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The Five Primary Points of Calvinist Theology Are Biblical

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/6/2012 Category: Religion
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,389 times Debate No: 27917
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (18)
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In this debate, my opponent and I will argue the Biblical accuracy of the five points of Calvinism, which are:

  1. Total Depravity

  2. Unconditional Election

  3. Limited Atonement

  4. Irresistible Grace

  5. Perseverance of the Saints

As Pro, it will be my job to prove that the five points are accurate. I am required to answer all of my opponents counter-arguments, which means they may not make new argument points in their last argument. That is reserved for simply attempting to disprove my points. To make up for this, my opponent may make one (1) initial argument in their acceptance speech, which I then must answer in my first true argument (round two).

The debate will proceed as follows:

Round 1:

Pro - Rules

Con - Acceptance + Initial (Positive) Argument

Round 2:

Pro - Counter to Initial Argument + Positive Arguments

Con - Counter to Positive Arguments + Cross-Examination

Round 3:

Pro - Answer Cross-Examination

Con - Positive Arguments

Round 4:

Pro - Counter to Positive Arguments + Cross-Examination

Con - Answer Cross-Examination

Round 5:

Pro - Final (Mixed) Arguments

Con - Counter to Final Arguments + Closing Remarks

Positive arguments should be used by debaters to build their case only, not to refute their opponent's arguments. Counter (Negative) arguments should be used only to refute the opponent's case, and not place new positive arguments. Cross-Examinations may be up to ten (10) questions long, and must be explicitly stated at the ends of the appropriate arguments. The opponent must explicitly answer these questions without posing any new arguments or questions. Questions may involve any topic, no matter how seemingly irrelevant they are.

Because we are debating whether or not something is Biblical, the Bible is the only valid source to be cited. The translation(s) that are deemed acceptable will be discussed before the debate begins.

My opponent needs to know what each point means before they enter the debate. There is o singular correct definition available, and so the points are to be used as a guideline. The "definitions" are up for debate, and should be compared to Biblical context, with discussion remaining within the general idea of each point.

An time a term is presented in an argument (grace, repentance, etc.) it must be defined by the person presenting the argument. Like with the definition of the points, these definitions are up for debate against Biblical context.

If you would like any clarification, please let me know BEFORE you accept the debate. Accepting the debate means you agree to comply to all listed rules. I look forward to seeing who my opponent will be, and how this debate will go.



I GLADLY except this debate. I know just about everything there is to know about Calvinist Theology as I have spent hours in community with die hard calvinists. Been wanting to destroy Calvinist Theology for years.
Debate Round No. 1


Thank you very much for accepting this debate.

1. Total Depravity:

Total depravity is the idea that man, because of the fall, has completely lost its ability to will spiritual good. While we can still do some good deeds, our motives are evil. This is because we have an evil heart. (Mark 7:21-23) Our hearts are also sick. (Jer. 17:9). Men are slaves of sin. (Rom. 6:20) We do not seek God. (Rom. 3:10-12). We cannot understand spiritual things. (1 Cor. 2:14). We are in opposition to God. (Eph. 2:15). We are children of wrath. (Eph. 2:3). Because we cannot seek God, He must choose us to be saved.

2. Unconditional Election:

God chooses certain individuals to save, not because of what they would freely choose, but because of His grace. Grace is being given something we don't deserve. Do not confuse grace with mercy, which is not being given what we deserve. It is God's will that some of us are "born again," not our own. (John 1:12-13) God grants that we believe. (Phil. 1:29) Faith is the work of God in one of His elect. (John 6:28-29) God appoints people to believe. (Acts 13:48) God predestines certain people. (Eph. 1:1-11; Rom. 8:29; 9:9-23)

3. Limited Atonement:

Jesus did not die for everyone, only those who are elect. While His death was sufficient to bring about the salvation of everyone, it will not effect everyone. Jesus died for many, not all. (Matt. 26:28) He died for His sheep, not the goats. (John 10:11, 15; Matt. 25:32-33) Jesus prayed for His people. (John 17:9) He paid the price for the Church, not all people. (Acts 20:28; Eph. 5:25-27) Jesus was prophesied to pay for the sins of many, not all. (Isaiah 53:12)

