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• 9/20/2013

Calvinism vs Arminianism

Recently I have been studying the issue of Calvinism vs Arminian soteriology. I've talked privately to a lot of users on here, but I would like to start a public discussion on this topic, since it is an important one— and one that I have not looked into enough in the past. So, this first forum is to see who's interested in partaking in such a discussion. Anyone?

EDIT: To see if you are an Arminian, go here.

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Drew1200
CptSteveRogers
Danielboone6702
Obi the LEGO Fan
LEGOSuperDKong
Nxtstep101
Legoboyvdlp
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0
• 11/27/2013

Obi the LEGO Fan wrote: I know the context of the verse—I just read the two first chapters. It does not say, in context, that Jesus is the grace of God being referred to. Jesus is not an "it". The verse refers to grace, not to a person. The Greek word is an abstract noun, referring to a concept, not a concrete noun referring to a person or thing. Paul explains that this is an enabling grace; not only does it bring salvation, it enables us live godly lives. Prevenient means "coming before", and grace that brings salvation is by definition prevenient grace. So it is mentioned, as I said. I'm not taking anything out of context. Paul is making universal statements about certain truths as an explanation for his commands. If you read it in full context, Paul had earlier stated that the Cretans (to whom these commands are to be given) are "detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good". So the verse I quoted is the beginning of an explanation of how such people can still turn to God and obey Him. As such, I was taking it in full context, unlike you, who seem to have read it with the purpose of refuting me. :P That's why it's important to read the whole book.

I have read the whole book. Several times, actually. And you are still taking the verse out of context. TS The book was written to Titus regarding how to direct the believers in their lives and ministry. It was not written to all Cretans. The section this verse is found in concerns how believers in Crete are supposed to behave. Note that it starts with "But as for you (Titus)," separating it from the previous section which was discussing the nature of the general Cretan people. The passage then proceeds to address certain specific groups of believers. Now, I am wondering, where does the verse say exactly that the grace of God which appeared is necessarily an enabling grace? It says it brings salvation. This could be the appearance of Christ, even, if not Christ Himself or the Holy Spirit. The very next verse continues the sentence: "instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously, and godly in the present age." Does prevenient grace, as you define it, instruct us to live sensibly and righteously? Because if the passage is referring to prevenient grace, then that is what the text is saying.

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• 11/27/2013

The point isn't whether you've read the whole book in the past. I've read it many times as well. I wonder why you feel the need to say certain things about the text that are clear. You sound like you're trying to inform me, and use this information as proof that I took the verse out of context, when I already know what you are saying, and it doesn't prove your point. I did not say that the book was written to all Cretans, I said those commands were to be given to the Cretans (meaning by Titus). You're not actually addressing my point—you're just making assertions (some of which are obvious) and not connecting them to my point, except to vaguely accuse me of taking the verse out of context, which is a false claim. To take a verse out of context means to look at it and interpret it in isolation from the context—the surrounding sentences, paragraphs, chapters, etc. I have not done this. I was merely reading the book, and noticed that this verse said God's grace is given to all men. That is what it says in plain English, and the context enforces the point, and doesn't change it. I considered it in full context, and did not make an isolated interpretation of the verse. I wasn't trying to research verses to prove anything with regards to Arminianism; in fact, I wasn't event thinking about that at all until I read the verse itself. It is clearly a false claim that you are making, and you have provided zero support for your claim.

When I said "enabling grace" I meant that the grace makes us able to accept salvation and live godly lives. That's what the verse says, so I'm not sure what you're confused about on that point. Bringing salvation is making us able to attain salvation, which is enabling...it also makes it clear that God's grace is what enables us to live godly lives:

(12) It teaches us to say "No" to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, "

Titus 2:12 (NIV84)

Without the grace of God, we couldn't be saved, nor could we be righteous. That's what I mean by enabling. Now, you say, "that could be Christ", but you completely ignore my argument against that. The Greek word refers to a concept, to an abstract concept, and is means grace. I do not understand why you think grace, which Paul refers to as an "it", not a "he", could be Jesus or the Holy Spirit. Grace is defined by the dictionary as "the free and unmerited favor of God". Jesus Christ dying for us was an effect of God's grace, which is a far cry from saying that Jesus is God's grace, unless you were to talk metaphorically.

This passage refers broadly to God's grace, which is not confined to prevenient grace. I did not claim, nor do I mean, that it is referring only to prevenient grace. I intended to say that prevenient grace is one of the types of grace included in the large category of "the grace of God". Prevenient grace is a subcategory of grace that refers the the grace that precedes salvation. I would say that the type of grace that teaches us to live upright, godly lives is the grace that comes after salvation. They are both merely different subcategories of the same, overarching concept—the grace of God.

So, do you really think that there is no grace that precedes salvation?

