Can we be what is labeled a"Tolerant calvinist?"

Discussion in 'Exegetical Forum' started by Dachaser, Apr 15, 2017.

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  1. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    As have been reading various persons opinions on this issue, and it runs the spectrum of that is not allowed to be at all, or else is perfectly acceptable option, so what would be the scriptures and Confessions approach to this issue then?
  2. Romans922

    Romans922 Puritan Board Professor

    I have no clue what you are speaking of. What is a "tolerant Calvinist"?
  3. Edm

    Edm Puritan Board Freshman

    Tolerating non calvinists?
  4. Edward

    Edward Puritan Board Doctor

    Tolerant of what? Error? Heresy? Pianos and Organs?
  5. ZackF

    ZackF Puritan Board Senior

    Many are tolerant to a great extent. I'm still allowed here. :)
  6. JimmyH

    JimmyH Puritan Board Junior

    I haven't gotten a copy yet, but I'm considering The Intolerance Of Tolerance, by D.A. Carson. From Amazon reviews it seems he would be 'preaching to the choir' if I were to read it. Reminiscent of his 'The Gagging of God' probably.

    I'm two thirds through James R. White's 'The Potter's Freedom.' He refutation of Norman Geisler's 'Chosen but Free.' I mention it because Geisler refers to himself as a "moderate Calvinist", while espousing an Arminian/semi Pelagian doctrine. Confessionally reformed are referred to by Geisler as "extreme Calvinists." Not much tolerance going on there, nor should there be.

    Not sure if any of this is at all where the OP was going, but the above came to mind.
  7. Ask Mr. Religion

    Ask Mr. Religion Flatly Unflappable Staff Member

    I am generally willing to allow the existence of opinions or behavior that I do not necessarily agree with, hence, I am tolerant. On theological matters, while I may allow doctrinal differences than my own, my tolerance does not normally extend to what I would consider rank heresy, heterodoxy, or error. In those situations I am often provoked to not remain silent and point out the confusion of my interlocutor. ;)
  8. Jack K

    Jack K Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    I try to be nice to non-Calvinists. I don't call them names. I don't go around eager to pick fights with them. Does that make me tolerant?

    It's one thing to be tolerant in social settings. It's another to be tolerant when discussing the Bible. It's yet another to be tolerant during an ordination exam. As with any error, the situation often dictates how much tolerance is appropriate.
  9. Edward

    Edward Puritan Board Doctor

    It's been my experience that when people preach tolerance, they want to silence my point of view.

    NEVER agree to 'their' ground rules for civil debate. They are just trying to control the process.
  10. ZackF

    ZackF Puritan Board Senior

    I agree. Most folks who are tolerant just are with no grandstanding.
  11. ZackF

    ZackF Puritan Board Senior

    This is important. Context is key. There are things that merit little deviation like the Two Natures of Christ. On the other end are those the find the word offensive.
  12. MW

    MW Puritan Board Doctor

    That has been my experience also. Those who speak most about inclusivism are often the first to exclude others without reason or discussion.
  13. Herald

    Herald Moderator Staff Member

    Scripture never tells us to be tolerant to people who hold to different doctrinal distinctives, it commands us to be kind to all (2 Tim. 2:24). That is an important distinction. I like kindness better than tolerance. Vernacular changes over time, but scriptural truth does not. I can be kind to people who believe differently than I do. I can be kind to Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses, and Muslims, but kindness should never be confused with acceptance of their teachings. When put in a providential situation where I must stand up for the truth, I have no option but to do so (1 Pet. 3:15).
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  14. timfost

    timfost Puritan Board Junior

    This phrase brings up memories from my past and some of the people in the ultra hyper-Calvinist church in which I grew up. I know exactly what was meant by it and I'm wondering from whom you heard it? Feel free to PM me.

