/debate regarding his perception of their beliefs and came here asking for responses.

Also, if you look ar what jnorm888 and Nacho have written there is understanding of the various nuances among calvinists. I myself was a mild calvinist (somehow God ordains and we exercise human responsibility - these aren't contradicitons, but mysteries; God didn't ordain the Fall, He allowed it but did ordain redemption to bring good out of it; rejection of double predestination; total inability rather than total depravity (people aren't absolutely wicked because, as a result of common grace they are capable of doing good acts, however they are completely unable to respond to God without Him breathing into them the breath of life, spiritually); strong emphasis on the positive benefits on individuals and societies of common grace; the validity of evidential apologetics (because of common grace the functioning of humankind's reasoning capacity is not totally fallen) etc.
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« Reply #74 on: September 05, 2009, 11:16:10 PM »

when it comes to becoming a foreign missionary themselves, most protestants (especially modern calvinists*) begin to change the conversation - they see the hypocrisy that they are so sure those who haven't heard the gospel will not be saved, then their professed concern for these folk and finally their total unwillingness to consider foreign missions as a calling for themselves. That's alway something for someone else to do)

*ironic since many missionaries/evangelists of the past such as George Whitfield, Jonathan Edwards, Adonirom Judson and others were calvinists

Utter hogwash.  Absolute, totally ignorant and prejudiced garbage and calumny.  Presbyterian denominations typically have very strong missions programs at the denominational level and in the local church. My wife and I tried to go on the missions field but it didn't work.  Most people do short term missions. In a church of five hundred we support ten to twelve missionaries, mostly from our church. My daughter is on the mission field.  My pastor spent 20 years on the mission field. I know many missionaries.
Where do you get this sort of stuff from? Do you just make it up to slam Protestants?

Was Jim Eliot an Orthodox? He and four friends died at the hands of the Auca in South America. You probably missed the movie "At the End of the Spear" because it wasn't Orthodox. There is a cemetary in Nigeria that is full of the children of missionaries, children who died on the mission field, because their parents were committed to the Gospel and the Great Commission, and were there out of obedience to Christ.  North Korea was more Christian (Presbyterian!) than South Korea is now, from what I have heard, as a result of missions.  We have a long history of martyrs and sacrifice, and no one should sneer at the high cost carried for the sake of the cross by any Christian group.

How would you feel if someone sneered at Orthodox martyrs?
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« Reply #75 on: September 05, 2009, 11:40:31 PM »

when it comes to becoming a foreign missionary themselves, most protestants (especially modern calvinists*) begin to change the conversation - they see the hypocrisy that they are so sure those who haven't heard the gospel will not be saved, then their professed concern for these folk and finally their total unwillingness to consider foreign missions as a calling for themselves. That's alway something for someone else to do)

*ironic since many missionaries/evangelists of the past such as George Whitfield, Jonathan Edwards, Adonirom Judson and others were calvinists

Utter hogwash.  Absolute, totally ignorant and prejudiced garbage and calumny.  Presbyterian denominations typically have very strong missions programs at the denominational level and in the local church. My wife and I tried to go on the missions field but it didn't work.  Most people do short term missions. In a church of five hundred we support ten to twelve missionaries, mostly from our church. My daughter is on the mission field.  My pastor spent 20 years on the mission field. I know many missionaries.
Where do you get this sort of stuff from? Do you just make it up to slam Protestants?

Was Jim Eliot an Orthodox? He and four friends died at the hands of the Auca in South America. You probably missed the movie "At the End of the Spear" because it wasn't Orthodox. There is a cemetary in Nigeria that is full of the children of missionaries, children who died on the mission field, because their parents were committed to the Gospel and the Great Commission, and were there out of obedience to Christ.  North Korea was more Christian (Presbyterian!) than South Korea is now, from what I have heard, as a result of missions.  We have a long history of martyrs and sacrifice, and no one should sneer at the high cost carried for the sake of the cross by any Christian group.

How would you feel if someone sneered at Orthodox martyrs?

Who sneered?
I mentioned calvinistic missionaries in my post. Did you read the whole post or react at the first thing you took issue with?

The fact is MOST protestants or calvinists or evangelicals or Presbyterians have NOT done short term missions. I was a Presbyterian youth pastor. Recruiting kids for fun-filled young life type conferences or retreats was far easier and yeilded far greater numbers than trips to Appalacia to lead vacation Bible school. Maybe 25% of the kids did that type of thing. After college and high school the % who actually leave the work force/career to go on short tem missions is minscule.

The fact that you were willing and that your daughter is serving does NOT mean that the majority are like you. The fact that your pastor was a missionary is an exception to the rule, not the common story of protestant/presbyterian/calvinist pastors.

Granted, Othodox parishes are not the most foreign mission minded places you will find in christendom, so I am not making a comparison, just pointing out what I knew when I was a protestant.

Jim Elliot was not Orthodox? No duh! He was a missionary/linguist/ Bible translator and modern martyr.

The monks who evangelized Alaska were missionaries, linguists, liturgical translators and some of them became martyrs.

Interestingly, Tony Horwitz, who wrote Confederates in the Attic, also wrote the Blue Latitiudes, a travelogue in which he traces the voyages of Capt. James Cook. In his interviews with native populations on south sea islands there was a lot of bitterness about the obliteration of culture by western missionaries but he pointedly notes the positive communal memory of native Alaskans regarding Orthodox missionaries - how they respected the people and their culture and came to their aid and protected them from fur trappers and others who sought to exploit them and their lands.

Western missionary practice and thinking have only in the last 50 years or so become concerned with cultural sensitivity and knowing for example that first you genuinely convert the people THEN you worry about the women covering their breasts (to give one small example that was repeated many times over at the evangelical seminary with a strong foreign missions program that I received a degree from). The Russian monks who evangelized Alaska got it right over 200 years ago (if you are keeping score, as you obviously are based on your reporting the cemetary in Nigeria).

BTW I have heard Elizabeth Elloit speak on more than one occasion and read her book about her husband's martydom (so I didn't have to see the movie).
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« Reply #76 on: September 06, 2009, 12:31:02 AM »


I agree. They think that God creates evil. Such a view is down righty sick and I will not accept that they worship the God of Jesus Christ. The God of Jesus Christ is loving, holy, and merciful. I am nearly certain that radical Calvinists cannot be considered Christian.
I




I knew Calvinists who believed that God ordained the Fall (for the greater glory of revealing His saving grace), but stop short of positing that God created evil and satan's rebellion. They left that question unanswered. The most I ever heard someone of that hard core persuasion go was to say that if God is all sovereign and ordained the Fall, then logic would lead you to conclude .... (don't finish sentence, raise eyebrow, everyone gets uneasy, change subject).

I think these guys were confused, even as hard-core calvinists if they were saying God created evil.

jnorm888, Did Gordon Clark go that far?



Fixed quote tags as requested...  -PtA

Good question, to be honest, I really don't know. All I know is that my two supralapsarian friends are Gordon Clark fans and they both went that far and then some. But just because they went that far doesn't mean Gordon Clark did. I once read a book 9 years ago by Jay Adams called the grand demonstration......or something like that, and he came extremely close to it.....extremely close! I remember throwing the book at the wall......I probably also put it in the garbage can too, I can't really remember. What I do remember is that at that point in time.....I thought he made such and such the author of sin........I don't even wanna say it.

But yeah. I don't know what I will feel if I read the book now.......some 9 years later.






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« Reply #77 on: September 06, 2009, 12:40:03 AM »

Hey Papist,


Some good vids to watch! (Satire! But there are nuggets of truth in some Satires)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R1ckoCBtXvU (Calvinist Witnessing)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TflYkq-8AMA (Calvinism, Arminianism, and the Atonement)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XIXkoMvYPJE (Truth vs. Heresy (Christianity vs. Calvinism)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zrqs-aLfjYo (Calvinism, Arminianism, and the Will of God)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_tPNdxYFyy4 (Calvinism, Arminianism, and Semi-Pelagianism)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yc3Ws-0Yk3I (Calvinist Satire)







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« Reply #78 on: September 06, 2009, 01:18:15 AM »

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AWCv_BdZu8o (Calvinist Mumbo Jumbo)









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« Reply #79 on: September 06, 2009, 09:02:56 PM »

jn,

From your posting those links, I can see that you are interested in perpetuating lies and misinformation about Calvinism - neither of which will help Papist, or the people he is trying to help, or other Orthodox who have little or no understanding of Protestants and Calvinism.  You pretend to understand Calvinism and sling some of its terminology around, so you could convince the ignorant that you know something about it, but you just don't get it, and you mislead others.  I think you are being cruel here, if not malicious. Shame on you.
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« Reply #80 on: September 06, 2009, 09:23:16 PM »



Quote
Who sneered?
Have you been reading this thread? Are you asleep? Look at the language used by these people.
Quote
I mentioned calvinistic missionaries in my post. Did you read the whole post or react at the first thing you took issue with?
I read your whole post.

Quote
The fact is MOST protestants or calvinists or evangelicals or Presbyterians have NOT done short term missions. I was a Presbyterian youth pastor. Recruiting kids for fun-filled young life type conferences or retreats was far easier and yeilded far greater numbers than trips to Appalacia to lead vacation Bible school. Maybe 25% of the kids did that type of thing. After college and high school the % who actually leave the work force/career to go on short tem missions is minscule.
In your experience (as you stated later). We have a new youth pastor because the old one just went overseas. And you? Are you considering missions, or just condemning Calvinists who don't consider missions?

Quote
Granted, Othodox parishes are not the most foreign mission minded places you will find in christendom, so I am not making a comparison, just pointing out what I knew when I was a protestant.
Then there is something deeply wrong there.  I am angry here at your hypocrisy: 1) You condemn Calvinists for not being missions-minded (which I have expressed disagreement about) and 2) You have shown that the Orthodox are even less missions-minded.  Your gratuitous sneer is justified only if you express a stronger one towards Orthodoxy. I am waiting. Or are you a hypocrite? Or did you not read what you wrote?
Quote
The monks who evangelized Alaska were missionaries, linguists, liturgical translators and some of them became martyrs.
I know little of this but from what I have heard it was admirable. Particularly the defense of the Aleuts against the commercial interests.

Interestingly, Tony Horwitz, who wrote Confederates in the Attic, also wrote the Blue Latitiudes, a travelogue in which he traces the voyages of Capt. James Cook. In his interviews with native populations on south sea islands there was a lot of bitterness about the obliteration of culture by western missionaries but he pointedly notes the positive communal memory of native Alaskans regarding Orthodox missionaries - how they respected the people and their culture and came to their aid and protected them from fur trappers and others who sought to exploit them and their lands.

Western missionary practice and thinking have only in the last 50 years or so become concerned with cultural sensitivity and knowing for example that first you genuinely convert the people THEN you worry about the women covering their breasts (to give one small example that was repeated many times over at the evangelical seminary with a strong foreign missions program that I received a degree from). The Russian monks who evangelized Alaska got it right over 200 years ago (if you are keeping score, as you obviously are based on your reporting the cemetary in Nigeria).
[/quote]

No score being kept between Presbyterians and Orthodox, at least on my part. What happened in Russia after 1917....in Turkey in 1922.....going further back, many, many more....Eastern Europe under communism was a frequent object of intercession with me, and I still pray for those under persecution, and we do a few things to help I am not free to discuss.  But there are still those willing to risk their lives for the Gospel, and they should be respected. 

The whole concept of cultural integrity is not as simple as it might seem, and is too complex to go into on this thread, even if I were an expert on it.  There was an imposition of Western norms onto native peoples on the part of Protestant missionaries.  We can also point to the enslavement of the native peoples of the Caribbeans, and their destruction, by the Spanish. which led to the importation of black Africans as slaves to the Americas (a far worse crime).  But not every cultural item is good or redeemable (nor is every one wrong).  I enjoyed an Orthodox music video on the web showing Orthodox music in different cultures, and it does look like you hit it right, at least on the surface.  But many cultures need radical transformation as cultures to take on a Christian identity.  Mainstream USA culture comes to mind, with an obsession with money and speed and activity.
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« Reply #81 on: September 06, 2009, 09:24:52 PM »

jn,

From your posting those links, I can see that you are interested in perpetuating lies and misinformation about Calvinism - neither of which will help Papist, or the people he is trying to help, or other Orthodox who have little or no understanding of Protestants and Calvinism.  You pretend to understand Calvinism and sling some of its terminology around, so you could convince the ignorant that you know something about it, but you just don't get it, and you mislead others.  I think you are being cruel here, if not malicious. Shame on you.


Do you always walk around with a chip on your shoulder? It's called """SATIRE"""! And there are nuggets of truth in some satire. And why in the world are you offended if you are not a calvinist? I showed these same videos to REAL Calvinists of different stripes and they thought they were funny, but they also turned around and showed me some other ones about Arminianism, and I thought they were funny. Where there is smoke there is fire.

So Lighten up!

Ones done by Calvinists:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gRExO8FceQw (Arminianism VS Calvinism)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=19sFW0oxWec

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LanPPuv8Cds (Perseverance of the Saints Historic Reformed (brief)Overview)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aFyCM59cGdg (Is faith according to man's free will?)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WGJFcC4XGds (Conditional election vs unconditional election)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yr6EL8_ABAk

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uFG19iMkrVs (Arminian Witnessing)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z9uc_kudVNg (Discussing Election and Predestination)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yg3Dyzj5FEY (Arminian Prayer)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BIK84jGfx7Y(Once saved, is saved!)



