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Thread: Arminian Interpretation of Romans 9?

  1. #1

    Arminian Interpretation of Romans 9?

    What exactly is the Arminian interpretation of Romans 9?

    In my Arminian days, it was just not talked about and avoided.

    What are the "úbest"Ě interpretations by the Arminians on this passage?
    Christopher Reeder
    Husband to Kara, Father to Abigail (11), Caleb (10), Grace (9), ZoŽ (7), Elijah (6), Hannah (4), Mary (2), Philip (1), and Boy (in womb)

    Member: Greenville Presbyterian Church, Free Church of Scotland (Continuing), Greenville, SC

  2. #2
    Originally posted by ChristopherPaul
    What exactly is the Arminian interpretation of Romans 9?

    In my Arminian days, it was just not talked about and avoided.

    What are the "úbest"Ě interpretations by the Arminians on this passage?


    That`s one of the many chapters they skip.It sounds like a joke but in a way it is true.

    From what I can remember,it is a total dodge arguement with them.They tend to argue this scripture with other scripture taken out of context.

    I am sure others will leave better comments than me.I just wanted to say something about this.
    Joe Burgess
    Grace Bible Church - http://www.gracemessenger.com/
    Olive Branch,MS

    "Eighty and six years have I served Him, and He never did me any injury: how then can I blaspheme my King and my Saviour?" - St. Polycarp

  3. #3
    Chris,

    Verses 11-24 are the most hotly contested between Arminians and Calvinists. Arminians interpret this (and similar) passages by using the "foreknowledge" view. They teach that God looked down the corridor of time and saw who would choose Him. He then "elected" those people to salvation. The hermeneutical problems with the AV are numerous, and more learned men than I have expounded on the topic.

    In my conversations with Arminians, I have found their position is defined by a sense of fair-play. The exegetical support for the AV is wanting. Norman Geisler, of DTS, has come close to providing a biblical defense for Arminians. One of the problems with the AV is that most Arminains (especially in Baptist circles) will swear that they are not Arminians! For many of them, Arminians believe that you can lose your salvation. They are more than happy to label us Calvinists or Hyper-Calvinists, but they see themselves as Biblicists. The honest ones, who call themselves for what they are, are few and far between. If I were to go to the church that planted us (a large Baptist church in Maryland), and told that pastor he was Arminian, he would deny it tooth and nail. That is half the battle with modern-day Arminians.

    [Edited on 10-25-2005 by BaptistInCrisis]
    Bill Brown
    Grace Baptist Church


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  4. #4
    Bill,

    That is what I suspected the angle the Arminians must take. God sees how man will responds and then makes the best of their choices.

    However, I know of some Arminians avoiding the foreknowledge argument lately, I believe because they are finding it problematic. But what else is there? How do they interpret Romans 9 without relying on the foreknowledge view? Maybe they can't interpret it any other way? Perhaps they use a dispensational approach on how Paul is addressing nations and not individuals? I don't know.
    Christopher Reeder
    Husband to Kara, Father to Abigail (11), Caleb (10), Grace (9), ZoŽ (7), Elijah (6), Hannah (4), Mary (2), Philip (1), and Boy (in womb)

    Member: Greenville Presbyterian Church, Free Church of Scotland (Continuing), Greenville, SC

  5. #5
    Bill,

    Just for clarifications sake, Armenians are people from the country of Armenia.

    I'm sure you meant to type Arminian who are disciples of Jacob Arminius.

    As to the Arminian interpretation of Romans 9, most of them like to appeal to "Jacob" as meaning Israel (because Jacob was later named Israel) and "Esau" as Edom, referencing texts like Genesis 25:30;
    And Esau said to Jacob, "úPlease feed me with that same red stew, for I am weary."Ě Therefore his name was called Edom.
    So instead of god electing certain individuals to eternal life, which has been and is the most clear and plain interpretation of the text, now they make God electing nations to favor, or calamity. It is not faithful at all to the text IMHO.

