Practical applications for the Arminian error.

Discussion in 'Calvinism & The Doctrines of Grace' started by raderag, Feb 13, 2006.

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  1. raderag

    raderag Puritan Board Sophomore

    I wasn't sure whay you though, but I believe I needed to reiterate that point.
    [/quote]

    I do appreciate your thoughts, but I think I would have needed to given you more details for you to give advice on the specific situation. As it is, I am not soliciting advice, but giving an example so that others can expound on how they would handle it. I agree that peoples lives can be different than they appear, and I also believe to be a pretty good judge of character. Anyway, it is always possible that it isn't as it appears, but I am assuming not.

    Anyway, I still haven't heard how others interact with ARminains/evangelicals.
     
  2. tdowns

    tdowns Puritan Board Junior

    Great!

     
  3. raderag

    raderag Puritan Board Sophomore

     
  4. blhowes

    blhowes Puritan Board Professor

    To what extent do you guys think we should cut those with Arminian leanings slack (if any), just based on the tendancies many (myself included) of us have of holding onto our own belief system?

    Case in point. On this board, those who hold to CT and infant baptism have on multiple occasions had baptistic teachings presented to them, yet they don't accept it. They have a CT mindset and, even if the baptistic teachings are correct, would have a difficult time relinguishing their beliefs and switching camps.

    The same is true on the flip side with those who hold to CT teachings trying to convince baptists that CT is correct. Baptists have a baptist mindset and, even if the CT teachings are correct, would have a difficult time relinguishing their beliefs and switching camps.

    Some on this board have switched camps one way or the other and some in the past have switched one way, only to switch back after further study. In each case, it wasn't without considerable struggle.

    Am I comparing apples and oranges, or shouldn't we cut them some slack as well? Does John 3:7,8 give us any kind of "wiggle room" when it comes to these kinds of things?

    Joh 3:7,8 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.

    Hopefully not branded 'too Arminian',
    Bob
     
  5. raderag

    raderag Puritan Board Sophomore

    Interesting points, but I do see a difference between the two issues as soteriology deals directly with how the Gospel is presented. Reformed Baptist and Reformed agree on the purpose of baptism (more or less), but disagree on the timing and mode. Having said that, credo-baptism is heretical in an ecclessastical sense.
     
  6. wsw201

    wsw201 Puritan Board Senior

    In reflecting on all the things that have been posted on the subject of Arminianism, For what it's worth, I have come to the conclusion that the majority of posts are talking at 2 levels; Arminianism as a system of doctrine and the effects of Arminianism on a particular person.

    Hopefully we can all agree that Arminianism as a system of what the Bible teaches about salvation is wrong. In fact it is, in and of itself, heretical, ie; outside of orthodoxy. If one is going to condemn Roman Catholicism, one would have to condemn Arminianism, since the major tenants of these two systems are the same, ie; they revolve around works righteousness.

    When it comes to the individual sitting in the pews, its a whole different story. The vast majority of RC's sitting in the pews have never read the Catholic Catechism. They don't buy everything the pope says and couldn't explain transubstantiation in a million years. But this also applies to Arminians. As has been noted in a variety of threads, what Jacob Arminius started ain't what we have today in the vast majority of evangelical churches. Those in the pews under true Arminian teachers, probably don't understand the majority of what is being taught! For crying out loud, most folks in Reformed churches don't get all of it either! I know RE's in Presbyterian churches who have never read the Standards!

    So Brett, in your situation, I would recommend being patient with your friend. Stand up for what you know as the truth whenever the discussion gets into theology and be ready with Scripture to back up what you say. I think that is all anyone can do.

    Well that's my :2cents:
     
  7. raderag

    raderag Puritan Board Sophomore

    Wayne, I am inclined to disagree with this statement. The most serious problems in the Roman system are its sacradotalism, which is developed from their semi-Pelagian view of Grace. Arminianism has most of this stuff stripped away, so I think we could see Arminianism as an error on a lesser scale than Catholicism and still be consistent.