Happy now








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« Last Edit: September 06, 2009, 09:56:22 PM by jnorm888 » Logged

"loving one's enemies does not mean loving wickedness, ungodliness, adultery, or theft. Rather, it means loving the theif, the ungodly, and the adulterer." Clement of Alexandria 195 A.D.

http://ancientchristiandefender.blogspot.com/
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« Reply #82 on: September 06, 2009, 10:02:07 PM »

I'm sorry but Calvinism is a horrible heresy. I'm a former Calvinist myself so I know what I'm talking about. Protestants holding Calvinist views themselves only represent a sliver in all of protestantism. Most protestants even view them out of the mainstream. It's also a very unhealthy, unholistic psychologically damaging approach to faith. Those stuck in the Calvinist mindset will go through periods where they even question whether they are in the 'elect' or not. It's a view of faith that is harsh and merciless that makes unfounded pronouncements against other people's salvation. They think Christ only died for 'his people', diminishing a sacrifice that was for all. I often found most Calvinist to be very arrogant and often sneered down upon others. 'Heretic' is a word the Calvinist like to throw around loosely for those that disagree with them. Calvinist also naturally subscribe to a just world point of view. There is no grace at all in Calvinism.
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« Reply #83 on: September 06, 2009, 10:20:09 PM »

I'm sorry but Calvinism is a horrible heresy. I'm a former Calvinist myself so I know what I'm talking about. Protestants holding Calvinist views themselves only represent a sliver in all of protestantism. Most protestants even view them out of the mainstream. It's also a very unhealthy, unholistic psychologically damaging approach to faith. Those stuck in the Calvinist mindset will go through periods where they even question whether they are in the 'elect' or not. It's a view of faith that is harsh and merciless that makes unfounded pronouncements against other people's salvation. They think Christ only died for 'his people', diminishing a sacrifice that was for all. I often found most Calvinist to be very arrogant and often sneered down upon others. 'Heretic' is a word the Calvinist like to throw around loosely for those that disagree with them. Calvinist also naturally subscribe to a just world point of view. There is no grace at all in Calvinism.

Yeah, I remember my ex fiance(7-8 years ago) questioning if she was "elect" a couple times, and she was very depressed then too.










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« Reply #84 on: September 06, 2009, 10:35:17 PM »

Satire about Calvinism from a Lutherian perspective.
He talks about the view of the Eastern Fathers in the first set, and how it differs from the Calvinist view.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xJ-46KvDuoM (History of Christology for Calvinists and most  Protestants)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TdWim-ekxIo (History of Christology for Calvinists and most  Protestants Part 2)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=94hTLbTBA-o (History of Christology for Calvinists and most Protestants Part 3)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jSWcNut81Cw (Conversation with a Calvinist on the Supper)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CciET46Pmp0 (Matthew 23:37, 1 Timothy 2:4, and Jame's White)


Not Satire:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aGJKiU90JHs (Christology - Differences Between Calvinists and Lutherans)











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« Last Edit: September 06, 2009, 10:42:12 PM by jnorm888 » Logged

"loving one's enemies does not mean loving wickedness, ungodliness, adultery, or theft. Rather, it means loving the theif, the ungodly, and the adulterer." Clement of Alexandria 195 A.D.

http://ancientchristiandefender.blogspot.com/
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« Reply #85 on: September 07, 2009, 12:14:29 AM »

Has anyone read Dr. Scott Hahn's autobiography. I read it as well as his book on Mary. He was intrumental in leading me out of protestantism.
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« Reply #86 on: September 07, 2009, 10:53:26 AM »

Hey Papist,


Some good vids to watch! (Satire! But there are nuggets of truth in some Satires)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R1ckoCBtXvU (Calvinist Witnessing)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TflYkq-8AMA (Calvinism, Arminianism, and the Atonement)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XIXkoMvYPJE (Truth vs. Heresy (Christianity vs. Calvinism)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zrqs-aLfjYo (Calvinism, Arminianism, and the Will of God)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_tPNdxYFyy4 (Calvinism, Arminianism, and Semi-Pelagianism)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yc3Ws-0Yk3I (Calvinist Satire)


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Thanks a bunch. These are hilarious.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2009, 10:55:20 AM by Papist » Logged

Note Papist's influence from the tyrannical monarchism of traditional papism .
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« Reply #87 on: September 07, 2009, 12:38:05 PM »

The whole concept of cultural integrity is not as simple as it might seem, and is too complex to go into on this thread, even if I were an expert on it.  There was an imposition of Western norms onto native peoples on the part of Protestant missionaries.  We can also point to the enslavement of the native peoples of the Caribbeans, and their destruction, by the Spanish. which led to the importation of black Africans as slaves to the Americas (a far worse crime).  But not every cultural item is good or redeemable (nor is every one wrong).  I enjoyed an Orthodox music video on the web showing Orthodox music in different cultures, and it does look like you hit it right, at least on the surface.  But many cultures need radical transformation as cultures to take on a Christian identity.  Mainstream USA culture comes to mind, with an obsession with money and speed and activity.

Promoted, according to Weber, by the Protestant ethic.

Are you claiming the Calvinists of the OP aren't Calvinist? Seems that they have been picking the T.U.L.I.P.:
http://www.calvinistcorner.com/tulip.htm
http://www.crivoice.org/tulip.html
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« Reply #88 on: September 07, 2009, 12:57:20 PM »

Quote
Truthstalker, the principle is flawed. Just admit it.

The principle is intuitively obvious.  We don't need an infallible authority to tell us what every verse means. You argue that the whole Bible is murky and needs a church to interpret it - especially since the church has officially interpreted only very limited parts of it.

How about

Jesus stepped into a boat.


Where is the ambiguity?

The Bible is clear enough that we know what we should do.  There are parts that transcend human understanding, but that doesn't mean the whole thing is meaningless unless a priest tells us what it means.


You ought to check that out before you write: St. John Chrysostom, Sermon on Matthew IX, 1-2 for instance:
Quote
And again He entered into the ship and passed over, when He might have gone over afoot. For it was His will not to be always doing miracles, that He might not injure the doctrine of His humanity.
http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf110.iii.XXIX.html

Not as simple as you thought, is it?

EVERY verse has been evaluated by the Church. Otherwise, the verse wouldn't be there.

Piper deals with most of these passages in the link I referenced earlier. Not great stuff.

Why do you people condemn proof texting but then attempt to use proof texting against people you call Calvinists?

Because St. Peter tells them they should know better. II Peter 3:16.  Those who want to follow the cunning, and late, fables of Calvin ought to I Peter 1:19-21.

We can point to those who interpreteded Scripture the same way we do, in every generation from the time Christ said "I am with you always (lit. every day) unto the end of the Age," until this day.  We can point to communicates of our Church, THE Church, from Pentacost until today.  The Calvinists (nor for that matter, any Protestant) cannot.  Except of course John 6:66, the only Protestants in the Bible.

I third or fourth....Liz's suggestions.  As a former Protestant, I know that their ears are uncircumcized until the Church takes the flint of her scripture to circumsize them (how's that for a bible based (Acts 7:51) image?)
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« Reply #89 on: September 07, 2009, 01:20:18 PM »

Most of the Presbyterians I know grew up Catholic, and testify that they left error for truth. Far more Catholics become Presbyterian than Presbyterians become Catholic.

Care to back that up with some documentation? as I know plenty of Presbyterians who have become Orthodox or opted for the Vatican, but only two who left for the Presbyterians.

This week a some friends and I were at a restaurant in Albuquerque. My friends noticed that next to us there were two young men (some where int their twenties) reading bibles next to us. My friends being devout Catholics decided to strike up a conversation with these two men. Well, it turns out that they espoused some rather radical beliefs based on their own personal interpretation of the Scriptures. I am curious as to how my EO bretheren would evaluate the belief system of these men. So please do share and if you have some good scripture passages that would aide me in refuting the errors of these young men, I would certainly appreciate the help.
1. They believe that God created some people specifically to be saved and others specifically to condemn to hell. (Radical Calvinism)
2. They believe that God created evil because it exists and he is sovreign (spelling? lol).
3. They believe that humans are completely evil and corrupt and incapable of choosing any good.
4. They believe that people who have never heard of Christ will certainly go to hell.
5. Of course they are the "sola fide" type but such is easy to refute.
ETC. ETC. ETC.
The conversation got some what heated because I think that Calvinism is a very dangerous mischaracterization of God and I provide the scripture and arguement that I had available at the moment, but any other help would be much appreciated.

You asked for help from the EO.  I assume then that you are not interested in discussing this with Protestants.  Is that correct?

Why shouldn't he?  Just like grit itself is worthless, it sharpens the knife.
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« Reply #90 on: September 07, 2009, 01:43:04 PM »

Piper deals with most of these passages in the link I referenced earlier. Not great stuff.

Why do you people condemn proof texting but then attempt to use proof texting against people you call Calvinists?

It caught my eye that Piper quotes, and not from the Bible:
Quote
For as Jonathan Edwards says...I find the effort of Stephen Charnock (1628-1680), a chaplain to Henry Cromwell and non-conformist pastor in London, to be balanced and helpful in holding the diverse scriptures on God's will together....Similarly Jonathan Edwards, writing about 80 years later comes to similar conclusions with somewhat different terminology....The way I would give an account of this is explained by Robert L. Dabney in an essay written over a hundred years ago....

Quote
This decision should not be made on the basis of metaphysical assumptions about what we think human accountability requires. It should be made on the basis of what the scriptures teach. I do not find in the Bible that human beings have the ultimate power of self-determination. As far as I can tell it is a philosophical inference based on metaphysical presuppositions. On the other hand this book aims to show that the sovereignty of God's grace in salvation is taught in Scripture.

Not great stuff.  Well over a millenium and a half too late to touch the continuous teaching of the Church.
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« Reply #91 on: September 07, 2009, 05:54:36 PM »

If talking to these guys, I would "reframe the debate."  Take it to the grounds of church history and unity, which will be the Achille's Heel of most Protestants.  And I don't say this just cause it's a good strategy, but because it's something that these young men should think about.  Now concerning what they were teaching (Calvinism)...

1) Are these teachings true? To which they'll respond...
1A) Yes. (Then go to question 2).

2) Are these teachings so important that they should effect what church we belong to and/or justify a breaking away from the Church to start a new church?
2A) No. (Then how is their groups breaking away from the Catholic Church justifiable?)
2B) Yes. (Then go to question 3).

3)Did the early Church Fathers, save St. Augustine, teach this?
3A) Yes. (This is not correct and ask them bring you quotes next time around with the sources. Also, you can discuss the Council of Orange that occured to clear up some of the things St. Augustine was teaching and condemned much of what these young men are saying.)
3B) No. (Then go to question 4).

4) If the early Church Fathers didn't teach this, does this mean that the Church was universally in heresy?
4A) Yes. (Then go to question 5).
4B) No. (Then how can you justify splitting/remaining separated from the Church over a matter that isn't a matter of heresy?)

5) If the early Church was in heresy both before and after St. Augustine, then what do we do with the words of Our Lord when He said, "the gates of Hell will not prevail against my Church?" and where he says the Holy Spirit will lead them into all truth and where Paul tells Timothy (I think) that the Church is the "pillar and ground of the Truth?"

In essence, you're trying to get them to realize that regardless of what they think the Bible says, the Early Church Fathers thought quite differently, something that St. Augustine himself admitted.  Does this then mean that they, or their spiritual forefathers then have the right or obligation to go start a "true church" that teaches these things?  If so, then how do they square that with the Lord's desire for us to be one, with His promise that the Church would not fall prey to Satan and His promise of the Spirit to lead us into Truth, with Paul's command to come together and be in agreement on every issue, with Paul's statement that the Church is the pillar and grounding of Truth?
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« Reply #92 on: September 08, 2009, 07:22:54 AM »

If talking to these guys, I would "reframe the debate."  Take it to the grounds of church history and unity, which will be the Achille's Heel of most Protestants.  And I don't say this just cause it's a good strategy, but because it's something that these young men should think about.  Now concerning what they were teaching (Calvinism)...

1) Are these teachings true? To which they'll respond...
1A) Yes. (Then go to question 2).

2) Are these teachings so important that they should effect what church we belong to and/or justify a breaking away from the Church to start a new church?
2A) No. (Then how is their groups breaking away from the Catholic Church justifiable?)
2B) Yes. (Then go to question 3).

3)Did the early Church Fathers, save St. Augustine, teach this?
3A) Yes. (This is not correct and ask them bring you quotes next time around with the sources. Also, you can discuss the Council of Orange that occured to clear up some of the things St. Augustine was teaching and condemned much of what these young men are saying.)
3B) No. (Then go to question 4).

4) If the early Church Fathers didn't teach this, does this mean that the Church was universally in heresy?
4A) Yes. (Then go to question 5).
4B) No. (Then how can you justify splitting/remaining separated from the Church over a matter that isn't a matter of heresy?)

5) If the early Church was in heresy both before and after St. Augustine, then what do we do with the words of Our Lord when He said, "the gates of Hell will not prevail against my Church?" and where he says the Holy Spirit will lead them into all truth and where Paul tells Timothy (I think) that the Church is the "pillar and ground of the Truth?"

In essence, you're trying to get them to realize that regardless of what they think the Bible says, the Early Church Fathers thought quite differently, something that St. Augustine himself admitted.  Does this then mean that they, or their spiritual forefathers then have the right or obligation to go start a "true church" that teaches these things?  If so, then how do they square that with the Lord's desire for us to be one, with His promise that the Church would not fall prey to Satan and His promise of the Spirit to lead us into Truth, with Paul's command to come together and be in agreement on every issue, with Paul's statement that the Church is the pillar and grounding of Truth?

Unfortunately, I suspect this argument would simply confuse many of its putative audience. Won't they simply be bewildered as to why you're so interested in the early Church and the Fathers? And won't they just find the doings of the early Church irrelevant to them?
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« Reply #93 on: September 10, 2009, 11:49:48 AM »

And won't they just find the doings of the early Church irrelevant to them?

I wonder, since the impetus for most of them is restorationist, rescuing Christianity from the corrupting influence of "traditions of men" and restoring it to the purity of the early Christians
Isn't that the argument for "believer's baptism" anyway? That the early Christians didn't do infant baptism?
So apparently this is a fairly common notion.
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« Reply #94 on: September 10, 2009, 02:58:32 PM »

And won't they just find the doings of the early Church irrelevant to them?

