Help With Some Posts

I want to do a series of posts that deal with specific Calvinist proof texts.  I have already done this in many other posts but want to organize it into an exegetical series.  I would like to get some suggestions from anyone who has questions on certain texts that supposedly support Calvinism so I can include them in my series.  No need to mention Ephesians 1:4, John 6:37, 44, or Romans 9.  Those are the most obvious.  But any others would be helpful.  Feel free to make a suggestion whether you are Arminian, Calvinist, or consider yourself something else.  Please leave any relevant comments about the references as well, like how Calvinists typically use the passage or what the claim is about it that supposedly supports Calvinism.   Maybe I can focus on one a week or something like that (assuming I have the time to get them done that fast).  I thank you in advance for your input.

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27 Responses

  1. I would like to see an arminian view on 2 timothy 2:10 I don’t have one my self I’m still trying to understand it, but I’ve seen it used as a Calvinistic “proof text”

  2. James White has said that “the thing about Arminians is that they can’t go from the beginning of John 6 to the end.” I would like you, Ben, to do a thorough exegesis of John 6 from the very beginning to the very end, and add some light on this subject historically, grammatically and biblically.

  3. One that I see pop up quite a bit is Acts 13:48 — “And when the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord, and as many as were appointed to eternal life believed.”

  4. We have a Calvinist teacher in our church who has been emphasising again and again in recent months the teaching of irresistible grace based on Ps 110:3 – “Your people will volunteer freely in the day of Your power”. He connects that directly to three instances in the NT where he points out that repentance is “clearly” said to be granted/given by God (Acts 5:31; Acts 11:18; 2 Timothy 2:25). I’d enjoy reading your thoughts on this.

  5. B.P. Burnett,

    I intend to do that. I think James White is the one that has a hard time going from “beginning to end.”

    God Bless,
    Ben

  6. David,

    That’s a new one on me. Seems like someone has to read quite a lot into that passage to make it a “prooftext”. I will have to look at the Acts references, but I have already addressed 2 Timothy 2:25 (https://arminianperspectives.wordpress.com/2011/06/06/qa-on-2-timothy-225-26/)

  7. Taranwanderer,

    Here is a good post on that passage to get you started: https://arminianperspectives.wordpress.com/category/acts-1348/

  8. Aaron,

    I will be happy to address that one in the series.

  9. B.P.
    James White would have a difficult time effectively dealing with a good counterpoint to his argument on John 6. SEA has one of the best articles I have read on this very topic.

    http://evangelicalarminians.org/files/Hamilton.%20The%20Order%20of%20Faith%20and%20Election%20in%20John's%20Gospel..pdf

  10. Have you ever done John 10? In relation to the assertion that Christ laid down his life for only the sheep. “I lay down my life for the sheep…you do not believe because you are not my sheep.”

  11. The simplest reply is to point out that Christ didn’t say he laid down His life for “only” His sheep. It would be like saying Christ died ONLY for Paul because Paul wrote that Christ died for him.

  12. Here is a verse that I would like you to address:

    “But in the cities of these peoples that the LORD your God is giving you for an inheritance, you shall save alive nothing that breathes, but you shall devote them to complete destruction, the Hittites and the Amorites, the Canaanites and the Perizzites, the Hivites and the Jebusites, as the LORD your God has commanded, that they may not teach you to do according to all their abominable practices that they have done for their gods, and so you sin against the LORD your God.” Deut. 20:16-18 ESV

    The Calvinist would use this verse to argue against the universal love of God for all people. Since Arminians typically use verses like John 3:16 to promote God’s love for all men without exception, how does that square with God devoting these people to complete destruction, women and children included? Did Christ die for these people?

  13. I am not sure if this would go along with what you are looking for, however, I would like to see something on “Replacement Theology” as Calvinist often use the Abrahamic covenant as a proof of unconditional nature of God’s covenant, with Abraham, Israel, and the Church.

  14. The best books I know about it are: The Other Side of Calvinism and The Dark Side of Calvinism. There are very good stuff about Calvinistic proof texts inside these two books.
    Also, a philosophical approach against Calvinism will be useful.

    In my Brazilian Portuguese blog, I am doing something similar. In fakt, I am writing a systematic refutation of a TULIP calvinism. Here I have some verses about every petal:

    Total Depravity (Gn 2:17; Gn 3:6-8; Gn 6:5; Ef 2:1-3; Rm 3:23; Rm 5:12; Jr 17:9; Tt 1:15; Rm 3:10-18; At 17:26; Rm 5:15-19; 1 Cor 15:21,22,45,49; Sl 51:5; Jo 3:6)

    Unconditional Election (Ef 1:4,9,11; Rm 8:30; 2 Tm 1:9; Rm 9:11-16; Ef 1:19 e 2:8-10; 1 Pe 1:2; 2 Ts 2:13; 1 Ts 5:9,10; Tt 2:14; Ef 1:5; Jo 6:64-65; 17:9; Rm 8:28; 1 Jo 2:19, 1 Pe 2:9)

    Limited Atonement (Mt 11:25-26; Rm 9:17-23; 2 Tm 2:20; Jd 4; 1 Pe 2:8; Mt 13:13,14; 20:15,16; Pv 16:4; Jo 10:3,4; 14-16; 27-28; 13-18; 6:64-65; 17:9; 1 Jo 2:19; At 13:48)

    Iresistible Grace (2 Tm 1:9; Tt 3:4,5; Rm 9:11; 1 Cor 2:14; Rm 8:7-9; Ef 2:5; Jo 6:37; Ez 36:26,27; Jo 5:25)

    Perseverance of Saints (Fp 1:6; Jo 10:28,29; 1 Pe 1:5,9; 2 Tim 2:19; Jer 31:3; Jo 17:11,24; Hb 7:25; Lc 22:32; Rm 8:33,34,38,39; Jo 14:16,17; 1 Jo 2:27; 3:9; Jr 32:40; 2 Ts 2:13; 3:3; I Jo 2:19; Jo 10:28)

    Tankz in advance!