    Once again, the difference is that the Catholic Church teaches that one obtains grace through the sacraments, and the ARminian system teaches one objtains grace through faith. While both are incorrect, the Catholic System leads one directly to trust the wrong thing.

    Thanks, and I agree with you. I am trying to keep the lines open, and even hope get him to read some books. One thing is that our relationship isn't really one of peers as he is older and wiser than I. Today is his last day.



    [Edited on 2-15-2006 by raderag]
     
  8. ChristopherPaul

    ChristopherPaul Puritan Board Senior

    I came across this today over at Monergism and thought of all you little rascals:


    This was said in promotion of the apologetics DVD set titled, Amazing Grace: The History & Theology of Calvinism.

    What were they thinking by writing such an exclusive statement!

    :)
     
  9. Magma2

    Magma2 Puritan Board Sophomore

    Ben writes:
    The above is so obviously false that it is quite amazing (although not particularly surprising) that it´s coming from a pastor in the PCA. Of course I agree God´s sovereignty is not undermined or usurped by the Arminian gospel. 2Th 2:10,11; "œAnd with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie." The Arminian gospel is a false gospel with a false hope and pathetic Christ. It calls men to look to themselves, not to true Christ of Scripture as the source and sustainer of their "œsalvation." It is a completely man centered message and I admit it plays very well for men who want their ears tickled. For the Arminian human volition is sine qua non of salvation. That is not the gospel of Christ.

    So it is pure unadulterated presumption that those who respond to the false gospel of the Arminan are repenting and responding with saving faith and have received regeneration. Pastor Ben might be a smart man but he certainly cannot peer into the hearts of men. I will say, Arminians most certainly believe something, but it is not the truth. So which truth remains even if it´s not understood or even rejected? Is salvation now in the PCA predicated on implicit faith? If someone doesn´t understand the truth how can he believe it and if he understands the truth and rejects it how can he be saved? Or, is it true that God can and even does accomplish His purposes even through the preaching of the false gospel of the Arminian? If this is what is meant then I agree, but I disagree that it is always the purpose Pastor Ben supposes. Can someone come to true saving faith IN SPITE of the false preaching of the Arminian? Of course, but that´s certainly not the argument of Pastor Ben and those who so eagerly side with him. The problem is that most people never hear the truth of the Gospel and it seems many never will, at least from some pulpits.

    Brett writes
    Of course you should, but you´re not held to the same standard as a TE or an RE.

    I thought this thread was about the practical applications of the Arminian error? I think the practical application of the Arminian error is that it should make us fear for the souls of our Arminian friends and relatives. However, I can see I´m in the minority. So if this thread is about some article by Dr. McMahon perhaps you should have stated that up front with a link so that we might discuss it. In the meantime, maybe you should change the title of the thread or just start a new one.

    Trevor writes:
    Good post Trevor, but I think you miss the point. We don´t have to win our Arminian neighbors to Christ for they already have Christ. There is no need to seek to free them for Pastor Ben assures us that Arminians are free already.
     
  10. raderag

    raderag Puritan Board Sophomore

    Sean, it was a carryover, and meant to be distinct, yet an extension of the discussion. Regardless, this thread stands on its own as a discussion of practical Arminianism. I would like to restate my thesis that I don't think you are taking away from Dr McMahon's article what he would want you to. Then again I could be wrong...
     
  11. raderag

    raderag Puritan Board Sophomore


    Sean, so you are saying that Arminianism has a different Christological foundation than that Calvinism, and that the real Gospel is not contained in their system? Is that about right?

    [Edited on 2-15-2006 by raderag]
     
  12. SolaScriptura

    SolaScriptura Puritan Board Doctor

    First of all, here is yet more proof that Magma2 isn't really interested in reading the posts of those who disagree with him: he keeps referring to me as "Pastor." My signature line clearly says "pastoral intern."