I wonder, since the impetus for most of them is restorationist, rescuing Christianity from the corrupting influence of "traditions of men" and restoring it to the purity of the early Christians
Isn't that the argument for "believer's baptism" anyway? That the early Christians didn't do infant baptism?
So apparently this is a fairly common notion.
Are we certain that the Early Christians didn't do infant baptism?
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« Reply #95 on: September 10, 2009, 03:30:25 PM »

And won't they just find the doings of the early Church irrelevant to them?

I wonder, since the impetus for most of them is restorationist, rescuing Christianity from the corrupting influence of "traditions of men" and restoring it to the purity of the early Christians
Isn't that the argument for "believer's baptism" anyway? That the early Christians didn't do infant baptism?
So apparently this is a fairly common notion.
Are we certain that the Early Christians didn't do infant baptism?

I'm not, but they are. According to them, there was only believer's baptism, but then practically as soon as St. John was buried, Christians went all crazy and apostate and started baptizing babies. This seems to have happened without any evidence or discussion.
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« Reply #96 on: September 10, 2009, 03:53:12 PM »

And won't they just find the doings of the early Church irrelevant to them?

I wonder, since the impetus for most of them is restorationist, rescuing Christianity from the corrupting influence of "traditions of men" and restoring it to the purity of the early Christians
Isn't that the argument for "believer's baptism" anyway? That the early Christians didn't do infant baptism?
So apparently this is a fairly common notion.
Are we certain that the Early Christians didn't do infant baptism?

I'm not, but they are. According to them, there was only believer's baptism, but then practically as soon as St. John was buried, Christians went all crazy and apostate and started baptizing babies. This seems to have happened without any evidence or discussion.

Maybe it was just a very human response to feeling scared? They were persecuted; maybe they just felt afraid and wanted to protect babies without thinking through the theology?
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« Reply #97 on: September 10, 2009, 04:38:20 PM »

And won't they just find the doings of the early Church irrelevant to them?

I wonder, since the impetus for most of them is restorationist, rescuing Christianity from the corrupting influence of "traditions of men" and restoring it to the purity of the early Christians
Isn't that the argument for "believer's baptism" anyway? That the early Christians didn't do infant baptism?
So apparently this is a fairly common notion.
Are we certain that the Early Christians didn't do infant baptism?

I'm not, but they are. According to them, there was only believer's baptism, but then practically as soon as St. John was buried, Christians went all crazy and apostate and started baptizing babies. This seems to have happened without any evidence or discussion.

Maybe it was just a very human response to feeling scared? They were persecuted; maybe they just felt afraid and wanted to protect babies without thinking through the theology?

Or maybe the simplest explanation (and therefore probably the most historically accurate) is that this had been apostolic practice all along.  Smiley
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« Reply #98 on: September 10, 2009, 04:41:07 PM »

And won't they just find the doings of the early Church irrelevant to them?

I wonder, since the impetus for most of them is restorationist, rescuing Christianity from the corrupting influence of "traditions of men" and restoring it to the purity of the early Christians
Isn't that the argument for "believer's baptism" anyway? That the early Christians didn't do infant baptism?
So apparently this is a fairly common notion.
Are we certain that the Early Christians didn't do infant baptism?

I'm not, but they are. According to them, there was only believer's baptism, but then practically as soon as St. John was buried, Christians went all crazy and apostate and started baptizing babies. This seems to have happened without any evidence or discussion.

Maybe it was just a very human response to feeling scared? They were persecuted; maybe they just felt afraid and wanted to protect babies without thinking through the theology?

Or maybe the simplest explanation (and therefore probably the most historically accurate) is that this had been apostolic practice all along.  Smiley
I would argee with a resouding "AMEN".
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« Reply #99 on: September 10, 2009, 04:52:46 PM »

And won't they just find the doings of the early Church irrelevant to them?

I wonder, since the impetus for most of them is restorationist, rescuing Christianity from the corrupting influence of "traditions of men" and restoring it to the purity of the early Christians
Isn't that the argument for "believer's baptism" anyway? That the early Christians didn't do infant baptism?
So apparently this is a fairly common notion.
Are we certain that the Early Christians didn't do infant baptism?

I'm not, but they are. According to them, there was only believer's baptism, but then practically as soon as St. John was buried, Christians went all crazy and apostate and started baptizing babies. This seems to have happened without any evidence or discussion.

Maybe it was just a very human response to feeling scared? They were persecuted; maybe they just felt afraid and wanted to protect babies without thinking through the theology?

Or maybe the simplest explanation (and therefore probably the most historically accurate) is that this had been apostolic practice all along.  Smiley
Exactly!
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« Reply #100 on: September 11, 2009, 09:30:16 PM »

Piper deals with most of these passages in the link I referenced earlier. Not great stuff.

Why do you people condemn proof texting but then attempt to use proof texting against people you call Calvinists?

It caught my eye that Piper quotes, and not from the Bible:
Quote
For as Jonathan Edwards says...I find the effort of Stephen Charnock (1628-1680), a chaplain to Henry Cromwell and non-conformist pastor in London, to be balanced and helpful in holding the diverse scriptures on God's will together....Similarly Jonathan Edwards, writing about 80 years later comes to similar conclusions with somewhat different terminology....The way I would give an account of this is explained by Robert L. Dabney in an essay written over a hundred years ago....


Make no mistake, Calvinists have their saints, some of whom are represented by the quotes given above. They don't paint icons and venerate their saints the same way that we do. But they most assuredly venerate their saints by quoting them, reading them, extolling them and elevating their words as close and akin to scripture as it is possible for protestants to do.

Some of their chief saints:
John Calvin, the patriarch
BB Warfield
the Hodges
Jonathan Edwards
George Whitfield
Charles Spurgeon
Dabney
Machen
maybe Van Til
maybe Abraham Kuyper
(the last two at least for Dutch Calvinists)

generally one has to have passed away at least 50 years ago, battled liberals (or at least Arminians), become popular enough of an author to be quoted alot to be "canonized" (by popular acclamation). Calvinists will assure you they adhere to sola scriptura, but they will quote their theolgian-saints more than any cradle Orthodox would quote the Fathers.

The Calvinists described in the OP must have been some rare, independent baptist ones because all the Calvinists I knew were generally against proof-texting for the same reasons we are and preferred theological argument based on the "whole teaching of scripture." This is also why Calvinists lionize their systematic theologians and are wary of (even their own) New Testament scholars (who they always think have a tendency to isolate passages and atomize scripture rather than reconcile seeming differences among the biblical authors. Whereas systematic theologians
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« Reply #101 on: September 11, 2009, 10:16:50 PM »

You left out Augustine as one of the Calvinist saints... I consider him the "patron saint" of the Protestant Reformation.

As for infant baptism, in the West this was linked to Augustinian notions of Original Sin though it may not have been so in the beginning. But the notion is that "we don't know" where unbaptized babies go (Augustinians say hell, Scholastics suggest "limbo", the current Catholic teaching... leaves them to the mercy of God). But certainly "limbo" and "hell" for those poor sinless unbaptized was an impetus to get them baptized to preclude that from happening. Because nothing with sin (including original sin) can enter paradise. Baptize them as fast as you can.

The Mormons (who claim Christianity apostasized and point to Augsutine and neo-Platonism/Greek philosophy) reject infant baptism... well, mainly because they oppose Original Sin.

I'm gong to go out on a limb and suggest that the evolution of Catholic teaching on "limbo" stems in a significant part from the untold millions upon millions of unborn children who are aborted every year through legal infanticide. Where do they go?

Quote
5) If the early Church was in heresy both before and after St. Augustine, then what do we do with the words of Our Lord when He said, "the gates of Hell will not prevail against my Church?" and where he says the Holy Spirit will lead them into all truth and where Paul tells Timothy (I think) that the Church is the "pillar and ground of the Truth?"

Mormon apologetics heavily is tilted in favour of the thesis that Greek philosophy corrupted the true Christian faith, and one of their favourite targets is Augustine, although they attack other fathers for the same and even the Nicean creed. Needless to say, their response to the question is, "wait for Joseph Smith to restore things." Still, I do get a twinge of joy when I read some of their material on the Saint of Hippo.


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« Reply #102 on: September 16, 2009, 09:47:54 PM »

Hello,

Introducing myself as one of those guys, well not the actual guys, but I do live in Albuquerque and I am a Member in good standing of a Reformed Presbyterian Church.  I am brand new to the board and looking forward to reading about Orthodoxy.  I have a Paperback "Orthodox Study Bible" from several years back from Ancient Faith Radio that I just read through and I have been listening to Dcn Michael Hyatt on AFR as he was an Ordained Elder in a Reformed Presbyterian denomination.  I'm excited to learn more about the Orthodox Church in the days and months ahead.  Nice to make your acquaintances. 
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« Reply #103 on: September 17, 2009, 01:06:55 AM »

Welcome to the forum!  It's great to have you here!
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« Reply #104 on: September 17, 2009, 01:38:10 AM »

Welcome to the forum!  It's great to have you here!

Thank You for the Welcome!
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« Reply #105 on: September 17, 2009, 06:44:26 AM »

Hello,

Introducing myself as one of those guys, well not the actual guys, but I do live in Albuquerque and I am a Member in good standing of a Reformed Presbyterian Church.  I am brand new to the board and looking forward to reading about Orthodoxy.  I have a Paperback "Orthodox Study Bible" from several years back from Ancient Faith Radio that I just read through and I have been listening to Dcn Michael Hyatt on AFR as he was an Ordained Elder in a Reformed Presbyterian denomination.  I'm excited to learn more about the Orthodox Church in the days and months ahead.  Nice to make your acquaintances. 

Welcome! I am also one of the Protestant crowd, though not very radical, so I feel a bit presumptuous saying welcome when I'm actually a guest myself - but this forum is a great place and it's good to have you here!

Liz
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« Reply #106 on: September 17, 2009, 09:58:59 AM »

Hello,

Introducing myself as one of those guys, well not the actual guys, but I do live in Albuquerque and I am a Member in good standing of a Reformed Presbyterian Church.  I am brand new to the board and looking forward to reading about Orthodoxy.  I have a Paperback "Orthodox Study Bible" from several years back from Ancient Faith Radio that I just read through and I have been listening to Dcn Michael Hyatt on AFR as he was an Ordained Elder in a Reformed Presbyterian denomination.  I'm excited to learn more about the Orthodox Church in the days and months ahead.  Nice to make your acquaintances. 
Hello,

Welcome to the forum. I'm not Eastern Orthodox but Catholic; however, I think that this forum is a great place to learn about Eastern Orthodox, the Eastern Fathers, and Eastern Spirituality in general.
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« Reply #107 on: September 19, 2009, 05:34:43 PM »

Hello,

Introducing myself as one of those guys, well not the actual guys, but I do live in Albuquerque and I am a Member in good standing of a Reformed Presbyterian Church.  I am brand new to the board and looking forward to reading about Orthodoxy.  I have a Paperback "Orthodox Study Bible" from several years back from Ancient Faith Radio that I just read through and I have been listening to Dcn Michael Hyatt on AFR as he was an Ordained Elder in a Reformed Presbyterian denomination.  I'm excited to learn more about the Orthodox Church in the days and months ahead.  Nice to make your acquaintances. 

Welcome to the forum!

~Maureen
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« Reply #108 on: September 19, 2009, 11:05:29 PM »

And won't they just find the doings of the early Church irrelevant to them?

I wonder, since the impetus for most of them is restorationist, rescuing Christianity from the corrupting influence of "traditions of men" and restoring it to the purity of the early Christians
Isn't that the argument for "believer's baptism" anyway? That the early Christians didn't do infant baptism?
So apparently this is a fairly common notion.
Are we certain that the Early Christians didn't do infant baptism?

I'm not, but they are. According to them, there was only believer's baptism, but then practically as soon as St. John was buried, Christians went all crazy and apostate and started baptizing babies. This seems to have happened without any evidence or discussion.

Maybe it was just a very human response to feeling scared? They were persecuted; maybe they just felt afraid and wanted to protect babies without thinking through the theology?

Or maybe the simplest explanation (and therefore probably the most historically accurate) is that this had been apostolic practice all along.  Smiley

Amen!
Look! Jews circumcized male BABIES. making them a part of God's covenenant community BEFORE they could have any sort of cognitive semi-adult-personal response, affirmation or acceptance.

Christians were MORE INCLUSIVE!!!!!! They baptized male AND FEMALE  babies, making them a part of God's covenenant community.

Look again! Human will changes and circumstances change. Every person, whether baptized infant or adult convert (from another religion or paganism) baptized as an adult daily makes a decision to confirm or deny their baptism. Adult converts who have been baptized have turned away and aposticized and cradle infant baptized persons have turned away and aposticized.

The adult baptism argument proves absolutely nothing. It is falacious to argue from a circumstance where a totally new paradigm is coming into existence. That fist generation Christians were baptised as adults? No duh! What did you think? Ala Nicodemus they would transport themselves back through time into their mothers wombs, then transport their mothers forward through time to become Christian converts, baptize their kids and then transport back in time to have them on their real birth date?

Of course first generation Christians were baptized as adults. The signers of the Declaration of Independence signed as adults. Their CHILDREN became AMERICAN citizens (not English) by birth.

If you want to know what the first generation of Christians did for their children, look at what their predecessors did (the early Christians in the first generation did not have any great disconnect with Judaism; they were followers of the The Way and part of the Jewish community. Some hard-liners like Saul persecuted them; but the total disconnect did not come about until the destruction of Jerusalem, a generation after Christ's resurrection and ascension). The first generation of Christians would have looked back to the practice of their ancestors who circumcised male babies for their guidance on baptism (the new covenant sign); they would also have considered that women converts were also baptized and therefore conclude they should also baptize female infants.

This is so obvious that I cannot even fathom how the baptist sect came into existence at the time or the reformation.

The practice of the covenenant people of God (Jews; and also Christians from the earliest generations after the apostles) is clear, consistent and unambiguous - INFANT CIRCUMSICISION/INFANT BAPTISM. Christians were more inclusive in including females with the covenant sign.

