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 Post subject: Calvinism and Predestination
PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2018 8:50 pm 
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I’m willing to accept the argument that Calvin didn’t believe in double predestination. That said, why did/do so many people of his day and afterward think that he did?

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 Post subject: Re: Calvinism and Predestination
PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2018 8:52 pm 
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HalJordan wrote:
I’m willing to accept the argument that Calvin didn’t believe in double predestination. That said, why did/do so many people of his day and afterward think that he did?


Because they believe in it, and it's better to say "John Calvin believed it" than I made it up.

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 Post subject: Re: Calvinism and Predestination
PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2018 5:46 am 
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John Calvin discusses it in The Institutes, Book 3, Chapters 21-24. It’s been a long time since I read this section and I don’t have ready access to my copy right now, but I’m pretty sure that your answer is in those chapters.

http://www.ccel.org/ccel/calvin/institutes.v.html

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 Post subject: Re: Calvinism and Predestination
PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2018 8:58 am 
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Historically, the answer is that Theodore Beza who succeeded Calvin in Geneva held to double predestination and had a major impact on the development on what we call Calvinism.

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 Post subject: Re: Calvinism and Predestination
PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2018 3:31 pm 
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I was figuring there was a separate figure who made it the hip and happening thing to believe. That makes sense.

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 Post subject: Re: Calvinism and Predestination
PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2018 4:14 pm 
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Most people, even most educated people, don't even know what 'Calvinism' is, and tend to think that the sole, or at least, the most important, doctrine Calvin ever taught, was a strict theory of predestination, and when they say 'Calvinism;' 99% or more of people think that this is exactly what it means.

In point, predestination was not an important idea in Calvin's theology, he does address the issue, yes, but he doesn't put any more stress on it than did St. Thomas or Augustine before him. Calvin himself talked about predestination only because other people did and he was responding to them.

In point of actual fact, predestination did not really become an important issue during Calvin's lifetime, it was only a century later, during the Arminian controversy, that it became important.

Unfortunately, even knowledgeable historians and theologians have great difficulty discussing predestination, let alone the whole Arminian controversy without resorting to caricature, exaggeration and straw men.

I mean, how many people understand, I mean really understand, that so-called 'Calvinism' and so-called 'Arminianism' are NOT opposites, but that there are really only very minor differences between the two and that they are really just two minor variations on the same general idea? Arminius WAS a Calvinist, and he actually appealed to the writings of John Calvin to make his points. Arminius had no problem with Calvin, it was Calvin's strict, rigid interpreters in his own era, that he had an issue with.

So-called 'Arminians' would be better called ' 3point Calvinists' because they accept all of Calvin's system except for the doctrine of limited atonement and the preservation of the saints. They believe it is possible for one to lose one's salvation through sin or apostasy. But those two points were not really held by Calvin at all, but by his 17th-century interpreters.

There is also, I think, the very important that the very term 'Calvinism' is itself a misnomer. Calvin was not an innovator, he himself was already following in a tradition that was known as 'the Reformed Catholic Church' and later simply 'Reformed Church' or 'Reformed Christianity', that existed before him. Calvin was actually following the tradition set forth by Zwingli, and he himself was followed by others including Beza, Martin Bucer, John Knox, BB Warfield, J Gresham Machen, and in our own time by men like Cornelius Van Till, RC Sproul, JI Packer, Alvin Plantinga, and Loraine Boettner (now I know Boettner gets a lot of grief around here due to his poorly researched book 'Roman Catholicism' but even though he knew nothing about Catholicism, nevertheless, he WAS indeed an expert on Reformed theology). There are very, very, very few people who are 'Calvinists' in the sense that they care only about Calvin and no other theologian.

So the term 'Calvinism' is misleading, much better is 'Reformed theology', Calvin is a very influential voice, but he is far from the ONLY voice.

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 Post subject: Re: Calvinism and Predestination
PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2018 5:42 pm 
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To the OP, in light of Doom's comments above, the difference in Calvinism and Reformed Theology has little to do with Calvin himself. The fact is there are a great many Calvinists who are very far from following Reformed Theology. (John MacArthur is one immediate and obvious example.)

"Calvinism," as the term is used today, refers to those people who adhere more or less to the five points of the TULIP.

Reformed Theology, also called Covenant Theology, refers to the broader tradition that certainly includes (more or less) the five points of Calvinism and might be understood as Evangelical Augustianism (I'm making that term up to communicate to you what the idea is). RT tends to hold to the three solas while also preserving a more Catholic eschatology (so it's amillennial) while usually holding to a more presbyterian styled ecclesiology.

These "extras" are why you can't equate Calvinism with RT, because there are more than a few dispensational Calvinists who would therefore be absolutely anything but Reformed.

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 Post subject: Re: Calvinism and Predestination
PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2018 3:40 pm 
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HalJordan wrote:
I’m willing to accept the argument that Calvin didn’t believe in double predestination. That said, why did/do so many people of his day and afterward think that he did?

I know what predestination is but what the devil is

double predestination.


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 Post subject: Re: Calvinism and Predestination
PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2018 12:41 am 
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flyingaway wrote:
HalJordan wrote:
I’m willing to accept the argument that Calvin didn’t believe in double predestination. That said, why did/do so many people of his day and afterward think that he did?

I know what predestination is but what the devil is

double predestination.

