Discussions with a Calvinist

Discussion with Teresa
Round 11


Teresa wrote:

I do not care if it is a 'different concept'. The fact is still the offspring of adam carry the result of the sin of Adam , not their own sin., Even if you say it is just the nature .

It is interest though because if you believe that a child is born free of sin, then there was not much special about jesus being born sinless .

If infants do not carry the sin of Adam then an infant that dies deserves heaven so he is not saved by mercy or grace. That would mean heaven has 2 different sets of people in in. Those that deserve it and those saved by grace. Of Course the Arminians stand every one that is saved deserve it because they chose correctly and acted correctly. No grace or mercy needed . So perhaps it fits well with your theology .

I trust you believe that a saved man has the imputed righteousness of Christ. (or maybe not) So in your economy righteousness can be imputed and not sin? The second Adam did not come to redeem that the first Adam lost. In Romans 5 Paul clearly draws parallels between Adam's representative acts for the race in sinning and Jesus' representative acts in obedience. I Corinthians 15 is also cited to document Adam as the source of spiritual death. Romans 5 teaches Adam's sin and condemnation made us sinners and condemned. Imputation of Adam's sin upon his posterity was a consequence of Adam's sin even as justification for his posterity spiritually is the result of Jesus' obedience.

Imputation is clear in scripture and taught.

Scripture CLEARLY teaches that infants are sinners. You may not like that , but we see Gods judgment of the guilty of sin against infants as well as adults. No one gets a free pass as sinless except Christ.

If you want biblical proof of Gods judgment against infants in the womb,or infants on the breast I will be more than glad to present them to you .
 

The fact is NO one deserves to be saved or gets to heaven automatically

Job 14:4   Who can bring a clean [thing] out of an unclean? not one.

Job 25:4   How then can man be justified with God? or how can he be clean [that is] born of a woman?

Psa 51:5   Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.

Gen 6:5   And GOD saw that the wickedness of man [was] great in the earth, and [that] every imagination of the thoughts of his heart [was] only evil continually.

Rom 3:10   As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:

Rom 3:11   There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.

It does not say none are righteous except children, it says NONE

Rom 3:12   They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

I believe that Grace is the unmerited favor of God , Justice is giving men what they deserve, Mercy is NOT giving men what they deserve. Infants in the womb or on the breast , like adults are saved by the mercy of God .To get mercy you must first be guilty .

Does God place the sin of the father on the sons?

What does the word of God say on that ?

Ex 20:25 "You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me,"

Deut 5:9- "You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, and on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me,"

Ex 34 6&7 - "Then the Lord passed by in front of him and proclaimed, "The Lord, the Lord God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth; 7who keeps lovingkindness for thousands, who forgives iniquity, transgression and sin; yet He will by no means leave the guilty unpunished, visiting the iniquity of fathers on the children and on the grandchildren to the third and fourth generations."

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

Deut 24  is dealing with legal matters as the context in 24 6-19 shows. In the context that verse is dealing with the legality aspect within the Jewish court system.

But this is off topic. I sent you that quick email because i found it hard to believe that you would deny the principle of imputation . But even if you see it solely as a "sin nature" you still must deal with the children bearing the results of a sin they did not commit ( as well as physical death and all the other parts of the curse.) You walk yourself into a corner by denying that God blesses and curses the children and the grand children etc. based on the actions or faith of the father. Take a look at the promise to Abraham based on his faith .

You may not like it Steve but this truth is woven through out scripture, and can be seen in the world around us.

If you are interested in the biblical examples of the JUST judgment of infants for sin , i would be glad to give them to you.

in the mean time I believe we must agree that for His purposes God will sometimes hold men responsible or suffer consequences for things over which they had no control ( like the Egyptian 1st borns)

Steve I did not become a Calvinist casually , I became one because the theme of election is woven through out all the scriptures
 

Scripture shows people held responsible for the sin of others, for things over which they had no control . That is however not what I understood your question to mean , and so I never thought to point to it , until it hit me that is what you meant.
 

BTW I do not think you are a heretic . i simply read what you wrote as a denial of any effect of original sin on the offspring of Adam. That would be outside professing christianity .But you do see a remnant of the sin of Adam in his children and so you do agree that sometimes we suffer consequences from things we did not do and had no control over.
 

