Wednesday, January 24, 2007

In the Father?

Ephesians 1:3-4: "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him."

Arminian Question #1: Do you believe that Eph 1:4 is saying that [the chosen] were chosen [to become] in Christ? If so, in whom were they chosen, whereupon God has chosen them [to be] in Christ?

Arminian Question #1 restated, because I only received half of an answer: If you are saying "yes" that Ephesians 1:4 means that "the chosen" are chosen "to be" in Christ, then in whom were they chosen to become chosen in Christ? My point is that it sets up a case for another election, namely, an election in the Father. In other words, Calvinism seesm to suggest: God has chosen us in Himself, and having chosen us in Himself, He has chosen us to become in Christ. Would you agree to that? James White writes: “I just also believe the undisputed and unrefuted fact that I come to Christ daily because the Father, on the sole basis of His mercy and grace, gave me to the Son in eternity past.” (Debating Calvinism, p.306, emphasis mine) What I'm seeing is the making of an eternal "in the Father" election whereby God the Father has an eternal flock of sheep, and that He gives these to His Son in order to belong to Him. Calvin describes these as having been hidden in Him from all eternity. I'm trying to see if you are willing to confess to an eternal "in the Father" relationship.

Calvinist Answer: "The full Godhead is in salvation. The Father does the choosing. The Holy Spirit does the drawing. The Son does the saving. Yet...Christ choose you before you choose Him, No one can come to the Son unless the Father draws him and we are saved by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost."

Arminian Question #1 restated: Do you believe that God the Father chose you in Himself from before the foundation of the world, in an eternal flock of the Father, in order that you may be given and chosen to be in His Son? (Yes/No)

Calvinist Answer: "I would word it this way..God elected me. You want to push your idea of "in Christ" and "in the Father". How about "in the spirit"? Is this 3 elections? I think you need to spend some time thinking about this."

Arminian Question #1 restated again, because it still wasn't answered: "If Ephesians 1:4 meant that God the Father chose "the elect" to be in Christ, then in whom were these elect chosen in order to be qualified for election in the Son? The purpose of this question is to determine whether Calvinism truly does teach a primary election in the Father, with a resulting secondary election in the Son.

Calvinist Answer: "In Christ means we are saved. It means we are not of this world. All of these blessings come to us, by the work of God. These are applied to only the elect of God. Notice God loves the saints."

Arminian Question #1 never answered. So I asked someone else:

Calvinist Answer: "Is there a difference in being chosen IN the Father and BY the Father? I would argue that we are chosen BY God to be IN Christ at the time the Fathers draws us to Christ and we accept Him as our Savior."

Arminian Question #1 restated: If they are given BY the Father, doesn't it naturally follow that it is because they were His own to give, that is, IN Him, in order to give them away like the father of the bride gives his daughter away to the groom? The daughter was IN her Father's family in order to be given BY Him. If you say that they are given BY God, doesn't it follow that they had to be HIS in order to GIVE? Therefore, at Eph 1:4, if you say that "the elect" were given to be in Christ, then it seems inevitable to me that these would have to be IN the Father in order to be given away to the Son. Now let me ask you a very candid question. Why would you be opposed to accept that these would then be eternally elect IN the Father?

Calvinist Answer: none

Ephesians 1:13-14: "In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation--having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory

Arminian Question #2: If being made Born Again as the "new creature" with the "new heart" is a facet of the new birth in Christ (2nd Corinthians 5:17), and if we are not sealed in Christ until after we believe in the Gospel, as per Ephesians 1:13, then how is that Calvinism teaches that people are made Born Again in Christ before they are sealed in Christ?

Calvinist Answer: Yes...Only the elect are sealed...holy/saint...and changed into His image.

Arminian Summary: According to Calvinists, "the elect" are chosen to become in Christ, and they are elect apart from the basis of being sealed in Christ. Calvinists therefore have claimed for themselves, an elect status with the Father, independent of Christ, which demotes Christ and promotes Calvinists. However, Jesus stated: “No one comes to the Father but through Me.” (John 14:6) Thus, the “to be” Election of Calvinism which logically speaking, inevitably places one in the Father from all eternity, is reduced to dust by John 14:6. For the Calvinists who fancy themselves as being eternally plugged in with the Father, before their need for salvation ever arose, have ultimately negated Jesus' role as Mediator, since they would have you believe that they were already, eterally mediated to the Father in His eternal counsels. To that, I say that Calvinism is hogwash.

Either I am predestined TO BECOME in Christ, or.... I am predestined in Christ, meaning that I have a predestined inheritance once I become sealed "in Christ."

Either I am chosen TO BECOME in Christ, or.... I am chosen in Christ, speaking of what blessings of Adoption that I can look forward to once I become sealed in Christ.


Anonymous said...

I read the link in the Baptist Board. The Calvinist anwsered you, and you did not post it on your site. In fact, there is a lot missing from your site. Please look at this site when you have time.

Richard Coords said...


If I did not post his response, please feel free to post it for him.

To summarize: If "the elect" are chosen INTO Christ, or chosen "to be" in Christ, then does that not inevitably presuppose an election in the Father, which serves as the basis for being chosen "to become" in Christ? Furthermore, how would that not be a violation of John 14:6?

Second, if we are not sealed in Christ until after we hear and believe in the Gospel, as per Ephesians 1:13, then how is it that Calvinists teach that some are placed in Christ, before they ever heard the Gospel?

Feel free to explain these two bridges that no Calvinist has ever crossed?