  6. #6
    I have heard that interpretation from an arminian as well Jeff.

    Another thing someone once said to me was, "Paul is just speaking hypothetically about God's sovereignty in those verses, it is not like God would actually do that."

    To which I replied, are we talking about the same God who sent His own son to die in the most horrifically brutal way possible, on a Roman cross ?

  7. #7
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    Im my obsevation, the biggest problem with *both* the classical and modern Arminian view of Election is that they either ignore or minimize the total devastation that the fall has on the human will.

    The FV explanation cannot stand up any basic exposition of the relevant texts, so most of them are left with arguing from "fairness". This is bogus since because of the fall, God would be justified in condemning all of us! Of course for them to acknowledge this would mean they would have own up to total depravity/spiritual death which would leave them incapable of defending their system.

    Also, I agree with Bill. Most Baptist that appear Arminian to us would not call themselves such. Oh no, they would say "... but brother we are Biblicists" . . . as if Augustine, Luther, Calvin, Owen, Edwards, and Spurgeon were not? It's simply bone-headed to call oneself a "Biblicist" while ignoring or minimizing the some of the greatest minds, whom God used to lead the greatest revivals in Church history.

    [Edited on 10-25-2005 by BrianBowman]
    Brian Bowman
    St. Mary Magdalene Catholic Church
    Apex, NC

  8. #8
    Originally posted by Jeff_Bartel
    Bill,

    Just for clarifications sake, Armenians are people from the country of Armenia.

    I'm sure you meant to type Arminian who are disciples of Jacob Arminius.

    As to the Arminian interpretation of Romans 9, most of them like to appeal to "Jacob" as meaning Israel (because Jacob was later named Israel) and "Esau" as Edom, referencing texts like Genesis 25:30;
    And Esau said to Jacob, "úPlease feed me with that same red stew, for I am weary."Ě Therefore his name was called Edom.
    So instead of god electing certain individuals to eternal life, which has been and is the most clear and plain interpretation of the text, now they make God electing nations to favor, or calamity. It is not faithful at all to the text IMHO.
    What an embarrassing typo. I used the spell check and I still didn't catch it. Thanks for the correction.
    Bill Brown
    Grace Baptist Church


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  9. #9
    Originally posted by joshua
    It's ok, Bill. Didn't you know that we're allowed to mess up once in a while?
    Once in a while? If the frequency of my mess us were just once in a while, I would be in great shape!
    Bill Brown
    Grace Baptist Church


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  10. Arguably, previous Arminians are worse on their old theologic system than those raised Reformed. I can hardly stomach listening to many of the old christian radio programs that I used to love. Charles Stanley, Chip Ingram, Hank Hannergraff (spelling?) etc.
    Bill Brown
    Grace Baptist Church


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  11. #11
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    Originally posted by BaptistInCrisis
    I can hardly stomach listening to many of the old christian radio programs that I used to love. Charles Stanley, Chip Ingram, Hank Hannergraff (spelling?) etc.
    yep
    Beth
    Tolle Lege, Tolle Lege!

  12. #12
    Originally posted by BaptistInCrisis
    Arguably, previous Arminians are worse on their old theologic system than those raised Reformed. I can hardly stomach listening to many of the old christian radio programs that I used to love. Charles Stanley, Chip Ingram, Hank Hannergraff (spelling?) etc.

  13. #13
    Originally posted by BaptistInCrisis
    Hank Hannergraff (spelling?) etc.
    I hear yuh.
    I was listening to Hank, friday night on the commute home from work. Usually I would use the subway, but I had to rent a car so that my mother and brother could go to my cousin's funeral down in Washington D.C, so I was stuck in an Chevy Impala, with no CDS, and my classical station playing a Jewish Sabbath service. My only other option was WMCA, the local Christian station, and Hank was one.

