Predestined to Salvation in Jesus Christ? Absolutely.
Debate Rounds (5)
This debate is focused on what the Bible says about predestination and election (They are very closely related to one another).
To give my opponent some understanding of my view on the subject matter, i can merely say i am a five point Calvinist; I believe in total depravity, unconditional election, limited atonement, irresistible grace, and perseverance of the saints.
I believe that God (Jesus) chooses to save some, and allows others to die in their sin.
I believe that one cannot choose God, rather God has chosen by His eternal decree those whom He will save.
I believe that God is perfect, loving, and just; God is exactly what the Bible says He is.
I believe the Bible is eternal, and transcendent; The Bible should be standard of truth when discussing this topic.
Now, after this being said, I will clearly state, "I am in full support of the doctrine of predestination."
To my respected opponent-
I would hope that if you take this argument you are a Bible believing Christian, and or one who does not believe in the God of the Bible and would present an argument based from the Bible. If an atheist would like to address this argument, i would like to suggest a slight shift from an argument of predestination, but rather an argument of philosophy. An example of a slight shift unto a philosophical argument may propose this question: How can an all loving God send people to hell? or, If God has predestined some to be saved, and the rest to eternal condemnation, is there any one point man can make self-willed decisions?
I am looking forward to an intellectual and beneficial debate. As stated before, i did not begin my argument, and i used my first round to set the premises for the debate. With the perimeters set, and my position shared, it would be appropriate for the opposing side to present their beginning argument(s).
I'll use my entry into the first round to define my position. I am not a Calvinist and dispute all five points, but this debate is focused mostly on Total Depravity, Unconditional Election, Limited Atonement, and Irresistible Grace.
I'll describe my take on all five here:
Total Depravity - Since Calvinists came up with the TULIP acronym, they were able to pick terms that on their face are hard to disagree with. The Bible is clear about the fallen state of man. However, Calvinists use this term to mean more than the doctrine that man is fallen and evil in nature. They go a step further and proclaim that they are so evil that they are incapable of choosing God instead of the flesh. Total depravity, as Calvinists think of it, precludes any meaningful notion of free will. I contend that man has known the difference between good and evil since Eden, and have been making choices ever since. The apostle Paul went around the Roman world preaching the gospel of salvation, some chose to listen and others chose not to. Men have free will, this includes to accept God or reject him. God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to eternal life. If man weren't granted free will, wouldn't God simply predestine everyone to salvation?
Unconditional Election - As I dispute the whole doctrine of predestination, its hard to deal with this point specifically. My understanding is that man has free will, and his salvation is contingent on his choice to accept Christ or not.
Limited Atonement - I believe that this is contrary the message of salvation. The atoning blood is available to all who believe, and there is no limit to its potential efficacy. While I can see where the other 4 points have some Biblical support, I cannot think of the Scriptural support for limits on the Atoning power of Jesus.
Irresistible Grace - It is my position that not only can man freely come to God, but that they can also reject him. Jesus stands at the door and knocks. He will come in with anyone who hears and opens, which is Biblically described as an "if." (Rev 3:20)
The last one isn't related to predestination. The perseverance of the saints means basically "once saved , always saved." I think that Matthew 12 and Hebrews 6 pose a serious challenge to this doctrine, but that's another debate.
I've now defined my position. I now welcome the "pro" to make his next argument and look forward to digging into this issue a little deeper.
You said the Bible is clear about the fallen state of man. I would agree. But, then you stated short after, "They go a step further and proclaim that they are so evil that they are incapable of choosing God instead of the flesh." You can say it is a "step further," but i would say it is an elaboration of their understanding of scripture.
Creating a case for total depravity-
Adam and Eve, seduced by the temptations of Satan, ate from the forbidden fruit of the tree in the middle of the garden (Gen. 3:2-7,13. 2Cor. 11:3). By their sin against God, they fell from their original righteousness and community with God and thereunto became dead in their sin (Gen. 3:6-8, Rom. 3:23, Gen. 2:17, Eph. 2:1, Col. 2:13). Romans 3:23 says that "all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God." Even within the same chapter, starting in verse 10-- "There is none righteous, not even one; there is none who understands, there is none who seeks for God; all have turned aside, together they have become useless; there is none who does good, there is not even one. Their throat is an empty grave, with their tongues they keep deceiving. . . Destruction and misery are in their paths. . . There is no fear of God before their eyes." In addition, Genesis 6:5 states, "Then the Lord saw that wickedness f man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually." Ephesians 2:1 quickly says, "And you were dead in your trespasses and sins," and verse 5-- "even when we were dead in our transgressions. . ." Within these two verses in Ephesians i would like to expand on some of the words and their meanings. The word "in" indicates the realm or sphere in which unregenerate sinners exist. They are not dead because of sinful acts that have been committed but because of their sinful nature (Mt 12:35; 15:18,19). Then the next word to emphasize is dead. Dead means to be not living; when one is dead they cannot feel, think, reason, touch, smell, hear, etc. Far more than anything else, a spiritually dead person needs to be made alive by God. We would both agree that Salvation brings spiritual life to the dead (Rom. 6:1-7). The power that raises believers out of death and makes them alive is the same power that energizes every aspect of Christian living (Rom. 6:11-13). In addition, Romans 9 specifically states in verse 16, "So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy." 'IT' --God's gracious choice of certain people unto eternal life (Rom. 8:29) 'WHO WILLS' --Salvation is not initiated by human choice, even faith is a gift of God (Rom. 1:16, John 6:37, Eph. 2:8,9). 'WHO RUNS' --Salvation is not merited by human effort (v11).