The idea that God predestined 1) certain individuals to be elected unto salvation and 2) certain individuals to be elected unto damnation.

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Indeed, the Lord Jesus, when He prayed to the Father, "that all may be one. . . as we are one" (John 17:21-22) opened up vistas closed to human reason, for He implied a certain likeness between the union of the divine Persons, and the unity of God's sons in truth and charity. This likeness reveals that man, who is the only creature on earth which God willed for itself, cannot fully find himself except through a sincere gift of himself. ~ Pope Paul VI, Gaudium et Spes 24.3


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 Post subject: Re: Calvinism and Predestination
PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2018 9:21 am 
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theJack wrote:
flyingaway wrote:
HalJordan wrote:
I’m willing to accept the argument that Calvin didn’t believe in double predestination. That said, why did/do so many people of his day and afterward think that he did?

I know what predestination is but what the devil is

double predestination.

The idea that God predestined 1) certain individuals to be elected unto salvation and 2) certain individuals to be elected unto damnation.


Just to be clear about this, when Catholics (and some others) use predestination, we mean explicitly predestination to glory. Double predestination is a term that is used by its critics to distinguish it from predestination properly so-called.

ETA: This post is an addendum to the preceding post, not a criticism.

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 Post subject: Re: Calvinism and Predestination
PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2018 10:49 am 
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theJack wrote:
The idea that God predestined 1) certain individuals to be elected unto salvation and 2) certain individuals to be elected unto damnation.


And it also a position which no serious theologian has ever held, although I suppose it is possible that over the years, a handful of loonies might have held it. After all, Poe's Law is still true. Nevertheless, the idea that God creates certain people for the sole purpose of sending them to hell has never been a position that has been seriously maintained by any respectable theologian, for the obvious reason that it makes God out to be incredibly cruel and malicious and due to the practical difficulty which would be faced by every believer of never knowing whether or not he is himself among those who are predestined to hell.

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 Post subject: Re: Calvinism and Predestination
PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2018 1:17 pm 
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Quote:
The idea that God predestined 1) certain individuals to be elected unto salvation and 2) certain individuals to be elected unto damnation.

dumbest heresy ever


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 Post subject: Re: Calvinism and Predestination
PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2018 1:19 pm 
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Doom wrote:
theJack wrote:
The idea that God predestined 1) certain individuals to be elected unto salvation and 2) certain individuals to be elected unto damnation.


And it also a position which no serious theologian has ever held, although I suppose it is possible that over the years, a handful of loonies might have held it. After all, Poe's Law is still true. Nevertheless, the idea that God creates certain people for the sole purpose of sending them to hell has never been a position that has been seriously maintained by any respectable theologian, for the obvious reason that it makes God out to be incredibly cruel and malicious and due to the practical difficulty which would be faced by every believer of never knowing whether or not he is himself among those who are predestined to hell.

not only that but what would be the point of Jesus coming to Earth and being crucified to save us from sin (pay the price of sin that no human could pay) when it is all predestined anyway?

a very STUPID heresy

well, I guess you could say things were/are predestined AFTER Jesus did that.. but still stupid as all get-out.


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 Post subject: Re: Calvinism and Predestination
PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2018 1:21 pm 
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But predestination, properly understood, is a Catholoc doctrine.

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 Post subject: Re: Calvinism and Predestination
PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2018 3:55 pm 
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flyingaway wrote:
Quote:
The idea that God predestined 1) certain individuals to be elected unto salvation and 2) certain individuals to be elected unto damnation.

dumbest heresy ever

It is far from dumb, much less the dumbest ever. It is a very short and easy step f dry on Augustine's views to double predestination, so much so that it had to be explicitly addressed in the 5th century. Not being stupid doesn't make it right, of course. But it is a sincere attempt to take seriously the sovereignty and impassibility of God. In fact, it takes a good bit of very wise and careful examination to avoid the heresy in question.

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 Post subject: Re: Calvinism and Predestination
PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2018 4:11 pm 
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<waveshands>free will</waveshand>
#thatwaseasy

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 Post subject: Re: Calvinism and Predestination
PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2018 4:40 pm 
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Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
<waveshands>free will</waveshand>
#thatwaseasy


But it is extremely difficult to reconcile human free will with divine omnipotence.

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 Post subject: Re: Calvinism and Predestination
PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2018 4:42 pm 
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I was being sarcastic. Most people think that saying "free will" solves all the problems, which of course it doesn't.

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 Post subject: Re: Calvinism and Predestination
PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2018 5:08 pm 
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flyingaway wrote:

not only that but what would be the point of Jesus coming to Earth and being crucified to save us from sin (pay the price of sin that no human could pay) when it is all predestined anyway?

a very STUPID heresy

well, I guess you could say things were/are predestined AFTER Jesus did that.. but still stupid as all get-out.



You seem unaware that the Catholic Church teaches a kind of 'double predestination lite' in saying that some are predestined to glory, but that while others are not quite predestined to hell, but nevertheless, that God allows the reprobate (that's the term for the people who go to hell) to remain in their sins, that he could save them but chooses not to. Indeed, this is pretty much what Calvin meant in all the passages where his critics accuse him of teaching that God predestines some to go to hell.

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 Post subject: Re: Calvinism and Predestination
PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2018 8:10 am 
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So pretty much the "double lite" absolves God of any "wrong doing", but most of humanity is still screwed from birth...

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