Prevenient grace?

Carbon

Well-known member
There is an embarrassment of riches for verses that support God's grace precedes man's worthiness and brings him to a place of accepting or resisting grace.
I disagree. I’m quite sure there is no place in scripture that teaches God woos and persuades man bringing him to a place that he will accept or reject God’s grace.

I am convinced however, that the only cure for spiritual death is the creation of life in our souls by God. I believe Ephesians 1:1-10 teaches this clearly
 

preacher4truth

Well-known member
I disagree. I’m quite sure there is no place in scripture that teaches God woos and persuades man bringing him to a place that he will accept or reject God’s grace.

I am convinced however, that the only cure for spiritual death is the creation of life in our souls by God. I believe Ephesians 1:1-10 teaches this clearly
All the Father draws/calls are subsequently saved.
 

Theo1689

Well-known member
I disagree. I’m quite sure there is no place in scripture that teaches God woos and persuades man bringing him to a place that he will accept or reject God’s grace.

I am convinced however, that the only cure for spiritual death is the creation of life in our souls by God. I believe Ephesians 1:1-10 teaches this clearly

The problem I have is that "prevenient grace" has a VERY SPECIFIC definition in Christian theology, and to reduce it to it's lowest denominator to try to equate it with Irresistible grace seems to deny many of the connotations, as well as making it super-easy to "prove" from the Bible, far easier than trying to prove Arminian prevenient grace from the Bible.
.
(Arminian) Prevenient Grace
(Calvinist) Irresistible Grace
given to everyonegiven only to the elect
puts recipient in a relatively "neutral"
position, where then can choose
either way
draws recipient to salvation
.

I think these are very important differences, and need to be demonstrated from the Bible, more specifically than "some grace was given to people before their decision".
 

Carbon

Well-known member
Since your presuppositions you bring to the Bible don't allow for that paradigm, you will reject all supporting verses by interpreting the description of potential responses or lack of responses as flattened out to determinism.
Well, I desire and intend to agree with what God’s word teaches. Show me where the word teaches man has a choice, it’s in mans hands to decide. If you can show me this, I will humbly change my views.
We’re all human so we all probably to some degree bring our thoughts to the Bible. I always look to see this in myself, it was an unknown, daily practice as an Arminian for years. I am aware this is possible and am on the lookout.

You may not be the best on this forum to try and prove with scripture the doctrine of Prevenient grace. Mainly because you do not agree scripture interprets scripture, therefore you cannot be consistent and put together a solid case. But you know that and have already set the stage, it’s obvious by your reply above. It’s a sneaky way out.
 

Carbon

Well-known member
For example, you'd have to believe that "resist" is not something actually done by people, but preprogrammed by God. So everything that describes autonomy normally is re-construed as some form of determinism.
Dizerner, in your first sentence above your describing a Hyper-Anticalvinist.

I do not believe man is preprogrammed not to believe. I’d appreciate if we keep our discussion Christian.
People are in the position they are in because of the fall and original sin. Not because they are preprogrammed by God. And man is not a law unto himself, he is not self governing. He is spiritually dead and totally unable to help himself as far as salvation.
 

Carbon

Well-known member
As a simple illustration here is one verse (among thousands) that brings out the principle of preceding grace:

35 Then Jesus said to them, "A little while longer the light is with you. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you; he who walks in darkness does not know where he is going.
36 "While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light." These things Jesus spoke, and departed, and was hidden from them. (Joh 12:35-36 NKJ)

A deterministic rendition of the above would be written as follows:

35 Then Jesus said to them, "A little while longer the light is with you. You have been predestined to have the darkness over take you, so you will continue to walk in darkness.
36 "While you have the light, only the predestined can believe in the light and become sons of the Light." These things Jesus spoke, and departed, and was hidden from them. (Joh 12:35-36 No Bible Ever)

But instead Jesus says that the limited presence of the light is a temporary enablement to believe in it. If that were not true, and Christ was only speaking descriptively and not prescriptively, the presence of the light would be irrelevant to the opportunity to respond to it.

Once this light is gone, the "window of time" has expired to respond to it.

