Difficult questions about Calvinism

Discussion in 'Calvinism & The Doctrines of Grace' started by Alan, Apr 27, 2004.

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  1. Alan

    Alan Inactive User

    I am a Calvinist, but I have a few perplexing (to me) questions :

    First, Matt. 11:20-24: Why does Jesus seem to indicate that had Sodom, Tyre and Sidon seen the miracles that were being done in Chorazin, Bethsaida, etc., they would have repented? It's almost as though He was saying that the miracles themselves would have convinced the former cities, making it appear as though somehow Chorazin et al. were more stubborn and evil than Sodom, et al. This makes it appear as though the signs themselves would have been enough to turn the hearts of the Sodomites, et al. But how does this jive with total depravity, which would teach that it doesn't matter how many miracles or signs anyone sees, they will not believe unless they are given a new nature first?

    Second, passages like Mark 4:10-12 - If it's true that total depravity teaches that man will not believe a clear gospel presentation unless he is first regenerated, why does Christ seem to indicate that the reason He is speaking in parables is so that those hearing them will not perceive and understand? He seems also to indicate that if he was speaking "otherwise" (i.e., clearly), they might "return and be forgiven". But if they wouldn't believe without regeneration anyway, why resort to speaking in parables? Since even speaking clearly and frankly would not make a difference in bringing someone to belief. Does my question make sense?

    Third, can someone explain how an elected person can lose their salvation when Christ indicates in John 17 that he chose the twelve, but Judas betrayed Christ and died in his sins? My guess is that there are two types of "choosing" here. Christ chose the twelve to be his disciples, knowing full well that Judas would betray Him. This is not the same as the Father's electing them to salvation. Apparently in that sense, the Father elected the 11, but not Judas (the 12th). So am I correct in saying that Judas was not given to the Son by the Father?

    Earnestly seeking Truth,

    Alan
     
  2. Saiph

    Saiph Puritan Board Junior

    [quote:378a1f96de]
    Some places enjoy the means of grace in greater plenty, power, and purity, than other places. God is a free agent, and acts so in all his disposals, both as the God of nature and as the God of grace, common and distinguishing grace. By Christ's mighty works they should have been prevailed with, not only to receive his doctrine, but to obey his law; the curing of bodily diseases should have been the healing of their souls, but it had not that effect. Note, The stronger inducements we have to repent, the more heinous is the impenitency and the severer will the reckoning be, for Christ keeps account of the mighty works done among us, and of the gracious works done for us too, by which also we should be led to repentance.

    Rom 2:4
    Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?

    MH
    [/quote:378a1f96de]


    Parables serve the double purpose of revealing and concealing; presenting "the mysteries of the kingdom" to those who know and relish them, though in never so small a degree, in a new and attractive light; but to those who are insensible to spiritual things yielding only, as so many tales, some temporary entertainment.

    In a sense He would be throwing pearls before swine to give them the strait truth.




    [quote:378a1f96de]
    John 17:12
    While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled.
    [/quote:378a1f96de]

    John 15. Some are "given" to Christ that He will not ultimately keep. The apostates will inevitably be cut-off the vine. Judas was among them but not finally of them. A diseased branch that bore no fruit.


    Does this help or make it more confusing ? ?


    [Edited on 4-27-2004 by Wintermute]
     
  3. rembrandt

    rembrandt Puritan Board Sophomore

    [quote:132e0a7afc]This makes it appear as though the signs themselves would have been enough to turn the hearts of the Sodomites, et al. But how does this jive with total depravity, which would teach that it doesn't matter how many miracles or signs anyone sees, they will not believe unless they are given a new nature first?[/quote:132e0a7afc]

    Lets not forget that in all the signs that Jesus performed, not many came to him for the right reasons. In John 6 he says that they came not because they saw the signs performed (feeding of 6,000), but because they had their fill on bread. i.e. Total depravity.

    Another example is John 10:
    [quote:132e0a7afc]24The Jews gathered around him, saying, "How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ,[3] tell us plainly." 25Jesus answered, "I did tell you, but you do not believe. The miracles I do in my Father's name speak for me, 26but you do not believe because you are not my sheep. 27My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.[/quote:132e0a7afc]

    They saw miracles and didn't believe. i.e. Total Depravity.

    "Power Evangelism" is a charismatic movement that teaches that people MUST see miracles to believe, thus, they must still be performed to get people to believe. It is interesting that Jesus CONDEMNED those who sought after miracles. His miracles validated his message to the elect only, since only they had eyes to see.

    And if Sodom and Gomorah had eyes to see and ears to hear, they also would have believed the message as it was confirmed by miracles. And mainly, Jesus was condemning them to the point of saying that sodom and gomorah were more righteous. This is clearly a "progressive overstatement" since Sodom and Gomorah were condemned just as bad.

    Rembrandt
     
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