    Second, the molten man seems to equate acknowledging God's sovereignty with God actually being sovereign! He's more Arminian than the Arminians, he's almost a process theologian! Apparently, his God is only sovereign if we say he is! No wonder he's so angry: He wants God to be sovereign, and he believes that the fact of God's sovereignty is threatened when it isn't acknowledged or even denied!

    Third, My post was an attempt to reiterate the point that though those dear Christian brothers and sisters of non-Reformed belief err by not acknowledging God's sovereignty in salvation (though it should be pointed out that these brothers will protest this because they say they do believe in God's sovereignty), their lack of acknowledgment does not actually take away God's sovereignty: As a Calvinist I know, and am comforted, knowing that when a sinner is converted under the preaching of a non-Reformed evangelist it was because God the Holy Spirit regenerated that person and drew him/her to Christ... even if that person isn't aware of this truth.

    I say again:

    Arminianism is dangerous because it all too often leads to spiritual pride and self appreciation. It all too often results in spiritual pragmatism. It inherently diminishes the glory of God in salvation by its implications.

    However, Calvinism can be dangerous when it becomes a tool for nit-picking fellow Christians, or when it results in a spiritual arrogrance that spreads like a cancer until it actually laments the preaching of the gospel.

    Rightly appropriated, Calvinism's strength lies in the fact that it provides comfort and assurance to the evangelist because we know that God is in charge of the results. It provides comfort to the Christian because it teaches us that God loves us so much that He did everything it took to effectually "woo" (as Augustine and Edwards said) us to the Cross. Rightly appropriated, Calvinism is not a hammer to beat up other Christians... it is a warm embrace to encourage us when the going gets tough by its teaching that we chose God because He first chose us.
    Wrongly appropriated, Calvinism kills evangelistic efforts. (Just read Magma2's excuses!) Rightly appropriated, Calvinism leads to increased evangelistic outreach because we know that we go with God's promise that His word will not return void!
    God's sovereignty is not undermined or usurped by an Arminian presentation of the Gospel: anyone who repents and responds with saving faith has received regeneration to enable and effect such repentance! The fact of this truth remains even if the notion is not understood or even rejected.


    [Edited on 2-15-2006 by SolaScriptura]
     
  13. Steve Owen

    Steve Owen Puritan Board Sophomore

    The following is an extract from Dr Lloyd-Jones's booklet, What is an Evangelical? published by Banner of Truth. It can also be found in Knowing the Times, also published by BoT.

    These are some of the reasons for drawing a distinction between essentials and non-essentials. Let me mention a few things, therefore, which I put into the category of non-essentials.
    One is the belief in election and predestination. Now I am a Calvinist; I believe in election and predestination; but I would not dream of putting it under the heading of essential. I put it under the heading of nonessential. Mark you, I would condemn Pelagianism; I would say that Pelagianism is a denial of the truth of the Scripture with regard to salvation - that goes out. But I am thinking of Arminianism in its various forms, and therefore I do not put this into the category of essential. I do not for the reason that this, for me, is a matter of understanding. You are not saved by your precise understanding of how this great salvation comes to you. What you must be clear about is that you are lost and damned, hopeless and helpless, and that nothing can save you but the grace of God in Jesus Christ and only Him crucified, bearing the punishment of your sins, dying, rising again, ascending, sending the Spirit, regeneration. Those are the essentials.

    Now when you come to ask me, How exactly do I come to a belief in this? I say that that is a matter of the understanding of the mechanism of salvation, not of the way of salvation. And here, while I myself hold
    very definite and strong views on the subject, I will not separate from a man who cannot accept and believe the doctrines of election and predestination, and is Arminian, as long as he tells me that we are all saved by grace, and as long as the Calvinist agrees, as he must, that God calls all men everywhere to repentance. As long as both are prepared to agree about these things I say we must not break fellowship. So I put election into the category of non-essentials.
    Another matter I would put into the same category is the age and the mode of baptism: the age of the candidate, and the mode of administering the rite of baptism.......'


    It may be worth adding that for a few years after 1938, Lloyd-Jones shared the pastorate of Westminster Chapel with Dr Campbell Morgan, who was Arminian. This joint ministry seems to have blessed those who heard it and not to have caused confusion to them. See D.M.Ll-J's biography by Iain Murray.