Everyone is born into sin (Psalm 51:5), and reinstated-- "all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Rom. 3:23)," there are none who do good and none who seek for God, all in the unregenerate state are dead in their transgressions, and the unregenerate are constrained by their sin making them unable to choose God.
Summary for first point--
Man was directly and immediately created by God in His image and likeness. Man was created free of sin with a rational nature, intelligence, volition, self-determination, and more responsibility to God. God's intention in the creation of man was that man should glorify God, enjoy God's fellowship, live his life in the will God, and by this accomplish God's purpose for man in the world. In Adam's sin of disobedience to the revealed will and Word of God, man lost his innocence, incurred the penalty of spiritual and physical death; became subjects to the wrath of God; and became inherently corrupt and utterly incapable of choosing or doing that which is acceptable to God apart from divine grace. With no recuperative powers to enable him to recover from himself, man is hopelessly lost. Man's salvation is thereby wholly of God's Grace through the redemptive work of our Lord Jesus Christ. Because all men were in Adam, a nature corrupted by Adam's sin has been transmitted to all men of all ages, Jesus Christ being the only exception. All men are thus sinners by nature, choice, and by divine eternal decree.
I would like to touch on this quotation briefly, "The apostle Paul went around the Roman world preaching the gospel of salvation, some chose to listen and others chose not to." --When this is said, i am compelled to ask if you recall Paul's trip to Damascus? If so, would you agree that he didn't have much of a choice to repent?
To answer your question, "If man weren't granted free will, wouldn't God simply predestine everyone to salvation?"
--Lets say that man was not granted free will pertaining to choosing God and putting our salvation in our own hands. If this was the case, would God not simply predestine everyone to salvation? The answer is no, and this is why --Man deserves death because of their sin. But, God rich in grace and mercy decided to send His Son to save some (His elect.) Romans 9 says Jacob i loved and Esau i hated. (please read Romans chapter 9 for an accurate context). God chose one for divine blessing (Jacob) and one he left to divine judgment (Esau). Historically and in the book of Obadiah, Esau's blood line was completely erased from this planet. No bones, bodies, structures.. nothing. This was determined even before they were born. Also Jude 4 states, "For certain persons have crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation, ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into. . ."
-Long beforehand-- Before the foundation of the world
-Marked out-- The Greek word Prografe (Pro-Groff-Aye) which translates pre-written.
Alright, well that is all i have for now. It is finals week for me at college, and i have to wake up early. If you have a rebuttal for this, awesome, i will get back to it as quickly as i can. After your rebuttal i will probably rebuttal once more, and then take the time to finish the other respected aspects of "TULIP" and how it is related to predestination and the sovereignty of God. I would also encourage you to at least read the majority of the scripture references i used. If you have the time, just don't read one verse from a chapter, but maybe read the whole chapter to get an accurate context. If you are wondering what version of the Bible i am using, i am using NASB. Please use a "subjective to majority normal" version of the Bible when quoting scripture. Examples: NIV, NASB, ESV, KJV, KJV2, NKJV, etc. Please avoid the message version, for i cannot take it serious.
thank you for reading, and i am looking forward to a probably rebuttal.
I also take issue with the notion that anyone was "with Adam." Sin entered the world because of Adam, and nearly all men have sinned since. It appears Enoch may be an exception, as well as Jesus Christ (who was born, and would have had the same predispositions as us). By arguing that we were all with Adam, I believe my opponent must contend that every dead baby or child goes straight to hell, perhaps accepting random ones or those that were descendents of the right people. God became angry with his nomadic people and barred entry into Canaan for 40 years, allowing the children who "have no knowledge of good and evil" (Deut 1) to enter the promised land. Here we see that God does not hold the children accountable for the actions of their parents. Ezekiel 18:30 reveals that God judges each according to their own merits. Here we see that God does not judge all men for the actions of Adam. Ezekiel 28:15 refutes Total Depravity in no uncertain terms: "You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created, till iniquity was found in you." Ecclesiastes 7 concludes with the observation that God made men (plural) upright, but that they fell into deviancy.
In response to my question about God predestining everybody, my opponent argues for an unjust, arbitrary God that unconditionally picks favorites and directly sends others to hell who had no option to make any choice. This is not philosophically or logically consistent with the Biblical picture of a just God: That all men are condemned because of their own sin, and that all men may accept the free gift of salvation.
The term "dead" in sin simply means that one is going to receive penalty for their sins. The grace of God, which is available to all men, allows for eternal life upon acceptance.
I spoke of Paul's travels and how he exhorts people to "be saved" (be is an action verb, his listeners are urged to do something). Of course the philosophy of Free Will does not preclude God from acting very strongly in certain cases, such as the road to Damascus. I would argue that Paul still hypothetically could have rejected even that strong encounter.
In short, I believe the Bible paints a picture of a God who (while allowing physical consequences of a sin to effect more than just the sinner) judges on individual merit. All men fall short on their own sin, not Adam's, and to all men God offers salvation.
On a final note, I think the NASB is one of the best, but my favorite remains the NKJV simply because I'm used to the KJV flow. The message is not a real translation, and the NLT takes a lot of liberties in translation as well. So, we are mostly in agreement about Bible versions. Obviously, knowing Hebrew and Koine Greek would be ideal (I have a good handle on Arabic and have had the opportunity to study Hebrew, which I continue to do – I don't know Greek from Klingon), but we were "predestined" and fore-ordained to be born knowing English, weren't we?
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1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Ragnar 3 years ago
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