Calvinistic Belief

Discussion in 'Theology and Doctrine' started by Pax_Christi, Jan 4, 2013.

  1. Pax_Christi

    Pax_Christi Member

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    Mark1 said that Orthodox view Calvinism as heresy. I'm wondering how Anglicans view this topic. Disclosure: I do lean towards this belief over Armenianism.
     
  2. Lowly Layman

    Lowly Layman Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Great question. I would say that Reform minded Anglicans are clearly Calvinist. The Articles appear to me to be soft Calvinist in Doctrine. For example, Article 17 upholds the doctrine of Predestination. Article 16 states that even after baptism, we may fall into sin, but never actually says may lose our salvation, but states "we may depart from grace given and fall into sin, and by the grace of God we may arise again and amend our lives".

    I would also venture to guess that most Reform minded (aka Calvinist) Anglicans would consider Arminianism a heresy. I wonder how they feel about the Wesley brothers and CS Lewis, who were so Arminian in outlook. As for me, I love CS Lewis and the evangelistic heart of John Wesley, but I don't generally support Arminianism because is offers no assurance or peace regarding one's salvation, moves the act and election of salvation from God to the believer, and can (can being operative) lead to a Christian form of priggish phariseeism. Where Calvinism is covenantal, Arminianism, at its worst, comes off as very legalistic contractualism. While I recognize that I may be wrong in my interpretation of Arminianism, those are my impressions from growing up for many years in the Methodist Church and being bathed in Wesleyan ideology.
     
  3. Celtic1

    Celtic1 Well-Known Member

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    There are two theological systems which I am strongly opposed to -- Roman Catholicism and Calvinism. I reject all five points of the Calvinist flower, "TULIP".
     
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  4. Aaytch Barton

    Aaytch Barton Active Member

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    Yes, the Articles are Calvinistic. So is the Prayer Book. Compare the core services of MP and EP with the respective liturgies of Calvin (in Geneva) and Bucer (in Strasborg). Cranmer had asked Bucer for assistance with liturgy, so it is hardly surprising that principal authorship must be attributed to this Calvinistic Reformer.

    As for whether the 39 Articles contain a "soft" Calvinism, this is probably true.... in the sense that they are confused in the direction of "universal atonement" as opposed to the clear "limited" (particular) atonement of Calvinism. The Articles as originally written in the time of Edward VI (the 42 Articles) were NOT universalistic. Elizabeth's edicts of "Conformity" and "Settlement" changed them.
     
  5. Old Christendom

    Old Christendom Well-Known Member

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    I believe in the doctrines of grace as expounded by the Augustinian tradition and commonly referred to after the times of the Reformation, and specifically after the synod of Dordt, by the acronym TULIP. I also think that the Covenant theology has its merits but I haven't looked into it with enough time and diligence.

    I disagree, however, with the presbyterian model but one needn't be a presbyterian in order to be a Calvinist.
     
  6. Lowly Layman

    Lowly Layman Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Great Points Aaytch. One of my reasons for embracing Anglicanism, rather than more Calvinist churches, is specifically for its appeal to Universal Atornement rather than Limited Atonement. I find that the latter is in clear defiance of Scripture. It places more emphasis on one's predestinated election rather than in the finished work of Christ on the Cross as the source of one's salvation.
     
  7. Lowly Layman

    Lowly Layman Well-Known Member Anglican

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    I am more Amyraldian (Moderate Calvinist) or maybe even Lutheran (shhh! don't tell anybody. I'll lose all my Anglican street cred) in my understanding of Atonement. There needs to be a flower called a TUUIP. It would make things easier for me. ;)
     
  8. Old Christendom

    Old Christendom Well-Known Member

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    How so?

    Limited atonement does not deny that Christ's sacrifice has an infinite value and that, therefore, it is enough to save each and every man. What it denies is that Christ potentially died for every man: rather, He actually died for those whom the Father had given Him, the elect who no-one will ever be able to snatch out of His hand.
     