Is it any wonder that the Apostles were barely cold in the grave before the Church started baptising infants?
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« Reply #109 on: September 20, 2009, 12:16:05 AM »

The Nicene Creed was mentioned a few pages back, I think as something truthstalker agreed with, but I could be wrong.

One thign that has confused me since accepting Orthodoxy for myself is when Protestants (mostly Reformed and other denominations that hold some value for Church history and hierarchy) accept the Nicene Creed - or even revere it as a Symbol of Faith, as we'd say.

I'm always interested in their explanations for "I believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church" because Protestantism doesn't admit that kind of Church in the way the Council meant it.  For Protestants, the Church is not "one", "catholic" (universal), or especially "apostolic".

If you're a strict constructionist with the Creed, it cannot possibly be used to describe Protestantism. The only unity is in the belief in Jesus, which includes Mormons and other non-Christian groups.  I have never heard a reasonable argument for "apostolic".
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« Reply #110 on: September 20, 2009, 12:24:18 AM »

The Nicene Creed was mentioned a few pages back, I think as something truthstalker agreed with, but I could be wrong.

One thign that has confused me since accepting Orthodoxy for myself is when Protestants (mostly Reformed and other denominations that hold some value for Church history and hierarchy) accept the Nicene Creed - or even revere it as a Symbol of Faith, as we'd say.

I'm always interested in their explanations for "I believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church" because Protestantism doesn't admit that kind of Church in the way the Council meant it.  For Protestants, the Church is not "one", "catholic" (universal), or especially "apostolic".

If you're a strict constructionist with the Creed, it cannot possibly be used to describe Protestantism. The only unity is in the belief in Jesus, which includes Mormons and other non-Christian groups.  I have never heard a reasonable argument for "apostolic".

Protestants believe in the INVISIBLE CHURCH. You can't slice it, dice it, shake it or stomp it out of them. One holy (only pure church is the invisible church of true believers, since the institutional Church, even their denomination, has impurities), catholic (the universal, invisible Church of true believers) and apostolic (of course what John Calvin taught was the apostolic faith; no further inquiry into Church history is required).
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« Reply #111 on: September 20, 2009, 01:23:41 AM »

Oh yes, the Invisible Church. I'm already forgetting my Protestant concepts. Wink

For all the flak Orthodoxy gets for being associated with Greek philosophy, from my now-Orthodox perspective it seems like the Protestant idea of the Church is itself little more than a giant philosophical construct and system of rationalizations, borne out of the humanism of the Renaissance.  Such is the reductionist way, I suppose.
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« Reply #112 on: September 20, 2009, 06:51:14 AM »


I'm always interested in their explanations for "I believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church" because Protestantism doesn't admit that kind of Church in the way the Council meant it.  For Protestants, the Church is not "one", "catholic" (universal), or especially "apostolic".

Well, we could argue that refusing communion to others is not especially catholic.  Wink


Quote
If you're a strict constructionist with the Creed, it cannot possibly be used to describe Protestantism. The only unity is in the belief in Jesus, which includes Mormons and other non-Christian groups.  I have never heard a reasonable argument for "apostolic".

Apostolic= continuing in the tradition of the Apostles.

Btw, the Trinity is usually used as a yardstick of those who are Christian.

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« Reply #113 on: September 20, 2009, 06:53:21 AM »

Oh yes, the Invisible Church. I'm already forgetting my Protestant concepts. Wink

For all the flak Orthodoxy gets for being associated with Greek philosophy, from my now-Orthodox perspective it seems like the Protestant idea of the Church is itself little more than a giant philosophical construct and system of rationalizations, borne out of the humanism of the Renaissance.  Such is the reductionist way, I suppose.

The word 'church' refers to the people in it (as 'ecclesia' originally means 'gathering'). Therefore the Church is only 'invisible' if you think that millions of people are invisible. I am not convinced this is a Humanist notion (thought it is, of course, the notion the Apostles had, whose 'Church' was meetings in each others' houses and the spreading of the faith).
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« Reply #114 on: September 20, 2009, 08:59:38 AM »

Ont thing the Invisible Church IS a rationalization for is the existence of the plethora of denominations within Protestantism. Of course the institutional church cannot remain pure for long (the argument goes) so the reformed Church is always reforming (creating new subsidiaries, if you will). But even in the crusty old denominations there are still true Christians. God knows who they are because the Church is invisible.

The most generous protestants would even characterize some of us among that invisible Church within crusty old denominations! Wink
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« Reply #115 on: September 20, 2009, 09:05:56 AM »

Oh yes, the Invisible Church. I'm already forgetting my Protestant concepts. Wink

For all the flak Orthodoxy gets for being associated with Greek philosophy, from my now-Orthodox perspective it seems like the Protestant idea of the Church is itself little more than a giant philosophical construct and system of rationalizations, borne out of the humanism of the Renaissance.  Such is the reductionist way, I suppose.

I am inclined to agree regarding enlightenment rationalism.

The difference is that the Greek Fathers constructed a vast edifice of Christian theology that still defines Christian dogma today (the Nicene-Constantopolitan Creed and the conclusions of the Ecumenical Councils among them). Protestant rationalism has de-constructed vast portions of this edifice. It is like finding a castle and then tearing everything down except for the walls and the guardhouse. Then you fill the moat with whatever your denomninational distinctive is (believers baptism; hyper-Calvinism; congregationalism; insert distinctive here)
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« Reply #116 on: September 20, 2009, 09:27:17 AM »

Oh yes, the Invisible Church. I'm already forgetting my Protestant concepts. Wink

For all the flak Orthodoxy gets for being associated with Greek philosophy, from my now-Orthodox perspective it seems like the Protestant idea of the Church is itself little more than a giant philosophical construct and system of rationalizations, borne out of the humanism of the Renaissance.  Such is the reductionist way, I suppose.

The word 'church' refers to the people in it (as 'ecclesia' originally means 'gathering'). Therefore the Church is only 'invisible' if you think that millions of people are invisible. I am not convinced this is a Humanist notion (thought it is, of course, the notion the Apostles had, whose 'Church' was meetings in each others' houses and the spreading of the faith).




Liz, aren't you refuting the invisible church concept here? He is saying the invisible concept is a humanist construct.

We Orthodox agree with you that the Church refers to people - the gathered people of God. "Liturgy" means "the work of the people."

But when people gather theselves into groups (such as congregations or parishes) and interact and fellowship with other groups (other parishes or congregations in their region - what we would call a diocese) they by necessity have to institutionalize for the sake of order, stability and the practical aspects of mission and charity.

We see those problems arising almost immediately in the distribution to widows (hence the appointment of the first deacons); in the establishment of elders (we would see that as preists - presbyters and bishops; Presbyterians would see that as ruling and teaching elders; baptisits would see that as preachers and deacons) in cities where new churches were formed; and the issues of church order in I Corinthians. So these problems did not just arise after the death of the apostles and then human institutional mechanisms were imposed upon a pneumatic church by later generations of Christians who had lost the Spirit.

So the question is whether there is one institutional church that is one, holy, catholic and apostolic, or many institutional churches? For us, it strains the meaning of the words to see it as referring to many institutional churches.

For us the question centers around which ancient Church can lay claim to the original one holy, apostolic and catholic Church designation: Orthodoxy or Roman Catholicism. Obviously most of us have wrestled and come to believe that it is Orthodoxy. Some who have posted have come to the conclusion that it the RCC. Roman Catholics are more likely to see themselves as 1 and Orthodox as 1A in this matter. Orthodox are more likely to see the RCC as so much in error as to have lost the claim to be part of the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church.

BTW most Orthodox and RCC would consider protestants to be Christians who worship and fellowship in bodies that lack sacramental grace but not saving grace fot the individuals in those bodies.
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« Reply #117 on: September 20, 2009, 09:40:36 AM »



The practice of the covenenant people of God (Jews; and also Christians from the earliest generations after the apostles) is clear, consistent and unambiguous - INFANT CIRCUMSICISION/INFANT BAPTISM. Christians were more inclusive in including females with the covenant sign.


Sorry to quote myself, but two more things on the baptism issue.

We have accounts of adult converts going through lengthy and rigorous preparations during Great Lent to be baptised and received into the Church on Easter Sunday. Keep in mind that the Church was still evangelizing a vast empire of which the Church was a minority for the first three hundred years. Christians were probably still not a numeric majority of the population at the time of Constantine's edict. So of course there would be adult baptisms (there have been a few in my parish just in the 6 years I have been Orthodox).

Secondly, the Apostles baptised whole households as Christians!! No one can convince me that every single child, servant and slave in that household had a personal, free-will, informed understanding and embracing of the Christian evangelistic message and personally "received Christ."
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« Reply #118 on: September 20, 2009, 11:31:26 AM »


Liz, aren't you refuting the invisible church concept here?

Um, yes, I am refuting the invisible church concept. As is probably wearyingly obvious from other threads, I object when people trot out some over-generalized and sometimes mistaken idea and attribute it to 'Protestants'. There are many stands of Protestantism. The Church is not invisible: how can thousands of people gathering together to worship be invisible? Do you really think Protestants are all that stupid?

Quote
He is saying the invisible concept is a humanist construct.

What was said was,
Quote


it seems like the Protestant idea of the Church is itself little more than a giant philosophical construct and system of rationalizations, borne out of the humanism of the Renaissance.


One problem I have with this is that (as I have indicated in bold), Bogdan seems to find it noteworthy that an idea should be a philosophical construct and system of rationalizations. I have to say that this is indeed what most ideas are. The Protestant reality of the Church, or the Protestant faith in the Church are different things, and you could legitimately attack them if you thought they were mere intellectual speculation with no substance.

The second problem I have is that I remain unclear as to what Humanist thinking is being referred to here. Could I have some quotations please? I'm not well up on Humanist theology. However, I would observe that although many Humanist ideas influenced the developing Protestant sects, Humanism is not, in my view, a Protestant movement, nor do all Protestants now continue to be influenced by Humanist thinking.
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« Reply #119 on: September 20, 2009, 01:58:21 PM »

I meant humanist in terms of the general Rationalist outlook of the Renaissance era and afterwards. Maybe that wasn't the best term to use.

What I was getting at is that Protestants tend to strip the faith down to bare minimums to make sure no one is excluded. There needn't be unity on anything except a few basic points. The various Protestant denominations are not united in any visible way, which is unlike the Church of old. They were united in hierarchy as well as doctrine, it was one distinct body. A very visible unity.

Protestants see the Church as the collection of all the people who say they are Christians, while historically it was that, but it was checked against the universal teachings of the Church, and they had a single unified system of governance, so it was assured that all Christians believed the same things. There is no such thing in Protestantism, unless you strip it down to "I believe in Jesus", which many non-orthodox (small O), self-styled "Christians" also believe (Mormons, etc).

Basically there is no way to define what a Christian actually is unless there is one distinct Church body. It comes down to personal opinion, which isn't a good measure of such things. It only makes sense that the Church should define its own members, and a church of 38,000 denominations cannot logically do that in any universal way. You can have a creed, but people can't even agree with what it means.

[edit]
Analogy: If I am a Wesleyan and get myself excommunicated, I can join the Baptist church down the road and still consider myself a Christian. In the ancient Church, that would have been impossible.  A church where that is possible is not "one" or "catholic".
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« Reply #120 on: September 20, 2009, 05:35:39 PM »

I meant humanist in terms of the general Rationalist outlook of the Renaissance era and afterwards. Maybe that wasn't the best term to use.

Perhaps not. Sorry - I was just quite confused. I don't think that the Humanists were all that Rationalist, nor that Rationalism came in with the Renaissance. But I'm not sure where Rationalism comes in this argument either.

Quote
What I was getting at is that Protestants tend to strip the faith down to bare minimums to make sure no one is excluded. There needn't be unity on anything except a few basic points.

Do you have any particular Protestant group in mind? I have certainly heard people such as David Young on this forum being quite concerned to discuss issues of faith such as whether wine or grape juice may be used at Communion. To me, that doesn't seem like a 'basic point'. I think you may be meaning that some Protestant groups are more willing than the Orthodox to accept differences of opinion, but that doesn't mean that Protestants have fewer points of faith than anyone else.

Quote
The various Protestant denominations are not united in any visible way, which is unlike the Church of old. They were united in hierarchy as well as doctrine, it was one distinct body. A very visible unity.

Well, why should the denominations be united? The Orthodox are not united with the Catholics, either.


Quote
Protestants see the Church as the collection of all the people who say they are Christians,
Really? To which Protestants do you refer?


Quote
while historically it was that, but it was checked against the universal teachings of the Church, and they had a single unified system of governance, so it was assured that all Christians believed the same things. There is no such thing in Protestantism, unless you strip it down to "I believe in Jesus", which many non-orthodox (small O), self-styled "Christians" also believe (Mormons, etc).

Again, you seem to think there is some reason why all Protestants should hold common doctrine. Why should they so?

Quote
Basically there is no way to define what a Christian actually is unless there is one distinct Church body. It comes down to personal opinion, which isn't a good measure of such things.

I would venture to hint that it might come down to God? Moreover, the Catholic Church is a distinct Church body. So too, no doubt, is the latest Evangelical sect down the road from me, who have three church buildings and are are in total agreement on doctrine. Both are distinct Church bodies, but I fail to see that that makes them Christian.

Quote
It only makes sense that the Church should define its own members, and a church of 38,000 denominations cannot logically do that in any universal way. You can have a creed, but people can't even agree with what it means.


[edit]
Analogy: If I am a Wesleyan and get myself excommunicated, I can join the Baptist church down the road and still consider myself a Christian. In the ancient Church, that would have been impossible.  A church where that is possible is not "one" or "catholic".

I hope it has become clear in the course of my post, but you are arguing from a misunderstanding about what Protestantism is. It is not one large Church, but many Churches, some of which have no more reason to agree with each other on doctrine than do the Orthodox and Catholic, or Orthodox and Anglican, Churches.
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« Reply #121 on: September 20, 2009, 06:23:01 PM »


Liz, aren't you refuting the invisible church concept here?