    One caller called in an asked, "Why did God create evil?", Hank's response was that, "God wanted us to love Him voluntarily and not by force." Of course that statement implicitly suggests that God left it up to chance. (Our society is so overly democratic and rights based)

    But what I do love about Hank these days is his Partial Preterist position concerning eschatology that is able to make a good dent into the Evangelical community.

    [Edited on 10-25-2005 by Slippery]
    ~Keon Garraway~ Brooklyn, NY Member of Franklin Square OPC

    Love for God demonstrated by the love for our children in giving them a God centered education is the only hope for our country. by David Morrow
    Pslam 71:20 [Thou], which hast shewed me great and sore troubles, shalt quicken me again, and shalt bring me up again from the depths of the earth.

  14. #14
    Originally posted by BaptistInCrisis
    Arguably, previous Arminians are worse on their old theologic system than those raised Reformed. I can hardly stomach listening to many of the old christian radio programs that I used to love. Charles Stanley, Chip Ingram, Hank Hannergraff (spelling?) etc.
    Well, I guess we are quite angry and embarrassed at the same time. Angry that we were misguided by those we trust and embarrassed because we avoided or denied scripture because it did not conform to our desires.

    I admit, I am overly judgmental against Arminian churches at times and if not careful, become snobbish towards them.
    Christopher Reeder
    Husband to Kara, Father to Abigail (11), Caleb (10), Grace (9), ZoŽ (7), Elijah (6), Hannah (4), Mary (2), Philip (1), and Boy (in womb)

    Member: Greenville Presbyterian Church, Free Church of Scotland (Continuing), Greenville, SC

  15. #15
    Christopher, I haven't seen that symbol in a long time! Isn't that John Bonham's logo? Really takes me back to my junior high doodling days.

    My favorite to doodle back then was:

    Rick Larson
    Seeking new church home.
    Currently worshipping at South Suburban EV Free Church, Apple Valley, MN.

  16. #16
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    Once in a Sunday-School class in a Foursquare Church I heard this;
    The instructor said that Romans 9 is a solemn warning, he pointed out that it says God hardened Pharaoh's heart, then in another Scripture it says that Pharaoh hardened his own heart. So don't harden your hearts, was his application; some day God just might let you stay that way. Look at Esau, who found no place of repentance...wait, that's from another Epistle! Oops!
    The man who is disposed to think of his sin as a great calamity, rather than as a heinous crime, is not likely either to reverence God or to respect His law. - John Kennedy, 1873
    Meg
    Blog
    Member, Intown Presbyterian Church,PCA, Portland, OR

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  17. #17
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    Ah, Meg.. say it ain't so!!!
    Beth
    Tolle Lege, Tolle Lege!

  18. #18
    Originally posted by Rick Larson
    Christopher, I haven't seen that symbol in a long time! Isn't that John Bonham's logo? Really takes me back to my junior high doodling days.

    My favorite to doodle back then was:

    Ha, that is funny. I didn't think of that until you mentioned it and I am a big Led Zeppelin fan having all their albums. It is actually the symbol my church uses. It is in our letter head, on the cover of our bulletins, on our website and in the front of the sanctuary in the form of a stained-glass mosaic.

    It is true that it also appears on the fourth Led Zeppelin album, but it was John Paul Jones' selected symbol not Bonham's. Jones said he got it from a book of ruins or something pagan like that.
    Christopher Reeder
    Husband to Kara, Father to Abigail (11), Caleb (10), Grace (9), ZoŽ (7), Elijah (6), Hannah (4), Mary (2), Philip (1), and Boy (in womb)

    Member: Greenville Presbyterian Church, Free Church of Scotland (Continuing), Greenville, SC

  19. #19
    Originally posted by ChristopherPaul
    It is true that it also appears on the fourth Led Zeppelin album, but it was John Paul Jones' selected symbol not Bonham's. Jones said he got it from a book of ruins or something pagan like that.
    You are right- it's been a while!
    Rick Larson
    Seeking new church home.
    Currently worshipping at South Suburban EV Free Church, Apple Valley, MN.

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