That whole idea is completely contrary to, and incompatible with, determinism.
First, did you notice Jesus never answers their question? Just curious.
But instead Jesus goes right into reproving their stupidity and threatening them that within a little time, his bodily presence will be taken away, and with Him will go all the light of instruction and spiritual direction which He had given them. Therefore He exhorts them to make use of the short time He gave them to be converted and believe in Him.
Then Jesus says:
While you have the Light, believe in the Light, so that you may become sons of Light.”
These things Jesus spoke, and He went away and hid Himself from them.

How do we become sons of light?
By belief of course. He’s telling them while you have the light, believe that you may become sons of light, - enlightened by the gift of regeneration.

But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit. 2 Cor 3:18.

God will give His church the clear glass of the gospel instead of the vail in the OT, all believers freely by faith contemplate the glorious light of His mercy, truth and power, by which we are made like unto Him, in holiness and the newness of life by the Spirit of regeneration during this life until the time of perfection in everlasting life.
 

praise_yeshua

Well-known member
Okay, so how does this work in directing and persuading man to make a decision for Christ.

Come on now, if you believe in Prevenient grace prove it with scripture.

the issues with you is you do not like to be wrong, you treat everyone as inferior. You know exactly what I'm talking about with Prevenient grace to salvation, don’t you. As far as the gospel going out into all the world as grace, I agree, of course. Are you trying to confuse the subject because you can’t prove it?
or do you really not know? Maybe study up on the doctrine?
Respectfully

I argue points relative to Scripture. I do not argue for what others say. If you expect that from me, then I'll stop here. The battle is always in the Scriptural details. I'm simply making the point that Grace is innate to the Gospel message.
 

praise_yeshua

Well-known member
If it were targeted to every human it would be proclaimed to every human, God does not miss

Correct. We miss. I do not blame God for our own failures.

Read these words and make an application here...

Rom 1:28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind
 

praise_yeshua

Well-known member
The problem I have is that "prevenient grace" has a VERY SPECIFIC definition in Christian theology, and to reduce it to it's lowest denominator to try to equate it with Irresistible grace seems to deny many of the connotations, as well as making it super-easy to "prove" from the Bible, far easier than trying to prove Arminian prevenient grace from the Bible.
.
(Arminian) Prevenient Grace
(Calvinist) Irresistible Grace
given to everyonegiven only to the elect
puts recipient in a relatively "neutral"
position, where then can choose
either way
draws recipient to salvation
.

I think these are very important differences, and need to be demonstrated from the Bible, more specifically than "some grace was given to people before their decision".

The teaching in classic Arminianism is true in some ways and false in others. The fundamental of the teaching is that God imparts Grace in ways that Calvinism does not recognize.
 

Dizerner

Well-known member
I would agree prevenient grace is a poor name for a doctrine that actually centers around the idea of an autonomous response and not merely grace being prevenient.

I think such an inaccurate term should no longer be used, and am committed to ditch it.
 

ReverendRV

Well-known member
I would agree prevenient grace is a poor name for a doctrine that actually centers around the idea of an autonomous response and not merely grace being prevenient.

I think such an inaccurate term should no longer be used, and am committed to ditch it.
It should always be called Prevenient Grace ;) Because Grace IS Prevenient...
 

Carbon

Well-known member
I argue points relative to Scripture. I do not argue for what others say. If you expect that from me, then I'll stop here. The battle is always in the Scriptural details. I'm simply making the point that Grace is innate to the Gospel message.
Okay
 

Carbon

Well-known member
Correct. We miss. I do not blame God for our own failures.

Read these words and make an application here...

Rom 1:28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind
I said God does not miss. God over rides us.

you do realize God gives those who don’t want Him over to a reprobate mind. They can do as they like with no conviction.

but you know that already
 

praise_yeshua

Well-known member
I said God does not miss. God over rides us.

you do realize God gives those who don’t want Him over to a reprobate mind. They can do as they like with no conviction.

but you know that already

Accord to Romans 1, this is due to them refusing to acknowledge God while He was being gracious to them.
 

Our Lord's God

Well-known member
The teaching in classic Arminianism is true in some ways and false in others. The fundamental of the teaching is that God imparts Grace in ways that Calvinism does not recognize.

Let me fix that for you.

The fundamental of the teaching is that God imparts Grace in ways that Calvinism does not want to recognize.

There, that's better.
 