Um, yes, I am refuting the invisible church concept. As is probably wearyingly obvious from other threads, I object when people trot out some over-generalized and sometimes mistaken idea and attribute it to 'Protestants'. There are many stands of Protestantism. The Church is not invisible: how can thousands of people gathering together to worship be invisible? Do you really think Protestants are all that stupid?

Quote
He is saying the invisible concept is a humanist construct.



Liz
no one said ALL protestants adhere to the invisible church idea. But the invisible church is decidedly NOT an Orthodox or RCC concept. It IS a protestant concept and that is ALL that anyone has identified it as such. NO ONE said ALL protestants adhere to this view.

When comparing ecclesiologies a certain amount of generalizing may come into play and I apologize for that where it doesn't apply to you or your communion.

Also, except for high Church Anglicans and maybe some Lutherans, any particular protestant eccesiology will in general have MORE in common with all other protestant ecclesiologies than with Orthodox or RCC ecclesiology. Although certain aspects of Presbyterian ecclesiology [with Presbyteries analogous to diocese and synods to the larger Church body (of course the PCUSA added the General Assembly overtop the Synod); however, the locus of authority would be quite different].
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« Reply #122 on: September 20, 2009, 06:27:44 PM »

There is no such thing in Protestantism, unless you strip it down to "I believe in Jesus", which many non-orthodox (small O), self-styled "Christians" also believe (Mormons, etc).


Let's not go that far. There is absolutely nothing in common between what even the most self-styled, independent church Jesus-only unitarian believes and the theology of the mormon denomination.
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« Reply #123 on: September 20, 2009, 06:29:19 PM »


Liz, aren't you refuting the invisible church concept here?

Um, yes, I am refuting the invisible church concept. As is probably wearyingly obvious from other threads, I object when people trot out some over-generalized and sometimes mistaken idea and attribute it to 'Protestants'. There are many stands of Protestantism. The Church is not invisible: how can thousands of people gathering together to worship be invisible? Do you really think Protestants are all that stupid?

Quote
He is saying the invisible concept is a humanist construct.



Liz
no one said ALL protestants adhere to the invisible church idea. But the invisible church is decidedly NOT an Orthodox or RCC concept. It IS a protestant concept and that is ALL that anyone has identified it as such. NO ONE said ALL protestants adhere to this view.

When people say 'Protestants do x' or 'Protestants think x', the implication is that all Protestants are being discussed. It's a bit offensive to generalize like that, especially when - as I felt to be the case here - 'Protestantism' was being brought up as a straw man to attack. But I am am grateful for your apology and I accept it.

Quote
When comparing ecclesiologies a certain amount of generalizing may come into play and I apologize for that where it doesn't apply to you or your communion.

Also, except for high Church Anglicans and maybe some Lutherans, any particular protestant eccesiology will in general have MORE in common with all other protestant ecclesiologies than with Orthodox or RCC ecclesiology. Although certain aspects of Presbyterian ecclesiology [with Presbyteries analogous to diocese and synods to the larger Church body (of course the PCUSA added the General Assembly overtop the Synod); however, the locus of authority would be quite different].

I agree; but it is slightly rude to imply thereby that the 'high Church Anglicans and Lutherans' to whom you refer are somehow not really Protestants, or automatically excluded when you speak of Protestants. It's similar to the way in which ignorant people used to ask whether or not Catholics were Christian, though obviously not so bad.

Moreover, why is the amount different Protestant sects have in common important? There are many ways in which the Orthodox Church is similar to the Roman Catholic Church, but I am sure you wouldn't be especially flattered if a Protestant of any denomination lumped the two together and discussed them as one.
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« Reply #124 on: September 20, 2009, 06:34:43 PM »

I would also like to know which Protestant denomination believes in 'the invisible Church', and how they formulate that concept. I admit I'm sceptical here: the concept as described in this thread sounds like a garbled version of something I have heard of, which is the doctrine that there are people both within the speaker's Church, and without, who are in fact true Christians. This, however, is not a belief held only by Protestants, and on this forum Douglas has a particularly nice way of putting it, that 'not all the sheep are within the fold, nor all the wolves without'.
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« Reply #125 on: September 20, 2009, 06:51:59 PM »






I agree; but it is slightly rude to imply thereby that the 'high Church Anglicans and Lutherans' to whom you refer are somehow not really Protestants, or automatically excluded when you speak of Protestants. It's similar to the way in which ignorant people used to ask whether or not Catholics were Christian, though obviously not so bad.

Moreover, why is the amount different Protestant sects have in common important? There are many ways in which the Orthodox Church is similar to the Roman Catholic Church, but I am sure you wouldn't be especially flattered if a Protestant of any denomination lumped the two together and discussed them as one.

Acrtually, I imply nothing of the sort; their ecclesiologies are parallel (bishops, diocese, high liturgy) but again the locus of authority would be quite different.

Furthermore, Anglicans see themselves as the middle way between Orthodoxy/RCC and all other protestants. Again, there might be some highly liturgical Lutherans that appear to be similar to Orth/RCC but both Anglicans and Lutherans would not have the same understanding and acceptance of Holy Tradition that Orth/RCC have. Nor would they recognize the distinct ecclesiology of Orth/RCC (which is only divided by the role of the Pope of Rome; RCC sees the Pope as the supreme pontiff ruling with his magisterium of bishops but the pope is pre-eminent; Orthodoxy sees the pope as first among equals and all bishops rule together collegially. But all bishops rule by virtue of their Apostolic succession. The difference between RCC/Orth. is interpretation over HOW the bishops rule and whether one bishop is the supreme pontiff or first among equals). NO Protestant is going to accept the premises of that discussion/disagreement, whether Anglican, high liturgical Lutheran, or low church baptist.

Furthermore, the vast majority of the afore-mentioned Anlicans and Lutherans will bail out when it comes to dogma regarding the Blessed Virgin or the saints.

In the end, a rose is still a rose, sorry to be so blunt.

Actually, most protestants, i would venture to say, would lump us together (Orth/RCC).
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« Reply #126 on: September 20, 2009, 06:59:27 PM »

I would also like to know which Protestant denomination believes in 'the invisible Church', and how they formulate that concept. I admit I'm sceptical here: the concept as described in this thread sounds like a garbled version of something I have heard of, which is the doctrine that there are people both within the speaker's Church, and without, who are in fact true Christians. This, however, is not a belief held only by Protestants, and on this forum Douglas has a particularly nice way of putting it, that 'not all the sheep are within the fold, nor all the wolves without'.
Liz
I grew up with this view in the Christian Missionary Alliance  and Presbyterian Churches. It was common among evangelcals in mainline denomiations.

I am not making it up or persenting straw men. I honestly grew up being taught this concept.

PS read my posts on this board - I am one of the most harsh sticklers in terms of calling out my fellow Orthodox for setting up straw men, lumping all protestants together, or confusing historic evangelicals with fundamentalists, post-seventies tv preachers or health and wealth gospelers.

Something got in your craw here and you are missing the point.
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« Reply #127 on: September 20, 2009, 07:05:41 PM »


I agree; but it is slightly rude to imply thereby that the 'high Church Anglicans and Lutherans' to whom you refer are somehow not really Protestants, or automatically excluded when you speak of Protestants. It's similar to the way in which ignorant people used to ask whether or not Catholics were Christian, though obviously not so bad.

Moreover, why is the amount different Protestant sects have in common important? There are many ways in which the Orthodox Church is similar to the Roman Catholic Church, but I am sure you wouldn't be especially flattered if a Protestant of any denomination lumped the two together and discussed them as one.

Acrtually, I imply nothing of the sort; their ecclesiologies are parallel (bishops, diocese, high liturgy) but again the locus of authority would be quite different.

Sorry, I misunderstood. I thought you were saying that, in the discussion above, the general term 'Protestants' had been applied to a set of beliefs that were not particularly characteristic of high Church Anglicans and Lutherans (thus prioritizing the term 'Protestant' in such a way that high Church Anglicans and Lutherans were seen as anomalous to Protestantism).


Quote
Furthermore, Anglicans see themselves as the middle way between Orthodoxy/RCC and all other protestants. Again, there might be some highly liturgical Lutherans that appear to be similar to Orth/RCC but both Anglicans and Lutherans would not have the same understanding and acceptance of Holy Tradition that Orth/RCC have. Nor would they recognize the distinct ecclesiology of Orth/RCC (which is only divided by the role of the Pope of Rome; RCC sees the Pope as the supreme pontiff ruling with his magisterium of bishops but the pope is pre-eminent; Orthodoxy sees the pope as first among equals and all bishops rule together collegially. But all bishops rule by virtue of their Apostolic succession. The difference between RCC/Orth. is interpretation over HOW the bishops rule and whether one bishop is the supreme pontiff or first among equals). NO Protestant is going to accept the premises of that discussion/disagreement, whether Anglican, high liturgical Lutheran, or low church baptist.

So you are saying that Catholicism and Orthodoxy have more in common than Protestantism and Orthodoxy? Fair enough (though I don't personally agree) - but you're only answering half my question. I'm asking, why should different Protestant denominations be expected to agree on doctrine? The reason I compared this to the situation between Catholics and the Orthodox is because the Schism between the latter two is so familiar, I thought it might make clear that, in the same way, different Protestant sects are separate from each other.


Quote
Furthermore, the vast majority of the afore-mentioned Anlicans and Lutherans will bail out when it comes to dogma regarding the Blessed Virgin or the saints.

In the end, a rose is still a rose, sorry to be so blunt.

What is your point? How does this relate to the question of the 'invisible Church'?


Quote
Actually, most protestants, i would venture to say, would lump us together (Orth/RCC).

That's sad. I know my Church would not, but it's a shame if other Churches do.
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« Reply #128 on: September 20, 2009, 07:11:24 PM »

I would also like to know which Protestant denomination believes in 'the invisible Church', and how they formulate that concept. I admit I'm sceptical here: the concept as described in this thread sounds like a garbled version of something I have heard of, which is the doctrine that there are people both within the speaker's Church, and without, who are in fact true Christians. This, however, is not a belief held only by Protestants, and on this forum Douglas has a particularly nice way of putting it, that 'not all the sheep are within the fold, nor all the wolves without'.
Liz
I grew up with this view in the Christian Missionary Alliance  and Presbyterian Churches. It was common among evangelcals in mainline denomiations.

I am not making it up or persenting straw men. I honestly grew up being taught this concept.

PS read my posts on this board - I am one of the most harsh sticklers in terms of calling out my fellow Orthodox for setting up straw men, lumping all protestants together, or confusing historic evangelicals with fundamentalists, post-seventies tv preachers or health and wealth gospelers.

Something got in your craw here and you are missing the point.

Well, part of the problem is that I was addressing points made by Bogdan, and you are not he!

I am grateful to you for objecting to the things you mention. Is it too much to ask that you should capitalize 'Protestants'?

The problem I'm having here is one I've come across before on this forum. While lots of people here are ex-Protestant, they are (obviously) people for whom the original beliefs didn't fit, or didn't convince them. It's not always the case that this leads to misunderstandings, but sometimes I do get the impression that people who have failed to be convinced by a Protestant argument are not the best people to give a clear account of that argument. It's the same with me: I can't talk a great deal about intercessory prayer to the saints, because it is something I am aware I don't really manage to understand.

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« Reply #129 on: September 20, 2009, 09:16:38 PM »



 


So you are saying that Catholicism and Orthodoxy have more in common than Protestantism and Orthodoxy? Fair enough (though I don't personally agree) - but you're only answering half my question. I'm asking, why should different Protestant denominations be expected to agree on doctrine? The reason I compared this to the situation between Catholics and the Orthodox is because the Schism between the latter two is so familiar, I thought it might make clear that, in the same way, different Protestant sects are separate from each other.


Quote
Furthermore, the vast majority of the afore-mentioned Anlicans and Lutherans will bail out when it comes to dogma regarding the Blessed Virgin or the saints.



What is your point? How does this relate to the question of the 'invisible Church'?


 

The ecclessiology of RCC and Orthodoxy make them closer to one another than either to protestantism; their soteriology and views on justification/sanctification and sacramental theology would be closer to each other than to protestantism, in my opinion. Same with thier views on Mary and the saints. That is quite alot of common ground.

Regarding your last question to me, my comment has nothing to do with the invisible church; it was in reference to still showing you that I wasn't placing Anglicans/Lutherans in a separate category.

But regarding the invisible church, I have heard Billy Graham use that terminology and I heard that terminology at the evangelical seminary I attended.
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« Reply #130 on: September 20, 2009, 09:36:02 PM »

Also, Liz
In answer to another of your points, I suppose I do not think that all protestants should agree on their dogmas. By nature, they really cannot.

I think why Orthodox people always bring that issue up is because initially the Reformation was an institutional attempt at reforming and cleaning up the Church. There was the Lutheran response the continental Reformed/Scottish Presbyterian response and the Anglican response.

But within a few generations it spun out of control and anybody who disagreed with anyone else started their own sect. To Orthodox people that is proof of the fallacy of protestantism.

But you are correct in reminding us that TO A PROTESTANT, the reality of all these differing theological emphases and persuasions is expected and when we bring it up one's response would be: "and your point is?"

Actually, protestant unity is more across theological spectrums: conservative evangelicals have more in common, whether baptist, presbyterian, methodist, free church etc. than they do with mainline protestant liberals. The exact same statement could be made about Calvinists, whether baptist, presyterian, congregational or continental reformed. Social action evangelicals have more in common with mainline liberals in many ways than they do with their more conservative evangelical brethren, but also have much in common with  confessions in the pacifist churches. Fundamentalists would be suspect of evangelicals and downright skeptical about social justice evangelicals. Charasmatics and pentecaostals have more incommon with each other than they do with either fundamentalists or evangelicals (although they have aspects in common with both - a very conservative theology like the fundies, but more cultural engagement, like the evangelicals; also an independent church charasmatic might find more in common with a Catholic charasmatic than with evangelicals).

Please note that in no way do I use the term evangelicals like the mainstream media does.
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« Reply #131 on: September 20, 2009, 09:44:50 PM »

Use of capitalization
You, Liz are a Protestant. But my commentary on protestantism no more requires caps than a comment on democracy.

