Oh no, did he just say the C word?

“There is no worse screen to block out the Spirit than confidence in our own intelligence.”

– John Calvin

The older I get and the more I dig into God’s Word, the more convinced I am that I am a Calvinist.

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Categories: Christianity

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18 replies

  1. I’m still debating the issue, but doing a lot of research and prayer. I think that i’m more of of a Calvi-minian,

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  2. I found Calvinism a big offense but eventually I thought the teaching on total depravity began the road of seeing sovereign grace…hence I’m a Calvinist today.

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  3. I’ve read Calvin. Or tried to read him. You can spend half a day trying to figure out what has been written. Well for me anyway. Reading Luther is so much easier and fluent and sensible. This is not to say the quality of Luther’s expression is any less academic or scriptural or impactful.

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    • The system of Calvinism adheres to a very high view of scripture and seeks to derive its theological formulations based solely on God’s word. It focuses on God’s sovereignty – stating that God is able and willing by virtue of his omniscience, omnipresence, and omnipotence to do whatever He desires with His creation. It also maintains that within the Bible are the following teachings: That God, by His sovereign grace, predestines people into salvation; that Jesus died only for those predestined; that God regenerates the individual to where he is then able to and wants to choose God; and that it is impossible for those who are redeemed to lose their salvation.

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      • I don’t think the usual contemporary depravity word understanding (moral corruption; wickedness) characterizes his complete intent on using that word. Do you think it is more accurate to say humankind is incapable of redemption without Christ ? That because of original sin(which I prefer to define as the imperfection of human nature) we are incapable of making that bridge to God on our own ? Depravity characterizes such evil that may not characterize just regular ol’ sinners dependent on Christ for redemption in God’s eyes.

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        • Great question Carl.

          Total Depravity is probably the most misunderstood tenet of Calvinism. When Calvinists speak of humans as “totally depraved,” they are making an extensive, rather than an intensive statement. The effect of the fall upon man is that sin has extended to every part of his personality — his thinking, his emotions, and his will. Not necessarily that he is intensely sinful, but that sin has extended to his entire being.

          The unregenerate (unsaved) man is dead in his sins (Romans 5:12). Without the power of the Holy Spirit, the natural man is blind and deaf to the message of the gospel (Mark 4:11). This is why Total Depravity has also been called “Total Inability.” The man without a knowledge of God will never come to this knowledge without God’s making him alive through Christ (Ephesians 2:1-5).

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          • I get that but Paul repeatedly opines that “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin , so that in him we might be the righteous of God. ” Cor 5:21 and other verses. So God predestines us to be depraved (the more the better says Paul so God may show His boundless mercy) so we need Christ to be redeemed. Paul also relates that if people were good they would have no need for Christ and no need to be redeemed. In Romans 11: 31,32 Paul says “so they have now been disobedient in order that by the mercy shown to you they may also receive mercy. For God has consigned all men to disobedience, that he may have mercy on all .

            All men consigned to disobedience ? Seems God has really rigged the system against humankind. I was made depraved so I need the Holy Spirit. If I was made depraved I should not be condemned on found sinful. Besides, I did not eat any of that apple.

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          • No Carl, you did not eat the apple, nor did I, or anyone else since Adam.

            We were all made depraved and in need of a savior, that is certain based on what the Bible teaches.

            That the system is rigged is a common argument I hear all the time and I can actually sympathize who people who use it because, with human understanding, it doesn’t make sense. But, that is where the sovereignty of God comes in. It’s God’s system, God is righteous and just, so the system must be fair, it can be nothing but.

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      • I always knew that reality i thought i was alone

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  4. Yes, it is God’s system. You have given the stock answer. God so says to Job and Paul teaches this doctrine as Calvin as well. Yes, God’s kingdom is not a democracy and we do not get to debate God in Parliament about policies. The use of our word “fair” is not part of the conversation. Ultimately there is no questioning it. Seems our contract(covenant) with God is not a two-way contract. It is on his terms alone.

    That being said and repeating that “God is righteous and just”(allegedly) I still have a problem from the OT that God is “righteous and just” when He directs and assists the Israelites to go around “slayingth and butcheringth all their enemyths” and then Paul admonishes the Jews that the Messiah is not their sole possession, that God reaches and invites Gentiles and Greeks into His kingdom through Christ as ALL are His children and that circumcision and keeping the Law are no longer prerequisites or guarantees to righteousness (redemption/salvation). So if ALL are His children why does he murderth and slayeth all those non Israelth peoplesth? But once again we return to the loop re what Calvin calls God’s “inscrutable” will and I agree to leave it at that and withdraw my questions.

    I did earn my BA and MA in religious studies but that was over 4 decades ago. My learning is very weak in Bible study as my course focus selection was mostly on history and development of the church, psych, soc, and phil and rarely attended church in those decades. Left Miami after 60 years and am now in Greensboro, North Carolina and returned to my roots by attending Faith Presbyterian Church. I wrote my paper on the Massachusetts Puritans of the 1630’s – 40’s and the doctrinal differences that created Presbyterian vs Congregational thinking in doctrine which was surprisingly amicable.

    For the past year I have committed to studying our Bible and to hand write our New Testament. I have written Mathew, Mark, Luke, John, Acts, Romans, I Corinthians and will finish II Corinthians by this Friday. I have learned and relearned so much. I have read Eusibius too and have developed such love and admiration for our First and Second Century Christians brothers and sisters and a profound respect for Paul. Regards…

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  5. God did not make humans as insects. We are not specialists in one thing.

    ‘C’ pretends to be the insect, and while there are no doubt truths to be found, there are others blatantly missing, and in this, the ‘C’ doctrine is ultimately weak. Sorry, this is how I see it.

    Example? Sure. Where is the doctrine of Calvinism do you find the distinct place of the believer being related to a rejected Head that is impossible and foreign to any place Israel could and would have?

    Where do we read of the head and not the tail of Israel’s future? Where do we read of this mystery called the body? Nowhere in this tulip thing, and this is the shortcoming of any dogma that leaves out others. We end up with bulls and lectures. Salvation is far too reaching and large than to explain God’s mind and purpose in a clever flower.

    My two cents.

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