Does the doctrine of election reduce God to a grand puppeteer instead of the loving Father and benevolent King He truly is? Or, was John Calvin really on to something? If Calvin was right, why bother evangelizing?

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What his personal beliefs are, are irrelevant...

 

 Open Theism is specifically opposed to the notion that God predestines the choices made by human beings. Boyd's personal beliefs are certainly relevant to how he reads the scriptures regarding election. 

 

And you are a Calvinist there is no wonder you appear contrary to this line of thinking, as I said earlier, your issue as was Calvin’s was the concept of free will. In order to explain it away Calvin reasoned that man was totally corrupt and that there was nothing of value in man, that man is so corrupt that he would not choose God even if he wanted to. The problem with this line of thinking is simple. If that is true then why would God tell people to make a choice for Him, when man is unable to choose God? Why make the statement “choose ye this day whom you will serve”? Why say that if man is unable to make the choice. Not only this but if man does not have free will, why put Adam in a garden with orders to not do a thing if Adam had the right to choose. Keep in mind, in the garden man was not corrupted until AFTER the fall. So what your theorem states when brought full circle is that God purposely put man in a place to fall intentionally.  But see that line of thinking is contradicted by what James wrote when he said that God does not do that….

 

To quote him: "open theism" is an inappropriate term since the position posits more about the nature of time and reality than it does about God itself. This is to say that open theists do not believe that God does not know the future, (You of course realize that this statement shows that you have no clue as to what open theism is based on your statement earlier, and that any statement you might make regarding it, without first having done proper research into what Gregory Boyd has said, written about the statement makes you look awfully silly...

 

 

I asked "Do you agree with him that the future doesn't exist yet, so an omniscient God can only know of possibilities, and not future events?"

I understand Boyd’s theorem to mean that while the future is not set, that God knows all that could possibly happen and as a result is keenly aware of the outcome of whatever choices are made.

 

This may be an abbreviation of Boyd's thinking, but it doesn't do any violence to Open Theism's teaching about the future. Here's what Dr. Boyd wrote in the preface to God of the Possible:

 

I wanted to resolve for myself whether or not the Bible taught that God always knows what is going to happen an eternity before it happens. In the course of this prolonged study, I combed through the entire Bible. I carefully noted every passage that seemed to support the view that the future is exhaustively settled in the mind of God as well as every passage, such as 2 Kings 20, that seemed to suggest the future is to some extent open and that God does not know every detail about what will come to pass. I then pondered the various ways the two sets of passages might be reconciled into a coherent theological perspective.

 

About three years later, I became convinced that the customary view—that the future is exhaustively settled and that God knows it as such—was mistaken.

 

Once again, it would appear that you are either regurgitating something that you read apart from the text because that is not something that supports the quote that I cited from Greg.

 

Dr. Boyd here implies, and later in the book flatly states, that the future is not settled (p. 16) and that God cannot know as certainty the actions of free-willed people in the future (p. 120). I think my question was a decent distillation of his thought. Not that I'm afraid of looking silly. I don't have encyclopedic knowledge of all topics I've ever posted on... from what I've read, neither do you.

 

 

The thing you failed to note in what you just posted is the FACT that Boyd has stated that open theism DOES NOT in fact state that God does not know, it does not attack God’s omniscience… It would do you well to read beyond the points you read from other sites and reviews. Have you in fact the read the book you cite, or are you merely regugitating a review, and lifting points?

 

I'll continue to address the issue at hand, election, with Bishop Day, since you seem so offended by my contributions to the topic.

 

 

I am not offended by your contributions that sir would be silly, I am merely pointing out that some of your postings both here and in other threads that I have started where you have followed me  have not just a note of being contrary but some of the things you have said are not well thought out.  YOU brought up open theism, not I, What is even worse is that you present an argument, that is not directly related to the argument at hand, and then you present it poorly. I doubt very seriously that you have read the book that you cite, and frankly I believe you lifted your information from a different website in an attempt to make a point.  If you have not read for yourself how can you form an opinion, why would you allow yourself an opinion based on the opinion of someone else?  This is what is wrong with the church now, everyone relies on the preacher’s opinion and interpretation of scripture, and few actually search the scriptures for themselves to actually see for themselves, and challenge the preacher when necessary. By the way I never said I had encyclopedic recollection of anything, I am however well read, I credit my dad with that, he taught me to read when I was three, and cut me loose in his library. But do note, that even the things that I do not know, I do my homework,  I actually read for myself and disregard reviews until AFTER I have read for myself.  But I stand by my original statement: Calvin was far from someone I would want to follow theologically because of the things he did to people who did not agree with him, and for his other writings aside from his seriously flawed theorim, these are part of the historical record, they are not some musings of a theologian. I believe and was taught the in order to be hermanutically correct one has to examine scriptures in many ways, one method that often gets lost in the shuffle is the historical . It often makes the difference between what is an eternal truth versus a cultural definition.