Dizerner

Well-known member
Well, I desire and intend to agree with what God’s word teaches. Show me where the word teaches man has a choice, it’s in mans hands to decide. If you can show me this, I will humbly change my views.

It seems to me you might be committed to reject anything that doesn't fit your paradigm even if it fits Scripture...

Let's see if you will a priori reject a deduction or impose your presuppositions no matter what the text says.

I believe free will can also be conclusively deduced from Scripture.

Let's take a fairly mundane seeming passage and extrapolate some ideas from it.

3 But God came to Abimelech in a dream by night, and said to him, "Indeed you are a dead man because of the woman whom you have taken, for she is a man's wife."
4 But Abimelech had not come near her; and he said, "Lord, will You slay a righteous nation also?
5 "Did he not say to me,`She is my sister '? And she, even she herself said,`He is my brother.' In the integrity of my heart and innocence of my hands I have done this."
6 And God said to him in a dream, "Yes, I know that you did this in the integrity of your heart. For I also withheld you from sinning against Me; therefore I did not let you touch her.
7 "Now therefore, restore the man's wife; for he is a prophet, and he will pray for you and you shall live. But if you do not restore her, know that you shall surely die, you and all who are yours." (Gen 20:3-7 NKJ)


I believe just as the Trinity can be deduced from whatever passages you want to cite, so true autonomous decision can be from this passage (as well as hundreds of others, but this passage is sufficient and a good example).

This is a long setup but bear with me. At first God says to Abimelech that he is a dead man because he has sinned. Abimelech answers and implies that this is too harsh a judgment in the light of his current limitations of understanding the situation. Abimelech then declares he is innocent. In verse 6, God does not say Abimelech is wrong, but rather affirms that Abimelech is actually correct on this issue. He has done this "in the integrity" of his heart. Then God says he has somehow kept Abimelech from sinning so far as an act of mercy because of ignorance. But now Abimelech is no longer considered ignorant, as he has been warned, so we end with verse 7 in which God lays out two different outcomes that are both indicated to be a real possibility and determined by the choice Abimelech makes.

Honesty is an attribute of God, and honesty in communication is necessary if you want to be understood in the way you intend to say something. That is, in general, if you wish to convey information and not mislead someone, you actually have to mean what you say. We cannot claim Abimelech would understand this passage in any deterministic way, and if determinism were true it would not be beyond the capacity of God to phrase this in a deterministic way or even to explain that Abimelech actually has no choice in the matter and there are not two real, viable outcomes as God indicated, where Abimelech either "surely dies" or he will in fact "live" although he was declared dead already, which in this case would indicate he had a pending "death sentence," or ban, on him.

Now the truth about determinism is a sneaky one, because no matter how you phrase something to sound like autonomy you can always just claim it only sounds that way as some kind of illusion. But the default position of any text should not to be take it as an illusion, but to take it as meaning what it says, unless we have strong overriding context. With proponents of determinism, a small percentage of Bible verses that could be interpreted as deterministic are used as an overriding lens to reinterpret a much, much larger percentage of passages that are made to sound deliberately as if choice were two actual outcomes decided by the individual, instead of pre-decided by God. And this becomes so second nature, that, in my interaction with determinists anyway, they almost seem to think it's the natural way to interpret choices in Scripture as necessarily deterministic when that's actually not the default way to understand them.

So by using the exact same "hermeneutics" we would use to come to a deduction of the Trinity, we come to a consistent and predominantly used method in the Bible as describing choices as multiple potential outcomes determined by the agent.

If God wanted to convey a deterministic meaning of any kind to Abimelech it would have been easy, simple and clear to simply phrase what God says to Abimelech in a deterministic way, "I have chosen you to sin," or "You will go on and do what I have decided for you to do," or "you must fulfill your destiny and this is what it will be." God does not choose any of those easy options which would be honest and clear, to phrase something deliberately in a way that sounds non-deterministic, and this is not by any definition the honest way of communicating.

So although we have verses where Jesus says "the only true God" in reference to his Father, we take the higher percentage verses and reinterpret the lower percentage verses, to justify our interpretation that Jesus himself is the only true God as well. In the same way Scripture actually ends up directly supporting the idea of libertarian freedom, instead of directly opposing the idea of libertarian freedom.
 
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