4. Irresistible Grace:

When God elects a person to salvation, that person will be saved according to His will. It is not up to people to choose or to act, but for God to show grace. (Romans 9:16) God works salvation in an individual. (Philippians 2:12-13) Faith is a work of God in a person. (John 6:28-29) God appoints people to believe. (Acts 13:48) Being born again is not man's will, but God's. (John 1:12-13) Once God chooses someone, they will come. (John 6:37)

5. Perseverance of the Saints:

Once someone is truly saved, they cannot lose their salvation. Jesus' sheep will never perish. (John 10:27-28) Salvation is everlasting life. (John 6:47) Those who are saved are passed out of judgement. (Romans 8:1) God will not allow us to b tempted beyond what we cannot handle. (1 Corinthians 10:13) God will be faithful to protect us until the day of Jesus' return. (Phil. 1:6)

As you can see, these are some very basic arguments that require very little thought. The points I have made so far could be found on many different Calvinist websites, as an introduction to Calvinism. I look forward to my opponent's response, so we can get into some real debating.


Thank you for posting.

Total depravity- While I agree that man is certainly depraved, I'd have to disagree that he is TOTALLY depraved. This is exemplified by Matt 7:-11.
7"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.

9"Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him

Now, I know this may appear as Jesus is talking about prayer. However, that is not the case at all. Does God HAVE to give us all that we pray for? Certainly not. But because God is a God of love (1 John 4:8), He welcomes those who seek Him out into his adopted family.

Unconditional Election- This is a fun one, and very similar in my opinion to Limited Atonement. Take Romans 9, a favorite of a very good friend of mine, a staunch Calvinist, who baptized me. Not just Romans 9:9-23 but lets start at Romans 9:3-23.

Romans 9:3 For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my people, those of my own race.

What does Paul mean here? continue on to Romans 9:17

17 For Scripture says to Pharaoh: "I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth."

Continue to Romans 9:20-21

But who are you, a human being, to talk back to God? "Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, "Why did you make me like this?"" 21 Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for special purposes and some for common use?

Just looking at Romans 9:20-21 alone. The question I would pose to Pro here, is what atheist would look up to God and say "Why did you make me this way?" The answer? Not a single one. Christopher Hitchens, on his death bed, denied God. He never questioned why he was denying God.

Lets also look at Romans 9:3 and 9:17. Why would Paul want to be cut off for his bretheran? Historically this man had been cruel. Even during his discipleship, what with condemning marriage and all. And what purpose did God have for Pharoah? Paul wished to be cut off because of the suffering his bretheran had been going through.

All this ties in to Unconditional election being untrue simply because that is not what Paul was getting at. Take someone who has a disability or some other type of hardship. THOSE are the types of people Paul speaks of in Romans 9:20-21. THOSE are the people who Paul wantes to be cut off from. THOSE are the people Paul is speaking to in Romans 9:17, to assure them that God has a plan for them even though they are sick. Pro, I would assume, would have a hard time refuting this.

Limited Atonement- All I need to say here is John 3:16 and 2 Peter 3:9. Read and study these IN VERBATIM. John 3:16, For God so loved the WORLD, he gave his only begotten son, so that WHOSOEVER believes in Him shall not parish but have everlastling life. Notice the words in all caps. That was my doing. I did it to illistrate that the bible plainly says that Atonement is NOT Limited.

Irresistable Grace- I could go back as far as the Old Testament to confirm this is not true either. Exodus 32. God provided the Isrealites with a way out of Egypt and they rejected him, creating and worshiping a Golden Calf. Also I'd ask Pro to explain how countless people across the globe are reached, and evangelized to and still do not come to God.

Perseverance of the Saints- I have to concede this point because I do not believe you can lose your faith, though I have to point out Jonah and I believe either 1 Kings or 2 Kings. Both Jonah and Soloman had fallen out of favor with God. I do not know what exactly "fall out of favor" means though, one could assume that God turned His back on them.