When I have an opportunity (I hope later tonight or tomorrow) I will return to the mail that i "jumped on" .

Have a Blessed Sunday


BCBSR Reponse

Teresa,

You say,"It is interest though because if you believe that a child is born free of sin, then there was not much special about jesus being born sinless."

Excuse me! What did I just say. Let me repeat it: "The Biblical concept of original sin is that as a result of Adam's sin,people are born with a sinful nature." So how did you manage to misconstrue that statement to conclude that I believe that children are born free of sin?

And you continue your misrepresentation of what others believe, saying, "Of Course the Arminians stand every one that is saved deserve it because they chose correctly and acted correctly. No grace or mercy needed . So perhaps it fits well with your theology." Maybe you can show me where Arminians actually say that. Or are you just making it up?

Let me tell you that my position concerning original sin, as contemptuous you might view it, is consistent with that of the Southern Baptists and Christians of the Orthodox Church, well within professing Christianity. In fact I quote directly from their sources:

Southern Baptist http://www.sbc.net/bfm/bfm2000.asp#iii Through the temptation of Satan man transgressed the command of God, and fell from his original innocence whereby his posterity inherit a nature and an environment inclined toward sin.

Orthodox Church http://www.wordiq.com/definition/Original_sin The Orthodox Church rejects the very common Western concept that Original Sin is some sort of inherited guilt. People are not presumed to bear personal responsibility for the acts of Adam.

And here are a couple of other quotes from Southern Baptists concerning original sin:

Southern Baptist http://www.ministryserver.com/cbhastings/isbch03.htm Baptists are often asked, "But what about the status of children? If they die before they are converted and baptized, are they lost?" Our understanding of individual responsibility for sin and for one's relationship with God springs from the teaching of Jeremiah (31:19-20) and Ezekiel: "The soul that sinneth, it shall die: the son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son" (Ezek. 18:20). We acknowledge that everyone shares the race contamination usually called "original sin." But we do not find that guilt is thereby inherited in the light of the Scriptures above

http://www.floridabaptistwitness.com/2650.article many theologians avoid using the term "original sin" in regard to the depravity which, as everyone acknowledges, plagues us. Some groups that baptize babies argue that Adam's "original" sin is passed genetically to all his progeny with the result that infants are born guilty of sin. They believe sprinkling infants cancels the effects of original sin. To avoid this inference, Baptist theologians usually prefer a term such as "imputed depravity." The guilt of sin thereby applies only when the child becomes aware of the enormity of sinning against God, commonly called the "age of accountability."
 

Now you say, "I trust you believe that a saved man has the imputed righteousness of Christ. (or maybe not) So in your economy righteousness can be imputed and not sin?"

I answered that in the email, which you again may have overlooked so I quote it here yet again: "As for imputed righteousness, yes I believe in imputed righteousness. For while it is unjust to condemn the innocent, the guilty can be forgiven if atonement is made. Calvinistic justice on the otherhand holds that since righteousness can be imputed to the guilty therefore guilt can be imputed to the innocent."

Yes I know under Calvinism God imputes guilt upon the innocent. And somehow Calvinists feel that is just and fair because God imputes righteousness upon the guilty. Once again such logic is non-sequitor. It's a logical fallacy.

As for Romans 5 you can view my study guide at http://www.bcbsr.com/books/rom5b.html if you're interested in my non-Calvinistic interpretation. As for 1Cor 15 that chapter is talking about physical resurrection. Nothing about imputed guilt there.

You say, "Scripture CLEARLY teaches that infants are sinners." Yes, infants are sinners by their very nature, just as I have stated.

You say, "No one gets a free pass as sinless except Christ."

Excuse me! If the guilt of original sin applies to all who are born human, then logically Christ should also have been imputed guilty, and as such could not have been our substitutionary atonement since he would not have been the innocent lamb of God.

In fact you had previously stated, "God can and does at times and for His purpose hold men responsible for things over which they have no contro. Jesus was held responsible for the sin of all men." So which is it? Was Christ imputed with the guilt of sin or was he not?