I the post above, in a descriptive, comparative note such as I was making, for that discussion, presbyterianm, baptist, charasmatic, evangelical, fundamentalist, were all descriptive terms rather than titles, for the sake of THAT paragraph.


in other instances I have capitalized those denominational names. I see that I did capitalize Calvinism, however. We can all be  inconsistent at times!
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« Reply #132 on: September 21, 2009, 01:29:56 AM »

Liz, if I have over-generalized and offended, I apologize. Looking back at my post I was probably not as charitable as I should have been.

I've been in several PRotestant denominations (and non-denominations) in my life, and perhaps I think too much of my own personal experience. I do have a tendencey to universalize particulars. But what I have described has generally been the attitude of the churches I have been part of, and that of most of the Protestant Christians I know when I talk to them about Orthodoxy.

Your main question of me seems to be, "Why should Protestants be united on doctrine?"

When I was a Protestant, I would have agreed with you. Now I see things with a new set of eyes and realizing, first, the desire of Christ for His Church to be united in a very clear way, and second, that the Church was united in that way for almost a millennium before it started to break down, and another half before it started to completely fall apart in the West.

The Church must be united because there can only be one truth. The way I see it, every denomination (not to mention the unconstrained non-denoms) can't be right if they aren't in agreement on the core issues - which Protestants are not.

For instance, Apostolic Succession cannot be simultaneously important and unimportant. The Eucharist cannot be Jesus' body and blood and not Jesus' body and blood. You can't die and go to Heaven, and go to Purgatory, and go to Hades.  You can't be able to lose your salvation and not be able to lose your salvation.

Sure, we all agree on the need for a Savior, which is a great starting point. THat isn't enough though, in my opinion.

To take another analogy, if doctrine was a multiple choice test with questions on each issue, I see myself as suggesting that each question has only one correct answer.  Protestantism as a whole, with no need for doctrinal unity, essentially says that answers A-F are all acceptable, because once upon a time someone decided they didn't like answer B.  I can't wrap my head around that.

(I hope I'm not coming across as angry or argumentative. I do genuinely want to understand how you are seeing things.)
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« Reply #133 on: September 21, 2009, 02:42:21 AM »

Liz


The invisible church idea is a protestant idea. The seeds of it was started by Saint Augustine, and it was developed by the protestant Reformers, and over here in America, it is a very well known protestant concept.

Thus it is a protestant idea, now does this mean that "all" protestants believe in this doctrine? No! The Stone & Cambellites (churches of christ / disciples of christ) are an exception....and there maybe others as well.

Not that I trust Wiki, but whoever wrote this there did a decent job on the subject:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Invisible_church







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« Reply #134 on: September 21, 2009, 02:59:13 AM »

I would also like to know which Protestant denomination believes in 'the invisible Church', and how they formulate that concept. I admit I'm sceptical here: the concept as described in this thread sounds like a garbled version of something I have heard of, which is the doctrine that there are people both within the speaker's Church, and without, who are in fact true Christians. This, however, is not a belief held only by Protestants, and on this forum Douglas has a particularly nice way of putting it, that 'not all the sheep are within the fold, nor all the wolves without'.
Liz
I grew up with this view in the Christian Missionary Alliance  and Presbyterian Churches. It was common among evangelcals in mainline denomiations.

I am not making it up or persenting straw men. I honestly grew up being taught this concept.

PS read my posts on this board - I am one of the most harsh sticklers in terms of calling out my fellow Orthodox for setting up straw men, lumping all protestants together, or confusing historic evangelicals with fundamentalists, post-seventies tv preachers or health and wealth gospelers.

Something got in your craw here and you are missing the point.

Well, part of the problem is that I was addressing points made by Bogdan, and you are not he!

I am grateful to you for objecting to the things you mention. Is it too much to ask that you should capitalize 'Protestants'?

The problem I'm having here is one I've come across before on this forum. While lots of people here are ex-Protestant, they are (obviously) people for whom the original beliefs didn't fit, or didn't convince them. It's not always the case that this leads to misunderstandings, but sometimes I do get the impression that people who have failed to be convinced by a Protestant argument are not the best people to give a clear account of that argument. It's the same with me: I can't talk a great deal about intercessory prayer to the saints, because it is something I am aware I don't really manage to understand.




I know "high church" Anglicans that understand and can talk about "intercessory prayer to the saints". Some even have patron saints. But as theologically educated ex-protestants, I think we can speak about protestant beliefs we use to believe in.

You have to keep in mind that you are from England, and so what you experience isn't always what we experience......and vice versa.







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« Reply #135 on: September 21, 2009, 06:48:34 AM »

Use of capitalization
You, Liz are a Protestant. But my commentary on protestantism no more requires caps than a comment on democracy.

I the post above, in a descriptive, comparative note such as I was making, for that discussion, presbyterianm, baptist, charasmatic, evangelical, fundamentalist, were all descriptive terms rather than titles, for the sake of THAT paragraph.


in other instances I have capitalized those denominational names. I see that I did capitalize Calvinism, however. We can all be  inconsistent at times!

Thanks, Brother Aidan, much clearer now. I suspect a lot of my problem was replying to both you and Bogdan at the same time (which I'll try not to do now). I don't agree at all that Catholicism and Orthodoxy are closer than Orthodoxy and Anglicanism, but that debate's been hashed out elsewhere on the forum. I see what you were saying now - the reason I get bothered about it is that many people do say, 'ah, you Anglicans are not really Protestants', and, well ... we are.

As to how Protestantism was 'institutional' - I'm not at all sure I agree. For a start, English 'Protestantism' under Henry VIII (which was extremely Catholic, I grant, but nonetheless, it has the roots of my faith) wasn't in close contact with any of the other Protestant movements from the start. Moreover, the Catholic and Orthodox Churches started out together and split: but you don't think that proves that you are not the One True Catholic Church?

As to capitals - the reason I ask for them is simple. If you were speaking of the Democratic Party in America, you would use capitals. Not so if you referred (er ... excuse the absurdity of my example, my country is going to the dogs) to a democratic party in Britain. 'protestants' without the capital simply refers to those who protested, not necessarily those who Protested and left the Catholic Church. Or that is what I was taught.
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« Reply #136 on: September 21, 2009, 07:00:16 AM »

Liz, if I have over-generalized and offended, I apologize. Looking back at my post I was probably not as charitable as I should have been.

Don't worry! I think it's easy, when you feel you've turned your back on something that was wrong and found something much better, to feel the way you do.


Quote
I've been in several PRotestant denominations (and non-denominations) in my life, and perhaps I think too much of my own personal experience. I do have a tendencey to universalize particulars. But what I have described has generally been the attitude of the churches I have been part of, and that of most of the Protestant Christians I know when I talk to them about Orthodoxy.

Your main question of me seems to be, "Why should Protestants be united on doctrine?"

When I was a Protestant, I would have agreed with you. Now I see things with a new set of eyes and realizing, first, the desire of Christ for His Church to be united in a very clear way, and second, that the Church was united in that way for almost a millennium before it started to break down, and another half before it started to completely fall apart in the West.

The Church must be united because there can only be one truth. The way I see it, every denomination (not to mention the unconstrained non-denoms) can't be right if they aren't in agreement on the core issues - which Protestants are not.

For instance, Apostolic Succession cannot be simultaneously important and unimportant. The Eucharist cannot be Jesus' body and blood and not Jesus' body and blood. You can't die and go to Heaven, and go to Purgatory, and go to Hades.  You can't be able to lose your salvation and not be able to lose your salvation.

Sure, we all agree on the need for a Savior, which is a great starting point. THat isn't enough though, in my opinion.

To take another analogy, if doctrine was a multiple choice test with questions on each issue, I see myself as suggesting that each question has only one correct answer.  Protestantism as a whole, with no need for doctrinal unity, essentially says that answers A-F are all acceptable, because once upon a time someone decided they didn't like answer B.  I can't wrap my head around that.

(I hope I'm not coming across as angry or argumentative. I do genuinely want to understand how you are seeing things.)

I see what you're saying. The way I understand your original posts, was that you were suggesting that Protestants should agree on doctrine for some reason internal to Protestantism. The thing is, it would be better to look at individual Protestant Churches and think of them (however small they may be) as you would think of your own Orthodox Church. If a Protestant Church says (as some, particularly the Evangelical ones near me, do) that its doctrines are the only correct doctrines, that it is the only correct Church, and that all others are wrong and should come to agree with it, it is using precisely the same logic as the Orthodox Church. I think it's only fair to observe this, because when we speak of how Protestants have many different doctrines, we need to remember that it is not always a case of 'any one of these A-F is correct in this Church, take your pick'. It's just simple courtesy to acknowledge that not all Protestant denominations feel this way.

My Church, granted, enjoys being a meeting-point for differences in understanding. We want to feel that there is no hierarchy, no sense that someone is less than someone else, because they cannot bring themselves to agree on - or even understand - one theological argument or another. There is a core of beliefs, and of course, we believe we are all united in one faith and one Church, in Jesus Christ. But I am very proud of my Church. I have emphasized this side of my Protestantism before, but perhaps it's the moment to observe that we do have a pretty clear set of beliefs which no-one should question. There is more 'structure' to an Anglican Church than you'd perhaps think.

I'm sorry if I'm making life difficult for you - the reason I get bothered is that I identify myself strongly as a Protestant, even though I know that my Church is quite unlike some Protestant Churches.

Best,

Liz
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« Reply #137 on: September 21, 2009, 07:05:09 AM »

Liz


The invisible church idea is a protestant idea. The seeds of it was started by Saint Augustine, and it was developed by the protestant Reformers, and over here in America, it is a very well known protestant concept.

Thus it is a protestant idea, now does this mean that "all" protestants believe in this doctrine? No! The Stone & Cambellites (churches of christ / disciples of christ) are an exception....and there maybe others as well.

Not that I trust Wiki, but whoever wrote this there did a decent job on the subject:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Invisible_church







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Thanks Jnorm, that helped a lot! Um ... it might just be me, but that article does suggest that this concept was jumped on during the Reformation, in order to distinguish the true 'invisible' Church from the visible Catholic Church - it's quite a leap to go from that, to saying that the true Church is invisible! I mean ... I can see why an emergent or persecuted body of people would describe themselves as invisible, but known to God (it's not exactly an unusual concept!), but it seems to me a failure in logic if people still think the true Church is invisible. The members of the True Church are indeed known only to God - but that doesn't mean we can't see them.

sigh.

I clearly need to know more about different kinds of Protestantism.
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« Reply #138 on: September 21, 2009, 07:15:24 AM »


The problem I'm having here is one I've come across before on this forum. While lots of people here are ex-Protestant, they are (obviously) people for whom the original beliefs didn't fit, or didn't convince them. It's not always the case that this leads to misunderstandings, but sometimes I do get the impression that people who have failed to be convinced by a Protestant argument are not the best people to give a clear account of that argument. It's the same with me: I can't talk a great deal about intercessory prayer to the saints, because it is something I am aware I don't really manage to understand.




I know "high church" Anglicans that understand and can talk about "intercessory prayer to the saints". Some even have patron saints. But as theologically educated ex-protestants, I think we can speak about protestant beliefs we use to believe in.

You have to keep in mind that you are from England, and so what you experience isn't always what we experience......and vice versa.


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Last post in a row, I promise!

Yes, Jnorm, you're right. I do think the geographical differences are probably causing some problems. I didn't mean to suggest you or anyone else couldn't talk about Protestant beliefs.

However, I think it's like this: If you ask me to talk about, let us say, the Communion Service in my Church, or the belief in the Trinity, I will do so with great joy and, although these are hard concepts, I hope I'd do a reasonable job of putting my point across, because I have not only theological understanding but also faith.

If you asked me to talk about, say, the doctrine of Real Presence, I'd be in a different situation. Now I know the theology behind the doctrine. I spend most of my working time reading and writing and thinking about - in effect living with - people whose belief in this doctrine was absolute. I do, in fact, literally live with someone who believes in this doctrine and he has tried to convince me of it many times. I attended Mass at Notre Dame just a couple of weeks ago, and saw high moment of the Mass. I'm not saying I couldn't know more about the doctrine - obviously I could - but I'm pretty familiar with theology, practice, and the emotions and feelings of those who believe in it.

Yet still, if you asked me to explain the doctrine of Real Presence, I wouldn't be at all surprised if you felt that, somehow, my emphases were wrong and I just didn't quite get the sense across. I can't, really, because I don't have that certainty and personal experience of faith in the doctrine.

It's this sort of difficulty that I meant. It's not that I think your theological knowledge or practical experience of Protestantism is at fault - on this forum there will be many Orthodox who know immensely more than I do about certain forms of Protestantism - but I do think sometimes concepts are easiest to explain when there is faith behind them.
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« Reply #139 on: September 21, 2009, 07:44:35 AM »





Moreover, the Catholic and Orthodox Churches started out together and split: but you don't think that proves that you are not the One True Catholic Church?



It certainly creates a black eye on the "one" claim. But historically, one of the two is THE remaining one true catholic and apostolic Church. Obviously, most of the post-ers on OC.net believe Orthodoxy to be that remaining one true Church.
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« Reply #140 on: September 21, 2009, 02:27:35 PM »


The problem I'm having here is one I've come across before on this forum. While lots of people here are ex-Protestant, they are (obviously) people for whom the original beliefs didn't fit, or didn't convince them. It's not always the case that this leads to misunderstandings, but sometimes I do get the impression that people who have failed to be convinced by a Protestant argument are not the best people to give a clear account of that argument. It's the same with me: I can't talk a great deal about intercessory prayer to the saints, because it is something I am aware I don't really manage to understand.




I know "high church" Anglicans that understand and can talk about "intercessory prayer to the saints". Some even have patron saints. But as theologically educated ex-protestants, I think we can speak about protestant beliefs we use to believe in.

You have to keep in mind that you are from England, and so what you experience isn't always what we experience......and vice versa.


ICXC NIKA

Last post in a row, I promise!

