Born again, hell and other questions from a disbeliever

Here are a few questions from a disbeliever with my replies:

1.  So, the fact that John and Marion–John, Catholic and Marion, Anglican–do not see hell as my destination–that fact implies that God has not regenerated them?

Reply –  “Any man who thinks he deserves heaven is not a Christian. But for any man who knows he deserves Hell, there’s hope” (Martyn Lloyd-Jones) [This is the first thing I wrote in Hell in a nutshell]

2.  Is that why you have said that they, too, will land up in hell?

Reply –  Any person who thinks a disbeliever deserves heaven is not a Christian.

3.  How do Calvinists differ from Anglicans?

Reply – I quote a good answer.

Difference between Calvinism and Anglicanism

[Words in square brackets are mine]

  • Anglicanism is a Protestant Church that:

– Affirms the Apostolic Succession and the Ecclesiastical Hierarchy, in contrast to Calvinist emphasis on the Presbytery and rejection of the Apostolic Succession.

– Accepts the Arminian view of predestination, as opposed to the Calvinist view of predestination. [The Arminian says that God predestines those whom he sees from eternity will become believers. The Calvinist says that salvation is 100% God’s doing; the believer’s joyful role is to receive it]

– Accepts the Monarch as head of the Church, as oppose to Calvinist rejection of the whole hierarchy, and, if they live in England and are not republicans or anti-Royalist, accepting the monarch not as a spiritual power, but simply as a temporal one.

– Anglicanism is divided into the High Church and the Low Church, the High Church being more ritualistic and more…Catholic, whereas the low church has these elements to a lesser degree, Calvinism reject all these Catholic Elements altogether.

– The above should not be taken as God’s truth about the two Churches, as the Anglican Church did include Calvinist and Arminians who frequently debated each other as to the evolution and formation of the Church…the Church of Scotland, for example, is explicitly Calvinist Presbyterian, while the Church of England become more and more ARMINIAN in its theology, though, it seems to me, mostly heterogeneous in its theology.

[When Calvinism is contrasted with Arminianism, what first comes to mind is God’s role and man’s role in coming to faith. The Calvinist says that man plays no cooperative or contributive role in coming to faith, while the Arminian says that man cooperates with God in that man turns his heart to God, that is, exercises his will to come to faith. In Calvinism, God first regenerates the sinner and then gives the sinner the gift of faith, while in Arminianism, regeneration follows the sinner’s acceptance of God’s offer of salvation. Faith, for the Arminian is something the believer does, not something God gives, as Calvinism understands it. There were many Calvinists in the early Anglican church, but very few today].

4.  Do you call yourself a born-again Calvinist or a Calvinist?

Reply- “Calvinist” is a label, nothing more. It is useful because Calvin is the most famous representative of the five solas (Latin for “alone”). The five solas are Sola Scriptura – Scripture, Alone
Solus Christus – Christ Alone,
Sola Gratia – Grace Alone,
Sola Fide – Faith Alone,
Soli Deo Gloria – The Glory of God Alone. With regard to the “Glory of God alone,” I argued in my most recent article (The weight of God’s glory. Wait!) that God will never share HIS glory; but this does not mean He won’t give us a little of our own. Humanistic modesty and Christian humility don’t mix. Christian humility is to acknowledge that “our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all” (2 Corinthians 4:17).

No one calls themselves a born again Calvinist. It would be like calling oneself a born again Paulist (Paul the Apostle). “Born again Christian”  (or Calvinist!) is a tautology, because both terms mean that God has regenerated you.Every Christian is by definition born again. it is, of course, more informative to say that you are Christian than to say I am born again, which only Christians – not all by a long shot – will understand. Many “Charismatic” Christians regard “born again” as a second experience, which is unbiblical.

5.  If you call yourself a born-again Calvinist–how do you know that God has regenerated you?

– “Born again Christian”  (or Calvinist!) is a tautology, as I replied in 4.

I know that God has regenerated me because of the primordial reason that the Bible tells me so.

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7 thoughts on “Born again, hell and other questions from a disbeliever

  1. Someone emailed me “By the way, John and Marion did not say I would go to heaven.  They said I wouldn’t go to hell.”

    I replied. All Catholics and many  Anglicans believe there are only two places you can ultimate go – heaven or hell. So, if these tell you that you’re not going to hell, then it follows that you are going to heaven.

    Catholics believe in Purgatory as well, but no matter how long it is – say millions of years – you end up clean enough to enter heaven.

  2. Purgatory, in my thinking, may be a valid concept if, after suffering for sins, the sufferer doesn’t achieve heaven, but rather ceases to exist (annihilation). The statement about “stripes” seem to imply limitation. If my thinking is correct, a finite person wouldn’t suffer infinitely. This seems (from Scripture) bad enough: The person experienced God’s goodness in life, will have to suffer for their wrong, and then never experience the new eternal age with sinless goodness. Also, Mt. 18.23-34 seems to imply limitation: “all that he owed.”

    • Squeaky2, You seem to mean that God will first purify (purge, purgatory) someone of all the rot, then blast him or her into oblivion. First wipe your bottie then wipe you out. Is that what you mean?

      • Not exactly as you have stated it perhaps. A retribution of some kind whether a few or many stripes. After purging however, they would still not have Christ’s righteousness, and so a destruction.

        These are “working thoughts” that need further development for sure. I always like to look for collaboration and interaction in order to be sharpened in my understanding.

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