    Grace & Peace,

    Martin
     
  14. raderag

    raderag Puritan Board Sophomore

    Thanks for posting this Martin. It was very well said.
     
  15. Semper Fidelis

    Semper Fidelis 2 Timothy 2:24-25 Staff Member

    Brett,

    OK so it wasn't advice but my expounding on how I would handle it... :um:

    I made a suggestion that was reflective of how I would approach a friend. I also gave at least 4 different examples of acquaintances/co-workers/friends/church members and how I interact differently with all of them. I even qualified that, if I was close to your friend then I'd sit down with him and talk out some of those things.

    If the generalized observations I made don't help then that's OK. My post was nothing more than my observations about the practical applications of the Arminain error (which you asked about) as well as how I interact with them. I neither criticized your handling of the situation, your observations, nor your question.

    [Edited on 2-16-2006 by SemperFideles]
     
  16. raderag

    raderag Puritan Board Sophomore

    No problem. I didn't think you were being critical. I just wanted to talk about this in a more abstract way.

    [Edited on 2-16-2006 by raderag]
     
  17. Magma2

    Magma2 Puritan Board Sophomore

    Some might recall that recently in defense of Arminian orthodoxy, Intern Pastor Ben made an implied reference to Mat. 23:37 & Luke 13:34 by claiming along with those he defends that "œJesus longed to save all the "children" of Jerusalem!" Well, while going through some of my files looking for something else entirely, I came across this from Augustine which some might find helpful:


    I also came across this from John Owen:

    :pilgrim:
     
  18. CDM

    CDM Puritan Board Junior

    :ditto::ditto::ditto::ditto::ditto::ditto:

    :amen::amen::amen::amen::amen::amen:

    :up::up::up::up::up::up:

    (I need a "Hit the nail on the head" emoticon)
     
  19. SolaScriptura

    SolaScriptura Puritan Board Doctor


    Basically, what you mean is that the passage doesn't mean what it seems to mean at face value...
    I bet you also think Jesus was a liar when he said that he didn't know the time of the end.

    Even Gill acknowledges the reality of what Matt 23:37 is saying, though he says that Jesus is speaking from his human nature and not his divine nature...
    I find the words of Ryle to be most helpful:


    What I gather from your insistence on pressing this point from my original reference, is that you're so anti-Gospel that you chafe at the very notion of the offer of salvation being extended to all. In my original reference to the passage I was pointing out that it is okay for us to make general proclamations of Jesus' willingness to save those who repent by pointing to a passage in which he actually makes reference to this willingness.

    For the third time:
    Arminianism is dangerous because it all too often leads to spiritual pride and self appreciation. It all too often results in spiritual pragmatism. It inherently diminishes the glory of God in salvation by its implications.

    However, Calvinism can be dangerous when it becomes a tool for nit-picking fellow Christians, or when it results in a spiritual arrogrance that spreads like a cancer until it actually laments the preaching of the gospel.

    Rightly appropriated, Calvinism's strength lies in the fact that it provides comfort and assurance to the evangelist because we know that God is in charge of the results. It provides comfort to the Christian because it teaches us that God loves us so much that He did everything it took to effectually "woo" (as Augustine and Edwards said) us to the Cross. Rightly appropriated, Calvinism is not a hammer to beat up other Christians... it is a warm embrace to encourage us when the going gets tough by its teaching that we chose God because He first chose us.
    Wrongly appropriated, Calvinism kills evangelistic efforts. (Just read Magma2's excuses for his lack of evangelism!) Rightly appropriated, Calvinism leads to increased evangelistic outreach because we know that we go with God's promise that His word will not return void!
    God's sovereignty is not undermined or usurped by an Arminian presentation of the Gospel: anyone who repents and responds with saving faith has received regeneration to enable and effect such repentance! The fact of this truth remains even if the notion is not understood or even rejected.



