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Calvinism & The Doctrines of Grace discuss John MacArthur - God is passive with the reprobate in the Theology forums; Originally Posted by BaptistInCrisis It's the white elephant in the room (double predestination) that must be dealt with once a person becomes a Calvinist. The ...

  1. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by BaptistInCrisis View Post
    It's the white elephant in the room (double predestination) that must be dealt with once a person becomes a Calvinist. The Calvinist gleefully embraces election, but the thought of those who are not elect being predestined to hell is an assault on their conscience. The foreknowledge view is more an attempt at assuaging guilt than a scriptural defense (imho). What John MacArthur believes (that God chooses the elect, but simply passes over those who are not elect) is a logical inconsistency. God is active in election only? The rest of mankind is simply a matter of unfortunate circumstances? I don't think we need to completely understand it, but we certainly cannot bring God's sovereignty in this matter down to our level.

    What we need to realize is that the reprobate are at times more 'religious', more 'moral', do more 'good works' than the elect. We use the scales of justice according to our own understanding. There is nothing in the elect to make them savable and there is nothing in the reprobate to make them unsavable.

    The problem arises when we seperate the decree from the Cross/redemption. Christ is the ETERNAL SACRAFICE!!!! Before the world, at Golgatha, at the consumation of all in the end of linear time. Once I wrapped my mind around this, it made more sense to me. There is no beginning nor end to what HE did on the cross for His sheep..
    Robert
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  2. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by C. Matthew McMahon View Post
    One side note - (I'm not sure I saw it in the thread.)

    Double Predestination is not a bad term. I think some may get confused on thinking of the "Predestination" on one hand and "Passive"-ness of reprobation (which is really not passive) on the other, but then confuse it with Equal Ultimacy.

    Predestination is to destine beforehand someone someplace. The elect are "elected" (a term used of them and not the reprobate) to salvation (pre-destined to heaven), and the reprobate are "preterated" (or pre-destinated) to damnation. You can use fore ordination if you'd like. Neither of these uses of Predestination is the heresy of equal Ultimacy.

    EU teaches that as God so instill in His elect regenerating grace and so demonstrates their predestination in that way, so he also infuses and degenerates the wicked (thus you get the term equal Ultimacy that is rested on God).

    Personally, I don't have a problem with fore ordination, predestination, double predestination, election, reprobation, preterition, or any other theologically pact concept if you simply explain it well. Sometimes, though, Double predestination gets a bad wrap by being equated with equal Ultimacy.

    Matthew: I know it becomes a matter of semantics in order to avoid that "terrible label" of hyper calvinist.(notice the quotes denoting it is not as bad as some make it). Richard appears to be espousing Sproulesque speak in his 'Chosen by God" book. On which I disagree if we continue to say God passes by, or witholds His grace, or the detestable passive hardening. that is a bigger oxymoron than jumbo shrimp. Why we feel the need to protect the Sovereign God is beyond me. Equal ultimacy is a truth to a point. Where it goes astray is when some confess there is a constant life long hardening after the initial blindness and deafness is actively done by God.

    Sproul and Rich will profess this:

    Calvinism Hyper calvinism(error)
    positive-negative positive-positive
    asymmetrical symmetrical
    unequal ultimacy equal ultimacy
    God passively hardens God actively hardens



    Scriptures present one more truth other than the above.

    Truth
    positive-positive-negative
    equal ultimacy>unequal ultimacy
    symmetrical>asymmetrical
    Actively hardens> leaves in sin


    God is both very very active in creating faith and creating unbelief and blinding. The difference is He continues to preserve the elect, then leaves the reprobate unredeemed by the blood of Christ. IT is the Cross the creates the unequal ultimacy. The elect sin as do the reprobate, just one remains unredeemed and they perish. One remains in Christ who continues for them forever..

    9Then Jesus said, "He who has ears to hear, let him hear."

    10When he was alone, the Twelve and the others around him asked him about the parables. 11He told them, "The secret of the kingdom of God has been given to you. But to those on the outside everything is said in parables 12so that,
    " 'they may be ever seeing but never perceiving,
    and ever hearing but never understanding;
    otherwise they might turn and be forgiven!'

    If I am wrong in this assesment towards Richard, I will correct my presumption quickly..
    Robert
    Elder
    RCA

    "Once in a while you can get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right."

