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"...if anyone makes the assistance of grace depend on the humility or obedience of man and does not agree that it is a gift of grace itself that we are obedient and humble, he contradicts the Apostle who says, "What have you that you did not receive?" (1 Cor. 4:7), and, "But by the grace of God I am what I am" (1 Cor. 15:10). (Council of Orange: Canon 6)

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  • « Answering a Critic of Reformed Theology | Main | Evil as a Social Construct »

    Profoundly Bad Theology Promoted with Such Certainty

    In response to a recent short post called "You Always Resist the Holy Spirit" an visitor names James, who is skeptical of Reformed Theology, posted the following rant (with my response following):

    Visitor

    ""no man can regenerate or resurrect himself""

    I see many parallels with this type of fallacious reasoning with atheism.

    Atheism boxes itself in with naturalism and leads them to fit absurdities into that box such as colliding particles give the illusion of freewill.

    This dead body premise is just as ludicrous as the premise of naturalism. It causes you to have to twist the overwhelming majority of scripture into your tiny box.

    This statement about not being able to resurrect yourself, or some from of it, is mentioned in just about every justification for Calvinism. That alone should allow you to see how weak your arguments are.

    So people resist the Holy Spirit because the cant resurrect themselves? You dont, at all, see the resemblance to atheistic arguments on the internet every day by just completely hammering the obvious interpretation with your "dead body" analogy?

    The atheist have their "naturalism" flash card that allows them to deny whats plain.
    You should just make "dead body" flash cards and hold them up every time scripture clearly contradicts you.
    Dont misunderstand though--Im not equating the 2 or saying Calvinist aren't christians but you both use the same tactics of using circular reasoning and faulty premises because your arguments cannot stand any other way.

    I dont see how you'll ever be able to reason correctly on the subject until you drop the dead body premise--which seems almost how a child would read Pauls analogy

    Response

    James,

    Tell me something. According to Scripture, can an unregenerate person, that is, the person without the Holy Spirit, believe in the gospel? Can an unbeliever turn to Jesus Christ apart from any help of the Holy Spirit? (1 Cor 2:14, John 6:63-65, 37). If not, what are you arguing about?

    This is not the unaided human reasoning of the atheist, no. We are talking about the word of God. That the unspiritual person is unable to understand spiritual truth unless the Spirit opens his eyes and heart (Ezek 36:26, Acts 16:14). Honestly, all I saw from your response was human philosophy without one Scripture to give authority to your argument. Who is appealing to atheistic arguments now? From all appearances it would be you (unless you can prove me wrong), because it would seem you believe, in this case, your human reasoning trumps the Scripture. If I am wrong here, then please take the time to enlighten me and demonstrate it by answering the above question whether a person can come to faith in Jesus apart from the Holy Spirit? And please use Scripture as your authority in your answer.

    The person who is without the Spirit may be alive to the world, but he is dead to Spiritual things. Apart from a supernatural work of the Holy Spirit, natural man loves darkness and hates the light (John 3:19,20). According to your reasoning above, it would follow that a person can believe in Christ apart from the Spirit, which is a theology which has no connection with biblical Christianity or any form of historic Christianity at all. Such a view was condemned in the early church ... a heresy called Pelagianism... that a person can come to faith in Christ in his own native abilities, apart from any work of the Holy Spirit. If the Holy Spirit is necessary, then why would that be the case given that the natural man is not dead to spiritual truth (as you claim)?

    In light of these things in Scripture your argument simply cannot stand. How is it that you were willing to go out on such a limb, with such conviction, to promote these ignorant ideas to have them so easily demonstrated to be false. With respect, I would encourage you, in cases like these, to communicate with much more humility about your own reasoning, especially if you are not going to appeal to Scripture as your final authority.

    "Even when we were dead in sins, [God] hath quickened us together with Christ." - Eph 2:5

    John H.
    Monergism.com

    Posted by John on December 14, 2012 02:25 PM

    Comments

    Soli Deo Gloria!!!!

    This theology I call the 1%-er. That means that at least 1% of our salvation belongs to us because we believed, we chose, we trusted, we called, we put faith in, we desired. Not understanding that the last 1% was dead in sins just like the other 99%. I have found that my free-will believing brothers do not admit to themselves that God must do a work within us before we ever become converted.
    Just how does the "good heart" get into a man so that the seed=word of God will produce fruit?
    Just how does God find any "worshipers in spirit and truth" when "none seek God"? The answer for the Arminian has been "they believe", but when questioned about just how that came about, many of them fight the truth which they know inwardly "God did it". I used to believe that because I believe-therefore I became a "sheep" John 10, but later I came to understand that its the opposite, I was a sheep, therefore I believed. God got to me before I acknowledged God at all. I finally put to death the idea that God was transgressing my free-will to save me against my wishes. I finally came to understand that unless God did bypass my utter ignorance and blindness I would have died in my sins and I would have never sought God or believed upon Him. I thank God that He chose me, my free-will was locked into the way that leads to destruction.

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