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Author Topic: Author says Calvinism can’t make sense of the cross  (Read 4855 times) Average Rating: 0
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frjohnmorris
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« Reply #45 on: April 16, 2014, 11:49:19 PM »

This evening as I was reading the beautiful prayers of the Service of Holy Unction, I could not help but realize that the God of love, mercy and forgiveness described so well in these prayers cannot be reconciled with the God of Calvinism. The God described in the prayers of the Eastern Orthodox Service of the Anointing of the sick, would not send someone to Hell "for his good pleasure," or "for his glory." God does not deny His love and forgiveness to anyone who repents of their sins. However, to be real repentance has to be our choice, not something forced upon us by the Irresistible grace of Calvinism. If a person has no choice but to repent because he or she is forced to repent, it it not real honest repentance. The repentance of Calvinism is a sham and is false repentance because we have no choice, it is forced upon us. Calvinism is a very serious distortion of the Gospel.

Fr. John  W. Morris
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David Young
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« Reply #46 on: April 17, 2014, 02:23:40 AM »

If a person has no choice but to repent because he or she is forced to repent, it it not real honest repentance ... and is false repentance Fr. John  W. Morris

This is not a defence of Calvinism, as you will know from my earlier posts, but I do think this is a misunderstanding of Calvinist spirituality. There are, I believe, many of that persuasion who feel true remorse for their sins, desire God's help in turning from them, and look only to God's mercy in Christ for forgiveness. The doctrine called (I think) "concurrence" asserts that God's will and man's run together, and although the Calvinist believe God's call to him was irresistible, when he hears that call and (irresistibly) responds, his sense of sin, his remorse, and and prayer for a new life are nonetheless real in him and his own will concurs with them.
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« Reply #47 on: April 20, 2014, 11:58:48 AM »

It is, I think, only fair to say that I was amongst Calvinistic Baptists 1971-6 and found some saintly, humble souls with a deep, lasting love for the Lord. Whatever the shortcomings of the system around them, they had undoubtedly found the Lord within it and walked with him as closely as people I've met from a range of other denominations. "The Lord knows those who are his," and I thank God for them.

I am sure that is true, but that does not change the fact that Calvinism is a serious distortion of the Gospel.

Fr. John W. Morris

yet you cannot say how.
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« Reply #48 on: April 20, 2014, 02:16:06 PM »

It is, I think, only fair to say that I was amongst Calvinistic Baptists 1971-6 and found some saintly, humble souls with a deep, lasting love for the Lord. Whatever the shortcomings of the system around them, they had undoubtedly found the Lord within it and walked with him as closely as people I've met from a range of other denominations. "The Lord knows those who are his," and I thank God for them.

I am sure that is true, but that does not change the fact that Calvinism is a serious distortion of the Gospel.

Fr. John W. Morris

yet you cannot say how.
Actually, I think he's done a pretty good job of explaining how Calvinism is a distortion of the Gospel.
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« Reply #49 on: April 20, 2014, 03:45:10 PM »

It is, I think, only fair to say that I was amongst Calvinistic Baptists 1971-6 and found some saintly, humble souls with a deep, lasting love for the Lord. Whatever the shortcomings of the system around them, they had undoubtedly found the Lord within it and walked with him as closely as people I've met from a range of other denominations. "The Lord knows those who are his," and I thank God for them.

I am sure that is true, but that does not change the fact that Calvinism is a serious distortion of the Gospel.

Fr. John W. Morris

yet you cannot say how.
Actually, I think he's done a pretty good job of explaining how Calvinism is a distortion of the Gospel.

Our theology and history preaches predestination in some form.. So I really don't see him or anyone giving another alternative based on the church's standing.
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« Reply #50 on: April 20, 2014, 03:50:33 PM »

I suppose it depends what one means by "the Gospel". The phrase is often used to refer to the invitation to sinners to come to God through Christ and receive forgiveness and new life, and ultimately glorifucation. But the phrase can also be used to denote the whole of the Christian revelation. I would prefer to say, not that "Calvinism is a distortion of the Gospel", but rather that it contains the Gospel but leaves a lot out. Here in Wales most revivals have been led by Calvinists, from the 18th century onwards, though not (I think) the 1904-5 awakening. In England, the side of the 18th century awakening led by George Whitefield and his associates was Calvinistic. Scotland has been thoroughly Calvinist. God was pleased to use those preachers, and those movements, as channels to bring many sinners to Christ, who now (I have no doubt) are in Paradise with Christ, awaiting the resurrection of the just. But (in my personal view) Calvinism goes wrong in two ways: (1) it leaves out other truths, such as that Christ died for all, that God extends a sincere invitation to all mankind to come in repentance and Christian faith, and that that call of grace can be resisted; and (2) it seeks to answer questions God has not answered, and has created a logical, philosophical sealed system with no loose ends and no mystery.

