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Switch to Forum Live View The Parable of the Boat
4 years ago  ::  Oct 24, 2010 - 9:39AM #1
Adelphe
Posts: 28,744

This, from a blog entry today:



The Parable of the Boat: Illustrating Differences Between Pelagianism, Semi-Pelagianism, Eastern Orthodoxy, Roman Catholicism, Arminianism, and Calvinism



Here is a quick illustration that I hope you find helpful to distinguish between the various traditions with regard to divine sovereignty, free-will, and salvation. It is certainly not perfect, but I think it works sufficiently.


Pelagianism


All the people are on the boat with the God. At this point, in their natural condition, they don’t need to be saved as they are not in danger. However, most (if not all) people will eventually jump in the water (sin) and find themselves in need of God’s grace. The reason why they jump in the water is because they are following numerous example of those who jumped before them. This example goes all the way back to the first two who jumped into the water, setting the first bad example. God them offers them a life preserver when they call on him for help. If they respond they will be saved (synergism).


Semi-Pelagianism


All people are in the water drowning. They are born drowning. This is the natural habitation of all humanity since the first man and woman jumped into the water. Their legs are cramping and they cannot swim to safety on their own. However, they may desire salvation on their own. Though they cannot attain it, they can call, with a wave of their arm, to God who is eagerly waiting on the edge of the boat. At the first sign of their initiative, God will then throw out the life preserver (grace). If they respond, they will be saved (synergism).


Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy


All people are in the water drowning. They are born drowning. This is the natural habitation of all humanity since the first man and woman jumped into the water. Their legs are cramping and they cannot swim to safety on their own. God, standing on the edge of the boat, makes the first initiative by throwing a life preserver to them (prevenient grace). Upon seeing this act, they make a decision to grab a hold (faith) or to swim away. If they grab a hold, God will slowly pull the rope connected to the life preserver. But they must do their part by swimming along with God’s pull (grace plus works; synergism). If at any time they let go or quit swimming, they will not be saved. 


Arminianism


All people are floating in the water dead in their natural condition (total depravity). They are born dead because that has been the condition of humanity since the first man and woman jumped into the water and died (original sin). Death begets death. There must be intervention if they are to be saved. God uses his power to bring every one of them back to life (prevenient grace), but they are still in the water and in danger of drowning. With the regenerated ability to respond to God, now God throws the life preserver to them and calls on them all to grab hold of it. They then make the free-will decision on their own to grab a hold of the life preserver (faith) or to swim away. If they grab a hold, they must continue to hold as God pulls them in (synergism). They don’t need to do anything but hold on. Any effort to swim and aid God is superfluous (sola fide). They can let go of the preserver at any time and, as a consequence, lose their salvation.


Calvinism


All people are floating in the water dead in their natural condition (total depravity). They are born dead because that has been the condition of humanity since the first man and woman jumped into the water and died (original sin). Death begets death. There must be radical intervention if they are to be saved. While God calls out to all of them, due to his mysterious choice, he brings back to life (regeneration) only certain people (election) while passing by the rest (reprobation). He does not use a life preserver, but grabs a hold of the elect individually and immediately pulls them onto the boat (monergism). They naturally grab a hold of God as a consequence of their resurrection (irresistible grace; sola fide). They forever stay on the boat due to their perpetual ability to recognize God’s beauty (perseverance of the saints).



First, would you agree that is a good characterization of the various positions?  Accurate?  Any modifications you might make?


Second, would or do you see any more than these?


Third, which of these do you find most...attractive?


Fourth, which of these do you find most...Biblical?


Fifth, of course, any and all thoughts along these lines or any others welcome. Smile


 

Unless I am convinced by Scripture and plain reason, my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and I will not retract anything, for to go against conscience would be neither right nor safe.  Here I stand.  I can do no other.  God help me.  Amen.
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4 years ago  ::  Oct 24, 2010 - 12:20PM #2
Ed.W
Posts: 9,444

looks like he got his view of Catholicism from the likes of jaysusissavior.com, but I'd say the calvinism is probably most biblical as described.

‘Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.’ --Lao Tzu
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4 years ago  ::  Oct 25, 2010 - 7:38AM #3
Adelphe
Posts: 28,744

Oct 24, 2010 -- 12:20PM, Ed.W wrote:


looks like he got his view of Catholicism from the likes of jaysusissavior.com,



LOL...


Well it is necessarily a bit simplistic given the analogy being used but I think he does a pretty good job of it given the complexity.


but I'd say the calvinism is probably most biblical as described.



Know what's cool about you, Ed?  You don't toe what you *think* is "supposed to be" the "party line."


An interesting comment on the blog entry:


"Interestingly, I had an interlocuter on my blog awhile ago, a Roman Catholic PhD student studying who else, Aquinas. He turned the lights on for me; he clearly advocated an unconditional election, while others (like a guy named Fr. Alvin) advocated conditional. What this helped illustrate for me, is that just as in Protestantism we have both classic Calvinists (what Patton advocates for) and Arminianism (what Roger Olson advocates); the Roman Catholics have their exacting corollaries — as I just noted. And this makes total sense given the fact that bothy systems come from the classical theistic, and Thomistic/Aristotelian metaphysic.


It’s really not as clear-cut as us Protestants would like to think in re. to Roman Catholicism. And as Stephen Strehle has highlighted in his book, “The Catholic Roots of the Protestant Gospel,” there is really a deep rooted correlation, not just in the grammar, but in the concepts between ‘orthodox Reformed theology’ (post-Reformed guys) and Roman Catholic theology (with its mirroring categories of classic Calvinism and Arminianism at play, respectively)."


I think that's why you and I seem to be able to move among RC and Prot theology quite easily.