Not dodging you, brother, but I had bigger fish to fry. The enemy sent a hailstorm that caused extensive damage to my home and vehicles. But, Glory to God, my family is safe; God's hedge about us has persevered yet again!

 

Okay, let's back it up a bit. Let's look first at John 3:16


"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him shall not perish but have everlasting life."


It does not say that God so loved the elect, it says "the world."


Pretty inclusive, right?


The same scripture goes on to say "whosoever..."


Again, inclusive.


But wait, as the infomercials say, there's more...


The scripture adds to "whosoever," the word "believeth." This means there is a required component on the part of men. This implies free will. If God is a puppeteer, which is what Calvin reduces Him to, then the elect will believe explicitly.


As for Romans 9, God speaking to Moses was prior to the Old Covenant, which was prior to the New Covenant. God expanded His grace and mercy to all, not just the Hebrews.


Second, it is clear that God, under the New Covenant, does not simply impose His will upon anyone. Even Paul had a choice as to whether or not to submit to God on the road to Damascus.


Calvin's doctrint of election (not God's, by the way) is a bondage that has persisted in the Body of Christ for far too long. It is a yoke that needs to be destroyed that the entire Church may enter into the liberty that can only be found in Christ Jesus.

 

Hello, Bishop.

 

First of all, please know you never have to apologize for being delayed in responding in these discussions. Like all of us, you certainly have more important responsibilities away from this message board. I just appreciate whenever someone is willing to discuss theology in this space: do so as your time allows.

 

All right, let me dive in.

 

"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him shall not perish but have everlasting life."


It does not say that God so loved the elect, it says "the world."


Pretty inclusive, right?

 

God's love is inclusive. For example, He loves sinners--even those whom He will ultimately judge. 

 

The same scripture goes on to say "whosoever..."


Again, inclusive.

 

Moreso than I think you're acknowledging. The Greek word that comes into our English translations of this verse as "whosoever" isn't a pronoun, but instead the adjective πᾶς (pas), usually translated "every, any, all, whole..."

 

Matthew 3:3--But He answered and said, "It is written, 'MAN SHALL NOT LIVE ON BREAD ALONE, BUT ON EVERY (pas) WORD THAT PROCEEDS OUT OF THE MOUTH OF GOD.'"

 

Acts 2:7--They were amazed and astonished, saying, "Why, are not all (pas) these who are speaking Galileans?

 

Hebrews 4:12--For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any (pas) two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

 

James 2:10--For whoever keeps the whole (pas) law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all (pas).

 

Now, sometimes bible translators chose to use an indefinite pronoun to translate pas ("everyone, anything, all things, whatever...") to make the English clearer.   

 

Matthew 18:19--Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything (pas) they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.

 

Colossians 3:23--Whatever (pas) you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men

 

It was ostensibly for clarity that pas was translated "whosoever" in John 3:16, but this isn't the conditional use that we sometimes associate with that pronoun. The Greek pronoun that represents a conditional state is εἴ τις (ei tis). We see it in other places

 

2 Corinthians 5:17--Therefore if any man (ei tis) be in Christ, he is a new creature; old things passed away; behold, all things are become new.


James 1:5-- If any (ei tis) of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.

 

Revelation 20:15-- And whosoever (ei tis) was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.



A valid translation of the clause in John 3:16 would be "that all believing in him will not perish but have eternal life." And of course, need I say "all believing in him" would be the elect. 

 

The supporter and the opponent of the doctrine of election both turn to John 3:16, because both find there justification of their beliefs. To really address this question, we need to deal with the verses that seemingly illustrate election, and explain what they really mean if they don't mean that God elects some to believe. I've made this post too long already, but I would be glad to share some of those verses with you, if you are willing to explain why they do not support election. 

 

 

As for Romans 9, God speaking to Moses was prior to the Old Covenant, which was prior to the New Covenant. God expanded His grace and mercy to all, not just the Hebrews.

 

The doctrine of election asserts that He always intended to extend grace to others than the Jews... All that Romans 9 shows is that God has always operated by the principle of election... that He chooses those whom He chooses, without any consideration of theirs. They don't choose Him, He chooses them.

 

Second, it is clear that God, under the New Covenant, does not simply impose His will upon anyone. Even Paul had a choice as to whether or not to submit to God on the road to Damascus.

 

But look at the language Paul uses, Bishop. Paul says he was "called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ, through the will of God" [1 Cor. 1:1]; he says he "was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power" [Eph. 3:7]; he says "when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother's womb, and called me by his grace, to reveal his Son in me..." [Gal. 1:15,16a] speaking of his own conversion experience. Paul never uses our sloppy language like "when I made Jesus my choice"; he always describes his conversion as God's work in him, not his choice or act of faith.