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  9. Lowly Layman

    Lowly Layman Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Interesting point. Although, Jesus' death is a historical fact, I don't see how it could have been ptentially more (or less) than it atually was. To my mind, something either is or is not. If something is an apple, there is and never will be any potential for it to be a banana. And, with all due respect, it seems awfully cruel of God, from my perspective, to say "I could atone for all people but I won't. I'll just do it for these few, even though I am the prophesied savior of the world." Nonetheless, for me, the plain meaning of the Scripture is quite clear, and thus, quite dispositive:

    "For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive."-I Cor.15:22

    "For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell; And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven." -Col 1:19-20

    "Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life" -Romans 5:18

    "For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all." -Romans 11:32

    "And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me."-John 12:32

    "And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people."-Luke 2:10

    "And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world."-1 John 2:2

    "For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved."-John 3:17

    "But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man." -Hebrews 2:9

    "After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands"-Rev 7:9
     
  10. Aaytch Barton

    Aaytch Barton Active Member

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    Right. Ecclesiology is a separate matter altogether, which I believe is simply an unsettled item of preference. Until the Tractarians came along, no Anglican believed the Lord's Church is required to have an episcopal form of government.

    Liturgy is also a separate matter. The liturgies of Strasborg and Geneva, used during the time of the Marian exile and which became the basis of our own BCP, are not used by Presbyterian and Reformed churches, and are hardly even known by them. This is due mostly to the religious wars of the 17th century which saw the Huguenots exterminated or converted to Anglicanism. Today's Reformed communities all descend from Puritans and from the Dutch, neither of which had liturgical worship... unless you want to classify the deadly "Directory" as liturgical. There is a movement afoot today (nascent) to reintroduce proper liturgical worship to Calvinists. This reintroduction is coming in the form of the 1662 BCP.
     
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  11. Old Christendom

    Old Christendom Well-Known Member

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    Those quotes are not "conclusive" as you are making them out to be. If God willed to save the whole world, then He would. The very notion of election, as preached by Our Lord and St. Paul, is predicated upon the logical fact that there is a mass of mankind that is not elected, that is, the reprobate, or the massa damnata as Augustine put it. Christ the Lord died to effectually save those who were entrusted to Him by the Father, not to potentiate the salvation of each and every man. He is called Jesus because "He will save His people from their sins," as Scripture states. He will do it, not simply help us to do it and if we happen to fail then, fat chance, as the yankees say.

    Another very important thing to keep in mind, that is often recurrent in debates like this one, is that absolutely none of us is entitled to grace and salvation. All men fell in Adam and all are equally sinners and deserving of eternal punishment. God wouldn't be "unfair" if He didn't save anyone. Until that notion truly sinks in, you'll never be able to properly understand the wonder of mercy and election. He will have mercy upon whom He will have mercy, as the Apostle teaches.
     
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  12. Old Christendom

    Old Christendom Well-Known Member

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    There are at least two historical continental Calvinist churches that date from the times of the Reformation that retained the episcopal form of government: the Reformed Church of Hungary and the Reformed Church of Poland. Sadly, however, I believe they've gone liberal nowadays.

    Yes, the liturgy is clearly a rather weak aspect of the classical Reformed churches in the strict Genevan and Dutch tradition. Probably, this also has to do with a certain kind of strict adherence or strict interpretation of the RPW. Hopefully, this can change in the future.
     
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  13. Lowly Layman

    Lowly Layman Well-Known Member Anglican

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    I think they are, which is why I quoted them. ;) If God willed to save the whole world, he will. That, I think, is the truer statement. We may be near the end of the story but only God knows what's written on the last page.

    From what I have read of St. Paul, he simply states that God had foreknowledge of those whom he would save from the beginning. He makes no statements as to who they would be or what the limit would be, if any. If I recall correctly, it was St. John, not St. Paul, who got ro look at the Lamb's book of life, and he gave no indication as to any number amounts of who are saved (or damned) contained therein. He did say that he saw in heaven a great multitude dressed in white which no man could count. As for St. Augustine, he was a great doctor of the church, but he was also fallible, and where he and the scriptures differ, I go with the scriptures. Nevertheless, I'll make a deal with you. I'll agree in limited atonement if you agree the limit is all mankind. :)

    I agree with almost all of that. I never said he'd be unfair, only cruel from my perspective. I don't believe we are all equally bad, but absent grace to believe in Christ's atonement on the cross, I do agree we are all equally bad off.
    Well that's a way to drop a gauntlet. Now I absolutely can't believe in limited atonement. As a bonafied southern redneck, born and bred in the briarpatch that is old Dixie, I am honor bound to reject any and every thing endorsed by a nogood, carpetbaggin "Yankee". Any hope for consensus on this issue is now lost. :p
     
  14. mark1

    mark1 Active Member

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    Clearly, both the views of Calvin (and current uberCalvinists) and those of Wesley are ofter taking to extremes and misundestood by the others side. Personally, I believe with many Orthodox that the doctrine of double predestination has led more folks away for Jesus than almost any other doctrine.