My own Arguments-

1. Five Points of Calvinism not created by John Calvin, therefore could not possibly be as accurate as claimed. Calvin spoke of the Soveriegnty of God. Never predestination. It was at the Synod of Dort in 1619[1] a whole 55 YEARS after the death of John Calvin[2] and was created in response to the Five Points of Arminianism[3]. Biblical or not, this illistrates the desire of "Calvinists" to create their own version of God, one who is not loving, as the Bible says so plainly.

2. It is against God's Character to condemn without reason. As I stated earlier about 1 John 4:8, God is a God of love. 1 John 4:10 states We love God because He first loved us. It does not say We love God because God is soveriegn. Love is the central Attribute of God. It is what people identify with. If God did not Love EVERYBODY and leave atonement open for EVERYBODY, Jesus' sacrifice is for naught. To say that Jesus' blood is for the elect only, is the same as to say Jesus' blood is not SUFFICENT for EVERYBODY, and therefore null and void. So now the Question is, IS Jesus' blood not good enough? Is it REALLY null and void? Pro, and every other Calvinist would like you to think so, though they'd never admit it.

3. Can God be Soverign and the Five Points of Calvinism be untrue? Of course. God is soverign because God loves. God does not love because he is soverign. A loving God would bestow freewill upon his people. With out this love attribute that God has, is he really worthy of Worship? That is a question I'd like answered.

4. Without God giving man freewill, evil would not have entered into the world, God would not have to "elect" people or have Jesus' atonement be it limited or unlimited, therefore both The Five Points of Calvinism AND the Five Points of Arminianism are dependent on God giving man freewill. This is because God Himself is not evil therefore would not create anything evil. God created man in His own image (Gen 1:27). God is inherently good. Therefore man at one point had to be Good. Freewill was a gift from God and man chose to disobey God.


As always I look forward to your rebuttals
Debate Round No. 2


First, I would like to point out that my opponent is NOT following the regulations for this debate. His last argument should have consisted only of his responses to my first points, and a cross-examination. This argument here would then be for me to answer the cross-examination. However, I will continue onward, with my rebuttals in this round.

Total Depravity:

My opponent claims that we are only partially depraved, because the Bible says in Matthew 7:7-11 that if we ask, we will receive. He then states that God is a God of love, and welcomes all who ask for Him.

However, Romans 3:9-18 says, "

9 What shall we conclude then? Do we have any advantage? Not at all! For we have already made the charge that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under the power of sin. 10 As it is written:

“There is no one righteous, not even one;
11 there is no one who understands;
there is no one who seeks God.
12 All have turned away,
they have together become worthless;
there is no one who does good,
not even one.”
13 “Their throats are open graves;
their tongues practice deceit.”
“The poison of vipers is on their lips.”
14 “Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.”
15 “Their feet are swift to shed blood;
16 ruin and misery mark their ways,
17 and the way of peace they do not know.”
18 “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”"

It is obvious that we cannot seek God. He must give us the ability to believe. Once we have been given faith by Him, then we can seek Him and ask to join His family, which he graciously allows.

In regards to your "God is Love" argument, you took one verse, paired it up with another verse, and used that to make a "logical" conclusion. Define "love." What is God's "love?"

Unconditional Election:

You took ONE verse selection from my argument, and claim that it can disprove my point. The most you tried to do was show that this section does not prove UE. My other arguments and verses still stand, because you did not address them at all. Regardless, I will still reply to your comments.

Paul almost wanted to be cut off from the Messiah because the Jews were, at this point, the chosen people. He wanted to leave because they were suffering? Where does it really say that? Nowhere in the verses you cited, or in any you did not. The whole chapter is about those who are chosen and not chosen. For respect to space, I will not post it here, but read the whole chapter. About the disabilities, again, where does Paul say he wants to be cut off from them?

Pharaoh was used by God to show his power. God brought him up hardened his heart, and destroyed him. Read verse 18 in this chapter. You seemed to completely ignore it when you made your arguments.

Limited Atonement:

I agree with John 3:16. Whoever believes in Jesus will be saved. However, faith is a gift from God. Those who are not chosen to believe will not believe. I posted this in my original argument, and you have chosen to ignore it. Also, in order for Atonement to not be limited, everyone would have to be saved. Obviously, this is not true. I defined Limited Atonement as, "...While His death was sufficient to bring about the salvation of everyone, it will not effect everyone." Please pay attention to the definitions, and at least make a new definition if you don't like mine. You also refused to refute any of the verses I cited, which means that you must believe that the Bible contradicts itself. Refute all the cited verses, or don't quote any.