  3. #83
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    Boettner has an interesting take on this:

    The Reformed Doctrine Of Predestination

    Warburton gives a very fitting illustration here. He supposes a case in which a lady goes to an orphans' home and from the hundreds of children there, chooses one, adopts it as her own child and leaves the rest. "She might have chosen others; she had the means to keep others; but she chose one. Will you tell me that woman is unjust? Will you tell me that she is unfair, or unrighteous, because in the exercise of her undisputed right and privilege she chose out that one child to enjoy the comforts of her home, and become the heir of her possessions, and left all the others, possibly to perish in want, or sink into the wretched condition of gutter-children? . . . Have you ever heard any lay the charge of injustice, or of unrighteousness against the one who has done such an action? Do men not rather hold such an action up to praise? Do they not speak in the highest terms of the love, the pity, and the compassion of such a person? Now why do they do this? Why do they not condemn the taking of the one, and the leaving of the rest? Why do they not complain that it was unjust for this particular one to be chosen, and not another, or not all? . . . The reason is this because men know as also know that all those children were in exactly the same plight and that not one of them had a single claim, or the least vestige of a claim, upon the person whose will and pleasure it was to adopt one as her own . . . Do you, or can you, see anything different in this act of God's from that of my neighbor's? The children in that foundling home had no claim upon my neighbor. Neither had fallen man any claim upon God; and God's choice, therefore, just as it was free and unmerited, so was it also righteous and just. And this free and unmerited fore-choice of God in view of man's self-procured ruin, is all that is meant by the Calvinistic doctrine of Predestination."

  4. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amazing Grace View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by C. Matthew McMahon View Post
    One side note - (I'm not sure I saw it in the thread.)

    Double Predestination is not a bad term. I think some may get confused on thinking of the "Predestination" on one hand and "Passive"-ness of reprobation (which is really not passive) on the other, but then confuse it with Equal Ultimacy.

    Predestination is to destine beforehand someone someplace. The elect are "elected" (a term used of them and not the reprobate) to salvation (pre-destined to heaven), and the reprobate are "preterated" (or pre-destinated) to damnation. You can use fore ordination if you'd like. Neither of these uses of Predestination is the heresy of equal Ultimacy.

    EU teaches that as God so instill in His elect regenerating grace and so demonstrates their predestination in that way, so he also infuses and degenerates the wicked (thus you get the term equal Ultimacy that is rested on God).

    Personally, I don't have a problem with fore ordination, predestination, double predestination, election, reprobation, preterition, or any other theologically pact concept if you simply explain it well. Sometimes, though, Double predestination gets a bad wrap by being equated with equal Ultimacy.

    Matthew: I know it becomes a matter of semantics in order to avoid that "terrible label" of hyper calvinist.(notice the quotes denoting it is not as bad as some make it). Richard appears to be espousing Sproulesque speak in his 'Chosen by God" book. On which I disagree if we continue to say God passes by, or witholds His grace, or the detestable passive hardening. that is a bigger oxymoron than jumbo shrimp. Why we feel the need to protect the Sovereign God is beyond me. Equal ultimacy is a truth to a point. Where it goes astray is when some confess there is a constant life long hardening after the initial blindness and deafness is actively done by God.

    Sproul and Rich will profess this:

    Calvinism Hyper calvinism(error)
    positive-negative positive-positive
    asymmetrical symmetrical
    unequal ultimacy equal ultimacy
    God passively hardens God actively hardens



    Scriptures present one more truth other than the above.

    Truth
    positive-positive-negative
    equal ultimacy>unequal ultimacy
    symmetrical>asymmetrical
    Actively hardens> leaves in sin


    God is both very very active in creating faith and creating unbelief and blinding. The difference is He continues to preserve the elect, then leaves the reprobate unredeemed by the blood of Christ. IT is the Cross the creates the unequal ultimacy. The elect sin as do the reprobate, just one remains unredeemed and they perish. One remains in Christ who continues for them forever..

    9Then Jesus said, "He who has ears to hear, let him hear."

    10When he was alone, the Twelve and the others around him asked him about the parables. 11He told them, "The secret of the kingdom of God has been given to you. But to those on the outside everything is said in parables 12so that,
    " 'they may be ever seeing but never perceiving,
    and ever hearing but never understanding;
    otherwise they might turn and be forgiven!'

    If I am wrong in this assesment towards Richard, I will correct my presumption quickly..
    You just need to be a little more clear on what you mean. It is one thing to explain that God so determines and manipulates the circumstacnes around Pharaoh so that he (Pharaoh) will sin, where equal ultimacy teaches that God CREATES that sin in Pharaoah and Pharaoh then acts out those disposition as a result of that creation. (Running with an "equal" idea which is the opposite of the elect who have a regenerated heart.)

    For a VERY good treatment of this whole idea (biblically coreect on determinism), see "Calvin's Calvinism" where Calvin demonstrates biblically that the wicked cannot even lift a little pinky finger without God's consent. It is an extraordinary work on the subject. (If you have time, see also Turretin.)
    C. Matthew McMahon, Ph.D., Th.D.
    John 5:39, "...search the Scriptures..."