As for the verses you point out concerning man's innate sinfulness, my position is that people are guilty because they sin, not because their neighbor sinned or some guy sinned thousands of years before they were even born. Many of the verses like, "Psa 51:5   Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me" can be viewed as merely referring to the sinful nature and not imputed guilt. As for Rom 3:10-12 you might want to check out their original context as Paul was quoting from the Old Testament. In fact let me quote myself from part of an email I recently wrote in a discussion with another Calvinist concerning that section in Romans:

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As you well know these were not statements which were introduced by Paul, but rather he was quoting verses in the Old Testment. Here's an idea! Let's go back and find the context of those verses in the Old Testament! The first set of verses come from Ps 14:1-3 (or Ps 53:1-3 if you like) This was a Psalm written by David. How does it start off? "The fool says in his heart, 'There is no God.' They are corrupt, their deeds are vile; there is no one who does good." Who is the "they" and the "their" he is referring to among whom is no one who does good? It is a category of people who are atheistic fools. In verse 4 he speaks of "evildoers", and in verse 5 he contrasts them with the righteous. With respect to what this Psalm says concerning those who don't seek God and such it appears to be speaking categorically and not universally. For example I certainly don't get the impression reading this Psalm that David reckoned himself "wicked", a fool who says in his heart that there is no God, and who does not seek God.

If Paul's point is to prove the Universal concept that all have sinned, why doesn't he simply use Ecc 7:20 and have done with it, which states very clearly, "There is not a righteous man on earth who does what is right and never sins." Instead he is using statements from the Old Testament which are spoken in a categorical sense and not in a universal sense, and which furthermore are observationally based rather than propositional. (Although one could argue that even Ecc 7:20 is observationally based) And just to clarify by this I mean that Paul is not simply saying that "The Bible says the everyone sinned and that's all that needs saying", much as modern evangelicalism does tend to present that aspect of the gospel - people's sinfulness - a relatively propositional sense. Rather Paul gives particular instances and observations of sin. (I will show later that Jesus presents the gospel in a similar manner with respect to the issue of sin)

But before I draw conclusions let's observe the context of the other Old Testament verses to see if they are speaking in a universal sense or a categorical sense. Another verse he uses is Ps 5:9 which he uses in Romans 3:13. Ps 5:9 says, "Not a word from their mouth can be trusted; their heart is filled with destruction. Their throat is an open grave; with their tongue they speak deceit" Who is the "their" the Psalmist refers to? Is he speaking of everyone in the world, or only a category of people? The context indicates he is referring to "the wicked, the arrogant, those who tell lies, the bloodthirsty, and deceitful men". Again, do you get to the impression that the Psalmists is referring to himself? Quite the contrary. For he is contrasting himself with them.

Continuing on, Rom 3:13 also quotes Ps 140:3b "the poison of vipers is on their lips" Who is the "their" the Psalmist is referring to? Is it universal or categorical? The context indicates that the "their" refers to evil men, men of violence. Is the Psalmist including himself in that category? Again, quite the contrary.

Continuing on in Rom 3:14 Paul quotes Psalm 10:7a "His mouth is full of curses and lies and threats;" Who is the "His" here? Is it universal -everyone in the world? or is it categorical? Again the context indicates he is speaking of the wicked and not about himself.

Continuing on in Rom 3:15-17 Paul quotes Isaiah 59:7,8a "Their feet rush into sin; they are swift to shed innocent blood. Their thoughts are evil thoughts; ruin and destruction mark their ways. The way of peace they do not know;" In the context of Isaiah, who does Isaiah indicate the "they" and "their" refer to? Is it universal - everyone in the world? Or categorical? You have to actually go back to Isaiah 58:1 for this one where he says, "Declare to my people their rebellion and to the house of Jacob their sins." Again it is categorical.

And finally in Rom 3:18 Paul quotes Ps 36:1b "There is no fear of God before their eyes." And if we just quote the entire verse which says, "An oracle is within my heart concerning the sinfulness of the wicked: There is no fear of God before his eyes." Well, you can see my point.

None of these Old Testament references support the idea explicitly that sin is universal. And I believe Paul was not ignorant of this fact, nor was he trying to misrepresent the scriptures to support his point, for as I said he could have simply quoted Ecc 7:20 and have done with it. Furthermore much as Christians are often gullibly ignorant of the Old Testament, reading only the New, such was not the case of the early Christians - and certainly not the case for Jews. ("For Moses is read every Sabbath" Acts 15:21) So why did Paul use those verses?