Anyway, I'm somewhere between Arminianism and Calvinism as described with a few quibbles.  I agree that Calvinism is the most Biblical (and it is also interesting to note some of the RC greats' theology is very much along those lines (Aquinas, Scotus, Anselm) (or rather should I say Calvin's is very much along theirs) (or, rather should I say all of them are along the Bible) but I can't seem to embrace the idea entirely, even thought it gives all glory to God.  It's also seriously conterintuitive which, otoh, added to that latter, probably means it's the truth.  Tongue out


 


 

Unless I am convinced by Scripture and plain reason, my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and I will not retract anything, for to go against conscience would be neither right nor safe.  Here I stand.  I can do no other.  God help me.  Amen.
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4 years ago  ::  Oct 25, 2010 - 6:43PM #4
Ed.W
Posts: 9,444

Oct 25, 2010 -- 7:38AM, Adelphe wrote:


Know what's cool about you, Ed?  You don't toe what you *think* is "supposed to be" the "party line."




Freedom's just another word for nothin' left to lose         --K. Kristofferson


 and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.   --Jesus of Nazareth

‘Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.’ --Lao Tzu
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4 years ago  ::  Oct 26, 2010 - 4:59AM #5
Utilyan
Posts: 6,010

All the people are fish cause God is not an idiot.    But we think we are drowning......and you sorta do......drown.......   but drowning is not a bad thing and one day God will let you know why.



Because, Ute, He's in the very serious business of very seriously maturing...souls.


  God is good at what God does?   if not then we are prob screwed and we need more of each others help.    But if God is good shouldn't we be less worried bordered on relieved God is handling it?



Yes. 


Smile


 


ETA:   ACKKKKKKK!!!!


Sorry Ute!!!!


See below, post after next....

Moderated by Adelphe on Oct 26, 2010 - 07:00AM
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4 years ago  ::  Oct 26, 2010 - 6:51AM #6
Adelphe
Posts: 28,744

Oct 25, 2010 -- 6:43PM, Ed.W wrote:


Oct 25, 2010 -- 7:38AM, Adelphe wrote:


Know what's cool about you, Ed?  You don't toe what you *think* is "supposed to be" the "party line."




Freedom's just another word for nothin' left to lose         --K. Kristofferson


 and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.   --Jesus of Nazareth




(lump in throat..............)


So true, dearest...


Once you have been humbled by He who also spoke galaxies into existence, humbled so that He could fill you with the truth, rather than what you thought once was, there is nothing left to do but look up in love, awe, and gratitude and receive...

Unless I am convinced by Scripture and plain reason, my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and I will not retract anything, for to go against conscience would be neither right nor safe.  Here I stand.  I can do no other.  God help me.  Amen.
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4 years ago  ::  Oct 26, 2010 - 6:58AM #7
Adelphe
Posts: 28,744

Oct 26, 2010 -- 4:59AM, Utilyan wrote:


All the people are fish cause God is not an idiot.    But we think we are drowning......and you sorta do......drown.......   but drowning is not a bad thing and one day God will let you know why.



Because, Ute, He's in the very serious business of very seriously maturing...souls.


  God is good at what God does?   if not then we are prob screwed and we need more of each others help.    But if God is good shouldn't we be less worried bordered on relieved God is handling it?



Yes.


:-)




Ute, that's what I meant to do--just comment on your post, not edit 3/4 of it away!!!!


I'm so sorry--my profuse apologies!!!

Unless I am convinced by Scripture and plain reason, my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and I will not retract anything, for to go against conscience would be neither right nor safe.  Here I stand.  I can do no other.  God help me.  Amen.
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4 years ago  ::  Oct 27, 2010 - 1:45AM #8
kurnell
Posts: 309

2 things.


1. Arminians do not believe in 'total depravity'.


2. What about the Úniversalist' position?

Treasure your experience of God,however it comes to you.Remember that Christianity is not a notion but a way.
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4 years ago  ::  Oct 27, 2010 - 6:51AM #9
Adelphe
Posts: 28,744

Oct 27, 2010 -- 1:45AM, kurnell wrote:


2 things.


1. Arminians do not believe in 'total depravity'.



Indeed they (both historic AND Wesleyan) do, hence the doctrine of prevenient grace.



2. What about the Úniversalist' position?




Good point.  It's pretty much outside the scope of orthodoxy so maybe that's why it isn't included?  But then again so is pelagianism and semi-pelagianism.  I wonder if it could fall logically into one of those positions?


Anyway, are you aware of a reasoned argument/expounded soteriological doctrine similar to the above for it?

Unless I am convinced by Scripture and plain reason, my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and I will not retract anything, for to go against conscience would be neither right nor safe.  Here I stand.  I can do no other.  God help me.  Amen.
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4 years ago  ::  Oct 28, 2010 - 12:35PM #10
Issabhandhu12
Posts: 25
[/quote]


Hello Issa!  (Lovely name, btw... Smile)  And God bless you in all your ministries!


Let's see...in what may be somewhat overly simplistic, but maybe enough to get the "gist",  I would say the following:


Pelagianism - essentially says that there is no such thing as original sin that affected anyone but Adam, man has the capacity to choose God without God's grace and initiative and that man has within himself the ability to choose good over evil and live a moral life as in God's commands without God's intervention.  This was condemned as heresy.


Semi-Pelagianism - same thing (man has the capacity to choose God without God's grace) but once having chosen God, God's grace then becomes "available" sort of to "call upon" in order to assist men in following God's commands.  This, too, condemned as heresy.


Arminianism - God's grace is required to enable men to first choose Him.


I'll stop there and see if that helps and if you have questions on this, please bring them forward and I will do my best to elaborate!  Smile


(Anyone else, of course, please do feel free to jump in here with your thoughts, as well.)


 


 

Moderated by Adelphe on Oct 28, 2010 - 07:20PM
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