  15. Perhaps you could focus as a theme on proof texts that a Calvinist would consider more *directly* address the issue of personal and unconditional election. In other words, those that might seem less corporate in nature and more personally directed; and more specifically unto salvation rather than an election unto other purposes.

    “..who are chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood” 1 Pe. 1:1-2

    “..because God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation..” 2 Th. 2:13

    “..as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed” Ac. 13:48

    “For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ” 1 Th. 5:9

  16. Unless you’ve covered this already (I’ll spend some time looking around), I’d like to see the comparison of Arminian vs. Calvinist understandings of Revelations. It’s such a difficult text, I’m afraid I don’t have a specific verse to point you to, but I hear more discussion of Revelation among my Calvinist friends than I do among my Arminian friends.

  17. Acts 13:48 – “Appointed” or “Disposed … to salvation thingie. It always feels like we(Arminians) at first are doing scripture gymnastics with this 🙂 , well at first.

    …and the one with Lydia (opened her heart etc)

    thanks

  18. Erin,

    I don’t think you will find that there is a specific Arminian interpretation of Revelation. I know a few Arminians who approach the book entirely differently. I think many Arminians today tend to be dispensational and take a Futurist and very literal approach to Revelation, but that is not a result of Arminianism influencing that interp. or of that interp. being the Arminian view. My guess is that Arminius took a Historicist view of Revelation as did most Reformers. That view isn’t very popular today, but there are plenty of Christians that still hold to it. Steve Gregg has a good four view parallel commentary on Revelation that you may find interesting.

    God Bless,
    Ben

  19. Jay,

    Absolutely.

  20. Thanks to everyone for the great suggestions so far. Feel free to continue suggesting passages of interest. I hope to get started on some of these soon, probably starting with Rom. 9, Eph. 1, and John 6, and then going from there.

  21. I will look forward to your work on these passages. I will also take some of these passages and consider their salvific relevance. Here is a question that I have posted at my site that I would appreciate your comment on as well as any of your readers:

    I have a question: Is it possible for God in His sovereignty to create man with the responsibility of making choices that would not only determine the quality of his life but his eternal destiny as well? Almost everyone I know, Calvinist and non-Calvinist alike, agree that sanctification is synergistic. Could God have made the conversion process synergistic as well? I am not asking for a theological dissertation on the ramifications or the Scriptural basis for such a possibility, but rather the plausibility of the possibility that God COULD have created man with the responsibility of choosing his own eternal destiny?

    Please respond at http://www.bobhadley.com!

    Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving!

    Grateful to be in His Grip!

    ><>”

  22. Tim,

    Solid points. It amazes me that Calvinists do not realize that their claims severely limit the sovereignty of God by denying Him the freedom, ability, and right to create free will creatures, hold them accountable for their actions, and save them in a resistible and conditional manner. As far as your points on sanctification, you may like these posts:

    https://arminianperspectives.wordpress.com/2008/02/19/examining-inconsistencies-in-calvinistic-monergism-part-2-sanctification/

    https://arminianperspectives.wordpress.com/2009/01/06/synergism-as-a-model-for-gods-glory/

    https://arminianperspectives.wordpress.com/2009/10/19/sanctification-by-works/

    God Bless,
    Ben

  23. Hey Ben… add this to the Calvinist’s claim severely limiting the sovereignty of God… the contradictory nature of their position itself: consider the Westminster Confessions of 1647:

    God from all eternity, did, by the most wise and holy counsel of His own will, freely, and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass: yet so, as thereby neither is God the author of sin, nor is violence offered to the will of the creatures; nor is the liberty or contingency of second causes taken away, but rather established.

    The the Westminster Confession’s reference to sin in the phrase, “God is not the author of sin.” Sin is a willful act or a sinful event in an individual’s life. If “God ordains whatever events come to pass,” then it only stands to reason “He ordains the sinful events that come to pass.”

    What the Confession does is makes two separate and independent statements that are actually contrary to one another but by changing the wording a little, the two have been allowed to stand. When one or the other is challenged, they go to the first statement of the last statement to defend their position in any debate. It is like calling “Heads I win and tails you lose.” Either one works until someone catches on and challenges your terms and then the game is really over.

    I really believe this whole business of seeing things in a Calvinist/Arminian setting is unfortunate and inaccurate and by forcing our discussion to be formed and fitted within the framework of either is an excercise in futility that has taken our eyes off the ball so to speak.

    Say hello to Conversionism and Transformed Theology!!! LOL.

    Just posted a new article on Choosing God or Good… let me know what you think! I appreciate the opporunity to be able to come in and participate in the conversation!

    ><>”

  24. Hey! Look at this piece of scriptural listing! This is just all you have searching!

    http://www.oocities.org/theonomistic/tulip.html

  25. I know the Calvinist love to use Romans 9 about the word “Hate”. I suggest they look at Luke 14 26, and let me know if Jesus wants me to hate my parents, wife, children, Brothers and Sisters too.

  26. How about Philippians 1:29; II Timothy 2:25; Ephesians 2:8-9 (where they say that saving faith is a gift from God and that faith does not come from within the believer)

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