Brother Joseph,

 

We can go back and forth on semantics and be, metaphorically, like a car stuck in the mud -- making a lot of noise and going nowhere. Therefore, I'll cut to the chase:

 

Are some people born to salvation while others are born to perdition? If that is the case, what is the point of evangelism or the new birth? Why have faith at all? Where's the incentive to live holy?

 

The doctrine of election is tantamount to a country club mentality -- "I'm so glad I'm going to heaven and the rest of y'all are going to hell" 

 

This is a flawed doctrine as it does not help anyone get either saved or discipled...

We should believe whatever scripture affirms.

 

If Paul writes that God "chose us in Him before the foundation of the world," and that "He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will,"  we should believe that is true.

 

If Peter writes that we are "elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ," we should believe that is true.

 

But that doesn't mean we have to believe all that the Calvinists say about election. Calvinists ignore many bible verses that argue against the unconditional view of election. A biblical understanding of election would take into account all of what scripture teaches about it.

 

I guess I was trying to goad you into making fuller appraisal. If you just say "election is a flawed doctrine," it begs the question from a bible-believer, "then why does scripture speak of it?"

So, you adhere to the premise that God is simply a puppeteer? That God doesn't want us to choose to love Him? That God orchestrated the original sin for some grand purpose?

 

I will admit this, that I do not know God's plan but I do know His purpose (at least, as His Word reveals it): the redemption of His creation, restoring us into right fellowship with Him by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

 

The terms "election," and "predestination" are tough terms to reconcile. When I see God face-to-face, this will be one of the first things I ask Him about. 

 

My heart is for the winning of souls and discipling of believers. The Calvinist position has provisions for neither, as it simply trades the yoke of sin for the yoke of religion.

 

My question to you, then: do you participate in the evangelizing of the lost and the equipping of the saints? If so, why? If you believe some are born to salvation and others to perdition, what's the point?

 

That is the crux of my argument.

So, you adhere to the premise that God is simply a puppeteer? That God doesn't want us to choose to love Him? That God orchestrated the original sin for some grand purpose?

 

Bishop, I don't have to adhere to any of those notions because they aren't biblical.  

  1. Scripture says human beings have the ability to do good or evil, like Cain did [Gen 4:7]--they are not marionettes.
  2. Jesus said we're to "love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might" [Luke 10:27];
  3. Scripture attributes original sin to Adam alone [Rom. 5:12].

 

The terms "election," and "predestination" are tough terms to reconcile. When I see God face-to-face, this will be one of the first things I ask Him about. 

 

My heart is for the winning of souls and discipling of believers. The Calvinist position has provisions for neither, as it simply trades the yoke of sin for the yoke of religion.

 

My question to you, then: do you participate in the evangelizing of the lost and the equipping of the saints? If so, why? If you believe some are born to salvation and others to perdition, what's the point?

 

We have to believe scripture. I agree that election and predestination are difficult concepts for us to wrap our human intellects around. But they are scriptural, so I accept them as true. I don't try to make scripture say what it doesn't say. Scripture doesn't say I can take a holiday from sharing the gospel because of election.


Jesus has instructed all believers to share the gospel: it is the Great Commission to the church. God has decided that the means for bringing about the conversions of his elect is preaching. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? This is important. God may impart the faith to believe the gospel once it has been shared, but He doesn't just imprint knowledge of his plan of salvation into the hearts of men... He has ordained other believers to share that message. Like the example of Cornelius [Acts 10], even an angel is not fit to share the gospel... that is the sole responsibility of the church. 

 

I believe scripture, and endeavor to obey its commands. So I witness to unbelievers, and I support missions at home and abroad.

 

 

Brother Day

I can prove that you as well as everyone who has ever read the Bible believes in election even if you say that you do not!

God in his sovereignty called Abraham out of Ur, God in his sovereignty elected Israel out of all the nation of the earth at that time to be His chosen people. Is this not all now true?

 You see you can refuse to view it this way, yet it is not as a system that John Calvin created but that which God revealed in His Word.

Will all who post please be courteous enough to permit replies. It is unfair to anyone else viewing the forum to deprive them of the opportunity to respond to your comments. Thanks and God Bless!

Question for all you calvinists, did Adam and Eve choose to sin, or is God the architect of sin?

 

To Pastor Sweet, Abraham was called but he had to choose to go. Moses was called but he had to choose to go. Even Jesus, in His humanity, had to make a choice in the garden of Gesthemene to submit to His divine calling.

To Brother Gill, you said:

 

Jesus has instructed all believers to share the gospel: it is the Great Commission to the church. God has decided that the means for bringing about the conversions of his elect is preaching. How thenshall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shallthey believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall theyhear without a preacher?

 

If folks are predestined to salvation, they don't need to hear; they're going to heaven, anyway, right? Why would anyone who is predestined need to be converted?

 

Preaching is for the lost, not the "elect." This doctrine of election is tantamount to a "country-club" mentality which breeds a religious elitism.

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