    Yes, all pastors must come to terms with an understanding of predestination, God's Grace, and God's Knowledge. As my Baptist pastor shared with me, there is no need to ever preach on the subject. It is a very complicated doctrine and one that can lead to misunderstanding. No one denies God's Grace and Sovereignty.

    We all believe that we are saved by Grace through our faith in Christ Jesus.

    With Wesley, I cannot accept that some are born for death with no opportunity of eternal life.

    Jesus promise that ALL who seek Him shall find Him.

     
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  15. Celtic1

    Celtic1 Well-Known Member

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    Your Baptist pastor? I thought you were Anglican.
     
  16. Scottish Knight

    Scottish Knight Well-Known Member

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    Not to want to go off opic here but
    If Christ Himself preached on predestination to people, who are we to say this part of His message need not be preached?
    I think there are many hard things in the Bible but nevertheless Ithink they must be confronted, acknowledged and struggled through together otherwise we are pcikign and choosing scripture

    And as for double predestination eading people away from Christ, some of th greatest most successful preachers preached this to people and many were saved
     
  17. Aaytch Barton

    Aaytch Barton Active Member

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    It must be noted that the 39 Articles are Supralapsarian. As in the Creeds, they begin with a declaration of God's (the Trinity's) power and mastery over everything in His Creation. See Article 1. In Article 10 they further declare that man has no "free will" to do anything good except by God's "good will" going before us. Then we come to Article 17 (Predestination) which is as strong a statement of Calvinist supralapsarianism and "double-predestination" as you will find anywhere.
     
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  18. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Only in a dream world. You like to repeat unsourced and unprovable mantras.

    As is believed by every Christian. If you'd like to chalk up Article 1 to supralapsarianism, that's more of that fantasy world.


    Exactly. That's what Arminianism teaches. Arminianism teaches that a portion of human activity becomes free to men based on a conditional grace initially granted by God. Calvinism teaches that no portion of human activity of human activity becomes free to men. "Free Grace, not free will" was the cry of the Puritans.


    More fantasy. Predestinarianism is an orthodox doctrine, and is even taught by Rome. Nothing about predestination is uniquely Calvinist whatsoever.


    Good of you to note that even in the supposed 'Calvinist moment' of Anglcan history, you will only admit a form of counterfeit Arminianism, never 'high Calvinism'.
     
  19. Aaytch Barton

    Aaytch Barton Active Member

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    How is it that you don't think that the first sentence of 2 creeds and Article 1 don't teach that God conceived, created and ordered all things in heaven and on earth under his Almighty hand before all worlds, including most especially his Decree of Salvation?

    No. Arminianism teaches that man is free to make his own decision either for or against God. Article 10 refutes this.

    I don't know why you are having such problems with this. From Article 17:
    • Predestination #1: "he hath chosen in Christ out of mankind, and to bring them by Christ to everlasting salvation, as vessels made to honour..."
    • Predestination #2, otherwise known as the other side of the coin... "for curious and carnal persons, lacking the Spirit of Christ, to have continually before their eyes the sentence of God's Predestination, is a most dangerous downfall..."
     
  20. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Of course I do. Those whom he foreknew, he predestined. That's what Paul teaches us. God first had to foreknow what men would do, and then he predestined them, on the basis of their deeds. Calvinism mutilates the Ordo Salutis by subtracting the word 'foreknew' from the Bible.


    Can you tell me where, or how, man gets his freedom under Arminianism?


    Sure, Arminius taught all that as well. It is a warning to them to reform their sins. What's the problem here? You need to go back to Article 10 to decide whether they have the freedom to change, or not. Article 17 by itself proves you nothing.

    If Article 10 teaches arminianism, Article 17 teaches arminianism. If Article 10 teaches calvinism, Article 17 ends up teaching calvinism.
     
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