Yes, Jnorm, you're right. I do think the geographical differences are probably causing some problems. I didn't mean to suggest you or anyone else couldn't talk about Protestant beliefs.

However, I think it's like this: If you ask me to talk about, let us say, the Communion Service in my Church, or the belief in the Trinity, I will do so with great joy and, although these are hard concepts, I hope I'd do a reasonable job of putting my point across, because I have not only theological understanding but also faith.

If you asked me to talk about, say, the doctrine of Real Presence, I'd be in a different situation. Now I know the theology behind the doctrine. I spend most of my working time reading and writing and thinking about - in effect living with - people whose belief in this doctrine was absolute. I do, in fact, literally live with someone who believes in this doctrine and he has tried to convince me of it many times. I attended Mass at Notre Dame just a couple of weeks ago, and saw high moment of the Mass. I'm not saying I couldn't know more about the doctrine - obviously I could - but I'm pretty familiar with theology, practice, and the emotions and feelings of those who believe in it.

Yet still, if you asked me to explain the doctrine of Real Presence, I wouldn't be at all surprised if you felt that, somehow, my emphases were wrong and I just didn't quite get the sense across. I can't, really, because I don't have that certainty and personal experience of faith in the doctrine.

It's this sort of difficulty that I meant. It's not that I think your theological knowledge or practical experience of Protestantism is at fault - on this forum there will be many Orthodox who know immensely more than I do about certain forms of Protestantism - but I do think sometimes concepts are easiest to explain when there is faith behind them.

You could always look at Anglican church history, Protestant church history, as well as church history in general when it comes to the doctrine of "The Real Presence"

Anglicanism allowed multiple views in this regard, and this is why you will find Anglicans that are Zwinglyian(memoral and symbolic only), Calvinist(spiritual only), Lutherian and other.

So history has alot to do with it. So why not look at and embrace the most common belief about the view in the first 1,000 years?



Liz,


I know a New Testament Anglican scholar/professor who's husband converted to Orthodoxy, as well as one of her daughters. She herself is still Anglican/Episcopal but she speaks about Eastern Orthodoxy alot.

She knows alot about our beliefs, but she still isn't Orthodox so I'm guessing that she doesn't have faith in these ideas, but she knows how to explain them well.









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« Reply #141 on: September 21, 2009, 03:18:17 PM »


The problem I'm having here is one I've come across before on this forum. While lots of people here are ex-Protestant, they are (obviously) people for whom the original beliefs didn't fit, or didn't convince them. It's not always the case that this leads to misunderstandings, but sometimes I do get the impression that people who have failed to be convinced by a Protestant argument are not the best people to give a clear account of that argument. It's the same with me: I can't talk a great deal about intercessory prayer to the saints, because it is something I am aware I don't really manage to understand.




I know "high church" Anglicans that understand and can talk about "intercessory prayer to the saints". Some even have patron saints. But as theologically educated ex-protestants, I think we can speak about protestant beliefs we use to believe in.

You have to keep in mind that you are from England, and so what you experience isn't always what we experience......and vice versa.


ICXC NIKA

Last post in a row, I promise!

Yes, Jnorm, you're right. I do think the geographical differences are probably causing some problems. I didn't mean to suggest you or anyone else couldn't talk about Protestant beliefs.

However, I think it's like this: If you ask me to talk about, let us say, the Communion Service in my Church, or the belief in the Trinity, I will do so with great joy and, although these are hard concepts, I hope I'd do a reasonable job of putting my point across, because I have not only theological understanding but also faith.

If you asked me to talk about, say, the doctrine of Real Presence, I'd be in a different situation. Now I know the theology behind the doctrine. I spend most of my working time reading and writing and thinking about - in effect living with - people whose belief in this doctrine was absolute. I do, in fact, literally live with someone who believes in this doctrine and he has tried to convince me of it many times. I attended Mass at Notre Dame just a couple of weeks ago, and saw high moment of the Mass. I'm not saying I couldn't know more about the doctrine - obviously I could - but I'm pretty familiar with theology, practice, and the emotions and feelings of those who believe in it.

Yet still, if you asked me to explain the doctrine of Real Presence, I wouldn't be at all surprised if you felt that, somehow, my emphases were wrong and I just didn't quite get the sense across. I can't, really, because I don't have that certainty and personal experience of faith in the doctrine.

It's this sort of difficulty that I meant. It's not that I think your theological knowledge or practical experience of Protestantism is at fault - on this forum there will be many Orthodox who know immensely more than I do about certain forms of Protestantism - but I do think sometimes concepts are easiest to explain when there is faith behind them.

You could always look at Anglican church history, Protestant church history, as well as church history in general when it comes to the doctrine of "The Real Presence"

What makes you think I haven't?


Quote
Anglicanism allowed multiple views in this regard, and this is why you will find Anglicans that are Zwinglyian(memoral and symbolic only), Calvinist(spiritual only), Lutherian and other.

So history has alot to do with it. So why not look at and embrace the most common belief about the view in the first 1,000 years?



Liz,


I know a New Testament Anglican scholar/professor who's husband converted to Orthodoxy, as well as one of her daughters. She herself is still Anglican/Episcopal but she speaks about Eastern Orthodoxy alot.

She knows alot about our beliefs, but she still isn't Orthodox so I'm guessing that she doesn't have faith in these ideas, but she knows how to explain them well.









ICXC NIKA

Fair enough. Everyone is different - both in what they can explain, and it what they will accept as a good explanation.
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« Reply #142 on: September 21, 2009, 03:24:05 PM »

Liz,
I suppose that we could start another thread on this matter, but why don't you believe in the real presence?
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« Reply #143 on: September 21, 2009, 03:41:22 PM »

Liz,
I suppose that we could start another thread on this matter, but why don't you believe in the real presence?

If you would like to start a thread by all means do so - I'll try and explain briefly here but you may want to continue the discussion elsewhere if this doesn't answer all your questions.

I have to start by saying I just know that I don't believe in it - and I can think back and analyze why that is, but when I do so, I'm rationalizing something I'm already aware of.

So ... firstly, I've been attending Anglican services since before I can remember, and I don't remember a time when I didn't know that the Communion was a service in remembrance of Christ's sacrifice. It seems natural to me to place the emphasis like this: 'This is my blood that was shed for you; do this in remembrance of me . I grew up in the belief that the act was symbolic, through and a mixture of the emphases placed by the officiating vicar and explanations that I doubtless heard, but have now forgotten. So it seems natural to me to view the service as a memorial.

When I came to examine this belief, I didn't feel - I couldn't feel - that bread and wine were turned into the Body and Blood of Christ. I believe that Christ is present, of course: firstly, because Christ is always present, and secondly, because this is the moment of His memorial, and we know He is close to us then. I believe that we are always in receipt of Christ's Body and Blood, given for us - but I feel that this is a more continual and - the best word I can find is 'subtle', but that's not quite it - affair that consumption of literal flesh and blood.

In my church, when we say, 'We are all of one Body, for we all share in one bread', this to me is a reminder that the Body is the Body of Christ, and it is therefore the Church: what we do is to affirm our communion with each other and with Christ. However, I am comfortable with the idea that what we share is a body in the sense the term is often used (as it is used in 'body politic', for example), rather than in the sense that we share in receiving Christ's literal flesh.

I can't help but feel that I am proving what I said recently to someone else on this forum, that I struggle greatly to discuss the Real Presence because I do not have the faith to do so! But this is where I stand. My dear partner always tries to make me understand ...
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« Reply #144 on: September 21, 2009, 10:20:37 PM »

I see what you're saying. The way I understand your original posts, was that you were suggesting that Protestants should agree on doctrine for some reason internal to Protestantism. The thing is, it would be better to look at individual Protestant Churches and think of them (however small they may be) as you would think of your own Orthodox Church. If a Protestant Church says (as some, particularly the Evangelical ones near me, do) that its doctrines are the only correct doctrines, that it is the only correct Church, and that all others are wrong and should come to agree with it, it is using precisely the same logic as the Orthodox Church. I think it's only fair to observe this, because when we speak of how Protestants have many different doctrines, we need to remember that it is not always a case of 'any one of these A-F is correct in this Church, take your pick'. It's just simple courtesy to acknowledge that not all Protestant denominations feel this way.

I understand what you're saying. From that perspective I can understand. If Wesleyans believe Wesleyanism is the only true church,  it makes perfect sense. I simply don't quite get the logic of "we disagree on almost everything and that's okay".  As you said though, not everyone believes that.

Quote
I'm sorry if I'm making life difficult for you - the reason I get bothered is that I identify myself strongly as a Protestant, even though I know that my Church is quite unlike some Protestant Churches.

Never you mind about that, it's no trouble. Smiley
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« Reply #145 on: September 30, 2009, 04:47:03 PM »

There is no grace at all in Calvinism.
Bite your tongue, Nacho!  The Calvinists I know (and have read) would tell you it's all about "grace".  Cool

(Though, granted, it's a 'grace' that is monergistically and irresistibly imposed on the elect to the exclusion of everyone else, but I digress....)
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« Reply #146 on: December 05, 2009, 09:28:05 AM »

Against my better judgment I will relay an incident that happened to me this morning. Some time ago I watched a youtube video about Christians being persecuted in India. I wrote and thanked the person for making this and mentioned that I am an Orthodox Christian and that we understand what anti-Christian persecution is. One person's response:

"what are you talking about? the catholic cult did the same thing to Christians. 50 MILLION Christians murdered at the hands of catholicism. please come out of that wicked system"

One of these days I will grow a brain and leave youtube (yougoob) and never return
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« Reply #147 on: December 05, 2009, 06:34:13 PM »

Against my better judgment I will relay an incident that happened to me this morning. Some time ago I watched a youtube video about Christians being persecuted in India. I wrote and thanked the person for making this and mentioned that I am an Orthodox Christian and that we understand what anti-Christian persecution is. One person's response:

"what are you talking about? the catholic cult did the same thing to Christians. 50 MILLION Christians murdered at the hands of catholicism. please come out of that wicked system"

One of these days I will grow a brain and leave youtube (yougoob) and never return


I'm guessing you responded with a "HUH" and lots of HuhHuhHuhHuhHuh
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« Reply #148 on: December 05, 2009, 07:19:57 PM »

Against my better judgment I will relay an incident that happened to me this morning. Some time ago I watched a youtube video about Christians being persecuted in India. I wrote and thanked the person for making this and mentioned that I am an Orthodox Christian and that we understand what anti-Christian persecution is. One person's response:

"what are you talking about? the catholic cult did the same thing to Christians. 50 MILLION Christians murdered at the hands of catholicism. please come out of that wicked system"

One of these days I will grow a brain and leave youtube (yougoob) and never return


I'm guessing you responded with a "HUH" and lots of HuhHuhHuhHuhHuh

Yeah more or less. He lambasted Orthodoxy for believing in the Real Presence. I basically responded by accusing him of calling Jesus a liar. These types of pissing contests go nowhere and I offered him the final word before blocking him. I'll let you know what he says
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« Reply #149 on: December 05, 2009, 07:58:06 PM »

Liz,
I suppose that we could start another thread on this matter, but why don't you believe in the real presence?

So ... firstly, I've been attending Anglican services since before I can remember, and I don't remember a time when I didn't know that the Communion was a service in remembrance of Christ's sacrifice. It seems natural to me to place the emphasis like this: 'This is my blood that was shed for you; do this in remembrance of me . I grew up in the belief that the act was symbolic, through and a mixture of the emphases placed by the officiating vicar and explanations that I doubtless heard, but have now forgotten. So it seems natural to me to view the service as a memorial.


Liz, you are focusing on "in remembrance of Me" instead of "This is My blood."  Christ couldn't have been more specific.
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« Reply #150 on: December 06, 2009, 08:33:48 PM »

Liz,
I suppose that we could start another thread on this matter, but why don't you believe in the real presence?

So ... firstly, I've been attending Anglican services since before I can remember, and I don't remember a time when I didn't know that the Communion was a service in remembrance of Christ's sacrifice. It seems natural to me to place the emphasis like this: 'This is my blood that was shed for you; do this in remembrance of me . I grew up in the belief that the act was symbolic, through and a mixture of the emphases placed by the officiating vicar and explanations that I doubtless heard, but have now forgotten. So it seems natural to me to view the service as a memorial.


Liz, you are focusing on "in remembrance of Me" instead of "This is My blood."  Christ couldn't have been more specific.


Don't quite get your point. What is 'specific' here? You are merely wishing to place emphasis in a different place from where I would wish to place emphasis. I would be the first to say that the way I think of this passage is extremely personal and the result of all sorts of experiences that have run together in my mind. However, I don't understand how your decision to emphasis a different part of the quotation can constitute justification for that emphasis.
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« Reply #151 on: December 06, 2009, 08:38:37 PM »

Liz,

You seem to be stuck on "the bread and wine don't become actual flesh and blood."  This is correct.  The Orthodox do not believe that they are putting the physical forms of flesh and blood into their mouths.  That would be repulsive.  But at the same time, it is actually His Body and Blood.  Christ is really present in the elements in a special way; a way which He is not present anywhere else.

If it is a 'merely' a symbol to you, can I ask what you think a symbol is exactly?  How are you using and understanding the term?
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« Reply #152 on: December 06, 2009, 09:07:51 PM »

Liz,

You seem to be stuck on "the bread and wine don't become actual flesh and blood."  This is correct.  The Orthodox do not believe that they are putting the physical forms of flesh and blood into their mouths.  That would be repulsive.  But at the same time, it is actually His Body and Blood.  Christ is really present in the elements in a special way; a way which He is not present anywhere else.

If it is a 'merely' a symbol to you, can I ask what you think a symbol is exactly?  How are you using and understanding the term?

Well, what do you think 'actual' means, exactly?

I find this topic complicated and hard to talk about - as I believe it should be. I couldn't say what I think a symbol is, 'exactly'. I don't mean to deflect your question; it's just that it wouldn't be honest to pretend I had the magic answer here. I spend most of my working time thinking about how people in the past have translated theology into terms that others can understand. I constantly find myself up against this question, 'what is a symbol?' And then the question, 'how does language relate to reality?'