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    Matthew,

    Heaving you reference Turretin brought a smile to my face. Your frequent mention of Turretin in some of your MP3s convinced me to order my own set. Thanks!
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    Robert Truelove is offline. Puritanboard Freshman
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    Anyone ever though of Jude 1:4 as it relates to this discussion?

    "For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated (appointed/ordained) for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ."
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  7. #87
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    Quote Originally Posted by prespastor View Post
    Anyone ever though of Jude 1:4 as it relates to this discussion?

    "For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated (appointed/ordained) for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ."
    I'll hazard a guess as to how those who hold to God's passivity in reprobation would view this verse. They may be of the opinion that the individuals in Jude 1:4 were destined for their role, that God was active in appointing some of those passed over for specific roles. God was still passive in not electing them, but since they were not elect God was active in assigning them to these functions. It would a similar view of the hardening of Pharaoh's heart in Romans 9:17-18.
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    Quote Originally Posted by C. Matthew McMahon View Post
    You just need to be a little more clear on what you mean. It is one thing to explain that God so determines and manipulates the circumstacnes around Pharaoh so that he (Pharaoh) will sin, where equal ultimacy teaches that God CREATES that sin in Pharaoah and Pharaoh then acts out those disposition as a result of that creation. (Running with an "equal" idea which is the opposite of the elect who have a regenerated heart.)
    Brother Matthew:

    According to who's definition? I find Sproul using this terminology first and therefore giving a definition that actually blankets double predestination of which is a grand truth. What this definition is describing is some sort of Parkerism seed doctrine. This is a terrible heresy. As a confessed supra, I settle this by taking 'sin"/'sins" ot of the equation. I do not know what it means that God 'creates this sin".. AS I have mentioned the elect sin as the reprobate, therefore Christs redemption is given to one and not the other. This is where the difference lies..

    Passive hardening just does not make sense in light of the writ. But perhaps it is just me
    Robert
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  9. #89
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    I'm sorry for resurrecting this thread after it has been down a while, I just wanted to contribute a little.

    As to the original post, I have listened to several of MacArthur's sermons on his website (I subscribe to two of his podcasts). From what I have gathered, MacArthur does not teach explicitly that God "passes over" the non-elect and just leaves them in their sin, nor does he explicitly teach that God created the non-elect and set them apart purely for the role of condemnation. I have heard sermons of his which teach things that usually go hand-in-hand with either double-predestination or Amyraldianism. I think, though, if one understands the approach MacArthur takes to interpreting scripture, that he consistently acknowledges, even indirectly, the non-linearity of the Word of God. In other words, he will take Romans 1:18-32 as far as it will go and Romans 9 as far as it will go. A good example of this is his sermon "When God Abandons a Nation". He has a wonderful exegesis on Romans 1 in which he mainly focuses on God's grace being removed from sinners and a society which continually pursues a life of indulgence in their sins.

    In his book "The Love of God", MacArthur endorses A.W. Pink's "The Sovereignty of God", but is still somewhat critical of it. He makes the point of saying that he agrees with Pink on every point except the point that God does not love the elect. Now, as to how far that goes I am unsure.

    Here is a link to a .pdf on MacArthur's church's web site, in which he directly address The Sovereignty of God.

    Hope this helps!

  10. #90
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    He said that all mankind is born in sin and bound for hell. Instead of choosing some for hell, God simply allows them to continue in their sinful condition and elects others.
    These two statements need to be distinguished. All supras and infras would agree with the first. The contention is over the second, which deals with the question of the logical order of the decree.

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    AS A NEBIE PRESBY! Back to the original post ?, HELP me here, OK, in "effect" what would the difference be?
    Last edited by etexas; 02-03-2008 at 11:06 PM. Reason: typo
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    That's sad to hear that just a couple months back I learned Macarthur didn't believe in Limited Atonement until 1995 (or where abouts)
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    Quote Originally Posted by holyfool33 View Post
    That's sad to hear that just a couple months back I learned Macarthur didn't believe in Limited Atonement until 1995 (or where abouts)
    Does this make him not Calvinist enough or something? I don't understand.
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    Quote Originally Posted by raekwon View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by holyfool33 View Post
    That's sad to hear that just a couple months back I learned Macarthur didn't believe in Limited Atonement until 1995 (or where abouts)
    Does this make him not Calvinist enough or something? I don't understand.
    Not really just inconsistent.
    Aaron
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    If it's indeed true that he only came to believe in Limited Atonement in 1995, he's consistently believed it for the past 13 years, yes? It might be different if he came to believe in it last week, but 13 years isn't exactly a short time.

    (I apologize if I appear argumentative. I just don't understand why it matters.)
    Rae W. | Ruling Elder @ Grace Central Presbyterian Church (PCA) | Columbus, OH
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