    [Edited on 2-16-2006 by SolaScriptura]
     
  20. Magma2

    Magma2 Puritan Board Sophomore

    If by Gospel you mean the anti-gospel of the Arminian which you unequivocally defend and endorse, then, yes, I am opposed to the false gospel of the Arminian. Further, if by offer you mean as it is derived from the Latin as "œto present for acceptance or rejection" then, of course, I neither chafe nor object in the slightest to the promiscuous and universal proclamation of the Gospel. OTOH, if you mean as the Arminians you so ably defend that Christ´s blood is ineffectual in procuring the desired result for all whom it was split, then I reject such notions as an affront to the finished work of Christ on the cross.

    [snip your repetitive cut and past of something neither profound, helpful or particularly insightful]
     
  21. SolaScriptura

    SolaScriptura Puritan Board Doctor

    Well... if you followed your own advice you'd have to just erase all your posts, now wouldn't you? :lol: :judge:

    Actually, my repetitive posting of those helpful words is to show a watching non-Reformed Christian world that Calvinism is a good thing, and not something opposed to the free and universal proclamation of God's forgiveness offered in the gospel... Such a reminder is not for you, because you are beyond convincing. It is for those who have not made up their minds about Calvinism.


    The bottom line is that evangelical Arminians preach THE Gospel. They proclaim that all are dead in their sins and that God has made a way. They proclaim that faith in Jesus Christ is the only basis for salvation. The proclaim the necessity of holiness as bearing evidence to the reality of one's profession...
    In short, they proclaim everything that is needed.

    Now, why don't you quit trying to oppose the Gospel and actually join in the work of spreading it? Go out and share the Gospel with someone!
    Oh... I almsot forgot... that's not "your calling." :barfy:

    [Edited on 2-16-2006 by SolaScriptura]
     
  22. raderag

    raderag Puritan Board Sophomore

    Ben, you might want to reconsider this line of thought as it is straight from the pages of post-modernity. I agree that Calvinism can be misapplied, but if in fact it is the truth it isn't really dangerous. The real problem with Calvinism is the world view from which it is seen. If one sees it from modernity or post-modernity, there are big problems.
     
  23. Steve Owen

    Steve Owen Puritan Board Sophomore

    I'm sorry if this seems like Kindergarten stuff, but I think it needs saying.

    John 6:37. 'All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me, I will not turn away.'

    The first part of that statement is pure Particular Redemption. The Father has given a people to the Son, the Son will redeem them with His bood upon the cross, and they will come to Him, by the Spirit's power, for salvation.

    But the second part tells us that Christ will receive all those who come to Him without exception. 'Whoever calls on the Name of the Lord will be saved' (Joel 2:32; Acts 2:21; Rom 10:13 ). If people will not come, it is not God's fault but theirs (John 3:19 ).

    We must hold firmly to both parts of this verse if we are to have a rounded theology. Read Spurgeon. His sermons are the perfect illustration of this.

    Grace & Peace,

    Martin
     
  24. SolaScriptura

    SolaScriptura Puritan Board Doctor

    True... I guess I was pointing to the misapplication of Calvinism that non-Calvinists would see as a systemic problem with Calvinism. I also chose those words because some people believe they are holding to "true" Calvinism when, I think you and I would agree, they are actually holding to a flawed understanding and application of true Calvinism.
    But your point is well taken: Calvinism is true and as such is not in any way dangerous... it is only poorly construed understandings (caricatures) of Calvinism and/or misapplications of Calvinism that are dangerous.
     
  25. SolaScriptura

    SolaScriptura Puritan Board Doctor

    Absolutely! :amen:
     
  26. CDM

    CDM Puritan Board Junior

    Free and universal proclamation of God's forgiveness? Do you mean universal atonement like the 3-4 point Arminians do?

    I think we should be clear here. I apologize if this has already been addressed. A 5 point "real" Arminian is in no way preaching THE gospel. Now, you may be talking about the average arminian/evangelical type you find in conservative baptistic churches.

