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Oct 24, 2014

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Jonathan Carter

Great piece Peter! I have never understood how persons can read into the scripture "in Adam." It's just not there. Great article, I look forward to more!

Louis

Peter:

I remember the first time I heard a excited Reformed person say to me that regeneration must precede faith. I found the point interesting and still ponder it from time to time.

Does it really matter? Even in the Reformed world, does it really matter.

God grants faith. God opens people's eyes to see. God regenerates. People exercise the faith that is a gift of God.

What is the necessity of being exercised by the order?

Couldn't a Reformed person acknowledge that God did a work in the person's heart that enabled them to exercise faith?

I am not getting why timing is such a big deal.

volfan007

Louis,

It makes all the difference. Now, we both believe that salvation is by the grace of God. We both believe that God has to work salvation into the heart of man. But, the order makes a huge amount of difference.
It means that some people have NO chance of being saved. None. Because, they have no choice....not a real choice. To believe in regeneration before faith is a very fatalistic view. And, while most Calvinists will still witness, and believe in missions, out of obedience; it still effects the zeal and fervency in soul winning and missions. It would have to.

Besides, and the main thing, is that the Bible doesn't teach regeneration before faith. So, to believe such is a distortion of the Bible.

David

peter lumpkins

Louis,

Hope you've been well. Adding to David's very good point about the ultimate reason why it's important is to default to what the Bible teaches, note again what R.C. Sproul famously calls the cardinal point of Reformed theology: "When speaking of the order of salvation (ordo salutis), Reformed theology always and everywhere insists that regeneration precedes faith." It's Calvinists themselves who place the high premium on its necessity.

Regeneration preceding faith was birthed amongst Baptists in their early controversies over infant baptism, especially in their debates with Reformed churchmen. The Reformed insisted on separating regeneration sometimes by significant time periods, and argued that as evidence for infant baptism (if I recall correctly). Whatever the case, today's Baptist Calvinists are, in my view, forsaking early Baptist understanding and conceding to the strictly Reformed Church view.

What is more, regeneration precedes faith is actually a logical inference from more foundational Reformed doctrines--namely the U, L, and I of TULIP. If salvation really is based upon God's unconditional election, then it seems to follow something on the order of full Regeneration remains necessary. Neither conviction of sin nor any kind of "synergistic" proposal will suffice. Thus, not even a human response can be a part of it because a human response constitutes a condition. How can unconditional election to salvation be true if the condition of a human response is necessary?

Furthermore, since depravity killed the human spirit, it follows a resurrection from the dead is absolutely necessary. Finally, because depravity is so total, a person cannot not unbelieve unless he or she is effectually--i.e. irresistibly-called.

Why is regeneration preceding faith so crucial, or, as Sproul says "the cardinal point of Reformed theology"? Because Reformed theology, by and large, collapses without it.

Thanks my brother Louis. Lord bless.

With that, I am...
Peter

Andrew Barker

There's a helpful series of talks on Abraham by Prof John Lennox on the FOCL web site. http://www.foclonline.org/talk/abrahams-faith

Abraham is the archetypal man of faith and what does scripture say? Abraham believed God ..... No doubt Sproul et al would have us believe God regenerated Abraham before he believed, but that's not what it says ... is it!

Lydia

I don't see how the U, L or I can stand without regeneration before faith.

Infant baptism also makes more sense with the idea of Adamic guilt passed down in some sort of sin goo we are supposed to inherit. But it is a mystery that Mary carried our Holy Savior in this passed down sin goo for 9 months. Now the Cals seem to be saying that God automatically elects and regenerates the babies who die even though they are guilty and don't know it.

But then I see most of it as Greek Pagan Philosophy, anyway.

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