I also feel (and many on this forum will disagree) that we all distort the Gospel. I think we Evangelicals under-emphasise the resurrection of Christ (and of the believer), whilst focusing almost exclusively on Christ's redemptive death and the forgiveness of sins committed. But my reading of Orthodoxy leads me to the conviction that Orthodoxy concentrates on the resurrrection to the extent of under-emphasising the Atonement achieved at Calvary. One could give other examples, but the point is made.
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« Reply #51 on: April 20, 2014, 05:52:59 PM »

Quote
But my reading of Orthodoxy leads me to the conviction that Orthodoxy concentrates on the resurrection to the extent of under-emphasising the Atonement achieved at Calvary.

This is patently wrong.

The plethora of icons of the Crucifixion in existence, and the tone and teachings of Orthodox Holy Week services easily disproves this assertion. The Orthodox approach is balanced. The Resurrection is indeed the Queen and Mistress of feasts, as our Paschal services proclaim, but no-one can say that the Passion and Resurrection is underemphasized. The sheer number and length of liturgical services appointed for Holy Week alone puts paid to this notion.
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« Reply #52 on: April 20, 2014, 07:23:07 PM »

Oops! Didn't edit the post in time. Here is what it should say:

but no-one can say that the Passion and Crucifixion is underemphasized.
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« Reply #53 on: April 20, 2014, 07:54:19 PM »

It is, I think, only fair to say that I was amongst Calvinistic Baptists 1971-6 and found some saintly, humble souls with a deep, lasting love for the Lord. Whatever the shortcomings of the system around them, they had undoubtedly found the Lord within it and walked with him as closely as people I've met from a range of other denominations. "The Lord knows those who are his," and I thank God for them.

I am sure that is true, but that does not change the fact that Calvinism is a serious distortion of the Gospel.

Fr. John W. Morris

yet you cannot say how.
Actually, I think he's done a pretty good job of explaining how Calvinism is a distortion of the Gospel.

Our theology and history preaches predestination in some form..
What do you mean "our"? I thought you identified yourself as agnostic.

So I really don't see him or anyone giving another alternative based on the church's standing.
One doesn't need to focus on predestination alone to show how Calvinism is a distortion of the Gospel.
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« Reply #54 on: April 20, 2014, 08:01:59 PM »

Oops! Didn't edit the post in time. Here is what it should say:

but no-one can say that the Passion and Crucifixion is underemphasized.
I don't think David is saying that we underemphasize the Passion and Crucifixion themselves. I think he's saying instead that we don't emphasize enough how the Passion makes atonement for our sins, which I suppose he concludes--quite wrongly, IMO--from our disagreement with the substitutionary atonement theories put forth by Anselm and other Western theologians. We don't underemphasize the Passion and Crucifixion, as you so rightly point out. In fact, I think we place even more emphasis on the Crucifixion than I've seen in most of my Protestant experiences. (I saw this just with many of the Facebook posts I saw from my virtual friends the last few days, posts where they spoke of the joy of Easter even on Good Friday, almost as if they saw the Passion and death of our Lord as merely a thing He needed to do to make his Resurrection possible. Our services, OTOH, showed an intent to enter into and meditate on the deep theological significance of the Passion as an event unto itself.) Neither do we underemphasize how the Crucifixion makes atonement for our sins--we simply don't agree with most Western models of how the Crucifixion makes atonement for our sins.
« Last Edit: April 20, 2014, 08:14:15 PM by PeterTheAleut » Logged
Alveus Lacuna
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« Reply #55 on: April 20, 2014, 09:51:37 PM »

I noticed this week how in all of those hours and hours of services over days and days, there was nothing about scapegoats and offended honor and all the rest of the Reformed emphasis on satisfaction.
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« Reply #56 on: April 23, 2014, 12:33:31 PM »

Romans 9:20-23 - But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, “Why have you made me like this?” Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use? What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory—

Paul is clearly saying here "what if" double predestination is true, who are we to answer back to God? I don't believe double predestination is true or Paul here is saying it is but he's clearly showing there is a predestination and election in Chapter 9 and its really not our business to complain about it.
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« Reply #57 on: April 24, 2014, 04:37:06 AM »

Here's something I recently wrote on the subject:

"In Defense of The Cross" (An Orthodox View of Salvation)

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,57981.msg1112366.html#msg1112366


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« Reply #58 on: April 24, 2014, 04:54:47 AM »

Thank you. I have replied on that thread.
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« Reply #59 on: May 13, 2014, 11:20:50 AM »

  I've met a number of Calvinist converts to Orthodoxy (my old Orthodox church was full of them) - they all mostly seem to retain a Calvinist approach to theology despite practicing the Orthodox faith.   Finding some Church Father to use as a proof text and weigh that against some other point of view and decide which one is more important.  There is very little attempt to synthesize new understanding from different points of view.
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