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• 11/28/2013

Obi the LEGO Fan wrote: The point isn't whether you've read the whole book in the past. I've read it many times as well. I wonder why you feel the need to say certain things about the text that are clear. You sound like you're trying to inform me, and use this information as proof that I took the verse out of context, when I already know what you are saying, and it doesn't prove your point. I did not say that the book was written to all Cretans, I said those commands were to be given to the Cretans (meaning by Titus). You're not actually addressing my point—you're just making assertions (some of which are obvious) and not connecting them to my point, except to vaguely accuse me of taking the verse out of context, which is a false claim. To take a verse out of context means to look at it and interpret it in isolation from the context—the surrounding sentences, paragraphs, chapters, etc. I have not done this. I was merely reading the book, and noticed that this verse said God's grace is given to all men. That is what it says in plain English, and the context enforces the point, and doesn't change it. I considered it in full context, and did not make an isolated interpretation of the verse. I wasn't trying to research verses to prove anything with regards to Arminianism; in fact, I wasn't event thinking about that at all until I read the verse itself. It is clearly a false claim that you are making, and you have provided zero support for your claim.

When I said "enabling grace" I meant that the grace makes us able to accept salvation and live godly lives. That's what the verse says, so I'm not sure what you're confused about on that point. Bringing salvation is making us able to attain salvation, which is enabling...it also makes it clear that God's grace is what enables us to live godly lives:

(12) It teaches us to say "No" to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, "

Titus 2:12 (NIV84)

Without the grace of God, we couldn't be saved, nor could we be righteous. That's what I mean by enabling. Now, you say, "that could be Christ", but you completely ignore my argument against that. The Greek word refers to a concept, to an abstract concept, and is means grace. I do not understand why you think grace, which Paul refers to as an "it", not a "he", could be Jesus or the Holy Spirit. Grace is defined by the dictionary as "the free and unmerited favor of God". Jesus Christ dying for us was an effect of God's grace, which is a far cry from saying that Jesus is God's grace, unless you were to talk metaphorically.

This passage refers broadly to God's grace, which is not confined to prevenient grace. I did not claim, nor do I mean, that it is referring only to prevenient grace. I intended to say that prevenient grace is one of the types of grace included in the large category of "the grace of God". Prevenient grace is a subcategory of grace that refers the the grace that precedes salvation. I would say that the type of grace that teaches us to live upright, godly lives is the grace that comes after salvation. They are both merely different subcategories of the same, overarching concept—the grace of God.

So, do you really think that there is no grace that precedes salvation?

ach, this'll take a while to read through. TS I believe there is grace that precedes salvation, that's a big Calvinist point (what with the total depravity and all). We often have to defend it from the semi-Pelagians who consider themselves Arminians. TSBut I don't believe it is given to all people. Since God's grace is practically irresistible, if grace was given to all all would be saved. Know you disagree with that, though. xD

Read through your post later and respond, I guess.

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• 11/28/2013

Right, so we're back to unlimited vs limited atonement and resistable vs irresistable grace. The verse clearly says that the grace of God comes to all people, though, which is why I brought it up. And it's the same Greek word as the "all" in "all have sinned", so there is no consistent way around it.

Oh, and what do you mean by "practically irresistible"?

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• 2/27/2014

Obi, I just went back and read that link you posted at the start of this topic. There is some majorly questionable ethics involved in that. They definitely seem to be exaggerating the beliefs of Arminians, and ignoring a large portion of the beliefs of a Calvinist. Certainly you've seen throughout this topic that a person can believe in most of the things listed in that link, yet still be a Calvinist. Even if you disagree with our logic, I couldn't imagine you would be supportive of that article.

Sorry for the rant, I was just really surprised when I clicked the link.

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• 2/27/2014

Also, I found a verse that I believe supports predestination :

Ephesians 1:4-5 (ESV): "even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will,"

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• 2/27/2014

There are several verses that imply the same thing, but that is definitely one of the most blunt ones I've ever heard. TS

I'm glad you shared that, DB. Smile.png

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• 2/27/2014

Yeah, DB, that is a great one. Smile.png Now for some debating. TS Drew, you bring up some very good points. I hope that we can see eye to eye in this debate. TS As far as your comment back to mine on Obi's wall, you'll have to go there to see my response.

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• 2/27/2014

More verses like DB's. (NIV)

Deuteronomy 7


6 For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. The Lord your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession.'7 The Lord did not set his affection on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples. 

Romans 6 

33 Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and[i] knowledge of God!    How unsearchable his judgments,    and his paths beyond tracing out!34 “Who has known the mind of the Lord?    Or who has been his counselor?”35 “Who has ever given to God,    that God should repay them?”36 For from him and through him and for him are all things.    To him be the glory forever! Amen.    

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• 2/28/2014

I don't mind debating this again, let's just not use this topic. It takes about 10 minutes to load. TS

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