    Maybe the Arminian churches you've known. The one I attended taught:

    -We are not dead is sin; we are just sick like a cancer patient from sin
    -God loves everyone equally
    -He predestines a plan not a people
    -Heathen that haven't heard the gospel can be saved (through "light" that as given to them and how they respond to it)
    -
    -
    -

    The "one who comes to me" are the ones the Father has given to the Son, right? These "ones" are one group of people, correct? They're not a separate category of people.

    Are you saying there are the ones the Father has given the Son and then there are others the Father has NOT given the Son that will come to Christ?
     
  27. SolaScriptura

    SolaScriptura Puritan Board Doctor

    I mean proclaiming to all people, without exception, God's forgiveness offered in the Gospel to be received by faith and repentance.

    I am in the middle of writing a piece regarding why Classic Arminianism is NOT heresy. The jist of the point I attempt to make is that the reason Arminianism is NOT heresy is because Classic Arminianism stays within the bounds of Christian orthodoxy by means of necessary systemic contradiction. (Though they would say "tension.") My point is that even a "consistent 5-point Arminian" is not really a consistent 5-point Arminian, because in order to be truly consistent they must actually depart Classical Arminianism in favor of either Pelagianism, Open Theism, or universalism.

    In other words, there is no such thing as a truly consistent Arminian, because to be an Arminian is to necessarily hold theological contradictions and dichotomies. To be a consistent "Arminian" one must actually stop being an Arminian and become something else, like I mention above.

    Thus, Arminians become heretical at precisely the point at which they stop holding the necessary and implicit (and to be honest: often explicit!) contradictions within Arminianism and instead opt for consistency in one of the forms mentioned above. In short: Arminians become heretics when they stop being Arminians and actually become theologically consistent with their total theology.

    However, as long as they retain the theological contradictions/tensions necessary for them to remain in the Arminian camp, they are a part of the true Body of Christ... thus, their Gospel presentation, though flawed, is still true Gospel.



    [Edited on 2-16-2006 by SolaScriptura]
     
  28. Steve Owen

    Steve Owen Puritan Board Sophomore

    Chris asked:-
    Chris, don't filter the word through your own preconceptions. You sound as if you're worried that one of the non-elect is going to sneak into heaven while God's not looking! Whoever will may enter! Preach this great truth for all you're worth! But do it knowing that whoever does enter will find that God has loved him from the foundation of the world, and has been drawing him to Himself (Jer 31:3 ). Listen to Spurgeon.

    'Sinners, let me address you with words of life; Jesus wants nothing from you, nothing whatsoever, nothing done, nothing felt; he gives both work and feeling. Ragged, penniless,just as you are, lost, forsaken, desolate, with no good leelings, and no good hopes, still Jesus comes to you, and in these words of pity he addresses you, "Him that cometh unto me I will in no wise cast out"' (MTP. Vol 9, pp.537-8 ).

    "'Him that cometh to me:" '" the man may have been guilty of an atrocious sin, too black for mention; but if he comes to Christ he shall not be cast out. He may have made himself as black as night - as black as hell ... I cannot tell what kind of persons may have come into this Hall to-night; but if burglars, murderers, and dynamite-men were here, I would still bid them come to Christ, for he will not cast them out. No limit is set to the extent of sin: any "him" in all the world -- any blaspheming, devilish "him" that comes to Christ shall be welcomed. I use strong words that I may open the gate of mercy. Any "him" that comes to Christ - though he come from slum or taproom, betting ring or gambling-hell, prison or brothel- Jesus will in no wise cast out.' (MTP. Vol 30, pp. 54-5 ).

    Oh for preaching like that today!

    Martin
     
  29. Semper Fidelis

    Semper Fidelis 2 Timothy 2:24-25 Staff Member

    :amen:

    Well said Martin. Let it be said that I do agree with you on the most important things. We share Christ Brother.

    In Christ's Love,

    Rich
     
  30. SolaScriptura

    SolaScriptura Puritan Board Doctor

    :ditto: :amen: :handshake:
     
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