    If it's from any of these people from my past, I would strongly caution against their doctrines.
  15. Silas22

    Silas22 Puritan Board Freshman

    This. Especially when enforced by law. Tolerance=gag order
  16. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    I should have explained in more detail, as that would basically being a calvinism mindset that would see only calvinism as having the real Gospel, so that those such as non calvinists and arminians would be teaching another false Gospel, and since God works through only the real one, none of them would be saved, ot very few who think they are?
  17. timfost

    timfost Puritan Board Junior

    Yes, unfortunately, I'm very familiar with this kind of thinking. Proponents of this view tend to think that the gospel = election, so if we don't understand unconditional election therefore we cannot understand the gospel and we are not saved. Some of the extremes would say that upon regeneration, we have a qualitative knowledge of all the essentials of Christianity. Often times, Arminianism is defined very broadly as somebody who was not aware that they were elected before they believed. Because they define the gospel so narrowly, they do not understand that much of what is true about the gospel and the gospel promises can be communicated and proclaimed by those who do not understand the doctrine of election.

    Below I've quoted John Owen as it speaks against many of the assumptions by those who use the term "tolerant Calvinism" as you've defined it:

    "I no way doubt but that many men do receive more grace from God than they understand or will own, and have a greater efficacy of it in them than they will believe. Men may be really saved by that grace which doctrinally they do deny; and they may be justified by the imputation of that righteousness which, in opinion, they deny to be imputed: for the faith of it is included in that general assent which they give unto the truth of the gospel, and such an adherence unto Christ may ensue thereon, as that their mistake of the way whereby they are saved by him shall not defraud them of a real interest therein. And for my part, I must say that notwithstanding all the disputes that I see and read about justification (some whereof are full of offense and scandal), I do not believe but that the authors of them (if they be not Socinians throughout, denying the whole merit and satisfaction of Christ) do really trust unto the mediation of Christ for the pardon of their sins and acceptance with God, and not unto their own works or obedience; nor will I believe the contrary, until they expressly declare it."
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2017
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  18. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    That would be my understanding, as all who are saved come through the way Calvinists understand the Bible is teaching, but some fail to fully understand that, or else redefine some terminology, but even though do not understand it as a calvinist, still saved same way we all are!
    For I know many Catholics who have been saved, despite bad theology on salvation, as the Spirit still was able to get through to them the real gospel, but they all left and became part of my Baptist church!

    Is Calvinistic Sotierolgy what the scriptures state it to be? No doubt, but I for tight now cannot say the the Holy Spirit can ONLY do His work with a Gospel fully accurate in all details...
  19. timfost

    timfost Puritan Board Junior

    If salvation was dependent on our accurate knowledge of all the details, I don't think anybody would be saved. I'm saved by grace, not by accurate details! ;)
  20. Jack K

    Jack K Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    We are saved by faith in Christ, not by properly understanding the grace at work behind that faith.
  21. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    I agree with you on that, so why would there be some calvinists who would push an extreme viewpoint that only those who uphold calvinism have the real Gospel, and are the only saved pretty much?
  22. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    The supreme irony to me would be that those who are saved that see it in Non Calvinistic terms fail to understand that the theology that they rejected is the very way God saved them and us!
  23. timfost

    timfost Puritan Board Junior

    Because knowledge puffs up. It is not sober thinking, but a kind of intellectual ascent above everyone else. Growing up in a church setting that promoted this kind of thought and adopting it myself for a time, I later realized that my "faith" was more of a historical faith than a saving faith. I assented to what I thought was accurate knowledge about God. Yet I don't believe I really trusted in God, but rather my intellectual abilities and knowledge.

    Calvin's Institutes start out with knowledge of God and man. If we understand God as He reveals Himself, we should have a lower opinion of ourselves. Those who make salvation dependent on an amount of knowledge about election tie God's hands and require of others more than what God Himself requires for salvation. On a practical level, as we verbally fought against God's worst enemies (i.e. Arminians), we neglected personal piety and sanctification. It's no wonder that our pastor was found out to be having a long term affair with a church member!

    It's ironic, but as we vehemently fought against Arminianism, we ourselves promoted a salvation rooted in our intellectual abilities. Of course, we'd say this was God-given, but we were really promoting a different version of Arminianism because at root it looked to an ability that we had that was necessary for salvation.
  24. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    The Holy Spirit can and will take the scriptures when presented regarding the truths that Jesus death atoned for sinners, that we are saved by Him alone, and that we must receive Him as risen Lord to get saved, so where would it bein there if we are the elect, if we can explain Calvinism sufficient amount and why?

    Again, I DO see calvinism as the best way to understand the scriptures concening Sotierology, but cannot the Lord save His own even with them having an incomplete/faulty view on certain aspects?
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