I do not think that Christ is more present in the bread and the wine, than he is in any other element that within the church during the Eucharist. In fact, although I think we feel Christ is specially present in church during the Eucharist, this is because the sacrament helps us to feel His Communion with us. Christ does not need us to perform the Eucharist in order to be specially present to us - we need the Eucharist in order to perceive him.
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« Reply #153 on: December 06, 2009, 10:20:46 PM »

Liz,

You seem to be stuck on "the bread and wine don't become actual flesh and blood."  This is correct.  The Orthodox do not believe that they are putting the physical forms of flesh and blood into their mouths.  That would be repulsive.  But at the same time, it is actually His Body and Blood.  Christ is really present in the elements in a special way; a way which He is not present anywhere else.

If it is a 'merely' a symbol to you, can I ask what you think a symbol is exactly?  How are you using and understanding the term?

Well, what do you think 'actual' means, exactly?

I find this topic complicated and hard to talk about - as I believe it should be. I couldn't say what I think a symbol is, 'exactly'. I don't mean to deflect your question; it's just that it wouldn't be honest to pretend I had the magic answer here. I spend most of my working time thinking about how people in the past have translated theology into terms that others can understand. I constantly find myself up against this question, 'what is a symbol?' And then the question, 'how does language relate to reality?'

I do not think that Christ is more present in the bread and the wine, than he is in any other element that within the church during the Eucharist. In fact, although I think we feel Christ is specially present in church during the Eucharist, this is because the sacrament helps us to feel His Communion with us. Christ does not need us to perform the Eucharist in order to be specially present to us - we need the Eucharist in order to perceive him.

Christ is actully present in the form of bread and wine.
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« Reply #154 on: December 06, 2009, 10:37:37 PM »

Liz,

You seem to be stuck on "the bread and wine don't become actual flesh and blood."  This is correct.  The Orthodox do not believe that they are putting the physical forms of flesh and blood into their mouths.  That would be repulsive.  But at the same time, it is actually His Body and Blood.  Christ is really present in the elements in a special way; a way which He is not present anywhere else.

If it is a 'merely' a symbol to you, can I ask what you think a symbol is exactly?  How are you using and understanding the term?

Well, what do you think 'actual' means, exactly?

I find this topic complicated and hard to talk about - as I believe it should be. I couldn't say what I think a symbol is, 'exactly'. I don't mean to deflect your question; it's just that it wouldn't be honest to pretend I had the magic answer here. I spend most of my working time thinking about how people in the past have translated theology into terms that others can understand. I constantly find myself up against this question, 'what is a symbol?' And then the question, 'how does language relate to reality?'

I do not think that Christ is more present in the bread and the wine, than he is in any other element that within the church during the Eucharist. In fact, although I think we feel Christ is specially present in church during the Eucharist, this is because the sacrament helps us to feel His Communion with us. Christ does not need us to perform the Eucharist in order to be specially present to us - we need the Eucharist in order to perceive him.

Christ is actully present in the form of bread and wine.

Well, what do you think 'actual' means, exactly?
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« Reply #155 on: December 07, 2009, 09:17:48 AM »

Liz,

You seem to be stuck on "the bread and wine don't become actual flesh and blood."  This is correct.  The Orthodox do not believe that they are putting the physical forms of flesh and blood into their mouths.  That would be repulsive.  But at the same time, it is actually His Body and Blood.  Christ is really present in the elements in a special way; a way which He is not present anywhere else.

If it is a 'merely' a symbol to you, can I ask what you think a symbol is exactly?  How are you using and understanding the term?

Well, what do you think 'actual' means, exactly?

I find this topic complicated and hard to talk about - as I believe it should be. I couldn't say what I think a symbol is, 'exactly'. I don't mean to deflect your question; it's just that it wouldn't be honest to pretend I had the magic answer here. I spend most of my working time thinking about how people in the past have translated theology into terms that others can understand. I constantly find myself up against this question, 'what is a symbol?' And then the question, 'how does language relate to reality?'

I do not think that Christ is more present in the bread and the wine, than he is in any other element that within the church during the Eucharist. In fact, although I think we feel Christ is specially present in church during the Eucharist, this is because the sacrament helps us to feel His Communion with us. Christ does not need us to perform the Eucharist in order to be specially present to us - we need the Eucharist in order to perceive him.

Christ is actually present in the form of bread and wine.

Well, what do you think 'actual' means, exactly?

He is present in the Eucharist just like you are present when you receive it. He is there body, soul and divinity. The person is there. God is able to humble himself to come to us in the simplest form of matter, bread and wine, for our sake.
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« Reply #156 on: December 07, 2009, 11:51:19 AM »

Liz,

You seem to be stuck on "the bread and wine don't become actual flesh and blood."  This is correct.  The Orthodox do not believe that they are putting the physical forms of flesh and blood into their mouths.  That would be repulsive.  But at the same time, it is actually His Body and Blood.  Christ is really present in the elements in a special way; a way which He is not present anywhere else.

If it is a 'merely' a symbol to you, can I ask what you think a symbol is exactly?  How are you using and understanding the term?

Well, what do you think 'actual' means, exactly?

I find this topic complicated and hard to talk about - as I believe it should be. I couldn't say what I think a symbol is, 'exactly'. I don't mean to deflect your question; it's just that it wouldn't be honest to pretend I had the magic answer here. I spend most of my working time thinking about how people in the past have translated theology into terms that others can understand. I constantly find myself up against this question, 'what is a symbol?' And then the question, 'how does language relate to reality?'

I do not think that Christ is more present in the bread and the wine, than he is in any other element that within the church during the Eucharist. In fact, although I think we feel Christ is specially present in church during the Eucharist, this is because the sacrament helps us to feel His Communion with us. Christ does not need us to perform the Eucharist in order to be specially present to us - we need the Eucharist in order to perceive him.

Christ is actually present in the form of bread and wine.

Well, what do you think 'actual' means, exactly?

He is present in the Eucharist just like you are present when you receive it. He is there body, soul and divinity. The person is there. God is able to humble himself to come to us in the simplest form of matter, bread and wine, for our sake.

Well, not just like me. My body is quite visible when I receive Eucharist, and if you cut me, I would bleed. In this debate, I think we have to accept that there are some loaded words like 'actual' and 'literal' and 'symbolic', none of which quite cover what we'd like them to cover.
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« Reply #157 on: December 07, 2009, 03:02:32 PM »

Liz,

You seem to be stuck on "the bread and wine don't become actual flesh and blood."  This is correct.  The Orthodox do not believe that they are putting the physical forms of flesh and blood into their mouths.  That would be repulsive.  But at the same time, it is actually His Body and Blood.  Christ is really present in the elements in a special way; a way which He is not present anywhere else.

If it is a 'merely' a symbol to you, can I ask what you think a symbol is exactly?  How are you using and understanding the term?

Well, what do you think 'actual' means, exactly?

I find this topic complicated and hard to talk about - as I believe it should be. I couldn't say what I think a symbol is, 'exactly'. I don't mean to deflect your question; it's just that it wouldn't be honest to pretend I had the magic answer here. I spend most of my working time thinking about how people in the past have translated theology into terms that others can understand. I constantly find myself up against this question, 'what is a symbol?' And then the question, 'how does language relate to reality?'

I do not think that Christ is more present in the bread and the wine, than he is in any other element that within the church during the Eucharist. In fact, although I think we feel Christ is specially present in church during the Eucharist, this is because the sacrament helps us to feel His Communion with us. Christ does not need us to perform the Eucharist in order to be specially present to us - we need the Eucharist in order to perceive him.

Christ is actually present in the form of bread and wine.

Well, what do you think 'actual' means, exactly?

He is present in the Eucharist just like you are present when you receive it. He is there body, soul and divinity. The person is there. God is able to humble himself to come to us in the simplest form of matter, bread and wine, for our sake.

Well, not just like me. My body is quite visible when I receive Eucharist, and if you cut me, I would bleed. In this debate, I think we have to accept that there are some loaded words like 'actual' and 'literal' and 'symbolic', none of which quite cover what we'd like them to cover.

He appears as he is, God. You appear as you are, a mortal human . You are both Persons and are both present.
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« Reply #158 on: December 07, 2009, 03:06:51 PM »

Liz,

You seem to be stuck on "the bread and wine don't become actual flesh and blood."  This is correct.  The Orthodox do not believe that they are putting the physical forms of flesh and blood into their mouths.  That would be repulsive.  But at the same time, it is actually His Body and Blood.  Christ is really present in the elements in a special way; a way which He is not present anywhere else.

If it is a 'merely' a symbol to you, can I ask what you think a symbol is exactly?  How are you using and understanding the term?

Well, what do you think 'actual' means, exactly?

I find this topic complicated and hard to talk about - as I believe it should be. I couldn't say what I think a symbol is, 'exactly'. I don't mean to deflect your question; it's just that it wouldn't be honest to pretend I had the magic answer here. I spend most of my working time thinking about how people in the past have translated theology into terms that others can understand. I constantly find myself up against this question, 'what is a symbol?' And then the question, 'how does language relate to reality?'

I do not think that Christ is more present in the bread and the wine, than he is in any other element that within the church during the Eucharist. In fact, although I think we feel Christ is specially present in church during the Eucharist, this is because the sacrament helps us to feel His Communion with us. Christ does not need us to perform the Eucharist in order to be specially present to us - we need the Eucharist in order to perceive him.

Christ is actually present in the form of bread and wine.

Well, what do you think 'actual' means, exactly?

He is present in the Eucharist just like you are present when you receive it. He is there body, soul and divinity. The person is there. God is able to humble himself to come to us in the simplest form of matter, bread and wine, for our sake.

Well, not just like me. My body is quite visible when I receive Eucharist, and if you cut me, I would bleed. In this debate, I think we have to accept that there are some loaded words like 'actual' and 'literal' and 'symbolic', none of which quite cover what we'd like them to cover.

He appears as he is, God. You appear as you are, a mortal human . You are both Persons and are both present.

Thanks, that's the best answer I've heard.
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« Reply #159 on: December 25, 2009, 08:20:05 PM »

Jnorm and Truthstalker,'
Arguing will not convert the other one
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« Reply #160 on: December 26, 2009, 12:52:23 PM »

Dear Liz,
I don't think anybody here is emphasizing a specific part of Christ's preposition. on the contrary, they are emphasizing the entire sentence. Saying that the essence of Christ's words is limited ONLY to the "in remembrance of me" part, then you are limiting Christ's intentions. The contrary party, saying that the essential part of Christ's words is the "This is my body" isn't excluding the "in remembrance of me" section. The Catholic and Orthodox position is that we remember of Christ's sacrifice partaking in His true body and true blood. Christ clearly stated that we can't be saved if we don't eat His body and drink His blood. If the Eucharist were just a mere rite or symbol with no effect at all "but" helping us perceiving Christ, then Jesus is going mad in those words. A Christian perceives Christ in everything without any need to eat a piece of bread. But Christ is present in the same manner as He was present - as the Angel of the Lord - in the Ark of the Covenant. The Jews said that the Temple was the "House of YHWH" because He actually abode there in a specific presence, and the same we can say of God's manifestation on Mount Horeb. Curiously, belief in the real presence is possibly the earliest dogma which can be derived straight from the first Christians. Now, if you believe they thought this by superstition, we could say the same of Jesus when He said "Who doesn't eat my body or drink my blood shall not enter the Kingdom of God"?
The fact is that Christ is fully present. The how's of this presence can vary from a church unto another: transmutation for the Orthodox, transubstantiation for the Catholics, consubstantiation for the Lutherans, or mere pneumatic presence for some Protestants... anyway the essence is the same, that Christ is given in that little piece of bread. How's that possible that thousands of martyrs preferred death to renouncing the Eucharist, if the Eucharist is just a commemoration? Just as we can remember, for example, the end of World War II without any cerimony, likewise we could remember Christ's sacrifice in our minds and hearts withour any cerimony, don't you think? But the testimony of the first Christians is that the Eucharist is Christ's literal presence, whatever that might mean.
If you don't feel Christ's presence in the Eucharist, maybe your just too rationalist and can't perceive it. Pray for your mind to stay as open as possible to the greatest mystery of the Church!

In Christ,   Alex

PS: It might also be that your church isn't celebrating a true Eucharist, as you belong to the Protestant wing of the Anglican Church. In that case, we can't perceive what actually doesn't exist!
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« Reply #161 on: January 01, 2010, 11:43:02 AM »

Jnorm and Truthstalker,'
Arguing will not convert the other one

Thanks for the reminder, but I was just holding my ground.




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« Reply #162 on: January 01, 2010, 02:31:04 PM »

This week a some friends and I were at a restaurant in Albuquerque. My friends noticed that next to us there were two young men (some where int their twenties) reading bibles next to us. My friends being devout Catholics decided to strike up a conversation with these two men. Well, it turns out that they espoused some rather radical beliefs based on their own personal interpretation of the Scriptures. I am curious as to how my EO bretheren would evaluate the belief system of these men. So please do share and if you have some good scripture passages that would aide me in refuting the errors of these young men, I would certainly appreciate the help.
1. They believe that God created some people specifically to be saved and others specifically to condemn to hell. (Radical Calvinism)
2. They believe that God created evil because it exists and he is sovreign (spelling? lol).
3. They believe that humans are completely evil and corrupt and incapable of choosing any good.
4. They believe that people who have never heard of Christ will certainly go to hell.
5. Of course they are the "sola fide" type but such is easy to refute.
ETC. ETC. ETC.
The conversation got some what heated because I think that Calvinism is a very dangerous mischaracterization of God and I provide the scripture and arguement that I had available at the moment, but any other help would be much appreciated.

hww... sounds like a Jehovah's witness.  I have been talking to one at school.  he gives me papers and little books about how God hates anyone who is not one of Jehovah's witnesses.  he bellieves similarly, and his little books say the same.  I think it's fun to talk to him because I so often proove him wrong  Cheesy
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