Notice that he didn't use just one verse, but many verses, eac speaking of characteristics of the wicked. I think what Paul was doing is continuing on his same line of reasoning he had been using in the first two and a half chapters. What he was doing was attempting to convict people of sin by speaking on characteristics of sinful people.

In other words instead of saying, "You people are a bunch of filthy rotten sinners", he was saying, "the wicked have these kinds of charcteristics ..." And then letting the Spirit of God convict them of sin when they came across an area of sin - whether it be attitude or action - which they had been involved in. Apparently that's the way the gospel is supposed to be presented. Jesus presented it in a similar manner. Consider the his encounter with the rich young ruler - or with that lawyer type. Given their self-righteousness He could have said, "Your just a filthy rotten sinner", instead He challenges them with the Law. (Didn't I read somewhere that "through the law we become conscious of sin."? Yes indeed. And where do we find that verse? Why it's in Romans 3:20!) Paul was putting this principle into practice - speaking not simply on the fact of sin, but rather constitutes sinful behavior. A while back when I had observed these things I wrote a page on the Necessity of the Law in the preaching of the gospel http://www.bcbsr.com/topics/nlaw.html you may find interesting.

Now getting back to the resolution of the paradox. Paul's point is that although the context of the Old Testament verses were categorical in nature, it is human experience that we fall into such categories from time to time. So also there are people who are good from time to time as Jesus said, "The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him." Mt 12:35  And in particular the Bible says of Barnabus "He was a good man" Acts 11:24. And yet in an absolute and continuous sense Jesus said "No one is good- except God alone." Mk 10:18 Now consider David for example who wrote some of those verses. There was a time when he fell into serious sin, committing adultery, murder and lying. Yet he was spoken of as a righteous man who sought God and committed himself saying, "I will behave wisely in a perfect way. Oh, when will You come to me? I will walk within my house with a perfect heart." Ps 101:2 He furthermore wrote, "And those who know Your name will put their trust in You; For You, LORD, have not forsaken those who seek You." Ps 9:10 Is this the kind of rhetoric characteristic of Calvinism? Not in my experience.

"Seek the LORD while he may be found; call on him while he is near. Let the wicked forsake his way and the evil man his thoughts. Let him turn to the LORD, and he will have mercy on him, and to our God, for he will freely pardon." Is 55:6,7

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You mention: "Does God place the sin of the father on the sons? What does the word of God say on that ? Ex 20:25 "You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me,""

But what is the resolution to the paradox of De 24:16  "Fathers shall not be put to death for their children, nor children put to death for their fathers; each is to die for his own sin."? I resolve it by saying that Ex 20:25 and like verses are referring to effect of sin and not to the guilt of sin. If one's parents were drug addicts, that is going to affect their children even if they children aren't guilty of drug addiction. No man is an island. Sin can affect generations. But that is not to say that the GUILT of sin is imputed to those who hadn't actually committed the sin.

You say, "Deut 24  is dealing with legal matters as the context in 24 6-19 shows. In the context that verse is dealing with the legality aspect within the Jewish court system." And God reveals that according to His judicial nature it is unjust to impute sin to the innocent.

You say, "But even if you see it solely as a "sin nature" you still must deal with the children bearing the results of a sin they did not commit ( as well as physical death and all the other parts of the curse.) You walk yourself into a corner by denying that God blesses and curses the children and the grand children etc. based on the actions or faith of the father."

It is not unjust for God to subject the innocent to difficult circumstances. That is the theme of the book of Job. Job's friends were accusing him saying that he was suffering because of his sin. They were wrong. God had not imputed the guilt of some imaginary "sin" to him and then had him tortured because of such imputed guilt. Read the book.

You continue, "You may not like it Steve but this truth is woven through out scripture, and can be seen in the world around us." So where in the world around us do you see guilt being imputed to the innocent. Oh I guess you must be referring to Islamic Terrorism. Have you considered become a Muslim?

Good Biblestudying to you.

Professingly Christian,

Steve



The Berean Christian Bible Study Resources Jul 29,2015