Irresistible Grace:

Again, only by God's power will people be able to believe. Those he chooses to give faith to, will believe. In regard to your Exodus verse, was salvation then by faith? No. Christ had not died yet, so the idea of Irresistible Grace would be irrelevant.

Perseverance of the Saints:

Again, Old Testament verses do not apply to faith in Jesus Christ.

1. Ok? This argument has nothing to do with whether or not the points are Biblical. With your "God is love," again, define love, back up your point with more than one verse, and refute ALL of my verses, or you must concede that the Bible contradicts itself.

2. Condemn without reason? Read Romans 3:9-18. God has plenty of reason to condemn us all. Without his grace, we are all sinners damned to hell.

3. Wow, no Bible verses. You claim that God is sovereign because he loves. If I love, does that make me sovereign? No, God is sovereign because He is GOD! (Daniel 4:35, Psalm 115:3, Psalm 22:28, 1 Timothy 6:15, plus all the other verses I have cited thus far.)

4. You have not defined freewill. I believe in freewill: we are free to do whatever is in our nature. In the beginning, God created Adam and Eve with freewill. They chose to sin, thereby infecting the whole creation with a new nature. Unsaved Christians can do anything they want; within their nature. Choosing to be sanctified is not in man's depraved nature; we require God's gift of faith through His grace.

Over to Con.


kingcripple forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3


My arguments still stand. However, I would like to point out that my opponent has messed up the rules of this debate. Should he choose to reply, he will be allowed to post responses to my arguments, or continuations of his original arguments only. No new arguments whatsoever. Round 5 will continue as planned, unless my opponent chooses to forfeit again.


kingcripple forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4


Again, over to Con.


kingcripple forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
18 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by PhantomJedi759 5 years ago
I would like to thank my opponent for giving me the opportunity to debate, and any future voters for reading. Merry Christmas everyone!
Posted by PhantomJedi759 5 years ago
Because my opponent has messed up this debate, I am considering starting a new one on the same topic later. Any opinions on this?
Posted by kingcripple 5 years ago
@philocristos- generally if you can debunk one of the points, the others fall apart. Generally.
Posted by PhantomJedi759 5 years ago
Final decision on voting: Pro must prove all points, as each one relies on the others. kingcripple, thank you for accepting the debate. It is fine that you missed your initial argument; it should not cause any major issues.
Posted by kingcripple 5 years ago
I didnt read the rounds carefully. I will have to wait to post my arguments til the 2nd round. I apologize.
Posted by InquireTruth 5 years ago
If Calvinism is true, God has a really weird way of doing things.
Posted by GorefordMaximillion 5 years ago
Many comments... no takers :)

My dad would have LOVED this one!!! :)

If I could find his old notes I'd do it.
Posted by stubs 5 years ago
I think the majority of the top Christian debaters on this site hold to a Calvinistic view. Of course there are exceptions such as Inquire.
Posted by philochristos 5 years ago
I can see how this debate could end in a stalemate. If you can make the case that the five points are connected (i.e. if one falls, they all fall, but if one stands, they all stand), then you could easily reach an impasse. For example, suppose you prove one and your opponent can't disprove it. It would seem to follow that all five are true. But suppose that at the same time, your opponent disproves one, and you are unable to prove it. It would seem to follow that all five are false. But they can't all be true and false at the same time, so this could end in a stalemate. To avoid a stalemate, I think you ought to stipulate something like this:

1. To win, Pro has to prove all five points. If one is not proved, arguments go to Con.
2. To win, Con must disprove all five points. If even one remains standing, arguments go to Pro.
3. For Pro to win, he must prove 3 out of 5; for Con to win, he must disprove 3 out of 5.

or something like that.
Posted by PhantomJedi759 5 years ago
I see your point. However, I would argue that the five points are connected, and that the debate is on the points combined as a whole. Again, it would be up to the voters to make up their minds, and their reasoning will be required. Both debaters should do their utmost to either prove or disprove all five points.
No votes have been placed for this debate.